Sunday, August 31, 2008

"I'm not dead yet!....

...I think I'll go for a walk!" That's the story with this plant, if you recall from a previous post, we had cut down this diseased bush with the intention of figuring out a way to remove it's stump so we could plant something different there. However, the plant feels happy and has other ideas. It is bringing forth new life from the wreckage. Who am I to argue with mother nature? The new growth is healthy and non-diseased thus far.

The camellia stump has shown no such come back, which is good because I have plans for that spot, so that spot is still coming out. And when I get bids for some random things I'd like done in the yard, removing that stump will be one of the things.

The other thing (or shall I say person) that is not dead yet is, well, me. I'm exhausted! We are both feeling it, but mostly me ;). We have finished most of the prep: Sprayed, scraped and sanded the entire house; washed the whole house down and painted it with peel stop primer. Now we are doing the last of the prep. Sanding here and there, restoring rotten window trim, fixing the broken porch railing, removing fixtures...etc. before we start priming. We bought the paint and primer today. The paint store guy tinted our primer dark enough that we'll only have to do one coat of paint over it (hopefully). Here's a little picture of the front as of today. Note the color patch where I 'marked my territory', since another neighbor is painting and I didn't feel like doing the color waiting game again.

Numerous neighbors have come up to tell us how rad we are and how they've been watching us work our asses off and are very impressed. Everyone so far loves the color choice. I got into a long conversation with one neighbor about how ugly the house is during the prep phase and it led to a discussion of yards wherein I apologized for how hideous our yard is and explained that we'll be ripping it out and replacing it with a garden soon. The lady got all excited and actually high-fived me and said they were planning to do the same, which was kind of nice to hear.

Anyhoo - I suppose I should be doing off I go!

Cheerio mateys, happy Labor Day!

Saturday, August 30, 2008


We've been working our little asses off prepping the house. We've finally finished the scraping and sanding which is the hardest work. So of course it finally cooled off today! I must say, DH is a mad dog! He barely takes breaks even when working in the hot sun. What a stud! I'm lucky to have such a hard workin' hubby. Today should be easier...caulking, patching and painting peel stop primer. A nice rest from the back breaking work of scraping and sanding peeling eaves!

So I decided since we won't be working as hard today, that I might as well add another project. We moved half the furniture out of our bedroom last night and I've already patched and sanded everything in there. I need to finish ripping out the baseboard, wash the walls, and then prime with mildew resistant primer (this is where we had the mold problems in the winter time!). I figure on doing that over the next couple of evenings, after which I can paint that room. So outside during the days, and bedroom at night. Projects! Once that's all done we'll only have the office, the hallway and the two little bathrooms to be painted and we'll be DONE painting! I wonder if I can finish it all in the next couple of months? That would be nice.

Okay, enough to work!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Post 1 - "The Good"

Camping in Calaveras Big Trees along the Stanislaus River:

Jellies at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (I wish I had a better camera here):

Sunset on Carmel Beach:

Post 2 - "The Bad and the Ugly"

I thought I'd share a little taste of the pain of prepping our house to paint. This doesn't even show the walls! It's pretty brutal. Suffice it to say, none of the previous paint jobs were done properly and we are paying for it...especially in this heat.

But when all is said and done, hopefully we'll have a nice little green cottage...a non-craftsman version of this beauty. (BTW the neighbor's went with light green, the SAME light green as our light green patch that I showed in a previous post in fact! It looks fabulous, but we are happy just the same as we kinda like the loden green better).

OMG - I don't think we're ever gonna finish. And when we're done, moving on to the front yard before the rains start. I've got a good game plan in mind and have been googe-image searching cottage gardens and xerioscaping and driving/walking around looking at other yards. I have it pretty figured out. I think I'm gonna hire someone to do some of this shit though. We have so much to do! I don't feel like digging up the lawn myself, or having poor Joe replace the water main with copper (we figure, while the yard is dug up, might as well). So much work!

Monday, August 18, 2008


Which green to pick? We've determined either option is sufficiently different from our neighbors' greens to go with. Right now we are leaning towards the darker color "Villita" which is kind of a loden green. Keep in mind all trim will be white. The other color, "Lemongrass" is lovely but I'm concerned it might look a little washed out once it's on the whole house. DH actually likes the darker one too and is happy to go with it...we are just a little nervous I guess! It's pretty dark...though I know outdoor paint looks lighter once its all on there. My friend suggested, and I agree, that the darker color is very Oakland/Berkeley cottage...and would go nicely with the type of garden we are planning for the front. Any and all opinions are welcome.

Vacation begins on Friday! I swear that I'm as excited for this vacation as I have been for either of our European jaunts. We are starting off with a weekend of camping with friends (many thanks to the beauteous Gypsy Junk for watching my doggie doos). Then we return for a day, then we are off to Monterey and Carmel for a two day anniversary trip (thanks here to the beauteous Jenny for the doggie duty). Other then that we plan on working on the house. A Stay-cation. I'm sooooo excited. Did I mention I was excited? If we manage to get all the prep and priming done by the end of our vacation I'll be pleased. Then we can paint the following weekend.

In closing, here's a lovely shot of my hubby-kins with miss Bendeja, looking proper.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bloom Sequence

I love sunflowers! Next year I'm gonna plant way more of them, and this time in places that get more sun. I have quite a few more that are blooming in slow motion because they don't get enough. Not much else to report. Very tired this week. I've been staying up later then normal getting my Olympics fix. I'm a "Phelps Phan" like the chick on the stupid wireless phone commercial! Anyhoo....this weekend will be devoted mostly to prepping the house for painting. We are back on the green tip...despite it all. Our next door neighbor told us he was planning on re-painting his house soon and I put up a bunch of color chips and Joe still likes the two green options best - even better then tan, which is what I expected him to like! So now it's between a nice Loden green and a lightish green called "lemongrass". White trim...despite some rather vocal advice we've had to the contrary. We like the clean and crisp look of white trim.
Maybe I'll have an official color decision to report next week. Or pictures of paint swatches or something. Until then...

Monday, August 4, 2008

My oh my..

...another weekend come and gone in a flash. The windows were finished this weekend...well mostly finished. DH is taking the day off today and the guy is still there and needs only to do some stucco patching and caulking etc. My favorite part now is the new garden widow in the kitchen. You can see above how it was just a run o the mill window. Below shows the transformation. I love it! I feel like I had an addition put on the kitchen because it's so big!

The neighbors keep coming by and complimenting us, which feels good. Now we simply must decide on a freakin' paint color!! Lots and lots to do still, inside and out. I don't know how it will all get done before the weather changes.

Speaking of which, when I woke this morning I had a realization that its a bit darker then it's been at that time in the morning. And I noticed the sun setting well before 9pm again. I smell fall approaching! I do love fall...I love the breeze and the smell of the air, and the crisp mornings and ren faire and such. But I really have work to do! And to top it all off the family struggles continue. This has been some year. I must really focus now...I need to get on top of all this stuff.

Have a good week everyone!