Sunday, August 15, 2010

You Call This a Vacation??

The first week of August was spent on a working vacation. And work we did!!

Our trip started off on a somewhat ominous note. As we crossed the North Cascades Highway Friday afternoon, we could see lots of smoke from the Rainbow Bridge Fire burning north of Lake Chelan. Not a good thing, we thought.

Smoke from Rainbow Bridge Fire north of Lake Chelan

As we headed in towards Winthrop, the smoke turned the setting sun a brilliant orange.

Cascadian Sunset

Leaving Twisp to head up over Loup Loup Pass, we rounded another bend in the road only to see thick smoke and then flames.

Beaver Creek Fire outside of Twisp

We thought for sure we would have to turn around and detour down to Pateros and back up Highway 97 to get to the house. Luckily, we were able to get through, one lane at a time. Whew!

Seeing the smoke and fire really put a bug under our butts to widen the perimeter around the house. Early the next morning, Karl starting working outside cutting down sage brush and other vegetation, and mowing the tall grasses with our wheeled string trimmer. Before using the chainsaw, he would water the area with the sprinkler to help reduce any chance of fire.

Karl hard at work doing fire prevention

While Karl tended to yard work, I went in to town to order up our paint because yes - we have drywall!!

Living Area in Main House

Guest Cabin

30 Gallons Ready to Go

Painting commenced the next day after prepping was complete. I suited up and started spraying primer with the Wagner Power Sprayer. Can you say "JUNK?!" I just could not get it to spray correctly. What's a girl to do? Why go to Home Depot and buy a REAL sprayer.

Suited Up for Painting

The operator error with the paint sprayer put us behind schedule in the painting department. I started again on Monday and got the house primed in the morning and then the first color coat in the kitchen / living areas that evening.

It was HOT being all suited up but Karl took care of that. He set up the small pool we bought earlier in the season and my, oh, my...did that cold water feel good! The water is 24" deep - perfect for sitting in and relaxing after a hot day of working.

Can you say, "Relief"?

Tuesday, painting and fire prevention continued at the Chicken Dance Ranch. I needed to get the kitchen area completely painted, including the ceiling, before Wednesday's cabinet installation.

In the morning, the insulation guys showed up to blow in the attic insulation. Only that didn't happen. The furnace needed to be wired in and the bathroom vent ducting installed. We would have to reschedule this one.

In the late afternoon, a thunderstorm blew in. It brought with it a pitbull-looking dog. He was really sweet but afraid of the storm. Karl checked with the neighbors and nobody knew where the dog lived. Now what? The dog wanted to stay in the bathroom in the middle of the house so we brought him a bowl of water and one of the dog pads to lay on. We let him stay inside the house while we kept our dogs in the camper. We also nicknamed him "Lightning".

Hooch (aka Lightning) and Jelly

We spent Tuesday evening painting the ceiling while the lightning show raged outside. It was nerve wracking for us newbies worried about fire; however the rain helped to lessen any chance of wildfires.

Painted Kitchen Area

Wednesday morning dawned clear and cooler. Karl found where the dog lived and returned him to his grateful owner. Hooch had wandered over a mile from home.

Robert arrived around 8 a.m. with a trailer full of cabinets. It was so exciting to see them being installed. Our house was starting to look like a house inside. Before long, the base cabinets were in and uppers followed. Robert has a top-notch crew with wife, Amanda, and kids pitching in. Cody especially enjoyed being daddy's helper.

Robert installing cabinets

Daddy's Little Helper

Cabinets In

Ryan showed up just in time to help bring the counter top over and into the house. What a beast it was!

Setting the Countertop - Karl, Robert & Ryan

While Robert worked in the kitchen, Karl and I continued with painting the bathrooms and bedrooms. Will it EVER end?!

Karl painting the Guest Room

Robert builds beautiful cabinets and I can't wait until I save up more money to buy doors.

All we need are doors and appliances

On Thursday, I took a trip to Wenatchee to look for bath vanities. Home Depot didn't have what I wanted in Omak so off I went to the Apple Capital. Karl and Ryan had their Honey-Do list. Namely, paint the ceilings.

After dinner, Ryan pitched in and helped me lay the vinyl floor tiles in the utility room. Dang if I can find the pictures! But trust me, it looks good. Ryan was a huge help!

Friday was supposed to be our last work day before heading home on Saturday morning. Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men...

The three of us unloaded the trailer our belongings were stored in. George needed to use the trailer and we were at a point to put stuff back into the house. Then I finished painting the bath ceilings so we could start on the flooring tiles.

Tom, the furnace guy showed up just at lunch and after I fed us all, he started in on wiring the furnace while Karl and I tackled the master bath floor.

We got into a nice rhythm and before long, the bath floor was just about done. We were shy one box of tiles so yet another trip to Home Depot was on the agenda after dinner. During our trip to HD, I saw a different vanity that I didn't see on my previous excursions. Rut I want to return mine and get this one instead. But will it fit???

Saturday morning, we loaded up the one vanity and off I headed to HD for an exchange. While I was doing this, Karl would work on the half bath flooring.

I returned from town and one tile was in. One! What the heck? Karl was having technical difficulties. But I left him to his work while I packed up so we could head home, hopefully before lunch.

Karl hard at work laying floor tiles

Half Bath Flooring Complete

Master Bath Flooring Complete

We got on the road home around 1 p.m. Our vacation was over. After a hot week with practically no play time except for a few minutes in the pool, it was time to go home, unpack, wash clothes, and then head for the airport at 3:30 a.m. the next morning for a business trip. I fired the project manager (she totally underestimated the time needed to complete tasks) and fired the painter (she was too slow) although her helpers are okay.

Next on the project list - tiling the bathroom walls, installing laminate flooring, wrapping up electrical and building steps at the entrances.


Gaelyn said...

Wow Sally, it's really coming together. Nice to see a dream come true. Really like the kitchen cabinets.

Small City Scenes said...

Whew, I have to go rest after reading all your adventures and mis-adventures. LOL
Boy oh boy what a difference those cabinets make. The place is coming together great.
Good to hear from you again. MB