Tuesday, January 31, 2012

IKEA, How I Love and Strongly Dislike Thee

I love and strongly dislike IKEA. 
(sidenote:  I have been advised by my coworker, Friendy*, to carefully use the word “hate.”  I should save “hate” for Hitler; therefore I will use “strongly dislike” in hate’s place.)

I love IKEA’s designs for small spaces and their solutions to crazy architectural blunders.  I love their low prices and food cafĂ©.  I love Smaland and their plush toys in the shapes of broccoli, carrots and beagles.  

I strongly dislike how they do not offer reasonable delivery options to Jacksonville, Florida.

I think a metropolitan city has made it to the big league when IKEA decides to open a retail store in their town.  We have to drive two hours to Orlando and then through the crazy Millennium Mall traffic to buy their products.

Sorry, this product is not for sale on our website.  Ugh. I strongly dislike reading those words.
You know how they say, “true friends help you move, pick you up from the airport, hold your hair back, etc?”  I think true friends will pick up IKEA items when they are coincidentally/conveniently traveling to Orlando or Atlanta. 

*Quick shout-out to my awesome coworker Friendy.  She receives full credit for naming the blog. Thanks Friendy!

Billy Goat Surprise

There aren't many tasks in which I can help BF.  Most renovation tasks require skill, knowledge and manual labor, none of which I possess.

BF knows I desperately want to contribute, so he finds ways I can help.  After work one night, he asked me to come outside because he had a "surprise."

BF, "Close your eyes."
TMF, "Really?  I hate surprises."
BF, "Okay, you can open your eyes.  Look!"
TMF, "Um...What is it?"

In the truck bed, there's a machine that looks like a lawn mower, but I can tell it's slightly different.

BF, "It's a brush cutter!"  I stare blankly at him.
TMF, "You want ME to use THAT thing?"
BF, "Yeah!  You can cut down all those crazy bushes and small annoying trees.  Aren't you excited?"

No, I'm not excited.  Big, loud and complicated machines scare me.  I have horrible hand-eye coordination.  Yes, I fall into the typical stereotype of a bad Asian/woman driver.  It's something I have accepted over time.  In other words, operating unfamiliar equipment frightens me.

This is me before using the Billy Goat.  See how I look happy and optimistic? I looked at the brush cutter, I noticed there was a picture of the Billy Goat.  I thought the logo was cute, so I said I would "try."

Darn thing won't start!  Or is it me?
By now, you probably figured out "trying" means I use the machine for a few seconds and say, "Okay, I'm done!"

Whoa, this thing is loud and scary!
You also probably figured out BF finishes most of the tasks he assigns me.
There he goes again, finishing what I started.

Those bushes had it coming.

All About the Sawzall

Warning:  You are about to read some blatant product placement
TMF, “What’s this called?  It looks like a weapon!”
BF, “It’s called a reciprocating saw.”
BF is a walking encyclopedia of random knowledge.  If you’re ever on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, he should definitely be a phone-a-friend lifeline.
“It was originally created by the Milwaukee company blah blah blah… and its patented name is Sawzall.” 

I started giggling, “Really?  Sawzall?  As in ‘it saws all?” 

BF, “I LOVE this thing!  It’s the mini version but it can saw through anything in a tight spot.” 
BF continues, "The Lowe's guy recommended I buy ***** brand, but it costed $30 more.  So I went with Porter Cable brand and I LOVE it!"
TMF, “Do you love it more than me?”
BF, “It’s close.”
TMF, “Hrmph!  Let me hold that thing.”
I proceeded to cut a through PVC pipe and a few thick nails.  Big and noisy tools usually scare me, but this little guy was pretty neat. 
After a few minutes, I ended up saying, “This thing is awesome!"

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sparks Flying

No, not that kind of spark.  I’m referring to the sparks that fly around when BF used a pneumatic cut-off tool* to get rid of nails. 

I thought they were very pretty.  Then I realized I probably shouldn't stand directly underneath them.  Doh!
*In case you're wondering, I had to ask BF what tool-that-created-the-sparks was called.  

Nail Gun Differences

BF, “When you see your parents, can you ask your dad if he has a nail gun I can borrow?”
TMF, “Um, okay.  Uh…what kind of nail gun?”
BF, “I need a 12345ABCD blah blah blah.”  It sounds like the Charlie Brown’s teacher’s voice.
TMF, “Huh?  Never mind, text me what you just said.”
Unfortunately my dad's nail gun isn’t big or strong enough for BF’s current framing tasks. 
This little guy is used for furniture and cabinetry.  You know, small stuff.  Thanks Daddy, BF will use your cool nail gun for future projects.
THIS is BF’s new fancy nail gun.   

It’s a little bigger than my dad’s gun.

It’s another great BF Craigslist buy.  The seller was a construction worker moving to the Carolinas for better work and to be closer to family.  According to BF, he was really nice and even nicer for selling this nail gun at a great price.  

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sneak Peak: Cabinets

BF, “What do you want for your birthday?”
TMF, “I just want to see my kitchen cabinets.”  I’m a simple girl.

I celebrated my 30th birthday in the middle of January.  The cabinets arrived on January 11th.  Since we picked them out a few weeks ago, I was extremely eager to see them.

BF broke my heart by saying it wasn’t convenient to pick up the cabinets before my birthday. 

BF later surprised by assembling one of the wall cabinets.   We’re not ready to install the kitchen, but I really, really wanted to see a cabinet.  Yipee!  

Friday, January 27, 2012

Dead Sexy

BF and I have differing opinions of what is sexy.  

BF realized the loft railing needed to be taller in order to match the height of the spiral staircase.  After installing new 2X4s, he placed the level on top and exclaimed, “Now that’s DEAD sexy!”
TMF, “What are you talking about?”
BF, “Look at that railing!  It’s dead sexy.”  
I guess having a straight line is sexy to my husband.  How will I ever live up to these expectations? 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Perfect Circle

After BF bought the Craigslist spiral staircase, we needed to figure out the base’s exact placement.  After a long discussion, which involved a lot of pointing and gesturing, I said, “It would help if I could see it.”

BF nodded and said, “Let’s go downstairs.”  He proceeded to measure the staircase and cut a 2X4 in the length of the radius. 

BF, “I'll hold the 2X4 while you lay down the tape.” 
TMF, “Okay!”

After my four futile attempts at creating a circle with painters tape, BF said, “It’s amazing how you make the easiest job seem so difficult.”

“Fine!  You do it then.”  Of course he managed to make my section look like crap.  
Standing next to the circle.
View from 2nd floor loft.

Blinded by the Light

BF was in Orlando for an overnight work conference.  I figured it was my duty as BF’s awesome sidekick to check on the house while he was away.

Because I’m slooow, I didn’t arrive at the house until after sunset.  BF removed most of the interior lighting, but he has VERY BRIGHT work lamps stationed throughout the house. 

After what seemed to be a lifetime, I fumbled and managed to put my hands on one of the work lamps.  Whew!  I continued by pushing the on-button and then…

I was completely blinded by the work lamp.  Duh TMF, don’t stare directly at a 500-watt halogen light.  
Work lamp viewed under normal circumstances

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Beer Can Repurposed

My dad recently gave BF some advice about soldering.  BF complained how a stud behind a copper pipe kept catching on fire.  He would have to douse it with water, but then the pipe would become cold again.  It was a frustrating cycle.  

Then my dad recommended using aluminum foil to protect the stud from catching on fire.  Apparently wrapping foil tightly around wood will protect it from the intense soldering heat. 

There's something about the laws of physics with oxygen and fire...Sorry Daddy, you raised the one Asian who isn't good at mathematics or science.  
I assumed BF didn’t have any aluminum foil lying around the construction zone.  The Bud Lite can was the next best thing.  This raises another question, "Why does BF have beer cans lying around the construction zone?"

Punched in the Stomach

I’ve been punched in the stomach by a plastic wheelbarrow.  I blame it on my own laziness. 

I helped BF by removing discarded drywall and other debris around the master bathroom.  Instead of going all the way around the backyard to get to the dumpster, I created a shortcut using the side sliding door.

As you can see from the picture below, there’s a slight drop from the interior floor to the exterior ground.  I tried to slowly ease the wheelbarrow out and then…
BAM!  I was punched in the stomach by wheelbarrow.  Oomph! 

Did you know dirt, concrete and drywall are heavy?  In order to make fewer trips, I was even more lazy and packed in as much as possible.  Although I tried to slowly move the wheelbarrow, its weight quickly rolled forward and attacked me. 

The breath was knocked out of me and I staggered back as the wheelbarrow and its contents fell all over the ground.  Sigh.

*In case you’re wondering, the wheelbarrow punched me twice.  This was how I managed to snap the pictures. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sharpen Your Pencils

It makes perfect sense to install an old-fashioned pencil sharpener in your house, right?  Wrong!  I have no idea why there's a pencil sharpener in the middle of the loft.

I’ll admit I have fond memories of sharpening my pencils in elementary school.  I would see how fast I could turn the hand crank.  Then I would feel instant gratification when I saw the pinprick sharp pencil point.  
I secretly think BF is wondering how long it'll take before I introduce the pencil sharpener to the screwdriver.  I think there may be some instant gratification there.

Hot Tub Hate

As BF removed the master bedroom’s carpets, he discovered a lovely surprise.

The previous owners installed a hot tub in their master bedroom!  The next owners removed hot tub but left the big hole in the concrete floor.

Instead of filling in the hole before installing new carpet, they just left the hole.  Makes perfect sense, right?  Wrong.
View from afar
Don’t get me wrong, I like hot tubs.  I like hot tubs that are installed OUTSIDE the master bedroom. 

I do not like hot tubs located inside the master bedroom. 

I do not like the holes that are left behind after the hot tub is removed. 
[Insert Nancy Kerrigan’s voice circa 1994]
Up Close and Too Personal

Monday, January 23, 2012

Palmetto Has Got to Go

BF, “The palmetto has got to go.”
TMF, “What?!  Why?  I like the palm tree.  It’s very Floridian”
BF, "No, it's the only tree that doesn't fit in."
TMF, "But, I don't want to rip out an old tree."

BF feels our yard has an old Florida cracker theme.  There’s a mature Satsuma, kumquat, orange, lemon and other unidentifiable citrus trees planted throughout the property.  In the front yard, there’s a big live oak and a few water oaks in the backyard.



And then there’s the lonely sabal palmetto. 

It once was known as the “Scooter Tree” because of the random Razor scooters left hanging on its trunk by the previous tenants.  BF and friends thought it was comical, I did not.  As soon as the beloved dumpster arrived, I ripped the rusty scooters off the tree and threw them into their crowded grave.

During a visit from BF's parents, BF told Calvin about his plans on getting rid of the smaller trees throughout the yard.

BF, "Yeah, TMF doesn't want to get rid of the palmetto."

Calvin, "Why? Palmettos are roach motels!"
TMF, "WHAT?!?!?"

BF pulled back a piece of the trunk and there they were…

I can’t estimate how many roaches were hanging out because I couldn’t look at the grossness. Apparently palmettos are THE hotspot convention center for roaches and their immediate and distant family members.  Yuck!

I’m so sorry Florida, but our state tree has to go.

Goldfish Anyone?

Would anyone like some goldfish?  No, I’m not referring to the tasty Pepperidge Farm cheesy cracker snacks.  I’m talking about real goldfish. 

The previous tenants left behind these goldfish for our viewing pleasure.  Don’t worry, they’re still alive, though I’m not sure how.  It’s pretty yucky in there.  The previous tenants were generous by leaving the fish food behind too.  I can’t remember if BF said he feeds them. 

I like fish, fish ponds, fish tanks, etc., but I really hate this set-up because of the plastic lining around pool.  Ugh.  It’s so tacky.  BF reassured me it wouldn’t stay.  Again, don’t worry about the goldfish.  BF’s mom offered to transplant them to her koi pond. 

I just realized the pool is in the shape of a doggie bone.  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Rackety Ratchet

TMF, “What are these called?”
BF, “Are you serious?”
TMF, “Of course I'm serious!  Haven’t you learned this yet?"
BF, “Sometimes I can’t tell if you’re being serious.  They’re called ratchets.”
TMF, “Rackets?”
BF, “No!  RaTCHET.”  
TMF, “Rackety rack rack RaTCHETS!”
BF sighs, "Are you going to help me or not?"

Sneak Peak: Spiral Staircase

Here’s a sneak peak at our spiral staircase.  This was another great BF Craigslist purchase.  
We haven’t decided the color yet, but it the staircase will definitely be powder coated.
I think the staircase is a strange juxtaposition of feminine and masculine.  The railings have an intricate flourish design.  The steps remind me of the diamond plate pattern you find on truck toolboxes.  The steps may be have a wood covering in the future.  Also, I'm not sure if the flourish railings are too girly for me.  We'll see...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Jig Is Up

BF, “Do you see the jig I put in?”
TMF, “A what?”
BF, “A jig.”
TMF, "A WHAT?" BF is constantly telling me my hearing is becoming worse with age.
TMF, “ in ‘the jig is up?”
BF sighs, “Yes.”
TMF, “So what am I looking at?”

BF gave a quick explanation of how a jig holds in place the pieces of wood.  Without the jig, he couldn’t have produced the new railings at a perfect 90-degree angle. 

The previous tenants said when they moved in, there weren’t any railings at all.  Yikes!  I assume they installed these railings themselves because they’re bad.   A small child or worse, a little beagle, could easily fall through.   Safety hazard!  Remember those images of children getting their heads stuck in between railings?  Nope, not these bad boys.

We plan to install drywall over the new railings.   I would have loved to have a contemporary glass or cable railing, but they’re very expensive.  Also, the drywall railing will be safer for future little BFs or little TMFs.  Again, I'm impressed with BF's handy skills.

TMF, “The jig is up!”

BF, “And gone!

I’m sorry if you haven’t seen History of the World, Part I.

Who Knew Glue...

Who knew glue could be so expensive? Apparently a five-gallon bucket can cost upwards of $200.  To make things worse, we need seven to eight buckets for our hardwood floors.  
We decided to glue down our floors instead of floating them.  The floors will have a more substantial feeling while walking across them.

Always looking for a great deal, BF found the buckets off Craigslist.  Ironically the seller recently purchased the same house we really wanted to buy back in May 2011.   Small world.
While describing the buckets over the phone, the seller made a mistake by telling BF, "I just want them out of my garage."  To quote Dave Ramsey, "There goes your walk-away power."  The seller and his wife were so desperate to get rid of these buckets, they sold them to BF for $40 bucks each.  

Hmmm...$200 vs $40.  I think BF deserves a high-five. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Stairway from...

This is what I UN-affectionately call the Stairway from Hell
I’m not sure why I hate them so much.  Here could be some reasons why…
  • The stairs are not pretty.
  • The stairs take up too much space in the foyer.
  • The stairs are positioned too closely to the front door, which is bad feng shui in my opinion
  • The stairs' steps are a little too steep.  I don't think they were built to code.  
We decided to replace this staircase with a spiral staircase.  A spiral staircase will take up less room and look more contemporary than these bad boys.