Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Today was The Day to finish the hallway project. As far as I'm concerned, it is finished. YAY!

(Things to do yet: clean paint off trim, put trim back up, and clean carpet spots -- whoops. Thankfully Adam is helping to put the trim back up, and Adam's mom is here and can help clean paint off the trim.)

Tired doesn't even begin to describe how I feel... I would say my mind isn't necessarily tired, but every muscle in my hands, feet, arms, and legs hurt. My hands especially. I haven't been able to use a fork without pain for two days. Ha!

Today was a good day. This morning I started in on the Venetian Plaster (coat #1) and it took 6 hours to do that... that had me slightly concerned, but then I moved on to the finish coat of the yellow (Evening Glow) and touched up the ceiling and painted the attic opening again. Then I bucked up and did the second coat of the Venetian Plaster... I didn't do it exactly the way the card said to do... but ha, whenever have I done a project exactly the way I it is supposed to be done...? I absolutely love the colors and how they turned out, and you will really have to come and see the hallway to appreciate the color.

This picture shows the first coat of Venetian Plaster in progress... you can see the basecoat near the bottom that hasn't been covered yet in plaster.


Here are two pictures that, oddly enough, capture the colors fairly well and I was standing in a spot where I thought, hmm, I should take a picture from here.

(Chrissy, I was on the phone with you when I thought to take this picture!)


(The darker spots are still wet in this picture... but, the walls look a bit like suede and denim together.)


Adam is happy with the results and I think when he saw the basecoat color yesterday he even did a little "ooh" and definitely NOT a "yuck". Ha!

I am happy that the wallpaper is GONE and the plaster is REPAIRED and all is well in the hallway again. You know, minus the trim and the carpet.

Umm... I'm jabbering now.


Hallway Project: Tuesday

Yesterday was a big day in the hallway project. If I could get a lot done yesterday, I would know today would be manageable and the project could be completed.

To say I am 'tired' or 'worn down' would be an understatement... fatigue has entered my brain and I have no witty remarks today.

However... after 13 long hours yesterday, and a reboot of the self-confidence, I managed to...

... finish priming the hallway...
... paint the ceiling...
... apply the base color for the Venetian Plaster walls...
... apply a texture coat to the non-Venetian Plaster walls (which are now home-made Venetian Plaster walls)...
... and put away all of the supplies I don't need to get through the day.

I am sure many of you will be glad to hear that I am deathly afraid of the ladder and the ladder and I had some serious trust issues yesterday. They were resolved, but how remains a secret (again, to protect myself).

Here is a picture of the trimming out of the base color:


Here is a picture of the walls after the basecoat is done... the color does NOT do the walls justice at all... guess you will just have to come and see it for yourself!:


My invention of Home-Made Venetian Plaster... YES, it can be done and YES, it worked like a charm... Patching Plaster mixed with color-tinted paint... apply to walls like plaster (see application trowel on top of paint bucket):


The results of the home-made Venetian Plaster project:


Putting supplies away:


Today is very specific...

... apply first coat of Venetian Plaster to gray-blue walls...
... while that is drying, apply final coat of paint to yellow-orange (Evening Glow) walls...
... touch up ceiling with ceiling paint...
... remove tape from hallway light fixture...
... final coat of paint on attic opening...
... apply second coat of Venetian Plaster to gray-blue walls...
... clean up.

Sounds like a lot, but shouldn't be too terribly bad. I figured out a good rhythm of the plastering technique last night with my home-made plaster, and I had even compared the home-made with the premade to make sure my textures were about the same so I would know what I was dealing with today.

So... here goes nothing...!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Foiled but Not Defeated

8:30 AM

8:30 AM... and I am already blogging about today.

While helping Adam pick up the garage last night after he did a bunch
of sawing of wood, I noticed The Ladder... as in, the Most Awesome
Ladder We Own. So, after breakfast, I went out and brought in this
Glorious Ladder, now the 5th (yes, 5th) ladder in the entrance /
hallway area of the house. It is so awesome because it has a PAINT
TRAY on it. Yay! Will be so helpful for the non-stairwell part of
the hallway.

But also, I realized that THIS ladder was EXACTLY the ladder I needed
to remove the hallway light fixture.

I tested out a few positions and found the perfect spot for it. After
burning my fingers a tad on the HOT light fixture, I got it unscrewed
and got the glass part off. Only then did I realize that the ring,
which is the part I absolutely need off so as not to paint it, was not
coming off. Wouldn't you know? The ring is FOAMED TO THE CEILING.

Foiled by the ring.

Oh, well. I will simply tape around it, I guess.

I finished sanding my plaster. YAY! It seems stuck on there pretty
well. We'll see how it handles paint.

Off to vacuum up the dust from sanding and then on with priming.

(By the way, I love the Paper Mache Inventor EVEN MORE today. Rock
solid. Solid, I say.)


Monday, May 25, 2009

New Pictures of Julia

Here are some recent pictures of Julia and such… she is a darling and a love…!

In the evenings, I spend a lot of time outside with Julia. Now that she has gotten over her fear of grass, she is all about exploring out of doors, and it burns off a lot of energy.

Here are pictures from Tuesday night when we were out and about.

I love my girl...!


Holy cats, it is WINDY out here!


Okay... we have this... hedgehog or something other else stone thing that has been here since we moved in and it is in the little patch by our deck... Julia thinks it is a cat, and EVERY TIME we go outside, she talks to it (she is the cat whisperer -- meow!), tries to get it to come over to her... but she won't step into the mulch, so she has never touched it... and I have a feeling she has no idea it is not real.

Trying to get the "kitty" to come by her...


Talking to the "kitty"...


A picture of Julia and the "kitty" together...


She loves to explore and ask me what things are!


We had fun rolling around in the grass too...


Then we went inside to mellow out a bit and take a bath...


Julia has a fascination with cupboards, and loves to climb into them if there is room. There is nothing under one of the sinks in the bathroom except... uh hum... feminine products (which you can see laying on the floor -- ha!), and so Julia goes in there all the time. She has recently figured out how to shut the door on herself... thank goodness it does not latch!



Little Drummer Girl

Thoughts on the Remodeling Project

1. My husband is a plumbing mastermind.
2. My friend Chrissy is a plumbing mastermind as well, but also a wallpaper removal and painting goddess.
3. Electric teapots are God's gift to wallpaper removal.
4. While patching plaster is seemingly fun, it is inherently evil.
5. Whoever invented paper mache is my new hero.
6. "Venetian Plaster" is another term for "really expensive, color tinted patching plaster."
7. I am pregnant.

Further explanation on the thoughts above:

My Husband = Plumbing Mastermind: See the picture. As you can see, Adam used his thinking skills to take a number of "plumbing parts" and connect all of the pieces together under the sink. That probably doesn't mean you want him plumbing your house, though, because "plumbing parts" included a cut off measuring spoon. However, he did quite the amazing job and removed an old and installed a new sink (along with garbage disposal) in under four hours. Quite. Amazing. And, it DOES NOT leak. And it DOES works. And I love it!

Adam showing off his plumbing prowess.


No fooling... a cut off measuring spoon!


Can you see where the measuring spoon ended up...?


(Funny side note: Adam always talks about how he doesn't enjoy plumbing and yada yada, and then we realized / joked today that he actually does quite a bit of plumbing, but out in the "brew house" and never in our "real house".)

My Friend Chrissy = Mastermind Plumber and Wallpaper Remover and Painting Goddess Extraordinaire: Suffice it to say, we would not have had remotely close to the correct plumbing parts that I was supposed to pick up at Menards this week without Dear Friend Chrissy. She sure knows a lot! (At least, quite a bit more than me!) Also, she was a saint and worked hard at removing the Snitty Wallpaper off the wall today and then went on to paint and paint and paint! She was awesome! She even invented the Paintbrush On a Stick in order to NOT have to use the ladder to paint today. You are a rockstar, C! Were it not for the eight hours she gave me today, I would be crying, wailing, and threatening to jump off the roof to avoid finishing the hallway project, and instead, I am simply dreading tomorrow. ;) (THANK YOU, dear friend!!!)

Chrissy and her Paintbrush on a Stick and Adam watching us work after the sink is in.


Electric teapots = God's Gift To Wallpaper Removal: Oh, yes, oh, yes. We own an electric teapot, thanks to Adam's need for one on his canoe project. After another friend of mine mentioned this weekend that steam works GREAT at removing wallpaper that DOES NOT WANT TO COME OFF (i.e., Snitty Wallpaper), Chrissy and I gave it a go. Oooh, wonderfulness. It worked great!!! And in case you are wondering, no, the teapot has never been used for it's actual application: a teapot.

The Teapot of Wonderfulness


Chrissy using the teapot


Patching Plaster = Fun or Evil?: Okay, I really actually DID enjoy patching up a number of places (and I mean, A LARGE QUANTITY) on the walls requiring plaster... as our walls are mostly plaster (or wallboard that was not taped or mudded). It was quite enjoyable. And, it only has a 90 minute set up time! WOW! Yah! Great, eh? So after 90 minutes, you can put on a second coat! How cool is that! BUT, I really SHOULD read the box closer next time. While it "sets up" and you can "apply a second coat of plaster" after 90 minutes, THAT DOES NOT MEAN YOU CAN PAINT IT AFTER 90 MINUTES. Doh. You actually have to wait... OVERNIGHT. ARGH. Good thing that there wasn't much plastering to be had on the Really Big Wall that Chrissy primed for me today. As for me, my evening plans were thwarted by this Drying of Plaster Nonsense, so now I am here blogging instead. Patching Plaster? Inherently Evil.

Paper Mache Inventor = My New Hero: I cannot explain much here, becaue I must protect the innocent (mainly, myself). However, I will say this, "Chrissy, my paper mache idea WORKED!"

Paper Mache, at its finest (Nope, I refuse to show the before or during pictures...)


Venetian Plaster = Really Expensive, Color Tinted Patching Plaster: This should have been a big "Duh" and "Doh" for me, but well... yah. Today after spending a few hours of patching plaster, I turned and said to Chrissy, "you know, I would have gotten the same results I am trying to get with all of the textured paint stuff I bought if I would have just did this (referring to my plastering) to all of the walls and then painted it." She said, "I know." Yah. So, I spent a small fortune on "Old World Plaster" (Dutch Boy's "Venetian Plaster") and base coat to basically get the same results that about $40 in patching plaster and two gallons of paint would have gotten me. I don't have much more to say about it. And no, I am not returning the "Old World Plaster". I can't. It's tinted.

Erin = Pregnant: My pregnancy (or rather, my "pregnant brain") resulted in a number of scares, realizations, and even a few errors today. See the Patching Plaster and Venetian Plaster. However, nothing can account for the scare that I gave Adam and Chrissy today when I decided that I had left my Most Important Bag of Tools at Menards AFTER I HAD PAID FOR IT. I search the basement, the living room, the dining room, the paint supply area, the truck, and the garage, and IT WAS NOT THERE. I do recall Adam asking me at one point if it was UPSTAIRS, but no, silly, we are WORKING UP THERE, WHY OH, WHY would I actually take my supplies up there? After a few frantic phone calls and a decision that we would go to Altoona (about 35 minutes away) for lunch so we could go to Menards and spend MORE money on things I had ALREADY BOUGHT, I decided I would go lay down floor covering. I walked into the bathroom UPSTAIRS, and wouldn't you know, my Most Important Bag of Tools was IN THE BATHROOM. Yah. I'm good with it.

More to come in the following days... I hope you've enjoyed following the saga thus far...!


OUR Memorial Weekend...!

So, this last winter, I got a Wild Hair. Yes, a Wild Hair. And the Wild Hair said that Adam and I should cancel our vacation to New England and instead do some home remodeling projects. (See? I told you it was wild.)

Adam's project was going to be installing a new sink that had a garbage disposal attached and to start determining what we could do to our kitchen cupboards to improve them and also to begin building a useful kitchen island.

Adam had off today (Memorial Day) and after about a week of determining what we needed for this project and describing things for me to buy at the store, we had the stuff and the tools to do the project. Adam did an EXCELLENT job and now we have a new kitchen sink. YAY!


And, this sucker is HUGE! Look at what I can fit in there... and nothing is propped in the sink... oh, no. It is flat on the bottom of the sink. How cool is THAT?


My project would be to "fix the hallway." See, when we moved into this house 4.5 years ago, we already knew we were going to remodel most of the 2nd floor, but we had no plans to remodel the hallway. However, the previous owners, having an idea that we would be doing work on the 2nd floor, decided to give us a head start and RIPPED A CHUNK OF WALLPAPER OFF IN THE HALLWAY. Argh. So, for the last 3 years or so, this wallpaper business has REALLY BUGGED ME.

For a few years, I have researched different ideas... painting over wallpaper, wallpapering over wallpaper, removing wallpaper (and then what?)... and the whole issue was that 1.) we knew it was plaster underneath but had no idea how badly in shape it was, but that 2.) the wallpaper was not in good shape either and was basically removing itself in various spots from the plaster.

So, after digging through a few books, I decided that the wallpaper needed to come down, and that Venetian Plaster had to go up. I started taking down the wallpaper on Saturday (I had done a small bit of it before then to see how it would go), and I was fortunate that for the wall in the staircase, it came off with relative ease and basically in one big chunk:

(looking up the stairs)


(looking down the stairs)


However, the remainder of the wallpaper proved to be quite Snitty.

Here is a picture of the Really Snitty Wall of Snitty Wallpaper:


Thankfully my dear friend Chrissy came to help me today, and after some serious steaming and scraping, the wallpaper is down.

(wallpaper DOWN)


After the wallpaper was removed, we went into action with the actual constructive work of the hallway project. Chrissy painted / primed the walls that didn't need much plaster repair, and I repaired plaster on the walls that needed some serious work.

Tonight I need to let the plaster dry, and tomorrow I plan to finish priming, paint the ceiling, and paint at least the base coat of paint. If I have my way, I will also do the first coat of Venetian plaster, and finish it up on Wednesday. If not, I will do both coats of Venetian plaster on Wednesday. All of this God willing, of course.

I will be back with more updates the the project as the week progresses...! I am on my very own tomorrow, so hopefully all will go well!

(Oh yes, I forgot to mention... I worked "full-time" last week so that I had a full week to work on the hallway project... yes, it is that involved. Thankfully my wonderful mother-in-law Marcia is being helpful in watching / taking care of our darling girl Julia. Julia's room is Hallway Remodel Central right now.)



Thursday, May 21, 2009

Checking for Power

Last night, we cleaned out under the kitchen sink for a few reasons...
Adam is putting in a new sink and garbage disposal this weekend
(YAY!), but we had to check and make sure that the outlet that was
already installed under the sink had power to it for the garbage
disposal.  It didn't... BUT, an hour later, it did!  Ha, both Adam and
I have the same engineering degree, but you will never catch me
messing around with and wiring power to our house... I will totally
leave that to him!  He has done a great job with it in the last few
years... let's hope his plumbing skills are good this weekend!

Julia has a fascination with cupboards, and thought it was Sheer
Wonderfulness that we would be "playing" under the sink last night, so
she had to get right in there.  She was even IN the cabinet for a
short time... she thinks it is terrible fun!  No worries... when Adam
was doing actual electrical work, the power to that wall was off and
Julia was safely off playing with her toys.  :)


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Apparently Julia likes Cheetos

Our friend Joel through church took a picture of Julia and his daughter Selah together this last Saturday night.  Julia had been eating Cheetos (apparently SHARING mom's was not good enough; she had the bag in her hands when this photo was taken)... and as you can see, she became encrusted with them...!  Bath time that night involved a lot of unwanted (by Julia) scrubbing.

Adam had a little fun with the picture today and emailed it out to some family.  Enjoy!


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Looking Back

When I look back on this last week, this is what I see: frustration, irritation, discord. I try to look back and think about ways in which I have loved and serve others, but instead all I remember are the ways I was disserved by and frustrated with my job, unloved and misunderstood by my friends, and laughed at by the constant rain.
Suffice it to say, by the end of the week, I was in a foul mood.

Matthew 25:34 - 45 says...

Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.

Then the righteous will answer him, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?

The King will reply, I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.

Then he will say to those on his left, Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.

They also will answer, Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirst or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?

He will reply, I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.

How shameful my heart is when I remember my feelings from this last week, when I remember my foul mood.

Not only are there heavenly blessings apparent in this Scripture, but earthly ones as well -- for you, for me, and for those around us. If I had only been looking outward instead of inward, I would have been serving and blessing my fellow man. If I had only been looking outward instead of inward, I would have experienced more joy, contentment, and peace in my life.

Instead of expecting to be served and kept content by my job, I would have given everything in me to do a good job and feel blessed that I even have a job. Instead of dwelling on my friendships and whether there was any disaccord there, I would have tried harder to love, listen, and be a better friend to those around me. And, instead of cursing the rain, I should have thanking and praising God for his beautiful creation.

Next week I plan to change my focus. I know it will be difficult; I heard similar words to these two weeks ago and obviously they did not sink in that well. I hope to listen instead of expecting to be listened to, serve instead of expecting to be served, love instead of expecting to be loved, give of myself instead of expecting to receive. I want to set my heart on Christ. I am asking him to change your vision -- to focus my sight on the world around me instead of on myself.

I am asking God to give me his eyes, his love, his heart, so that I might see all that I have been missing and serve his kingdom.

"Give Me Your Eyes" by Brandon Heath
Look down from a broken sky
Traced out by the city lights
My world from a mile high
Best seat in the house tonight

Touch down on the cold black top
Hold on for the sudden stop
Breath in the familiar shock
Of confusion and chaos

All those people going somewhere
Why have I never cared

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me you heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah

Step out on a busy street
See a girl and our eyes meet
Does her best to smile at me
To hide what's underneath
There's a man just to her right
Black suit and a bright red tie
Too ashamed to tell his wife
He's out of work, He's buying time

All those people going somewhere
Why have I never cared

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me you heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah

I've been here a million times
A couple of million eyes
Just move and pass me by
I swear I never thought that I was wrong
Well I want a second glance
So give me a second chance
To see you the way you've seen the people all along

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me you heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me you heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah
Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Tour About Town

While I was working at the quilt show (in the Opera House) during
Tulip Time, Adam and his parents took Julia for a tractor tour of the
town and for a bit of a stroll!


Tiptoe Through the Tulips

This last weekend (May 7 - 9) was the Tulip Time festival in our town.
We were blessed with visitors (Adam's parents, Ron and Marcia, and
Erin's aunt and cousin, Chris and Leigh), and we all had a wonderful

... eating Tulip Time food...
... checking out the Dutch Market at West Market Park...
... touring the Scholte House...
... watching (or being in) parades...
... taking the tractor tour...
... and attending Adam's beer garden in the garage.

These are a few pictures of Julia in her Dutch finery. She wore a
Marken style costume, and we took a number of pictures of her next to
the tulips. Julia is almost 18 months old. While she didn't enjoy
being dressed into her costume, she had no trouble tooling around once
it was one. I figured out how to pin much of it together so she
couldn't mess it up, even when she was crawling around in the grass.

More pictures / posts to come... hope you enjoy the pictures!


Tulip Time Beer Garden

A beer garden? At Tulip Time?

Well, yes, believe it or not, there WAS a beer garden at Tulip Time
this year, though it wasn't on the map or in any brochures. It took
place in our backyard / garage / driveway!

There were about eight beers / brews of sorts on tap, a number of
bottles, and quite the assortment of breads and other edible goodies.

Also, I believe ~ 25 gallons of beer was brewed as well... some by
individuals and some by the club (CSP).

Throughout the day it is estimated that ~60 people attended. Quite a
good turn out!

Adam has been brewing on the Saturday of Tulip Time for the last few
years now, and it progressively becomes a larger "party" as each year
goes by. This year much planning went into it and Adam sent out a
number of emails / invites for this fest.

Saturday night I washed glasses in the dishwasher -- the beer / pint
glasses took two full loads (that's right -- glasses only -- TWO
LOADS!) to clean them, and a number of family members helped to put
the glasses away back on the beer glass shelf in the basement on
Sunday morning.

I think a good time was had by all attended... even the little ones!


*** Visit my Blog at: ***

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sickness Update

I do NOT have the Llama Flu or any other sort of flu... yay!

I have a simple head cold, which I KNEW, but the main goal of the day
was to get some eye salve and THAT was accomplished... YAY! The funny
thing about it, though, is that it is the EXACT SAME eye salve that I
used on Julia last weekend to treat her goopy eyes... go figure! But,
we shouldn't be sharing eye salves, so I am glad that I have my own
little expensive tube of it now. YAY!

And, since we did all of the OB checks today (minus heartbeat), I
don't go back again now until June 3rd...!

Just thought you'd like to know I have nothing more than a cold. Ha!


A Visit

While Adam was busy epoxy-ing the fiberglass onto his canoe, my friend
Angela and I took Julia out on the town. Adam was busy with our
camera, so Angela took a few pictures of tulips and Julia... the
tulips are beautiful yet again this year and I never tire of walking
around and looking at them!