Saturday, May 28, 2011

Insulation is itchy.

It looks like this is the last cool day we will have so Todd and I got the insulation between the studs to make way for the dry wall people on Tuesday.  We wore masks but we were both feeling really itchy when we were done.  This should help on our heating and air conditioning bills as there was no insulation on the out side wall of the kitchen.  The clap board on the house is only 1/2 inch think so no wonder the kitchen was hot in the summer and cold in the winter.

We ran into a few snags with the floor in the kitchen.  Remember I said every job causes ten jobs.  We decided to take up the plywood in one area of the kitchen and underneath was layers of scrap wood and then finally a old porch floor.  Once you discover a problem you pretty much have to fix it so we now have a new pine floor in the kitchen and bath.  I never realized that the floor had dips in it until now.  The new floor is so straight and sturdy.  My friend Stephanie suggested we have the guys move a floor register that was in a strange place so while the floor was taken up it was discovered that the pipe going to that register wasn't even connected.  Yikes.  Enter heating and air conditioning men.  Remember, 10 jobs.  Well, that's all done and everything is working but we won't be able to have the air on all next week because the dry wall people will be here.  We will cover up the vents and place plastic so that we cut off the area as best a possible.  This will surely be the worst dust of all.  Everything is already coated, it will just be a different color!  

The electric was roughed in and for the first time we have a light in the shower!  It will be nice to be able to see better in the kitchen and bath.  The electric guys were great, and when everything else is done they'll be back to put all the fixtures together and hang them.  That's almost too good to be true.

Here are some current pictures:

                                               The beginnings of the new floor.
                                                              New floor.
                                                           Makeshift kitchen sink.
                                          Insulation over the eating area.                            
                                             First time this wall has been insulated.
                                                           New light in the shower.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Kitchen Saga Continues

The carpentry crew came Monday morning and began the process of adding beams and a new ceiling below the new plumbing.  It was very interesting seeing the beams go in.  I have a great appreciation for people who know what they are doing.  This crew built our deck a few years ago and we had a lot of confidence in them because of that.  Since I mostly have conversations with women it is amusing to observe these guys deciding how they are going to do something.  I admire that they all discuss it and then proceed.  No one seems to get their feelings hurt because their idea wasn't chosen!  They work well together and tell stories of comical things that have happened in the past.

This crew doesn't like "band-aids".  Doing things the right way and taking pride in their work is a quality they have and that seems a rare thing today.  They also don't seem to mind stupid questions and I know I have ask many.   Miles is the leader, soft spoken and with a dry sense of humor , he keeps the group on track and has the final say without being a dictator.   If someone else has a better idea he goes along.  In my mind that is a true leader.

Kevin is funny and the social one.  He likes to cook and tell stories.  He is taking the old cabinets to eastern Kentucky to help people there through his church.  He's had a few falls on jobs and the others like to tease him about it, but he takes it in stride.

 Kenny understands the total picture and reminds the group of important things like the effects of jacking something up or tearing something out.  I think he is a great asset to the team.

  Scotty is the youngest and does what he is told.  He respects the older guys and how wonderful to have three mentors to work with.   Scotty has worked out in Las Vegas and is back home in Kentucky.

 I have full confidence that the job is being done correctly.

Here are some pictures of the beams and ceiling.

Marylee is standing in the kitchen and the living room is open behind her.

Zuzu must be wondering what in the world is going on.  She almost looks gray from all the dust.

These guys will be finished on Thursday.  We are a long way from the end and the dust settling.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Something Fun on a Saturday Morning

This morning Todd and I went to the Lexington Farmer's Market.  They have a wonderful outdoor Pavilion at Cheapside Park.  It is open on Saturday from 7:00am-3:00pm.  We arrived at the market at 10:00am and it was packed with people.  It has expanded from the Pavilion and ran up Short street for a block.  First we just looked around and then went back to the booths we wanted to purchase items.

                                       Maggie Green with "The Kentucky Fresh Cookbook"

                                                        Bev Nichols and Kentucky Honey

One reason we went today was to meet Maggie Green.  She is a Kentucky native and author of the new cookbook, "The Kentucky Fresh Cookbook".    I found out about Maggie from my daughter Sarah.  She taught Maggie's child piano and Sarah shared her blog with me.  Maggie takes the reader through a year of seasonal recipes using items in season from January through December.  What a wonderful concept!  It's a great book and would make a wonderful gift.  Check it out.

A treat for me was seeing some former vendors that I had in my shop.  Cafe Marco was there with his wonderful coffee.  We had a cup and brought two bags of beans home.  Cafe Marco is also available at Marksbury Farm.  Next I saw Beverly Nichols who owns Kentucky Honey with her husband Nick. It was so good to see her again and I highly recommend  their honey.  Proper Plants was there and I used to buy hanging baskets from them for the shop.  They had herbs, hanging baskets, mixed pots and vegetable plants.  They are on Military Pike and are open to the public.  They have 5 or 6 greenhouses you can walk through.

The Farmer's Market also features musicians throughout the Pavilion.  There were some young string players and several singers there today.   There are several food vendors too.  One had fire grilled pizza,
and there was one that made homemade crepes with savory or sweet fillings.  We didn't taste any but it looked delicious.  

Some people sold cut flowers.  One man had Asian lilies and each bloom was as large as a dinner plate. They were cut flowers and $9.00 a stem.  Several booths had homemade cheese.  Another had "go green" info.  You could buy Farmer's Market t-shirts and bags too.  The produce is what we enjoy so we bought peaches from South Carolina.  They had ones from Georgia too.  We got tomatoes from Lee County, KY that were hydroponic.  Pretty tasty.  We got a English cumber, some zucchini and yellow squash.  You could also buy locally raised beef and pork.  We had a great time.  Of course we went to the Wilmore Farmer's Market before we left.

Demolition is Done

Five full days and we are finally done with the demolition.  We had extra hands on Friday as Marylee was home to help us.  We are all whipped and very sore.  I'm not sure what people charge for demolition but we feel like we saved a lot of money by doing this part ourselves.  The best part is that Todd and I are still on speaking terms.  We had a few moments here and there but we survived it!  We are still weeks away from completion but the hard part for us is over.  Have a look.

 There will be a half wall between the living room and kitchen.

 New plumbing for the upstairs bathroom.  Didn't want the ancient plumbing to burst on the new kitchen.
 Hiding behind the cabinets the last of the school bus yellow of the previous owner.
 We are down to the kitchen sink which is also our bathroom sink. That's a mirror above the sink so we can see ourselves when we brush our teeth.

                                                            Downstairs bath next to kitchen.
                                                Looking into kitchen from bathroom.
        We were hoping for nice wood but it is ancient linoleum stuck to plywood.
                                          When was this color popular?
In case you were wondering, the refrigerator is in the living room.  At least it's not on the porch!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Before we can get the work done to redo the kitchen demolition must happen.  Todd and I have been at it all week and to say we are tired is an understatement.  We are whipped and have a least two more days to go.  This old house is full of old plaster, lathing, and sometimes dry wall on top of all that.  Our goal is to get the kitchen down to the studs.  Then, because of our lack of expertise we get to hire people to come in and finish it.  We have certainly made their job easier and hopefully saved ourselves money.  This is the last major redo for this house and we couldn't be happier about that.  ( I do need to paint and do curtains for some rooms but that is not major, that's fun)  This is not fun.  Our friends, Paul and Jennifer, came buy last night with a saws-all to help us with something we couldn't do.  I guess if you have the right tools all jobs are easier.  So here are some pictures of the progress.  Two more days of demolition and then the carpenter, then the electrician, then the drywall , and then the cabinets, then finish up the plumbing and electric.  Hope to be done by the 4th of July, but that may be optimistic.

May I add that we are trying to live and cook while all this is going on!  I know, that's crazy!