Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It's a Jungle Out There!

This past weekend, we attacked the garden area in front of the house. David, Susan (David's mom) and I pulled A LOT of weeds, small trees and random crap from the front garden. Under all the overgrown bushes, plants and weeds there was a cute solid brick border along the entire length of the garden.

We were surprised it only took the three of us a few hours to get the planters to a state of normalcy. The next step is to till the soil, add some nutrients to it and start planning some plants! Yippie!

Here's what we started with:

Here's what it looked like half way through:

Here's what we've got now: A real garden area ready for pretty plants!

Thanks for all your help Susan!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Rags to Riches

We are ALMOST done with phase 1 of painting/redoing the upstairs, just a few windows to put back together and then I'll post some before and after pics! In the meantime, I am happy to report that we've installed all the light fixtures in the three rooms and the hallway.

We had help from Enrique (who is our new home improvement BFF...I'll post more about him later) to install all the ceiling fans. For each fan, Enrique had to install a mount, attach a 2"x4" cross piece between the joists and secure the fan bracket to that. The master ceiling fan installed easily. The office and guest room fan took quite a few installs to get them to be 'noise-free', but eventually they were in!

David turned into Mighty Electrician Man and installed the hallway fixture and the guest bedroom fixtures. If you look real close on the before pics you can see some serious classy cob webs.

Guest room before and after:

I love that the smallest room in the entire house had TWO five-light fixtures...did they really need the light from 10 bulbs in that room??

Master before and after (and the office looks the same):

Hallway before and after:

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Meet My Nemesis

Every day. Multiple times a day. I hear the song.....the song of the Ice Cream mobile. The song that is sure to become the soundtrack to my nightmares.

I'm sorry but a mini-mobile full of ice cream driven by someone who can stand listening to that song over and over and over and over again doesn't scream 'kid-friendly. It screams CREEPY! I wonder how much I could pay the ice cream mobile to NOT drive within a three block radius of my house ever again?? I thought we'd done well buying a house that isn't near train tracks or on a bus line...but it never occurred to me to check the daily ice cream mobile route.

A Mean, Green Earth Machine

And....we're back! After many weeks of traveling, a wedding (congrats Nick & Kurstin!) and hosting company I'm back in the blogging business.

Today I fulfilled a little fantasy I've had since we moved to Portland, I'm officially a composter! In my mind this means the veggie gardens that will (hopefully) exist by next summer will be bountiful and uber-organic.

Word on the street lead us to Metro after hearing they had a great composter for $39 with a retail value of $80. And indeed, Metro had the Earth Machine at that great price and we snatched one up (ours ended up being $46 because we got the aerated bottom add-on which helps keep critters out). One of the label reads 'The Earth Machine: 21st Century Home Composting'. So...unfortunately I have to report the composter is not period-correct for our 20th century home, but what can you do? You can't win them all.

We got the compost batch off to a good start with kitchen greens, yard greens and yard browns. Yeah, that's right. I know all the fancy pants compost terms and I'm not afraid to use them.

The first compost:

I also want to say a hello to Leslie, Zack (sp?) and their adorable dog who live just up the street. I had the pleasure to meet Leslie as she was walking by the house this afternoon. Her, Dave's mom Susan and I were chatting when she realized she recognized our house from the blog. Who knew, people ACTUALLY read this! In a VERY huge coincidence, Leslie had also been to Metro today to buy The Earth Machine...happy composting Leslie!