Thursday, April 10, 2014

2013 Project List FAIL

I was amused to run across my list detailing my ambitious plans for 2013. Boy, did we ever fail. We'd spent too many years fixated on this one project and we really needed a break. We did get a couple projects finished:
  1. Plan/Install master bedroom closet interiors
  2. Plan and build side fence
I am really happy with how both those projects turned out. The fence is in but we still haven't finished staining it. Now that the pergola is started, I am prepared to stain the fence white (as I originally planned).


And we mostly finished building our closet inserts. The cube side of my closet is on hold until we make the final plan of our bathroom remodel. I'd hate to spend a lot of time and expense installing the cubes in my closet and then decide we want to move that wall over 6 inches. So, for now, we're just using portable racks.



We do have some projects we'd like to finish this year, but I'm a little less confident we will actually do them. Here is my current list.
  1. Empty storage
  2. Plan and build pergola at back patio (started)
  3. Clean bricks and install back patio
  4. Install backyard path
  5. Put in rain barrel behind garage
  6. Plan and build raccoon/rat-safe chicken coop
  7. Plan master bathroom remodel
  8. Prime/Paint/Stain basement bathroom
  9. Install flooring/fixtures in basement bathroom

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pergola Progress

We started off the day scrambling to get the boards for the pergola stained. The weather was clear and we got quite a lot of them done. It did seem a tragedy to stain those beautiful clear cedar boards with opaque white stain, but ultimately I decided the stain would look better in a few years than the natural cedar. I didn't believe grayed-cedar would look good with the rest of the house color palette. And, besides, we had the white stain leftover from our fence project shortly after we moved in.
And, as usual for Oregon, our clear weather forecast delivered some sprinkles so we had quite the scramble to get the boards under cover.

The guys continued to assemble the pergola throughout the day.
We didn't get the big posts stained because of yesterday's rain so we'll have to get them finished on the next warm day. The pergola still needs the wood braces and the top layer of 2x2s. We're actually trying to find someone to make the braces for us as we don't have the proper tools to make them ourselves.

We also plan to paint a second coat of stain on the entire structure once it's finished. It got a fair amount of smudges and scratches in the assembly today. Plus, the coverage with the first coat of stain was not totally consistent throughout.
I'm lovin' the end detail. Thanks Jeff!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pergola Started!

At long last, we have finally started the pergola for real. We had hoped to start sooner, but our weather lately has NOT cooperated. Yesterday was the first sunny day in a while.

The guys got the posts set in cement yesterday and installed the edge board on the garage (for stability).
We had planned to stain everything today, but the weather was again not agreeable; I didn't want to risk the wood getting rained on. So, instead Jeff worked on adding the end detail to the boards. The original design was for the notch to be on a straight end, but Jeff thought it would look better with a slight angle because the rafters on the house, where we're copying the design from, are installed at an angle.

We're hoping for better weather tomorrow so we can work on the staining.

As a reminder, this is the goal. Though, our plan calls to eventually finish the "floor" of the pergola with salvaged concrete and bricks.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pergola Time!

I guess we got burned out on working on the house, so we've enjoyed an extended vacation from working on it. And we really haven't been doing anything interesting to blog about, so my blog was sadly neglected. But our friend Eric, who built the side fence with Jeff's help, needs some work this winter and so we're going to turn our attention to the backyard pergola.

Here is the plan we shared in July 2012:

We're going to go buy the wood as soon as we figure out what we need, and Eric and Jeff will start putting it in. We'll post pictures once they do.

And, on another topic related to the backyard, Jeff and I found new homes for our backyard babies. We had actually planned to kill the last two chickens because they had stopped laying, but we found a friend who was happy to have non-laying chickens in her yard to eat insects. We also "returned" Quiana (the rabbit we got in April 2012) to the same friend who raises rabbits. Quiana is going to be used as a breeder. She actually turned out to be the most unfriendly rabbit I've ever met and neither Jeff or I could pick her up without being scratched.

So now that we're not tied to taking care of all these pets, we've been free to do stuff like visit family in California. This will be the year we do some traveling, and then hopefully we'll get a chicken coop built later in the year and we'll get chickens again in 2015. We really like having chickens and I actually miss seeing them wandering around our backyard, but this is for the best for now.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

My Winter Vacation

By Shasta
On my winter vacation I went to go visit my family in California. I had a lot of fun because we stayed with Grandpa who lived only a block from a great big grassy field where my alphas could take me to play. I got to see my cousins and they are much bigger now. They were puppies the last time I visited, but this time they were almost alphas.

I had a lot of fun going to the grassy field to play chuck-it everyday. One day we even went twice. The weather was very hot and I could not run for so long as I do at home in Oregon. But it was nice when we got to go.

My Grandma gave me lots of turkey scraps and my food was real yummy. I wish my alphas would give me more turkey scraps at home.

Uncle James liked it when I came over and chased stray cats out of his backyard. It was my best visit ever to see Uncle James! And Grandpa had a bunch of squirrels who got into his backyard and it was fun to chase them too.

I wish my alphas would spend less time on their funny grey boxes. They got new grey boxes for xmas and now they like them even more. They look at them for hours and hours and I don’t understand why they would rather look at them than play with me. Alphas are silly.

My Daddy went off a bunch of times to play D&D (whatever that is) with his friends. I am sure there must have been some other dogs involved.

One time I met a dog named Molly. She was sort of old and wasn’t too sure about having me around. I also met a cat and I liked her; she did not like me.

The drive was very long. I decided to take a nap because I was bored. I only got to get out of the car a couple of times, but then we got home again. I like it at home too (but I miss my turkey scraps).

 
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