Category Archives: Our house

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.



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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:



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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!




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We’re Back!!!

Its been 3 weeks since our last post and in the blog world that pretty much means the end of another blog. Except this time we have a perfect excuse. Dana lost her job. I got really sick and lost 10 lbs. We got better. WE GOT MARRIED!!!! Again. Then we went on a honeymoon. Then we rested some more.

Now its back to working on the house. Minus the distractions (albeit they were pretty cool distractions), minus the extra stress, plus some renewed energy, plus a pretty good score on Home Depot & Lowes gift cards (my favorite part).

We’ll be sharing some of the wedding pics soon. Followed by some wedding stories. Followed by plenty of house updates. In the meantime, here’s a pic of us from the vintage photobooth we had at our reception. (which was a huge hit with the guests). We promise to get back to the regular house updates, plus some wedding day nostalgia going forward. BRB.


PS, I gained all the weight back. 🙂


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Windows Completed

First project completed!!! Although they weren’t part of the original plan, the driveway-side windows are all installed and now a thing of the past. Enjoy the picture time-line.

  Originally, the plan was to cover the window in the kitchen and bring in more light by installing a French door at the back entry. After discovering the great prices of Pella-brand argon double-pane windows ($120.00 for a 3×5 window) from Lowes, we immediately made room in our budget for these windows. My savings scheming also helped.

I first started by removing all of the existing windows I planned to replace. I did have mixed feelings because the original double hung windows were in such remarkable shape and I knew with a little bit of cleaning, sanding, wax and paint, these windows would last another 50 + years.

After I removed the windows carefully (I saved everything and will find a use for them somewhere down the road), I then cut out the exterior stucco to make room for the new and larger windows. The two windows in the living room went from 3×4 to 3×5. The window in the breakfast nook went from 40″x48″ to a whopping 5’x7′.

Next step was to frame up a new opening for the windows, including a new header for each window.

After, self adhering flashing was laid onto the exterior side of the frame to prevent water leakage. Then a bead of silicone was applied just before the windows were screwed to the frame.

After the windows were screwed to the frame I ran another strip of the self-adhering flashing over the vinyl frame just to provide a final water-tight seal. The final touch of the exterior work was to apply plywood and brick mold trim around the new windows for stucco….once it happens somewhere way, way down the road.


Finally, the final (it really feels good to use the word final, even though its all so far from finality) touches to the window were on the inside. I trimmed up the interior frames for sheetrock (which goes up soon).

Huge sigh. Now to divert my attention to the other million things to do before the wedding….which is now exactly one month away.


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The sun is shining

Negroni. NEGRONI!!! One word says it all. The sun is shining, and even though its Monday all I can think about is this great weather and maybe a little cocktail. Then I happen upon , A Continuous Lean, one of my favorite new blogs. According to ACL, “The Negroni, along with the baseball season, is one of the most welcome rites of Spring. Its devotees include Gabrielle Hamilton, Orson Welles, and, of course, Count Negroni, for whom the drink is named. According to legend the count wanted a stronger version of an Americano and asked a bartender in Florence to substitute gin for club soda. The result is downright historical. Never has so much been owed by so many to so few.

“The Negroni, a classic aperitivo, is Campari, vermouth, gin, an orange, ice. Simple. Yet it requires precision. Plymouth is our stalwart gin, but we don’t fuss over that. Equal parts sweet vermouth and Campari. It must be stirred to an icy extreme. Serve it up or on the rocks. As in all things sartorial, the secret lies in the proportions. You may add more gin to taste—but be gentle with the Campari. Like marmalade, Campari looks good but tends towards bitterness—add too much and the whole enterprise collapses.

When working in combination, the Negroni an example of balance at its finest, the perfect drink for the warming season.

1 part gin
1 part sweet vermouth
1 part Campari

Combine in a shaker with ice and stir until deeply cold. Serve up or over one large cube of ice with a slice of orange”

Is it Happy Hour yet?


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