Changing Plans

There has been some above-average stress around our house for the past few months.  It’s job-related for Scott and yucky for both of us, and it means that we may or may not be moving in the next several months.  That wasn’t part of our plan when we moved here almost exactly a year ago, but we’re flexible, and we like lots of places.  It’ll be fine in the end.

The funny (or not funny) part of the story is that we still have troughs in our floors where the walls used to be.  Is the open-concept living area nice?  Yes!  Do we need to do something about the floors before we even think about potentially selling our house?  Probably.  I’ve heard that most people don’t have feeding troughs for their dogs between their living room and kitchen.

So the great floor project has been bumped up from a “sometime in the future” project to a “sometime this month” project.  That’s kind of nice, really.  We’re looking at all kinds of samples of wood flooring and bamboo and such.  Carefully weighing reviews and prices, etc.

If I were doing this without Scott (a.k.a. without someone who is willing to try out new and challenging house projects), I think I would honestly just find a non-matching patch for the troughs, whip out some trusty paint, and do this:

photo from

photo from

Fortunately, I have Scott, and he likes new and challenging projects.  He’ll help me pick something that lots and lots of people will like, not just green-paint-loving people like me.  Yay for balance!

Pulling Things Together

I was supposed to start painting the living room on my day off yesterday.  But I couldn’t bring myself to do it.  I just couldn’t.  We’ve been ripping out walls and refinishing cabinets and painting walls and adding trim, and I just needed a day where I did nothing but clean up the mess.

Sure, those projects that I mentioned have been stretched out since August of last year.  That doesn’t make it any less messy though.  I’ll be the first person to admit that I’m not always a great housekeeper.  I can live with dirty floors for way longer than I should (which is supported by the fact that in my day-o-cleaning, I didn’t vacuum).  But sometimes there’s a limit to my dirt acceptance and my cleaning laziness.

Some of my “cleaning” items were a bit non-traditional.  For example, I finally took down the terrible shade in the bathroom.  I decided that privacy in the teeny, tiny window (which only the forest could see into) was worth less to me than ridding the bathroom of this fabric:

bad roman shade

And I celebrated the painting that is already done instead of feeling bad about the painting I wasn’t doing.

dining room beforedining room now

I didn’t get around to ironing the curtains, but I’ll take care of that after we rip up the current floor and install the new floor.  Why do we insist on new floors when our old floors are nice?  Well, there are these little troughs/holes/not good spots where the walls used to be.  That’s also why I didn’t use dropcloths while painting.  And why the floor looks like we have a dozen birds living here (off-white paint splatters all around the room).

And remember this?

remember this

We’re still working on the island and a few smaller kitchen items, but progress has definitely been made.

kitchen after

I’ll show you the whole kitchen when it doesn’t look like the dish drying rack is about to explode.  But look at that nice corner!  No more fly tape.  No more peach and pea green.  Just off-white and pea green, with a tiny corner of white cabinets.

There was plenty of classic cleaning in addition to admiring of projects past.  And throughout cleaning and admiration, there was a good audiobook and a storm brewing outside (which I love).  I felt very much like I was getting a chance to smell the roses, even if smell isn’t the strong suit for our wild roses and hydrangeas.



Simple Pork for Project Day

This week is somewhat busy, all things considered. We have family coming to help us with projects on the weekend, which means that the bedroom that’s currently serving as our cabinet space (lots of fragile things all over the floor surrounding the bed) needs to become a bedroom again by Friday night. Which means that cabinets will be totally painted by Friday.

It’s nice to have a deadline though, and it isn’t an “everything must be finished” deadline, which is helpful.  Just cabinet bases.  So with that in mind, this is what the cabinet bases looked like yesterday morning:


brown and avocado glory

And this is what the cabinet bases looked like by the afternoon:

ta da!

ta da!

Putting the doors back on will eventually make the white cabinet picture complete.  I decided not to paint the interior of the cabinets, because sometimes painted cabinets have wood-tone interiors.  It’s not totally unheard of.  And why paint perfectly good shelves if they’re only seen when the door is open?

Even though we’re in splotchy primer stage right now, I like the white paint so much!  It instantly made me feel better about the backsplash and the countertop.  The white appliances even look fresh now.  We already decided the green tile and appliances would stay, since they’re in good shape.  No point in getting rid of things that are relatively inoffensive visually and otherwise do their jobs.  And honestly, I would gladly keep the countertop, too.  Paint is an incredible thing.

What do you eat when your kitchen is being painted and the fridge is in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room?  We went with simple spice-rubbed pork chops, sweet potato fries (baked), and edamame that was basically just warmed up and lightly salted.  It certainly wasn’t a complicated meal, but it was tasty and relatively healthy.  The pork chops had a delicious spice crust on one side, and I loved the fact that I got to just sprinkle on the spices instead of messily smearing it on both sides.  Everybody was happy, happy, happy.

The sweet potato fries were as basic as it comes.  I cleaned the sweet potatoes up a bit, since they came straight from my father-in-law’s veggie garden.  Then I dried them so they would crisp up well in the oven.  I preheated the oven to 450 degrees.  I threw some olive oil and salt and pepper in with the fries on a cookie sheet, mixed with my hands, and put them in the oven for 10-ish minutes per side (more if thicker fries, less if thin-cut fries).  Scott added some cajun spice to his fries, I think.  Or cinnamon and cayenne.  Not sure, really.  Extra spice, anyway.  I liked them with nothing but salt, pepper and brown, crispy edges.

While all of that cooking was going down, Scott was also taking down the studs of our wall.  I know it doesn’t look super cleaned up or polished at this point, but I still like how it’s going.  A lot.

the only time that the loss of studs is a bonus

the only time that the loss of studs is a bonus

I also primed the front of the cabinet doors yesterday.  I feel pretty lucky, because we have this giant room downstairs that has very little furniture in it at the moment.  We also have a ton of packing paper that makes a brilliant (and free) drop cloth.  The only imperfect thing about the set-up is that sometimes your adorable dog might chase a fly through the room.  He might even chase it over the freshly painted cabinet doors that are laying on the floor.  (NO!)  Fortunately, Peanut and Fly only stepped on cabinet doors that were dry.  Whew.

Paintin’ Buddy

Today’s house project is front door painting.  I got discouraged with the kitchen cabinet refinishing project, even though it is moving along (at a snail’s pace).  More on that later.  To counter the discouragement, I decided to tackle a job that would only take a day from start to finish.  

I like the color, even though the first coat is always gross and streaky.  And do you know what the best part of the project is so far, even with the liking of the color and the short timeline to door satisfaction?  Peanut is the best part.  He couldn’t bear the thought of missing out on the fun, so he sat next to me as I painted the front door and the outside of the storm door.  


Those weird green dots are there to highlight Peanut’s badges of honor.  As a good painting buddy, he hit wet paint a few times.  Three times, to be exact (third spot is on his side).  I wasn’t upset about the sticky spots on the dog, the door, or the tiny green dot they reproduced on the couch.  They make the project 100% us, if not 100% perfect.  And I like that.