Fourth of July & Cabinets

Over the 4th of July holiday weekend, while most people were grilling and hosting outdoor parties, Andy and I were ripping the temporary cabinets and dressers out of our houseboat and installing the new cabinetry. This entailed us removing the kitchen sink, relocating all of our dishes, cookware, and clothing to other areas of the boat – and making a huge mess in general. It was reminiscent of the beginning days of the renovation.

The first hurdle was getting the new (and very heavy) cabinets down the long dock to our boat. I’m not a slouch as a helper, but I’m sure Andy would have much preferred having more than just his 5’4” girlfriend helping him with this part.

We got a large chunk of the cabinets loaded onto a material cart and started our trek down the dock. We hit a literally bump halfway down, however, and there was no way just the two of us could lift the heavy cart enough to help it over. Andy ran off to get a piece of plywood to, hopefully, provide enough of an incline – leaving me alone on the swaying dock with the heavy load, praying that a large wake didn’t hit.

I stayed wake-free, but a group of people did approach on a golf cart, trying to pass through. Like a gatekeeper, I had to decline access to the only way off the dock as I could not move the cart by myself. Thankfully they were incredibly sweet people and, as Andy came trotting back with the plywood, they offered to help him push it the rest of the way to our boat.

Day 1 – Saturday, July 1: The adventure begins! With everything moved out of the way and

the material stacked onboard, we got to work. I tied my hair up and donned work clothes, but quickly noticed a huge problem – I couldn’t get to the oven or the coffee pot for coffee and breakfast. Life begins AFTER coffee, so I leave Andy to organize the day’s work plan and make a run to the nearby Chic-fil-a for coffee and breakfast sandwiches.

Properly fueled, we insulated and completed the rest of the ceiling and installed a good portion of the kitchen cabinets and what will be the large hanging closet. The walls of the boat are more uneven than Andy anticipated, so a large section of time had to be spent leveling out the hanging closet units, putting us a touch behind schedule. Still, we ordered pizza halfway through the day, got to a good stopping point (around midnight), and even managed to venture outside to watch the firework show (while I sipped wine, of course).

With the bed still piled high in clothes, tools, material, and dishes, we decided to construct a pallet in the living room area out of couch cushions and laid our sore and bruised selves down to sleep; thus, ending Day 1.

Day 2 – Sunday, July 2: Andy woke up around 7:30am and promptly started banging around with the cabinets – before I’ve had a chance to have coffee. I remind myself how beautiful this is going to be when it’s done and drag my sore body from the pallet to make coffee and breakfast. We got enough accomplished the day before to save me from having to run out for coffee – good thing, because the holiday weekend has tempted an excessive amount of people out to the marina and the place is packed!

Feeling motivated, we get the upper kitchen cabinets installed, the plumbing started to re-install the kitchen sink, and the wine bar removed and replaced with the new cabinetry. Additionally, I begin cleaning the newly installed cabinets, hanging doors, hanging clothes, and putting away some of the dishes.

It’s another late night and we are back on the pallet again, but, overall, Day 2 feels like a success.

Day 3 – Monday, July 3: Andy is off work today, so I leave him to continue the project while I go to the office. I’m so sore that sitting at my desk is a task, but the progress of Day 2 has us feeling optimistic.

Andy’s goals while I’m at work are to finish plumbing and installing the kitchen sink, finish leveling and installing the corner cabinet that replaced the wine bar, and install the countertops. When I get home, I plan to clean the installed cabinets and put away the remainder of the dishes and cookware.

Andy makes a run to the hardware store to pick up a few materials before he begins for the day – and that is where things take a turn. The back window of his truck gets shattered by an accident involving his wheelbarrow – and the repair shop takes nearly three hours to fix it. This incident coupled with heavier traffic due to the holiday has him not getting home to begin work until after 2pm.

I leave work around 4pm and drive straight home to help. Despite the delay, we manage to finish plumbing and installing the kitchen sink (which was a chore), cutting and installing all but one of the large countertops, and leveling and installing the corner cabinet.

We worked until 1am, then, a little less elated, we cuddled up on our pallet and fell straight to sleep.

Day 4 – Tuesday, July 4: Happy Fourth of July! Our strategy was to push it so we could have at least half of the day to relax and enjoy the day together. We planned to grill steaks and rest our sore muscles in the sun; however, the set-back of Day 3 dashed our chances of relaxation time. Still determined to finish the project, we drank our coffee and got to work.

With the delightful smell of grilling food drifting around us, we finished installing the remaining cabinets and countertops, and cleaned and put away the remaining dishes. I then sorted through and folded the clothes still piled on the bed and cleared away everything still cluttering the bed so that we wouldn’t have to sleep another night on the floor.

The construction cleanup took an extreme amount of time (there was sawdust EVERYWHERE), but by 8pm, we were at a nice stopping point and on our way to the grocery store to get ice cream and ingredients for a taco dinner.

We enjoyed the rest of the evening together eating tacos and ice cream (not exactly steaks on the grill, but heavenly after a weekend of sandwiches and hard work), and admiring the extraordinary difference between the before and after. Ecstatic about the accomplishment of this milestone and the sheer joy of sleeping in our bed again, we decided to take a break from remodeling to just enjoy the rest of the summer – after we finish installing the drawers, of course.

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