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Archive for the ‘flooring’ Category

The kids and I moved into the house with Jason yesterday. After three weeks of camping (two sleeping on the ground!), J was ready to sleep on our natural latex mattress. After four weeks of having sole responsibility of the children and two weeks of living without my husband, I was ready to have us all back together again!

*****SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN*****
Asher testified to the greatness of the situation by waking up ONLY ONE TIME last night. I’m not even kidding. Bedtime was still horrendous, and I left him crying in Jason’s arms at 9:30 p.m. so I could run out and buy a fan (after trying to get him to sleep for an hour!), but still…once he fell asleep, he didn’t wake up until 4 a.m. AND! AND! He slept until 8 O’ CLOCK!! I’m kinda sorry for all the exclamation points and shouting, but you must realize what a miracle this is. Asher went from having two teeth to eight teeth over the past four weeks, plus traveling all over and sleeping in all kinds of strange places, so he hasn’t woken up less than three times a night for a month.
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We’re exhausted, happy, and surrounded by a sea of boxes on a beautiful pine plank floor. Stay tuned.

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We are having an EPA-certified, efficient wood stove fireplace insert installed in our home next week. It’s this one – the Hampton HI300. It’s made by the same company that makes these inserts, Regency, only it’s a little prettier (in our opinion). There certainly isn’t a lot to choose from when shopping for good looking efficient inserts.

We hope to heat with wood a majority of the time, and rely on our fuel oil furnace as backup only (just to use up the oil that’s already in the tank). We will replace the fuel oil furnace eventually, too. The sooner, the better. Fuel oil is craaaaaaazy expensive now.

We have ordered dry firewood from a local guy (only 3.6 country miles to his house) for this year, and hope to split our own from our property this winter for next year. We hope to manage the woods properly and harvest mostly dead trees or trees that need to go for thinning. (I think we need to find a good book on woodlot management!) Even with buying the wood this year, we will save a ton of money on heating. The cost of the insert, installation, and firewood all together is less than we would have paid for fuel oil this year!

The firewood we’ve bought was cut to length last winter, but still needs to be split. We’ll have to rent a splitter for a day, we think, because it will be too much for “us” (Jason!) to split by hand this year.

I’m so excited! The fireplace in the living room is brick and was painted black by the previous owners. I just scrubbed it down last night, and Jason put a coat of white primer on it this morning, and the difference already is just amazing. The room is lighter, less heavy, and more comfortable for me. It will probably take at least 2-3 coats of China White semi-gloss to cover the black, but it will be worth it. The insert is matte black, and will be easy for us to touch up with high heat paint, if necessary. The porcelain finish, while gorgeous, was significantly more expensive and harder to repair if chipped, so we decided to pass.

In other news:

  • The kid bedroom has been painted Turquoise Mist. The color is a nice blue-green, not at all heavy. With the white window trim, it looks fantastic.
  • Camping outside the house is getting old.
  • Pine flooring installation starts in a day or two!
  • I can’t wait to move in! Can’t! Wait!

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(I am at Panera. We still can’t find anyone to provide us with phone or internet service. And my cell phone doesn’t work out there, either!)

Well, we’re officially camping outside of our new house. That is, if you call sleeping in a camper “camping.” My in-laws, who were here all last week while the kids and I stayed at a friends’ house, left their camper here to return home for a week. They’ll come back Sunday to help Jason with the pine floor installation. The camper has a full bed for Jason and I, a dinette that converts into a mini-double just big enough for the girls, and then we plot Asher’s pack & play into the entry. It’s cramped, and no one can get up once they’re down, but it’s cozy. And much better than tent camping!

I finally picked the paint color for the bedrooms. It’s called Turquoise Mist. We’re using Olympic from Lowe’s, which is no-VOC prior to tinting and low-VOC thereafter (unless you go too dark). I’m debating on the main living areas – I can’t decide between and understated cream color (called Malted Milk by Valspar) and a warm, glowing yellow (Humble Gold by Sherwin Williams). My beloved Benjamin Moore, whose colors I love, does not have a low-VOC retailer around here. Sherwin Williams does, and their colors are much better than Olympic at Lowe’s. (But Lowe’s pricing is cheaper. If only the colors were better!)

My new washer/dryer set is installed! They run beautifully. We also put the umbrella dryer into it’s new cement post foundation in the yard, so I will be drying clothes outdoors again. Hurray! The laundry room is half painted China White by Olympic (Kitchen & Bath Semi-Gloss, for the moisture). The other half will get painted after we move in. We just wanted to make sure to get the painting done behind the machines before they were installed.

Jason did a ton of work in the laundry room. It doesn’t look like it, but a little room can cause a lot of trouble. He had to move the plumbing supply and drain lines, and re-build the bump out half wall. We still need to build a platform (<$40 for materials, vs. $400 for the ones made by Bosch) to raise the height of them (as they’re front loading and will be easier to work with if they’re higher), but that will have to wait until later. We have to get moved in!

Pictures coming, I promise. It’s too hard to find time to upload them right now.

Jason and I scrubbed the kitchen cabinets last night. I asked him to help me, because I knew that without company, I would have gone to bed instead. It was already 9:30. We had a good time and got done faster. The house is a mess, with dust everywhere, so I want to get dishes and food in cabinets to keep them clean(er).

Flooring info: We bought unfinished New England Pine by CloverLea at Lumber Liquidators in the 5 1/8″ width. Here’s the link. It’s really beautiful, affordable, and smells lovely. You can order it online and have it shipped ($$$), but we drove to the closest brick-and-mortar location (an hour away) and picked it up ourselves for only the cost of gas. We hoped to find a local sawmill to provide us with 1 x 6 tongue and groove pine (essentially the same product as what we ended up with), but half the mills didn’t call us back, and the other half were significantly more expensive than Lumber Liquidators. LL has mixed reviews, so tread carefully before buying from them. So far, the wood is acclimating to our home’s humidity in the dining room, and there has been checking, warping, and cracking. We expected some, but it looks like there might be more than we anticipated. Still, we’ve worked with pine before and think we will be fine. I’ll keep you posted.

For the floor finish, we’re going with OSMO Polyx Oil, purchased from Phoenix Organics. It hasn’t arrived yet. You can also purchase it from ecohaus/Environmental Home Center, who is an established and reputable retailer. Phoenix has been a bit sketchy to work with, but their prices were better. OSMO is a renewable finish that is durable and will never have to be re-sanded (with proper care). We simply re-oil hard wear areas as needed and keep it properly cleaned. Unlike polyurethane, this oil/wax finish breathes and will allow any absorbed moisture to evaporate.

We also considered using 100% pure tung oil from Real Milk Paint, but in the end, it was going to be more expensive and more work intensive. OSMO Polyx Oil does have some solvents in it, but it is largely a safe and natural product, and will be somewhat easier to apply. What was most important to us was that the finish was renewable and safe.

One final note: Maya lost her first tooth yesterday! Read about it here.

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