Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Unpacking the Kitchen

After BF installed the kitchen cabinets, I was extremely eager to unpack my kitchen.  For months, plates, bowls, drinking glasses, mugs, flatware, knives, serving ware, small appliances, etc. were stored in boxes inside the front yard cube.  

I decided to unpack the items and lay them on the dining table.  I took a step back and felt completely overwhelmed.  During those months, BF and I learned to live very simply.  We only used the necessities, such as paper plates, plastic cups, microwave and toaster oven, for our meals. 
Where did all this stuff come from?  And where I am going to store all of it?  I analyzed and categorized the items.  Have I used it in the past year?  Who gave this to me?  How much did this cost?  Was this a wedding gift?  Why do I still have this?  Why did I pack this? 
I partially place the blame on my parents.  They were refugees and arrived in the United States with absolutely nothing.  They have become semi-hoarders.  They love to buy household items and pass them along to BF and me.  Unfortunately I don't have the heart to throw away any of their stuff. 
I started unpacking at night after BF went to sleep.  When he awoke in the morning, his irritation level skyrocketed.  During my concentrated effort to keep the kitchen items organized on the dining table, I completely ignored the empty cardboard boxes and crumpled newspapers left in random locations on the floor. 

BF, "I was getting used to everything nice and organized and you do this?!?!"
TMF, "I promise it'll all be gone by the end of the Jaguar game."
I hoped the mention of the football would ease the irritation, but BF wasn't fooled. 
It's a good thing I can't stand chaos and messiness.  I spent hours organizing and filling cabinets on Saturday.  For some odd reason seeing these cabinets fills me with a sense of calmness.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Kitchen Progress: Cabinets

For months the boxes of unassembled cabinets sat in an unopened pile.  Similar to the refrigerator, the cabinets were discounted at a year-end sale.
In order to save money, BF opted to assemble and install the cabinets himself. 

Putting the cabinets together was easy as compared to the installation.  Many sections came partially assembled in the box. 

Through many trial and error issues, we learned nothing is level in an old house.  Sometimes I wonder how the house is still standing.  Perhaps the house is rebelling by saying, "Screw 90 degree angles!"

The house's UNlevelness caused the cabinet installation to take longer than expected.  At one point, BF decided to only trust the little bubble in the green liquid instead of his eye.  The result looks pretty good.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Thumbnail Hole

WARNING:  The following post features images that may not be suitable to readers who are squeamish...

I'm not sure if it was the start of the 2012 NFL season or the slightest temperature drop, but BF was pumped to install the kitchen cabinets. 

When I asked if he wanted to wait for an extra pair of capable hands (someone other than myself), he answered no.  He was determined to start hanging the wall cabinets by himself. 

Although I helped by simply holding one cabinet in its place, BF used a support beam to help install the wall cabinets. 

I can't recall at what specific cabinet the accident occurred, but I do remember the yell of pain when BF pierced a hole through his thumb's fingernail. 

Yikes!  After I grabbed a paper towel, I pulled the plug to turn off the work lamp. 

BF, "What are you doing?"
TMF, "What do you mean?  You're not going to keep on working, are you?"
BF, "Of course I am.  Turn the light back on."
TMF, "You're kidding."
BF, "You want a kitchen, don't you?"

Sigh, I'm not sure how long it will take his thumb nail to heal, but I'm sure it won't be a pretty process.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Good to Know: Where to Shut Off Water

TMF in the master bathroom...

TMF, "Hmm.  I think I hear BF yelling.  He's probably yelling at Bailey to get out of his way." 
A few seconds pass...
TMF, "Oh no, he's yelling for me."
BF, "I need your help!"

We just finished installing the hardwood floors in the kitchen/dining/living room area.  To add to the weekend's accomplishments, BF wanted to install the new refrigerator.  Before plugging in the refrigerator, he needed to connect the water line from the valve to the refrigerator. 
I ran into the kitchen to find BF holding and covering the water valve with his hands.  My first thought was, "Oh no!  The new floors!"

BF, "I need you to shut off the water!  Do you remember where the handle is?"
Thank goodness he had the good sense to show me when we first bought the house.

TMF, "Ummm, okay!"  And I run off.

For some godly reason, I actually remembered where the shut-off handle to the main line was located.  When I arrived, I discovered green bushes blocking my way.  I forgot BF replanted the bushes to hide the air conditioning compressor.  I took a deep breath.  I broke through the bushes with the branches scratching my arms.

TMF, "Okay!  Righty-tighty, lefty-loosy!"  I turned the handle.  Pause, nothing moved.  Apparently it was my other right. 

I ran back inside and asked, "Did it work?"
BF, "Yes, the pressure is gone, but now I need a something for the water that's still coming out."
I quickly glanced around the room.  I dumped out a nearby small trash can and handed it to BF. 

Whew!  I slowly sank down onto the floors and shook my head.
BF, "What?"
TMF, "I was in the bathroom!"

Monday, September 10, 2012

Refrigerator Excitement

Call me strange, but I was extremely excited to use my new refrigerator.

BF purchased the refrigerator back in January and had it delivered to the new house.  It seemed silly to buy a refrigerator before installing the kitchen but the sale price was too good.

For months, the new refrigerator sat next the old refrigerator under a plastic tarp.   Occasionally I would lift up the tarp and open the French doors.  I'd breath in the new smell and proclaimed, "One day Refrigerator, I'll get to use you."

As soon as BF finished a large section of the floors, he moved the new refrigerator into its rightful place.  After plugging it in, he opened the doors and we both stared at its beauty.  The LED lights slowly brightened and I felt a sense of calmness. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Trowel Differences

TMF playing with fire, "Do you need anything from Lowe's?"
BF, "Can you buy me a new trowel for when I glue the floors?"
TMF, "Sure!"
BF, "Did you know there are different kinds of trowels?"
TMF, "Oh no."

BF explained how there are different trowels types for different uses.  He goes on to say he needs a V-shaped teeth measuring 3/16 by blah blah blah.  Whenever I hear technical numbers, Charlie Brown's teacher's voice enters my head. 

TMF, "Can you text me the specifics?"
BF, "I can do you one better."
This is what he sent to my phone.  He even spread the glue to point to the exact model.  Nice, huh?

I noticed BF would painstakingly use a utility knife to scrape off the residual glue.  The process of removing the dried glue would take up to 30 minutes.  To make things easier for BF, I decided to buy a couple of trowels.

When I arrived at Lowe's flooring department, my task became more difficult.  There were trowels available at a range of prices.  Can a $3 trowel really be different than a $13 trowel?  The answer is yes.

I splurged and bought the most expensive trowel and a very cheap one.  As he started spreading the glue with the expensive new trowel, I asked,

TMF, "Can you tell a difference between the trowels?"
BF, "Definitely between the old and new one.  I didn't realize the glue could dull the teeth so easily."

The revelation came when BF started to scrape off the old glue to start a new day of laying floors. 

BF, "The expensive trowel is definitely worth the price.  Watch this."

BF proceeded to easily pull off the old glue with his fingers.  The expensive trowel is made of chrome, which makes peeling off glue so easy.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Spaghetti Glue

Laying down the hardwood floors in the kitchen/dining/living room was a long and tedious process. 

Due to BF's daily work schedule and long hours, he was only able to complete a couple of rows per night.  Before starting a new row of planks, the residuals of the previous day's glue had to be removed.

The trowel left thick grooves in the glue.  BF used a utility knife and floor scraper to remove the old glue.  I started giggling as I pull on the stringy glue.

BF, "What are you laughing at?"
TMF, "It looks like spaghetti noodles!"

BF, "I think it looks like Play-doh when you press it through the little machine."
TMF, "You're right!"

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Moving Furniture Disability

As the cargo door shut on my SUV I thought, "Oh cr*p, how are we going to move this thing inside the house?"
BF found this IKEA TV stand on Craigslist.  When I first viewed the TV stand, the seller mentioned it was very heavy.  I checked on the website and it weighs 121 pounds! The seller was really nice and helped BF move the stand from his apartment, into the elevator and into my car.  

I'm not sure why, but I have a undiagnosed disability when it comes to moving furniture.  There's a mental block.  I don't have the capacity to lift large objects.  Manuevering through door ways?  Yeah, right.  Walking backwards?  Forget about it.

As soon as we drove away from the seller, I asked BF, "How do you plan to move this thing?  You know I can't help."  BF said he would call for reinforcements. 

BF calls his brother Robin and Robin happily agrees to help.  Thank goodness because there was no way I lifting 1/4 of 121 pounds. 

BF, "Robin, while I have you here, are you up for moving one more thing?"
Robin again agrees.
BF, "I have to warn you; it'll be experimental."
TMF, "Huh?"

We tried to move the majority of boxes and furniture to the second floor while we had the traditional staircase.  After the spiral staircase was installed, we knew moving furniture would be very difficult. 

We haven't installed railing on the area overlooking foyer yet.  I could see the wheels in BF's head turning as he looked up. 

TMF, "You're going to lift the loveseat through there?!?!"
BF, "Yup."
TMF, "Are you sure?"
BF turns to Robin, "Don't worry, it's not that heavy."
Next thing I know, Robin is upstairs clearing space for the loveseat. 
I'm not sure who had the easier end.  BF lifting & pushing up or Robin lifting & pulling.  I know the answer:  It was Bailey and me watching from the sidelines.