The Push

Holy cow guys! It’s JUNE.

I don’t know about you, but I think this spring flew by and I’m feeling unprepared for all the things we have planned for this summer. AJ’s parents arrive in Ketchikan in less than a month and we still have SO MUCH to do before they get here. Here’s a ‘lil update on the house front:



We spent the better part of a weekend upstairs getting rooms ready for the family visit. I think I mentioned a few times that the bedrooms upstairs had no doors and the walls didn’t go all the way up to the top of the arch. That’s all fine and dandy with just AJ, the dogs, and me but with company coming to stay for 3 weeks I think we’re going to need some privacy… And some times our dogs are A-holes and bark at random things (I’m looking at you Bernie) so it would be good to have a door to close them in with us at night.

Right, on with it.

The doorways to the bedrooms were 50″ wide which is way too wide for anything but a custom door and lets face it, custom ANYTHING is out of our budget. I scoured the internet for doors, looking at big box stores first. I knew to save money we would need to find doors in Seattle and have AML ship them up to us (this is standard for almost every large thing we need.) I was unimpressed, to say the least, with everything Lowes and Home Depot had to offer so I googled “door stores Seattle” and came up with this. Frank Lumber, the door store. Well that sounds promising… And it was. For the same price as molded MDF doors at the big box I could get solid hemlock paint grade doors from good ole Frank.

shut up

We ordered 3 – 5 panel doors one each for the bedroom doors and one for the powder room. They came to us in perfect condition and although they are labeled as “paint grade” I think we could stain them and they would look beautiful. I’m not sure but I think I will end up painting them (there is already SO MUCH wood in the house.)

So… to get ready for the doors we needed to frame in the 50″ openings to have a tight fit for the 35.5″ door and frame. On the guest bedroom we needed to frame one side in 14.5″. This door is not centered on the arch due to the powder room so we chose to frame it in as close to the center as possible.


I measured twice and cut the framing pieces and AJ and I screwed them together and put it in place. I love these team work projects. We’re pretty good at working together to figure out how to do things we’ve never done before (like frame walls, hang doors, drywall…OK all house renovations.)


We made it all level then screwed it into the adjacent framing and the floor. After it was secure we hauled the door up over the railing. We should really get a picture of that some day so you all know our pain. Spiral stairs = nearly impossible to get things to the second floor. I didn’t get any pics of us actually hanging the door. We needed all our hands (and then some) to shim and level and screw the door into place but here’s a pic of me holding it in place and here it is installed.



BOOM! Door.

We did the same to the room we currently sleep in and now all I do is lay around and bask in all the privacy I’ve created.


A Work In Progress

Well, it’s been a while and a half since my last blog post. It’s not because we haven’t done anything. We’ve been doing things. Nonstop. We just haven’t FINISHED anything.

So…What have we been doing you ask?

In life:

1) I signed up for, training for, and ran a 1/2 marathon. I haven’t run one in 5 years and I needed a challenge. My two gal friends (both named Ali) and I had been putting in the miles 4 days a week. Puppy Bernie gets the miles in with us (it’s amazing the difference in his behavior after a good long run.) That took up a good chunk of weekday and weekend time since our long runs were pushing 11 miles and 2-ish hours but it all paid off. I got a personal record time of 2:05! I beat my goal time by 11 min AND I beat my previous 1/2 marathon time by 25 FREAKING MINUTES.


2) I volunteered with an organisation called “Girls on the Run” 2 days a week after work. This program is really great. We teach elementary school girls about self esteem, making good choices, and staying positive all while helping them train for a 5K run. Our 5K was last weekend and it was full of glitter hair spray, face paint, and girls running!


3) GOT (Game of Thrones) is back on TV everybody! Hooray!!!!! We have a viewing pot luck at our house every Sunday night so that means I have to have the house “company ready” every weekend. So on top of working on the house and cleaning up construction debris, I also still have to do the dailies like dishes, laundry, vacuuming. This boat house is pretty large and it is time consuming to keep clean.


On the house front:

1) We’re working on the upstairs spare bedroom and 1/2 bath right now. We removed the paneling and the drywall on the exterior wall. There was some carpenter ant damage in the corner of the room and we wanted to be sure that the end wall wasn’t affected. Luckily it was just fine and we didn’t have to do anything but re-drywall. That being said, cutting drywall to match the curve of the roof is NOT EASY.


We kept a piece of the paneling to use as a template but it was still a challenge to fit all the pieces together. Right now, all the drywall is back up an we’re just starting the taping and mudding. I’ve decided demo is my favorite part of renovation. It’s so easy and rewarding.

Tearing down = easy, building back= hard. Good thing Lindsey and Cole stopped by to help us get the big pieces up.


One the other side of the room some major work has been started. The walls between the bedroom and upstairs landing were not framed all the way to the crest of the arch. I know the old man left the tops open for air flow but I’m the type that want’s a little more privacy than a partial wall provides. We knew walling them up without some type of vent would make for some stuffy, potentially moldy bedrooms so I got to work on a solution. We framed up the cavity and left a square opening at the top that I will cover with a perforated metal sheet that I bought off of Amazon.



When I started pulling back the dark paneling I found drywall underneath!


Anyway, I just ordered bedroom doors and we need to re-frame the doorway (it is 4′ wide right now and we want to keep it simple with 3′ doors because a 4′ door would be special order), finish all the drywall, paint, and put up the vent and we have about 1 month to get it all done. No sweat right?

Well, actually, a lot of sweat…and time…way more time than I thought but isn’t that how it alway goes?

2) The 1/2 bath. This one gets me EXCITED. Also in the spare room and simultaneously being picked away at is the cute little 1/2 bath upstairs.



We ripped out all the old fixtures (wax ring on the toilet=nastiest thing in the WHOLE WORLD. I win wife of the year for that one) and paneling and then ripped out all the old drywall for good measure. We wanted to insulate the walls for soundproofing because…toilets… and since we were already on the drywall train we might as well start over from scratch. We purchased a new toilet and sink and as I mentioned here, I cut all the pieces for the special patterned floor and wall and prepped the room for installation.


AJ made an awesome vanity top for the sink. I wanted a floating vanity so it wouldn’t hid too much of the patterned wall behind. We found some wood sitting outside under the shed roof by the bathroom and AJ glued 3 pieces together to make one slab.


So here you have it. PROGRESS!

Sorry for the super long post. I guess that’s what happens after a multiple month hiatus. More things are happening and I’ll update you on all that in shorter posts.

Things…they are a happenin ova here.