Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Finished Product

Last weekend I posted some befores and almost after pictures of the amazing work done by our friend Mr. MnMom (John) on our cabin. Well, this week, we got to see the finished product and dropped our jaws. It was far, far better than we could have imagined. Here are some after shots:We need to figure out what to do with all the wall we have now. Before we had one or two little pictures on the far wall. Now we need something a bit bigger. Any suggestions?
Our funky little north woods chandelier. No deer died in the making of this fixture.

The living room. Long and narrow is better with a high ceiling.

Another view of the living room with our fabulous new door looking out to the lake.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Because I Won't Scratch Her There...

...she has to do it her self. Here is the closer up pic of Claire in full scoot that is referenced below. It is a little fuzzy, but look at her closed-eye bliss.

You May Know Him as Mr. MNMom (John)...

...but we call him Anne Sullivan because he's a damn MIRACLE WORKER!! Okay, we don't call him that because that would just be annoying, and though he is a friend to the gays, having a girly name just doesn't really suit him.

So, not only does Mr. MNMom take a job 3 1/2 hours from his family for a whole week, he pulls off ridiculous amounts of work in just 5 days. There is still some painting and staining to be done, but you need to see some of these befores (taken at our inspection) and almost afters. I'll post more next weekend when the finishing touches are done. These are not our furnishings, just in case there was any confusion. :o)

BEFORE: Ceiling height at the wall with windows was about 6 feet or so. See the beams? That is painted insulation in between them. Everyone who toured the cabin stuck their fingers in the insulation. Not too pretty.

ALMOST AFTER: Wall height at the lake is around 7+ feet. Door height allows Curt to clear with inches to spare, where before the frame hit him square between the eyes. West wall slopes up to 11 feet. If you look closely you can see Claire just entering a full scoot on her behind. I'll blow it up later because she has a look of sheer bliss on her face, much like I do when I scratch my behind.

BEFORE: Again, low low ceiling height. Ugly light fixture. The wall at right was also painted insulation. Fugly. By the way, these beams on the ceiling were structural for the old roof. A few years back, the former owner had piled insulation on the old roof- held up by these beams- and put a new no maintenance metal roof on the place. John had to demo the entire old roof and remove about 20 inches of insulation. God bless him. That couldn't have been pleasant.

ALMOST AFTER: Amazing. We're replacing the ugly fixture with a north woods chandelier of deer antlers and wood. Fancy. Well, not completely fancy because the deer antlers aren't real. Real deer antler chandeliers cost a frickin' fortune. After two rounds of paint selection this weekend we settled on two colors- Arbitrary and Chic Beige for the accent walls. We had to find something that looked good with the two colors of stain on the pine- a little charming quirk we inherited.

BEFORE: Say hi to our friend Marina. If she is around, I make her model everything. I've got one of her modeling the fridge. She's a good sport. Anyway, a long narrow room with low ceilings made us tall boys feel a little claustrophobic. John also whacked his hand on the ceiling while doing a charade of the pope during a lively round of Celebrity. The low ceilings had to go.

ALMOST AFTER: Low ceiling gone. Built in shelf at the far end of the room- John's genius at work. All weekend, Curt and I just walked around with our jaws dropped at what had been accomplished. And he even did it all around all the wavy surfaces and logs for window frames and hornets nests and me e-mailing every 5 seconds. Incredible.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Mish Mash

I return to blogging with a bunch of disconnected mish mash. Off we go...
1. The 5th floor men's restroom at work continues to horrify me. We've finally gotten rid of the boogers- it took me two maintenance requests. I'm sure by now I'm known to the maintenance staff as Booger Boy. Today, though, we reached a new low. I wandered in to the handicapped stall, which I typically do, because it is a little roomier and the toilet is higher. My worst fear of course would be that one day, I see a pair of impatient wheels roll up outside the stall and... never mind. I digress. So, anyway, I wander in to the stall and go to grab some paper for the seat, when what horror of horrors did I see? I'll tell you. All over the seat and completely covering the floor around the toilet were.... giant flakes of dead skin! Not just 20 or 30 flakes. Oh no. This was about 300-400 flakes. Not just little flakes, but big curled 1/2 inch flakes. *gagging* How does this happen? Does someone with a really dry butt seat on the seat and scratch their thighs while doing their business? I've never seen such a thing. Is there a doctor in the house? Feh. Now go eat some corn flakes.

2. The cabin has been an absolute joy. We've been having great weekends up north with the dogs. We have human visitors too. The MnMoms came for a visit over the Memorial Day weekend. If you're looking for the perfect guests, invite them over. Low maintenance and good food.

Here is MNMom herself and youngest offspring kayaking on the lake.

Here is Claire, Mr. MNMom (John) and the ever lovely Curt enjoying the early evening in front of the cabin.

3. Speaking of the MNMoms.... Mr. MNMom (John) is a craftsman extraordinaire. He just finished 4 projects at our house in Golden Valley and is up at the cabin for the week vaulting the ceilings in the dining room and living room. He has years in the home construction business and is meticulous about his work. I'll give you his number if you're in need of a contractor. Truly outstanding and a really nice guy to boot.

4. Sunday morning I was out kayaking on the lake and was the only person on the water. It was a pretty cool and misty morning so people must have just stayed inside or something. So, I paddled out to the middle of the lake, set down my paddle and sat there with my eyes closed for about 5 minutes. What an incredible sense of peace. Shortly thereafter, a bald eagle flew directly overhead across the lake. So I stood up in the kayak and started singing a rousing chorus of 'Proud to Be An American' and promptly flipped the kayak. Okay, that last part wasn't true, but I did see the bald eagle.

5. Speaking of that dreadful song, our friend M just returned from a quick vacation to Branson, MO where she saw a sextet of singers perform at one of the many theaters. At the end of the show, they made the audience stand while they sang "Proud To Be An American." Does that sound a little funky to you, too? I'm all for standing for the national anthem. I'm not at all about ascribing the same sense of respect to a pop song that capitalized on the war in Afghanistan after 9/11. I'm a little crabby about this. Maybe I should just let it go.

6. Work has been tough. Long days and difficult situations. *sigh* I signed up for this? MNMom agreed that I'm too old to be a hooker any more, or at least there is limited niche market for us chubby middle aged types. So, I guess I'll stick it out. I'm grateful to have a job that pays well and where I'm reasonably well liked. I just need to whine about it now and then.

7. I have been crying at estate sales lately. It just started this year. I see these pieces of people's lives that get left behind and tagged with a sticker for 50 cents and I'm just ruined. I particularly have a hard time with family pictures that get put up for sale, or framed degrees, or anything that I imagine was treasured in the lives of the people who lived there. This obviously has something to do with the difficulty my family has had in wrapping up my dad's estate and the drama over stuff. Sad. I miss my parents every day.