Time Thief

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

the last goodbye

Before I start posting any "new" kitchen stuff, thought I would share these lovely nuggets before we say goodbye.


The original lino - black with goldish swoops. I seriously considered replacing with something similar.

brown trim

Evidence that the trim was painted brownish-pink at some point.

green paint

And was once accompanied by a lovely shade of green. :)

safe wire

Yet another "safe" wiring upgrade.


Original wallpaper. I found this behind the trim also, so it seems pretty sure this was the original, builder installed stuff.


Some old carpet. Can you imagine this with the wallpaper above?!!??!

Ugh. So glad it's gone.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

legendary injuries

I am a klutz. I often hurt myself when remodeling (or doing anything). It's not uncommon to find a large bruise, cut, or scrape and have absolutely no idea where it came from. But sometimes....sometimes the injuries are so graphic and odd they fall into the category of 'those injuries you'll never forget'. I've sustained a few of them at the Time Thief.

- The time I cut my leg open when removing steel siding from the house (within the first 45 minutes of starting the project).
- The time my "free" plumber BF dripped hot solder on my arm (more my fault than his).
- The time the end of a pencil punctured my torso.

I still have the scars from all of these things. Yesterday, I added a new one to the list. And this one is just plain odd. I'm not even sure how it happened. But I do know that it happened within 30 minutes of starting work. There must be something about digging into a new project that causes me to attack rather than think.

I was using a drill, it slipped and the drill bit went THROUGH my hand. Not just into the skin. I've had that happen before. It hurt, but no big deal. I can't even find the scar from that. This thing went in and came out the other side. I have the holes to prove it. Luckily it was on the fleshy part under the pinky so I doubt there'll be any long-term damage. But it was just so odd and even took me a while to realize it came out the other side. The drill bit still worked fine after I wiped off the human tissue. :)

Fortunately (knock wood) there has been no saw blade-to-skin contact nor any serious nail gun injuries. I'll try to keep it that way. Be safe out there, kids.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


When I demoed the bedroom next to the kitchen that I thought was going to become part of the kitchen.... wait. Did you follow that? Didn't think so. How about a visual aid.

big kitchen

I know it's messy. Leave me alone, I was working! You're standing in the kitchen. See the towels in the middle of the floor? Those are shoved into a big hole so the cats didn't feel the need to jump down to the basement. Everything past that was the the old bedroom.

When I tore all this up I also pulled up the hardwood in the bedroom area. It would be replaced with whatever kitchen flooring I decided on, right? riiiiiigggghhhttt.

Besides, the elderly POs had installed a (leaky) washing machine in that room and a large section of the floor had deteriorated (hence the towel-plugged hole). I salvaged what I could with plans to use it in the nature room.

Well, the wall between the bedroom and kitchen was put back and the bedroom will remain a bedroom of some sort. Who knows what sort of flooring I'll want to put in there when the time comes. Since the nature room floor will be in direct contact with existing flooring in the dining room, seems like a good idea to use the salvaged stuff there as planned anyway.

In theory, it's Red Oak. Oh, wait, I have proof. See:

red oak

But who knows...because I also found a few of these.

white oak

I'm a dummy and can't tell the difference based on the grain alone. Maybe some tags just got switched up. Maybe it's a mix. I'm not losing sleep over it.

Regardless, I didn't notice when it was installed in the bedroom. Hopefully I won't notice when it's installed in the nature room. Before I can re-use this flooring, I need to remove the nails. Wheeee!


I don't remember who it was, but someone in houseblogger land gave me the idea to get a pair of these things for easy nail pulling. (Thanks unknown houseblogger!) They called them bull-nose pliers. I found no such thing at the store. The looks of these seemed to match that name the best so I picked them.

Technically, these are concrete nippers. And hoooo-boy, are they strong! You have to apply the correct balance of pull and pressure otherwise they'll bite right through the nail. Overall, they get the job done with fairly little effort. The key is to plan ahead so you only do a little bit of flooring at a time. Avoids those pesky blisters that way.


There is something oddly zenlike about this process. Stand on upside-down board with angled nails pointing towards you, clamp down close to wood, apply slight pressure and rock the face of the pliers towards you. And swooooop the nail is pulled through from the back. My extreme type-A-ness loooooves seeing visible progress on something that has a definitive end. Yes!


Here are the first of the de-nailed boards laid out. I know I don't have enough for the whole room. They'll be semi-dry-fitted which will help me estimate how much more I need to find. I'm much too lazy to calculate it based on the stacks in the basement.

Back to pulling nails....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

walls are nice

Okay, so I think it's been about five months now since I promised kitchen drywall shots. No? It just feels like it? Alright then.

Drywall guy was teh awesome. I didn't even check his references or anything. Went with my gut and it paid off. Wish I had found him before any of the other clowns I've allowed to touch my walls. (That includes the ex-BF who insisted on doing the drywall himself on the 2nd floor. I refused to help as I think drywall should ALWAYS be hired out.)

Here are the scraps being loaded into his truck simply because I like how he neatly stacked everything:

And now, walls. WALLS!

The nature room has walls after a year of living with insulation-colored wallpaper! Yay! Oh, and check out the fake-cathedral ceiling. Gonna look nifty with some paint and trim....

This shot was taken from the area I expect to spend most of my time someday. Lounging on a sofa, staring at the range. The 2x post will eventually be wrapped and trimmed to look all regal and column-like.

Here is the opposite direction of the last shot. The pass-through was previously a door. I needed the cabinet and counter space, but I wanted to keep the view open and catch as much light as possible. Upper cabinets are overrated anyway, so I just made enough room for a lower. The baking center will go here so I can stare out the window and contemplate life.

If you come over to do my dishes for me, this will be your perspective. I will be very appreciative and bake you some cookies. I hate doing dishes.

The temporary kitchen is now in the....kitchen. Well, it was in this shot. Guess it isn't now. But we'll talk about that another day.

Here is the long view from the dining room. Note that the horizontal plane of each room division is on the same level. This was not by accident. I framed in the plumbing-pipe between the kitchen and dining room to end up at the same height as that between the dining room and living room (original, not shown here). Drywall guy even had to use 1/4" drywall on the underside to get everything to line up.

Then I shimmed out the bottom of the beam between dining room and nature room, as well as the pass-through, so everything lines up. It's one of those things you wouldn't notice unless everything ended up at slightly different heights. Then it would look all janky and troubling. Believe me, they were ALL at different levels. It means I lost some "ceiling" height, but I think it's worth it.

I am contemplating changing the bottom of the pass-through. The original plan was to extend the countertop over it so I would have a larger workspace. I may raise it to be horizontally even with the bottom of the kitchen window. The proportions may be more pleasing and it would also probably save some $$ on countertop. Still simmering on that one, so we shall see.

The back bedroom (which I demoed because I thought I was going to enlarge the kitchen) is hardly worth mentioning since I'm not working on it nor do I plan to work on it until the distant future. Here it is anyway. It is totally cat domain until the kitchen cabs are installed and I finish their secret passageway to the basement. Oh yes. There will be a secret passageway.

This was an average-sized post-war closet. It is now a closet for a very skinny man. Not really. I'm going to turn this into a shelving area. The rest of the closet was given over to the kitchen footprint.

Of course, everything still pretty much looks like this. Oh, I've been doing things and if I am not lazy, you will read about these wonderful things. But, still, the fact remains that it looks pretty much the same as this. But with more junk strewn about.

Based on the original time estimate from cabinet guy, I'm thinking they'll be ready in the next week or so. I just ordered the kitchen floor last week and I really want to put it down before cabs so I don't lose any counter height. Will it happen? Which will arrive first? Stay tuned....


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

You like me! You really like me!

Let's face it, I'm not blogular. Yes, a new word I made up. A BLOGGER who posts REGULARLY with interesting, fun to read content = POPULAR. Hmmmmm...maybe I didn't make that up and it has a different meaning entirely. Anyway, it's not me. I lack the time to post regularly, let alone make it all very fun and interesting to read. It's okay. I'm fine with it. Even though I have the innate need for everyone's approval, priorities are what they are.

But even the anti-blogular among us can get tagged! I was tagged by This Damn House, so here goes. I'm not going to pass it along though. Since I am not blogular I am also the last person on earth to get this tag. Maybe if my Mom starts blogging about her racing exploits, I could tag her.

Relatives, you may skip this post.....

What was I doing ten years ago? I was living in a little 1904 cottage in Lawrence, Kansas. Could show you a picture, but I have no idea where my photo albums are in the current remodeling upheaval. I was working at Sprint in Kansas City and driving over an hour each way to work. 1998 was probably when I was in the office on the Plaza. Sooooooo fun.

Five snacks I enjoy. Chocolate, ice cream, chocolate, fruit, chocolate.

Five things on my to do list.
* Order flooring for the kitchen. I could cross this off if the guy would just call me back to take my money!
* Figure out birthday gift for the boy. Less than a week to go! EEK!
* Pull more nails from salvaged hardwood.
* Order range hood insert
* Grocery store

Five things I would do if I were a billionaire.
I would not work for a salary. That's it. Lots of other things would go along with it, but that's the key to making the rest happen. Too obvious?

Five jobs I’ve had. (Not very diverse I'm afraid. I had to stretch to get five.)
* Fast food (Wendy's for a week and Lion's Choice for a summer)
* Retail hag (Toy Chest, Toys R Us, Auto Zone)
* Mainframe computer operator (snoozzzzzzzzzze-fest)
* Programmer/Software Engineer/all-around techno geek
* My volunteer time spent baling paper so the city of Kirksville could still recycle it? Does that count? No? Okay, then we will call my current position 'Consultant/Technical Architect' and that counts as separate from the techno geek positions

Five of my bad habits. (Seriously? This could go on for days... I'll limit it to the ones I'll publicly admit.)
* Impatience
* Assuming that if I know something, everyone else must also (eg. I'm not a good teacher)
* Defensive when my knowledge or abilities are questioned
* Eating all but the last chip, last spoonful, etc.
* Ridiculous overuse of commas

Five places I’ve lived. (Again, not very diverse)
* St. Louis-area (yes, NV, my first 26 years were on the other side of the metro from you)
* Kirksville, MO
* Lawrence, KS
* Kansas City-area
Sorry, don't have 5 that are different enough.

Wow, that does not read as nice or interesting. Maybe I should follow the example of that lady who was on Oprah yesterday and write my eulogy today...spice things up a bit.

Monday, June 30, 2008

cat outta the bag

I have a bunch of pics queued up and tales to tell, just no time to blog. So, a quick interruption in the kitchen progress for this update.....For about 8 hours per day, I fight my way out of the TimeThief's clutches to earn money to feed her. The super-secret project I've been working on has finally been revealed here.

And before you ask, no, I haven't met Bono yet.

Edited to add:
More links. Yipee! (really just bookmarks for myself)
Interview with Dave J
CNet Australia
MacWorld UK

Friday, June 20, 2008

Reason #23

....why I'm not bringing plastic storage back into my kitchen -- observe lunch fresh out of the microwave:

Okay, that's not entirely true. I'll probably continue to use the plastic I have, but that's been dwindling as things get destroyed. In its place, I like to use the glass storage/cooking dishes I nabbed at my grandma's estate sale. I'm sure there's a name for them, but I don't know what that would be.

I also try to re-use as many glass food containers as I can (think wide-mouth, squat salsa jar). They're great for small bits of leftovers or storing an appropriately sized small meal. Since I can't recycle glass at the curb, they're kind of a pain to deal with otherwise.

Thinking about these for bulk food storage because they're so dern cute!