all i want for christmas ...

... is a vacuum.
can you believe we've been using our shop-vac as our house vacuum cleaner ever since we've moved in four years ago? ugh. it is totally disgusting and almost a waste of efforts because a lot of the dust just blows out the back end of the vac right back onto the floor and countertops. granted, the shop-vac is awesome when pieces of the plaster ceilings or walls fall onto the floor, which unfortunately happens more often than i care to think about.
so this christmas i'm asking for a real, grown-up vacuum cleaner. and true to my style, i'm not going to walk into the local big-box retailer and buy any vacuum sitting on the shelf. this is the one i've been after for a few years:

this is the miele capricorn. and this puppy is not cheap. therefore, i might have to rethink this wish list item. i'm also thinking about this one:

this is the miele S-163. it's compact and marketed for small living spaces, which i totally love. we have limited storage/closet space as is and i don't want to have to dedicate an entire closet area for my freaking vacuum cleaner. after lugging around the damn shop-vac for years, i'm really wanting something lightweight, made for wood floors (all of our floors are hardwood, tile, or linoleum), and that will actually work well - you know, with all the filtration bells and whistles.

any suggestions from hardwood floor owners out there???


our ole' screen door

this is our original screen door for the back door off the kitchen. when we moved in this was found in the garage along with some storm windows. we recently had a quote done for weatherizing all of our outside entrance doors as well as stripping two of the doors. there are a few things that we just are not going to tackle ourselves and stripping doors is one of them. at the last minute chad handed this screen door over to the door guys. we went and visited the workshop this week and here's our door! besides the insulation this is the first project we've contracted out and let me tell you. it felt good. how nice to leave something in one condition and get it back in better condition! this is so novel for us.

i wish we would've taken a before pic but it was so last minute that we decided to have it stripped. we'll still need to install a new screen and we'll also paint or stain this once we do the same to the outside trim on the house. but can i tell you how excited i am that we are going to be able to have breeze come through the kitchen this summer? yeah!!

we also went to the workshop to view some doors that are being refinished for some of the houses chad is working on for work.

for some reason, i pictured this guy working with steel wool and a little can of stripper. how stupid of me. you can see what this door looked like on one side and then how it appears after the stripper has worked its magic. he says this door is very old wood and probably dates back to the late 1800s.


attic work, i've lost count

i used to number the posts related to the attic work but i've honestly lost count. so far this year we've unfinished the circa 1960 finished attic. we've ripped out, bagged up and sweated through removing countless truckloads worth of insulation. then we took a few months of any work on the house due to finances.

now the attic work is back on. yeah! which is how we were introduced to our friend, the hole. right now the house work is focused back on the attic as chad shop-vacs the cavities between the joists to make sure we get ALL the old nasty insulation outta there as well as the loose plaster keys.

we're set to have a quote from our insulation guys later this month. here's hoping all this work makes the less dust and cozy toes this coming winter!