Catching Back Up. Battle Basement II: Why?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Well well, winter bore us quite the gift about a week ago.  Our fifth heaviest blizzard ever.  O'Hare Airport reported 19.3" of snow, the city's official total.  I swear though, we easily got two feet plus over by us.

Finn in the snow

Some of the snow drifts in the yard are higher than three feet.  Heh, it's pretty tough to uh, gain a true perspective of how much snow we got in the above photo since Finn is, how shall I say, curiously large for a German Shepherd.  Certainly the largest I've ever seen.  He has no problem setting his chin down with ease on our kitchen countertops, if that gives you any idea of large.  Huge.

I have no clue how Mike managed to shovel a path in the yard, then shovel enough to get his car out of the garage into the unplowed alley and get to work that following Monday.  But he did.  Pew, mind blown.  Mike also shoveled out some raceways for Finn in the yard later too -- what a dad, huh?!

Our friend Jonathan was next in the receiving line for snow so his flight was canceled.  Never fear, he made it to town the next evening.   Week of Becky mildly postponed but we all had a good time.  Except that little thing about turning a year older, a nagging milestone-y year, ahem, yeah, no fun.

But I did hear, or rather Finn heard, gurgling while we were outside last week.  I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and slooowly turned to face my fave fave fave rain barrel....

frozen downspout rain barrel connection

Yeah, it's all frozen up.  Snow is melting on the roof so water is spurting out everywhere.  Neat.  Train. Wreck.  Hard to see in the photo, sorry.  I checked the basement several times over the course of the week and so far whew, no water indoors.

I should have re-rigged and bypassed the dumb barrel all together when I had the chance.  Rats!  Grrr, makes me want to yank my hair out.  Top top top of the list when the snow is gone.  What a disaster area.  I get it, I get it, lessons learned the hard way indeed.  Next house?  South facing backyard.

All that is a bit water off a duck's back though.  Coolest news in the world at the moment?  Our master bathroom vanity was featured in an article on, in their Home section under Small Spaces.  Check it out here!  Holy cow, am I ever flattered, honored, and just downright thrilled to pieces!  Holy cow, right?!  So neat!  Giddy smiles from ear to ear.  It's ridiculously cool.

But now I've got several projects on the brain competing for attention:

Main stair.  I painted those spiffy stripes in the foyer, so everything going up needs to complement them.  Docket:  what color to paint upwards and what to replace the horrid, cheap a**, already wearing out carpet with.  Of course much like the pantry, there will be forty trillion bazillion gagillion staples when I go to yank it.  I know because I step on them daily.  Uh huh.  Neat, right?

I decided I should resolve the risers and treads first, then chose the wall color.  But I'm stuck on riser and tread solutions.  No doubt the wood is crap, recovering in carpet is not an appealing option, and, well, we're just not sure.  Stumped.  Next!

Kitchen.  Yeah, I dunno why this project is taunting me, rearing its ugly head.  It's true, it'd be just soooo nice to get that in motion.  Wow, what an unironed-out project though.  Next!

Headboard.  That I have all planned out.  Or 98% planned out.  Measurements, materials, finished look yup, all squared away.  Just have to buy it and do it.  But....I need room in the basement.  And gosh golly darn it, a workbench would be so flippin' handy.

And then I saw this over the weekend and about fainted.  Click it, seriously, you have to look.  Here, click it.  Did you?  No?  Seriously, just look.


That means back to the basement battle.  Ok!  Ok!  Ok.  Fine.  Deep breath.

It needs doing, it needs done.  I did do some more work down there after the first attempt.

Today I made more progress.  Promise, it won't seem that way.

basement storage shelving mess

My methodology is quite scattered and seemingly lacks focus, but it is coming together, you have to trust me.  I do have some unfilled shelves and more stuff could end up in the trash heap.

Some stuff is temporarily situated which I'm sure makes absolutely zero logical sense.  Sometimes I have to make a huge mess, tidy parts in order to resolve other parts, then have to go back three + steps to go forward again.

Crazy.  Not streamlined efficiency at its best but, it's how I work.  I can admit to the nonsensical.

My goal has always been to get this track and some sliding panel curtains from Ikea to hide the mess which is why I'm trying so hard to contain it to this particular spot.  I say always because I've been planning that since oh, the day we moved in.

Then sometimes I don't know what comes over me, hand reaches out and does whack-a-do stuff before the brain kicks in to stop it.

view down the basement stair
Yes, plastic bag to temporarily block up hole to gaping uninsulated area between wall and foundation. 
Yeah, I ripped more chair rail out.  Highly satisfying though.  And wow, it makes a huuuge difference.  There's the stair down, above.  Awful trim gone.  Yes.

Also satisfying?  I stuffed in more of those foam outlet/switch insulating thingies down here. Yes.  Quite satisfying!

patching walls after chair rail removal

Yes.  Yes.  Much better.

more wall patching

Here's the wall I'd like to workbench up.  Imagine those French cleats holding tools all across?!  Oh wow.  My heart is a-flutter.

We still have this plywood platform from two residences ago that we made for Hailey.  She couldn't see out the front windows at that particular place so we built her a step so she could.  Sigh.  Ugh I miss her.

I thought I'd reuse it.  Extend it the length of the wall, maybe think about having it fold down, I'm not sure yet.  The additional storage of having it stay up may win out.

basement mess and wall patching

Then I ran out of joint compound so I stopped.  First time ever finishing an entire three pound tub of joint compound before it molds out.  Ding, accomplishment!

Despite the jumbo pile of stuff in the middle of the room, I did get somewhere today.

So, we'll see where this goes.  All this so I can make a headboard.  Huh.  I am so weird.

But did you see those French cleats with tools?!  Omg, dying.

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