Weird week last week.

On Monday I head into the office to find that a sewage pipe had busted in the basement and the building would be closed the rest of the week. That means I had to work from home. I do not like working from home as it makes me anxious. I don’t have all the files I need. I also hate mixing those two world’s anymore than I have to. Home is a safe place.

You might be thinking “Hey Paul, what is the deal with that range hood?” You’re right it’s been for freaking ever! I called Range Craft last Monday to get the ETA and they said they needed to check the progress and call me back. I called them back Tuesday afternoon and the woman tells me it’s going to be 3 more weeks as their welder had a heart attack the prior Friday. I informed her that although I was very sorry for said heart attack, my hood was slated to be done before the unfortunate event took place. Thus they hadn’t held up their end of the contract and there should be some consolation for this. I did not yell or curse but I was stern.

(Smash cut to the next morning) I receive a call at 10 am from the Range Craft sales woman informing me the hood was ready to be picked up. I responded with some suprise laughter and asked how this was even possible after yesterday’s conversation. Then to my surprise a different voice was on the other end of the line. It was the owner yelling at me for being upset when I was told the hood would take another 3 weeks. She informed me that I could not talk to her employees that way…. I had to get stern again and inform her that, it was not that case that I treated her sales person poorly. I was rightfully upset that we have wanted over 10 weeks for this hood, and that they were using a irrelevant excuse to delay it aonther 3 weeks. This made her even more mad and she told me to come pick up the hood.

Because I was working from home I was able to take my lunch and drive to pick the hood up. The van was again a life saver on this one. As you can see it fit in there perfect and we made it home no problem.

“Hey Paul is the hood installed then?” Nope! We called our guy but he’s busy and probably won’t get to it this week. Man oh man this job is taking forever! We started this relativity small project in June and it is October 1 today. 🙁

Birthday camping.

This past weekend we celebrated our friend Lisa’s 3oth birthday with a camping trip.

We had a great time. Really great weather. Amazing location in NJ called Round Valley Reservoir. The challenge came in the hike into the campsite. It was a 3 mile hike. The distance wasn’t the issue it was the weight of the backpack and the hilly terrain that made this one a buster.

My entire body my hurts today, but I’m proud of everyone for toughing out that hike and making the weekend a fun time!

birthday crew

My 600lb back pack

Round Valley

Man oh man what a poopie weekend! Rain on rain on rain. Saturday we waited around all day for the new dishwasher to be delivered. It didn’t get to the house till 6:30 then took an hour and a half to install. Totally wasted the day. Kind of a bummer, although I did get a nap in which is a true delight.

Sunday on the other hand was adventure time. One thing we did on Saturday was watch a documentary on Andrew Wyeth the fantastic 20th century American painter. It turns out his home and museum are in Chadds Ford PA, about a 2 hour drive from us in WeO. There is a museum there called the Brandywine River Muesum of Art.

Having nothing to do in all this wet, Kate and I got in the car and drove there. Let me say, if only it had been a nice day the landscape around there would have been beautiful. As is described in the name there is a little river that runs behind the museum and the structure itself is quite interesting as it’s a combination of an old building and new construction. The museum is great because is showcases new Modern Art as well as the art of the Wyeth family. Andrews father and sister were also great artist in their own right. Andrew’s son Jamie Wyeth is quite accomplished as well. After walking through the 3 floors of the museum we went on the tour the Wyeth family house, and studio. It was all very good. If only the rain had let up just a little bit things would have been even better.

You may be wondering, “Hey Paul, what ever happened to the van?” Great question, thank you for asking. Well, it’s been a fast and tricky summer so not many van trips. Although on Saturday I did try to get my lazy self to work on the window cranks I never finished. For some reason I just can’t make up my mind on how to snap the knob to the crank. So I did some section drawing and I still don’t know. Last week I also got this super cool air freshener for the van and the free sticker came with it.

Chicago! 8/28/2018

I went to Chicago for Big John Diehl’s 40th birthday. It was a great opportunity to see John, Kristen and my parents. It was only a day and a half but it seems like we did a lot. The original intent was to go see a Cubs game. Turns out they were going to be playing the Mets so it seemed like a fun idea. John went to see the games on Sunday, and Monday as well. I joined for Tuesday. It was great. There is nothing better than Wrigley Field on a summer evening. The game stayed close all night. It was 1 to 1 in the 10th inning and then the rain started. The game got called till the next morning. The Cubs went on to win the next day. We had a happy birthday for John on the scoreboard which was really exciting.

Earlier in the day we went to the Fields Museum. What a huge place. It’s a natural history museum and they have everything. Including the two lions from the movie Ghost in the Darkness. Check out the link.

So, when I was a kid I remember these molding machines from the 60s that you would see at zoo’s or museums like this. I always think about them because it’s such a cool was to show how a mold works. They had one at Fields and it was super fun to do that again. Keep your eyes out for them, especially in the Chicago area! Mold-O-Rama.


This summer we decided to do a simpler easier vacation. We spent 5 days in Nantucket. Kate’s favorite little New England island. Not too much to do but take it easy. Which is good.

We seemed to catch all the rainy days they’ve had this season. Sunday through Wednesday morning we saw nothing but rain and cloudy skys. We decided to extend our tip by a day to try to eek out a little sun. No worry though we managed to keep ourselves busy. Our hotel had bikes so we rode them out and around the island. We went to the local brewery on the island called Cisco Brewing. They have a nice little beer garden. We went to dinner at a bunch of places but one stood way out in front of the rest. The Nautilus, it’s a Asian inspired place, and it was really really delicious! We had the crab fried rice and the noodles it was great!

We had most of Wednesday and Thursday on the beach. We got ourselves as burned as possible. It was a good save.

We ended up staying at two hotels because of extending our stay. The first place was the Jared Coffin house. The second place was Union Street Inn. We really liked Union Street.

I always end up taking a lot of car pictures while we are here. When you are at a place where the vacation homes go for 1.5 million on the low end you are bound to see some nice rides.

Paint finished! My feelings? Full success!!!

I left things on a classic cliff hanger in the last post. There were many ups and downs with that part of the project. We really had to get in there and fight. In the end it’s a very acceptable job.

This past week the backsplash started going up and it looking pretty good. You can see in the photo the grout isn’t in yet but it’s certainly starting to take shape.

This is very exciting. I was looking back at the renderings in the earlier posts and the kitchen looks just as we planed. That may seem like a dumb thing to be excited about. Although I find projects rarely turn out as planned, unless the plan is well layed out. That said we are not done yet so let’s see how I feel in a month.

The last bit to do is the hood and the shelves. The hood had a 10 week lead time and I think we might be about halfway through.

Pictures for you to enjoy.

I know you’re concerned (J-bone)…. The last few weeks have been pretty stressful both with the house and work. That said, I’m not here to complained so let’s catch your ass up on the kitchen progress!

Ok, so in the last post the countertops happened. The plan was then to get the backsplash in and the rest of the molding done. Then we would be ready to paint… That didn’t happen. The molding on the ceiling got done and then our carpenter had other jobs to take care of and ghosted us. This meant we had to go into painting a bit deficient. So, we had to ask the painter to finish the molding on the floor.

August 2:

The painting begins. They take all the doors off and start to lightly sand. I’m nervous because I’m not sure this can even be done well in the best conditions.

August 3:

Kate’s birthday, the painters finish the rough sand and spray a layer of primer. The primer is done a bit rough but knowing how much sanding is required to paint, it should be fine.

August 4:

Kate and I are scheduled to fly to Cincinnati for a family wedding but the flight is cancelled, long story the trip got cancelled.

The painters sand and put on the first layer of white paint. The job is clearly being rushed. The sanding of the primer was know where near thouro and the first coat is done terribly. Spots with heavy spray. Orange peal everywhere. Dust sprayed into the paint. It was my worst fear come true.

When Kate and I saw the progress a freak out ensued. Kate started calling the office. I emailed the owner with pictures. The fire storm was lit!

August 6:

The project manager came to the house to talk to us in the morning and we showed him all our concerns. He played it cool but then shit started to happen. 8 guys showed up and started sanding like crazy. I got home at about 8 and they were still sanding. They left around 8:30. Things seemed to be going in the right direction.

August 7:

We had another walk through with the project manager and thanked him for the progress. Pointed out a few areas that still needed a bit of work. They then sprayed another coat of paint. I got home around 9:30 and things were looking pretty good. They painted the kick board under the cabinets and with another coat I think we will have beat this thing.

August 8 (today)

They should come in and put the new hardware on. Then touch up work. We may be done today or tomorrow.

It’s looking pretty good in the end. It’s not perfect. It’s white, and it’s painted… There is no way to achieve a factory finish. Without a spray booth. There is no way to get it perfect. The goal here was to do a job that was in line with the budget and the over all value of the house. I think we did that and I think it’s a pretty solid job. We will see how it wears. If we had kids I would be terrified.

The pictures below are from today. I don’t want to post the rougher pictures because they make me anxious and I’d like to forget.

……………… kitchen

As we discussed in earlier posts, this is going to be a relatively small job with a disproportionately long process.

The countertops are in! The custom island table is in! The backsplash is getting started today along with the molding on the ceiling!

The island table was kind of a fun experience. I found a place that did steal fabrication in Patterson NJ. We had to go pick it up, and of course it was in a rough part of town. We took the van and it fit in the back perfect. The guys were really nice and the price was right. Is it perfect? No, it could be better, but it was built to the specifications of the drawing I sent so it’s cool with me.

I feel like we made a lot of progress pre 4th of July and since things have been dragging. Lucky for us the kitchen has been semi usable the entire time.

The paint starts on Aug 2nd so that will really feel like we are closing in on the finish. The killer issue is the range hood. It’s being custom build and it’s taking for-ev-er!

That’s the update. See the picks below. The countertops go a long way to brightening things up.

I know what your thinking. “Not another kitchen update (eye roll). But no! This post isn’t at all about the kitchen. This is about our van trip to the white mountains and Mount Washington.

The White Mountains are in New Hampshire. The very North end infact. It’s a solid 6-7 hour drive. We left of Saturday morning and had an absolutely lovely drive up there. It was in the 60’s, so cool in fact that we didn’t even roll down the windows. Just opened the vent and it was very comfortable. We got to Littleton NH in the late afternoon and were generously invited to stay at a coworker’s family home for the evening as I couldn’t reserve a camp site.

Poped the top to show off the van

Sunday was the big day! The ultimate east coat van mountain adventure. Mount Washington is the highest peak in the North East United States at 6,288.2 ft. There is an auto road that has been functioning since 1861! It is a 12% grade for much of the road. It 7.6 miles and it is a killer. 2 lanes, very tight and in a 30 year old van completely thrilling. It was 1st and 2nd gear the entire way and by the time we got to the top Kate was in tears and I was shaking and about to pass out. Now, let me explain. If you’re a bit queeze when it comes to heights this is a real thrill ride. That said if you’re a bit queeze about your 30 year old van exploding then it’s a entirely other type of thrill ride. The van did great the entire way up, but you never know with these things. If we had broke down up there it would have been impossible to get to a save spot to wait for help. It was great! The relief of the accomplishment over shadowed the veiws and I did a terrible job getting any good pictures. (classic Paul blunder). Notice in the first picture below the moutian train. If you’re not interested in testing fate it’s a great option.

The way down the mountian was a pretty tough one. The breaks got a good bit hot. so much infact that they were smoking pretty bad. They then started to leak melted grease from the hubs as it had been heated to a blue liquid. Crazy!

The blue goo leaking out of the hub, burning up.

Monday we got the old inflatable kayak out and in true Kate and Paul fashion became far too ambitious in your kayaking abilities. We wanted up paddleing a total of 6 miles. The back end of that up stream. Before you label us two stupid fools. The current was very week. It still hurt. We also got a good about of sun. Not terribly burned, but burned enough.

Tuesday we took a early morning trip to Diana’s bathes. Which is a series of waterfalls you can walk through. We got there before all the family showed up. They pretty much turn a natural landscape into a water park and it’s kind of depressing.

After the waterfalls we startes our way home…. It was sooooooo hot. I mean sooooooo hot I got sunburned through my t-shirt. Kate couldn’t even talk to me. The windows were all open, but the air was so hot there was no relief. I can’t believe Kate didn’t knife me at the end of the trip. 7 hours in the beating sun is enough to convince any jury it was self defense. She didn’t. God love her!

(BTW, sorry for the lame music on the video. I edited on my phone and could choose a music track for some reason)

Demo Done Son!

Things continue to move forward even if they have slowed a bit. As you may have gathered from the title the last of the demo was finnishing up and all the drywall has been patched. We also have the electrical sorted. We decided to only have lighting under the bottom shelves. Trying to light all of them separately seemed a bit much and I think in the long run will result in a more consistent feeling feature.

It was also a big week for fridges. We got the wine fridge in place and all framed up, ready for the countertop. We also received the main fridge that turned out to be a perfect fit. It was all for the best after last week’s fridge disaster. We wound up with the taller model so it fits the caseing much much better. It is already making ice and life better.

Next up is the countertops. Now, my guess is that they will be installed next week as this is a holiday week and it can be tough to schedule things. It looks as if we will have the island table done just in time for that install which is super exciting!

Talk to you next week!

Wine Fridge Framed

Main Fridge

Hooked up the water abd it works!

Buttfuzz was hanging with me.