One year Recap – We are growing!!!

Every so often I run into a friend that asks about this blog. It’s usually followed by an excuse of having little time (to no time) to write. While that is all true, I must admit that the first year of renovations and daily updates were the busiest I have ever been in my life. Sitting on the verge of 40 years old, I realize that if I plan to be ambitious, now is the time. I only half-joke about that…especially since I do find my energy levels and weight-gain going in opposite directions. (still half-joking) Mid-life crisis aside, I wanted to share the last year with my friends and family.

First off, our family is growing at a pace much quicker than my home repair tasks. What was two, is now 3..followed by a fourth in less than a month (give or take two weeks). Before we get to our fourth member of this blog, allow me to introduce you to Dallas.


Dallas – 6 months old

Dallas is our Blue Weimaraner. According to my wife who was suppose to bring back a male pup, Dallas chose her and there was really no other thing she could have done. I hate to admit it, but she was right. Having never been a pet owner, I have to admit its pretty awesome. I find having to restrain myself from bringing out her picture or working her name into a conversation. Seems I have become the kind of person I used to make fun of. With that being said, here’s 1 more pic of Dallas (now 1 years old as of July 14th).


Her usual morning beg which consists of sad eyes and wagging tail. Quickly followed by us letting her lay on the bed while we get ready.

Now onto our latest member of the family. As I type this, we have yet to meet our latest addition, but are very certain that he is a he. We are certain of this as he made it very clear during our gender reveal doctor appointment. Inappropriately so. Having taken 3 years to manifest, we named him Desiderio, meaning “one who is hoped for”. A name that always requires a second or third pass to people that first hear it, becomes much more familiar when we inform them of another person that held that name, Desiderio “Desi” Arnaz.

The house has had some work too. But that’s another post. In the meantime…here’s a preview of Desi’s Room I took with my phone. Stay tuned for better pics coming soon!


Going for a retro industrial and atomic look. That’s a mouthful!

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How to make a Fire Pit, with Mid-Century flair

My recent hiatus doesn’t mean I don’t have much to report (if you can follow my double-negatives)…it simply means I have a very limited time to update our home renovation happenings. We have finally moved into our house, exactly 1 year to-the-date after purchasing the house. That was back in March and we are SLOWLY making progress on our home while trying to stay above “financial” water so we can get our kitchen going. (A huge applause to my wife that must endure our primitive living, especially in the kitchen.) We have just begun work on the exterior and should have some pictures of our newly stucco’ed and hopefully painted house soon. Here’s what it looks like today…

Powerwashed and ready for new stucco and paint…very soon!

Over these past months, I’ve been making a significant dent in a large pile of pallets laying around at work. I’ve managed to deconstruct some of these pallets for small projects around the house as well as my most favorite recent pastimes…bonfires! Until recently, our bonfires were centered around an aluminum garbage can which would glow red after a few minutes of steady burning. While it served us well, it was time to retire our depression-era pit for a more swanky upgrade..circa 1960 perhaps???

Throughout the year, our non-profit’s pile of used appliances is set aside after they have been removed from our clients home to make way for the new appliances we install for them. This pile sits until we have enough weight to make a worthwhile trip to the recycle yard. Somehow, my subconscious mind recalled that washing machine tubs make for good fire pits. The combination of the existing holes, thick steel and the much deeper capacity than your standard store-bought fire pit makes this a win-win!

It just so happens that a pair of 1960s-70s bar stools also made their way into our pile of metal to recycle. Again, my subconscious mind recalled that these may be a great stand for my newly acquired pit and I proceeded to cut the stool bases off for my future upcycling project.

Once I mounted the washing machine tub atop the 1960s-70s bar stool base, the most amazing thing happened. I was immediately transported to the early 1960s as I stared at this retro modern creation.

Ok, enough with the words…here’s some pictures!!! What do you think?

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A good night’s rest.

After a long break from posting, I finally have some news that will help me with the restless nights of sleep. With the impending rains and a roof that serves more as a over-sized colander, it was time to take action. Armed only with some YouTube “do-it-yourself roofing” videos, the belief in myself, and a well rested back I began to tear off my roof. Ten minutes later I realized I was in way over my head while I gazed at the small hole in my roof.

Many many hours, a very very sore back, two layers of wood shake, and four trips to the dump later I was a third done.

I started this roofing project when I was the tender age of 37…at age 38 and 30 minutes before the first rain of the season I was finished. Soon, my back will feel better. Soon, the trip and a half left of debris sitting on the side of the house to dump will be gone. For now, I will enjoy a good night’s sleep knowing there’s a roof for our little Spanish Charmer.



Filed under Our house

Time to make a difference…

I’m very fortunate that I never have to look far for inspiration. I get paid to help people. I work for Rebuilding Together, a non-profit that provides home repairs at no cost to homeowners in need. Most of our clients are elderly and disabled, and the work we do helps them remain independent in their homes for longer.

Today’s post is special because I have the opportunity to help someone who is still very young with three children under the age of 10. Our affiliate has been selected as a top 25 candidate to receive additional funds through a Facebook voting campaign, in conjunction with Sears Heroes At Home Program. Please take the time to read this story and vote. Having met Patricia and speaking with her, I know that voting everyday will make a difference for this soldier and mother in need. Every vote increases the money she gets to help fix her home! Please help me by voting, re-posting this and asking your friends to vote & repost as well. Thank you!!!



Filed under Rebuilding Together

We’re making progress on house. We’re not making much progress on blog updates.

Hi everyone!

Last time we checked in, we had just put up the sheetrock and started the taping.  Since then we’ve changed the texture of our house twice! I first started off with the most ambitious of textures….NONE! I spent weeks sanding the walls and the night before I decided to paint there was a minor earthquake that left me with hairline cracks in several areas. NOOO!!!! One week later, we are almost finished with the the Tuscan Plaster texture we settled on (Expect a full post on that undertaking down the road).

Venetian-style texture...almost too perfect?

I’ve updated the PROJECTS page where you can see the progress updates on all of our tasks including completion of the conversion of our fireplace to natural gas and we even moved the French doors to make way for a built-in bench seat in the kitchen!

New gas valve

New hole into the fireplace for natural gas pipe

I also had a new addition to the family over the weekend. My nephew, Aydin Maddox. This kid is cute. Seriously! My sister was a real trooper, even taking time out of her labor to pose for a picture with a magazine baby to send to everyone less than an hour into her labor!!!

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Pictures are in…So is the sheetrock! (well, actually 80%)

Since I last posted pictures of the house, we’ve been able to make some progress. Since then we’ve:

  • Plumbed for conversion of wood burning to natural gas fireplace
  • Installed HDMI connections above fireplace for, if my super beautiful and incredibly smart wife approves, massive flatscreen TV!
  • Installed 8-foot wide french doors
  • Hung sheetrock

Enough with the words, here’s some pictures!!!

Goodbye window and door!!!

Getting ready for a new TV. HDMI cables run to both sides of fireplace

Hello Fench Door!!!!!

Sheetrock is up!

My buddy Joe came out to help. (Not pictured, the burrito I ate that day the got me sick and lost me 10lbs)

1/4-inch sheetrock in the master bedroom ceiling to hide the large cracks in the plaster

Dana stopped by to eat one of my delicious walnut ice cream bars. Thanks babe!

This is how it looks today!

Oops, forgot to cutout the box for HDMIs. No problem, the are all adjustable boxes and I left the location of the box written somewhere around here...

Our future kitchen will be here

Como tale vu French Doors

Lets Recap….not too long ago the house looked like this:

And now it looks like this:



Filed under Our house

Lazy Days of Summer?

I must admit, I’ve been lazy. After the wedding, I really haven’t had the same drive I once had. When I look at the house, I only see the hundreds of things that need to be done before I do the hundreds of things on my list. The real problem is I know better. I know that I should just focus on one thing at a time, instead of getting overwhelmed. I know that my lack of energy is because I need to be more active. I know my wife is gonna kick my lazy butt if I don’t make some progress.

Now that I know…Now that I shared… Now that it’s out there…I must do something about it. This mornings bike ride to work was my jump-start. I don’t know how much I’m gonna get done tonight, but I know that I will DO!




Filed under Our house