12 November 2011

Clear Out Craze

So, I woke up this morning with every intention of clearing a wide path through the dining room and living room. On Monday the piano movers are coming to take my piano- which I do not have the talent to play- to my grandmother's house. Nanny enjoys playing and my teenage cousin is a natural on the piano, so this will give both of them the opportunity to play. After all, it has just been sitting there looking pretty in my dining room these past few years.

But I got sidetracked. See, my linen closet has been driving me crazy for the last few weeks. Not that it was very disorganized, but I didn't have a designated space for the new king size bedding. So instead of working downstairs, I tore everything out of the linen closet, made neat stacks all over the beds, vacuumed, dusted, then began to put everything back.

And even though it looks almost the same as before, I'm pleased with the result:

Three hours well spent? Maybe. I worked on several other things at the same time. I have a large pile of clothes for my friend Sheri's daughters. I had a big clear out of winter clothes last weekend. Now I just need to get them to her.

I've been getting my exercise running up and down the stairs to check on laundry every 45 minutes. I still have a small stack of boxes to go to the basement. I decided that there is really no need to store extra tiles, grout mix, robe hook and replacement toilet seat in the linen closet! Those things belong in the basement. I've kept the tiles up here so long because I wanted them handy for when we make the final repairs to the bathroom walls, but since that has already been about 5 years, I think I'll take the risk by moving them farther away. Ha! Maybe some great tile layer will magically  knock on my door this week. Let's not hold our breath.

Meanwhile, things are really coming together in the back bedroom. As I mentioned, I had a big clear out last weekend, making lots of extra drawer space, so I was able to make more room for Lewis to store stuff. I've been feeling kind of guilty of late. I have clothes filling two closets, with a few winter coats stored in the third. And, until last weekend, I had clothes in dressers in all three bedrooms. Really.

I've also been gearing up to make some major changes to the side bedroom, which I am very excited about. Soon I'll show you my plans! Stay tuned.

11 November 2011

Projects on the Horizon

Wow. It has been so long since I posted that blogger has changed!

Well, I thought I'd get caught up a bit. We've been pretty preoccupied with family issues the past few months, but I think things are going to get back to normal soon.

I have been working hard behind the scenes, doing some major clear out and de-cluttering. I feel very good about this. When I'm done, I can reward myself by redecorating the side bedroom. Very much looking forward to that!

We are also going to start working on a few new big projects around the house. Sometime this spring there will be new siding and insulation, a few new windows, hopefully a new sofa, and finally a fence for Oliver. I can't wait to see him romp around his yard!

Currently, I'm interested in the James Hardie siding products. I'll most likely go with the greens as pictured above. I am waiting for a couple more color samples that caught my interest before I make my final decision. It will be a color. I've always been happy with the green siding, crisp white trim and black accents.

We will not be installing any stone, though, because damage to non-structural stone or brick is not covered under my earthquake insurance. Those areas will probably get a fresh coat of stucco, but I'm not sure yet. There could be other options out there that I'm not aware of.

While we have the house torn up outside, the plan is to install insulation from the outside in. At some time, several decades ago, someone had fluffy blown-in insulation installed. We found out when we were restoring the interior that fluffy stuff settles down to about knee level! Well, if we had walls open, Bill put insulation in, but there were plenty of places we didn't get to. At the time we had no idea just how much of a mistake that would be.

I've always joked that I didn't ever want to see my house in one of those infrared photos, because it would just be a big, glowing blob of red. You may have heard me refer to the house as a sieve? Many of you old house owners know just what I'm talking about. Those mysterious breezes you feel on your ankles in the winter? Yeah. Good times.

Anyway, I'll tell you more about the windows when I have more details. In the meantime, I'm open to comments or suggestions about siding.

12 September 2011

Cheval Mirror

Dear Perfect Cheval Mirror-

I dreamed of you, but did not think I would ever find one exactly like you, at least not in my price range! But mark my words: on payday, you shall be mine!

And finally I will be able to see my whole outfit in the morning, right down to the shoes!

I found my perfect mirror for the new bedroom at Lowes!

p.s. Prepare yourself for golden retriever nose prints.

31 August 2011

It Only Took Two Years...

The back bedroom has finally had it's makeover. Ta-da! I can't believe I started clearing out this room back in November 2009. Then we dropped the ball. Then the room accumulated more junk. And we were pretty much back at square one.

Well, all that changed this summer. Sadly, our favourite mattress store has closed it's doors for ever. But we did get a terrific bargain on a king size foam mattress. That was motivation enough for me to get moving again.

I cleared the room out in a matter of days, and my lovely friends Marc, Josh and Kolby spent an entire Saturday helping me paint.

I didn't have the heart to tell them that I hated the first color I picked out- too little boy's room blue. Sunday morning found me at Sherwin-Williams, picking out another color. I settled on Drizzle, in case anyone is interested. It was my first instinct, but I chickened out and went lighter. Lesson learned.

So, Lewis and I spent the next two weeks repainting and trying to make all the edges nice and crisp. No small job, as anyone who has ever applied the zillionth coat of paint to plaster in an old house knows. Oliver kept us company. And his bone kept him out of the blue paint.

Finally, we were done. We were able to set up the frame and the mattress, move the dressers back in and then I got down to the fun stuff. Decorating.

Here is my continually evolving design board. As you know if you've been following along, I have the dressers. I also have lamps very much like these two. I purchased the cotton coverlet from WalMart and ordered the ceiling fan through amazon.
I've been trolling etsy to find a seashell wreath like the one above. So far they've been too expensive. I may end up crafting my own. The two doggie prints are from etsy as well.

I'll probably have to wait until next summer to order the sheet sets from L.L. Bean, since they've sold out for the season.

Obviously we need a headboard and we have not yet installed the new fan. That will probably change the lighting in the room. Curtains have yet to be finalized. Lots of little items yet to be settled.

Whew. Well, that's all for today. Maybe some more details in the future.

24 May 2011

Big 'Ole Pile of Dirt

Hello all! Blogger is back, we're back, all is good.

We did have a few minor projects this winter, I'm sure I'll get around to telling you about them eventually. Nothing too exciting.

But for now, we are working in the yard. Last week we had a yard of garden soil delivered.

Oli is longing to dig into all that dirt!

This helped us bulk up the garden beds along the house, and gave us more to work with to create a slope away from the house. Which in turn should helps keep the basement a little more dry. We hope.

Lewis sent me that picture during the day, and I went home expecting to be moving dirt around all evening, but guess what? He had it all done! Amazing.

This coming Saturday we are meeting with a landscaper. I'm so excited. He said he can work with us, come up with a grand plan that we can do in stages. That's just what I need. I've been tinkering with this yard for 7 summers now, and quite frankly, I just don't know what I'm doing.

Two years ago mom and I started to move large rocks and cement rubble to the narrow side between the house and the factory's fence, but I said stop. We don't know if we are doing the right thing or making it worse. We have such a steep slope, and I want a professional to tell me what needs to be done to correct that and make yard maintenance easier. I'll let you know what happens.

20 April 2011

Oliver's Recovery

Oliver, modeling his donut pillow. A wonderful alternative to the cone. This one is the Kong Cloud collar. He's tolerating it pretty well. We practiced for several days before the surgery. Short times, loads of praise and high-value treats made it all worthwhile. By the night before his surgery, he even fell asleep on his side wearing it.
The vet was pleased with his surgery yesterday. They were able to remove all the lumps and are sending them for testing, but he seemed positive that everything would be alright. He did say Oliver has a high likely hood of getting more of these fatty lumps in the future. Yeah. We kind of figured that.

They removed a hardened piece of earwax from his eardrum and we are hopeful that it was the cause of all his ear problems over the past few months.

And finally, his teeth got a cleaning and are now pearly white. Oli says more butcher bones will help keep his teeth clean. And truly, a $1 bone from the butcher does a better job than any of the expensive teeth cleaning chewies on the market.

The vet techs said he was a very good patient. He was very cooperative and sweet.

Here he is today, fast asleep, recovering from yesterday. He has six shaved spots, one from the IV and the other five have stitches where they removed the lumps.

He was happy to be home with us last night. Even happier to finally get some water and small meals. He's been so good that we haven't even had to use the special collar!

13 April 2011

Ever Wonder What Oliver Looks Like Under All That Hair?

Here is my hairy golden retriever. He normally look like this, or even more hairy. But, he is having surgery next week to have a few lumps removed (nothing to worry about!) And those lumps are difficult to find under all that hair. We definitely don't want to put him through surgery only to miss one, so we took him to the groomer to get an extreme summer haircut. Now he looks like this.
Can you believe that's the same doggie? You can really see the yellow lab in him. He looks so skinny! In fact, he lost 2 pounds!

03 February 2011

Snow Season

Hi, all. We're still here, we've just gone into winter hibernation. Not much to report right now, but hopefully things will pick up in the spring. For now we are just trying to keep warm. We've been working with Oliver off leash, which is easier in the snow because he tires himself out by leaping and bounding everywhere!See? He doesn't make footprints as much as body prints.