Category: Remodeling

Bathroom and Kitchen – and exciting news!

Bathroom and Kitchen – and exciting news!

Exciting news from yesterday!  We have POWER!!!!!  In theory anyway 🙂  It’s hooked up, but since I have wires exposed everywhere, we have all the breakers off at the cabin.  Tomorrow we will start putting wire nuts on all the exposed wires so we can have power inside to use tools and equipment.

When we started this demo project we had NO plans to touch the bathroom or kitchen.  We originally felt they were ok and we could live with them.  Oh how times have changed 🙂  We found weak spots in the floors, water damage to the ceiling and walls, and damage to an outlet, which is a little scary.  We also decided since we are giving Toddler the bedroom and we are taking the breakfast nook, that we would extend the bathroom slightly into Toddler’s room to create a utility closest to hold the hot water heater, pump, and other water related stuff.  The breakfast nook also isn’t large enough for any size bed, so we needed to take some of the kitchen to make it large enough to (hopefully!) fit our bed.  So, today, while Hubby was making calls (we are having trouble finding someone to help with the very very leaky roof) and ran out to get some wire nuts for tomorrow’s project, I took the kids with me and spent the day working at the cabin.  I started in the bathroom, but since Hubby wasn’t there to tell me what he wanted done with the plumbing, I moved to the kitchen after I did as much as I could in the bathroom.

Have I mentioned before how much cabinets fight back!  They are put in so that they NEVER come back out again, I’m convinced of that!

We had been storing everything we needed or don’t have space for at our rental in the kitchen because we didn’t think we were changing it, so first I needed to clean out the kitchen.

The view out my kitchen window <3

Bird that is currently living under the cabin


Record heat, exciting news, and more progress

Record heat, exciting news, and more progress

Wednesday we had record heat and humidity and boy did we feel it!  Hubby got a scoop of mushroom soil to help fill a spot near the cabin and also for our garden boxes.  He worked on filling the hole, but then quickly ran out of spoons, so I finished the job before starting on the garden boxes.  With the soil left over, I filled several rubbermaid tubs to use as garden boxes.  I have exciting plans for painting them, but that isn’t a priority right now 🙂

Thursday we decided to take a family day, we spent the day together and focusing on having fun as a family.  We did stop by the cabin because we were expecting an inspector and wanted to see if he had come yet and just as we were about to leave the cabin, the inspector showed up!  He was there to inspect the electric box and give approval for the electric company to run a line.  He approved it!!!!!  Today Hubby called the electric company and they should be out next week to run a line!!!!!  Super excited!

Today, while still very very hot and humid, we did what we could.  I started by cleaning up around the electric pole, there were cinder blocks everywhere from the guys putting the house in.  I also moved all of Toddler’s toys so that we could mow the play area.  I’m hoping to downsize the toys to just the ones he loves.  Hubby came later in the day (he had an appointment this morning) and started to mow, but run out of spoons before he could finish, but he did pretty good.  I worked inside this afternoon on taking out the kitchen cabinets that are in the way of extending a wall to create our bedroom out of the kitchen nook.  Cabinets are NOT easy to take out, they aren’t just screwed in, they are nailed, attached with twisty metal, and glued, they are a nightmare.  We are both exhausted and super super sore.  I started to have moments where I feel like this is just too much, but after a while of working, I left feeling more positive!  Before we left, teenager, toddler, and I planted some flowers and strawberries in the garden boxes.  The plants didn’t look so good, so not sure they will grow, but we will see!  Toddler did an awesome job watering!

Wednesday – Mushroom soil

Thursday – Family day, with a quick trip to the cabin for good news!

Friday – Mowing the play area

Friday – Taking out cabinets in kitchen and removing wall

Tulip Tree and Black Locust Tree – Teenager and I are working to identify all the trees around our property

Baby bird, visit to the dump, and some progress

Baby bird, visit to the dump, and some progress

Yesterday our vehicle was in for repairs (new brakes, rotors, and a new power steering line), so we didn’t make it to the cabin to work.  Instead, I found a baby bird outside by the road first thing in the morning and spent the entire day tending to it.  It was clearly injured and had it’s leg completely wrapped up in twine, string, and other stuff.  I’m a believer in leaving animals alone, so they can live their lives in peace, but this bird clearly wasn’t going to survive without help.  So I picked Sparrow (what we named the bird since it is a great gender neutral and descriptive name) up and wrapped her/him in a towel and held it close.  It took a while to get Sparrow calm, but once that happened, Hubby went to work with my good embroidery scissors (I said this to a friend and she said it was such a mom thing to say lol) to free it’s leg.  Thankfully Hubby was able to get it all off without harming the bird, but sadly the leg was completely damaged and unable to heal.  We fed and hydrated Sparrow, gave her a t-shirt “nest” and allowed her/him to rest.  Today Sparrow is doing very well, but still not able to fly, hopefully flying is in the near future.  Until then we are keeping Sparrow fed, hydrated, and safe.  Sparrow went with us to the cabin today so we could continue to take care of her while we worked.

This morning we started by taking the trailer filled with drywall and other demo stuff to the landfill.  It took us 43 minutes to unload 1,620 lbs into a dumpster!  It was a lot of work.  While doing it we questioned why we didn’t rent a dumpster so we wouldn’t have to do this extra work, oh yes, money!  We had a quick lunch at home and went back to the cabin to work.  Hubby was out of spoons, so he worked on burning the boxes that were once in the living room of the cabin, while I worked inside.  I was pretty tired myself so I didn’t get accomplished as much as I wanted.  We are both sore and exhausted.  We both took showers and got Hubby hooked up to dialysis and now I’m working on this post while making dinner.  Poor Hubby fell asleep just minutes after I got him hooked up.

Sparrow in the t-shirt nest

The full trailer on it’s way to the landfill.  Hubby working on unloading the trailer into a dumpster below those yellow bars.

Finished up this wall in the living room.  I’m saving the window panes to create cold boxes for growing veggies.

I forgot to take an empty trailer picture, so this is after I started working on the living room.

The closet and I had it out today, I won 🙂  It really is a lot of work, even though it may not look like it.  I saved the track and doors so we can rebuild the closet in teenager’s room.


This is the bathroom tissue roll holder coming from the bathroom on the other side.  I’m going to find a better solution for this.

Trailer before we left for the night


Continued progress

Continued progress

Rain kept us from doing much on the cabin the last two days, but today we ventured over in the light misty rain and got back to work.  Hubby and our friend worked on cutting the remaining limbs from in front of the electric pole and then cut down a smaller tree that was also in the way.  It was a dangerous job, but they did it, and Hubby only has a minor injury to his leg where the chainsaw got him.  I worked inside, continuing to take down walls and remove insulation.  I brought teenager and toddler home for lunch and then headed back over.  Hubby was resting when I got there, he said using the chainsaw took a lot out of him (he’s now napping and almost completely out of spoons), but after an hour or so of rest, he was able to help me get the trim off the windows so I could continue taking down drywall and removing insulation.  I think it was a pretty productive day!  Even had some help from toddler, who will be a “preschooler” next month.  Don’t worry, he is only allowed in when we aren’t creating dust or removing insulation.

While Hubby rested we talked about our goals for the cabin and talked about how some times we feel very overwhelmed and other times we feel positive about what we are going to accomplish.  It has definitely been an experience!  Today I went back and forth with my emotions several times, from feeling confident to feeling like this was a dumb idea.  In the end, we will pull it off!  Even if it doesn’t go as we picture it going.

Our little helper!

The men working on limb cutting


Teenager’s room

Toddler’s room (we decided to take the breakfast nook for our room, so we are giving him what would have been our room)

Laundry area

Hubby taking down the window trim for me

One of my favorite spots on our little piece of heaven on earth

Hard work

Hard work

Thankfully I’m not afraid of hard work, of getting dirty, and pushing through pain to get the job done, because I was able to accomplish a lot today.  We didn’t expect the electrician to finish the job yesterday, but he did (I had planned to go to the land today to meet the electrician to finish the work)!  He stopped by after he was done, much to our surprise.  Since we had already decided I would go to the land today, while Hubby traveled 2.5 hours away for two doctor appointments (his neurologist and his nephrologist), I continued working on gutting the cabin.  I’m pretty happy with my progress.  I’m hurting, really hurting, and I’m exhausted, but I’m getting closer to having all the walls down!

Where I started today

Continued down the hallway


Working on teenager’s room


Continuing down the hallway

Went back to work a little on the kitchen nook and hall closet that we are turning into a bedroom, I stopped working on this room when I accidentally started pulling the window out of the wall!

I wanted to work on the fireplace and the other shelving unit, but the dialysate boxes that we had in there to show the nurses how hard it will be to store them all (by the way, they don’t care! 🙁 ) were in my way, so I threw them all out of the front door into a pile

Working on the fireplace and the built in shelving unit


The built in shelving unit put up a really good fight, so I started working on the living room wall


Eventually I won the fight with the built in unit


Me taking a much needed break!

After moving 6 rubbermaid boxes of supplies that my Dad and Step Mom brought up for us, I started working on the other living room wall and down the hallway

So far we have been lucky and most of the studs are in pretty good shape, but today I found some damage to the studs that will have to be repaired from water getting in

The trailer is now full!

What I accomplished today!

Electric, nails, oh so many nails, screws, and demo

Electric, nails, oh so many nails, screws, and demo

Today a local electrician started working on putting in the electric box for the cabin.  His grandson came to help; he is very nice and hard working!  The two worked outside while I worked inside.  Hubby was at an appointment, so it was just us.  I decided to work on tearing out the built in hutch from the dining nook.  It was a lot more work than I thought by just looking at it.  The mirrors were glued on, which made removing the walls a nightmare.  There were soooo many nails that were impossible to get out easily.  The screws weren’t standard, so that made those tricky, but after 3 hours, I got the piece out!  Also started working on taking down other walls and removing nails that stayed in the studs once the walls were taken down.  Hubby showed up near the end of my morning there and helped me finish getting the glass doors down from the hall closet and helped with those studs that just didn’t want to come down.  It was a good productive day.  The men are still working on the electric.  Not sure when that will be done, but progress is good!

Built in hutch (the other side of the wall is the hall closet)



When I was done working, this is what it looked like

Small injury, cut a chunk of my finger out, but Teenager had a Star Wars band-aid, so all is good

Living room wall progress

Men working on the electric line





Wasp nests and more demo work

Wasp nests and more demo work

Hubby is still recovering from building the stairs I think, he was really struggling today (his “good” days are a healthy person’s “bad” days).  He worked cutting down a few limbs for the electric line, still have a few more to go but they are too high for him.  I worked inside taking down walls and removing insulation.  Sadly I discovered quite a few nests, one was active with a wasp, but the rest seem to be abandoned at this point.  One nest still had a bee looking wasp on it, but it isn’t alive, but made for a great picture!  We have a lot of work to do, lots and lots of openings to seal off to prevent the insects from invading again.  We are going much slower than we both had hoped, but one day at a time, we will get there.

The original walls in the “master” bedroom

The insulation in those walls


Hubby working on cutting down tree limbs from in front of the electric pole


Found inside the walls, behind the insulation (there were more, but I didn’t take pictures of them all)

What the walls looked like just before I left for the day

The trailer after today’s work

Another cold day

Another cold day

It went from feeling like summer to being winter again!  It was cold and rainy today and we are both feeling tired, so we worked this morning, but now we are having lunch and then taking a nap.  Here is what we accomplished today…

We emptied and moved the trailer so we can fill it with stuff to take to the dump.

This is the wall we worked on this morning.  The wood surrounding the window took way longer than it should have to remove.  It was screwed, nailed, and glued on!  It was NEVER meant to be removed apparently HAHA.

This is as far as we got :/  Not as much progress as I had hoped, but progress is progress no matter how small.

Removing the insulation was definitely an eye opener.  We can see light through the top and bottom edges of the exterior wall.  We are going to have to correct that!

Because where there are openings, there are bugs!

What went in the trailer today!

More railing progress!

More railing progress!

Hubby and two friends worked this morning on the railing, while I waited with the teen and toddler for the dialysis supply delivery of 126 boxes (one month supply).


Just a little windy…

Good news, good news, and bad news

Good news, good news, and bad news

Today Hubby had a doctor’s appointment this morning and then a car appointment.  While he was gone, the toddler and teen, went with me to work at the cabin.  The front door hasn’t latched since we purchased the home, but we thought once it was on the land and level it would latch… no such luck.  The screen door, which wasn’t latched when we purchased it (before it was moved), was now latched and jammed!  We had gotten new locks, but I only put the back lock on since that was the only door we could use.  Now that the steps are progressing, it was time to work on the door.  I called my Hubby once I was home with the good news, good news, and bad news.

Hubby – ok what’s the bad news? (why do people always want to hear the bad news first?!?!!?)

Me – it won’t make sense until I tell you the good news

Hubby – ok what’s the good news

Me – I put the new doorknob on the front door and got it to latch!

Hubby – ok

Me – And using a crowbar (that totally looks like it is spelled wrong, but I looked it up, it is correct) and a hammer I got the screen door open!

Hubby – ok, now the bad news?

Me – The front door is stuck closed and I can’t get it open, yes I did make sure it was unlocked (my teen even asked me that!)

Two steps forward, one step back.  Had lunch, gathered some other tools, and once Hubby was home, we all ventured over to continue working on the door.  I took the new doorknob off to get the door open, then Hubby, even though he is really not feeling well at all today, took over (I really want to learn to do these things myself) and moved the knob over just a little bit and now it shuts, locks, and doesn’t get stuck!

Hubby is now sleeping and probably will be until I wake him up for dialysis.

New doorknob!

Hubby, the toddler and the teen using the now working front door!

Checking out the railing and steps