Tagged: Family

A “little” bit of help…

When you last heard from me, I mentioned that we had been working a bit at my stepmoms place as she wanted underfloor heating installed.

My plan was to make a blog-post about it as soon as we were done, but something came up and B and I had to jump on a plane to England to help out my mum (nothing serious.. she just needed a little help). We came home a couple of weeks ago, with a little gift… the flu 😦

Not only had we been infected by someone on the plane… but unfortunately we managed to give it to my mum as well, which she really didn’t need.. poor girl 😦

It’s taken a while, and I’m still sniffling like crazy.. but at last.. I’m back on the computer, so I thought it was time for that blog post about the work we have been doing 😉

My stepmom lives in a building with several condominiums, it’s an older building and when it was built, it was not common to install heating cables in the floors. Today however, underfloor heating is pretty much the norm here in Norway (it gets cold you know 😉 )

As my stepmom was getting tired of freezing here little feet off, she decided she wanted to have underfloor heating installed.

She figured the smart way to handle that project, was to give the task to me, and then jump on a plane to Spain for the fall season 😉

It wasn’t really a difficult project as it mostly meant organizing people to come over to do the work. But even so, it turns out B and I spent a lot of hours on this.

So lets get on with it shall we?

As the main part of the house was being “torn up”, we had to pack everything away into one bedroom. I feel sooooo sorry for that bedroom, we filled it to the brink, and you could hardly get in the door, by the time we had emptied the living room/dining room/kitchen area. It took us two days to empty it all (yeah.. we (read: me) wear out easy).

 

As the engineered wood floors she had before was only about three years old, our plan was to reuse the flooring if possible.

When we had it all cleared and ready, the hardwood floor people came over to remove the old flooring. To make sure we kept the budged, B and I helped as much as we could. It was kinda cool, because I learned a thing or two about removing old flooring your want to keep. And, guess what.. we managed to salvage all of the floor.

Turned out the were old linoleum underneath, which B and I tore out on our own…. and oh boy… was it dusty… but sooooo much fun 😉

When it was all torn up, we found that the concrete floor underneath it all, wasn’t all that even 😦  After a bit of discussion with the electrician and the floor people, we concluded that the only way the end result would be half decent, was to have the floor leveled. Which happily was something the floorers could help us do.

They took of to get their floor leveling gear, while B and I got rid of the old linoleum at the recycle plant. And then met back up a couple of hours later.

I helped with priming the floor while B helped carry all the bags of self leveling compound/concrete (yeah.. heavy work.. which I was staying well away from 😉 )

Day four was dedicated to mixing and leveling the floor. We helped with the mixing of concrete, but left the leveling to the experts.

Day five was a follow up day to level off the last bits and pieces.. and then all we could do for a few days was to leave it all to dry.

 

I am so impressed with the products they have today.  They give you the opportunity to add heating to the floors without having to put down heavy cables.

The electricians needed only one day, first they put down some underfloor mats (0,6mm) that keeps the heat from going into the concrete below (the green you see). Then they added the super thin underfloor heating film which is only a few millimeters thick. On top they put a thin layer of plastic, and then it was time to put the wooden floors back in.

After the floor was all done, the electrician came back to test that all was OK with the floor, and to finish the rest of his work. (yeah we had a little list for him 😉 )

And then it was time.. to clean it all up and put the house back together again!

Funny thing.. it almost took us longer to put it back together again, that it took to take it apart..  strange how that is 😉

So now it’s back as good as we can get it… I’m sure my stepmom has to rearrange a book or two… but hey… we gotta leave a little for her to do.. wouldn’t you say?

Now the kicker… when you walk in today it looks exactly the way it did a few months back.. the only difference is an tiny thermostat on the wall.  Good thing I’m adding some pictures here, it’s the only proof we’ve been up to anything at all, lol 🙂

 

Back in the groove of things!

It’s been a while… I know, one of these days you’ll get sick of hearing me say this, I’m sure.

With my head playing up like it’s been doing the last few months, I’ve learned that I have to pace myself when doing things.

Even though you haven’t heard from me in a while, it doesn’t mean that B and I haven’t been up to anything 😉

We have been a little busy actually! Mostly doing other people’s stuff.

This is a quick recap of what we have been up to since you heard from me last:

  • I’ve been dealing with insurance stuff for my step-mum, after a young man hit her car and ran away without leaving a note (thankfully there was a witness).
  • We have been flexing our handyman skills at a friends place, installing a couple of ceiling lamps, changing door handles and oiling up a couple of doors and swapping out some reeeaaaallly rusted outdoor ventilation covers.
  • We have helped my neighbor with moving some clothing cabinets, installing a couple of bunk-beds and a desk. Mostly just helped her set up her daughters room so it’s easier for them to share a room and still have a private corner.
  • My stepmom wants heated floor in her condominium. This task has turned out to be a bit more work than we though.. and deserves a blog-post of it’s own 😉
  • I’ve been dealing with a lot of admin stuff related to the row of townhouses I belong to (which is still an ongoing task, not quite settled, yet)

Have we done anything for us?

Well yes, as a matter of fact… we have.

You might remember from earlier this spring that we built a patio at a friends house? From that job there was some leftover decking material.

I’ve had a couple of plans for those leftovers, among them I wanted to build a “big” planter/storage box. So about a week ago, we kinda finished that box 🙂 It’s on wheels so it’s easy to move around (it would be impossible without wheels, as it’s large enough that you would need three super strong men to move it, if it is ever filled with soil and plants).  I will be using it as a combination planting table and storage box for material, like pots, mulch, sand etc.

As I’m planning on using it as a storage box and as a planting table, I need to add a lid at some stage. A lid with not only keep everything inside dry, but also give me a surface to use as a table. I haven’t quite figured out what I want make the lid from yet. I’m thinking either treated plywood, or maybe try to make a lid with the leftover decking. When it’s done I’ll show you, but for now you can see how the box looks today. I’m really happy with how it turned out  😉

So what about decluttering?

You would think that with all the stuff going on for everyone else, that I took a declutter break! And in a way you would be right 😉

My decluttering has been a little on and off since you last heard from me. A little here, a little there….

Some of it has made it out of the house.. I’ve got pictures 😉

But some are still hanging around in my catch-all room (guestroom) – gotta take pictures for the blog and all, you know 😉

So what has actually made it out of the house?

1 concrete side-table – sold today
I box filled with decking cutoffs
49 old no longer usable decking boards
(the rest  of the stuff in the car is old flooring from step mums place.. so that’s not mine to count 😉 )
21 books

Out-the-door = 72 items

Which brings my grand total for 2017 to 1017 🙂 

 

Guess this is it, for now! You should be all caught up.. kinda 😉 So hang tight.. and I’ll see you soon!

Hellooooo May!

I can’t believe it’s May already. We have forever been waiting for spring here in Stavanger and when it finally showed up a few days ago, May was just around the corner.

It’s been a couple of months since my last post on this website, and I’m sorry for dropping off the face of the Earth like that, leaving you guys hanging, without even a heads up. My apologies.

You see, a few weeks back my mum got ill. Nothing really serious, just a bit of a “bad” cold we thought. A couple of days into it, I woke up to a text from one of mum’s neighbors telling me that mum had been rolled into the hospital during the night.

Since mum has a habit of getting from bad to worse pretty quickly, due to her past history of pneumonia, combined with her not doing too good with medication, because of her autoimmune disorder (Sjøgrens), (we have had a couple of scares before) I wasn’t leaving much to chance this time… and booked a ticket to UK right away for the earliest plane we could get on.

After a nine hour trip B and I got to the hospital checking in on mum quickly before we called it a night. Over the next few days we visited twice a day, talked to the doctors, discussed medication and what we needed to do, to get mum back healthy.

Thankfully because of her quick admittance to the hospital and a few days with antibiotics through an IV (pretty much the only thing that works anymore) she was bouncing back and it was decided that she was well enough that she could go home 🙂

We stayed around for a while to take care of her, you know.. alt the little things of cooking, shopping, walking the dog, being mean making sure she took her meds 😉 and in general keeping her company, until she was back on her feet well enough she could fend for herself.

We are back home now, and I’m happy to say mum is getting better by the minute, as I got a text a couple of days ago that she was out and about doing a little shopping 🙂

I’m sorry I’ve got a couple of you guys worried about what was going on, but I haven’t felt much like writing…

But hey… I’m back now… so hopefully things should pick up a little 😉

 

 

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas.

christmas-snoopy

It’s incredible how fast this year has gone by! I can’t believe we are right back in the middle of Christmas 🙂

This years Christmas celebration is being spent with my mum in England, and happily we get to celebrate it the “Norwegian” way, with our Christmas starting on the 24th. I explained it all in my post last year.

Our suitcase (as always around Christmas time) was filled with our regular Norwegian christmas dinner, jams, chocolate and a bunch of other little goodies. No “minimalist packing” this time around, with the exceptions of clothing, as there wasn’t room for much outside of food 😉

I’m sure some of you have found yourself in similar situations, dragging food “across the oceans”, for family members for special occasions, like maybe even Christmas 😉

We’re planning on enjoying ourselves with good company, great food, a few drink and loads laughs. And this is my wish for you….

I wish you a wonderful holiday, with family and friends, great food and a drink or two, days filled with laughter and hugs, loads and loads of hugs 🙂 

Happy holiday everyone!

 

A pile of mess!

It’s been a few days since my last post, and yes, I have recovered from my friends move in party  😉

While I’ve been busy with friends and move in party, it seem like my guestroom have had a “move in” party of it’s own. At least that’s what you would think, if you had taken a look, because it looks like a bomb went of in there.

As far as I know, no lives were lost during the bomb attack, but who knows what’s lurking in the shadows 😉

So. You are wondering, what on earth happened? Well so do I, kind off..

I have a tendency to use my guestroom as a “storage” area, for when I find things I want to get rid off. You know, that area you use to dump stuff, before it makes it out-the-door! I also tend to use it as room to stash things, that I haven’t sorted through yet.

Add several bags + an exercise ball (used as a chair) I brought with me from work, when I emptied my office a couple of weeks back. With that, what you have, is a recipe for disaster!

This room is no way fit for guests!

And my brother and his wife is coming over from UK tomorrow! Now mind you, they are staying at a hotel (phew),but if they want to stay over, I’d be hard pressed to find room for them in between the piles of crap, eh, sorry, stuff 😉

Hmmm, think it’s time to do something about it? I sure do!

So here it is.. my mess!
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Now… let’s see if I can’t get some of this stuff out-the-door…

Happy holiday!

Wishing everyone a happy holiday and a wonderful Christmas. 

Christmas starts today! Or actually it kinda started yesterday, with what we call “little Christmas eve”, the day when a lot of people decorate the tree and the house.

Today is the day we celebrate! Christmas eve is filled with Christmas dinner, a walk around the Christmas tree and the unwrapping of all our Christmas gifts.

Unfortunately since I have family in more that one country we don’t get to celebrate with everyone. Last year I was in UK at my mums place, so this year I’m spending Christmas eve at my step-mums place here in Stavanger. Fortunately mum don’t get to be alone as she is spending Christmas at my brothers place in London 🙂

Christmas eve celebration in Norway typically starts with dinner around 5 or 6, followed by very inpatient kids nagging us about “when are we going to unwrap the gifts” until about 8 or 9 when we dive under the tree 😉

Since Christmas eve tends to turn into a late evening/night, it means that Christmas day we get to sleep in 😉

Christmas day is still a day where family meet up for brunch or dinner, loads of cake and good family fun. This year we are having dinner at my step-sisters place, followed by a family brunch on second Christmas day (26th) at my place. Before some of my family members board a plane to go back to their home town.

As you can see, Christmas here, are a few days hanging out with family and enough food, to which I’m sure, will leave us with thoughts not to eat so much next Christmas, just as we did, last Christmas 😉

Here is wishing you a happy holiday, with family or friends, good food and drinks, and hugs, loads and loads of hugs 🙂 

Happy holiday everyone!

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Preparing for the Holiday season!

It’s that time a year, where everyone is scrambling around like “Looney Tunes” trying to get everything done before the holiday starts.

And I can’t say I’m any different. Just a week ago, I thought I had all the time in the world, all I had to do was clean the house, wrap some presents, buy some food and a Christmas tree, and decorate a little and I would be done. But somehow, somewhere along the way, I’ve ended up with, not enough time, before Christmas.

It might have something to do with doing errands for everyone else BUT me! Let me explain;

It’s coming down to the wire at my step-mums new place, the people that are doing the renovation should be more or less done. So much so, that we have had to go down several times this last week, just to keep an eye out and point out the things that are missing or that we are not happy with. For some reason, ever time we are there, 2-3 hours goes real quickly.

While hanging around the new place, I was told that I had promised that I would fix up the new front door with some teak oil! I can’t quite remember that, but I’m sure it must be right, guess it slipped my mind 🙂 Giving a couple of things that the workers have not done up to specifications,  I can see a few other tasks that will be coming my way also, right after the holidays… among them, putting the kitchen fronts (we picked them up this week) back on the cabinets.

Yesterday, the family all had lunch together, and somewhere during the conversations it seems like I got another handyman job or two for my step-sister as well…. there was some lamps that needs to be hung, some TV cables that needs to be extended and hidden?

Even a bed frame I needed to pick up at a store because her car is not big enough!!! And for your information, I drive a convertible, a huge car, not… and hers is bigger than mine… I think they found out that if I took the top of it would work out perfectly  for the transportation. I’m telling you, there is nothing that will be transported in my car as long as it’s raining outside 😉

So you can see how I went from thinking I had all the time in the world, to suddenly not… I did however find the time to get a Christmas tree, one for me, and one for my step-mum 🙂

Today though, I’m putting my foot down!

I need a day to sort out a few things, to; clean my house, change my bed, wash some clothing, iron, in general tidy, wrap some Christmas gifts and maybe even consider starting to put out some of my few Christmas decorations.

So that’s what I’m doing today! And now my washing machine is yelling at me that it’s done, so I gotta run…

See ya!!

 

A busy bee…

I take my hat off to my step-mum these days.

We are moving into that time of year where it seems like there is not enough time to get everything done. Now add a renovation project to that…

Things are moving along at my step-mums new place, and I’m sure they will be done shortly. To get there we’ve had a few days filled with looking at some of the materials that are going in, and now the tiles, paint and wooden floor should be in place. We’ve done some measurements, and I think we are ready to order the kitchen counter, whenever my step-mum finds one she likes 🙂 A new closet for the guest bedroom has been ordered, and sometime this week, I believe we will be picking up the newly painted kitchen fronts. I have to say, she is a trooper. I’m totally impressed with how much she have managed to get done, is such a short time.

Part of buying a new place, is the selling of the old. The first showing is on Sunday, and I’m hoping it will sell quickly and at a price she will be happy with. There are always some stuff that needs to be done, to make sure a place make a good impression, and my step-mums been a busy bee. Even so, there are still some stuff she needs help with, and yesterday a friend of mine and me, went over there and did some work on her closets (drawers removed, hanging rods added), so that it presents correctly during the showings.

It’s incredible how much work there is every time one decides to buy and sell property. There a a zillion thing to think about, and the moving itself is just part of it all, which I’m sure most you know everything about. I’m just glad it’s not me! This time around, I only have to help out a little 😉

You can see how December this year will be a little busier than normal! So stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted 😉

A new property…

My step mum have bought herself a new place to live. It’s on the 3rd floor of a 7 floor building, and it’s a bit of a rehab project!

There is a lot of things that needs to be done to it and fortunately she have found some workers that starts on Monday. They will take care of painting the ceilings and walls, opening up some walls, changing the wooden floors, tear down some old cloths cabinets and a few other bits and pieces.

Even so, I’m sure there will be more than enough small projects for the rest of us to do 😉 Like yesterday!

The kitchen needs a tiny overhaul (cherry colour, with worn out kitchen counter). My step mum wants it white and bright. So we have decided that the easiest way to refurbish it, is to keep the original kitchen (as the units are pretty OK), and paint it.

So yesterday a friend of mine and I went over there to take down all the kitchen cabinets doors and drawer fronts, as they are to be delivered to a place that specialize in spray-painting old kitchen units. All the fittings had to be removed and the fronts had to be cleaned thoroughly to make them ready for the paint place.

Even though it’s not a hard job or a difficult job, I have found that regardless of what it is that has to be done in a house, it always seem to take much longer than you originally think 😉

Tomorrow  we are delivering the fronts to the paint place, and I believe we will get them back in about a week or so… so I guess I know what the next weekend project might be 😉  After the other workers are done with the painting, mind you…

Hmmmm, seems like I can’t seem to escape from kitchen projects 😉

2014-10-17 15.06.362014-10-17 15.06.48

 

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

It seem like I can’t seem to concentrate on one thing these days, If you saw my living room and guest room you would have a laugh. There are stuff all over.

I told you before I started on my kitchen, that it seems like I’m working on a “zillion” projects, and that’s exactly how my house looks 😦

I’ll clue you inn on a couple of them.

Dads boxes:
After dad passed away last year, there was a few things that ended up in my house. Some things I held for my brother, which he have received during this year. Remember I told you about them earlier in “My Grandfathers cabinet” and “Hand over“?

There was also a couple of boxes, with letters, pictures, films, audio tape, and other stuff dad had held on to, for sentimental value. It’s a mix of stuff from his life and stuff from his mothers life (she passed away quite a few years ago).

I did look through it last year, but I realized that because of some of the formats he had, like old 8 mm films and old Tandberg audio tapes, I would have to find someone that could help me figure out what on earth was on that stuff, and I packed it all away for later.

Well, I decided that later is now. It’s time to figure out what to do with it all. And I’m slowly going through his boxes.

A couple of friends of mine have (or been able to get their hands on) some old equipment, and I have found out what’s on the 8 mm films and dias (negatives in frames). I have to admit, its kinda weird, and fun to come across people you know, and see them 50 years younger 🙂 The films I have already delivered to a company that will make them digital, the dias I’ll probably deliver to the same place next week or so. I’ve found a photo place that are not to expensive, and I’ll probably have them scan some of my stuff, rather than me go out an buy a very expensive photo/negative scanner.

I’ve also found out some of what’s on the audio tapes, but here I’m running into a bit more trouble. There are hours of tape, and the places I know that can digitize this, is hugely expensive, so I’m kinda hoping I can find someone with an old Tandberg player that I can borrow, so that I can digitize it myself… we will see… I’ll leave that for later.

Some of the stuff in the boxes are from my dad’s mum and even some from his dad’s, mostly letters and some pictures. And some are letters to and from my dad. The letters are a little strange to go through, because most of them are from family members that are sadly no longer with us. So reading them is like being hit from all sides. And it’s hard to decide which ones to keep and which ones to let go.

The same with the pictures, there are pictures of people there, that I know nothing about, and there are pictures of people, that are family members. I know I can’t keep it all, so I’ll have to pace myself going through them.

This is one of the things I’m working on right now, my dad’s boxes. And I know, it will be an ongoing project to decide what to keep, and get most of it digitized.

My photo collection:
The other thing I’m working on that are creating havoc in my house, is my own photo collection. Starting on my dad’s stuff, I realised it was time to tackle all of my photos as well. It’s been a plan of mine for a long time, to do something about my photos. I don’t know if you remember, I mentioned my plans for my photo collection in the post “Who the hell am I keeping it for?

My photo collection consist of, tons and tons of albums, loads of negatives, loose photos (not yet put into albums) and boxes of old inherited photos of people I barely know (or don’t know as it is).  Somewhere along the way, I also decided I wanted them digitized.

In the article mentioned above, I realised that I, in reality, am only keeping the photos for me, and that I therefore do not have to keep everything…  and the conclusion was to keep key pictures as real photos, scan a few more and then get rid of the rest. And that is the task I’ve just begun.

And here is where the mess comes in. I’ve pulled all my albums and photo boxes out on the floor, And so far that amounts to 9 huge albums and 4 boxes, in my living room and 6 albums and several boxes in my guest room and a bunch of unused albums. Throw that together with my dad’s boxes and you understand my problem, yes? 😉

How am I doing with this task? Well so far I’ve only created the mess, but stay with me over the next few days (weeks), and I’m sure I’ll have a progress report or ten for you.

So there you have it, the stuff I’m working on right now. I have a funny feeling, this is something that will take quite some time, before I am where I want to be with this, but I have to start somewhere, right?