Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Back in Town!

Wow, we were so busy with Christmas traveling complicated by a puppy and a broken car! We are very blessed to both have very generous families. Bruce got some new clothes and a new phone, I received a stand mixer (!!!) some other kitchen gear and Wii fit. I've been trying to take it easy since we've come home, Kenny puppy had an upset tummy, and I can't seem to find my camera! Bruce mounted the TV last night it looks great over the mantel and its even nicer to be able to see the fireplace. I'll post some photos when I find the camera.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Holiday Decorating

Holiday decorating has come to a screeching halt! Everything since my last post is still on the couch. We even decided not to get a tree, but you ask Why Christine, what happened to your Holiday Cheer??? We got a puppy!!!! YaY us! His name is Kenny, he is a 4 month old Boxer Great Pyrenees mix, he's pretty shy about new anything but he's definitely coming around to us and is still inquisitive. We got him through Great Dog Rescue New England and they were awesome! He is neutered, microchiped and all his vaccines are done properly all he needs is a Lyme vaccine and parasite prevention! (Note Bruce's "It's cold out" beard and the lovely paneling in the office)

Friday, December 11, 2009

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like . . .

Christmas!!! It's snowed twice in the past week and our candle lights
in the windows look beautiful with the snow, I was going to put garland up the driveway lightpost but I think I'll just do lights. And a small lighted wreath on the front door.
I found these huge ornaments at Target, ten dollars for the set! They are perfect for the picture window in the living room.

This vase was in the breezeway when we moved in, I brought it in and cleaned it up. It's pretty much flaw-less. Then got these artificial berries from Target (my favorite store) they should be a relavant decoration Thanksgiving through Valentine's day!
This little guy sits on the other side of the mantle from the berries in the vase. He's getting my Santa Hat for the season.

The snowmen are hanging out under the TV, one is a glass-blown piece from my mom a few years ago and the other is a wind-up from last year!
There's alot more to do on the decorating front! The pile of decorations has moved from the kitchen table to one of the couches in the living room. Hopefully we will get a tree and the wreath this weekend. I already have some ribbon for the wreath bow and I'm thinking of getting some more ribbon to drape over the trim in the dinning room to hang Christmas cards on. Most decorating is on hold until I'm done with finals though!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bathroom Reno

Here's the much awaited bathroom renovation update. Let's start with what the bathroom looked like when our offer was accepted, when we started moving our things into the house. All I did once we moved in was clear out the clutter and change the shower curtain.
Lets notice a few things, those curtains and the ceiling should be white, that's mold/mildew. The sconces on the wall (didn't match) and were both plugged into the outlet that's in the fluorescent sconces. The toilet although it has a seat it didn't have a lid. Somethings you can't see in this picture, the faucets of the sink drip and the drain leaks (small trash can under the sink is to catch the drips not for trash). There was a hot pink bathmat and no exhaust fan, the seams of the wallpaper were obvious due to the mold/mildew build up. Lastly there were towel bars and handicap bars everywhere!
Here's what we did: curtains, wall paper and all the towel/handicap bars were removed with the exception of the original towel bars with tile mounts. This is what it looked like mid sanding and spackling on the main wall where the medicine cabinet and lights were and the tub surround. Bruce got really into removing the mold, instead of using some bleach to kill/remove it, he used the pointy end of my painters tool to physically remove it, hence a lot of sanding and spackling. While the medicine cabinet and fluorescent lights were down I decided to touch them up a little bit (I needed something to do while I was waiting for paint to dry!) I taped the original labels and the razor blade slot in the medicine cabinet and spray painted my little heart out.
Bruce installed a fan/light while I was dealing with the walls. All said we were without a shower for 3 days! I thought my hair (full of spackle dust) was going to get up and walk off my head!
We chose a paint color that was as close to the tile as I could find, in a new Benjamin Moore special formulation that is supposed to retard mold growth. Now ideally there would have been wallpaper but we have no desire to have that mold come back and until we insulate above the ceiling there is going to be a lot of condensation. So after two coats of primer and two coats of color. The painting was completed the lights and medicine cabinet went back up as did the shower curtain.This is the finished product but I'd like to point out a few special touches. Like the new toilet seat and the disappearance of the mismatched sconces now that there is an overhead light.
Our awesome original wall mounted sink with chrome legs and tile bars, revived with a little Turtle Wax chrome cleaner. The faucets no longer leak, the drain still does a little but not the torrents that it used to.The lights and medicine cabinet were spruced up with some spray paint and we purchased a chrome corner shelf for some extra storage. The shelf isn't exactly stocked beautifully but I'm waiting until the linen closet is done to really decide what's going there.

Our new lined cafe curtain, my first sewing project! I love this fabric which we got from they have great retro fabrics, they'll even make stuff for you!
Lastly everything was cleaned! (accept for the grout), I love the princess tub (an overhead shower head would be amazing but for now what we have is fine) and our great new bathmat helps pull white into the room, I'm waiting for some hand towels that match (mom picked them up because our Target didn't have them). I just need some art for the walls and I'm taking suggestions I'd love a retro print that incorporates the colors from the curtain. That's all for now, I've already moved on to the linen closet so that I can get things into it. From there its organize the rest of the closets then paint/accessorize the half bath!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Not to much to Report

Updates, not to many with the holiday we haven't really been here to much. The house is way to quiet without PeanutButter and I find myself bothering Chloe (the chinchilla) frequently in a paranoid mommy way. And telling her that she is to quiet. She is not excited about the extra attention, which is hopefully short-lived I have my sights set on another pet!

Today is Bruce's birthday and I was really excited to set up his side of the office while he was at work at as a birthday surprise. Imagine my surprise last night when I got home after class to "ok let's move my desk!" Boo, surprise ruined. Back to the puppy search, after spending the weekend with his parents doodle I think we might need a dog.

I have a busy day of shopping planned, lining for the bathroom curtain as the fabric finally came and I need to construct this curtain (as soon as I do that I promise photos) and a book to tell me how to construct said curtain. The Christmas Tree Shop for thermal curtains for the bedroom, Ikea for more shelves for the bookcase in the living room, and target for hand towels to match the bathmat.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Getting busy, to be busy.

So we didn't accomplish much this weekend, it was Nana's 90th birthday party so we were back at home for that. I did remember to get our Christmas ornaments so that I can start decorating soon, mom wouldn't let me dig through her decorations which are still packed away, so we came home with a pretty pathetic amount, most of which are cookie cutters!

We did get the shelf for the bathroom and its already jammed with stuff, I found a cute little glass jar in the breezeway to keep my cotton balls in! However after the amount of baking I did for Nana's party I'm ready to declare . . . I HATE THIS OVEN!!!! It is not mine, it will never be mine, it burnt my cookies and undercooked my brownies.

In other very sad news, PeanutButter, our guinea pig, died Saturday night. She had an infection in her foot and I'm not sure if it might have entered her blood stream and she became septic or that the antibiotics she was on made it impossible for her to eat. I had spent 36 hours force feeding her special food but she didn't make it. I'm very sad, she was a good little buddy came along on the CT adventure and was everyone's favorite tripod (as she only had 3 legs!). The house is a little quieter and definitely a little lonely. So I've spent all day cleaning, unpacking and planning the Thanksgiving prep for the next few days to forget how much I miss my little buddy.

Friday, November 20, 2009

My Paint!!!!

I was roused yesterday to "Hey babe, have you looked at the paint in the shower? its bubbling" now this is a fairly unpleasant way to wake up and was followed by a litany of unlady-like ranting regarding caulking. I did not get a kiss before he left for work.
When I examined the tub/shower surround I found that indeed the paint at the joint of wall and tile was bubbling from the moisture, now we had discussed caulking before or after painting and decided to wait until the painting was finished. Oops. One of us was wrong, lesson learned. The guilty party spent the evening caulking the shower/tub.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I still don't have bathroom pictures for you

But here are some of our semi-clean garage! The important part is that you can now park a car in it!!!! And Tim's (Bruce's brother) car is fixed! The bathroom is almost done, it just needs a few finishing touches, like a curtain. I'm still waiting on my fabric it is apparently coming from Canada. I was hoping it would come before the weekend so that I could borrow my dad's sewing machine while at home. I'm 99% sure I'm going to skirt the sink, we need the storage space. That's all for now, thesis proposal has been presented so I'll be doing and updating more!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Weekend Update

and I thought last weekend was the busiest so far! Maybe this weekend felt so long because Bruce took Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off. Wednesday we picked out a light and fan for the bathroom, its beautiful and chrome to match the rest of the chrome accents.

So I got home from school and found Bruce in the bathroom covered in plaster/wallboard dust and heard "Oh I didn't expect you to be home so soon, maybe you shouldn't come in here" He had "removed" the mold from the shower and was pulling down the wallpaper. Now when I say removed I mean REMOVED as in gouged out. It needed to happen the mold was starting to creep behind the tile but man it was alot of work getting the space ready to paint.

The wall paper paste had to be sanded off and the holes from the 6 towel bars needed to be filled. I won't bore you but I spent the rest of Thursday, Friday and Saturday spackling and sanding.

I was also able (while waiting for spackle to dry) to shine up the vanity lights and the medicine cabinet. A low cost reno brought to you by Red Bull and spray paint. Do you know that they make spray paint if every finish imaginable? They make chrome, which is why my lights are so shiny, now I just need to figure out what to do about shades.

You may be wondering "Christine, what was Bruce doing while you were busting your butt in the bathroom?" Bruce was playing electrician. I do not advise anyone to try to do electrical work, this is for a trained professional. (Do as I say, not as I do) My request for a fan, his desire to put it on a timer and my desire to hard wire the vanity lights but have the fan light on a switch combined with the circa 1952 period state of the art eclectic in our house = 3 days of work.

Friday night while Mike and Shannon were here (my old roommates) the boys replaced the valve on thee 1/2 bath toilet so it now works, it runs alot and the toilet needs some new guts, but it functions YaY. Wrapping things up, Sunday I painted, Bruce moved almost the rest of our stuff from Shawn's, Tim cleaned out the garage (Saturday) and helped Bruce with the moving.

All the bathroom needs is ceiling paint and color on the walls and to put things (vanity lights, medicine cabinet, shower curtain) and to get some textiles!!! I ordered material (for a cafe curtain for the window) from and am contemplating a skirt for the sink to hide the bucket for the leak and toilet paper. Photos soon!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Busiest Weekend So Far!

Wow! What a weekend! We got so much accomplished inside and outside the house. This post will contain the first set of before and after photos!!!!
The Cote's came down Friday afternoon and stayed till yesterday afternoon, we got so much accomplished I didn't think it was possible!

First we tackled the breezeway and the yard, there was alot to save in the breezeway. Two big bags of clothes to donate, a big bag of blankets for the animal shelter and lots of glassware. But alot went into the dumpster. I'm excited for the things to rehab and refinish but glad to actually have the breezeway be a useful space. I'm thinking that while the second dumpester is here we should rip up the rug because even with all the moldy old stuff gone, its still alittle smelly. Plus its ugly! The pile of crap behind the garage is also gone as is what was in the fire pit, the clawfoot tub remains but it is missing two feet. While Bruce and his parents were doing the yard I pulled together the guest room, made dinner and ordered the brand new washer and dryer!!!

Saturday we cleaned the basement. All day. It smells so much better, but I was so thankfull that my dad had sent down the dust masks, we would probably all be in respiratory failure without them. The ashes are gone, the gross furniture is gone, the mold and mildew are mostly gone. There was not much to save, it made me sad throwing away so many vintage boxes and things that would have been cute if they weren't growing things!

Saturday alittle more than 24 hours after we put the first thing in the dumpster it was full. Way ahead of schedule, Bruce called to have it hauled away and for a new (smaller) one for the remains of the basement and the garage, but its the weekend.

Sunday the new washer and dryer came, they are amazing. I was being realistic and figured I probably wouldn't actually be using them until after dark, as the dryer needed to be hard wired. But by 3pm (after moping the floor immediately around them) I started my first load of laundry. I think as I write this load 6 is in the washer, with many more to go. The kitchen light is also fixed and the back gutters are clean.

The to-do list is still very long but we have made hopeful progress, now if I could just get the kitchen unpacked!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

To Much Rain!

So we've had the dumpster since Monday morning and the cable install was yesterday. The cable man came out of the basement and said "you sure have your work cut out for you." Thanks cable guy like I didn't know that already. But my thesis proposal is in and my exam is over so I can finally do a few things here at the house. I think I'm going to unpack the kitchen now that it's nice and clean (which we did at 9pm Saturday night).
I've cooked once, you don't want to know what we've been eating aside from that, we've been alittle gross. Last night we adventured to the "tavern" down the road. We pulled in and the parking lot was full of pickup trucks, bruce insisted on coming home and changing into a t-shirt. The food was pretty good and they have OpaOpa on tap (not quite BBC but tastes like home) pretty good considering its a mile or so down the road.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Busy Week

We've slowly been collecting things from Shawn's we got the other bed and food from the freezer Friday. Friday my dad also came down with a box truck full of my furniture! The living room is full of furniture that needs a home!
Saturday Bruce did errands and chores all day while I worked on my thesis proposal the office tentitively looks like this but I hope to paint most of the big furniture white.
Last night we cleaned some of the kitchen so that it can be functional (we are no longer afraid to put things in cabinets) this last picture is a before and after of just cleaning the cabinets (left side not cleaned!)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It's Ours!!!!!

We (Bruce) signed last night and started moving in. The lawyer asked us if we were excited, we told her it was mostly releif, our offer on this house was accepted on June 24. That makes getting here a Enough that we brought the pets and slept there last night. So excited to have my desk back and a place to do work, its amazing.
The mess however is not amazing, the real work starts now, bang out my thesis proposal, study for an exam and start cleaning painting, yard work and all those other lovely things. Right now it's like we are camping in a house with lots of boxes!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


so we are in the process of getting an FHA loan, and just waiting to hear from the broker about it.
The electricity at the house is off not really sure why but I figured it out when I was there at the end of last week looking for winter shoes and there was a puddle in the kitchen from the freezer defrosting. hope it doesn't get below freezing anytime soon.
I have gotten back into the habit of virtually remodeling the house, I'm pretty sure that my steamer will work to take down the wallpaper, I can't wait to get started on the little inexpensive things I can do myself.
For the bathroom I'm pretty sure we've decided to paint it light grey and do a cool retro fabric from tonic living for the curtains.

Monday, September 28, 2009


is this getting old for anyone else? Delays, delays and more delays. We are somewhere between the UDSA being out of appropriations, hating the mortgage broker and an FHA loan. Here are the basics:
Apparently the USDA approprioations for mortages are out of money but they get their money for the next fiscal year Oct 1. The USDA loan does not require a down payment and is something like 102% financing.
I have hated the broker since he "forgot" we needed the lead test, had the lead test been done at the appropriot time maybe the USDA wouldn't have been out of money by the time we got to them!!!!!!
The FHA loan requires a down payment (which we can still do) and I have been told we definetly will not be able to afford a dog with this option. BUMMER!

Bottom line: My thesis proposal is due in less than 4 weeks. I need a desk/command center/office place I can set up my keyboard, mouse computer, etc. sit down and "bang it out" because the current life set up is anti-thesis progress.

Monday, September 21, 2009


So right now we are waiting to hear back from the bank regaurding comps in the area. Here's what happened:
The house was appraised in June at that time there weren't any other houses in the tiny town of Northford that had recently sold, so the appraiser used comps from surrounding towns.
The bank didn't like that. (or the chipping paint, so the house was painted)
A few houses in town sold during August, so there are better comps.
Now we are waiting for the bank to except them and give us a closing date.
The End.
i'm antsy

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

clean water

I guess that says it all. We finally after almost 2 weeks of stressing we got a clean lead water test result. This should be the last hurdle.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

more set backs

so we had to have another water test done, it didn't pass.
whatever can go wrong will go wrong, I'm so over it and we just really want this house.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Beginning of Day 3

Ok so Bruce spent much of Saturday working on the red truck, as its pretty necessary to move things like . . . beds, tables, couches etc. We headed up to the house late afternoon, I cleaned the master bedroom and the bathroom. The former owners were smokers, I can't wait to take down the wallpaper and atleast get the bedroom painted. Everthing reaks. The storm windows are already on so opening the windows for fresh air is out of the question. Bruce tried to get the lawn mower to work, and after more work yesterday it is semi functional although it seems to me that it flattens more than it mows.
Sunday Bruce picked up a pretty decent weed whaker off craigs list and did as much of the yard as possible until he ran out of spool. Eventually you will be able to see the two stone walls and maybe we'll be able to revive the landscaping that was there. He worked on sorting out the garage for the rest of the day just to make some room and to figure out what's there. We're going to need a dumpster.

I attempted to get the stains off the walls in the master bedroom, no dice, so I washed the walls then gave up on washing walls, that is what stain hiding primer is for. I cleaned out the other bedroom. Then spent most of the rest of the day on my hands and knees cleaning the floors. Is it possible to get poisoning from Murphy's Soap Oil? 8 dirty buckets (I think)
The house had wall to wall carpeting over these beautiful floors with a small trim piece over the carpet. I'll cut to the chase 40 years of dirt. Enough said. Floors are now beautiful.
The Cote's came down at dusk with some furniture, the blue couches, the kitchen table, the TV stand and Bruce's tools, they might be back today with the rest of the furniture that's in Granby.

I hope that this will be my longest post and I'm going to try to take lots of pictures.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

getting there

YaY for clean water, hopefully going to start moving stuff in tomorrow. probably pass papers on the tenth.