Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Jeff has wanted to write science fiction for many years. I guess because it was so hot in Portland a couple weeks ago and because we were feeling totally unmotivated to do real work, we got started. We're still at it.

Our story is based in the alpha centauri system on a spaceship. We've found submarines to be a good comparison for the spaceship setting in our story. It's been fun to research them.

I think I've been a little embarrassed to admit this project because I don't know if we'll come up with a story that is any good, but we have been enjoying working on this project together.

On the off chance we actually come up with a publishable book, we'll let you know. I suppose stranger things have happened.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Last Week's Installations

I guess I forgot to post last week with our latest progress. Since it was beyond our skill, we hired the plumber to come back and put in the shower head in our master bathroom. It's a little bigger than I realized, but I love it. Sadly, we can't use it until the glass is in.
We have the quote and just need to order the glass, but the latest delay is our fault. We want to do a bit more varnishing and paint the room again, but it got hot in Portland. We suck at doing work when it's hot. I'll probably go ahead and order the shower enclosure in order to give us a deadline; that usually motivates us to get in gear.

Oh, and we got the soapstone installed in the basement bathroom now that we have a mostly functional bathroom upstairs.
We obviously still need to install the Kohler Fairfax faucet.
We had this style faucet in our last house and we liked it. I am way less fussy about having historic reproductions in our basement bathroom.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Backyard Hardscape Finished

The backyard is finished, for now. We still plan to put in a chicken coop, but that will wait until fall/winter when our contractor friends have a slow period.

Here is the overhead view (from my sewing room). The mass of plants on the lower right is the rain garden we put in about four years ago. The few plants we originally put in have really thrived (the thimbleberry too much so).
And from the back stairs.
Honestly, had we planned in advance better, the brick path would have extended all the way to the patio and the urbanite path would have come off the side, but we were pretty much winging it for most of this process. Oh well. Maybe next year we'll change it, but Jeff has had enough of this project for now. We'll hang onto the spare bricks.

I spent the day sifting the last of the tile to get it out of the house. I'm trying to guess which pieces are worth selling, and I'll put them up on craigslist for the rest of the summer. The rest, I'm just going to put a free ad up on craigslist. I think whatever is left by this winter, I'll just give that away too.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Another Path Done

I'm not going to show all the steps this time; you guys have seen them all many times. Jeff and Aaron spent about 3 days shifting dirt and then installing this path from the back door to the patio. When they were digging the area for the gravel, they actually found an earlier path buried in about 3" of dirt. That path was just laid out on the dirt without gravel so it had obviously sunk. Anyway, they reused some of those bricks too. Here is how it turned out.
They copied the design we used for the front yard path.

The long term goal is to be able to walk to the chicken coop during the winter without getting covered in mud. We are nearly there. Once the coop is in, they'll finish the short piece of path that is still needed and we should be good to go.

We finally finished nailing the new stained boards in place in our living room. We had to replace several boards AGAIN that Mia had chewed on. She has been evicted from the living room for a while. And I also painted the plaster repair.
When I first repainted the patch with a new can of the Sherwin Williams Ruskin Room Green paint the color was so different, I was a little panicked the color would not match and then I would have to repaint the whole room. Fortunately, once it dried, it matched. I was so relieved. I didn't want to paint the whole room again.