If Gumby taught me one thing…

…it’s that it’s important to be flexible.  Here’s a rundown of all the things we need to do in the next few weeks:

  1. Hire movers/moving company
  2. Hire Property Management firm to manage our old house as a rental – *sniff
  3. Sign lease, put down payment on new pad in San Jose, California
  4. Clean out the house of hazardous chemicals and cosmetics and leave enough space in the cars for two people and a Maggie
  5. Re-finance the house so we can afford both rent AND mortgage at the same time (you read that right – we’re seriously masochists)
  6. While we’re at it – schedule an appraisal so we CAN re-fi…
  7. Schedule clean-out crew for our house.
  8. Patch holes, touch-up paint before we…
  9. …hand over keys to the Property Manager
  10. Drive to California (in two cars, mind you)
  11. Be ready to “catch” all of our belongings and then move them into the new place….

Yea….we’re a little busy.  It’s all for a good cause, I promise!  Meanwhile, Dr. J is splitting time between California and Oregon.  He’ll be back this weekend for a week, gone the following, back in Oregon the next week, then we’re BOTH down to California permanently the week after that.  Does your head hurt?  Ours does too!  I’ve stopped explaining it to most people because it’s so unbelievably complicated that it’s just not worth going through all of it again.  Not only that, but there are new developments almost *every*single*day*, so if you’re not a flexible type, then this is an absolute nightmare.  Hence my latest mantra, “Gumby, Gumby, Gumby!”  It’s also one of those things that makes more sense to DO rather than to EXPLAIN.  So that’s what I do!

One nice thing about this whole mess’o-move’ia is that next week we will officially be able to move into our leased Condo in San Jose.  Phew!  Big relief!  Finally we will have a home base in California as opposed to staying in hotels and crusty apartments (more on that in another post).  Dr. J will be down there, cleaning it up and getting it ready for the Magsters and I to join him two weeks later.  When we left our old apartment down there, we put most of our things in storage and so Dr. J has enough to survive for a few weeks without the full complement of furniture.

So if you’re curious about move dates, here’s what you need to know (and this is mostly for my mother who keeps asking – and subsequently forgetting):

  • Saturday, September 22nd – Dr. J flies down to San Jose to collect the keys to our new leased condo (pictures to come) and get it prepped for move-in.
  • Monday, October 1 – Dr. J *drives* back up to Oregon to help with the move
  • Monday, October 1 – the movers come to “pack” everything – L-blogger will be project manager on this one.
  • Monday, October 1 – we spend our last night in the house together *sniff*
  • Tuesday, October 2 – the movers come to load everything onto the truck and we stand by to load up any remaining items into our cars and then we’ll move in with friends in Portland for the rest of the week.
  • Wednesday – Thursday, October 3/4 – mad dash to get the house cleaned, picked up, patched, and ready for showings and future rentals
  • Friday – Saturday, October 5/6 – somewhere in there, we will be driving down to California.  Not sure when – just depends on when we get things finished at the house in Portland.  Dr. J may end up driving down a day sooner than me – we’re just trying to be like Gumby here – all flexible….
  • Friday, October 5 – Monday, October 8 – the movers will be dropping off our items in California.  We have a three day window for drop-off (not including Sundays) with a 24-hour notice and we need to get that furniture as quickly as possible.  At best, we hope to get everything by Friday.  At worst by Monday as we both need to be back to work that day….that should be interesting…Gumby, Gumby, Gumby…

So, yea…needless to say, there’s a lot of pressure on us to get things finished.  Fortunately, we’re taking full advantage of our movers’ ability to get us all packed and moved.  the only things we are really responsible for in this move are:

  • Transporting our own household chemicals, cleaners, cosmetics, etc (they won’t take them)
  • Transporting our own house plants as they can’t guarantee that they’ll survive.  Hah!  I can’t guarantee they will survive under my charge
  • Digging up the garden out back – we may leave the Rosemary, Thyme and Sage for good measure.
  • Dumping the compost bin – maybe the renters aren’t as green – either way, Composting is a little like owning fish – requires a small bit of maintenance and if that’s not your thing then you’re going to have some problems
  • Removing all of the pictures and hanging items from the walls.  Fortunately, they will pack these up nice and safe, but we need to get them prepared.
  • Emptying all drawers of “hard” items in big furniture pieces.  We have a few china cabinets, so we’ll empty those and stuff with blankets, pillows and towels (a very smart tactic I learned from my Mother in Law).

Can you tell I’m needing to write all of these things down more for my own benefit than for yours?  Haha!  Moving is such a pain in the @$$.  I’d rather have a hot poker up the rear than to deal with a move.  Fortunately, when you hire good movers, a lot of the stress is really gone – as well as the time.  We’ll detail for you another time all of the things we learned from our previous move and why this move is going to be slightly easier than the last one…

It’s all for a good cause.  Gumby, Gumby, Gumby….

Let’s take this outside…

Do you realize we’ve been in our house almost three years and we’ve only posted on the outside/landscaping like maybe a handful of times?!?  Wait, let me see if I can throw them all out there for you because it’s really not much:

The Back yard:

The Front and all around:

Three years…and that’s ALL we’ve done.  All of that and a bottle of rum .  It’s actually kind of embarrassing.  But when you spend your summers moving in, renovating a laundry room and finishing up a massive bathroom remodel while hosting a bajillion out of town guests, some things just kind of have to get skipped.  And let’s be honest, summer in Oregon really only lasts a solid two months so whenever we have a free minute and the weather is nice, we’d much rather be doing this:

…or maybe something like this:

Who wants to spend ALL of their spare time working in the yard?  Certainly not me!  Get me outside so I can have F.U.N!  But there are only so many times that you can play the “fun” card before your parents come to visit and tell you to “Grow up!”  As I hang my head in shame I kind of have to agree (*pouts*).  And since we’re planning on putting this house up for rent, we need to figure out a low maintenance scheme so that when we leave it the house will hopefully be on “auto-pilot”.  We’ve got some serious issues floating around our outdoor spaces and it’s high time we grow up and fix ‘em.  First, perhaps a little bit of a list might help:

Front yard:

First off, we feel pretty lucky that we don’t have to do a ton of maintenance in the front since most of it is covered by the HOA.  We don’t have grass in the front so no need to worry about mowing and the HOA covers mulching every couple of years (though they do “barkdust” instead of mulch, so it erodes fairly quickly.  HOA, fail!).  And our plant life has been looking pretty paltry lately.  We’ve dug out roughly 6 bushes that have all bit it since our time living here and we have another one that’s on it’s last leg (*update* – it died.  We had to dig it up too).  We’ve done some planting here and there over the past 3 years but the landscaping could use some help.  Here’s a WAY old pic from before we closed on the house…

All three of the bushes in front (the two red and one green) are dead and gone and then the spider-y plants behind those have all died as well.  On the left side we dug up another bush and we have a Rhododendron that we planted just under the front window that I think is having drainage issues and is kind of on its last leg :-(.

Our front door…*groan*…

It’s a hot mess.  It’s obviously seen a fair amount of water damage over the past few years and since it faces west, the sun has done the rest of the work that the water didn’t – cracks, scratches, and just overall baaaaaaad.  We did purchase a nice storm door to hopefully quell any future water damage but the whole finish is a mess and needs to be refinished.  You can read about it in this don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-it article of yore.  We also still have the old sheriff’s locks that were installed when the house was foreclosed – one brass and one brushed nickel.  In short, reeeeeeeeeal classy.

Back yard:

Oh, the backyard.  First off, it’s just plain dinky.  After we built a fence and dug out a garden, we’ve just tried to keep it as maintenance free as possible.  Here’s a pic from before moving in…

Let me explain a few things.  First off, Oregon summers really only last about 3 months (if we’re lucky).  We’re beating down the beginning of July right now and we’re still dealing with rain showers pretty much every day and temps hovering around 65-75 depending on the day.  Fabulous if you’re a vampire – horrible if you like to garden.  Last year, we really didn’t get good summer-y temperatures until the last two weeks of August and we still only got up to around 85!  That being said, we basically only use our backyard for two things – growing vegetables and Maggie’s personal loo when we’re too lazy to take her on W-A-L-Ks (yes, I have to spell it – she goes nuts if I say “walk”, “park”, “block” and about 100 other words and phrases that she understands – seriously, she’s the smartest dog ever!).  We don’t really use our backyard as a “hangout” spot because, let’s face it – it’s always friggin’ raining!!!!  So I have quietly eighty-sixed multiple plans by my husband to build decks, pergolas, buy more expensive furniture, etc, etc.  Honestly, I just don’t see the point because we never use it.  In fact, we spend more time “maintaining” our backyard than we do sitting out there and enjoying it and I blame it mostly on the weather – haha!

But there’s still so much to be done back here.  We’ve done a fair amount already (when we’re diving between rain drops and/or chopping down our overgrown Sage and Rosemary plants:

…but I admit we could do more.

So here’s hoping we can figure out some time this summer between road trips to California to get’er all done!  We’ll be updating a few things here and there.  In fact, we’re sneaky – some of those things have already been tackled!  Muwahaha!  Stay tuned…

Bad blogger, bad blogger!

I am.  I truly am BAD at blogging.  I don’t blog every day.  I don’t “Pinterest” like it’s my job – ’cause I’ve got a regular 9 to 5 and it keeps me PLENTY busy.  I don’t have giveaways once/week.  I don’t really craft.  I read other peoples’ blogs but then I always forget to comment and say, “Good job!”  I don’t go to blogging events and/or conferences.  Hell, I just frankly S-U-C-K at keeping up with this here blog at times…

However, I feel I have a very good excuse for being a “bad blogger”.  Let me show you some numbers.  We started our bathroom renovation 22 weeks ago this past Saturday, July 30.  In that timeframe, we more-or-less finished an entire bathroom gut job (it’s 90% there and holding for reasons that I’m explaining in this post) and hosted out-of-town guests and/or were out of town for (wait for it) a total of 16 times (17 if you count this past weekend and Dr. J was out of town while I stayed home)!!!!  Some of those were during the weeks, but generally they were on the weekends.  There was one week where we had to change the guest room sheets three times!  Some of those guests were repeats, but for the most part we got to introduce more than a dozen friends and family to new experiences in the Pacific Northwest!  It was a lot of fun and I’m so glad we have that dedicated guest space for everybody to use!  But daaaaaaamn…..was it tiring.  And having to share shower and bath space with most of those guests for that timeframe got a little old, to say the least.  So things have been a wee bit quiet on the blog and I *still* haven’t revealed the bathroom in all of its glory, so let’s get a little update goin’ for all the curious stalkers.

So here’s a quick update on the bathroom….ya ain’t missin’ much.  The last time we worked on the bathroom was back here when we got the shower door installed.  I think since that time we’ve purchased a couple of shelves (that are still only halfway installed), bought a couple of accessories and that’s about it.  We still have to finish up the baseboards, hang crown molding and do a TON of touch up painting, caulking and sealing.  Needless to say we’re kind of crossing over the finish line by way of the Horn of Africa – i.e. we’re taking our sweet @$$ time, piracy not included.  Rather, we’ve been a little busy (see paragraph above).  My point?  We definitely have a lot of finishing up to do in there and hope to get it ALL wrapped up officially in August.  At that point I’ll definitely be sharing the full makeover (video and all) with pics, budget rundowns, the whole effin’ she-bang!!!

Which brings me to everybody’s favorite question – ok, mostly my Mom who is greedy for me to do more makeovers like an Extreme Makeover junkie – seriously, somebody has GOT to control that woman.  The big question is, “What’s next?!?!”  Since I’m not really in the habit of starting a project without finishing the first, I thought I’d break up that trend a little bit since the bathroom was a bit of a doozy and there’s only so much caulking, tiling, drywalling and grouting that a gal can do before she starts to go a little stir crazy!  Basically, our next project is going to be….

In fact, it’s already somewhat in progress.  New bedding is on order, new furniture has been delivered (more on that later), I got new lamps and I’m eyeing a couple of new nightstands and starting to brainstorm new paint colors…I can’t help it.  The room is starting to feel very drab/taupe/dull to me and I need a change.  I did a mini-switch about a year and a half ago but that old bedding is just not gonna make it to Christmas (especially since Maggie has made it her mission to jump into bed with us every single morning for her daily cuddle – even if it is only for 5 minutes).  Seriously, here are a few pics….and notice how she only gets up on Daddy’s side?  Hrmm…

Trying to appear coy..

UNDER the blanket, mind you...

...apologies to my husband for showing him shirtless but this is by far the cutest pic of Maggie!

Love that pooch.  She’s so damn cute….but back to the bedroom!  Basically, I’ve been sporting the same taupe-y style in the bedroom since 2004 when I made my first foray into design while still living at my parents house (which I don’t have a picture of).  The same essential paint colors and accessories have been following me around ever since then and the bedding is definitely starting to show its age.  You can see several iterations of the same basic design by looking at the pics below:

The Master Bedroom in our first Condo, circa 2007

First rental house in Oregon! Same motif

First iteration at the new house...

Starting to look a little tired, eh?  I thought so too.  I don’t know that we’ll get around to painting the room just yet, but we might tackle that as a somewhat “small” project sometime in the fall/winter.  We’ve become such old pros at painting anymore that pulling a room apart really is such a drop in the bucket compared to what we’ve done so far!  The hardest part now is painting rooms that are full of furniture.  Always a good time.  And for a really LONG project down the road…we’re kind of tossing around this sort of idea:


…pretty, huh?  The room needs a little pizazz.  And it needs glamour and WOW!  Right now it’s just saying….*yawn*….which isn’t a bad thing….except for when you’d like to spend time in your room reading or enjoying the view:

…time to get down to it.  Oh, and I’ll be showing pics of the new furniture here very soon…

Subway Tile + Counters + Mirrors….OH MY!

It’s been a long couple of weeks!  Work has been crazy for me, we had more out-of-town visitors, I was out of town for work, and Dr. J has been tiling like crazy, including a pretty impressive feat of drilling his thumb to the wall with an impact driver.  That was a fun afternoon trip to the Urgent Care – yeehaw!  He got a shot in the keister, a Snoopy band-aid and a quick drive home on a Saturday afternoon to finish up the rest of the wall tile…No rest for the weary!  We are OVER this bathroom like a bad rash!  So without giving away the farm, check out some pics to see where we are and where we’ve been:

Tag teaming the backsplash tile

It's not glamorous, but it had to be done...

Without giving away the farm, the counters and upper cabinetry are installed!

Shiny chrome faucets!

The green tape is just a "placeholder" until the thinnest dries...

Here’s where we are as of today, Wednesday, May 11th!

  • The shower is almost completely tiled!  We still have a LOT of work to do….but the hardest part is done.
  • Countertops were installed, which meant we could FINALLY install the last piece of cabinetry.  And we were so excited that we skipped ahead a bit before we finished electrical and installed our faucets, tiled half of the backsplash and moved all of our toiletries back into the bathroom so our vanity is completely functional!  SCORE
  • Mirrors are installed….sconces and door hardware are being shipped…

We are definitely over the hump now.  Everything is downhill from here.  And most of the big changes from here on out aren’t particularly glamorous, but get us multiple steps closer to a fully functional bath.  Here’s a little TO DO:

  • Need to tile the backsplash around the tub and install the moulding on the tub front.  This might be one of the very last things that we do since our tub is currently a remodeling tool war zone.
  • In the shower we have to finish up the bullnoses (which will take like…maybe 25 minutes…we’re tiling machines nowadays), tile the shower floor (which shouldn’t be too bad…famous last words, right?), grout, seal, and then plumbing, door and BAM!  Completed shower….it seems so EASY when you type it…but that’s really several weeks worth of work!  Hah!
  • Baseboards need to be painted, cut, installed, etc, etc.
  • Paint the ceiling
  • Install the light fixtures (it’s all wired, but we need to make some holes in the ceiling for all of those)
  • A buttload of caulking, sealing, touch up painting, texturing, etc, etc, etc.
  • Need to build a soffit (sp?) over the top cabinetry, install finish and trimwork.
  • Install door hardware/knobs
  • Accessories/artwork/storage, etc.

We’re hoping to get things wrapped up by Memorial Day weekend, but we’ll likely be drafting visiting family members with wrap up work.  Sorry!  That’s the price for a free bed!  But it’s just crazy to think that two months ago this is what we looked at every single morning….Oh, yawn!

We’re remodeling our master bathroom and it’s a doozy!  You can click on the following links below to see what it’s all about: The Bathroom begins…Demolition Day 1 and Day 2 and how we got rid of all that trash!  Our budget and a tile previewand a little look-see into what MY view is when my hubby is installing electrical and avideo view of what all of the demolition looked like before we started installing things. Check out our desperate attempt to keep the house clean while we renovate and another video update with a sneak peek at our gorgeous marble floors!  Then you can also see moments of despair as we struggle to maintain sanity after over a month of bathroom renovating!  And then there was paint…  And then the cabinets and toilet were installed…  And then we began tiling…Stay tuned for more updates!


While you’re waiting for us to finish up the Laundry Room makeover (and you’re being very patient, I might add!), I thought I’d give you a sneak peek into our next “pet project”.  You could actually call it a “potty project” just don’t leave me floating….haha!  Sorry, potty humor just never ceases to entertain me!

Do you remember when we painted our potty? And then like a bad teaser trailer, I didn’t include it on The Nickel Tour! The gall!  Then Santa gave us a cute little storage cabinet to house our toiletry essentials in the Powder Room.  And then we *still* didn’t include it on the tour!  Blasphemous!  In case you couldn’t tell, we are feeling a little embarrassed by the state of our commode (sometimes these things take time to work out…*ahem*…).  And you may recall that we included a few pics to whet your whistle back in the day of a “dream potty”….

Courtesy Lonny Magazine

Love the stripes!  Love the idea of something sophisticated and yet vintage at the same time.  Love the idea of something that bridges both masculine and feminine….but then I looked here…

Our Laundry Room before the reno...and stripey...


Our Guest Bedroom...with more stripes...

….and here…..

Guest bathroom shower curtain....with, you guessed it! STRIPES!

….and I said to myself, “Self, you seriously have a stripe addiction!  And *why* shouldn’t you?!  It’s a wonderful pattern, both masculine and feminine, encompassing order, color, and a little dash of whimsy.  What’s *not* to love?!”  Actually, nothing is not to love (can I say that??), but I thought it might be time to try something a little different….In fact, both Dr. J and I had been talking about adding some sort of stencil to the potty wall (in a bronze-y tone using a paint additive to bring some shimmer and sparkle to the ballgame), adding molding (a chair rail perhaps?), throwing up some crown, and painting the ceiling for a less-harsh contrast between ceiling/wall…and then I ran across this posting over on Thrifty Decor Chick…

….and I said to myself, “Self, you really need to make your glamour potty a glimmer potty….and add some shimmery POW to those walls.  And who cares if you spend so much time thinking about your potty?  We all do it!  Some more than others and there’s no shame in that…”

And that, my friends, is how I find inspiration….by virtual ESP….and a whole slew of potty-humor jokes….and now we’re all in the know…

Thank you to Thrifty Decor Chick for the inspiration!  Head on over to her blog and show her some love!