Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Didn't You Used to Have a Blog?

Uh, yeah. It's been a hectic two weeks with lots of time on the road. When I say "on the road" I don't mean lots of time running/walking. I mean a lot of business travel. The high point was a very quick trip back to Dallas. There are few things more comforting than seeing old friends. Oh, and having fabulous Texas BBQ beef ribs, good Mexican food and Shiner Bock beer.

For the last week, I've been back in San Diego and trying to get my house in order. There are a ton of things that I've been meaning to get accomplished, but just haven't had the opportunity and inclination. All of these are jobs with what I call a high "And Then I'll" factor. The "And Then I'll" factor is how many steps it'll take to reach the end of the job. For me jobs with an "And Then I'll" of less than three will be accomplished in a week or two. An "And Then I'll" of four to six will be accomplished within a few months at most. An "And Then I'll" of more than six is the kiss of death. Unless I'm under extreme pressure, I won't even begin of job that many steps.

Steve went out of town last weekend which gave me a perfect opportunity to get on some home spiffying. I dropped him at the airport at 6 a.m. and headed straight to Home Depot. Since last Friday I've:
Painted the Kitchen
"And Then I'll" factor: 15
  • Scraped the remaining paint off the kitchen walls and ceiling.
  • Scrubbed all surfaces to be painted with TSP.
  • Spackled and sanded the walls. (2)
  • Completed the finish carpentry on the microwave installation.
  • Primed and painted the laundry room/kitchen ceiling. (2)
  • Primed and painted the laundry room/kitchen. Oh, for this I used tinted primer since I was shooting for a soft buttercup yellow and yellow is an impossible color to get to cover nicely. I will never use white primer again. Tinted primer is where it's at! (2)
  • Primed and painted remaining cabinet in the kitchen. (2)
  • Bonus "And Then I'll" - Decided that I could not stand the blue bathroom cabinet a moment longer. Since I had out the primer and paint anyway decided to make it white. Sanded, TSP'ed, primed and painted that cabinet white. This will get one more coat of enamel tomorrow. Technically this is not finished. (4)
Refinished the dining room table
"And Then I'll" factor: 8
  • Stripped off the old finish with a chemical stripper.
  • Sanded and sanded and sanded.
  • Stained.
  • Polyurethaned. Buff sanded. (2)
  • Polyurethaned. Buff sanded. Again. (2)
  • Decided that I hated the satin finish.
  • Polyurethaned again, but used semi-gloss this time.
Spruced up the light switch and outlet covers
"And Then I'll" factor: 5
  • Hunted in the garage for the covers I bought a year ago. Found the light switch covers, but never located the outlet covers. Ran to Home Depot for new covers.
  • Removed old covers. Which should have taken 2 seconds but the last electrician had put some sort of caulk around them. There was some work to get them off without damaging the walls. (2)
  • Used wood putty to repair the the beadboard paneling around the dining room outlets.
  • Replaced the cheapie plastic light switch and outlet covers with much nicer ones.
Finished jobs started ages ago
"And Then I'll" factor: 2
  • FINALLY touched up the mess I'd made of the dining room ceiling. When I painted the dining room, the job ran long and I had to finish the work in the shadowy afternoon light. It looked like I'd painted it in candlelight. It was a mess. Taped off and painted. (2)
Kicked off new jobs
"And Then I'll" factor: Unknown
  • Ordered new light fixtures for the kitchen and hallway. Ordered ceiling fans for the bedrooms.
  • Met with the landscape architect about what to do with my yard/valley of death.
Those are just the bigger jobs. I'm not telling you about all the prep work - taping off rooms to paint, cleaning up brushes and trips to Lowe's, Ace Hardware and Home Depot. There is still a ton to do - fix my mail box, paint the bedrooms, call the contractor about some work I can't do myself. So much progress, and yet not enough to be complete.

I took a break from all this home repair to do a quick 8 miles - including the worse of the Torrey Pines hills. The La Jolla Half Marathon is this weekend. I'm not sure I'm fast enough to get a medal, but I'm ready to give it a try.


  1. Paint me impressed! Good luck on your next race.

  2. you GO girrrl!!!