Apr 14 2011

the silence…

I know I’ve been silent for the last two weeks, but I have good reason. I promise.
I mentioned a few weeks ago that we’ve found a place to live. Well, we are now amidst huge renos at the place that need to be done by middle of next week. Eek!
Here’s a list of what is getting/has already been done:
- Paint the living room
- The bathroom is HUGE. And when I say HUGE, I mean…it’s the size of a bathroom plus a bedroom. (Er, because that’s what it is.) The owners at one time decided to extend their bathroom into the bedroom beside. Unfortunately now the bathroom has a bunch of wasted space. So we are making it slightly smaller by putting in a walk-in closet for the Master bedroom beside the bathroom and a small linen closet for the bathroom. I just finished sanding today and will be painting all the new walls on Saturday. Next week we will put the closet shelving in.
- The FLOORS. Oy. This has been one thing after another for the floors. Originally we thought we were just going to leave them. And then we found out we could get some wood to match a spot in the living room where the old stairway used to be (which has new unmatched floor). And then that didn’t work. And then we thought we could use the original hardwood from the closet that we built to fill in the spot in the living room. We ripped up the hardwood (that’s a whole job in itself)…and then decided against replacing the new hardwood, and now we are going to try and match it with a stain. Ahhh…So….we started sanding it with a big giant floor sander. Unfortunately, the people at Home Depots rental department are a bunch of dinguses and they rented us the wrong sander. They rented us a finish sander, which will NOT take the floor right down to the wood…unless you sand in the same spot for 2 hours. When Dave went back to Home Depot to ask them about it, they said they don’t like to rent out the *ahem* PROPER floor sander because it works too well. ie, If you don’t do it right you can sand divets in your floor. But hey! Why not just tell the people how to do it right, and then they won’t screw it up! No, instead you recommend the wrong sander and we spend hours upon hours sanding and sanding and not getting anywhere. Oy. OY! So…Dave has the right sander today. And it’s a million times faster. No joke. He’s almost finished everything in half a day when it took him 2 days to do half the living room.
But here’s the kicker: We still have to rent the finish sander now…again. Thanks Home Depot.
After we sand, we are going to try and match the new hardwood to the old hardwood with a stain (it’s a different type of wood from the old stuff). Then we will lacquer…and voila! The floors will be done.
Aaand…that’s why I haven’t blogged. I probably won’t again till we move. So I guess I’ll see you in two weeks!


Sep 13 2010

day 50! {it’s been a year}

A year ago today, Dave and I had just moved into the house that we live in now.  After renovating for about a month we were glad to move in (especially after we had not been on our own in over a year due to YWAM and travelling, etc.) The day after we moved in, I was up early to go shoot my first wedding.  It was definitely a big week for us.

For some reason, it surprises me that we are still living here.  I don’t know that it’s because before we lived here we were so transient for almost a year, or if it’s because I fully expected the farm to sell shortly after we moved in.  At Christmas I thought to myself, “This place is a nice place to have our Christmas with the family, but I’m sure we won’t be here next year.”  Well, Christmas is a few months away and we’re still here!

Over the summer, my mindset with the garden was “Oh, isn’t it nice to have so much space to grow a garden…too bad we won’t be able to do this next year.” I still seem to expect us to be in a different house by next year…I’m not sure why.

I suppose I will just enjoy it while it lasts.  Above are pictures that I took with my iPhone while we were renovating.  I wished I had taken some with my real camera, but oh well…
Below are pictures I took this spring of the finished product.  There are a few things that have changed since then (but I didn’t have a wide angle right now to do new photos)

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Aug 14 2010

Day 20: Dirty Houses and Renos.

Today Dave and I spent the day at my brothers house that has been rented out for the last year.  The renters skipped rent for the last three months, and then disappeared.  My brother had been planning on moving back in there eventually anyway…now it’s just a little earlier than expected.  They left the house in such a sorry state though.  If I have advice to anyone who owns a house and wants to rent it out–seriously, seriously reconsider this.  Only a year ago this house was freshly painted, steam cleaned etc.  It had been rented out to another group of winners who attempted to destroy it.  They asked my brother if they could paint, and he said ‘as long as you stick to neutrals’. So they painted the kitchen high gloss red (without taping anything) the living room was purple, and the master bedroom was electric blue.  There was paint everywhere, and it was filthy.
If I could back up just one minute here to give you more of a backstory to this situation.  The house that we live in right now was rented out to, um, let’s just call them Mr & Mrs Jones before we lived there.  My parents found out that there had to be someone who was a relative living on the farm, and it just so happened that we were back from Europe and had no house yet.  So my parents, feeling a little guilty that they had to evict someone, told Mr and Mrs Jones that they would have to leave the house.  But as luck would have it, the house that my brother owns was just vacated by Captain Grime and Colonel Soily-Pants (they skipped rent too and then disappeared).  Dave and I spent a week straight disinfecting their soggy mess, and painting over obnoxious high gloss paint.  It seriously looked beautiful when we were finished.  So Mr and Mrs Jones moved into my brothers house.  And we stepped into our new home…only to discover it was a pigsty.  It smelled like…old man, mixed with dog, mixed with beer.  With the help of some friends, we spent about two weeks completely overhauling the house.  I did my best to get the stench of old man/dog/beer out of the house (if it rains, you get the occasional whiff still).
So fast forward a year ahead.  Mr and Mrs Jones skip rent and disappear.  And we are left to clean up after them.  Again.
I am appalled at these peoples ability to be so irresponsible and disgusting.  What ever happened to respecting property that isn’t yours? I understand that homeowners take a risk when they rent out a house.  But seriously.  Just because you are renting doesn’t mean you can leave all your responsibilities at the door.  Grow up.  Mr and Mrs Jones were grown adults with two young adult children that lived with them.  If you are old enough to have an adult child, you should be old enough to use a vacuum and a cleaning rag.

Ok.  Rant finished.

Humans can be so disgusting sometimes. :S
We felt this addendum was necessary.
The boys worked hard on drywalling, while I put Julia to work scrubbing walls.

…and Andrew worked hard on his Blue Steel look.


Oct 1 2009

In the depths of The Ivy’s Digestive System

So the ivy is gone. In removing it, we found a few things it has eaten in it’s 20 year life span. Including:

- A Rubber Ducky (Pictured Above)

- About 30 Kokanee Beer Cans. Clearly The Ivy had a few parties in its life. I guess Ivy also ate the can when it was finished.

- 15-ish Miller Lite Beer Bottles. The Ivy never was one to discriminate. It accepted all manners of cheap beer.

- A few Christmas Lights here and there. During the Christmas Season, The Ivy’s favorite treat was Christmas Lights. The red ones especially.

- Garden Shears. Evidence of a previous unsuccessful murder attempt of The Ivy.

- A couple of coke cans. Hey, The Ivy was just like me and you, ok? It liked it’s soda as much as the next guy. Only, it ate the can afterwards.

- Some Dishes. The Ivy ate like a civilized being. Even if it didn’t act like one.

- Cat food tins. The Ivy was generous to feed the cats that lived under the porch. Or maybe it was just fattening them up for dinner.
- A cookie tin filled with Sidewalk Chalk. I guess it thought it was filled with Cookies.

- A Shoe. We’re still anticipating finding a leg of the previous owner that went with the shoe. I wouldn’t doubt that’s how the Ivy got the shoe. Maybe that’s why they wanted to sell this place. I mean, if an Ivy monster had eaten my leg…I’d leave too. Fortunately, this Ivy was no match for us. We fought it down to nothing, and now it’s gone! Roddas: 1, The Ivy: 0 !!!


Sep 25 2009

Death of a Legend.

Unfortunately, I don’t think the above quote applies to English Ivy.

Our new place has a lovely porch out front. It has two lovely maple trees that are situated in front of the porch. However, the porch has been eaten by the English Ivy Monster. It’s been about 20 years in the making. It’s pretty extensive. In the siding of the house…heck, it was in the kitchen when we first moved in. So we made the decision to get rid of it.
It’s taken about two weeks, and we’re just now starting to see the end of it (though I’m sure that we’ll have to start fighting it again in spring!) Our plan is to put some black tarps over the area over winter to kill any of the roots that are left over.
But I must say, I have grown to detest this vile plant quite profusely. Whoever planted this stuff 20 years ago…
If I had one piece of advice to offer after all of this: Don’t plant ivy. You think it’s an easy garden? Hah. Wait till it eats your house. It’ll eat your plants. It will cover your lawn. Once you plant Ivy, you better be prepared to pull out the big guns if you ever change your mind.
Here’s what Wiki says about this “charming english ivy”
“Hedera helix is considered an invasive species in a number of areas to which it has been introduced, such as Australia and the United States. Like other invasive vines, such as kudzu, it can grow to choke out other plants and create “ivy deserts”. State and county sponsored efforts are encouraging the destruction of ivy in forests of the Pacific Northwest and the Southern United States. Its sale or import is banned in Oregon. It is considered a noxious weed across southern, particularly south-eastern, Australia and local councils provide free information and limited services for removal. In some councils it is illegal to sell the plant. Ivy can easily escape from cultivated gardens and invade nearby parks, forests and other natural areas. Ivy can climb into the canopy of trees in such density that the trees fall over from the weight, a problem which does not normally occur in its native range. In its mature form, dense ivy can destroy habitat for native wildlife and creates large sections of solid ivy where no other plants can develop.”

See that??? It can even invade nearby parks. Not even your children are safe from it. ;)

Don’t ever plant this stuff! It’s awful!