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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Bubba and the Ten Little Loonies is OUT!



Bubba is in the midst of wedding planning, or rather, Bubba is the midst of evading the wedding planner, when trouble comes looking for him.  David Beathard AKA The Purple Singapore Sling AKA Bad Black Dog McGee AKA a whole new improved persona is afraid something awful is happening out at the mental institute.  David desperately needs Bubba’s help, seeing as how he’s been involved in solving a murder mystery or two, or three or was it four or five?  Even while avoiding all the wedding nonsense and coddling Willodean, Bubba feels the need to support a friend, be he a loony or not.  There’s folks disappearing, murder, and mayhem at the Dogley Institute for Mental Well-Being.  Armed with Precious, his faithful Bassett hound, and Ol’ Green, his faithful Chevy truck, Bubba aims to do what he does best, and amble on through the mystery before someone goes to jail, or worse, gets themselves murdered most foully.

Book 6 of the Bubba Mystery series.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Anatomy of a DIY Job OR The Kitchen From Heeeeellllll....


When we moved in three years ago, I knew I had to do something to the kitchen.  It had an antique microwave from the aulden times.  It had linoleum counters.  I think the only thing that had been done to it was that the floor had been tiled.  But hey, they tiled on top of tile on top of linoleum.  I don't know what they were thinking but the guy who came to replace the dishwasher (high tile on the floor in front of the old dishwasher) had plenty to say about it.  (I don't think he knew that I could hear him.)  He had to wiggle the old one out and then he mentioned something about using a jack to get the new one in.  (I believe this wasn't the first time someone had overtiled in front of a dishwasher for him.  Anyway he finally managed to install it.)
This is the before kitchen, but after we removed the sink.
Yucky linoleum countertop.
I saved on paper by using all the extra crappy
sheets I get when I print something out from
a website and it prints an extra twenty sheets,
causing a vein in my head to pop.
I should have written down the date I started just to see how long it would take.  All I remember is that I started with the island.  I did the top of the island by spraying it with hammered silver spray paint.  Then I took all the doors and hardware off the island and sanded the doors and the base.  Then I used a gel stain on it.  Originally I was supposed to do the gel stain like five times.  One looked good to me.  Then I used a rub on polyurethane on it.  Finally I put the hardware on it.  It turns out that the new hinges don't fit exactly like the old hinges.  Therefore a process involving HIM, one of my feet, two drills, and pushing until something threatened to pop and I put the hinges in a new location.

So I stared at it for a while.  I took pictures.  The old stain didn't look like it was different from the new stain in the photographs.  I didn't like the countertop.  I counted the doors that I had to remove.  I stopped counting after 40 because my head hurt.

This is the countertop spray painted with hammered silver,
which as it turned out, I didn't like.
Look, I've got lots of knives on my wall.
I chop a lot of vegetables.
Determined, I started on the cooking side of the kitchen.  I took all the doors and drawers off.  I numbered them with tape.  (Some of those doors were the same size and I wasn't going to take a chance.)  I started sanding.  I kevetched at HIM to help me sand because my shoulder started to hurt.  I taped off the counters.  I sanded some more.  I wiped.  I stained.  I poly-ed.  I did a system in the garage.  I systematically took every extra sock and rag in the entire house to use.  I finally made it though one side.  Then it took me three more days to do all the doors front and back.  Then hardware back on.  Then I had to grab HIM to help me put the doors back on and put the screws in a new location.  Finally one half was done.
This is the countertop after I decided to do weird
things with black paint and wadded up
plastic wrap.  (Officially that's called "faux."
Unofficially that's what I call "Oh, what the hell?")
I took a break for two weeks.  Then I went after the other side, which was smaller.  There were issues such as having to move the location of the new hinges on one of the doors above the refrigerator because it wouldn't butt up against the hinge from the door right next to it.  I invented new curse words.  It took me forever to do all the damn drawers and doors.  It took me forever and a half to cut the drawer pull's screws to the appropriate size because they came long and you had to just cut it where you needed.  Since I have about eighty-something pulls, not all of them were the same size.  The drawer's pulls were smaller than the doors.  The recycling drawer was also different.
This was my guinea pig island part.
We poured epoxy on it and then
used blow torches.  What fun.  After all
the cold this week I have learned
that blow torches can be used
for epoxy de-bubblifying
and unfreezing frozen faucets.
Finally, I finished the refinishing part of the kitchen and eyed the countertops with avarice.  I did not like the spray paint so I looked at faux finishes.  I found several to do and went to town with black and white paint.  Cressy insisted on helping.  I said, "What the hell," and let her.  Then we took the island into the garage and poured resin epoxy on it.  That sounds simple but involves mixing two parts together for three minutes, pouring it into another container, and mixing it for three more minutes, and then pouring it onto your top.  You also have to use something to spread it.  Then you have to use a blow torch to pop the bubbles in the epoxy.  Most important part is that you only have twenty minutes before it sets up.
Installing the kitchen sink.  Bottom left corner
is HIM, the man who has to put up with
such notions as "Let's redo the kitchen.  You
can help," and "Don't you think it would
look better if I did that instead?"  It's a sign
of undying love that he actually puts
up with it.
Supposedly you let it set up overnight for eight hours and then it needs to harden for 72 hours.  Okay, it looked good but it was gooey.  I got up in the middle of the night and it was still gooey.  In the morning after about ten hours I decided it was too damn cold in the garage and put heaters on it.  Then it set up.
There.  All done.  I know these pictures aren't in order
but the hell with it.  I forgot to take pictures
of the before and after of refinishing the cabinets.
It was then time to tape off the countertops and don't forget to put lots and lots and lots of plastic tarp on the floor.  We mixed a gallon of the resin epoxy and poured our little hearts out.  We spread and spread and used two blow torches and finally finished one side.  The next day we did the other.  Did I mention that we took out the sink and the garbage disposal for that side?  Well, HIM did that.  I watched and offered sarcastic commentary.  We went to see The Hobbit: Where 5 Armies Go to Kick Ass and Chew Bubblegum or whatever the name of it was, and then came back to pour the countertop.  That being done, HIM wanted to use the island but I was reluctant to put anything on the island since it had only been five days instead of 72 hours.  I think I was going for about ten days at that point because I couldn't figure out how it was going to work.  (Picture a fat woman with a fly swatter fending off HIM from putting anything on the countertop.)
I know this doesn't have anything to do with my DIY project but
I thought it was funny that someone tied in DIY with The Walking Dead.
I LURVE The Walking Dead.
After three days the countertops looked pretty good.  I helped put in the sink, which involved lots more sarcastic commentary.  HIM visited Home Depot no less than four times.  Home Depot people look at us weird now.  We send their children birthday cards.
Common sense DIY advice.
The new sink, new faucet, and hot water aerator were installed.  We had a sink again.  We had been using paper plates, plastic utensils, and washing everything else in the bathroom sink, which is inherently icky.
You know I don't have a nail gun...
But I have a blow torch.  Actually I have two.
I guarded the countertops until I deemed them safe to sit anything upon them, which was another couple of days before HIM slipped by my defenses.  I put the stovetop back in.
This picture doesn't do all that $%#@!!! work justice.
t looks a lot better in real life.
I have a fricking hot water aerator now.
I get instant boiling hot water.
I drink a lot of tea.  So that's good.
You'd think I was finished, but no, I wanted to paint.  I removed plug coverplates and the old curtains.  I washed and cleaned floorboards.  I discovered that I would have to cut in a lot of area because of the cabinets.  I wasn't sure if I was tall enough to do on top of the cabinets.  The ladder was tall enough.  I painted for days and days and days because the fricking paint needed three coats to cover everything up.  Sometimes it needed four coats.  HIM put in new plugs and switches.  I found and installed new switch covers.
Okay, who did all the DIY/Walking Dead memes?
I decided I wanted black, so guess what you can buy black outlets at Home Depot.  (Equal opportunity outlet provider, you know.)  Then I had to touch everything up.

I think I'm done with DIY for a few weeks.