Writing Update – October

As we are on the verge of another NaNoWriMo – I look at those that are going to do it and wish them luck. I have never had the time to do it. I can look at my schedule and know there is no way I could have the time to get it all done. Currently, I am in my 4th month of working on my novel and only about a 1/3rd of the way through. With school, I am lucky if I get a few nights a week. Of course, it doesn’t help that sometimes I need to just zone out and end up falling back into the world of Sims just to get away from it all (cheaper than a vacation).

I am writing though, and that is the important thing. I have added several new chapters to my novel and have fleshed out the story so damned much its beautiful to me. I recently went to a Writers Conference and loved it, I was surrounded by all these people who had achieved the same dream I had. When I had gone, I was kind of trudging through the swamp of my novel but by the end I had become re-inspired to keep going. I even spent several sessions working on background for my story. I love taking this story and making it realistic to the reader. Going over details with my husband because he is a wonderful sounding board for me. I am also feeling more confident in my writing and the story, having had a chance to talk about it to other people outside of my small group of family and friends.

I would recommend conferences to anyone wanting to write because it is a wonderful experience. Maybe one day I can get into a writers group.

What is going on with my story? I have gone from a single person view-point to multiple… 3 females and 1 male. I do feel bad because out of all them, she is having the worst time ever in a story of some really bad times but it is really interesting to write her story. It is interesting fitting the different stories together, making sure the timeline matches up and that you have the details right. You can’t have someone seeing something happen that hasn’t happened yet or too far in the future – I have done this a few times already.

I have also found that some of my characters are unnecessary to put into the foreground and have gone to very minor roles, whereas a minor character that I thought was a throw away one and I thought I would delete now has a major role that is becoming very vocal in the story.

That right there is why I am enjoying this story, because it feels like it has a life of its own sometimes. But I have learned that giving everyone a distinct voice is WAY more difficult than it sounds but it can be fun trying to figure out their personalities.

All in all, it is still going and will finish one day. I really hope so because I have about 10 more ideas for stories I want to work on; including several non-fiction pieces and scripts. I just want to write and maybe something will happen. 😀


Renovation Update

The renovation is going very very slow right now. DH is working on the cabinets trying to get them painted but the paint you need to use is very thin and takes forever to dry. So its going little by little. He and his friend were able to finally get the floor clean from the vinyl tiles and once the wood floors are done we can get that tiled. Right now, the floors have been sanded and the first layer of varnish is on and drying. Tomorrow Footprints Floors will be going back and putting on the final coat. I can’t wait to post the final pictures. Here are some pictures of the pre refinished floors:

Living Room Floors

Future Office Floors w/cat pee stains

As you can see with the future office picture of the floors there are a lot of stains BUT they should be gone except for a few of them that will be too deep to take off. One you can see on the bottom near the wall. That isn’t cat pee but a water stain from possible a potted plant being there. So I guess that will be “character” for the floors.

Bathroom – Upstairs

I did finish the painting in the upstairs bathroom. I think I stated before that we had 3 or 4 different colors in this tiny tiny tiny bathrom. They were shades of green with one white wall. Now I love green, it is my favorite color. We are painting our kitchen & dining area green and possibly my office and downstairs. Our living room will be the green the old owners had painted it until we have the time to paint it another color. So, I wanted to find something to match but brighten it up. The yellow I found is light but once it was done it has made the bathroom feel so much brighter and bigger. It will help make the space more liveable until we can renovate the entire space and make it more our own. I mentioned before that they had repainted the cabinet and mirror very badly, I decided that I will take the paint for the molding/base and try to fix it some. Here are some photos from the bathroom:

Shower Corner - Pre painting

Shower Corner - After Painting

Vanity Area - Pre painting

Vanity Area - After Painting

Now – it wasn’t 100% done when I took these photos but it is now. Once its fully decorated I will post a photo… now to look for a new shower curtain.

Kitchen Walls

Here is the texture that was on the walls before we had them fixed:

sand texture paint

The guys redid the walls and fixed some bad dry wall work. They also patched this giant whole:

Look thru to the back wall

That was where the old backsplash was. And then they fixed this:

Giant crack in the ceiling

But now our home looks like this after all the guys hard work last week:

new ceiling

But everything is coming together, even if it is slowly happening the main thing is that it is happening. On Monday morning the LO and I are heading to Albuquerque to get furniture and the last of my stuff from my parents house. While I am gone my awesome hubby will still be working so that when we get back we can work on getting things moved. I have recruited my dad to help me out with some things at the house, I figure he and I can finish painting the kitchen, dining area and the master bedroom. I also will need to install the bead board on the walls in the dining area and on the back of the cabinets in the bar area. You can see it in the above picture of the kitchen wall before the new drywall was installed.

Hopefully I will have one more update before I leave town.

And a few more days

A few more days have gone by on the renovation and things are happening but I while I have a bunch of photos… I really don’t have the time to upload and post right now since I am squeezing this in while the LO sleeps and I do some cleaning. And I have no idea where my camera is at the moment… I may make a post later with just photos for you to go thru.


A good friend of ours came over and babysat for us while I headed to the house to do some work and watch more work get done. Our drywall guys came as did the plumber. We now have new drywall where the old backsplash was and they repaired our ceiling crack, as well as the horrible texture walls. We have gas in our laundry room and in the kitchen thanks to Steve at Anchor Plumbing. I met with the floor renovation people from Footprints Floors to get an estimate and schedule a time to start the renovation. He did recommend waiting to paint in the areas where they will be working but I did go ahead and start the painting in the bathroom upstairs.

I went with a yellow – its a bit bright but its a VERY small bathroom and it helps make it feel bigger. The walls were originally 3 or 4 different colors – one for each wall: white, olive green, sage green and khaki green. I ripped part of the sheet rock off when I took the shower curtain rod down – luckily I had some people on hand to help me with that… I got most of it done. I need to take the light fixture down, I tried to paint around it and yeah so not gonna happen. I had to wait to the area around the wall damage to dry so that isn’t painted and I didn’t edge the top of the walls. I am hoping to get back there on Sunday to finish it. I wanted to continue but was suffering from a major migraine and just wanted to get home.


Omar had to work super late and I still had a migraine so this was a rest day


Omar’s day off so he headed over and did some work at the house. I headed to the store and spent money – woohoo! I picked up our new faucet… the Pfister Elevate:

Its pretty cool. I did a lot research on Wednesday to find the best priced one and found it Lowe’s for $198.00 – and since I used my Lowe’s card, I got an additional 5% off. Its pretty cool – it goes from 8″ to 9 1/2″ to 11″ in height. I love the taller faucets for pot filling but they always seem to overtake the view of the kitchen. Its a basic simple design that I think will match our kitchen well.

I also picked up a new light fixture for our kitchen. Right now we have a large 4 1/2′ long florescent light fixture that takes like 4 bulbs with a large wooded frame around it. It is humongous! Anyways, we decided to change it. I found a 28″ swaure florescent light fixture with a white frame around it – its bigger then I really wanted but it works for the kitchen and the design. It takes 2 lights instead of 4 at least and shorter. Wider though but because its square we think we can center it better on the ceiling and it should blend into the ceiling better.Unfortunately, after buying it I read a lot of bad reviews – not sure what to do now but alas I guess we will try it out first.

And the paint color for the walls – I had originally gone in with some samples of colours I wanted to use but neither one looked right with the countertop. Luckily since we were at Lowe’s and purchased our countertop from Lowe’s it was just a quick jaunt from the counter department to the paint department to grab some more samples. And I found a great one – it works great with the countertops, the white counters, the white beadboard and the dark wood kitchen table we already have. Its called “Brown Buzz” from the National Trust Collection thru Valspar (http://valsparpaint.com):

(image borrowed from myperfectcolor.com). Its a neutral green color.

We also had the countertop people show up and take the template for the counters – we should have them in about 2 weeks. Hopefully the Wednesday before Turkey Day but most likely afterwards. Not sure how that will affect the day – we may have to move it back a few days because we won’t even have a sink to use for cooking.

Omar spent a good portion of the day getting the vinyl tiles up. He got about half and did some other things – not really sure but things he needed.

We also go our backsplash tiles in – and looks like we will need more then we anticipated originally but have come up with a few ways to cut some of the area we need to use the tiles. We have a high area at the sink with smaller high cabinets with a lot of empty space in front of it. So, we are going to build a small shelf there to put things like the dish soap, etc and keep them out of small hands. Instead of tiling behind it we will paint it the same color as the walls. That takes out 3 sq feet of tiling expense. We will still need to spend more then I want but Omar really loves their look and we are going to go ahead with it.

Today, Friday

Omar and his friends are at the house – I am watching the LO. They go the rest of the floor up and headed out to pick up the new flooring. Omar stated that one of the benefits of taking up the old floors is there is a grid on the floors from where the tiles were placed. They are also prepping the cabinets and getting them started on being refinished. Now, our cabinets are not the best made cabinets and I hope to one day be able to trade them out for nicer ones but at least the fronts are solid wood so we are able to refinish them. The ends are going to be harder then the front since the sides are laminate. May have to come up with something interesting to cover them up.

Time to run, someone is up for their nap and mommy still hasn’t eaten lunch.




Renovation Starts… the Kitchen

Saturday afternoon we started with actual work on the house. We (hubby, LO and myself) met with a great friend of ours to start. This will also be LO’s last day on the site except to drop off some items because the big work is now starting and will be messy. For his safety and health he won’t be coming over unless mommy needs to do something when its safe. But mostly he will be at home or shopping for supplies.

But I want to give you a quick run down – here is our kitchen prior to the renovation:


Now that beautiful backsplash – yes that is floor tile and its a beeach to take down because of the extra glue used. Lets just say my finger tips hurt like crazy. But I got it down to the original plain white tiles (which match the basement bathroom shower tiles) so that we can start taking those off without too much damage to the dry wall. Of course, hubby has now decided that may not be the best plan  and that maybe we should see if we can get the drywall above the counters replaced instead of just taking off the tiles. OR just put our new back splash over top the old white tiles – which got a quick no from me on that. I want to do it right the first time and not just take short cuts. This is what the last owner did and we got that ugly ass floor tile back splash. Do it right the first time and there won’t be a reason to go back and do it again to fix it.

In the end – I have no idea. I called the drywall guys to see how much it would be to marry a new section to the older drywall. Waiting for a quote on that, so we will see. Personally, I would like to try to take some off to see what happens first but no seems to believe me that it can be done. Even though its done constantly on the DIY and Kitchen shows and there are about 1,000 hits when you do a search for “taking tile off of drywall without damage”. We ended the day with all the cabinet doors off of the cabinets, floor tiles off of the back splash, facings off of the plugs & switches, curtain rods down and hardware off walls, fridge moved to the dining area, carpet taken up off of the bedroom floors (more on that later). The only thing we didn’t do for prep is make sure we had a place to dump things… right now the old carpet and padding is sitting in the backyard. I will be heading to the store tomorrow to grab a “dumpster in a bag” before the drywall work begins on Tuesday morning.

Backsplash FUN!

Now our new back splash is a sticky tile BUT the difference is these tiles are made to be a back splash not made to be put on the floors. There is a BIG difference to me in that. We had many long conversations on what we wanted for a back splash from me saying why do we even need one – heck, I never had one before in any of the houses I lived in – to multiply choices. At first DH wanted to go with those small glass tiles that seems to be the number one choice of all home renovators lately and I wanted a metal back splash. I was completely resistant on the small glass tiles mainly for the reason that everyone seems to be doing it and in truth, they aren’t that easy to take care of. Imagine having to clean all that small grout but to each their own, gives me chills just thinking about it :D. I am big on trying to find something different and unique for your home. Something that makes it yours and yours alone… if you can.

In the end we ended up finding something different and kind of new out there. They are 3 x 6 inch metal backsplash tiles by Aspect. They come in different shades of silver and bronze appearance. For about $19.96 you get a pack of 8. At first I thought that wasn’t much but that is about 2 square feet and some of those other tiles made for a backsplash are about 12-15 bucks a square foot. They are simple to install and we don’t need to worry about grouting anything. They will also come off pretty easily if we ever want to upgrade or change the kitchen again (hopefully not for a very long time). Here is the website: http://aspectideas.com/. But for me probably one of the coolest features of the tiles are that they are made from 60% recycled material and they are 100% end-of-life recyclable. The tile we chose is the long-grain stainless steel tile:

When we install we will probably go with the subway tile look on the walls… or if we want to be fancy a vertical version of a subway tile look. I am pretty happy with our choice. I ordered them on Friday thru Lowe’s and we were able to get free shipping because we spent over $49 and got an additional 5% off because I used my Lowe’s credit card. In the end we ended up saving about $1.70 per box after taxes.

Floors… oh the floors

Once again – major decision. We knew we wanted to pull up the floors that existed. They were an orangey red fake terra cotta looking sticky tile and not really what we wanted. So what do we want to do? Do we want to install hardwood to match the rest of the house? Slate? Another type of tile? Once again, as with all our decisions it came down to time and money. We don’t have a ton of time nor a boatload of money to spend on our kitchen but we wanted to get something that would last. Interestingly we found the product we wanted to use by watching a DIY Channel show called – Renovate My House. Its a floating tile… meaning what? Meaning that they click together and leave enough spacing inbetween for grout BUT and here was the biggest selling point… you don’t need to do all the additional work. There is not additional subfloor work, no cementing to the floor. They float and use a flexible grout so that when the house settles or expands/contracts with the weather the tile itsn’t stuck in one place. It move’s with the floor.

Now, the tiles are more expensive then regular tile BUT in the end it costs the same and you get the added bonus of time on your side. To install, grout, waiting it is in a few hours not days. When you have only a few weekends to do as much as you can – time is very important.  And as with our backsplash tiles there is an environment aspect to it – there is so much less waste with the tiles… and if you want you can just install it over your existing floors. We aren’t because we want to put the tile in places there is nothing but subfloor at the moment but we won’t have a huge difference between the floor and tile flooring in the kitchen like you would with traditional tile.Oh yeah, the product is called Avaire Floors…

We went with the Avaire Floors: http://avairefloors.com and this is our tile. Its a 12 x 12 Choice called Sonoma Desert…

Okay, this post is getting pretty long… I will talk more later about everything else going on with the kitchen such as the countertops, which is a really long fun story but ends happily for us. Today, DH is over at the house finalizing some prep work on the floors and it looks like we are going to have to get the floors restored because there are so many surprise cat pee stains on them but that is a story for another day. I am at home letting the LO catch up on some Z’s and have a day off. We have been out and about almost everyday for the past week.

Here is where we are now:


Another post soon! With more pictures!

Yeah Shopping!!!

Last night I headed to the new house and found out a few things.

  1. We need a light in the front room
  2. We need some chairs there because there are no seats what so ever in the house – which makes trying to feed a baby very difficult
  3. My child STILL hates his pack n play – he doesn’t want to be in it for more then a few moments… that’s gonna suck for when he has to go with me to the house
  4. Having bottle waters on hand

But all in all – I got a couple things done. I found the paint for his room. It wasn’t the exact colour we wanted but I found a blue paint a few shades darker/brighter on the oops shelf for $5.00. I dropped off the things we have already purchased: the faucet for the bathroom vanity, painting supplies, paint, garbage bags, baby supplies, etc. And I was able to get a couple of things done while DH finished installing the new locks on the house. As well as upping the heater about 5 degrees – because of the weather.

I think the things we found still in the house were the most surprising such as piles of garbage in the basement, a items we had no desire to have. I guess I was a little frustrated because when I sold my last home I made sure everything that was not the new owners was out of the house before hand and left it clean. I mean there was not a pile of trash and dust on the folding counter in the laundry room when we were last there. The sellers were very confidant that they left us a perfect home and also “gifted” us an old lawn mower that doesn’t work very well, a snow shovel (because they have like 10 at the new house) and a kids mattress in the storage room in the basement as well as bunch of other weird stuff. But it will get cleaned – that is why I bought the supplies for cleaning and lots of garbage bags.

We are getting things worked out – we found that to take the floor tiles off of the other tile is going to take a bit more work because it looks like they used globs of gorilla glue to put them in place… which was still sticky. The floor tiles we are taking up only go the edge of the cabinets so we don’t have to worry about having to take them out to re-tile. And I have an appointment tomorrow with not just a drywall person but also a plumber to put a gas line in the kitchen. We were going to do the kitchen and laundry but have decided to forgo the laundry. A gas dryer isn’t absolutly necessary… while for us a gas stove is.

As for today – we are snowed in which is wonderful so I did some administrative items. Trash pick up is now in order, change of address done with the post office (including getting the Lowe’s coupon we need!) and some more. Tomorrow after meeting with the plumber and drywall guy, the LO and I will be heading to The Great Indoors to pick up some drawer pulls then off to Lowe’s to buy some more supplies and tools for the house.

Now time to run because the LO is awake… laterz

And we have a house!

Now, the first step of making our new home ours is done… paperwork is signed, they moved most of their crap out, got the keys – changed the locks, etc…

So here we go. Its time to get the real work started. Hubby did the first step with changing the locks on the house. Which ended up being a lot more work then before because the doors are older. In great shape but older. And he checked out the hardwood floors under the carpet in the house. I guess someone decided to not clean them before putting the carpet down. If we are lucky and we can just clean them our lives will be MUCH easier but of course, that may not happen.

Today we start the real work. I am waiting for the Little One (LO from here on out) to wake up so I can feed him and then head to the stores to buy what I need to start cleaning and some basics.

Here is our breakdown for now on the work we have to do

  • start cleaning – house has been on the market for a few months and its time to get the dust moved
  • tape first rooms to be painted – the very first is LO’s room and then the rest of the house
  • purchase paint supplies, paint
  • pull up carpet and clean wood – if need be… resurface them (please pray we won’t have to)
  • pull up floors in kitchen
  • take counter tops off of kitchen counters
  • carpet the top step of the stairs to basement
  • remove back splash tiles – bathroom white tile back splash and floor sticky tiles
  • remove tiles on walls in bathroom
  • remove old bathroom cabinet/sink
  • caulking everywhere
  • redo cabinets in kitchen – sand paint
  • possibly redo textured walls in kitchen
  • beadboard!!!!
  • molding
  • build shelving for LO’s closet and office closet
  • install cabinets in laundry room after painting and installing vinyl flooring
  • refloor basement bathroom

And that is the beginning… there is so much more, luckily a lot can be done after we move in but there is a lot that needs to be done before we can move in at all. Including a trip to New Mexico to pick up some furniture and some of my old things that are in Parental Storage at the moment.  Now, time to get the LO’s stuff ready for when he wakes up we can have a quick feeding and then get out the door.

But while he slept, I spent the afternoon learning how to take tile off of the walls without (hopefully) destroying the drywall so we won’t have to take the cabinets out and the reinstall them. I am glad we will be able to do this because it will save us a lot of time and money. Both of which are tight for this work. We have until the beginning of December to move in so we want to make sure certain things get done before we move in with the LO… he doesn’t need to be living in a mess. So, the kitchen (probably minus the counter top), bathroom, floors and his room are the most important. Having the highest priority we are going to be pushing to get them done soon. One of the benefits of having a month to do this, is also the move which will allow us to slowly move things over. Luckily, because we knew would be moving withing 8 months of coming to Colorado we did not unpack a lot of stuff.

Wish us luck! We will need it!!!