Adventures In Home Reno–Update

Chez R has been under construction for about the last month now, and while we’re not finished, we have significant progress.  The kitchen is nearly completed.  All it needs now is the backsplash, so I don’t want to show it to you quite yet.

Work on my bathroom (the master bath) began this week, and I’ve been told that I can expect to use the shower by the end of next week.

Which means…

Mr. R’s bathroom is complete.  And that I want to show you.  I love to compare the before and after photos.  It came out amazing!

So if you’re in Palm Beach County and you’re looking for a couple of great contractors, I know some guys…

Saturday Night Serenade–Full Tilt Reno

Our big renovation started on Wednesday.  Over five years ago, Mr. R. and I bought a small foreclosed home in an equestrian community where every lot is at least an acre and a quarter in size.  The home needed work, and we did the bare minimum so we could move in.

Now, it’s time to make the place what we want it to be.  We’re completely redoing the kitchen, both bathrooms, and adding wood flooring.  The project includes some minor structural changes as well.

All of that put me in the mood for ‘house’ songs.  And because I couldn’t decide on just one, tonight’s serenade is a three-fer.  I love this version of Who Says You Can’t Go Home, and the video features home construction, so it’s perfect for the occasion.

But I couldn’t resist Our House by Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young.  Because when it’s finished, our house will be a very, very, very fine house, LOL!  We’ll post ‘After’ photos, I promise.

And what post about our house would be complete without this 80s blast, Our House by Madness?

I’ll leave you with a few photos of the carnage.  I don’t even mind the mess, noise, and inconvenience–this is going to be awesome!

Happy Saturday night!

Adventures In Home Reno–Episode 1: The Accidental Project

Not long ago, I mentioned that Mr. R. and I are embarking on a brand new adventure, home renovation on our 1986 quasi-Mediterranean house.  We bought it as a foreclosure five and a half years ago and have been blessed to see it rise in value.  Recently, we refinanced with plans to use the money to do serious updates on some sad, mid-eighties builder-grade fixtures, namely, the kitchen and both bathrooms.  We’re also replacing the cheap carpet we put in when we first moved in, opting for wood flooring in the living areas of the house.

We had not planned on replacing the carpet in the bedrooms.  Until…

Remember Hurricane Matthew?  Here in south Florida, we seemed to be in the very cross-hairs of the storm so, like all our neighbors, we launched into storm-prep mode.  We put up shutters, stocked up on non-perishables and drinking water, and made sure we had batteries for the flashlights.

Where we live, we have our own well rather than city water.  The well pump runs on electricity, which the television weather people all assured us would go out in the storm.  Having been through previous hurricanes and gone without electricity for two weeks at a time, we took this warning seriously.

And so it was that we decided to fill the bathtubs, saving water for flushing toilets for the duration of any power outage we might experience.  Mr. R. was in charge of that part of the operation, first filling ‘his’ tub in the second bathroom.  Once that was finished, he started the water in ‘my’ tub, the master bath.  He started the water.

Sometime later, I entered the bedroom and felt a splash as I walked in.  The bathroom is on the opposite side of the room from the door–the overflowing tub had completely flooded the bedroom.

We spent the next several hours using the steam cleaner to suck up as much water as we could.  When the storm had passed, and the power never even so much as blinked, we trotted out to our good friends at Lowe’s and picked up a dehumidifier, which sucked up a lot more water.

But with the padding completely soaked, we’re opting to replace the whole shebang to avoid mold and mildew issues.

Take a trip with us to Lowe’s as we shop for carpet.

As far as reno proper, we met with Bob the Bathroom Guy and Ray the Kitchen Guy last week and signed contracts.  We’re slated to start right after the New Year.  But before that, we’ll have new carpet in the bedroom.  Yay!

Stay tuned…

Saturday Night Serenade–Is There A Doctor In The House?

We’re in a state of flux in the R. house these days.  I mentioned in a previous post that we’re taking on the adventure of a huge renovation on the foreclosure we bought five years ago.  We’re putting in wood flooring in place of the cheap carpet we bought when we first moved in.  We’re replacing the builder-grade kitchen cabinets and counters with beautiful custom made cupboards and granite counter tops.  And we’re completely overhauling both bathrooms.

Having refinanced the house and taken out some of the equity, these projects will be done with cash.  We’ve met with the contractors a couple of times and we’re finalizing plans to begin in January.  It seems we’re all systems go.

However, there is a monkey in the wrench–two weeks ago, Mr. R. shocked me to pieces by announcing one afternoon when I returned home from work that he’d quit his job.  Just resigned and walked out.  Yep.  It took me a little time to wrap my head around it.  I knew he hated the job.  I just didn’t think he’d up and quit.  Anyway…

The reno is still on.  He’s not sure what he’s going to do to help pay the bills, but he’s working on a plan to start his own media business, including a production company.  He’ll probably have to get a job and do that on the side right now, like I do my writing on the side.

Long-term, we’re talking about completing the renovations and thus increasing the value of the house so that in a couple of years, we can sell it and use the money to move somewhere new.  Mr. R. grew up here in south Florida and is itching to live somewhere with seasons and mountains.  I’m not entirely sure why anybody’d want to leave paradise, but I’m hip about quitting my job, and selling the house will allow for that.  I can write anywhere, and he can do his business anywhere, too.

So like I said, we’re in a state of flux.  Tonight’s song?  We have a man-cold at our house this weekend.  I thought the song was fitting.  In lieu of flowers, feel free to make donations to your favorite charity.  I’ll keep you apprised of the situation.  Happy Saturday night!

P.S.~ Oh, and we will be sharing our adventure in home renovation.  Up first, an unintended project due to self-inflicted Hurricane Matthew damage.  Yep.

New Date Night Adventure

About five years ago, Mr. R. and I bought our first house together, a small foreclosure situated on nearly an acre and a half of land. 

It was in decent shape for having sat vacant for a number of years. One improvement we made immediately was putting down cheap apartment-grade carpet, replacing the stained, nasty carpet that was there.

Now that a few years have passed, we’ve amassed a considerable amount of equity. So in the last couple of weeks, we’ve embarked on a new adventure–RENOVATION! 

Our plan includes remodeling the kitchen, both bathrooms, and laying hardwood throughout the common areas. 

I’m so stoked! Having already met with Bob, the bathroom guy, last night we got together with Ray, the kitchen guy. We picked out cabinets, pulls, and counters. 

Over the next few months, we’re going to bring our little house into the 21st century, freeing it from all its builder-grade mediocrity. 

I hope you all come along for this ride–it should be lots of fun!  🙂

Saturday Night Serenade–Tender Is The Night

It’s been a pleasant, mostly lazy summer week here at Chez R.  Mr. R. again had the week off and we enjoyed the time, running a few errands and pulling off two major projects.

Yes, we’ve lived in this house for five years.  So maybe it took us five years to find drapes we liked.  No, actually, we finally just bit the bullet and decided that anything was better than the old vertical blinds that came with the house.

When we moved in, there were ancient used-to-be-white plastic vertical blinds that someone had painted RED on one side, matching the RED accent walls that we painted over a couple of years ago.

Introduce the crummy plastic slats to years of sun damage and one 85-lb land shark, from the street they looked like the grin of some deranged snaggle-toothed six-year old.

In addition to the drapes, we rearranged the living room/dining room, essentially swapping places.  That doesn’t sound like such a major project except that it was much like trying to work one of those little plastic tile puzzles, sliding this piece that way so you can slide the next piece…

The end result is that we have lovely drapes and the nasty verticals are currently sitting at the curb.  And, I am now writing at my awesome new roll-top writer’s desk rather than at the kitchen table.  I pretty much feel like I’ve arrived.


In celebration of this week’s accomplishments, Mr. R. and I found ourselves at Yardhouse for a little mid-week dinner date.

And that’s were I heard this song.  You were waiting for me to get around to the song, weren’t you?  I forgot how much I love Jackson Browne.  Here’s a live version of Tender is the Night.

Hopefully, you’re enjoying this hot (tender) summer night with the one(s) you love.  We’ll be here marveling at the difference in our humble abode.

Happy Saturday night!

It’s Been A While

Tropical Storm Erika weakens slightly

Well, boys and girls, this is starting to look a little interesting.  We haven’t had a hurricane hit south Florida since Wilma in 2005.  That’s not to say we’ve let our guard down.  Every time there’s a disturbance that reels off the western coast of Africa, I always keep half an eye on it.  You just know that eventually it will be our turn again.

This graphic shows the latest ‘cone of uncertainty’.  According to the Severe Weather Expert at 6:00, the storm showed a few signs of weakening.  Factoring in wind shear, dry air, and Saharan dust (I shit you not) it could be that Erika just falls apart.  Even if it does get down-graded, we had a tropical storm here a few years back that resulted in being flooded in at our house for about a week.  They called it a “Hundred Year Flood,” so I suppose we’re not due for that again.

But it could be a bit of a wooly weekend.  Come Saturday, it might be time to gear up and head over to Home Depot to duke it out over batteries and plywood.  Maybe we’ll just take some popcorn and watch the madness.

You’ve Gotta Laugh

The never-a-dull-moment 26 Couples Who Have This Whole Relationship Thing Figured Out

This blog is all about celebrating our life as a couple.  It’s called Adventures in Date Night, and typically Date Night is when we go out to eat or drink or do something fun.  But Date Night doesn’t have to mean leaving the house and spending tons of money.

Marriage is hard.  Everybody tells you that.  You have two different people who bring with them two different sets of life experience.  They have to live together, work together, problem-solve together, raise kids together…  I’m going to add that in my opinion, it’s essential that they laugh together.  We’ve had our fair share of difficulties in our time together, Mr. R. and I.  It’s called life, really.  Many of our difficulties could be solved by winning the Powerball, just saying.

But I have noticed that when we face a challenge, we always find a way to laugh at something.  Because on top of being able to work together, we love to laugh together.  We have since our very first date when he ordered a strawberry margarita in his deep, basso profundo voice.  I was hooked.

This couple is getting it right.  I think I’d come up with higher stakes than who cooks dinner.  But do you love the little shout-out to The Hunger Games?  I’m going to have to hunt up a couple of Nerf guns.

To Kill An Insomniac Mockingbird

For the last four years, Mr. R. and I have lived in an ‘equestrian area’.  It’s not uncommon to see a cowboy come riding past on the sidewalk in front of the house.  It also happens to be a bird sanctuary.  We have tons of wild birds from egrets to blue herons to sandhill cranes.  Every lot out here is at least an acre and a half and many people keep critters of various sizes.  There are horses, obviously, plus chickens, peacocks, goats, and hoards of cats and dogs.

Our neighbor across the street keeps chickens and goats.  We currently have a landshark and two cats.  I’d like to have chickens and a giraffe, but that’s a post for another day.  The good thing about all these critters is that most of them have the common decency to quiet down at night.

Image from Google Images Accredited to Mike McClaughry

Enter an insomniac mockingbird.  Mr. R.’s work schedule has him returning to the old homestead after midnight every night.  Last night as I went out to meet him when he backed into the driveway after work I was astounded to hear a deliriously happy mockingbird just chirping his little head off.  It was a cheerful little song.

But it was headed toward one o’clock in the morning.  Even the roosters know when enough’s enough.  I laughed, knowing that I didn’t have to get up in the morning.  It did cross my mind, however.  Do you suppose Harper Lee is looking for her next new book?

Shout out to Mike for the photo!

Dead Fly Walking…Er, Flying

It’s my first full week of summer vacation, which meshes perfectly with Mr. R.’s new work schedule.  No longer rising at 5am, I’m able to wait up for him to return around midnight, sit around and chat about his day.  Imagine watching Jimmy Fallon in real time.  We’re enjoying sleeping late together every morning, luxuriating in the ability to tell our respective alarms to kiss us where the sun don’t shine.  It’s paradise, waking leisurely in the later morning to early afternoon…

Well, it was.  Enter one pesky housefly.  Um-hmm, the old Musca domestica.  And this one is no ordinary fly, oh no!  He apparently has radar and psychic abilities.  He knows things, man.  He recognizes that moment when we just fall asleep and chooses that exact moment to dive bomb our faces, zipping away as we fruitlessly swat at him.  And he can disappear.  We look around and he’s nowhere.  He waits and watches…

Suddenly, I feel like Walter White in that episode of Breaking Bad, madly swatting the air like a crazy person.  This morning I dozed with a fly swatter in my hand.  He’d buzz our heads and I’d use the blue plastic Excalibur to slice through the air, but to no avail.

But know this, my friends.  His tiny little ass is grass.  For we will not let some mutant spawn of Satan ruin our summer.