Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wondering...Considering...Thinking.

Wondering? 
Testing......a new browser...because the old one quit allowing me to work successfully in Blogger....unless I upgrade.  I can't upgrade because it won't let me.  My computer is five years old......in good condition...and  now a specific browser blocks several tools.  I'm not thrilled about it and find all the change bothersome!  Anyone else wondering and considering.....?  Is there a way around this? Yes, a new browser that works with Blogger!
Considering?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Restoration and upkeep of our 1969 circa home begins!

Our "new" 1969 circa home was built strong and has good bones. What it needed when we found it was restoration and upkeep. Chris Livingston of  Pillar to Post,  did a complete inspection of house from top to bottom.  During the inspection Chris found that we needed  to replace the chimney, the roof and update the plumbing. This was not at all out of line with a 43 year old home, and we felt confident to begin work.


Chimney
On December 22nd we had a mason, Mike Cacka, (of Canby, Oregon)  come to the house and repair the chimney.  He removed the old brick, and completely rebuilt the structure using new brick.  The new brick will last a lifetime not like "used" brick that suffers from crumbling due to weather exposure. Mike did a fine job and he obviously knew what he was doing!  Remember it was December. It was cold and wet.  Mike got right to work between rainy days, and had the job done without a hitch.
Roofing
Next we called Interstate Roofing, and worked with Ronnie Slichter.  He promptly came out to the house, did a estimate of the time, and costs involved in re-roofing the home. The following week a team of six men showed up with a dumpster and materials.  Our choice of roofing material was an architectural grade composite product.  In four days the job was complete, and the grounds were picked up.  A tear off creates an amazing amount of debris.  Interstate supplies a container for all of it, and then takes it to a recycling location to have it used for other applications.

Windows/Doors
During the process of re-roofing and repairing the chimney we determined that new windows and exterior doors would be highly advantages to keeping our energy efficiency in check.  The old windows were single pane and not safety glass.   Several of the windows were a very dated style louver design. They are commonly used in trailers and in warmer climates.  In our area they didn't seem prudent considering what heating and cooling costs are.

After searching on-line for a window company, I came across a familiar face at LifeTimeWindows. Eric Peterson is one of the owners at LifeTimeWindows and the son-in-law of a special friend, Audrey Howe.  Eric measured each window and door carefully for us.  He then suggested two styles of windows and doors.  Each choice would be a great improvement and give us what we wanted.  We chose Milgard windows due to their low profile and energy efficiency.  Within ten days the windows and doors were delivered, and installation began.  It took three days to complete the job. We couldn't be more happy with the outcome.  The two man team who did the  installing  were meticulous and detailed. We would recommend this company to anyone looking for new windows and doors, LifeTimeWindows!  Give Eric a call like we did! You won't be sorry!


Old windows, clouded and a safety concern.








New windows........clear, airtight, double paned and safety glass where it counts.  We have little ones to protect and we won't need to worry now. One addition we made to the new windows was to make them able to open along the lower portion of the windows.  It greatly improves air flow on warmer days.




With new windows came the need for window coverings.  We have chosen  solar blinds and somewhat sheer curtains.  We didn't want to block the light but needed to block the suns rays from heating up the room too much.

Between getting the windows installed, and getting the curtains hung were weeks of sanding, painting and repainting of  all 20 ( which include closets) doors, window trim, and the ceilings in each room of the house.  The woodwork in the house was natural mahogany and dark walnut.  It has all been sanded, primed, and painted white.  The beams were already painted a light green.  They are now a deep brown to connect the dark brown floors and contrast with the white woodwork.  The finished rooms look good and will be easy to live with.  We didn't spare anything on the paint.  This work needs to last a long time!  


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Quick.....the sun is out! Opportunity to plant a kitchen garden.

I had plans to post more about our move but that has been postponed due to sunshine!  This last week we prepared a small area for a kitchen garden in between downpours of rain.  First, my husband placed a slate path from the small patio area leading out to the backyard.  Then he dug out the old dirt in the bed and replaced it with a 3 way mixture of sand, soil and organic matter.  The dirt that came with our place is the redder, more rocky variety you can see between the slate.  It's not bad but not good for growing edible things.  This area gets morning sunshine and some afternoon rays, as well.  It is the perfect location for the plants I chose.                            

Lemon Marigolds...edible
Lettuce...Arugula
Parsley/Italian and curly
Chives/regular and garlic flavored
Variegated Nasturtium
Lemon Thyme
Italian Oregano and Rosemary
It didn't take long to tuck the plants in the warm earth and give them a good watering.
Now we wait for them to grow and harvest.  There is one small issue that may crop up...tonight....slugs!
A bottle of beer poured into small lids and placed at each corner of the garden will take care of that!
A side note about the Lemon Gem Marigolds.  If you have never planted them you have missed a treat.  They have a sweet lemon marigold scent, and add beauty to a salad.   Nasturtiums do the same thing, but have a peppery flavor. 

Tomorrow may offer another opportunity to plant a garden...that is if the sun is out!  If not....there are always more boxes to unpack. :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

It is a wonderful season to begin anew!

The story continues.  We are completely moved as of March 10th.  We would like to be settled in before winter is through.  One day at a time...one box at a time and it will get done.  We have accomplished a remodel to the interior of the house and have plans to paint the exterior of the barn, chicken coupe and house in June.  In reality there is quite a bit to be done....but we are project people who enjoy the process and progress!  Once we have things "in place" living will be rather simple. 

Our kitty, Bart, is becoming comfortable with his new home.  He isn't ready to walk far off without one of us being in his sight.  He will need to be careful because we have been told there is an American eagle and Redtail hawk family living in the trees just behind the house.  I've seen the hawks, two blue herons, and many crows.  Each day we peer up at the large trees for a glimpse of an eagle, but there hasn't been a siting...yet.

In good time I will share what I see living outside around this new place, and give a glimpse of the flowers and other growing things scattered on our 1.6 acres of rural space. 

It is a wonderful season to begin anew!