Monday, April 23, 2007

Drain drops keep fallin' on my head

The bathroom is nearing completion. The floor went in with very few problems. There is one little bubble that won't let go of its hold under the vinyl, but otherwise all is well. The toilet went in with no tears and few profanaties and seems to work. We haven't had the inagural use just yet.

The shower education seems to be complete and once we have a full day we'll get the tile in and be done with that. We bought a little tile snapper thing that actually works pretty well. We're hopeful that it'll work on the bigger floor tiles too.

The pedistal sink is another story. We tried to do the plumbing carefully so everything would just slip right in. no one told us that the stupid drain that came with the faucet would be a totally useless size and generally a piece of crap. Now we've got the weakest link in the connection in the hardest to reach spot and after two tries the damn thing still drips slowly. We'll be taking it out and re-doing the drain pipe where it connects to the drain for the last time here soon. Either we'll have a drain that doesn't leak, or a shiny bucket under the sink.

border patrol

In a move that's sure to upset the masses, we've taken down the border with our neighbors to the north. We were initially fearfull of a mass imigration and have since taken steps to secure our status as a sovergn lot:

This weekend Mark finally won his battle with the hedge and did it all without a winch, bobcat, chainsaw, dynamite, truck or anything else fun and efficient. After uprooting the last of the giant hedges we pulled out the chicken wire fence and opened the borders. We also removed a lone fence pole that technically probably belonged to the neighbors, but we doubt they knew or cared. If you're the neighbors and reading this, we didn't remove it, it fell and we didn't want the safety hazard so we're storing it in the dumpster out back. please recover your post and we'll put it back in.

The old hedge left us a lot of leaf litter, bird poo and other good fertalizer and despite the amount of stuff we removed we were left with a significant mound of dirt. We tilled (with a shovel) all of it in and smoothed out the yard and it looks great. After preping the dirt we replaced the fence with a do-it-yourself stake in thing from the depot. It looks surprisingly good, but Mark has serious doubts about its ability to stay standing for any amount of time. The fence spikes go somewhere between 6 and 8 inches into the ground. seems like 2 feet would be a better distance.

After resecuring the property we planted three fun little bushes that are supposed to be evergreen, except for the leaves are yellow (not sure how that math works). The important part is that they're not coniferous - or carniverous (but that would be fun). We accented the bushes with some ground cover plants and hope to get more soon.

We really wanted to xeriscape that area but surprisingly home depot's new "Eco Friendly" plant selection didn't include a single thing native to the state or anything that requires less than super regular watering. We're not sure why this is surprising since all of the other Eco friendly options in the store are petroleum based fertilizers and plastic fences....perhaps "Eco" is a BP spinoff that we don't know about.

Anyway, the little side yard looks lovely and hopefully makes the house a little nicer throughout. It was a fun project outside of the hedge removal.

Next week Mark's real Xeriscape garden gets here. Stay tuned for photos of lots of flowers and greenery. We're out to prove that low water doesn't mean thorny plants and rocks.

Friday, April 20, 2007

twilight zone

Things are starting to come together nicely in the upstairs bathroom. Over the last few days we've painted and put in the new lights. Last night we put the first of two pieces of vinyl flooring down. It went in fairly smoothly and the few bubbles that tried to make an appearance were banished. Thankfully the glue didn't smell as toxic as it could. not that it smelled like roses, but it wasn't totally deadly. Unfortunately it wants a few days before heavy traffic is allowed back on and that may have implications for installing the toilet and sink (but probably not)

The only remaining things in the bathroom are; toilet, sink, tile in the shower, and trim on the walls.

Downstairs still looks like a disaster but we're hopeful that this weekend will bring an update to that report.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The hedge massacre

The ugly hege that has been here for at least 50 years (no joke - we asked the neighbors!) is finally gone. Mostly. After filling about 6 dumpsers full and leaving the rest in a brush pile in the backyard, this is all that remains. The roots should be a blast! But, it looks much, much better already!!!

Monday, April 02, 2007

What happened to March?

Aparently the blogger gnomes have failed to do their jobs late at night and create updates for our loyal readers (both of you).

so it's April and we're about 25 days away from having the dump for a year. That also puts us about 25 days away from the goal of being done. someone send help.

Here recently we've installed the upstairs shower pan and enclosure. and insulated everything. This past weekend was full of work but strangely it doesn't really look like anything got done.

Part of the fun involved our new vaulted kitchen ceiling. We did the plumbing upstairs and checked for leaks at least 459 times and found nothing. Unfortunately we had to do a little persuasion as we installed the shower and likely cracked somethign that was going to crack anyway. The result was a very slow drip that materialized only after we closed everything up. Mark discovered a fun little puddle of water in the kitchen several days later. This lead to an immediate vaulted ceiling project and we now have rustic exposed beams over the fridge and ceiling that's about 5.25 inches least until we put the drywall back up. we're thankful that the leak was tiny and happened before the new cabinets went in.

speaking of new cabinets, we've lost our living room. Ikea pulled through in a big way and delivered our new cabinets way ahead of schedule. Good deal, except we don't have anywhere to put them. At the same time we took delivery of 800lbs of tile and grout for the kitchen. Once those two projects get in we'll really have something to show for ourselves. Unfortunately they can't happen until the upstairs bathroom gets done.

stay tuned for more and for photos of the fun, same bat time same bat channel.