By Dani:

This post is dedicated to my big brother who gave me a hard time about not blogging for the past three weeks. You’re welcome.

It took us about three weeks to get the basement back in order. Even though we had covered everything in tarps, our stuff was still covered in dust. Dust dust everywhere. It was like the renovation all over again, except this time, we didn’t have more space afterwards. But we do have a plumbed bathroom, fully functioning sump pump and I can now sleep soundly when it’s pouring buckets outside.

We spent a few hours a day over consecutive weekends taking everything off the shelves, wiping it down, moving the shelves, and returning everything. It’s just as glamorous as it sounds.
Because we don’t have a garage or attic, we keep everything in the basement: ranging from sports equipment, tools, holiday decorations, and home decor not currently in use. Oh, and we can’t forgot about Brian’s beer brewing stuff which gets a section of the basement entirely to itself.
Now that the clean up is done, we’ve moved on to the next step: donating and Craigslisting what we don’t need.

Basement Update

By Dani:

The basement now has French drains, a sump pump, and the plumbing for a bathroom. It took a week longer that we thought and kicked up way more dust than we imagined. But I’ve never been so happy to have a working washing machine and dryer again! Here is the process. First, the contractors jack hammered the basement floor:
And after they carried out all that concrete, they dug out some dirt.

And then they laid the drains and topped with gravel.

And finally, installed drain boards to the walls and concreted over the drains. Voila! Here’s my favorite member of the clean up crew:


Countdown To Thirty

By Dani:

Fifteen months ago, I set a thirty before 30 list. I’m not as far along as I’d like but I’m still pretty happy with my progress. Green=completed goal! Blue=in progress or planned for the future but will definitely be done before the big 3-0. Red=not completed, some of these may get the boot.

1. Go on a cruise – nope
2. Two more passport stamps yes! Canada, Netherlands, UK
3. Visit a Midwest state fair yep!
4. Explore six new-to-me US cities yup! (Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Milwaukee, Portland, Santa Barbara)
5. Visit four new-to-me national parks whooo! Cuyahoga, Mt Ranier, Crater Lake, and Yosemite! Bonus point for historic national sites: Seneca Falls, Marin headlines, and NIKE missile site.
6. Autumn pilgrimage to New England

7. Ride a horse for the first time no
8. Enjoy a proper high tea yes!
9. Attend a live taping of SNL no
10. Get dressed up to see something at the Kennedy Center or on Broadway no
11. Go on a romantic picnic no

Learning/personal growth
12. Read 20 new books per year (note to self: good books only) in progress
13. Learn to make rice pudding yep and it’s not worth the trouble
14. Make Julia Child’s beef bourguignon definitely not worth the trouble
15. Make homemade cheese not yet
16. Learn how to use my sewing machine yeah!
17. Learn how to play the piano um, I’m sort of teaching myself

18. Finish a full cycle of P90x yes!
19. Learn to take some personal reflection time (TV doesn’t count) in progress
20. Try a new healthy recipe every single week in progress

21. Organize the house top to bottom in progress!
22. Attach molding on archway done and done
23. Hang crown in guest rooms halfway there
24. Seal the deck yes
25. Hang artwork in every room yes

26. Write our will in progress
27. Itemize items in house for insurance yes
28. Put together an emergency “go” bag yes
29. Clean out and organize all my stuff stored at my parents’ house no
30. Catch up on putting photos in albums no

-Take a hot air balloon ride
-Edit my wedding video
-Visit the top of the Washington monument (if open in time)
-Fall asleep in the sand with a cocktail in one hand and a book in the other
-Enjoy a girls weekend (without it being someone’s birthday or bachelorette)

By Dani:

We haven’t tackled any big house projects in the past couple of months. Truth be told, we’ve been spending our time planning -and saving- for a bigger project. Granted, it’s not nearly the size, cost, or inconvenience of our addition renovation. Contractors are currently installing French drains and a sump pump in the basement. And since they had to jack hammer up all that concrete anyway (and call in a plumber to temporarily move the hot water heater), we are also plumbing for a full bathroom down there. Finishing the basement is in the five year plan (probably)..but here’s a sneak peak at where the bathroom will be.

The basement is messy but it will all be cleaned up by next week and the upstairs is completely unfazed. Phew!

By Dani:

The blog and the house projects have slowed way down here on C street. Brian and I were on vacation for three weekends in July, then went to separate bachelorette/bachelor party weekends, and then Brian had a weekend with his best friends. I had my first quiet weekend in almost two months and I loved it! I watched a LOT of tv and then went for a run because I felt lazy. And I watched a LOT more tv and then painted the upstairs closet because I felt guilty. Can you believe we painted the third bedroom and slipped the closet? There are still two more paint projects before we officially hang up our rollers. And this is how Brian found me when he came home (well rested and semi productive).


By Dani:

Our garden is blowing up with tomatoes! And I can’t eat them fast enough, which is a lot coming from a person who eats a pint cherry tomatoes as a snack. We’ve gotten four each of zucchini and squash and the beans and peppers did bubchas. So I guess from here on out we will stick with what our soil likes until I can get my act together enough to build a patio container garden.

By Dani:

Yeah, I’ve been accused of switching up my furniture more than the average Jane. Well, the house keeps changing so it’s not my fault! (Defensive much?) Remember when I hunted forever for our first tv stand? You don’t? Well, I had my heart set on a console type piece so we could squeeze ottomans/extra seating into an already too tight living room. And then two years ago, we moved the front door which meant the couch could sit across the tv and expand!

The hunt for a new tv stand has been low priority but finally presented itself at the Restore thrift shop about a month ago. It had a funky smell (potpourri?) so it sat on the screened in porch while I spritzed it every few days (vinegar solution, wood cleaner, alternating). I also put bowls of coffee grinds (to absorb the smell) into the closed areas and then tried the same thing with baking soda. It all helped slightly.

Then I decided I had done all I was willing to do. And I stained the thing with an oft recommended product: teak oil. I gave the thing three full coats on the screened in porch with the fan running on high (fumey!):

After it fully cured, I rubbed the tv stand with wax and elbow grease. This was a labor of love. It sat for twenty minutes, I wiped up the excess and somehow, it doesn’t smell anymore! Then Brian used the dremel (from the arch molding project!) to trim down the peg leg feet.
And then he took out the top drawer and rail so the DVD player would sit flat. He also cut holes in the back for all those cords.

Here’s the after with a first take at that gallery wall:


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