"What Were We Thinking?" Weekly Update #??: Bringing Down the House

Breaking Through
Originally uploaded by Temmerling.
Phew, this weekend was a BIG one. Because this remodel thing is taking far, far too long (and yes, we know whose fault that is, so you can just pipe down) it's pushed into the valuable and fleeting time in Salt Lake when it's actually pleasant to do hard labor outside. Our spring is lovely but short and any day now the heavy heat will set in. So we needed to get working on our landscaping projects. What better than to begin our major landscaping on the very same weekend we knock a hole in the side of the house?

In that spirit, here is a picture of our side yard as of last week. Tuesday we had the sandstone for our front yard and the bark for our side yard delivered to our driveway. Piles of Materials Where they promptly blocked access to the backyard for anyone carrying any heavy loads, like, say, studs or siding. So Friday night I put our new wheelbarrow together (can I tell you how much like an adult I feel owning a wheelbarrow?), laid out our drip lines in the side yard and began shoveling bark in an attempt to clear a path for my dad and our construction supplies. We also began building a little fence for our auxiliary vegetable garden.

See, when we moved into this house 3 years ago, the back yard lawn was not healthy at all. And we could never remember to water it. So we tilled it all up, laid down drip lines and created a huge vegetable garden. But now we want grass again. Just a little patch in the privacy of our back yard, for Julia to play. So we're cutting our back garden in half and laying sod. And that means that we needed to create another garden somewhere else for the vegetable overflow. And the only other place we have sun and open space is the side yard. Where the dogs run. Well, the dogs run in the back yard, too, but we have a radio fence back there that we turn on in the summertime. The side yard is not so protected. And Oliver and Oscar like to run up and down the fence line barking at our neighbor's dogs in an attempt to get them to play the Run Up and Down the Fence Line Barking Game. Hence the fence.

The Supplemental GardenThis is what our side yard and garden looked like by about 3 Saturday afternoon. Where there appears to be a gap between the pickets and the boundary fence there is really chicken wire. Because we ran out of pickets. And yes, the fence is only 2 feet tall. And yes, our dogs are taller than that and could probably jump that in their sleep. But you don't know the power of the baby gate. We are putting our faith in the power of the baby gate to keep our garden safe. Trust me on this. It will work. I'll tell you all about it in another post sometime. Probably Thursday. I'll do a Timewarp Thursday and take y'all back to the distant days of Oscar's evil puppy hood.

But right now I need to tell you about the hole in our house. Here and here are pictures to remind you of what our kitchen looked like Friday night before the demolition. We cleared out that cupboard and our mug shelf and considered ourselves prepared. Saturday morning my parents showed up at 10 am and found me working on the side yard. I stopped landscaping and we went in the back yard and started breaking into the exterior. Our kitchen was added on to the original structure in the 1950's. And we thought that the wood cladding was the original exterior look, but after we started pulling off boards we found out that the original look was...Fake Brick fake brick. Fake brick that was matched pretty closely in color (if not texture) to the original brick. Only this fake brick was made out of asphalt and pressed fiber. Like cardboard. Fake Brick Made of Cardboard and Asphalt I live in a house made of cardboard. This house constantly surprises me.

After a quick trip to the store for supplies we all came back and got to work. Dad continued destroying our house, by tearing out more cabinets than we expected inside. I continued building the garden, Kristin started planting the back garden and Mom played with Julia. When Dad had finally worked his way through the entire wall he called us back to take picture of him. Seriously. Specifically, he wanted us to take a picture of him pretending to be electrocuting himself on the ground wire for the stove's 220. So, here it is for your amusement. Electrocution!To get the full impact of his acting, you should view the picture large. Dad was having a great time tearing our house apart, talking VERY LOUDLY when our neighbors were in their back yard about how he was having to go to all this effort just because we’d locked ourselves out of our house. Classic Dad. The neighbors were not so impressed because it was their first day home with their new baby (hey, it’s not MY fault she had him early! We didn’t know there would be a newborn next door when we made these plans. Stop looking at me like that!)

And after that excitement we all continued with our respective jobs:
Who Needs A Wall?Wall Building Upside Down! Finally I finished with the garden just in time to take this picture of a very confused dog Oliver is Confused and to help my dad rebuild the wall he had built crooked. Wall-building redux It wasn't his fault, actually. The wall he built was square and straight. But my house isn't. So we had to take down the straight, perfect wall and build a crooked one so it would be straightly crooked. Or crookedly straight. Or something. Whatever. There was a crooked man who lived in a crooked house... The Wall is Crooked

After some fancy-pants saw handling, Please Don't Cut Your Hand Off we secured a redwood post to the structure of the house to support a swing for Julia and then finally, as the sun began sinking, got the house closed back up. A whole 3 square feet larger. No more hole!The stove where the fridge goes After the hole of it Of course, the hole isn't completely closed up. The space under the eaves is still open and we're spending this week hoping a bird doesn't decide to investigate our handiwork and decide to call our kitchen their new home.

We topped our night with barbequed fish and a baby in her new swing. Swing!

This week we're going to try to get the rocks laid in the front yard, the back yard ready for sod, and the arches primed and painted (I textured them Sunday, but that's not exciting so I didn't take a picture). Saturday we're tearing all the rest of the kitchen cabinets out (except, hopefully, the sink cabinet, we think we can keep that one for another week), dry walling the raw nook, and laying sod. Sunday we're going to try to get the tile floor laid so that the weekend after that we can install the new cabinets and the kitchen will be workable again by the time we have house sitters in for our vacation. I guess I should start talking to my brother about a countertop...

Posted by Trista @ 8:59 AM

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I am so so impressed.

& your Dad? so cute & funny.

Posted by Blogger Calliope @ 10:32 AM #

Very nice!

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ 12:52 PM #

that was a really busy weekend my friend! I'm having mayor surgery at home too, I will beging a series of posts about that, but I think it will be more at the spanish one.
Check out the pics from my weekend at the ego!!! I have a lot to tell you Trista!! expect a huge email this week!!

Posted by Blogger Sublime @ 2:36 PM #

Wow... your post kind of made me feel like a sloth...

Hm. Good thing I have a 75 mile bike ride this weekend. It can serve as my penance for being a slug around the house. ;)

Seriously, it looks great.

Posted by Blogger Kiker @ 7:58 AM #

This is amazing. As the family of idiots who can't manage to paint a wall without major injury and drama, we salute you.

Posted by Blogger ms.bri @ 11:08 AM #


I love the "straight wall" problem.

My first house was old, and had been evilly remodeled in the 80s. If you google "crackhead design" you get both the right idea, and the neighborhood where that house was.

When we remodelled, we had exactly the same problem. Our lovely perfectionist contractor wound up dismantling, trimming, and reorienting the molding around our kitchen door, so that it wouldn't look like his perfectly straight new cabinets were crooked.

Posted by Anonymous Liza @ 2:12 PM #

PS Have I mentioned how lazy you make me feel? We get all self-congratulatory if we both get showers, do laundry, and do the dishes in 1 weekend.

Posted by Anonymous Liza @ 2:14 PM #

well Liza, we certainly weren't up for more than showers and laundry when Julia was Noah's age. In fact, I'm not sure we're really up for more than that now seeing as how it's taken us this long just to get this far with the kitchen. It should have been done weeks ago!

Posted by Blogger Trista @ 2:47 PM #

I love the weekly update!

Posted by Blogger Katie (WannaBeMom) @ 6:24 PM #

Yeah, but we were only marginally more ambitious before I was pregnant. ;)

Posted by Anonymous Liza @ 8:07 AM #
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