Posts Tagged 'amazing'



Tung Oil Floor

Because I work for a school, I actually get to take this thing called “Spring Break”, which I’d only ever heard about when I worked more corporate jobs. In the past, Zach and I have traveled, or camped, or otherwise vacationed. This time, though, Zach was determined to take care of the last, biggest project of home improvement: refinishing the hardwood floors in two adjoining rooms on the main floor (used to be three rooms before this renovation).

This is what the floor looked like in two rooms before we moved into the house (Zach had to completely clean the whole place…that was part of the reason we got a good deal). This was one of the only places the floor was even visible beneath the garbage:

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One room was covered in pee-soaked gray carpet with cigarette burns. Underneath the carpet was awful linoleum tile that Zach pried up early on. He had to sand down glue squiggles. Last year we painted that floor a glossy chocolate brown as an interim solution to the UGLY. Here is a great “before” shot showing the state of the hardwood floor, the chocolate dining room floor (now showing a lot of wear), and the new patch Zach had to make in order to replace a piece of plywood that had been acting as a temporary patch and “lid” to our crawlspace. View: southwest.

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Zach spent days sanding the floor (all red oak), and putting wood putty into every little flaw and crack. For perspective, just behind that black garbage can you can barely find the floor patch. View: west.

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Then, each day for 5 days, he spent 5 hours on his hands and knees, removing every little dog and cat hair and then rubbing tung oil into the wood. Here is the first pass of many. View: north.

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We are so pleased with how the oil made the wood grain pop, and how shiny it is now that it’s finished!

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Oh, the work, though. It never ends. Mouldings are next. I am so thankful to have such a hard-working husband!

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Snakes and Frogs Birthday

The Boogedy’s 2nd birthday was actually in February, but the house was in shambles under construction, so we opted to wait and hold the party once the house was decent again. It was part birthday, part grand re-opening of the house party. The theme was snakes and frogs, inspired by this great hat I made for the Boogedy and a cute froggy invitation we sent to everyone.

Here is the awesome coral snake I made using two chocolate bundt cakes and cream cheese frosting. This was ideal for our family, most of whom do not care much for frosting. The dark sections are unfrosted. This snake is enjoying his frog dinner.

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We played a great balloon stomping game where everyone tied a small balloon to their ankle and took off their shoes. Then, they tried to pop everyone else’s balloon while keeping their own balloon safe. The last person to remain unpopped is the winner. This was really fun, but the little kids in attendance were a bit overwhelmed.

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Then, we played pin the fly on the frog, using a frog face modeled on the invitation we’d sent out and using hand-drawn flies.

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We had visited the wine store the day before and picked out wines based on their labels (the wine specialists on-site do not approve of picking wine by our criteria). Here were some of the possibilities:

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We couldn’t find any with snakes on the label! Lots of bicycles and kangaroos. Lots of estates and abstract color blocks. Lots of hoofed animals. But no snakes. So we went with the Nathanson Creek because they had white and red wines for a good price.

We put out some decorations:

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And I made a baked potato bar with lots and lots of toppings. About halfway through the evening, Zach lit a bonfire in the backyard firepit and sent someone to the store for s’mores fixins. The weather was just right for sitting outside at night, just nippy enough to appreciate a fire.

It was the nicest (and biggest) party we’ve ever held, and the Boogedy received so many adorable presents. Thanks everybody!!

Spring Picnic

Zach and I took Mosca and the Boogedy to our friend’s house last night, ostensibly to take a walk with them and their dog. Once there, though, I completely lost my steam.

Shea took charge and decided we would have a picnic instead. I had packed a few snacks for the walk, in case my little boy got hungry. Paul was making a Mediterranean feast, so I added my stash to the fare. We packed our blanket and walked out to the back of their property, which  sits on the Jordan River.

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We unfolded this great feast, honestly the best meal I’ve had in ages. Shea and Paul order fantastic fair-trade olive oil from Palestine, and this entire meal was flavored with that yummy liquid gold.

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We took turns taking the Boogedy to the river bank to throw rocks and sticks for the dogs. Here is Mosca, intently trying to figure out if that is a plastic bag stuck on a log or a duck swimming in the middle of the river.  (Plastic bag, unfortunately for him and for the river).

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Mushrooms Received!

I had so much fun opening my box on Saturday!! Thanks to everyone who sent a mushroom my way, and especially to Sonya for hostessing, sorting, swapping, and making my spring day!

Look at these beauties!

From Deborah:

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This fuzzy morel from Alison is the northwestern variety, a relative of my Rocky Mountain Morel:

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From jennycno3, this realistic Wood Blewit:

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This sparkly delight from Small Fox:

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This soft lovely from Becka:

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Entry Room Window-Before and During photos

The west side of our entryway has always had a biggish window, made to seem small by the presence of a Huge swamp cooler taking up most of the opening. For ages, Zach has been talking about putting in a bigger window. His brother Eric came over on Saturday to help with this project. When they removed the swamp cooler, the whole window broke out, so then they had to do this whole project in the winter air.

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It took both days Saturday and Sunday, and they finally finished at 4:00am in the morning (Sunday night). You cannot imagine how my heart was pounding as they were lifting the 4×8-ft window into its SECOND FLOOR spot from the outside on their ladders. AND, it was beginning to drizzle icy cold water which dripped onto their heads!

Here’s the view looking up from the entryway. Lots of Sky!!

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Unfortunately, we hadn’t quite considered the view from the landing. Lots of roof and road. SO. It looks like I’ll be making sheer curtains, which will serve the dual purpose of shielding me from the street view as I run from the shower to the bedroom sans clothes.

Here’s the window at the dark of dawn. Finish details coming soon!

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Great Room-BEFORE pics

I know, I know…all I ever give you guys is Before pictures, never any Afters. But here’s the thing…Everyone expects before pics to look bad. I am not a great photographer, so my after pics never make anything look as good as it feels.

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I’m so excited about this new project, Zach’s most ambitious yet. He tore down the wall between the dining room and second parlor in order to make a great room!

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In doing so, he came across a LOT of foolish, dangerous mistakes made by previous homeowners, including THREE joists in a row that have been cut almost entirely through to accomodate sewer pipes. Can you guess what sits atop two of these two-thirds-gone joists?…That’s right, the bathtub. *Shudder*.

So, he had to build a weight-bearing wall to fix this problem. When it was built, it looked so much like a chimney that we have decided to put a mantel and gas fireplace there, and hang some artwork or a nice mirror over it. Can you picture it?

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He’ll enclose part of the shaft as a cold-air return to vent the upstairs . Those big silver vents run heat/ac to the second floor bedrooms and future attic playroom. The left-hand side will be a cleverly concealed,  tall, narrow closet.

We’ll be closing a narrow door on the opposite wall:

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and raising an archway of a bigger doorway:

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Which means moving all the switches so that they make sense with the new orientation.

Zach found an old stovepipe chimney, and we’re still toying with the idea of putting a wood-burning stove into that taped off front parlor. Maybe we’d be going a little overkill with the romance of Fire, there. But we probably will at least leave some of that brick exposed and do something artsy. I’ll keep you posted.

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Can I tell you how happy I am to have a husband who can do all this stuff? And DOES IT! Despite my ridiculous whining about living in construction dust. The man is a saint. A talented SAINT.

Malabrigo Cat Hat

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Ooh, this yarn is luscious. I think it’s from Malabrigo‘s Aquarella line, but honestly, I was so giddy as I put this baby on the ball-winder, that I cast away the ball band in haste without even looking! I went into Soul Spun looking for the perfect kidsilk haze or something like it to go with something else, and was helpless in the face of this beauty.

I took a huge series of photos trying to capture the hat’s texture and style just right, and trying not to capture any sheetrock, or pink insulation fluff, or water spots on the mirror. In looking at all these photos just now, I began to wonder when I started looking so…Mature…even in a cat hat.

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