Monday, September 8, 2008

Late Summer Potager

What a difference a summer makes!! It has been really fun to watch the garden fill in! Now it's time to figure out how to have color/ interesting stuff in winter as well......

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

kitchen demolition

Well, today the fun began......It is time to fix our plumbing / subfloor problem. Larry took off work & we started the "demo" at 8 am.

The sink first had to be removed...which was firmly in place by clear silicone! Then, after painstakingly removing all the caulking, we were able to remove the sink (with the help of our neighbor Kenton).

Only one small casualty in the tile....easily fixable & in the back.
Then the sink cabinet had to be removed, which was a little tricky because it was screwed on to the tile countertops (or rather, the tile countertops were screwed into the cabinet) So, after using a hacksaw blade only, we (Larry ) sawed off the screws..

Step 3, was somehow remove the cabinet with the tile countertop intact without destroying the backsplash or wall. But the cabinet could not come out until we removed more floorboards....... Well, wasn't meant to be. Backsplash is a gonner. Oh well, better than the whole countertop. Now I'll just need to figure out how to remove the backsplash from the wall & start sheetrock...yuck. I am not having fun! the next step was more wet, smelly pressboard removal (which was under the cabinet)

Nasty, smelly stuff!!!

With the cabinet gone, the real fun can begin.....

Ever wonder what your house looks like underneath all the flooring??

Something we did not realize: subflooring is tongue & groove! So, it is not as simple as cutting out the old piece and putting in the new, nosirreeeee, it is going to be much more difficult than that! You had to know this right? Nothing goes as planned in this sort of thing. Haven't you seen all those home improvement shows on HGTV?? Expect delays...So that board was not going to come out easily, not without jumping on, cutting, and prying to get the "maggot" out. That is Larry's word. It has many useful applications, such as describing a stubborn subfloor board. OK, so when we finally got it all out, it was time to put the new one in. Shouldn't be a problem since it is the same size & all. Nosirreeeee, it had to be cut, recut, whittled, notched etc.... By this time it was 8:30pm and "someone"was starting to get a little bit cranky........The rugrats were hungry, we had no water, no counter, no kitchen floor.......why do they need to eat sooo often??? Geez, everytime you turn around they want breakfast, lunch or dinner.


By 9:00 the new floor was laid down, not nailed, but laying down flat & flush with the rest. phew!!!

Bedtime for more be continued Wednesday...............

Monday, April 21, 2008

potager in the making

Before the plumbing fiasco, I've been dreaming of, and implemening a potager (poh-ta-zhay) garden in our backyard. Starting around the 1st week of April, I decided that we really didn't need grass in the backyard! Why would we?

I somehow stumbled on a very darling type of garden that is quite common in Italy & France. It is a potager garden, also known as a kitchen garden. It is a symmetrical garden, that is decorative & functional. It is typically a combination of veggies and flowers w/ ornamental elements. Ahhhh, sounds just right. :o) So off we go on a new project! We don't ever do any home improvement, so no time like the present to start! (that is Larry you hear having a conniption) is that spelled right?

I started by drawing out my plans (see I do plan in advance!), and then started, well, getting rid of all the grass! What a job that is! fyi: grass/sod is heavy! It might have something to do with the EXCESSIVE amount of moisture in the ground!!!! Anyway, I measured out the paths and started shoveling...... and shoveling...... and shoveling.......oh man, that is a killer on the back! by the end of the week, I decided a sod cutter is really a better solution, what could be so hard? The guy at United Rentals said, "oh it'll take ya 15 minutes with a yard that small, No problem." Sounds good, and I'm there renting it. I should have got a clue when they had to load it into the truck with a forklift (too heavy for the workers to lift!) So Larry brings it home and heads off to a lunch meeting (it's a workday ya' know) he'll be back in an hour or so to pick it up & take it back.

Couple problems......the 350lb machine is a beast that goes one way & one way only. Forward. So, how does one turn corners and such? does one go on uneven ground with already cut out paths, with a 3-4 inch drop off? hmmm....well a whole lot of muscle & tugging, pulling, wiggling, shaking, etc..etc... Welp......, 20 minutes later, it looks like I'm about done! yippee! Wow, that was fast!

So, I maneuver the 'beast' back to the driveway & start to remove the cut sod (much lighter this time) and throw it in the massive sod pile..... uh-oh............It looks like I basically just made some nice stripes, sort of, like every other one, one stripe of grass, one stripe of dirt, one stripe of grass, one stripe of dirt...... oops......what to do? It will be next to impossible to drag that beast back to the backyard, what do I do? ??.............. Well, I call my sweet husband and say, "honey, is there any way you would " take a couple minutes after your lunch & just real quickly get the little areas I missed? so we don't have to rent it again? please.." Sure he says, "ok." So he comes back from lunch, changes out of his work clothes & does the quick 2 minute job. uh...... ok..... maybe it took him a little longer, eek, I'm sweatin' it feeling very guilty, as his lunch "hour" turns into 3 hours! (It wasn't 4 was it honey?) he might say it was. So he finished it and back to work he goes. He really did do such a better job than me, since he is so strong & all! ;o)

Thanks honey. .... what a wonderful husband! That was the beginning & since then we've come quite aways & are on the home stretch. see pic's. I'm expecting to be finished by the end of this next Saturday. (shhh..... Larry might not know this.) I do realize I might get slowed up with the little plumbing leak we are dealing with. :0) I know all of you men out there are sighing heavily, and wondering "where did she get that from?" Dad, was it from you or mom? :o) hee, hee, hee.


kitchen trouble

Well, we were so excited for our fabulous new dishwasher.....we waited for many months to get it & were thrilled to not have to do dishes by hand anymore....we happily brought our new prize home and started the installation. Not too long after that, some fun began..well not too much but a little. I didn't quite turn off the water the right away (3 knobs, who would of thought?) and so when Larry started to disconnect hoses, well, his face was right there and well, he got a little shower you might say :o) Sorry honey! Not that I would be so rude to laugh at a time like that. Because it was not funny! Water spraying all over the face of your spouse, and him standing up with a dripping shirt and well...that is not funny. So anyway, the wood floors did get quite wet, we were a bit concerned, but cleaned it up and moved on. Well, about a week or 2 later, we noticed the wood planks starting to warp. Great, we thought....more water than we thought. Wow, how could just that bit of water cause so much damage? Strange....we put it on the "to-do" list and moved on. One day I noticed one board being very squishy and when I pushed on it, I could see moisture. Wow, amazing that little bit of water could cause so much damage...look honey, at this water here! isn't that weird honey? look at all that water right there in between the boards. Who would have thought that little bit of water could stay there like that? hmmmmm.

Fast forward oh, maybe a month or so. Gee I smell a mildewy smell.....strange, better take out the trash and clean the sink really good. Maybe the pipe under the sink is dripping a little, and the cabinet underneath is getting wet, check it out...nope no leaks there. hmmmmm. another week....sitting on the floor with the Morgan's newly adopted Guatemalen cuties. At their level you see things, you notice all the crumbs, you notice all the dust, you notice..... all the water damage under the cabinet, dishwasher, and sink. whaaaaatttt? where'd all that water come from, good grief, the whole subfloor is wet. Honeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyy, can you come look at this pleeeeeeaaaase!

Long story short, dishwasher has been leaking since we installed it. yikes. we are talking a whole bunch of water. Under the dishwasher & sink we have the pressboard on top of the subfloor, and it is completely saturated & rotting away. And stinky. What fun, at 6:45pm Sunday night, we finish off a perfectly peaceful Sabbath day with this.

Let's see, lets pull the dw out & see what we've got. OK, so basically worst case scenario. Subfloor is soaked under the dw, under sink, under cabinet, and approx 4 -5 feet into kitchen under the wood planks. Oh boy, where to start. We sit, we stare, we think.....of course why would we pay Lowes $124 to install a new dishwasher when "we can do it ourself!?!" We realize that we are going to have a destroyed kitchen for awhile. Flooring pulled up, cabinets pulled out, sink removed......ughhhhhhh!

Larry takes dw out to garage, chips away at the moldy disgusting pressboard, pries up about 10 planks. We sit... we stare... we think... we realize what we are in for..... We clean up our mess, put the tools away, drag the boards out to the wood pile, spray the moldy areas with bleach water& go to bed. We dream of another home improvement project....sheer bliss.....

no more sod

no more sod
the work begins

beginning potager paths

beginning potager paths
getting somewhere

pool patio in the making

pool patio in the making
will have flagstones or ??

raspberry/strawberry patch

raspberry/strawberry patch

strawberry patch

strawberry patch