Monday, September 19, 2022

Lots of New Projects

I really should be posting more frequently. We have been doing stuff. Or at least we have been hiring people to do stuff. LOL

Shortly after my last post, we discovered our roof has to be replaced. The shingles are fine, but they didn't install them correctly and there are areas with no plywood underlayment. It is VERY FRUSTRATING as I spent a long time trying to find a reputable roofer to do the installation. But since it has been more than 10 years since the installation we can't actually go after the roofer, in the unlikely event they are still in business. (Apparently, many of them set up a business, work for 10 years, then shut down the business so they don't have to deal with installation issues. Then they start up a new business with a new name. And repeat the pattern. It's really dishonest and I don't understand how they continue to get away with it.)  Rather than let it continue to rot out the roof framework we made the difficult decision to just replace the roof again.

Anyway, we decided to get an Interlock Metal Roof. The company has been in business for a really long time and I can't find bad reviews or evidence of dishonesty. With any luck, their claims that you never need another roof are true. We probably won't be here long enough to have to worry about it in any case. Unfortunately, it's late enough in the season that we may have to wait until spring before they'll be able to put it on. (They don't install roofs when it's raining.)
We also are buying LeafGuard Gutters. We had them long ago when we lived in Forest Grove and we really liked that we never had to clean them so we're getting them again. They'll be installed after the new roof is put on so we have to deal with the bad rain situation for another winter.

We also hired Conserva Irrigation to install drip irrigation for us. We've been wanting to put it in ourselves for the past several years, but it is clear we just are not motivated to do it. The new system will be installed to code and there will be a controller and we should be able to program it to run on a schedule, unlike the original plan to just attach it to hoses to make it work. They'll be starting that work in a couple of weeks.

Finally, I hope the last thing, we hired Pride and Joy Landscape, to help us get the yard back into shape.  They took away two trailers full of yard waste and everything is looking much tidier. But, I'll be honest, they did remove several plants I would have preferred they leave, but that is my fault for not marking them better, or doing a better job communicating which plants I wanted to save. After the irrigation is put in, they're going to come back out and help us spread mulch for the winter. And I'll probably move some plants around into better locations once we'll be able to water them more easily.
Before the clean up, it was hard to see but we could no longer find the path,
and many plants were growing over each other.
The columnar apple tree in front of the house had gotten a little out of control
and it was also full of wisteria vines.

I don't have a good before photo of this bed. Generally, the plants
reached the bottom branches of the apple tree and the apple tree
had many lower branches so this space is opened up quite a lot now.

So, yeah, that's a lot of upcoming work. We're spending way too much money on this house again. I haven't even added it all up and I'm sure I don't want to. But at least Jeff is working again so it won't all be coming out of savings.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Cleaning the House Exterior

We have waited too long to deal with some exterior house maintenance issues. The gutters with screens on top didn't really do the job for us. They'd probably be better if your house wasn't surrounded by tall trees. The leaves just sat on top of the screens and in heavy rains the water backed up onto the roof and over the past 10 years, it's done some damage to the roof structure. I am not going to crawl up there and take a bunch of photos, but you can see this area easily from the ground.

Anyway, we decided to buy LeafGuard Gutters. We had them at our last house and really liked them. And they have the feature that if they ever get clogged, they'll come and clean them for free. Though, I will say, OMG the salesman wasted so much of our time. He spent 3 hours selling us gutters when he could have done it in under an hour.  We already knew their benefits and that we wanted them, but they won't give you the price until they go through their lengthy pre-programmed spiel. They'll be installed sometime next month.

We also decided to hire folks to clean the exterior of the house. The roof, the exterior windows, and the siding. I am in the process of gathering estimates. I'd like to have everything done and installed by the time the rainy season starts in late-September or October.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Hired a Cleaner

It's been quite a while since the kitchen was this clean. With Jeff working again, we have a budget to hire some cleaning help because goodness knows I stink at cleaning because without the deadline, it just doesn't happen enough. But when we hire someone to help us, I usually spend the whole day beforehand sifting and putting things away and tossing lots of stuff in the trash so they can focus on cleaning.

This visit was our first round and they just cleaned the kitchen and the bathrooms. I'm hoping by the next visit we'll have cleared out the living and dining rooms⏤they're still a mess of boxes from moving out of storage⏤and we'll get those rooms looking as good. 

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Loving My New Toy!

 Now that we've mostly finished seting up Jeff's home office, I've gotten the opportunity to spend a few days playing with my new toy, a HandiQuilter Long Arm. I am loving it. OK, the learning curve is pretty steep, but I have mostly learned the basics and can do a decent edge-to-edge quilting project.

Yes, I'm going to be swimming in quilts soon, so I guess it's a good thing I started giving them away last year. 

The quilts I practiced on in the last 3 days.
I'm going to have to learn to love binding.

It will probably be quite a long time before I feel experienced enough to quilt my really fancy quilts, like the Snake River and Finger Lakes Log Cabin quilts. For now, I am just playing with quicky scrap quilts until I can learn how to use the machine well enough to feel confident I won't mess something up.

If you have an interest in my continuing quilt endeavors, I blog about them at my crafting blog.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Uplift Desk Assembled

The inexpensive maple table worked great for Jeff's Uplift Desk. It took us an hour or so this afternoon to get it assembled.

I've pulled our Ergotron Monitor Arms out of the storage space, but we're missing the attachment screws for the back of the monitors so I've ordered some. They'll probably arrive before Monday.

This desk should help Jeff work more comfortably and now that he is sorted, I feel like I can go disappear into my quilting studio and play with my new toy.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Quick Desktop Project

In January we ordered Jeff an Uplift Desk frame, but the solid wood tops were crazy expensive; like $550-1000 expensive. I couldn't bring myself to spend that much when we have a garage full of wood and some pretty decent tools. But⏤as is so typical for us⏤neither of us had enough motivation to drive the process so the boxes just sat. 

After a bit of looking around for more affordable options, I had an idea. I would look for a beat-up table on craigslist or FB marketplace and we would simply take it apart and, if necessary, sand down the top and refinish it. I obviously preferred something that was solid wood and could be cut to size without exposing the cheap inner core of veneer pieces.

Finally, I found this table on the marketplace for $25. The wood is a bit more knotty than I prefer, but it was an amazing deal and was solid wood. 

It was slightly larger than would fit in Jeff's desk space so we needed to cut 3" off one edge. It took us far longer to clean up the table saw and space around it than the actual cutting. Then I got started on sanding right away and am nearly finished putting on a few coats of finish.

Hopefully, we'll finally be able to assemble the desk tomorrow but it takes 4 hours of drying time between coats of the finish, so we'll see if I can get enough in throughout the day today.

I'm still hoping once the weather gets nice outside we'll still work on something more decorative with lots of different woods for Jeff's desk, but this will do for now.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Beautiful Spring Flowers

I haven't been diligent about blogging about our yard. It has been really quite lovely this spring since we've had so much rain. This is the best year we've ever had for irises; there are some we had that I didn't actually know what color they were. Obviously, we hadn't been watering them enough.

These purple irises actually used to be in our front yard, but when we planted the rain garden and shaded them, they actually migrated to the property line with our neighbor. I love the color.
These johnny jump-ups are a volunteer from the plants I put in last year. This is a good spot for them.
We got these two-tone irises from our neighbor, Donaleen. This is the first year I've seen the flowers on them. She thought they were the Iris 'Perfection' variety introduced before 1880.
I'm actually a little confused about this iris variety. I ordered several from Schreiner's Iris Gardens but this plant doesn't match any of the varieties I ordered, so perhaps it was a freebie from a neighbor. I did get a few plants from our local buy-nothing group. It looks very much like the Oui Madame variety.
I've been making a point of ordering more of the Pacific Iris varieties as they seem to do better in our shady yard. This Iris x pacifica ‘Violetta’ is looking lovely this year.
This Iris x pacifica 'Big Wheel' has been looking lovely for several weeks. 
This Iris douglasiana (Pacifica) ‘Canyon Snow’ also looked great a couple of weeks ago.

The rest of the iris plants around the yard are ready to burst into the flower so I look forward to next week as well.
This old-fashioned bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis 'Gold Heart') has looked amazing for several weeks. All the rest of the bleeding heart plants in the hidden garden died, but this one is thriving in its location.

I have more photos and more pretty plants, but I'm tired and need to head to bed. I do hope the rain keeps up because our plants are loving it.