I owe everyone an apology.
I disappeared from the blogosphere for a few weeks without so much as a warning.
The truth is, however, that I did not expect to be indisposed as it related to updating my website when my home remodel began over a month and a half ago.
I did have to break my office down, taking out my gargantuan wrap-around desk unit, and box up all of my office books, supplies and knick-knacks, not to mention packing up most everything else I owned to hide it away in a portable storage unit in front of our house.
My son and I found ourselves living out of two rooms, with piles of boxes and furniture still in the house — since the storage unit was quickly filled up and since we had many boxes with items that wouldn’t have suffered the heat outdoors very well.
Want to have your daily schedule turned upside down and your creativity stifled all at the same time? Repeat the above scenario.
Things were so out of order — and then to add to the confusion, I have been suffering miserably with allergies this whole time — that spending any unnecessary time on even my laptop was just out of the question.
There were a number of bumps in the road along the way, but by the Grace of God, the bulk of the remodel was finished just in time for my son’s 9th birthday party this past weekend.
My son and I live in an apartment on the ground floor of my mom’s house here on Bogue Banks.
The houses here on the island are built up on pilings because of the dangers of flooding during hurricanes, but where we live, we’re considered on such a high dune that we are not in the actual flood plane, so many enclose the ground floors of their homes to create liveable space.
We’ve been in our cozy little apartment for about five years now, but it’s all been in awful need of repair. I had done the sheetrock and much of the remodeling, myself, when we first moved downstairs. With Isaac being so small at the time, and me working from home full time, I just did not have the time or energy to devote to doing the best job on everything, and there were many areas that I left undone, if for no other reason than lack of ability to do it by myself. For example, the ceilings had been OSB — painted white, but OSB, nonetheless. The ceilings were smooth concrete — again, painted a nice shade, but still concrete. I had long wanted my ceilings covered in sheetrock and my floors done properly, as well, but both seemed to be chores that were out of my range of abilities.
My ex-husband (and my son’s dad) donated his labor, and the labor of some of his employees, to the remodel. I bought the materials, and we were in business. My dad also provided a generous gift towards some new kitchen cabinets and appliances, which I desperately needed, since my stove had issues and my refrigerator was about 11 years old (from my old house).
When all was said and done, here’s what was accomplished:
- Sheetrock throughout apartment was repaired. Some areas that were not previously covered in sheetrock were finished off. (For example, I had left many of the pilings under the house exposed for a unique look, but we decided it would just look better to cover them. Also, some electrical wiring and boxes that previously had been visible were also boxed in and enclosed with sheetrock.
- Floors were covered in beautiful laminate in Natural Brazilian Cherry.
- Ceiling over den/kitchen area was covered in pine v-groove planks and varnished.
- The other ceilings were all covered in sheetrock.
- New kitchen cabinets and appliances. (I chose the Portland Oak line from Lowe’s. It turned out to be a very cost-effective way to give a whole new look to my kitchen!)
- Every room got a fresh coat of paint.
And as a bonus, a set of stairs was added to my son’s treehouse that mimics the stairs going up to the main level of my mom’s house.
A Garden Update
Don’t laugh, but I’ve been in stark terror of my garden lately. The copperheads have been crawling. One was killed right next to my garden, another was run over by a car out in the street just in front of my garden. Because of the wild-running greenery of my curcubits — melons, zucchini and squash — I have been afraid to spend much time walking around out there. Sadly, copperheads are nearly the same color as our woodchips, so I really just wish I had thought of that before embarking on this whole gardening adventure. I can’t say it would have stopped me, but I might have done a few things differently.
For instance, I’m concerned that the wood-pallet composting bin we built in the corner of the garden may be a snake magnet. Since we followed the advice in The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible and put one wood pallet at the bottom of the compost bin to allow for air circulation, I’m concerned with really just ended up building a snake motel. I could be wrong, but I’m too afraid to go check it out.
In fact, this past weekend, I had someone else go out and uproot the squash plant and toss it into the composting bin for me. That took a lot of the ground covering out of the garden. Now, I need to get out there and do the same to my canteloupe vines. There are just a couple of melons left to harvest from that one and I think it’ll be done for the season.
I can probably also uproot my potato plants and pitch those, because it seems the seed potatoes have rotted in the ground thanks to the heavy downpours we had in the spring. The ground has just been too wet, and apparently this is a problem some of my non-BTE gardening family members have experienced as well this year.
We are enjoying a good harvest of tomatoes, in spite of a stink bug plague that has taken over a couple of my plants. I’m thankful that we’re ok so far as it relates to blight, which I’ve heard is a real problem for many gardeners this year.
As I mentioned earlier, my son just turned nine this past weekend. One of his birthday presents is being able to attend sailing camp this summer. The sessions run two weeks and they just began yesterday. We had fun getting him outfitted with all of the gear he needed, including his first life vest.
It was adorable watching all of the little sailors — including my own! — out in Gallant’s Channel today operating their own dinghys. The optis, as they’re also called, almost look like toy boats, each with its own captain, but the skills these kids are learning are real, and applicable to building skills to be lifelong sailors. Isaac is especially looking forward to the free sails the kids can participate in on Wednesday nights, where they can each go out into the channel in their own boat and not have instructors hovering over them. 🙂
By the way, the picture to the right is just a random picture of an Opti that I found on the Internet. Sadly, I only had my mobile phone with me for taking pictures today, and they just didn’t come out very clear at all. I’ll try to post some more later this week, or early next week.