Posted in Home Sweet Home, Wake Forest, tagged airy, blog, Budget, cabinets, cottage, craigslist, DIY, kitchen, paint, refinish, remodel, remodeling, remodeling guy, renovation, repaint, spraypaint, Wake Forest, white on April 3, 2009 |
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So, after mulling over, discussing and praying about a move to Kentucky next summer so that the WMD could switch seminaries and we could be closer to our families, we’ve decided that the best thing for our little family in this economy is to stay put right where we are for the next four years and let the WMD get his Master’s degree here. Really, other than not being closer to family, we’re very, very happy with this decision.
What that means is that painting the kitchen cabinets are back on the table once Little E is not taking up residence inside my belly anymore. Originally, with a new baby on the way and the possibility of putting our house on the market pronto, we installed them as is and figured they were better than what we had when we moved in. They are really great, solid wood cabinets that have served us much better functionally in the last 8 months that we’ve had them than I originally thought considering we only paid $150 for the entire kitchen (we didn’t have room for all of them, so the WMD got a nice little workshop in the shed out of it too), which is a ree-diculous CraigsList score.
However, they are buttugly.
Our home is small and I want white cabinets, which I assume will feel less imposing than the dark brown stain that’s currently on them. I also think white will lend to a more airy “cottagy” feel, which is what we’re going with in our home since, well, it’s technically a cottage. All of this to say, I’ve been researching how to paint kitchen cabinets since a) we don’t have the money to pay someone to do it, b) even if we did have the money, we probably still wouldn’t pay someone to do it (but that’s because we would have gotten all new white cabinets to begin with. And we wouldn’t live in this house. We’d live in this one a few blocks over from us.), c) I figure I’ll have boatloads of time on my hand since I will be staying home with Little E (I assume that’s correct, right, all my mommy friends?(I’m kidding)), and d) I’m a glutton for punishment. I’ve spent the last four summers standing out in the sweltering North Carolina sun painting something and I figure, why should this summer be any different?
So, as I was doing some research, I stumbled across Remodeling Guy’s post about painting cabinets. I figured if anyone knows what it takes to do this sort of project, Remodeling Guy does. He started with Part Iand then pulled the ultimate switcheroo with Part II. Really, I can’t do it justice, so just go over to his blog, read what he did and then come back here to let me know if I should attempt his method in Part II. I’m curious to see what my readers have to say about his Plan B. It appeals to me in a way very similar to the way dill pickles appeal to me right now, so to say the least, I’m leaning strongly in that direction.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged cabinets, cupboards, DIY, flowers, kitchen, perenniel, plant, planter, porch, progress, remodel, renovation on July 22, 2008 |
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Dear blog readers,
I’ve been thinking about you. Really, I have. I’ve switched over to a new waking/sleeping routine and while it’ll be good in the long run, it has been hard to get used to. I’ve been tired lately at odd times, so when I figure this whole new schedule thing out, I guarantee I’ll get back to normal blogging. But then again, what’s normal?
Mom asked me how the kitchen was coming yesterday, so here’s where we’re at:
Totally functional, obviously ugly. Really all that Matthew needs to finish is the back splash, the floor, shelves in that open spot next to the window and the edge of the counter on the right there where the 2×4 is. Once that’s all done, I’ll get to do the pretty stuff like painting- not that I’m pretty when I’m painting. I’m not. I’m sure if someone had a camera on me, they would catch me making all sorts of horrible faces. The burden of perfectionism.
I planted two of these over the weekend, my only foray into gardening this year other than tomatoes:
I have a really hard time spending money on annuals since they just plumb die on me after a few months, so these are all perennials. I plan to transplant them after their time is done in the boxes. They add a little something to the porch. At least we don’t look like complete slobs.
And lastly, I was greeted by a bunch of pictures like this, take by our friend Mark while he and Matthew were working on the kitchen last week. Look at those muscles!
Matthew’s mom, dad, sister and niece are coming this weekend for a few days, so blogging may be limited since every room in our house may need to turn into a bedroom! Until next time, ciao!
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Posted in food, Home Sweet Home, Rambling, Wake Forest, tagged basin, bowl, cook, cooking, cooks, countertop, dishes, dishwasher, DIY, double, eat, eating, food, garden, gardening, green onion, grow, growing, healthy, Home, House, kitchen, lettuce, meal, old, onion, pioneer woman, plant, raised beds, ranch dressing, recipe, Redo, remodel, renovation, romaine, salad, scallion, single, sink, subway tile, summer, tomatoes, vegetables, veggies, windows, winter greenhouse on July 15, 2008 |
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I love summer dinners around here. On the nights that it’s just me, I eat as many veggies as I can. This weekend it was romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes and scallions from the local produce stand tossed in a salad with this homemade ranch dressing. This is absolutely the best dressing ever (ever) and is simple to make. I already have it memorized. It’s that good. Seriously. It will change your life.
I’m getting anxious for my own tomatoes and cucumbers to ripen. The plants are taller than me now and there are lots of baby tomatoes and cucumbers out there, but none are ready to pick yet. A few more weeks… Next year, we’ve decided to do several raised beds and stuff as many plants in them as we can. We both agree that it’s so much easier to eat healthy when the food tastes as good as it does straight off the plant. We’re going green next year, baby. I may even look at starting a winter greenhousein the spring. I bet I can get some old windows at the Habitat Re-Shop or off of Freecycle. That way I can get my seedlings started earlier and not have to wait until August to get my tomatoes.
And for a little home update, this is our new sink. We had one of those stainless steel double sinks in there before and I hated it. It’s so hard to wash big items in those dinky little basins. We opted to get a single bowl this time that is much deeper. A week later and we are still amazed at how much we can fit in there- which also means that we’re waiting longer to wash the dishes since we can fit SO much in there. Dishwasher coming soon!
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Posted in Family, Home Sweet Home, Rambling, tagged black, bottle, cabinet, canned items, counter, countertop, cupboard, cure, DIY, environmentalist, food, functional, giant, hair, Home, hot, House, kitchen, Marine Corps, monetary, organization, pantry, pull out, recycle, remodel, renovation, reuse, shampoo, shelving, subway, temporary, tile, toes, upcycle, white on June 26, 2008 |
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Can I just say that these two cabinets are the best part of our new kitchen? Look at all of the storage space we’re going to have with them! And see that thing kind of in the middle that looks like one of those electric toy racecar ramps? It does this:
Now we will be able to see all of the canned food we own! No more buying double (or quadruple) items because I can’t see what we have in the deep recesses of our cabinets.
You know, most of the things we’ve purchased for this kitchen so far are used. The cabinets, the dishwasher, the laundry center, the table. And when you get right down to it, I rather like that. I mean, it’s great from a monetary standpoint and it’s certainly rewarding from a DIY standpoint. But what I like most is that we are recycling perfectly functional items for our own use instead of dumping them in a landfill somewhere. I don’t consider myself a dyed in the wool environmentalist, but when I can do my part, it feels pretty good.
We did not buy any of the items for this used, however:
Sorry for the dark photo. It’s obnoxiously hot here again and turning lights on in the house just seems to make it hotter, so I walk around in the dark as long as possible, stubbed toes be darned.
Matthew was able to cement all of the tile down yesterday and since it requires a 24-hour curing time, he’s off hanging out with his best buddy from the Marine Corps. They only see each other once a year, so I know they’re having a blast at the lake right now. He deserves a day off. And all that unfinished wood you see is either temporary or will be painted in the future, so just ignore that.
And then there’s this:
This is Matthew’s giant bottle of shampoo from our local warehouse club. We had a conversation about it the other night that went something like this:
Me: You’re almost out of bodywash. I guess it’s a good thing you have a giant bottle of shampoo that you can use as a substitute.
Matthew: No I can’t.
Me: Why not?
Matthew: I have to conserve it.
Me: You have a gallon of shampoo and an inch of hair. It’ll take you five years to use all of that.
Matthew: Which is exactly why I am conserving it.
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Posted in food, Home Sweet Home, tagged backsplash, bathroom, black, Budget, cabinets, cheap, contrast, countertop, cupboards, DC, flexibility, flexible, frugal, Home, House, ikea, inexpensive, kitchen, outlet, paint, product, Raleigh, remodel, reno, renovation, sink, subway tile, tile, white on June 24, 2008 |
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I’m really learning what it means to be flexible during this kitchen renovation. What I think we’re going to end up with (but really, who knows at this point) is very different than I originally pictured in my mind. Part of that is due to a limited product selection. Can you believe Raleigh doesn’t have a tile outlet store? Part of it is due to high gas prices and not wanting to drive four hours north (twice) to pick out and pick up a butcher block counter top at Ikea in D.C. I suppose when it gets right down to it, it’s money that dictates what our next direction is. C’est la vie.
So while we set out to create this for our countertops:
We’re now going in this direction:
And you know what? I love it! Did I mention I have an extremely talented husband who is game for most things I throw at him? He’s very good at going with the flow. Always has been. Actually, I suppose I’m the one who’s not real good at that.
I really like how the little black tiles draw the eye to the frame they create. You can kind of see the herring bone pattern Matthew came up with in the top corner up there. He’s very pleased with that and he should be because it looks great. We will paint the wood trim black since we couldn’t find the black cap tiles to go along the edge for less than $5 each- way too expensive for us. It will make a nice contrast between the white cabinets and the white subway tile. Did I mention I have a thing for black and white? Did you see the guest bathroom in my last place?
The only thing I wasn’t anticipating was how expensive those black tiles are. Can you believe that they are 6 times more expensive than the white ones?! If Matthew hadn’t bought them and laid them out while I was at work today, I probably would have gone to just doing the plain white tiles to save money. But now that I’ve seen it, there’s no going back. And really, we’ve been so frugal every else with this kitchen, we can spring for the extra tiles. It will look so good in the end. We plan to do the same thing on the backsplash as well.
Another thing that’s teaching me about flexibility, not having a kitchen sink:
While our sink fits our tiny bathroom perfectly, it just wasn’t made to put up with filling Dutch ovens full of potatoes. I’ll spare you the sight of me washing dishes in the bathtub- in that same Dutch oven. Hey, I thought dish pans were obsolete these days, so I never bothered picking one up.
Looks like our food budget is going right out the window with the pricey black tiles.
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Posted in Home Sweet Home, Rambling, tagged alien powers, big box store, cabinets, ceramic, chaos, countertops, crystal skull, cupboards, dentist, dryer, field stone, flag stone, hardware, Home, House, Indiana Jones, kitchen, landscape, laundry center, lowe's, night guard, outdoors, outside, progress, Raleigh, refrigerator, remodel, renovation, set of teeth, sink, stackable, stacked, stacking, stone wall, tenth, unveil, utter, washer, waterford crystal, wedding anniversary, white on June 21, 2008 |
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In honor of my dear friend Lindsay’s 10th (!) wedding anniversary, I’ve decided to unveil my new set of teeth today. I know she was on the edge of her seat. Tada!
What is that, you ask? Well, those are my teeth, at least in ceramic form. Why do I need them? Well, they’re what the dentist needed to get this:
And what the heck is that? Well, for what it cost, it should be a Waterford crystal night guard. But instead, it’s some sort of mystery rubber/plastic combo. Sort of reminds me of the crystal skull in the latest Indiana Jones movie. Only it doesn’t have any strange alien powers- but that would be cool, wouldn’t it? Imagine what I could do with strange alien powers…
And for more kitchen progress:
We bought a laundry center from a nice girl in Raleigh this morning. It’s in near perfect working order and was a lot less expensive than buying one brand new from the big box stores. We’ve already ran a few loads of laundry through it and it works great. I cannot tell you how nice it is not to have to carry wet laundry from one corner of the kitchen all the way across the kitchen to another corner. It’s so easy now. And this thing has way more settings and features than the set we had before.
Matthew was able to get the bases for all of the countertops cut and in place yesterday. You can see the little cabinet we had to buy at Lowe’s over there on the left next to the stove. We figure once everything is painted white and has matching hardware that it won’t stick out. You can also see how the countertop extends to the doorframe on the right. That’s a temporary support leg holding it up for now until we put the new flooring down. You’ll also notice that we have no kitchen sink at the moment. But we do have a bathtub that’s big enough for pots and pans. And of course, the last thing you can see from both of these photos is that we’re living in chaos right now. Utter chaos.
And as you can see here, the utter chaos extends to our porch as well. Kindly ignore the mess. I wanted you to see how far Matthew has made it on his stone wall. It looks great and despite the bee sting episode, he’s making good progress on it.
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Posted in Home Sweet Home, tagged backsplash, black, Budget, butcher block, cabinets, cheap, counter, countertops, craigslist, cupboards, dishes, dishwasher, dryer, floor, flooring, free, fridge, green, hand, hardware, Home, House, idea, inexpensive, inspiration, intrigue, kitchen, lower, new set of teeth, oak, online, paint, pantry, photograph, photos, refrigerator, remodel, renovation, stacking, storage, store, stove, subway tile, vct, washer, white, work on June 20, 2008 |
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I know I promised pics of my new set of teeth, but when I got home last night and saw this, I decided I had to adjust my plans a bit. Don’t worry Lindsay, I’ll get to them. Just stay intrigued a little bit longer.
I know it’s a mess, but it’s progress. And look! We have a dishwasher! That we got for FREE off of Craigslist! And it works! And it’s only two years old! No more washing dishes by hand: priceless!
I knew Matthew wanted to work on taking the lower cabinets out, but I didn’t think he’d get this far in the time I was at work. You can see the cabinets we purchased on Craigslist. They are brown now, but I plan to paint them a nice off white. They are solid oak and were a steal at $150 for the ENTIRE kitchen! We did have to buy a little 9″ cabinet to fit between the stove and the cabinet on the left there, but it will look fine once we get it all painted. Hey, our house isn’t the biggest and best on the block by far, so we don’t need to spend a fortune redoing the kitchen. And believe me, anything will be an improvement over what we had, as seen on the upper cabinets here:
Those curtains have got to go!
We will be extending the countertop from the corner over there on the left to the door frame in the center. We would like to have an area we can do work at our laptop on, so this will give us space for a stool to go under the counter since the corner cabinet (with a GIANT lazy susan in it!) doesn’t extend the entire length of the wall.
This is what the rest of the kitchen looks like, just so you get an idea of our setup. We are planning on getting a stacking washer and dryer when we can find one cheaply on Craigslist. Once we have that, we’ll move the fridge next to it and put two tall pantry cabinets where the fridge is now. We are going to have SO much more countertop and storage space in this kitchen than we have had.
And the doors aren’t falling off of the cabinets!
Matthew is working on the countertops today. We are going with white subway tile with a black subway tile border. I really wanted butcher block, but that was either way out of our budget or 4 hours (and a lot of gas money) away at Ikea in Virginia. Laminate would actually cost more than the tiles as well, so we’re going with the tile. Not my first choice for a countertop, but it’ll do. We also plan to run the subway tile up the backsplash. I’m looking for something like this in the end:
I really like those green tiles on the backsplash. Obviously we won’t have the hexagonal tile on the countertop, but this is close enough. I had originally planned on nickel hardware for the cabinets, but I may go with the black. I love how it all looks here. We also plan on putting down VCT flooring in an off white and sage checkerboard pattern. If you know of an online store to get green subway tiles like this that’s not outrageously expensive, please let me know!
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Posted in Home Sweet Home, tagged bimonthly, cabinets, checkerboard, cottage, cozy, craigslist, cream, creative ideas, cupboards, free, freecycle, green, idea, inspiration, kitchen, lowe's, mircowave, nickel, oak, paint, pantries, primary colors, renovation, sage, spice racks, vct, washing machine, white on June 8, 2008 |
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I get the bimonthly Lowe’s CreativeIdeas Magazine (which I highly recommend- it’s free and chock full of great ideas) and found the inspiration for our kitchen renovation in this latest edition. One of the things about our renovation is that we got our new cabinets from someone who was selling them after ripping them out for their own renovation. For a grand total of $150, we got an entire kitchen full of solid oak cabinets. They are in good shape and have lots of extras like pull our pantries and spice racks. A good deal, don’t you think? They have a cottage appeal to them and with a coat of white paint and some nickel plated hardware, will look great in our kitchen.
However, one of the things of buying someone elses kitchen cabinets is that they are made for their kitchen and not ours. The upside is that we have a small space to work with, so we have more cabinets than we’ll be able to use. The downside is that we have to get creative in how we arrange what we do plan to use. This means that we will have a gap on both the top and the bottom where we don’t have cabinets that fit into the remaining space once the other cabinets are put up. So, I’ve been racking my brains trying to figure out what to do about them and then I came across this in the Lowe’s magazine:
See how they put shelves up between the wall and the microwave? I love that! My dishes are solid primary colors, so they will look great on display. It’s not shown here, but for the 10″ gap we have on the bottom, Matthew is going to build shelves that we will put baskets on for potatoes, carrots, etc… I think it will look great. I also like the hardware they use. The bin pulls definitely lend to a cottage feel. And the lights over the sink! Love those too! They are actually exterior lights. We’re going to explore that.
This kitchen set up is very similar to what we have right now, at least along the main wall. We have one wall of cabinets, but we have limited counterspace due to the washing machine being at one end of the counter and the stove at the other end. Throw in a microwave and sink and that leaves very little counter surface to work with. We’re in the market for a stacking washer/dryer unit right now (hello Craigslist) and I picked up a perfectly functioning over the range microwave free (thank you Freecycle). We would like to have a bar against the far wall of our kitchen (where the door is in the picture above) just so that we can have a coffee area and also a future office area should we need to move our current office out of the spare bedroom for a baby.
We considered this option against the opposite wall, but we decided to use that area for two giant pantry cabinets that we purchased. We need the space for our canned goods and cleaning supplies. I’m still hoping to do the picture ledge though. I need to start printing off some of my work and use it for art.
So that’s the plan for now. We’ll put in a cream and sage VCT checkerboard floor and we’ll paint the walls a sage green color, so it’ll look different, but should have a warm and cozy feel. We did have to go buy a new kitchen table this week (again, thank you Craigslist) that was round as opposed to the giant table we’ve been using. We’ve put that up for later and will be able to maneuver around our kitchen with our new little table much more easily. It did come with two leaves, so we can still have guests over for dinner and fit comfortably around the table. And there you have it!
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Posted in Home Sweet Home, ManMade Market, tagged 90 years old, anxiety, appliances, ashamed, basement, bliss, brainstorming, brick, cabinets, charm, cheap, chimney, depression, dirt, dirty, discover, discovery, dream, drywall, dude, era, Etsy, fear, feedback, garage, gifts, green, gross, guys, hand made, handmade, heat, hide, hiding, Home, home made, homemade, House, ignorance, interior, joy, kitchen, laundry, male, man, man made market, manmademarket, married, men, mother, nightmare, old, plumb, plumber, plumbing, pollen, presents, profiles, remodel, reno, renovation, shop, shopping, shops, siding, white, woodshop, woodstove, workshop, Yellow on June 4, 2008 |
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My mother’s going to be so ashamed that my kitchen looks like this and doubly ashamed that I’m showing it off on the internet. But, this is a diary of sorts and therefore deserves complete honesty so that in a year, when my kitchen looks like this, I can say, “Remember what it used to look like? How’d we live with that for so long?” Not that it’s ever going to look like that, but a girl can dream, can’t she?
Speaking of dreaming, I think I’ll be having nightmares about what lurks behind walls and under the nasty floor. And man alive! Look at what the top of this cupboard looked like when Matthew pulled it off the wall:
I chose not to investigate the suspicious yellow streak across the back part. Could be paint, could be pollen. Whatever it is, it’s going out in the shed to be a part of Matthew’s workshop, because that’s what these cupboards are for folks- workshops, basements, garages- very utilitarian they are. And cheap. And ugly. And oh yeah, NOT made for kitchens. The last owners really knew how to do it up, let me tell ya.
One of the joys/fears/anxiety-inducing charms about living in a 90 year old house is that you just never know what you’re going to discover hiding in the most curious places. We’re still waiting for our landslide of money from some depression era penny pincher to come falling out of the wall. Even though that didn’t happen today, Matthew did discover that there is siding behind the drywall in the kitchen- on an interior wall. Strange. You can see it in the photo below. It’s the little green square amidst the blazing yellow. It makes it impossible for him to run the water lines through the wall for the washer, so he’s going through the floor instead. It’s days like these that I’m thankful I married someone who knows how to plumb a house.
In the corner you can see the brick chimney and the hole near the top for the wood burning stove to vent. Don’t know where the stove went, but that’s alright with me since I prefer modern appliances. You can also see where the dirty cupboard was. And what was underneath the fridge. When we moved in, I refused to move it to see what was underneath. It was pretty disgusting in our last house, so my preferred method this time around was ignorance. Pure, blissful, ignorance. And I knew today would eventually come and ruin that ignorance, but it would be quickly followed by new flooring. Which will then be followed by more dirty floors. But it will be my dirt baby, all mine.
On a completely different note, I’ve received a ton of positive feedback on the ManMadeMarket website from Etsy shop owners. I had a hunch that this might be something that people would want, so I’m glad to see that inkling validated. I’ve posted two profiles so far and have several more waiting in the wings. I’d like to post more than just profiles and am brainstorming some ideas. Do you have anything that might work?
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Posted in Home Sweet Home, tagged closet, DIY, handmade, homemade, homse, House, organization, project, Redo, renovation, shed, shelves, shelving, small, space, storage, weekend on May 26, 2008 |
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WARNING: The pictures you are about to see are of low quality (thank you small spaces) and may cause retinal damage. Proceed with caution.
So I’ve been tossing around the idea of building shelves in one of our two closets for some time now. Yes, you read that right, we have two closets. That’s the downside of living in a home that’s almost 90 years old. The upside is that they are surprisingly large and can hold a lot of stuff. And that was a problem, since we crammed as much junk as humanly possible in them and it was difficult to find anything let alone remember what was in there. Until yesterday.
Midway through the unloading:
That’s only a fraction of the stuff that was originally in there. A few hours before this photo was taken, it was one of those closets that you opened with extreme caution, putting your body weight against the door as you opened it and peered through a tiny little crack so that everything didn’t come tumbling out. Did I mention organization isn’t my strong suit?
Well yesterday, I’d finally had enough. Since organization isn’t the strong suit of anybody in this house, I couldn’t find one of our 5,000 tape measures to measure for shelves. So, I MacGyvered an adjustable curtain rod and a yardstick to figure out how much space I was working with. I know, ingenious. That’s me folks.
Once I had my measurements, I drew a diagram of exactly what I wanted so I could figure out how much wood to buy and headed off to the local Home Despot. It only took a few minutes to find my 1x10x10s, 1x8x10s and 2x4x8s and get the sales guy to cut them up for me. That’s the best part of the story, the fact that I didn’t have to actually use any power tools myself. If you saw Walk the Line, you know what I’m talking about.
From there, it was just a matter of measuring, hammering and putting all of the stuff back in the closet. I had a hard time getting the nails to go through two boards at times and ended up with several bent nails, but in the end it all worked out. We’ll see what Matthew says since he was at work when all of this was going on. Will he tsk-tsk at my sloppy nail job or be impressed by my surprising iniative in the building arena?
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