Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fall in Portland

My friend Megan sent some pics from Portland, taken on her walk today. Such beautiful trees and sunshine! I was there last year for my birthday around this same time and it was so cold I thought my hair would freeze to my head. Weather is so strange. The last pic is someone's Halloween decorated yard. Slightly blurry, but no less colorful.



Monday, October 21, 2013

Kitchen progress

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Is that the beginnings of a kitchen there? Why yes it is! The first phase of the install has happened! We’ve had no kitchen since August 7th, but here’s proof that doing dishes in the bathroom sink is coming to an end. There’s a slight hitch with the installer dude, but hoping to get that remedied soon.

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That’s the old kitchen above. It has been sold back to the previous owner and he’s refinished it to a dark stain. I haven’t seen it, but I bet it will look great. It was very French, but really impractical and not very functional. It was actually a long sideboard that he repurposed into a kitchen. That’s why the cabinets were very high. Instead of being around waist high, they were ~3 inches taller than a normal counter. And can you say pink granite and green cabinets? I actually loved it for a while, but then I fell out of love.

Unfortunately, there’s no new gardening progress to show. While Gabriele is great with a shovel and clippers, his understanding of I’ll see you in two weeks fell a tad short. And of course my Spanish is muy mala. But this Saturday, it’s on.

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I spied a Torrey Pine (or I think that’s what it is) this weekend. I want to plant one somewhere in the yard. I think they are so amazing the way you can bonzai them, tying various branches down low to direct the shape.

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This candelabra was entangled in a mass of weeds in the back courtyard. A Mexican menora? You tell me.  I pulled it out, put some candles in this weekend, and lit it up. Interestingly, in the back courtyard at night, the candles burned fairly upright. There was no wind in there, just cool night air. I’m always digging up bits of metal, finials, chunks of marble, various and sundry items. It’s like excavating. The tiki, by the way, was found in the yard at our last house. (Also, strangely, the face that appears on the tiki here in this picture doesn’t really look like the actual face on the tiki. Hm? A haunted tiki, just in time for Halloween?)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Laundry room love, and more

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No, it’s not the title of a saucy novel, but the happiness of having a laundry room right off the kitchen. This picture is pre-window. I love the palm tree shadow on the wall.
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Random neighborhood sunset, taken while I was on a walk. Glorious.
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Making progress in the front bed. Here, a few new plantings. Lavender, rosemary, and farther left not in the picture: a Cleveland Sage (first seen, I might add, in Sherri’s backyard. The biggest, most beautiful sage I had ever seen.) To that I will also share that I had the curse of the couldn’t-grown-a-sage, until the curse lifted about 3 years ago. Now I can grow them like mad. I have high hopes for my new fledgling sage.
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This is my trusty gardening companion, Gabriele. We have worked like dogs three Saturdays in a row. I took last Saturday off, but this weekend it’s back on! Slowly working our way around the perimeter of the side yard. I dug out all of these rocks you see here, which had created a burm, all ensconced in weeds. They have since been freed, and heaved to the “grotto” as we call it. Pictures of the grotto after this weekend’s work is done.
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Husband helping me extract a ginormous root ball from an equally ginormous pot. This pot used to sit at the top of the stairs, sort of blocking the doors to the front courtyard. Gone! I hacked at it for two hours, and James then took pity on me and got it out in like 10 minutes with a pressure washer and some elbow grease. The man is talented. 
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A nice segue from my sweetie, I will end this little summary with a random heart that I happened upon on another walk. It jumped up at me and said notice me!
Sweet dreams, all…

Monday, October 14, 2013

Home improving, slowly but surely

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There’s really only one motto you can have when you’re renovating a house: slowly but surely. Here are some pictures, finally, of various parts of the house, in various stages. Top photo is the side yard, with some of the marble fountain showing.
Below is the dining room, with the new floors in. This picture does not do them justice. They are a greyish color; very cool. No base molding yet, but that starts tomorrow!
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Below is the kitchen, exposed down to the studs. Where you see daylight coming through there is now a nice, new  4’ x 4’ window.
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This is Salvador hooking up a light switch, standing next to another new window that is over where the sink will be. The kitchen install begins Wednesday. I can hardly believe it. I made a really awful meal in the crock pot tonight. We were laughing almost hysterically when I realized I had nowhere to throw it! We have no sink. We debated putting it down the toilet, but instead I put it in the garbage bag and out it went. I laugh now just thinking of it. It was soup. Really. Bad. Soup.
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Below is that large window. It lets in lots of light! More pics soon, and hopefully by “soon” I mean sooner than when I last said soon.
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Thanks for stopping by!