The Buehler Buzz

{watch dumb and dumber do up their dwelling}

Category: Foyer

Familial Treasures {part two}, Buddhas, and some drywall

Betcha thought I’d never actually get to part two, didn’t you?  Yeah, well, so did I.  What a surprise I am to myself recently. I’ve even been participating in…


(wait for it)







(I’m pretty sure that deserves all caps because my idea of manual labor usually includes pointing out exactly where those piles of 2×4’s need to be moved or pointing out exactly where those bags of garbage need to be moved or pointing out exactly where that huge armoire needs to be moved or pointing out exactly where that pile of plaster drywall needs to be moved or pointing out the sections of nails you forgot to remove from the studs.  While holding my martini. {Or box of wine, we’ve gotten way too cheap over here for my regular martinis.})


But my laboring is a story for another day.


Today I brag about some more goodies I managed to wrestle from my sisters in the parental purge.


1. Aunt Spee’s secretary

2. Dog lamp

3. ART!


First up, Aunt Spee’s secretary.  Who is Aunt Spee?  Dad’s mother’s first cousin.  Married to Uncle Bill Kausmann.  It’s from the 1920’s; check it out:


Look at these details!






It’s in our foyer by the living room, and this is where I usually sit and work now… when the house isn’t torn up.  So, not too often.  YET. But it’s fabulous, no?


Next we have the dog lamp.  From Red Oaks in Long Grove, circa 1976.  Lived in the music room in our Missouri house, in the built-in’s in the living rooms in the Deerfield houses, and has spent time on desks, kitchens, bathrooms, you name it.  (It’s been EVERYWHERE, per Johnnie Gail.)  Now, it’s in our study:




And last but not least, art.  Ah, art.  How I love thee.  Can a house ever get too much?  The Wagner/Buehler answer is, of course, hell no!

Check out this gallery wall in the library:




Up there, we have grandparents, great-grandparents, moms, dads, sisters, wedding photos, diplomas, masks, whistles from Peru, backscratchers, bronze plaques, ink drawings by mommy, shoe prints, mongoloid Shakespeare, and a Modigliani print.  {Pay no attention to the scary desk.  You can’t see it.}




Trust me when I tell you it just feels good in person.

And finally, I give you… BUDDHAS!

It’s almost getting out of control, except that it’s still super sweet.  I definitely see more in my future, oh yes, there will be more.

That will be all today.  Except, please send good vibes and continued luck on the current project:




{Why yes, that IS our kitchen right now.}

{What?  Gutted?  Why yes, the kitchen IS gutted right now.  We just got drywall on Sunday.  We’ve also had to reinforce all of the joists, reinforce a bunch of the studs, add a huge header, rewire the entire kitchen, add two more water lines, switch out the fluorescent lighting, and add approximately 87 outlets.  Because I like electricity.  Everywhere.}

{What?  Taking a long time?  Why yes, it is, hence the computer silence over here.  And here’s the long story about the manual labor – I’ve been doing it in the kitchen.  I’m practically a bodybuilder at this point.  A bodybuilder who drinks a lot of beer.  It’s my new thing.  Beer + manual labor = silly Lizzie.}

{What?  Why yes, this has been going on for over 2 months which means that we ARE nearing the end.  Maybe. You can never tell around here.}

{What?  Why yes, it IS GOING TO BE FUCKING AMAZING. Just wait and see!}



Familial Treasures {part one}

We’re still slowly coming down off of the bathroom high, hence the three-month hiatus.  I mean, write up changes that are going on here or hang out in my bathroom?  There’s practically no contest {especially since we’ve replenished the Poopouri, leaving the bathroom smelling delicious at ALL times}.


But life moves on, and things keep rolling over here!


As we gear up for the next big renovation, we’ve been relaxing and enjoying some familial heirlooms that were given to us recently.  I thought I’d have to pry some of these treasures out of my parents’ cold dead hands, but it turns out it only took a bit of hair pulling and some strong martinis!  {I wonder how many more of my perceived hardships I could cure with those antics?  I may be onto something here…}


Recent winnings include the following:

This buffet


My dad bought this piece for my mom 30 year ago when they moved from their first house to their second house.  Their dining room needed an extra piece to fill out the space, and it’s been part of their set ever since.  I truly lucked out on this one; the rest of the set is staying in KCMO with the sistors and we won this by default.  Their dining room is too small – YES!  Of course, OUR dining room is too small, but the genius husband had the idea to use it as our entry piece and voila, perfection!



Now what’s an entry piece without some styling, and what’s more styling than splashing your name everywhere?  Nothing.  That’s right.  So here’s to a tray with your name on it.  Just keeping in klassy.



And that box hanging out on the other side?


That’s another win, an old bread box that’s been around forever.  Johnnie Gail kept overflow papers in in.  And weird… I have overflow magazines in it.  Although sometimes I open it thinking I’m going to discover an old paper from 5th grade… I should probably hide fun stuff in there so I can treat myself with these ‘rediscoveries’ every once in awhile.


Across from the buffet is another Wagner favorite – this mirror has lived at the bottom of every main staircase in all my childhood homes.  {For those of you who are interested, that would be three.}  And while it’s not directly at the foot of our staircase, it’s at least by the front door.  Close enough, I say!


Since there are few things in life I enjoy more than checking myself out… there really isn’t more to that explanation.  I do, Aaron does, probably the Lexster does, hence the crazy amount of mirrors in this house.  {Oh yeah, but I pretend they’re all about bouncing light around, so keep this self-obsession stuff to yourselves, okeedokee?}


And as it’s finally warm here and we’re nearing the end of the day, I’m off to grab some wine and download a new book so I can spend the next couple of hours hanging on my patio.  Familial treasures to be continued; part 2 to include a dope secretary, awesome dog lamp, and some excellent additions to our gallery wall.


Stay tuned!


 PS: I have to brag a little about how the stairs and baseboards turned out.  ARB did an EXCELLENT job installing these all by his lonesome self.  Because he’s a hard worker.  And I’m the enforcer who talks a lot and drinks too much wine.  But look at these results, people.  FANTASTIC.





PPS: You know all those people who use facebook to give updates about their kids that nobody cares about?  Welcome to my place on the internet where I’m going to do the same back to you people.




Let’s hope that concludes my crazy for the day… but let’s not count on it, shall we?

Adios muchachos,


Bathroom gut (part four)

Alternate title: Extreme Psychosis Exemplified Coupled with Bathroom Gut Part Four (ty-five, because it feels like it’s been going on that long, doesn’t it?)

Where were we?  Oh yes – laying hardwood floor, continuing bathroom renovations, and staining concrete floors.

First up, the bathroom is now looking especially close to finished – lookit:

{What?  That just looks like a papered-over wall?  Why yes, that’s because it IS a papered-over wall… marble wall.  You think I’m going to eff up my awesomely awesome totally radical marble while this spaz (myself) attempts to prime & paint a ceiling with my bad 5’2” self?  You’re just going to have to wait for final after pictures… or more likely in progress pictures, let’s get real.}

The serious good news is that we now just need some paint, a countertop, toilet, sink, pendant lighting, baseboard and trim installations and we’re calling this five month project donezo!

Next in our lineup, the hardwood floors, which are coming along, but honestly are nowhere near  completion.  We’ve managed to finish the foyer, hallway in front of the stairs, and hallway by the stereo.  See? (And yeah, you’re going to have to look PAST all of the shit your eyes want to focus on to see those gleaming beauties that are underneath the current extreme mess.)


Slow, but gorgeous, no?  We’re not going slow just because I keep having to take days off due to accidental alcoholic beverage poisoning that I may regularly give myself.  It’s the good ole snowball effect that has us creeping along this time.

Are you not familiar with how small items on your list, such as “lay hardwood floors in kitchen and dining room” gradually expand to “rip out pantry and desk, so we can put the floors under them like Mike Holmes told us to, then move the fridge so we can use the back door again” and then further explode to “we might as well expand these two doorways, rip out unneeded soffits, add actual overhead lighting to replace these fluorescent lights and make this wall a pony wall”?  Um, it goes exactly like I just wrote it, and looks a little like this:


Because these Buehlers love nothing more than taking a not-so-easy task and making it harder.

I know it probably doesn’t look like a huge opening to you guys, but we’re widening them by at least 6-10 inches, so they feel HUGE to us.  And those wider doorways are going to allow me to carry my plate of food AND bottle of wine into the living room without turning sideways to fit through my doorway.  YES.

PS: I’m still getting to the concrete floors… but what’s the fun in writing about a mongoloid contractor, burning acid and attempting to teach somebody the difference between “industrial look” and “boot prints” if there isn’t even a resolution to clear it all up at the end of the story?   NO FUN.  Stay tuned.

A small break from the bathroom gut

Alternate title: Extreme Psychosis Coupled with Bathroom Gut Part Three

So you know those mornings on days when you’re refilling your coffee because you’ve decided to work from home that day, and your mate is laying marvelous hardwood floors while your contractor is laying gorgeous tile, and you and said mate turn a three second chat about widening the doorway openings into the kitchen into crowbar action that involves ripping down drywall from said doorways, and then you do  a happy dance when you discover that half of the wall you want to remove is not structural, confirming your dreams of the past six months?

I mean, we’ve all been there, right?  Aren’t those days AWESOME?

Okay, yes, back up and explain… all has been quiet over here because we’re still slow going on the bathroom remodel.  No fault of anybody – our contractor is actually our buddy who has a full-time job and a family.  And we’re in no rush, so we’re meandering through this renovation at what sometimes feels like a glacial pace… but then I check out the room and see the complete magnificence and attention to detail that’s happening in there and I don’t care if it takes another six months to finish it all.  Seriously.  I have amazing taste, people, and this bathroom is going to look GOOD.

Need proof?  Check out this marble:

And since we’re smart (and by “smart”, I mean “stoopid”) we decided that NOW was the time to finally buy and lay those new hardwood floors!  {You all remember that we’ve been living with subfloors for at least a year and a half, since it was discovered that the house was killing me not-so-softly and the predominant predator was the white carpet that covered the entirety of the first floor?  You know, what used to look like this:

Turned into this:


These new floors are completely amazing and beautiful and magnificent and magical and are TAKING FOREVER TO LAY HOLY SHIT WE MIGHT BE 52 BY THE TIME WE’RE DONE.  As our motto has become “Let’s do this the right way, not the drunken-fool-handyman-special way that it was done before”, we’re not only laying and nailing our tongue-and-groove floors, we decided to glue them down, too.  We also took the time to screw down the old floor with a ridiculously large number of screws to help eliminate squeaking, AND had to level the 2-inch dip in the concrete pad that acts as half our dining room subfloor.

Days 1-3: Prework.  Screwing, sanding, concrete-leveling, measuring and ripping up all of that disgusting foyer entryway tile.
Day 4, 5 hours: 1 row of flooring laid.

{Here’s how a row of flooring gets laid, by the way – boards are “racked” (laid out in pattern you want, making sure none of seams are lined up right next to the previous rows’ seams), pick up first board, glue floor where board will be placed, seet board in place, smash board with mallet multiple times to make sure it’s tight next to the previous row and board in front of it, point out to Aaron that you can still see lots of gaps, smash board many more times to close gaps, nail in the board using the ear-deafening pneumatic floor nailer, wait for Liz to inspect the finished product, move onto the next board in the row and continue until you hit the board that’s going to run into the wall, whence you must first find a board that’s long enough to hit the wall, but not too long so that you don’t cut off too much as scrap and waste a perfectly good board in the process, measure how long the board should be, take it outside to the table saw, trim the board, glue floor where board will be placed, seet board in place, smash board with mallet multiple times to make sure it’s tight next to the previous row and board in front of it, point out to Aaron that you can still see lots of gaps, smash board many more times to close gaps, nail in the board using the ear-deafening pneumatic floor nailer, wait for Liz to inspect the finished product and REPEAT ONE MILLION TIMES.}

Day 5, 11 hours: 10 rows of flooring laid
Day 6, 4 hours: 8 rows of flooring laid.
And so on…

All of the above means we’re about 3 weeks into floor laying and have accomplished our foyer and the hallway in front of the living room.  Yes.  That is all.  We haven’t even STARTED the dining room or kitchen yet.

Check it out though – they are the most amazing floors I’ve ever laid.

What does all of this mean?  That  since this is clearly going to occupy us until Easter, it was time to start finishing the concrete floor of the living room!  But that’s a story for another day…


{PS: Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the wall-removal I alluded to in the first section.  All in good time, my pretty.  There’s a method to the madness.}


{PPS: That method starts with mart, ends with inis and contains 3 olives.}

And… we’re back!

No, we haven’t abandoned “the Buzz” (as the hipsters are referring to it these days. And by ‘hipsters’, I mean ‘nobody’.) That was a bit of an unscheduled summer break. But hey, these things happen, right? Hasn’t everybody been diagnosed with sudden ulcers, infections, new food allergies, new airborne allergies and lactose intolerance SIMULTANEOUSLY, thus rendering you useless for a few weeks? Just me?

S W E E E E E T.

Due to said allergies (which have apparently rendered me completely allergic to my house, mattress, couches, husband, basement, bathrooms, dog, pillows, sheets, vents, continue thinking up items and I’m probably allergic to them), I have some nice house updates coming your way… if I ever find the camera and actually take any pictures. (Yeah, I totally know where the camera is. I’m just really lazy.) And by ‘nice’ I mean ‘subfloor exposure’. Get ready to get jealous, people. We’re starting a whole new trend. I mean really, who needs REAL floors when you can have an awesome, patchwork quilt-like mix of scuffed and stained hardwood with gaping holes, plywood subfloor patches and concrete slabs? Not us! Yep, the carpet that covered our living room, dining room and foyer is all GONE.

Now back to my regularly-scheduled job… more to follow… sometime or another.


PS: We did manage to sneak in our July 4th party – and I think this photo of Aaron just about sums it up:

4th of July