Posts Tagged ‘home


Musical rooms

I’ve decided it’s time to ramp up my efforts in the home renovation department — mainly because I want to rip up the carpet in my living room and expose the hardwood floors that lay underneath. But, I’m working on getting my upstairs situated before I tackle yet another project.

But I’ve formulated a plan of  attack — which means I’m going to be playing musical rooms with my upstairs.

See, right now, my upstairs consists of the Mini-Geek Room, the Geekatorium and the Master Bedroom (and my bathroom, but I’m not touching that sucker for quite awhile, despite the ugly factor).

In my bathroom and the MGR. OH, how it makes me want to cry.

Now, all the rooms need to have the plaster patched and painted. Easy enough. And now, I’m getting the windows replaced in the MGR and the Geekatorium, so those will be ready to be painted relatively soon. So what’s the deal?

The MGR is my hell come to life.


Originally, the MGR had this wallpaper glaring at me. And I ripped it all out. Mostly. See, it had some uber backing that seems to be impossible to get off the plaster, which I’m trying to keep. Steaming didn’t do squat to take that backing off. Chemicals have also been equally repelled. So my plan of attack is to A) try and use my heat gun on a low setting and scraping it off or B) bust out the sander and just sand the whole thing down and paint over it. Last option is C, which is rip them out and hang drywall. Oh, how I don’t want C to happen.

Right now, the MGR looks like this:

The yellow = wallpaper backing

The Wall of Pain. But look at that cherrywood door, yo.

Now, all the work can be done … I’m confident of that. However, it is long, tedious, excessively boring work — which I have to confess, I’m not a fan of. But nonetheless, if this phase gets me to the ultimate goal of hardwood floors in the livingroom, so be it.

See, once the MGR is ready to go, I’m going to make it the temporary home of the Geekatorium. The Geekatorium just needs to be patched and painted, so when that’s done, I’ll make it my bedroom while I do work to the Master Bedroom. After that’s done, bedroom goes back to the Master Bedroom, and MGR remains the geek room. That’s where the fun begins.

I’m going to move the livingroom upstairs and put it in the Geekatorium. Then I’ll have electricians rewire the living room. After that, I’ll paint, and pull up the carpeting to expose those floors. Of course, they’ll need sanded and finished, but that’s not too difficult — or so I’ve been told.

But the main obstacle will be the MGR. That’s my focus for the next 6 months. I want to complete it by spring.  After that, if I can get the rest done in the following year, I’ll be happy.

The things I’ll do for those damn hardwood floors….


The weather may be frightful…

So, we’re allegedly gonna get some snow tonight, and I, for one, am smiling like a fool.

Now, I know there will be some pain-in-the-assery on my way in to work tonight. Someone is bound to be white-knuckling on his/her steering wheel, driving 15 mph, because they saw 1 flake of snow. And invariably, I will be stuck behind them. But you know, I’m still gonna be grinning like Hines Ward after a great catch.

The reason is because I love the cold and snow. I know this is contrary to most people, but I have so many great memories of the cold and winter that I look forward to its arrival every year.

I can still remember the first time I could see my breath because it was that cold outside. I was in 4th grade, and mom had moved us to live with my grandma in West Vandergrift. I remember grandma coming in the house, feeling the blast of cold that I had never known before. And she said, “Hey Buck, it’s cold enough to see your breath outside!” There was no way this was possible in my mind, so before you know it, I was outside, in my pajamas, constantly exhaling to watch where my breath would go — and despite my shivering, I kept thinking that that was the single neatest thing I had ever seen in my life.

The cold also meant a shift in our dining habits. Instead of cereal in the morning, grandma would wake us up (the shrillness of her shriek up the steps worked better than any alarm clock), and give us hot cocoa and peanut butter on toast. No, we weren’t living high on the hog by any means — it was the late 70s/early 80s, the steel mills were closing and nobody was really in a good spot financially — but to this day, that combo brings me back a sense of comfort, no matter how bad the weather is outside.

Grandma would also make all kinds of great stuff — stews, cookies, pasta, chili, soups, meatloaf, etc. — not that she wouldn’t make them during the warmer months, but the aromas were just stronger because all the windows and doors were shut. I can still hear her horrible off-key humming and singing — “Tiny Bubbles” was by far the worst — but I never seemed to mind because that was her being who she was.

The first time I ever saw a deer (that was alive) was when it was cold. They used to come into grandma’s lawn in the early morning, and my sister and I would look out of the big kitchen window and stare in amazement at them. The deer and the rabbits. To this day, any time I’m out hiking or biking and I stumble upon a deer, I always stop to watch them — because even if it’s for just a brief second, I’m a kid again.

So times change — grandma’s now gone, some other family lives in that nifty little house, and my sister and I have our own homes. But nothing brings me back to those days like feeling the cold on my face, watching my breath drift into the wind and sitting under afghans with the smell of something good cooking drifting out of the kitchen.

Everything is calm.

It’s quiet.

It’s home.

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