How to install laminate flooring: Part 1

I began installing the laminate flooring in earnest finally.  I told you I would post pictures and progress report so here it is.


Step 1:  Now that carpet is removed, remove furniture from the area and sweep it clean.  Enlist the help of adult male to help you move heavy oak entertainment center.   However, leave the speaker wire attached because it is too much trouble to unhook it from the back of the receiver and then reattach it.



Step 2:  Remove duct tape from speaker wire connections in other corner of room and replace with those screw on cap thingys.



Step 3: prepare to tuck the speaker wires under the baseboard, leaving the yellow caps so they will be just under the first step to the basement.  Be sure you use your “antique” screwdriver that your father gave you when you went away to college in 1982.     🙂

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Step 4:  Lay the blue plastic vapor barrier over the cement floor.


Step 5.  Start to lay the laminate flooring.  I laid it right to left and struggled a bit with the first 2-3 rows – especially row 3 in front of the steps didn’t want to snap in.  Very frustrating.  But after about 2 hours, you should have maybe 5 rows done.  Some of you might have more done, but I had to deal with that sandstone wall and the steps and being sure I was under the speaker wire and one time the pencil got lost under a board too.   LOL!!  Add a little wood glue and use an old sad iron to hold down a joint by the wall that wouldn’t hook together well because it was a bit uneven.     🙂


Step 6:  Take  a break and update your status on Facebook and tell friends you will have photos later.  Check in on the pets.  The one cat is fine, she is sleeping in the toy box that now houses the pillows and blankets right behind the couch in the living room – not 6 feet from me.  Notice that the dog is still stressing and while not currently pacing is seeming a bit anxious at the top of the stairs.

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Step 7:  Work as far as you can because of the short sandstone wall and the fact that you only removed a portion of the carpet and the next row will need to be longer.  Fold up the remaining vapor barrier neatly beside the finished flooring.  Cover it with some tablecloths so that the cats won’t claw it up and so it won’t come unfolded since you will not get back to working on the floor for over a week because you have to prepare for the Girl Scout Campout next weekend and it will take most, if not all, of your spare time this week to get that organized.



Step 7:  Once children are home from school.  Enlist 12 year old to dust the entertainment center that is still covered with dust from that sanding business a couple days ago.  Enlist 15 year old to put the felt on the bottom legs of the entertainment center while you lift it up.  HINT:  do not buy the expensive furniture felt at the hardware store, be smart, buy the self stick felt at the craft store and cut it into strips and it will stick just fine to the legs.  AND it will be in fun colors.  Purple and pink are under the entertainment center.  Orange is under the lamp and couch.  Enlist the help of EVERYONE in the house to move the entertainment center back into place so you don’t scratch the floor (felt is in place) and so you don’t get it caught on the plastic and mess that up.  Move the couch back in place but since it is 1/2 on and 1/2 off, use some un-re-usable scraps of flooring under the other legs so you aren’t sitting lopsided on it.

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Step 8:  (no photo) pile all the tools and re-usable scraps in the recliner to deal with later and clean up to go work the concession stand at the football game.     🙂




Why is it?


Why is it that the days that I am home and available for child pick up and running around are the days that there aren’t a gazillion conflicts?  Like today… home all day… the only child pick up needed is at 4:30 after band.

Why is it that the days that there are 2 different pick up times and then drop off times are the days that I cannot be home and neither can Wayne.

I do not like asking for help.  I feel like I ask, ask, ask, ask for people to pick up this kid, drop off that kid….

However, since the change of job situation, I have come to the realization that I have to ask for help in this manner.  I hope that everyone I ask for help with transportation realizes that I will gladly reciprocate when I can and if I cannot do transport, then I will gladly try to help you out in some other manner.    I realize that in order for my children to continue doing things they like and have always done, I have to swallow that pride and ask for help.  Thankfully, I only have 2 children’s schedules to deal with now instead of 4.

It used to be that pick ups and drop offs were no trouble because Wayne’s job kept him close to home and he could run and do that and then go back to work.  Unfortunately he did not find a job locally.


So… today as I send emails, texts, messages, and phone calls to arrange transportation for my kids tomorrow…


If you are one that I count on for help.  Thank you so much.  Please know that I truly appreciate it and will be willing to help you out when I can.  If you are a GS mom/dad… I’ll take the girls off your hands Oct. 3-5 and give you a quiet weekend.  However, I will bring them back to you a bit dirty and stinky.     🙂



We Started the Project

I purchased laminate flooring to install in the living room this summer.  I had high  hopes of getting it done before the grad party but… so many weeds… so little time.


Yesterday we started the process of preparing the room for the new flooring.  We took up part of the carpet.  By “we” I mean Lydia, Esther, and I.


We started by pulling up the carpet in front of the stairs to reveal some “wonderful” padding that was just taped together in some places and not in others and had gaps in other places.


We also discovered that there is a wood step at the bottom that should be level with the floor… but of course it is not, it is off by about 1/8 of an inch.  I toyed with leaving the step and just butting the flooring up to it but then there would need to be a transition piece and it would be a trip hazard right at the bottom of the stairs.  So… I’m going over the bottom step and gonna try to level it down to the floor as best I can.  Come on, we all realize from watching HGTV, that most people want hardwood and laminate is a distant second.  However, if/when I ever sell this house, the laminate will be a huge improvement over the carpet.


Think we have a pet body function problem??  Of course, not all of this is our pets, the carpet was stained before we moved in and we didn’t have the means to change it, nor the time.


And of course, we discover a fresh wet spot.  Really, Pumpkin??

But not only that…. there are gaps in the cement flooring.  No wonder it was so cold in there.  We really cannot figure out why they made the floor cement and in pieces AND it has a crawl space.  Very confusing.



The best gap of all is the HUGE one by the steps.  2 cable cords do not need that much space to come up from the basement. I’m surprised we have not had little furry visitors coming up that hole.  They certainly could.  Heck, a small cat could fit down that hole.  Thankfully, our cats are NOT small.


Did you notice in that photo that he nailed the tack strips to the cement??  Brilliant! Or course when you take them out, they take part of the cement with it.  Blah!  Not gonna do anything about it.  Just float in the floor and move on.  It is by the wall, no one walks there.


We had a bear of a time moving the entertainment center to get behind it.  Same situation with tack strips back here.





We swept up the dust and grit.


Then re-assembled the room for the time being so we can use it semi-comfortably.  The flooring has to sit inside for 2 days and I just brought some in yesterday.  So later in the week I’ll start laying it.



The instructions say start on the right and move across – despite what other home owners and/or professionals have told me about starting on the left.  I’m gonna start on the right, because I need the first board to be up as close to that uneven block wall as possible.  Then I will cut as needed in front of the stairs.  I will not put any quarter round, or shoe molding by the stone wall.  At least not now.  How would I attach it to the wall anyways?  If you have a great idea about that, let me know.  I’d rather do it now (if I do it) than move the stuff to do it later (which I wouldn’t).


If you want to help, by all means, give me a call, send me a text, or a message on Facebook, and I will be happy to have you.   🙂




My child came home with the usual packet of fundraising stuff this week.  She is a bit sad that I won’t buy anything nor sell anything.  I tried to explain to her my reasoning but still…


Here is my reasoning.

1.  No one needs more “stuff.”

2.  No one really needs cookie dough.  This is American after all, we are a nation that is overweight.

3.  Girl Scouts will be selling Magazines and nuts/candy starting next week and I’d rather they buy that.

4. Most people don’t need to renew magazines or buy them.

5.  We (Wayne & I) don’t have jobs that put us in connection with lots of people anymore.  We don’t have a congregation nor do we have a job place work room/lunch room to leave it out for people to buy things.

6. EVERYONE sells things and we are just bombarded with too many fundraisers.

7.  *The most important reason in my book!*   Why should I spend $20 on stuff/cookie dough for you to only get maybe $5 towards your trip (I have no idea the percentage or profit, it is not included in the packet!!!!!)  I would rather just put the whole $20 towards the trip than buy something I don’t need.


Seriously, there is nothing in the packet telling me the percentage of profit that will go into my child’s “account.”  There is all the information about the “wonderful”  prizes though.   I went to the company website, they cannot tell me because “it is different for each school.”  I called the school and the secretary said, “I got another call about that this morning.  I guess we forgot to include that information.  They get 20% towards their trip.  For example if they sell $500 they will get $100 in their account.”  Like we would EVER sell $500 worth of cookies and magazines.  LOL!!!


I work in fundraising.  I understand the point is to get the kids hooked on the prizes so they will convince the parents to buy and sell the stuff.  I totally get it.  Doesn’t mean I like it.  Doesn’t mean that I think the prizes are great (they aren’t).  Doesn’t mean I have to buy into that mindset.


Did I make her sad?  Probably.  Did she understand my reasoning?  Maybe.  Nutbuttonpage


If you want to buy some stuff or cookie dough, let me know.  If you want to support the GS troop by purchasing candy/nuts or renewing magazines, that starts on Monday.  Honestly, I’d rather you support the scouts.


I supposed those people with large extended families or jobs with lots of people might benefit from fundraisers.  However, if it is only you, the parent, buying the items, just to get your child the prize, think again.  Go to the dollar store and buy that same prize and then put the whole of the money you would have spent on the crap towards the trip.    You will come out further ahead that way.


If you would just like to contribute to the cost of the 8th grade DC trip for next year, Esther said it is about $400.  We will be happy to take your donations and she will send you a postcard.




If you make a mistake in your knitting and don’t notice it for several rows, the best course of action for fixing it is to remove the work from the needle and simply rip out the rows you have completed since you made the mistake.

This process is known as “frogging” because you have to just “rip it” and move on.

It’s not much fun to have to frog your projects, but you’ll be glad you did rather than leaving in a mistake you could have fixed.

Frogging is also the term used when you rip out a whole project and start over, either because you were knitting the wrong size, decided you didn’t like the pattern, or for some other reason.


This is something I do not do.  If I notice a mistake just a row or 2 down that I can fix by dropping the stitches and picking them up again, I will do that.  I prefer to do that rather than carefully un-knit the rows.   I very rarely, virtually never, undo a whole project.  I would rather figure out how to make it work than to undo an evenings worth of knitting.


HOWEVER…. I have started my next project afghan and I wasn’t happy with the size it was going to be on size 8 needles… since I don’t need this done until June … I ripped out all 8 rows on 210 stitches that I had done.    I moved up to a size 10 needle and have 6 rows re-completed.  And I even had to fix a mini mistake by dropping/picking up in row 5.  Maybe I got distracted by Masterchef… just maybe.


Of course, I am not following the pattern as written… why would I do that??  Where is the fun in that?  Actually the pattern is a crochet afghan and I am making it a knit afghan with some crochet insets.  Whooooo… are you intrigued?  There will be pictures soon.  I’m only 6  rows in.  I do like the colors  and I think it will actually be way prettier than I originally thought.  I let the person who will be receiving this afghan pick the colors.


For you non-knitters, you have learned a new term tonight.

For my dear knitting friends, I know you feel my pain.


To Sleep or Not to Sleep

While I was pondering what to blog about… some of the usual thoughts came to mind… things that nag in my brain and I wonder about but you don’t need to hear those again.  I cannot resolve them even when I share/vent so I guess I’ll just keep them inside some more and try to sleep.  I’m not so good at that anymore.


It used to be that I didn’t sleep because I had a baby to listen for and care for in the middle of the night.  Heck, I was either pregnant or nursing for the better part of 1992 – 2003.  By the time the youngest moved out of a crib I had a teenager and the sleeplessness changed to a different level.  Then, life threw me some curves/lemons and I haven’t dealt with them well and while lemonade or lemon bars would be great, basically, I just don’t sleep well.  I also still have teenagers AND I have 2 children away from home at college… one is pretty good at answering texts (even if it is just an “OK,” “Good,” or “yuck!”)  The other, hasn’t learned that skill yet… the “you must at least acknowledge that mom texted skill.”  It isn’t like I am texting all the time and I certainly understand not answering them whist driving or in class.   🙂

So, children still interrupt your sleep even when they are “grown.”


What else causes sleep to elude me on a regular basis?

– a mattress that is 27 years old and should probably have been changed 10+ years ago.   The “dips” are on both sides and both sides (top and bottom).  It is uncomfortable at best.

– sometimes heartburn – but I am doing better at dealing with that and just not eating what I know will cause it.  In fact, I haven’t had that issue in quite a while.

– the temperature of the room sometimes plays into it.  The bedroom is not connected to the furnace or AC.  The heat is generally OK from the ventless gas fireplace in the winter – IF the other adult cooperates and lets it be at least 65-68º in the room.  The cooling is done by fans only.

sleep– thoughts are the main cause of sleep issues.  Most nights, while I might be in bed by 11pm, I am not asleep until at least an hour later.  Yes, I have the notepad by my bed and jot things down if they are “to do” things in my brain, but mostly it is running scenarios of potential conversations.  Conversations that will never happen, and if they did would most likely not go how my imagination runs them.  I have thought about getting up and writing them down (well, typing them into a computer) but I’m just too lazy to do that.

– overhead lights and sound make it hard for me to sleep.  I don’t ever (hardly ever) have an issue with the overhead lights being on.  Sound, on the other hand… everyone else in this family goes to sleep with the radio, or music, or CDs or something playing in their ears.  I cannot do that.  If there is sound, my brain focuses on it and I listen to it.  It does not just become ambient noise.  Usually the radio is off by the the time I come to bed, thankfully.

– pitch black room.  I know that some people need the room to be pitch black.  They buy room darkening shades and curtains and keep them pulled.  I cannot sleep like that.  While I cannot fall asleep with the overhead lights on, I do prefer to have some gentle light from the outdoors or a night light in the hall.  I don’t like shades and curtains in general.  Light!  Let the sun shine in.  Let me be able to see outside.   I have limited curtains and do not pull down shades.


What is the solution?  I wish I knew.  I know of one thing I’ve tried, but only infrequently.   😉   😦


I’m not going with the warm milk or other type of evening beverage… when you have to go up a floor and through the kitchen to get to the nearest bathroom, you limit those after 8pm.


Warm shower  – yeah, sometimes but not a bath.  I haven’t taken a bath in quite a few years (probably since Carrollton).  While they can be nice, not in the slimey tub we have and I don’t really need to encourage any “special” infections.  Now… were we to have a garden tub in a master bath or even a hot tub outside on the patio… I might sing a different tune.


What doesn’t bother me?  SNORING!  I know that some of you are bothered by that, but 20+ years ago, a widow told me to be thankful that I had someone beside me in bed and be grateful for the snoring.  I have tried to do that ever since.  There really isn’t that much snoring anyways (unless there is a cold/upper respiratory issue).  Or maybe, I’ve just gotten used to it.


There you have it… my thoughts on sleep or no sleep… profound aren’t they?

Since I have the bed to myself tonight, I can sleep in the middle on the “good” part of the bed.  Maybe I will sleep better.  Doubt it.


Final Fair Results

I know you have all just been on the end of your seats waiting to hear the final totals for our fair events this year.  LOL!


Lydia’s Final Results

She had 4 second places and 1 first place on photos in the Art Hall totaling $13.50.

Then 2 second places in the Grange Hall totaling $8.75.

Lydia’s grand total for the fair this year (down significantly from last year) is:  $22.25


Tricia’s Final Results

I had 2 second places in the Art Hall (baby set & slippers) and 5 first places, including a Best of Show for my Beach Memories Afghan totaling $30.00.

In the Grange Hall I was only successful with 2 items (brownies and sugarfree apple pie) earning 2nd and 3rd respectively adding $5.25 to my winnings.

My grand total for the fair this year is:  $35.25


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In the Art Hall, Esther earned 3 third places, 2 second places (one was for a picture/painting of family that we didn’t originally think was judged because there were no ribbons on it) and 2 first places, including the Best of Show for her 3-dimensional fish project.  Her total in the Art Hall was $21.00

In the Grange Hall, she had a fabulous year as well.   🙂      Her baked goods brought her 2 second and 2 first places – and provided us with dessert at the cottage for the weekend.  Her marigolds earned her both a first and a second place.  The total of her winnings in the Grange are:  $15.25

Esther’s grand total is:  $37.25


I have to go pick up the items this afternoon and then we will be done with the fair for another year.  We spent less on food – only buying 2 funnel cakes, 2 cotton candies, and 5 lemonade refills.   We got to see a bit of the demolition derby yesterday when we picked up our premiums.  Neither Esther nor I can figure out the big draw for that.  It was LOUD!  It was crazy.  The stands were packed.


I’m not sure what afghan I will have for the fair next year since the only one on my schedule will be a wedding one that will have already been delivered.  Guess I’ll have to figure another one out.   🙂

I do have a couple in the back of my brain that I want to create…. so maybe…