Sunday, July 24, 2011

Detour -- Part 2: The Big Reveal

Here is it -- the first (finished) bathroom project since we moved and it's not even in our own house (sheesh)!  It was well worth the effort and time away from our own projects here at the house to have the satisfaction of a finished project.  It was great motivation to keep us plugging away on the master bathroom.

The bathroom at the shore used to look something like this.

Andy finished repairing the floor, installing the drywall and painting a few weeks ago.

 Drywall up and mudded.

 New floor to replace floor damaged by leaky toilet and walls painted.

This weekend we had to paint the trim, install the new flooring, install the refinished vanity and top, connect the plumbing, rehang the newly painted trim, install the toilet, and hang the mirror and other accessories.

 Carefully measuring and cutting the floor to fit around plumbing and trim.

 Partially installed.

 Vanity in place.  Click here to see the first post about the bathroom remodel.

 Installing the trim.

 FINAL REVEAL.  That is one happy worker (camouflage shorts included) .


Toilet, floor, and new blind to match the ones in the bedroom.

Don't worry we took some time over the weekend to enjoy the heat bay and ocean.   Kodak even discovered that all of his digging could actually be productive if he just stuck his head underwater.  On one of his first attempts he came up with this giant clam.  Andy and I may put him to work -- he's halfway to a good clam chowder!

 The prized possession.  He was so proud of himself.

A few more of these and we could have a feast!  Too bad it was way too hot for cooking.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mid-Summer Garden Update

Everything I read online says to keep a notebook or journal for your garden to track when you plant seeds, transplant, harvest, and to note crops that did well or not so well.  We were in such a rush to get things in the ground that my early attempts to track what we were doing in the garden went right out the window.  At least I'll be able to look back and this blog and have some idea of what we planted and how it did (or in some cases didn't).

A little refresher -- here is what the garden looked like almost 2 months ago on May 25.

 Tomato plants.

 Lettuce, beets, radishes, carrots, and peas.

More lettuce, spinach, and cabbage.

We ate a ton of lettuce from the garden, had a few meals with sugar snap peas, and just ate small crops of beets and broccoli last week. The cabbage and broccoli were healthy plants but I think the late spring planting caused the low (or no) production.

 Warm weather definitely caused some plants to grow like crazy.

 In the front we have an Ichiban eggplant, some green peppers and a zucchini.  In the back I took a stab at some companion planting where one plants attracts certain beneficial bugs or provides needed nutrients to its companion plant.  We tried a Three Sisters Garden with corn in the middle, pole beans around the corn that use the corn plants as a trellis and the beans provide nitrogen for the corn (a nutrient depleting plant), and then squash around the beans to shade the roots.  

 A few delicious Ichiban eggplants just about ready to be picked.  I've had some minor damage to the leaves by japanese beetles but not enough to really stress the plant.

 Tomatoes!!!  The plants got so tall that they have outgrown the cages and needed some additional stakes.  We are still having problems with branches breaking off in heavy winds.  I started trimming them back to prevent more breakage. We just noticed a few ripe tomatoes earlier this week.

 An heirloom variety called Mr. Stripey. 



 We ripped out the peas and planted some late green beans, wax beans, and cucumbers.

 Green peppers and more beans where the lettuce was.

 Shady side -- I gave up on growing veggies here and instead planted some impatiens.

 Nasturtium.  Another companion planting attempt.  These flowers are supposed to attract beneficial insects.  I can't say I've seen any specific bugs (other than our ladybugs), but I haven't seen tons of damage either, so we'll keep them around.

 Broccoli. (and a few green peppers, jalapeno peppers, and ghost peppers (apparently the hottest in the world and Andy's experiment) that aren't visible)

 Another variety of eggplant called Rosa Bianca.

 Yellow squash taking over the world.

 A peak under the leaves.

 Zinnias -- another companion plant.

 The monster squash that has gone wild.  Tromboncino.
 This one got a little too big (about 2.5' long!).  It didn't even fit in the refrigerator.

Monday, July 11, 2011

When One Job Turns Into Two (or three or four)

As soon as we bought the house we knew that the matching blue shutters, mailbox, and storm door would all have to go.  Sherwin Williams was running a 30% off paint sale a few weeks ago so we grabbed some new paint for the vinyl shutters.  Color selection was difficult becuase 1) it's hard to see past the blue, 2) the siding has some peach tones that we have to work with, 3) there is some brick on the front that we need to work with and 4) we need to work with the roof color.

We decided on a color called Box of Nails after much hanging the sample, moving it around, looking at it in different light, etc.

Sherwin Williams Box of Nails (it's a bit gray and a bit taupe)

 Blue, blue everywhere.

We took 2 shutters down from one of the back windows to clean and paint so that we could make sure we liked the color before we brought out the extension ladder and painted all 10 windows.  After a few sprays with the power washer the shutters were obviously clean.  What was not clean was our back patio and it was clear that this small job of paint testing was going to lead to a bigger job -- power washing the patio.  In our defense, we had no idea it was this dirty!

 Slow, but instantly rewarding job.


 Andy taking over for a bit.  Complete with 1980s headphones.  The only thing missing is the walkman.

 Who knew it could be so clean and bright ?!?

And let's not forget about the original job.  Paint testing on the shutters.  Here we go.  The final coat.  We used the paint sprayer and had great success -- no drips running through the louvered shutters.  This was Kodak's compromise.  I had so many bad pictures of furry dog butt because he insisted on walking in front of the camera.  I agreed he could be in the picture.

 We also managed to removed the rest of the stump out front.

 Poor huechera.  This was a beautiful full plant before a few days of vacation.  Keep in mind this is less than 10 feet from our front door, but the deer must have known we were away.  So much for deer resistant plants.