Archive for February, 2011

Back To The Blog

In case you have noticed or haven’t noticed for that matter, it’s been awhile since my last post. Several things have happened over the past few weeks to push blogging down on my “to do” list.

First, my father, who lives in Iowa developed a serious infection by the name of Sepsis about three weeks ago. It was a result of surgery last August to install a pacemaker/defibrillator. He became very ill and required surgery to remove the device. He spent two weeks in the hospital and near the end of those two weeks he had a second operation to put in another of the same type of device. He was given large amounts of antibiotics to help get rid of the remaining infection.

The bad news, I live 250 miles from Des Moines, where he was hospitalized. The good news, my sister and brother-in-law live about ten miles from the hospital.

My sister was able to be with him a lot during this ordeal and also take care of my mother, who was able to stay at my sister’s house. I made two trips down to Des Moines to be with him on the weekends. Of course, during the time in between, it was difficult not being able to be there.

He was released from the hospital last week and spent a week recovering at my sister’s home. He is now at his home and the recovery is still progressing.

Meanwhile, my wife & I began a long planned kitchen and main level remodeling project.

Talk about perfect timing!

Thankfully, I had begun preparations for this project several weeks before my father became ill. Under the belief I still had a little time left to remove remaining items from the kitchen and furniture from other areas, I returned from the first of my Iowa trips to learn the contractors wanted to begin work in a couple of days!

So the mad rush to finish the job was in full speed!

Work began about a week and a half ago and the pounding continues as I type this!

Of course this means plenty of blog material ahead!

Finally, if the above wasn’t enough, I had a case of life imitating art. You may recall a recent series of my strips where the kids all got sick and eventually, so did Dave. Well, all three of my kids got sick last week and missed several days of school. They dropped one by one and of course, despite my best precautions, I got it too!

After a not-so great weekend, I am feeling better this morning.

So with my father on the mend, the kitchen remodel progressing and my family’s health improving, I will be back to posting updates on a more regular basis.

Anybody have any earplugs?

Extreme Makeover

Bang, Bang, Bang!

At times it has been non stop.

At other times it has had me reaching for the aspirin and a couple of ear plugs!

I am referring to the ongoing construction project at our house that includes remodeling our kitchen, eliminating our “formal” living room, moving our dinning room into the old living room space and finally extending the wood floors throughout our main level.

We have been thinking and planning for this undertaking for several years, but with our oldest set to graduate high school in a few months we finally decided to pull the trigger and get it done!

We interviewed potential contractors, which is always a scary thing to do.

We were fortunate that my wife had a co-worker who had just completed a home renovation project and had wonderful things to say about his contractor and the job they had done. So not long after setting up a meeting with that contractor and looking at several design options they had come up with for us, we signed a contract with W.B. Builders out of Edina, Minnesota.

Our project began about two weeks ago with “demo” day or as I referred to it, sledge hammer and Advil day!

Needless to say, it was loud!

Part of our plan included removing a wall between our old kitchen and old dinning room. It also included removing an outdated soffit. Some plumbing and electical wires needed to be rerouted too. But, demo day came and went and soon the massive dumpster taking up space in our driveway began to fill.

The framers then showed up to get everything ready for the plumber and the electrican. They did their job of removing and moving pipes and wires that were and weren’t part of the new design. New lights were placed and installed. New speaker wires were run to various locations, as was the wiring to wallmount a TV above our fireplace.

It all seems pretty complicated to a cartoonist.

I could could draw a pretty good picture of everything, but keep me away from the nailgun!

Did I forget to mention why this two month renovation is being completed, we are using our basement for a “temporary” kitchen/walk-in closet!

In other words, it is chuck full of stuff!

Furniture, lights, clothing and food!

On the positive side, I have improved my microwave cooking skills!

So where are we in the process?

New sheetrock was installed yesterday and the mudding of it began shortly after. You can now start to get a good feel for how things will look when we are done.

Here’s a few pictures of the progress thus far…

Framers in action!

Framers in action!

The new plumbing!

The new plumbing!

New electrical & plumbing up above!

New electrical & plumbing up above!

Ready to sheetrock!

Ready to sheetrock!

Making progress!

Making progress!

I’ll keep you updated as things move along.

Here’s to a quiet weekend!