Tag Archives: ceiling fan

Odds & Ends {ridiculously long post}


Greetings, friends!  Long time, no write!!  Sorry for the delay.  It’s been the usual combination of busyness and laziness.  😀  Things have been tooling along, but we haven’t done anything major since the kitchen overhaul.  It’s mostly been little bits and pieces here and there.  I don’t even know where to start!!!

002So, when we last saw the kitchen, it was functional, but still needed some little touches.  Things like the backsplash behind the (beautiful, beautiful) sink, finishing out the cabinet for the microwave (not in this picture), some trim work, and the like.

Once we were through the big push for the kitchen (the last weekend of January), we took our time wrapping up the details.  Still, over the last two months we have definitely made some progress!!!

First off, Tom got the microwave cabinet to about 99% completion.  It still needs to have screw-top holes caulked and that sort of thing, but it looks perfectly fine as is, all painted up with countertop laminate on it.





Like we had to do with the other countertops, Tom sanded down the top of the cabinet.  About halfway through the main sanding project, we figured out a way to attach the shop vac to the sander, and it actually did a pretty decent job of sucking up the sawdust during the sanding process, so that helped a lot.  

Once the top was (mostly) smooth, we were reading to put down the laminate, a process that was much easier on this small, square cabinet than it was on our long counters!!




After gluing down the laminate, we also painted the insides of the shelves.  As you can see, part of the sides are the same beadboard that we used for backing on the main kitchen cabinets.

On top, we wanted to set up a bulletin board area.  At our last apartment, we had a bulletin board in the hallway where we were able to post up various trails we wanted to hike and other little weekend/day trip ideas.  It was something that worked really well for us, as we often find ourselves, on a Friday night, trying to think of a good place to hike the next morning, and coming up blank!

Anyway, here at the new house we don’t have nearly as much wall space as the apartment (ironic), so the bulletin board had yet to find a home.  So Tom framed in and attached a space for it on top of the microwave counter against the refrigerator.  This also somehow has made the refrigerator feel more like it’s in the kitchen instead of the living room??  I’m not sure why, though lol.




Here is the side facing the living room, which also has bookshelves.  Tom, after 4 1/2 years of being married to me, has learned that it’s best to incorporate bookshelves everywhere.  

Around here, little projects are constantly starting and stopping, so at this point, the microwave shelf got a rest, and other projects stepped up instead.






Tom’s dad installed the backsplash, and we’re really pleased with how it came out.  In this picture, it looks darker than it really is because I took this picture while the stone was still damp from installation.  Slightly lighter now, it really blends into the kitchen nicely and is super happy.

Incidentally…  isn’t that sink the most beautiful thing you ever saw???




Valentine’s Day weekend saw plenty of romantic activities around the McCafferty house…  as long as you think puttying and painting woodwork is romantic (and I do!).

Here, Pop and Tom and puttying in the gaps in the posts.  These posts are actually hollow, constructed of angled 2×4’s.  Inside of one is the exhaust pipe for the sink while the other one (to the right of the sink; you can see it in the picture above) has the wiring for the outlets on either side of the sink.

While the hollow posts worked great, they needed a LOT of putty.

Random note – in the picture on the right, if you look in the beam above the sink you can see one of Tom’s favorite parts of the kitchen…  a little automatic night light.  I have no idea why, but he really loves that thing.




By the end of the weekend, we had nice white posts, cabinet doors on all the cabinets (also painted white), and a few other odds and ends tied up.

Technically, several of the cabinets still need a final sanding/coat of paint, but since they look fine, it’s one of those jobs that I keep not having time to do…





Here’s the microwave shelf all loaded up!  Is that bulletin board adorable or what?

And the bookshelf is the perfect place for the cookbooks I never use!!

Also, to the right of the fridge you can see our new stove.  That leads into my next story, a story about how important it is to listen to your husband.  😉

See, Tom and I had seen this awesome gas stove at Menard’s back in January, and we both fell in love with it.  It was just perfect in every way.  Five burners, white, and a purple interior!  How awesome is that!  Tom really wanted to buy this oven, but even though the price had been really reduced because it was a closeout, I was still hesitant.  Super hesitant.  Because our old stove still worked??  So it seemed wasteful, even though the old stove wasn’t that great and the new one was everything we wanted with about a third or more off the price.  After weeks of going back and forth, I finally came around to Tom’s point of view, and we went to Menard’s, money in hand, only to find this:




TRAGEDY.  SO MUCH TRAGEDY.  Seeing that empty hole made me realize how attached to that stove I’d gotten.  I was devastated.  How could someone else have bought our stove?!  We’d been visiting it for weeks!

We went home super depressed and moped for a couple of days.  However, Tom was very determined to own this stove, and got on Menards.com anyway.  And do you know what he found?  Our stove hadn’t been sold.  It had just been moved to the back.  SO EXCITE.






Oh my gosh, is that the prettiest little stove you ever saw in all your born days??  Guys, I’m in love with my stove.  It matches my sink.

However, because of my hesitation, we had to pay $40 more for it, so lesson learned: if the hubby things something is a bargain, go with it!!  😀







Here’s our first meal cooking in the oven.  It looks more blue in this picture, but trust  me, in person it is PURPLE.  The perfect fit for our quirky house.

So the whole oven adventure took place in late February.  Right around that time we also got a bunch of snow.  Like, legit snow!  After a super boring December and January, February was  making up for lost time.  I actually love snow (during it’s appropriate time of year, not late March, Ohio), so I thoroughly enjoyed meandering around our happy little town through piles of fluffy snow.







The walk to the post office is super happy in pretty much all weather.








Of course, all the old kitchen cabinets had to go somewhere, and Tom was super excited to install them in the garage, along with some other random cupboards we had inherited from goodness knows where.

Now the garage is organized and happy.  One of the just incredibly fun things about working on this house is creating homes for everything.  With all of moves over the last few years, we’ve gotten rid of a LOT of stuff, and the things we have left are pretty much the things we really use a lot.  So finding places to put all of it, where it’s accessible and easy to find has just been fantastic.







Tom’s clever labeling system means even I can find stuff in the barn.

Also pictured: our famous fox toilet seat, now hanging in a place of honor.  😀









Speaking of finding a home for everything, here is my freshly-organized junk drawer.  I’m immensely proud of it.  We won’t talk about how long it took me to paper all the boxes.









It hasn’t been all work the last couple of months, of course.  One evening, Tom and I realized that, as kids, we both had the same exact edition of Battleship.  The internet is an amazing place.  A week later, Battleship was ours.  And trust me, we do not take Battleship lightly.








Now that the weather is starting to break, we’re trying to get back out on the trail more.  This house sort of railroaded our hiking goals last summer.  Even though we still have a lot of projects we’re trying/planning to get done this summer, we’re hoping to have a better work/play balance, and get back into using some of our camping gear!!

This pic is the Upper Falls at Old Man’s Cave on March 15.  Even though we had had a few warm days, there were still huge icicles everywhere, and it was so muddy.  We ended up hiking the rim trail more than the lower trail.







Wild Rose Lake still had quite a bit of ice, too.

Still, I love this time of year where, even when it’s still cold, it smells like spring.








On the home front, they finally got a section out of the bridge!!  Actually, we’re hoping to hike down there sometime this weekend, as it looks like virtually the entire structure has come down over the last couple of weeks (this pic was from March 17).

We are so ready for this bridge project to be over, as traffic has drastically increased through out little town, the unofficial detour.  However, it’s supposed to take over a year more to complete the project.  Good times.






The last few weeks have been pretty quiet, project-wise.  We got rid of our ugly brown fan (the one with, literally, 14 watts of light) and replaced it with one that matches the one we put up in the kitchen.  Even though Tom says our house looks like the ceiling fan section of Lowe’s, I have no regrets.  I LOVE CEILING FANS.


Well, that about catches everyone up to speed!  We’re looking towards outdoor projects now.  Last weekend we spent some time just walking around the yard/woods, talking about long-term projects and ideas and mentally mapping things out.  A chicken coop, a grape arbor, a small orchard, some hazelnut bushes and walnut trees, a vegetable garden, a goldfish pond, gravel for a real driveway down to the barn, screened-in porches, blueberries – just some of the ideas floating around.  It definitely won’t all happen this year, but hopefully we’ll make some forward progress on at least some of the ideas.  I’m working on an herb garden in the side yard, and am pretty excited about it.  What I’m actually really excited about is the fact that I’m planting perennials that I will hopefully actually see come back because we’ll still be living here next spring.  Like, two springs in a row!  Ha!  I’ll believe it when I see it.  😉

I’ll end this post with the usual promises to do better about posting regularly, promises that you all know are backed by the best of intentions, but don’t usually seem to get the necessary follow-through!

Hopefully all is well out there – stay in touch!!




Discovering Murphyisms {How Everyone Wants to Spend Vacation}


The man who built our house, and Pop’s, actually, was a fellow by the name of Murphy.  Apparently, Murphy didn’t  have a strong belief in things like safely laws or common sense, and there is a LOT of sketchy wiring/plumbing/everything in our house.  It all gets blamed on Murphy, and this week we’ve spent a lot of time cleaning up his 40-year-old messes.

So Tom has had this week off of work, and boy have we been busy.  The only blessing that the fleas have brought us is the fact that we aren’t living here yet, which means that the huge messes we’ve created this week have been scattered on subfloor and not carpeting and/or furniture, so that’s a plus because there has been sawdust E V E R Y W H E R E.

Besides stripping wallpaper and priming paneling, the other huge project for the week has been the “downstairs” (I’m still not convinced that two steps down counts but, you know).  You may remember how this room look originally:

("Downstairs" - looking towards the "closet")

(“Downstairs” – looking towards the “closet”)

Then we (and by “we,” I of course mean Tom) knocked out the wall between this room and the main house:

I love my lack of wall!

I love my lack of wall!

In the picture above you can see this sort of floral wallpaper going around the top of the wall.  Those are actually boards, and behind those boards were florescent lights.  I hated everything about this set-up (again, wallpaper should never be shiny), and was thrilled when it became the next step in renovating the room.

We really wanted to replace those lights with two ceiling fans/overhead lights.  However, this meant a lot of wiring and complications that I don’t really understand.  Luckily, Pop was around to lend a hand.

First, Tom took down the boards (which, in a house built out of particle board, turned out to be really nice solid wood planks – we’re definitely recycling them into shelves!).  I personally thought that even the bare florescents were an  improvement!



Then the lights had to come down as well.

This is how everyone spends their anniversary, right??

This is how everyone spends their anniversary, right??

After that, the fun began.  I was actually busy working on another project throughout the day – between the main and lower floors, we are building a railing.  It’s a really simple one.  We’ve created the spindles by splitting 2x4s into fourths, making a simple but decent-looking mission-style railing.

So guess who spent the day painting??

So guess who spent the day painting??

As you can see, I cleverly arranged my painting table so I was painting in the shade but my spindles could dry in the sun. I’m brilliant!

There was a lot of work that went into putting in the ceiling fans, but I wasn’t really a part of that so, in my mind, it was basically magic.

Words can't really express how completely thrilled I am!

Words can’t really express how completely thrilled I am!

The next day, while I was at real work, Tom and Pop crawled under the house and redid all of the wiring to that lower room.  I’m not really cognizant of all the details, but apparently when Murphy stuck this addition on he decided that he could run all those lights, a fan for the fireplace, and about eight outlets by splicing a wire off the main electric to the main part of the house.  He didn’t bother using electrical tape or to ground anything.  Why this house didn’t burn down years ago is one of life’s little mysteries.

In the end, though, I have awesome lights and outlets that actually work (and shouldn’t catch my house on fire).  We’ve also still been painting like crazy AND Tom got rid of some closets (because we don’t really need closets in the living room) which has opened things up even more.  We’re going to treat for fleas again tonight (even though we haven’t seen any) and hope (and pray) that this is the last time, because we really have to move next weekend!

Mostly complete section of railing, built entirely from 2x4s for a total of about $25.

Mostly complete section of railing, built entirely from 2x4s for a total of about $25.

This was the wire that ran the ENTIRE downstairs electric... OSHA approved, for sure.

This was the wire that ran the ENTIRE downstairs electric…

First coat of primer downstairs!!

First coat of primer downstairs!!

Closets before...

Closets before…

...and after.  Slightly different angle, but you can see where we kept the furnace closet on the right in both pictures.

…and after. Slightly different angle, but you can see where we kept the furnace closet on the right in both pictures.

Piano got moved today... my help draws the line at carrying pianos out of second-story apartments so I have to hire someone...

Piano got moved today… my help draws the line at carrying pianos out of second-story apartments so I have to hire someone…

Clock above the fireplace makes us feel like we're making progress in the move.

Clock above the fireplace makes us feel like we’re making progress in the move.