Some Tidbits… and the Remodel that Never Ends

By Kate Riley April 3, 2009

Hi y’all.  I am so thankful to all of the supporters out there who are following this blog.  I am relatively new to this whole thing (like, February) and I love meeting all of you and making new friends out in the blogosphere.  Thanks for all of your comments and emails. 

Mr. CG and I are blessed to live in a beautiful town called Petaluma in Sonoma County, California, in the heart of the Wine Country. I am an attorney who left my full time job when my daughter was born five years ago.  I practice law on the side, but my true passion is remodeling and decorating homes.  I stay awake at night scheming about my next DIY project.  In hindsight, I should have gone to design school, not law school, but coulda-shoulda-woulda.   

It was my not-so-brilliant idea to start a major remodel of our home in 2006, the same year my son was born.  I often refer to this year as “the lost year” since my only memories are in pictures.  Here are some photos of the experience we survived.  Barely.


Grading the site

foundationMr. CG clearing the new foundation

halfway Framing the expansion

builder help Helping the builder

not happyThe critters were not happy 

the family room The family room – yikes

scaffolding Living with scaffolding

Every year, we throw a Christmas party for our friends, but we were unable to entertain in 2006 because of this remodel.  I wrote a poem about it to all of our friends in that year’s Christmas card.  Here goes:

Twas the June before Christmas, so I said to my spouse

“The time has come to add on to the house”

The approval of plans meant more space in our home

All we could think was “Brushed nickel, or chrome?”

“Wait a minute” we heard, “You just had a baby,

Don’t take on this project, you’re both certainly crazy.”

“Nonsense” we replied “We both have a brain”

We paid no attention to the claims “You’re insane.”

July was the month that we poured the foundation

Funds paid for concrete, but no Hawaiian vacation.

Choosing cabinets and tile and a new kitchen sink

Include sleepless nights, it all drove us to drink

Through summer and fall as we lived in a rental

We knew they were right, we were certainly mental

Here’s December, our pocketbook and spirits diminished,

We still wonder if ever our house will be finished.

And so this strange year we must say with dismay,

Unfortunately at our house there’s no Christmas soiree

We wish all of you peace, and blessings from above

Merry Christmas to all, and we send all our love. 


It’s 2009, and we still haven’t finished the master bath, and parts of the rear yard.  Our hope is to complete this year. 

Here’s to hoping !


  1. WOW. You are far braver than I. We talked about an addition 2 years ago when I found out about #4 – I’m still dreaming of my new family room and huge (well, in comparison to what I have!) kitchen with pantry. And you’re doing great! My Dad has spent 10 years remodeling 1 small bath. I think he just finished grouting the tile, so the end is in sight. Post pictures!

  2. LOL! I love that poem!! We’ve been remodeling for…three years now… Kinda embarrassing. For awhile we’d spend every weekend for a month of so but always burn out. Now we spend an hour a day, that’s it. No more, no less. It adds up to 14 hours a week which is serious progress.

  3. I know all about those sleepless nights thinking about home project–eesh! Love the poem–too cute! GL with your continued remodel–hope you’re finished soon!

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