20 July 2010

I'm Not Gonna Cry!

We're slated to move back into our newly remodeled cottage on Saturday.  Our lease was up and we had to move out of the home we've been renting for the past 11 months, last week.  We were lucky enough that our dentist took mercy on us and let us rent the apartment above his office for a week.  His office is a beautiful Craftsman house converted into a dental office on the first floor and a vacation rental on the second.  The apartment is really cute and has been a fun place to take refuge in this storm.  Funny thing is, it's directly across the street from the old rental.  DIRECTLY.  Our old number was 432 and this one is 431.  Our view is our old house.  Odd.  But, if anyone ever wants to vacation in a very cool beach town, let me know and I'll hook you up.  This place has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and an office with a double sized Murphy Bed.  It's close to all the shops, restaurants and  the Design District.  Not to mention a walk away from some great beaches and surf spots.  More on that later.  Here's my current state of affairs.

My reality.

This Saturday is our move in date.  This is what our front courtyard looked like yesterday. Never mind getting to the front door, the painting isn't done, stairs aren't done, all the tile isn't in, appliances aren't installed, wires aren't pulled through so we can cam them and shed a little light.  The front yard is obviously not done and the back yard looks much the same. The downstairs bedroom carpet hasn't even arrived yet.  It's on a truck somewhere between Georgia and here.  None of the hardware is affixed and the door knobs, including the front door and lock are also on a truck somewhere, supposedly on their way here.  I'm not gonna cry - I'm not gonna cry - I'm not gonna cry.

What is done are, all the trenches for drainage.  Fences have been moved back on the property line to be where they originally should have been, making our yard a bit bigger.  At the beach you need to claim as much space as possible, being most yards are tiny.  The wood floors are all in, the granite and marble is installed and looks beautiful.  The paint is almost done and the showers are tiled if not grouted and bathroom floors are in and tiled.  Oh and hey, we even have a garage door even though it's not painted yet.

So please, if you're the praying kind, send one up for me.  If you aren't just wish me luck.  I'm gonna need a lot of both.  It wouldn't be so bad if we could just stay where we are for the extra days it will take to get our act together but, this place is already spoken for starting Friday.  Can you say, "Homeless?" I'm not gonna cry, I'm not gonna -- whaaaa, whaaaa, gulp, whaaa.

  Lest you feel too badly for me, here is the adorable rental we get to live in until Friday.  It is all light and bright with lovely furniture and all the comforts of home.  This is the little kitchen, dining area.

The Master Bedroom is fresh and comfy and the French doors lead out to a wonderful balcony which makes you feel like you're in a treetop.  There are two fantastic lounge chairs out there in which I would be lounging if only I had the time.  The balcony looks right over to the place we've been living for the past 10 months since our remodel began.  Weird.
Why, hello formal rental.  Do you miss us?

This is where my daughter sleeps.  Not bad huh?  The kind woman who rented this to us is an interior designer.  I wish I could get her to come do something with my cottage.  I love the blinds here.  Very beachy.

This is the kitchen I've been whipping up our meals in.  It looks very similar to the kitchen I'm supposed to move into on Saturday at the cottage.  It looks like a model home doesn't it?  Mine will look like that for about 5 minutes; until my kids get in there to make snacks I start doing my magic and cooking up a storm Of course getting the appliances into the newly remodeled cottage will be a big improvement.  Wait a minute, let me rethink this.  No appliances = no cooking.  Okay, maybe I won't push for the appliances.  But toilets and showers would be a nice touch.  Did I tell you how hard remodeling is on a marriage?  I'm pretty sure I mentioned it in this post here.

I know my new home will be beautiful.  I know it will be worth it in the end!  I know how blessed I am to even have this opportunity in the first place.  I just don't know where I'll be living come Saturday.  I don't know when our cottage will be livable enough to move in.  I'm not gonna cry, I'm not gonna cry.  I want my mommy!!!

I sat on the balcony of our temporary home last night and photographed the sunset.  It is hopeful.  It proves that life goes on and if the sun comes up, it will go down, and then it will come back up again.  Tomorrow is another day and each day brings us closer to our dream.  Until then, I don't know how frequent my posts will be.  My heart is a wee bit heavy and I promised you that this blog would be upbeat.  So here my loveys, my family, my friends, are the rest of the sunset pics, taken just for you.  I want to end on a high note and until I'm back feel free to check out my archives.  That way when you see the cottage all finished you'll see how far we've come!

Love you more than all the craziness in my life right now.  Man I must love you guys a lot.



12 July 2010

You Haven't Seen The Best Of Me Yet

Hey Sweets.  Still here, I am.  Come sneak away with me and I'll give you a what's up tour this morning.

I woke up vewy vewy early this morning.  I wanted to get over to the cottage just after sunrise but before any of the construction crew got there.  It's still pretty rough around the edges but, if you're rweely, rweely quite so we don't wake the neighbors, I'll give you a mini tour.  I opened the top of the front door for you just because, I don't know if I had mentioned that it's a Dutch Door.  I love, love, love, Dutch Doors.  We get the sea breeze from the West so that fresh, salty air will be able to flow right through my whole house now {grin from ear to ear.}

The foyer is so light and bright with most of the paper off the windows now.  Isn't the transom above the door wonderful?  If you turn left in this foyer there are French Doors leading into my studio.  There is also a transom above those doors making for much natural light for my painting and creating!

Soon the windows will be sparkling clean with all the stickers and so forth removed.  This is the master bedroom guys.  I can't wait to make a cushion and some big, fluffy, down pillows for my window seat.  Isn't the ceiling beautiful?  It's painted in a high gloss white and will reflect all the colors around it.  So clean and simple looking.  Relaxing, just as a bedroom should be, and man do I need me some relaxing.

It's difficult to tell in this photo but, all the nursery yellow has been annihilated from my house.  It now hums melodious in a Dunn and Edwards, Birch.  It's just another of the 27,000,000 various shades of white one has to choose from but, you can see how prettily it stands out from the more white-white, on all the trim.  For those of you who remember, they first painted the main walls of the entry, great room and kitchen, nursery yellow.  Yep, you heard that correctly.  BIG, really, really BIG mistake.  There were tears, there was gnawing and gnashing and there may have been a little cursing.  Mostly just tears.  And tears work on painters almost every time.  They just kinda stand back with sprayer in hand, nursery yellow paint all over their little white scull caps and mouth guards. And look at you in dismay.  They look bewildered and frightened, kind of like a deer in the headlights, faced with a grown woman sobbing like an infant child.  Whaaa, whaaa, whaaaaaaaaa (hiccup) whaaa.  Then when you come back the next day, after your husband has made numerous phone calls and said unthinkable bad words just like magic, 'Birch' adorns the walls of your newly painted cottage and all is right with the world.  Painters are a species who forgive easily if you make them cookies.  I forgive easily if you don't make me live with nursery yellow.  Score: 1 - 1

My son Cooper is off living the idyllic life of a camp counselor in New Hampshire this summer.  Cooper wanted his room to have a grey tone to it.  I'm not sure why, he doesn't even live in his room most of the time now that he is a University student and lives away.  But, I've never been able to deny him anything, have you seen this face?   So, Cooper's new room color is called "Crystal Haze".  Looks kind of like the color of his Freshman dorm.  Just kidding Coop, the picture doesn't do it justice.  It's very groovy, you'll love it.

Every boy should spend at least one summer working as a camp counselor for nine, ten year old boys.  It helps them better understand what a mom and dad's job is like on a day to day basis.  A young man can have an ephinay of revelation and a new found appreciation for his mommy when he is away being "dad" to boys at camp.  "Oh dear God, I thank thee for divine retribution.  Amen."

 The island now has a slab of Calacatta honed marble.  It came from a quarry in Italy and was processed there as well.  I am imagining many happy hours of rolling out dough and cutting out Christmas stars and angels on this island.

This is our new granite.  It's called Verde Italia (also processed in Italy) and has what is called a satin finish.  If you haven't seen the satin finish yet, do try to get a peek.  It doesn't have the very shiny look you usually see granite finished in.  This is more subtle and understated with a blue, grey, green tint to the rock.  I think it's beauteous and I can't wait to clean it up and cook on it!  Someone should come hit me over the head with a bowling pin.  I've just stated publicly that I can't wait to bake and clean and cook.

In this photo you can see the finish on the granite a little better but, here also, is where dreams come true.  Yep.  A farmhouse sink.  I've always, always wanted a farmhouse sink.  Always is a long time and I'm old now so I should know.  You can fit any size pot or pan in this sink.  It looks awesome with sleek lines and rounded corners.

Its been around since 1897 so it has to be good, right?  I wish this sink would have lived in my kitchen when my babies were little.  I often bathed them in the kitchen sink.  There they got to be part of all the goings on in the kitchen (the heart of the home).  While I was on kitchen duty my babies splashed and made watery, bubbly messes everywhere.  I blissfully listened to their laughter and squeals and giggles while my babies got clean.  Now that I have this awesome, super sized sink do you think they'll let me give them a tubby in there?  Yeah?  Nope, I think not.  But,  it's never to late.   I have some grand babies and I sure know a dog or two that I can out run who may get to have the pleasure!  Ready, Set, Run.......

Can you guess what this is?  There's no prize, I don't know how to pull off that maneuver yet.  I've been too busy remodeling my cottage to accustom myself on how to do real giveaways and such on this blog.

Remember when your kids asked you, "What will you give me if I take out the trash?"  And your reply was, "The knowledge that you did a good thing for someone and did a good job doing it!"  Well, you get the picture.  So, again I ask you, what is the stuff pictured just above?

It's grout caulk color strips.  They are done laying tile in the rooms that are getting tile on the floor, so we picked all the grout colors last week. You get to choose from all these samples.  Yippee!  More choices! We chose to keep our tile set close together, with very small grout lines.  I think it's a cleaner look. Then we choose grout which wasn't too dark or too light.  Something that just faded into the colors of the tile.  We laid tile in the bathrooms, and the laundry room.  It's all covered up with paper to protect it from the rest of construction at the moment but, I've taken a peek and it looks great!

We have to go back outside now because the sun is coming up and the crew will be here to work soon.
Here's the new garage door.  It is primered and will soon have a coat of bright, white paint to match the trim of the house.  Oh!  And a splash of bronze hardware.

Someone, (thank you John),  even hung my mailbox back up on the house.  I think I've come full circle!  Unfortunately I think it will mostly be full of bills for a long time to come.  On a happier note, for those of you who guessed correctly what grout chalk was, come with me now.  Your virtual prize is a trip to Claire's on Cedros.  She is just about to open her restaurant and if we're quick we'll get the first chocolate croissants out of the oven!

Early morning at Claire's.  Everything is freshly baked every day with organic, whole food ingredients.  The staff here are the most gracious, happy people you'll ever meet.  They make dining here a little slice of Heaven.  I bring all my favorite friends here for treats.  They also serve the best breakfast or lunch in town.

You can eat inside or outside and if you eat out on the patio your pups are welcome!  MMM, that chocolate croissant is about to melt in my mouth, so we're off and I'll write more about the awesomeness that is Claire's another time because once definitely won't be enough.

I appreciate all of you sweet friends and family who are following along on this journey with me.  You've made the ride so much more fun!  Obviously the 13 day count down from my last post is alas, not going to be.  It's the start of the Race Track season in our neighboring Del Mar soon, so our rental will turn into a summer rental.  That's when they double the rent!  Therefore, our lease is up and we have to move out.  The cottage is almost done but not quite, So...we are going to be living the life of gypsies for another week or so until we can move into the cottage.  I hope.  I don't know.  I can't guess.  Nobody will tell me.  But as soon as I know, you'll know, K?  I'll keep the pics coming and someday soon it will look like a real cottage.  I hope that someday is sooner rather than later because I'm no good at being a gypsy.  I've got to have a nest.  Love you more than all the remodeling I am never, ever, going to do again!



P.S.  Thank you to my awesome and freakishly strong son-in-law, and my two oldest grandsons, Ty and Cael for lending us all their muscles and heart, moving the rest of our stuff into storage last weekend.  You guys are my heroes!  


02 July 2010

Thirteen Days And Counting

It has been almost eleven months since we first started to remodel and restore our little cottage.  What was to be a four or five month project...  Well, regardless of all our best intentions regarding timelines,  we have had so many experiences and emotions spent along this road.  We've come a long way baby, and, oh the stories we'll have to tell for the rest of our lives.  You can quote me when I say, "I will NEVER do this again."  No, never mind,  better not quote me because, I've said that before and look where I find myself now!  NEVER say never.

Our tiny garage (beach houses have tiny garages if they have them at all), is still a veritable storehouse for paint, plaster, tools and construction workers' lunches.   Land is at a premium here so we have to store everything right here in our "workshop".  It's like Santa's, but not as fun.  It's dusty and dirty and hasn't seen a car in many a moon.  How many days do you think it will take to get rid of all this stuff so we can store moving boxes back in here while we unpack?

This disgusting thing is still here.  I literally hold my breath and nearly pass out when I walk by it to enter the house.  Just the ramifications of what...  Never mind, you don't want to hear it and I don't want to discuss it.  No working toilets yet, not that I want a gaggle of construction workers using my new toilets anyway.  What do you call a group of rag tag construction workers?  I'm pretty sure it isn't a gaggle.  Anybody?  All I know is that they love their peanuts.  I said, peanuts.

This is the front yard.  I know.  Could it be possible that a family of human beings will inhabit this cottage in thirteen, 13, THIRTEEN days?  My beloved tells me that this courtyard will be level, full of patio and grass and planters ready to fill with flowers.

This is the family room.  The windows still need the tape cut off and although the trim paint is finished, apparently the painters still need it in place for some reason.  Have you ever tried to talk to a painter?  Don't.  Can I just tell you how hard it has been to choose paint colors for this cottage?  With the plastic on the windows I have had to imagine what the colors would look like in the natural light of the house in order to choose them.  I have a pretty vivid imagination but, this is hard man!  There have been a few do-overs necessary and I may never see color in the same way again.

Don't take a step out that door because you will fall several hundred, well not hundred, but a lot of feet, into the back yard.  A staircase and deck still has to be built and installed before final inspection.  Thirteen days?  Really?

We'll be watching TV on the big screen which will live in the far right cabinet in only 13 days.  Don't bother me with the fact that the wall surrounding the fireplace insert still has to have rock installed clear up to the ceiling, and a mantel set in.  I like to think of our Christmas stockings hanging on that mantel.  It's a fantasy I maintain in order to keep my sanity. The cozy picture of living in beach cottage bliss, must stay front and center in the recesses of my rapidly deteriorating mind.

Get your dad-gummed equipment our of my studio already.  I'm setting up in 13 days!

It's hard in this light to get a true picture of what the paint looks like.  This is the best example since the entry is still white to compare it to the hallway color.  This nursery yellow color got painted in the family room, dining room and hallway before I even had a chance to approve the little square sample I asked for.  Now that's what I call getting right on the job at hand  jumping the gun.  Nursery yellow just doesn't work for me.  It's not that I don't love yellow, or nurseries per se.  I just don't want the majority of the rooms I will live in painted this color.  We're trying a new one called "Birch" today.  I'll let you know how that turns out.  As we speak I'm waiting for one section of one wall to be painted so I can take a peek and give the thumbs up or thumbs down.  I won't even enter the house to give my humble opinion though.  I'll just peek a boo around the corner by the front door and quietly whisper my opinion.  At this point those painters scare me and I'm not taking any chances.  They have spray guns.

Now this is a paint color I can get behind.  I'm sticking with this one in my laundry room.  It's called Fizzle.  Now doesn't that just make you want to do laundry?  No?  Well, I don't mind laundry too much, but guys -  guys I need a washer and dryer in here first, to say nothing of the fact that these cabinet doors need to be hung up.  Thirteen short days until laundry guys.  Guys?

They're building the hood to my new stove, which is lonely and waiting in a warehouse somewhere along with the fridge, ovens and sinks, to come home. Yep, and that Italian marble and granite are on their way any day now I'm told.  Does the saying, 'the check is in the mail' ring a bell for anyone?  The glass for the cabinet doors is being cut and almost ready to be installed.

Hey, electrician guy, come back and install the thingys around the thingys in the ceiling which are going to shed a little light on us.

You may have noticed there are no floors yet.  I hate to point it out if you hadn't but, I'm so proud of myself.  It only took a month from my post about choosing flooring, Help Me Out Here to actually choose it.  I never said I was a great decision maker.  I didn't even hint at it.  As a matter of fact, I think I've gotten on my knees and begged for help making decisions.  In short, the floors will be maple, which I didn't even list as a choice at the time. The stain is a medium color with a beautiful glow to it just like the floors that were original to the cottage.  Apparently they are the last thing to be installed, but they are in and stored just waiting for their day in the sun cottage.

Um.  Electrician guy.  Did I mention those thingys that need to be put on these things on the ceiling so we can have some light?  I thought so.  Here's the thing Mister.  I haven't made up my mind on any of the hanging light fixtures or sconces, (do not judge me), so if I don't have these lights I'll just be standing around in the dark.  I know its daylight savings time and all but, pleeze...

Thirteen days.  Not that I'm worried or anything, obviously.  I'm a woman who believes in miracles.  I've seen more than a few in my day and it wouldn't surprise me at all if we see another one soon.  Say in, the next 13 days!  How can we go wrong when we have our girl Maggie on our side?  She is kindly taking time, between her job supervising seven year olds at Junior Life Guards, to hanging out with her "friend" Ronen, to help us out.  Thirteen days and our girl Maggie says thumbs up.  No worries mon!

What am I doing sitting her blogging when I have only a matter of days before I move my family, lock, stock and barrel into the cottage?  It's because I wouldn't want to do it without you.  We have a lot of work to do and you're with me every step of the way.  Right guys?  Am I right?  Anyway-

Love you more than every minute of every day until our big move,