Life in Rehab is BACK! Get ready for a slew of new projects for the new year! We just can't promise we know what we're doing!

Visit Life in Rehab's new Etsy shop
And because we're good friends by now,
our readers get 25% off
by entering the promo code
REHAB when you make a purchase!
So deck out, do some early holiday gift shopping,
strut your stuff and make a statement!

I'm on a mission. If I have never EVER not once replied to your comments, you may want to check this out: No Reply?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Happy Flammaversary!

Guess what today is?
Our Fourth Flammaversary!
That's right, four years ago, the event that started the blog was crackling away.
So for those of you who are unfamiliar with our beginnings, here's how
it went down.
When you're done reading this, go check your fire alarms.

Sunday morning August 16th 2009 at 9:15 AM our house officially went from being Casa de Redneck to Chateau Inferno. We smelled the smoke, grabbed the kids, and ran out onto the lawn in our pajamas while I frantically dialed 911. I had to go back onto the porch and leash Arwen to convince her to come outside; she's been trained not to run out the front door. The cats? Please. They were on the front lawn staring at us with a look that screamed, "Why were you guys still IN there?!?!?" At this point, I also noticed that Sam was a tad under dressed, and I was wondering how that would affect his Teacher of the Year chances if the media arrived. Then I realized I was in a satin leopard print robe that was better suited to being worn for 2 minutes and then flung aside in a whirl of passion. The neighbors were staring. None of them were coming up with anything for us to wear though. We're still plotting our revenge.
Mid afternoon found us sitting on the lawn in those blue chairs waiting for the Red Cross in front of a house with no electricity that smelled like barbeque. We filled out all of our paperwork and got a $125 Visa gift card to help with expenses and some laundry soap that was guaranteed to kill the smoky scent. After that windfall, we farmed the kids out to friends who had fancy things like walls and air conditioning, and we went out to On The Border for a little Mexican food to discuss exactly what to do next. Big shout out to that fine dining establishment. They took one look at us and comped the check.
Ultimately, we came back to our house and lit some candles and crawled into bed. The windows directly over us had been smashed out. And it rained. On us. 
Sam as I said, is a teacher, and the next day was the first day for him to report to work. And he did. I, however, called in "in flames" and got to work.
In a decorating dilemmas contest, I win.
The fire went up through the floor and walls into the boys' room upstairs as well, and the firemen had chopped out their plaster to get to it.
So, for this project you will need the following:
A cast off or burned out house
Safety goggles
Weapons of mass destruction
Friends with trucks
Beer. Get lots
A serious yelling voice
Kids who don't mind sleeping in the living room for several months
A camera to capture every golden moment
The ability to laugh at how incredibly absurd your life really is right about now

Step one: rip out anything that looks like total crap.
Step two: realize when step one is completed and for God's sake STOP.
Step three: assure your husband you know exactly what you're doing. Lie if necessary.
Go upstairs and repeat steps one through three.
Sit back and admire your work.
Now take any non-essential belongings and stuff them in a 20x8 foot storage pod that is the focal point of your landscaping. Be sure that anything you could possibly need is stuffed in the very back where it will be completely inaccessible. Fill this unit to the rafters with Tetris-like precision. Close the doors and lock them. Realize you hear a meow coming from inside. Unlock the doors and remove idiot cat.
Start framing.
Discover that visqueen adds a chic industrial ambiance to your patio and consider halting progress at this point to fully enjoy your new decorating direction.
Notice all the places in your home that were not formerly entrances.
Take time to evaluate the use of natural light in a setting.
Consider allowing a more organic look instead of cookie cutter finished walls.
Make your flooring and color choices. Ponder how much Ringling Brothers has influenced your direction.
 Stare at the delivery. Second guess yourself. Wonder if you're making too many permanent choices at once. Say, "Screw it." and open the packages. Realize you forgot to buy tile. Use a flooring plank to bludgeon yourself. Momentarily enjoy the sensation.
 At this point, a little normal may occur. Do not panic. This is an illusion, and there's plenty more chaos to come.
In the middle of this, decide that it would be a good idea to move your mother in with you. Because that's really what any sane, rational person would do. Grab her dog, her two cats, and everything she owns while you're at it. Rent a second storage unit for your yard. Ignore your neighbor's glares and reap the benefits when your taxes go down along with your property value. Consider adding old tires and plastic flamingos to your landscaping to emphasize the new motif. Perhaps a rusted out truck up on cinder blocks would truly ice the cake.
Quit whining and get back to work.
 Occasionally, question your sanity. Appreciate the fact that your husband supports you fully in this endeavor and would like to emphatically join you in this activity. He's really the expert, since he's been doing this since you met.
Explore how much you hate high ladders. Convince yourself that creaking noise is nothing, and the obvious list to one side is just perspective and the fact that you're lightheaded from the altitude.
Next, second guess your continued use of pink as a house color choice after you've had it perfectly matched at Home Depot and it's up on the walls. Cry slightly. Do not ask anyone else what they think.
 Prime the smoke damaged walls and decide that's all that's happening until fall when the mercury drops below flambe'.

Grab a bottle of wine, kick back, and enjoy a year's worth of work. We've survived the construction. We have not killed each other. No cats were harmed. Poked here and there, but no lasting damage was inflicted. The dogs are oblivious.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Before, During, and After: The Kitchen

 When you initially saw the kitchen at the condo, 
the first thing that came to mind would inevitably be...
Sweet Mother of God, what the 
$#%^&&*^%$$^^& happened HERE!?!?!?!
How did a washer/dryer in the kitchen ever sound like a good idea?
Am I folding thongs next to my tuna casserole?
And where did these thongs come from in the first place?
I'm 52!
The colors!
The spiderweb lighting!
The absence of drawers ANYWHERE!
Five kinds of tile in this room alone!
And THOSE were the selling features!
Don't be fooled, those drawers are false fronts.
The pass through was passe'.
There was only one thing to do, and we did it...
...Mark handed me a hammer, and I swung...
...and swung...
...and swung...
...and swung...
...and, well, you get the idea.
Anyone paying for psychotherapy, I recommend a gig in demolition.
As we ripped the cabinets out, we got the sneaking suspicion 
we'd bit off more than we bargained for.
It became clear Mom was going to be at my house for quite some time.
The whole place was a mildew farm fraught
with rotted wood, mold, and studs that were randomly
set at irregular intervals.
"Kitchen collapses on woman in wheelchair. Film at 11."
So rip outs happened.
Tile demo happened.
 Lack of walls happened.
Heinous personal injury happened.
 Destruction happened.
 Chaos happened.
 A blank slate happened.
Inspiration happened.
 Colors happened.
 Design happened.
 Paint happened.
 There were interludes of manic panic.
 Not to mention the delivery of cabinets that had to be assembled.
 Therefore, glue happened.
 And Minions happened.
 Kudos to The Minions for fitting in tons of teamwork 
and still maintaining their straight A's in college.
Without them, cabinets would not have happened.
 This wouldn't have happened either, so it's a trade off.
 (Autism...detail oriented, focused, brilliant people. Now stop dressing like no one loves you.)
 IKEA cabinets go up on a rail system, so hanging them was simple.
 Feet happened, therefore base cabinets happened.
 The upper cabinets will be dust free display space, so we chose
beautiful glass doors and shelves.
 And...well...we tried not to kill each other.
 Mark bolted all of the units together as we went.
 Hinge assemblies happened.
 Pull out pantries happened.
 Meanwhile, I was making sure drawers happened.
 Not to mention rails happened.
All of Mom's dish, pot, and cookware storage are low, pull out drawers.
Everything is easily wheelchair accessible, making this kitchen
safe and easy for her to use as she learns how to cook again.
 The range has front controls so she doesn't have to reach over a hot cooktop.
You'd be surprised how hard a lot of things are when your ability changes.
I knew this from raising the boys, who had different needs with their autism.
Next time you're in a kitchen display, or your own kitchen, sit down.
Make it a rolling office chair, but see what changes you'd need.
It's amazing.
 Once we got to this point.... happened.
 As we got all of the pantries in...
 ...Savannah took my sketches for the guest bath and got started.
 I procured some fun decorative goodies for Mom...
 ...and painted...
 ...and painted...
 ...and painted...
...and painted.
 We chose the sink.
 We chose the counters.
 I installed the tile backsplash.
First real tile project.
Swallow that fear.
 Fear is not an option.
 From bamboo flooring, to porcelain pulls... stainless sinks with salvaged garbage disposals... ice...
...ultimately, the kitchen.