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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National Rebuilding Day, this Saturday, April 30th

Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley is celebrating their 20th anniversary this year. Chances are, you’ve probably never heard of them…or have you? In 2000, Rebuilding Together changed their name from ‘Christmas in April’, a familiar name to the thousands that have volunteered with us in the past. If you’re a home improvement do-it-yourself-er, then you’ve probably noticed that Rebuilding Together is the non-profit of choice for HGTV and the DIY Network channels. Yes, that was Morgan Freeman narrating! Have you been to a Sears department store lately? If you have, then you probably seen information about, Heroes at Home, our joint partnership to provide home repairs and accessibility modifications to military service members, veterans and their families. If you failed to recognize us from all of these, all you had to do is drive around on April 30th and you may have noticed a swarm of volunteers working on one of over 50 houses in Santa Clara County and nearly 10,000 houses nationwide through other Rebuilding Together affiliates. If you are not impressed yet…

Rebuilding Together is the nation’s largest non-profit that assists elderly and/or disabled homeowners with much needed home accessibility modifications, while there they may paint your house, remove debris that has been accumulating, or lend a hand with much needed deferred maintenance repairs. As impressive as our credentials may be, the highlight of our work is that every grab bar we install, and every leak we fix, and every hand-written ‘Thank You’ letter we receive is all because of our amazing Volunteers and Sponsors. Our house work is on hold for the next few days while we take the time to give a few moments of our time…

To learn more about Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley, visit us at http://www.rtsv.org or call us at 408-578-9519.

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I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot range model air rifle!

“My aunt that we are staying with while we are fixing the house just bought a camera and I’m completely jealous! All of the great house blogs use better cameras. If the blog is gonna ever go to the next level, then I MUST have a new camera. No seriously Dana, this had to happen.”….is what I plan to tell my wife. Haha, just kidding honey! But if you find $1500.00 in loose change in the sofa, here’s what I want.

Actually, wrong clip…it actually the Nikon D7000. Its a very humble camera, see:

Right now, work on the house is moving real slowly. Lots of small things, and medium-sized things, oh and large-sized things suddenly creeped up before sheetrock goes on. Oh well. Hopefully next week.

In the meantime, enjoy another pic of our impromptu photo session with my aunt’s super awesome new camera. I’m still jealous.

I can take these all day long with my new camera...hint.


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Fiberglass & Frolicking

After the past Easter weekend with the family and some staged frolicking with my wife, it was back to business on the house this week. Monday was completely shot due to elimination hockey where my beloved San Jose Sharks came out victorious and  moved on to the next round in the playoffs…WOO-HOO!!!

So it was back to work Tuesday night where I needed to get insulation on the walls if I plan to keep to the schedule. After a few hours of post-work work, insulation is all up. 80% of the strips needed to be cut because none of the studs were equally placed…errrrr! A couple more days of some final clean-up and hopefully sheetrock goes up next week.

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Innapropriate content: Please do not open

Easter weekend is here and between all of the family visits and tons of food, probably not a lot will be done. I’ve decided to embrace this and start this weekend with a little humor. For those that didn’t heed my warning…enjoy the Peeps show. Sorry, but this was so creative I couldn’t refrain from posting. New house posts resume next Monday!!!

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