Sunday, October 21, 2012

What's in a ceiling??

It's been a looooong week.  So loooong that it actually moved in to the weekend - complete with CATASTROPHE in the middle of the day Saturday - - but we'll get to that in a minute...

First - - let me introduce you to foreman Luke.  I mention him many times, but now you can put a name to the face.  Luke was our finish foreman on Phase I of the CMR and I'm thrilled to have him heading up this job.  He's got a level head, is focused on getting the job done in time - - and more importantly, he's a calming influence when things go sideways.  And, things ALWAYS go sideways.   Sometimes they even go CATASTROPHICALLY sideways.

Smiling Foreman Luke....

But before CATASTROPHE - let's move on to progress... Beautiful piece of steel now holding up our ceiling and, thankfully, our roof.  All the temporary posts are down and the room is now entirely open.  We are just a little in love with this beam.

Once the beam went up and the walls came down, Dan took the day and taped off where our stuff was going to be.  This is done for a couple of reasons - - one to make sure it's gonna fit in according to the plans (which it does - - at least as far as fitting on the floor is concerned - - and THIS is a little foreshadowing for the CATASTROPHE...).   Second, it allows us to lay out the lights and make sure they're all in the right place.  See two pieces of blue tape in center island?  Those indicate the placement of our pendants...

Center Island in blue tape.

The whole right side of the "tall" cabinet wall and the sink counter layout.  Window is till the old window....waiting  anxiously for new window!!

Stove nook with new wall framed behind it and blue tape layout of bottom cabinets.  Window  gone bye-bye.

This is the last and final view from this angle - - open view from kitchen in to dining room.  As of today, that view is gone.  Sidewall that abuts the closet is now framed.  Dining room door is taped closed again.  The final "palette" for the kitchen is finished in that corner.

Lots of electrical/gas/plumbing work has been happening over the past few days, and I'll get in there with the camera later - but, we've got outlets, we've got switches, we've got gas lines and we've got water.  Lot's of gots!  But now you're kind of bored and you're wondering about the "CATASTROPHE" aren't you?  OK, I'll alleviate your curiosity...

Many months ago we started this project.  The kitchen was measured by our architects - - or at least the floor dimensions were.  The architect sent a CAD file to our cabinet designer in NYC.  She then proceeded to design a very cool and efficient kitchen in that space.  There were several back and forths about getting an inch here  - or getting a half and inch there (hence the space we took from the dining room and guest room closets).  We were looking for wee inches every where we could.   We must have measured that room corner to corner no less than 20 times.  We did it with a measuring tape, we did it with lasers, I even once measured the dining room closet space with my sewing yard stick.  It. Was. Measured.  We were CERTAIN.

And guess what?  When it was all laid out in blue tape - - it all fits.  It looks great.  Our many measurements worked perfectly.  Or did it?  Not so fast...

Yesterday we got a beautiful package of installation instructions from Henrybuilt on the many intricate steps that my construction guys were going to need to take to get my big old bad johnny cabinets installed the perfect way.  They came to me by email in a PDF file with a negative 2 font - - so Luke went to Kinkos and arrived here this morning with a BIG GIANT copy of the plans.  We looked at the plans - - everything fit.  That is until Luke takes his measuring tape and does something I never did in all the times that kitchen was measured.  He measured the height.  He checked the plans and measured the height again.  He checked the plans and used a laser to measure the height again.  Cause, guess what friends???  It's all kinds of wrong.  All kinds of 6" shorter wrong.

This wouldn't be a big CATASTROPHE if I didn't have floor to ceiling cabinets all along one wall.  Floor. To.  Ceiling.  Or technically now, I've got floor to roof cabinets sitting some where in Seattle biding their time to be trucked down here to SF.  This is NOT GOOD.

Foreman Luke, who I mentioned is great at keeping me calm when things go sideways -- has repeated "don't worry, we'll work it out" about a dozen times.  So, I haven't completely come unglued.  I don't know who measured the height.  Was it our architects who then passed that info on to our kitchen designer? Was it our kitchen designer who just plugged in a number?  I haven't got a clue.  I know it wasn't me  - since I never measured - - but I suspect that the buck stops here since I suspect I should have.

Wrote panicked email to Kitchen Designer in NYC.  Kitchen Designer says DON'T panic.  They can fix it.  I'm not exactly panicked, but I suspect my wallet will be when the "don't panic" becomes of-course-we-can-fix-it-for-the-low-low-cost of a boat load of money.

Let's see what tomorrow brings.....

Monday, October 15, 2012

Blue Steel

The last time we worked on the CMR, we were living elsewhere.  Come to find out that because we weren't around all the time, we probably missed some interesting conversations among and between the construction crew.  Now, due to the configuration of our house, and the fact that I am here during the day, I get to hear LOTS of interesting conversation.  I get to hear some things that are probably best left un-heard.

For instance, last week the crew spent some considerable amount of time talking about how to creatively solve construction challenges.  Challenges like how to best keep to roof from caving in until the time that the supporting steel beam could be installed.  This particular conversation was peppered with a number of "well, that MIGHT work"s.  "Might would work???"  whaaaaat?

I have to say that when it's your roof that they're talking about - - and more specifically, your roof that has the potential for caving in - - the word "might" is cause for some retrospection.  I mean, honestly, it's not much of a confidence builder.   "Might" indicates that their end solution just may end up a "might NOT."  And having my roof fall in is not something I would be particularly pleased with.  I mentioned this to Foreman Luke - you know something along the lines of it would be easier on my nervous system if the crew could, you know, lie or something.  You know - - speak with absolutely confidence.  Foreman Luke laughed.  That didn't help me much.  The good news is that the roof is still where the roof is supposed to be.

And now on to progress....Our beautiful new steel was delivered last Thursday...

Steel coming off truck...

Unknown strong steel guy  in red sweatshirt - the beam weighs more than 300 pounds.  He carried the front end like it was nothing.  The guy with the big smile is Ian - one of our crew.  He is one of the guys that is fond of the word "might" :)  The steel came in through the front door and through the inner atrium.  It was too long to make the turn into the back door in the kitchen to bring it in from the back yard.

Second strong unnamed steel guy and another one of our crew members sporting his Giant's gear!

Big bold steel beam now laying on the floor of the kitchen-new ready to be prepped to hold the roof up.  All the vertical posts that you can see are temporary.  These will come down as soon as the steel is installed.

And so, while the steel beam took up a few days residence on the kitchen-new floor - other things got taken care of.  The window was removed and the fill-in construction to the wall began.  Eventually, we will never be able to tell that a window was there at all...

The diagonal beam is also helping to support the ceiling/roof 

A big piece of the back exterior wall got taken down.  There was a chimney like structure here that housed a now-obsolete heating chase.  It became obsolete when we replaced the forced air heating system to radiant heat during Phase I.  We were THRILLED when we found out that this could do, cause now our new 88" window can be centered over the kitchen counter.  A historical rumor was also put to rest.  We had heard that the house had originally been painted gray.  And, indeed, once some of the original wood siding was uncovered, you can see where it really was gray.

This is kind of a hard photo to take....  So work with me here.  See the door waaaaay to the right of the the right of the blue electrical box?  That is the actual door from the kitchen to the dining room.  See what looks like a door to the right of the enormous yellow level?  That is actually not a door.  It is a new large square shaped hole on the wall that is technically the inside of a dining room closet.  We are "stealing" some of the space in that closet to give us some extra room for our sexy and wonderful 30" miele fridge in the kitchen-new.  Eventually, that will be closed off again and the closet door will be reinstalled in the dining room.  Part of that closet has always housed the back of the fridge from kitchen-old - - we're just commandeering another several inches more of it for the new fridge.  I think we'll probably end up with just a tall thin area in the closet for shelving. But, honestly, even if it's just a closet door leading to no where - - that fridge is going to be SO worth it....

As of Friday last, the steel beam remained on the kitchen floor - - un-installed - - but there was loads of banging and sawing and swearing today - - so I'll have new photos soon showing the result of all of that.  Some of this had to do with with installation of the beam  - - other parts I think had to do with the fact that we trapped a skunk in our backyard over night and the construction crew had to work in very close proximity of a potentially dangerously smelly attack.  I gotta hand it to em though - - they kept at it even while keeping a very close eye on Pepe Le Pew.

Week three begins!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A little Blue. A little Gray

Colors are funny things.  You put them in different lights, against various walls, in small dabs or in large swaths and the same color can look vastly different.   But sometimes, no matter where you put them, it's simply that the colors are different.  Entirely different.  And that's not, generally speaking, a "good thing."
Couple o' weeks ago we were told by our cabinet makers exactly what condition the kitchen-new needed to be in to "receive" the cabinets.  You know - - what the walls are supposed to look like, whether or not the tile floor should be installed - - ya know, the optimum shell for the installation of the crowning glory of the kitchen - the cabinets.  We were told that the first coat of paint should be on the walls. 
There are designers out there that possess the enviable ability to look at both a small piece of cabinetry and a small sample of paint and declare those two things matchy-matchy "PERFECT!!!"  Me?  Not so much.  So, I asked the cabinet place to send me a bigger sample of the cabinets so I could have more color real estate to work with. They did my bidding and Monday the package containing the larger sample arrived.
I excitedly opened the fed-ex box greatly anticipating seeing a large color sample that matched perfectly the smaller sample that we made our color choice on.  Now, you knew that this wasn't going to be the case, didn't you?  What the @#$???  What originally looked bluish gray (and was indeed bluish gray) was now some other kind of bluish gray, but a more bluish than grayish bluish gray.  If you know what I mean. It just wasn't right.
So I grabbed my handy-dandy cell phone, took a photo and sent it to our designer.  She agreed that they weren't the same color.  I was happy to hear it, since if she had said it was the same color, I knew I had a bigger problem.  One that might require a doctor's care.  But she agreed that they were different.  What she couldn't say was why the smaller sample had the same "graphite" label on the back, since in her observation - - it wasn't "graphite" at all.  No kidding.
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Keep in mind that we are 3-4 weeks from cabinet delivery.  Said cabinets are being built in Seattle.  Or should I say have already mostly BEEN built in Seattle.  The fact that they had now been constructed in a color that was different than the sample was thought to be problematic.
The good news is that George and I actually liked the color.  What we didn't like was that we had already bought tile and granite to match the graphite-of-unknown-origin.  So, we checked the now more bluish-gray against the floor tile.  Check.  No worries there.  We hopped in the car and headed down to visit our granite at the granite store.  And, thank our lucky stars - - it's still a go.  Granite looked good with the more bluish-gray than grayish-blue.  Crisis averted.
I did mention to our kitchen designer that perhaps a good bottle of wine wrapped in Henrybuilt t-shirts would be a nice gesture since I didn't make them rebuilt a whole boat load of grayish blue furniture.  We'll see what happens :)
And just for grins and giggles this...

is our loaner fridge.  Even without handles and full of dings and scratches, I am slightly in love with it.  Just having to head out to the garage for milk and OJ is a VAST improvement to having to head to the back porch and getting it out of an outdoor side-by-side.
In other news, Howard the Electrician, was here on Monday to do his stuff.  The upstairs electrical panel is now magically down stairs in the basement.  I would like to report that Howard did all this in a day, made sure that we mostly had electricity in the other parts of the house while he did it... and most importantly restored electricity to the parts of the house that didn't have power over the last week.  George the Older no longer looks like a homeless person going to work (he reports that shaving in the dark is dangerous) and I no longer need a flashlight to take out my contacts.  Hazzah!!

See these nice big boxes?  I call them Thing 1 and Thing 2. ...
Thing 1 on the left is our floor tile.  It arrived mysteriously in the garage on Monday.  I didn't hear it come - - but that could be a result of the loud pounding and sawing and knocking of continued deconstruction.  Thing 2 arrived on Friday late and it is George the Elder's Baby in that box.  His coveted and long awaited La Canche oven arrived.  All the way from France, via a way stop in Seattle and finally to our garage.  He is so excited that you'd think we had adopted another child or something.  He saw one of these several years ago on display at Harrods and has not-so-secretly pined away for one ever since.  His dream made reality right there in a big wooden crate.
As per the instructions, today I opened the crate.  Do you know that they use screws that are nearly 7 feet long to hold that thing together?  And you need to use a little ratchet thingy, not a regular screw driver.  This took me a bit to figure out.  Tried every screw head in  my wee box of electric screwdriver screw heads.  Nothing fit.  I moved on to ratchets that look like screw drivers and voila!  a fit.  But the tiny ratchet head would only fit on a tiny rachet and since I could locate an adapter to make the tiny head fit to a larger base part, I just went to town using the tiny contraption.  Then all the while I was using the tiny ratchet to unscrew the 20 seven foot long screws - -  I was thinking that I could make a fortune by inventing an electric ratchet gadget - - you know, like an electric screw driver - - but for ratchets.  With an adaptor directly attached to it to ensure there was never a problem with little heads and big heads.  I was going to make a fortune.  I told George the Elder this when I texted him a photo of his new child once I got it open about 40 minutes later.  He informed me that there already was such a thing - - and yes, of course, we own one.  Who knew?  Apparently I didn't...

I am leaving Miss La Canche just like this for now.  No dents or scratches that I can see, but I have NO INTENTION  of removing the plastic sheeting or any of the protective cardboard until they haul this big girl up to the kitchen to her final resting place.  She weighs 600 pounds and I suspect it's going to take more than a little wrangling to get her up there.  Protection will be the key.  That, and perhaps a small crane?

And so, here we are mid-week of week 2.  Steel comes on Friday and then we are good to frame.  Bring on the steel....

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Brand New View

Hello Phase II followers!  Suffice to say that if life didn't continue to get in the way, I'd get these photos posted on time!  These photos were taken Friday morning before a little more work commenced in time for the weekend. 
All in all I dub it a "good" week of construction.
  • Lots of demolition completed! 
  • Separating wall between kitchen-old and weird closet hallway is nearly gone.
  • The space is really opening up and we are jazzed!
  • Discovered need to put a supporting beam length-wise in the ceiling to hold up the ceiling and keep the roof from caving in on our kitchen-new.  We thought that the ceiling had been reinforced during Phase I, but is wasn't.   The necessary strength of the beam determined by our engineers meant that the thickness of the beam made of wood would result in either tearing up the roof above, or creating a bump out in to the ceiling below.  Neither of those choices was highly appealing, so we decided to go with steel.  The steel can be thinner, so it will fit in the space without protruding out either above or below.  More expensive in the short run, but more visually appealing in the long run.  Steel will come on Friday... hurrah!
  • Turning off of electricity in the kitchen meant no lights in many parts of the upstairs living areas.  This was not too terribly inconvenient except at 4:00 in the morning Sunday when I had to get ready in the pitch dark to take H to a volleyball tournament in Sacramento.  There was a definite "camping" feel to washing up by flashlight!  I hate camping.
  • Fridge on back porch was a little hinky.  But, on Wednesday I ordered a new fridge for the basement that we had been meaning to get eventually.  "Eventually" has a habit of becoming "immediately" during construction, doesn't it?  The fridge we had our heart set on is going to take 5 weeks to deliver - - but the very nice appliance place brought over a loaner-fridge for us to use during the duration.  Who knew?  A loaner-fridge??  It's no beauty, but it keeps things cold and means we don't have to go through 2 zippered doors and on to the back patio to get milk.  Works for me.
And now for the pictures....
Taken facing the atrium.  The wall that used to separate the weird little hallway from the kitchen is now nearly completely gone.  The new wood post holds up the ceiling until the steel arrives on Friday.

Taken from the top of the small stairway towards the swinging door leading to the dining room.

View from standing in the atrium doorway.  Cannot believe how much difference the removal of the separating wall and existing closets in the hallway makes!  It's gonna be a much bigger room now!!  There is also an additional support right by the shop vac that will help hold the ceiling up while the rest of the old wall (slightly to the left) is removed today.  That old wall still holds the electrical box for the kitchen-old. 

Note the "door leading to nowhere" beside the ladder against the wall.  This is the closet door in the guest bedroom above.  We're stealing that closet space for the kitchen!!  The stove will go here instead!
This is the "brand new view" never before seen in captivity.  I am standing where the stairs used to be - - before Phase I was completed, and before the removal of the wall in Phase II.  This is what my view will be from the stove when all is done.  Amazing!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

30 minutes to 7 Days

I willingly and publicly admit I have a real Jones for watching HGTV.  Love it or Leave it, Kitchen Crashers, those sexy brothers that sell and renovate - the whole lot of them.  It's like real estate candy. Amazing spaces get planned out,  on staggeringly small budgets in exactly 30 time elapsed minutes.  

I'm no fool.  I realize that amazing renovations do not really happen in 30 minutes.  EVERYONE knows that they need an entire week to build a new house on Extreme Makers - -so clearly the real time is somewhere between 30 minutes and seven days (hardy har har har).  I do spend some relatively large chunks of  time completely stone cold  baffled by how the folks on those shows can do an entire down-to-the-stud house renovation for less than $5000.  The only logical explanation is that in TV land things are just a whole lot cheaper.  Like 1959-roll-back-prices cheaper.  I think we will have spent $5000 for the privilege of simply thinking about renovating our kitchen.  Just thinking is expensive in SF.  I wanna move to TV land in 1959.

HGTV also doesn't spend much time highlighting the consequences of construction in your home while you remain in your home.   During CMR Phase I we moved out - - kind of hard to live in the house when it's suspended on steel beams while big diggers dig big holes underneath said suspended home.  I came over every few days to be amazed by what was going on.  Following my awe and wonderment, I would brush the dust off my shoes, hop back in the car, occasionally stop and grab a starbucks and then return to our comfy clean and plaster dust free little rental digs.  The dust and dirt stayed behind.  Honestly?  Right now, I'm feeling so, so, so, so very nostalgic for those days.

Living with dust, not to mention a new daily routine with two teenagers, that currently requires going outside the physical house to fetch the milk for cereal - - makes me a tad uneasy.  I know this about myself and I thank my lucky stars that George the Elder knows this about me too.  I change things often in my life, but those first few weeks of  new house, or a new country or a new morning routine - - are not when I would be considered "most adaptable."  I get a little cranky.  I can be not-so-nice to husbands, short with children, and down right nasty to drivers who get in my G.D way.  Just saying.   I nearly burst into tears last night twice lamenting my sad, sad lot of plastic doors and refrigerators currently on the back porch, no lights in most of the upstairs rooms, and some other minor thorns in my paws.  And while George the Elder may be secretly thinking "quit your whining little Miss-gonna -get-a-new-kitchen brat" - he just pats me on the knee and tells me that all will be well in a week when this all starts to feel more "normal."  He's sweet, but  I struggle with accepting it will be "well" - especially in light of having to remove my contact lens last night while George the Elder illuminates the bathroom with a flashlight.  Hell, last night I dreamed that local SF zoo animals had somehow escaped their confines and were gathering in my backyard.  Oh, and these various zoo creatures?  They. were.  ON.  FIRE.   Hmmm,  a gorilla, a bear, a lion, and what might just have been a tapir or a Bhutanese takin, were all gathering about my back door like an angry mob growling and aflame.  Growling and aflame. 

These are some things that I need to get used to:

Body Bag Doors:

These are my plastic body-bag doors.  They don't show these on HGTV.   They don't show them for good reason.   Every time that zipper goes up and down I get the willies.  It's a morgue sound if there every was one...


These are shots of my temporary kitchen-in-the-laundry-room dealy.  It's a tight set-up.  Counter space is  - - none.  To try to achieve a zen state, I try to imagine myself preparing a delicious meal in a darling Un Petite Apartment in Paris - - that would be romantic, wouldn't it?  It is a little challenging when the dryer is running and the smell of boy-socks threaten to overtake the room  - "all will be well", yes?

Exterior Refrigeration:

Remember the photo from yesterday that showed the fridge in the wrong place in the kitchen?  That very same fridge was "supposed" to be eventually moved downstairs to the garage to sustain us through the long cold dark months of kitchen renovation. (Can you hear the sad sappy music in the background???).  Except, tragically, we realized that there was no way on this god's green earth that that fridge was going down any stairs to any basement at any time.  Hence, it is now sitting on the back porch.  On the other side of the very plaster dusty kitchen-old.

I have a great photo of George the Elder last night in the dark getting something out of our exterior fridge that I still need to post up here.  OK he wasn't honestly getting anything out of the fridge at that time, but I coerced him open it just to get his photo taken cause it's just kinda weird (and oddly red-necky) that we have a frickin' old side-by-side on our back porch.  When we attempted to plug in our porch-sitting-fridge it ended up blowing a fuse and had to be plugged in through the kitchen window.  Classic.

General Dust:

There are no actual up close microscopic photos of the dust.  When you look at all the photos, simply imagine that everything is covered with a fine silt-like dust.  That will suffice.  Dust is the devil's snow - - and it's blizzarding here at my house!

And last the photos of the action for morning Day 4:

All the plaster got swept up and carted out to the back porch.  Now we have invisi-walls!

Exposed wiring needs to be addressed - - sadly, this was one of those unanticipated consequences ...when they turn the electricity off to deal with the kitchen wiring - - it affects the power in our bedroom and bathroom.  Hence the need for a flashlight to remove contacts!

Ceiling all gone too!  Guy on ladder is wielding a big sharp saw.  Time to take down some ancillary wood.

View from the Fridge... heh heh heh.

See the "newer" looking wood post?  This will hold up the ceiling while we work through one of the first "issues" - - sounds like we're going to need to put a little steel beam in our kitchen-new.  Update tomorrow.

Kitchen-old is now a pile of  kitchen pieces!  

I'm off to bed now.  May my zoo animals be less smoldering and ablaze....

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hammer Time

So, Monday came and went.  George came home from work and remarked that not much had been accomplished.  Visually, he was correct.  Not much had been accomplished as far as the eye could see.
Foreman Luke spent the better part of the day reviewing the plans and making notes and coming up with the ultimate game plan so that kitchen-new would replace kitchen-old in a timely fashion.  I spent the better part of Monday trying to improve on my laundry/kitchen organization, fantasizing on what I was going to make for dinner in my new convection oven and teeny-weeny portable cook-top.  Shockingly, we ended up eating pizza for dinner.  True dat.  Sometimes fantasy is just fantasy.  Actual implementation is hard and requires action.  Given the 90 degree heat there was no action.  I'd like to believe that at some point I will be able to crank out a nutritious meal for my family in that space I've carved out.  I'd also like to believe that Pluto is still a planet.
We did however get insulated and protected on Monday.  Big zippered plastic doors are now installed at every orifice that connects the kitchen to the rest of the house.  These doors are "technically" supposed to be helpful in keeping the dust and debris out of the living space.  We'll see how that pans out.  What's really bizarre about these little doors is that even with the zipper open you still need to push through a bit to get to the other side while stepping gingerly through the opening one foot at a time.  So far this transition between rooms has been described as a "birthing experience" and a "body-bag" experience.  It's a little unnerving to tell you the truth.  There's something just plain hinky about it.
With kitchen-new as the objective, I'm going to attempt not to whine and complain about how this is going to affect my everyday life.  I mean honestly.  I'm going to end up with a brandy spankin new wonder kitchen.  This should be enough to encourage me to endure the bad on the way to the good.  I would like to illustrate how flawlessly I will adhere to my attempts not to whine and complain.  Yes, I am immediately going to whine and complain.
Let's focus for just a moment on logistics.  Specifically, the simple act of getting from one place to another.  See the thing about our house is that in order to get to the lower level of the house where most things are from the upper level of the house where there other most things are - - you need to use the stairs in the kitchen.  During the work day the kitchen is a war zone, so there is no chance that you are going to walk down those stairs.  Option 2 is that you must exit the house through the front door, walk around the house to the garage, use your key to get in the garage (since the garage doors are not electric or automated) and then enter the downstairs through the door in the garage.  Yesterday I did it about seven thousand times.  It stands to reason that I will eventually get the hang of making a list of things I need to do downstairs and the things I need to do upstairs and then coordinate those in to a handful of level changes during any one day.  I'll let you know when that happens.  Don't bet too much on that pony.  You'd loose the farm.
And now - - what  happened yesterday in the SF bajillion degree heat.  A BOAT LOAD!  I left yesterday morning at 7:45a.m. and returned at 1:00 p.m.  During those hours THIS had happened:

For reference, please note location of fridge for later....

From 1:00 until 4:00, while I was walking around the house, up and down, lamenting that when I was downstairs I needed something critically upstairs and when I was upstairs I so very badly needed something downstairs - - THIS is what happened:

Holy Tasmanian devil batman!  I had heard that the demo part was the fast part.  Pictures do not lie.  Gone was everything.  And in it's place were BIG piles of kitchen shrapnel in the back yard and big piles of dry wall on the inside.  Amazing.  I was kinda hoping that I would have been able to work out a bit of my frustration wielding a sledge hammer of my own - - but that was not to be.  I will have to live vicariously through the swings of my contractors.  Guess I can manage that.

And now the teaser - - In to every life a little rain must fall, and Tuesday brought the first of many chin scratching, what do we do now moments during construction.  Tomorrow we will cover such fascinating topics as: What happens when the fridge cannot be moved the basement as planned? and The joys, pros and cons of outdoor refrigeration.

Here we go AGAIN!

(Beginning Note:  Sorry for the delay, kind observers.  Turns out that for some reason my blog does not like to upload photos directly from my computer.  Tried a bunch of things, thought about a link to smugmug, but then realized that I could download them from Picasa - which means I first need to upload them to Picasa.  Alas...But now on with the show...)
Monday morning dawned bright and sunny and hot.  And when I say "hot" - what I mean is unnaturally warm for October and for SF in general.  It was beach-hot - - like 90 hot.  An auspicious beginning to CMR (Cool mid century Remodel) Phase II.
Phase II will be the kitchen.  A very cool and nifty kitchen it will be (I hope)!  They say this will take 10 weeks.  Having just lived through CMR Phase I, I am not putting any money on it.  Stupid is as stupid does.  I've promised to hit my foreman with a large stick if it isn't ready for Christmas, but I don't think he's too terribly afraid of me.
In order to start Phase II, I spent last weekend moving all the stuff out of the old kitchen.  In my imagination, this seemed like a fairly easy thing to do.  I will now remind my readers that sometimes I completely underestimate the easy-ness of things.  This kitchen clean out was no exception.
In my dream world, I was going to do this in a couple of hours.  I mean, really...  What's there to do but pack up some boxes of all the crap that you DON'T NEED for the next couple o' months, and move all the crap that you WILL need for the next couple o' months down to the laundry room where I planned on setting up kitchen-shop for the duration.
In fact, that's all you really need to do.  The reality of that is while you move crap from one place to another place you must make room for the crap you are moving where other crap already exists.  It's exhausting.  One minute you're just trying to figure out where to put the saran wrap and moments later you are up to your elbows reconfiguring the linen closet which never entered your dream world of just sticking the saran wrap somewhere.
In the end, Sunday night closed with the old kitchen completely devoid of anything that wasn't going to end up in a dumpster.  These pictures are the last ones taken of kitchen-old....

Nice wall.  Soon will be no-wall!

bye-bye white plastic covered cabinets, ugly cook top and speckled granite...

Think I'll miss this band-aid colored sink?  Me thinks not!!

And what about that laminate wood floor?  Bu-bye to you!  (although there is something kind of interesting about computer generate wood-grain embossed on non-wood product that ends up looking kind of like wood, but not)

See you in the dumpster white plastic windows.  Your wood replacements are going to be gor-gee-ous!

Come on demo crew - - time to do your stuff!!!