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Tag Archives: projects

…And Gilder To Frame For It

Whenever I talk to my aunt she always asks, “What projects are you working on?”

I know that she’s just making conversation but I always feel like Prince Humperdink when I respond that we don’t have any projects going on right now. We’ve been busy.

It’s not as though I’m planning anything as grand as he is, it’s just Mr. Pirate and I have found our time strangely occupied since Elle came along. She really has changed everything. Our weekends revolve around nap time. Our menu planning is determined by whether or not it’s something that can be gummed by a little person with only two teeth.

Neither of us regrets this change in our perspective but it certainly has altered our short-term planning for the Jade House.

We bought this house because of its proximity to the elementary school (it’s at the end of our block) so the goal always has been to hunker down and stay here for a bit. And with that comes our expectation that things will take some time.

The house has come a long way even if we’re not making regular progress. We now have two fully functional bathrooms plus the sole original one that’s located in our creepy basement. Mr. Pirate refinished the hardwood in Elle’s room which was more important to us than fixing the peeling linoleum-whatever floor in the living room and dining room.

We’re working on saving and budgeting for new windows. All of the appliances in our kitchen work, even if the layout leaves something to be desired. It has possibly stopped snowing (for now) so maybe we can start laying down the groundwork for a raised vegetable garden out back and just do some general curb appeal.

At times I envy the family two doors down who had the opportunity to gut their formerly bank-owned home. Like ours, it was in need of some restorative TLC and they were able to set up a Dumpster out front and just give the house a 4-month long makeover before they moved in. It would have been nice to do that.

Instead, we’re just living with poking along and doing one intermittent project at a time. At least this way we’ll never be bored.



Better Go Catch It

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When it comes to celebrating life, my family tends toward a slightly off-center way of doing things.

We are not your white picket fence type of holiday people. We scorn turkey at Thanksgiving in favor of firing up the grill one last time for burgers and brats. My dad and I once visited Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day too late for the wreath laying ceremony, and then just spent the rest of the day trekking through the wet grass looking for the soldier whose headstone had the same number designation as my birthday.

This is why my dad and sister flying to Colorado, so we can take an 8-hour road trip to Kansas to celebrate my aunt’s breast cancer journey makes perfect sense. After beating cancer once, a recurrence, a full mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, she proudly can tell you that she’s still standing. My sister and I, who both hate to run, started running the Wichita Susan G. Komen 5K three years ago just for her.

We figured that running sucks, but cancer sucks more. This year though, since being a baby incubator means I am not supposed to get my heart rate above 140 bpm, and with planning a November wedding, my sister really didn’t train this summer, we just embarked on the road trip because visiting Kansas at the end of September is awesome.

And although my pirate mister and I decided that maybe we shouldn’t host out-of-state family and do Jade House projects on the same weekend, I slipped and we did a couple anyway. You see, my sister is my dad’s big carpentry buddy. She’s nine years older than me and when I thought that playing with carpenter’s glue and nailing little blocks of wood together was a great idea, she was helping our dad rebuild the back deck. Or remodel the kitchen in a week.

They’re just a good team like that.

So when my dad said, “Hey. We still want to get you a new refrigerator as a house-warming present.” I agreed.

Our old refrigerator had several problems beyond its age:

  • It routinely piddled on the floor.
  • The seal along the top of the freezer door was gappy and blew cold air toward the ceiling.
  • One shelf of the refrigerator froze food on a regular basis.

Owen and I picked out a fridge and arranged for the install last Saturday while I would be in Kansas. That afternoon he calls to say the new one won’t fit. I grumbled that we measured the space and although bigger, the new one should fit.

Once again, physics says no. Two refrigerators cannot occupy the same space at the same time.

After sizing up the situation on Sunday, my sister and I developed a plan of attack. We’d just saw off the counter to the left of the fridge space until it did fit.

TLDR: We now have a circular saw and a refrigerator that can grow with us as a family.

Also, I kind of shorted out the dish washer while using the shop vac to remove the mouse poop we discovered under it. But that’s another story to be told another time.