Dreaming a Little

I may have mentioned something about a laundry room remodel recently. Well me and the MR have been meeting with a designer to try and make better use of a rather odd set up.

The original owners had a tanning bed opposite the washer and dryer. We have just an odd space with cabinets running across the middle of the wall.

He was in the construction industry and liked to come in through the laundry room, get rid of his work clothes and immediately shower. I’m sure it made sense for him, just not so much for us.

Cocoa loves the bathroom in the laundry room—it’s where she eats her meals and snacks and chew sticks are stored. It seems kind of a shame to have a whole room dedicated to a dog and her accouterments.

So we met with Kristi of Studio K2. She’d done some work for a friend of the MR’s; and after seeing the remodel photos, we decided to give her a call. We spent an afternoon chatting about wine fridges, butler’s pantries, extra storage, light issues, and usable space, and she presented us with the following plan.

She also had lovely ideas for drying racks, beautiful walls of cabinetry, and a built-in dog bowl station.

The light issue could be improved by replacing the doors with glass panels. That means the door from the outside, the door between the laundry and adjacent bath, the door to both rooms, and perhaps the door to the deck that lines up with all three other doors. Nothing is every easy…

Cocoa’s bare bones bathroom would be replaced with a wine fridge, an overflow fridge for entertaining, and then a pretty sink and storage for platters and holiday plates, stemware and silver.

It sounds like contractors are booked out a ways, but I’m loving all these ideas.

We’re planning on carrying the white cabinets found in the rest of the house in here, and open shelving doesn’t work when we leave the doors open all summer long.

I’ll probably still move a drying rack out on the deck in the summer, but it’ll be wonderful to have a place to hang up the MR’s button-downs, and my dainties won’t be hanging on the line in front of God and everyone.

I remember when my mom redid her laundry room. And the 20-something I was, I may have rolled my eyes. Sorry Mom. Now I get how exciting it can be to dream a little dream.

Any remodeling plans at your house?

Want a peak at where we’ve started and where we’ve been? You can find our ever changing laundry room here, or here, or here, or here


All Wired Up

Well, it’s a done deal. Me and the MR are all set the next time winds blow, trees go down, and the power is out. Our new generator was installed a few weeks ago.

The fellows installing it said it’d only take two days, but that was before they discovered we had 80 circuits. Apparently that’s a lot to deal with. There was a little excitement the first day when they opened the wall and found plumbing going right where they wanted the new panels in the garage. While there was talk of calling in a plumber and moving pipes, with a little jimmying, it all went in fine. I was certainly happy not to have the power and the water off at the same time.

The new generator has 22 kilowatts and can power the whole house. It turns on automatically when the power goes off and has all sorts of safety auto-turn off things to keep things running smoothly. The MR tells me these things, and I just smile and nod. I’m just lucky to have someone who knows what’s what in charge of things.

The manufacturer of the panels puts the labels on before shipping out, so while the name’s upside down, it passed the electrical inspection with a few minor signage details. I don’t wish to try it out any time soon, but I have faith that it works. We’re leaving the wall open for the time being in anticipation of the laundry room remodel, but eventually the garage walls will be looking pretty.

Perhaps the best part of our new generator is that it’s outside. No more worries about carbon monoxide poisoning or trying to keep the door on the well room ajar and the garage doors open so that our house isn’t contaminated. In a big storm–these are tricky endeavors.

The workers slid the 800-pound generator into place and wiped out what was left of the steps the MR had cut into the hillside five years ago. We’ve both slipped and slid down that hill more than once, so along with adding the start of a retention wall (he underestimated the number of blocks he’d need), the MR dug some more steps into the hillside. We’re hoping for something a little more permanent this summer.

What’s going on at your house?

Eyes Wide Open

Me and the MR spent a weekend at the beach in early March. We were hoping for sun and sand, instead we found gray skies and rain.

Sure we were a little disappointed, but the ladies in the party took the opportunity to walk into town and shop for a party dress.

Even in the rain, there’s beauty and inspiration. Just look at this planter.

These vibrant tiles chase away the gloom. And what about this brick wall?

We were walking past this tiny park when I was stopped in my tracks by the beauty of the brickwork.

While I don’t have the skill to recreate this, I love the idea of turning the basics of life into art.

Perhaps it’s time to give the orchard fence an upgrade.

You may be wondering about that party dress. Grandma MeeMee has a new outfit for Sweet Miss’ wedding.

Sweet Miss, Baby Girl, and the MR are all kitted out. Now I just have to find a dress and we’ll be set.

Where are you finding inspiration?

March was Marvelous in 2018

Sometimes I look back at the month and say “wow” look at all those posts, so many things happened; but other times, I just say “hmm.” It’s not like we did nothing; I just didn’t manage to write about it.

So here’s just a little of what we did in March. Me and the MR flew to LA for a wedding and a rainy weekend at the beach, we spent time with family, and Baby Girl came home for spring break. We met people for lunch, and dinner, and movies, and wine tasting. Plus we went shopping and  bought new tires, and new brakes. The MR bought a suit for the big event this summer, Sweet Miss’ dress arrived (it’s beautiful), BG’s dress arrived (lovely, too), Cocoa chased deer and barked at a bear. I went to a wine and paint night with my buddy. We were busy.

And now here’s the blog in a blink. That Snowball Effect started off with just one job that turned into craziness. While we were out of town, the tree guys came and took down some huge cedars. Everything looked great till, we realized our propane tank was rapidly emptying. There was a break in the line, and we had to do without for a few days. With a little rearranging of the schedule, the new tank went in early, and all is well.

It’s in the Details is a cautionary tale about the need to think things through. Let’s just say, a well-lit mantel is a lovely thing–we just don’t have it. Maybe some day…

The Second Time Around had me planting kiwi vines in the garden. This is take two, and after the wind, hail, snow, and rain of the last few weeks, we may wind up with a third try. Knock on wood for me and my kiwis. The onion sets are looking great, and the orchard is continuing to break out in bloom.

Wishing for Sun showcased our lovely view and the new lounge chairs we’ve bought. It snowed on Easter. It may be a while before they get any use. It’s just one of those months.

And now because I’m glad to be winding up more than a few knit and crochet projects and Cocoa makes me laugh, here’s BG’s new socks and her lovely feet.

BGs socks

The MR is cutting back on his consulting, and we’ve got a bunch of projects on the fire, and I’m hoping to be a little more present in April. After four visits, our wifi is finally working, so I should be a little less frustrated when I do write to you.

Happy April!

Wishing for Sun

With sun, rain, snow , and wind in the forecast for the last few days, we haven’t had much use for these beauties.

At least it was sunny on the day they arrived. Eventually, they’ll find their way down to the lower deck along with some comfy cushions.

After removing the hot tub last year, we’ve been planning to turn the lower portion into a sun deck. The outdoor shower will get a facelift and be a dog washing station for Cocoa. With lots of mud and meadows to explore, she definitely needs it.

We’ve been looking for new outdoor dining and seating options. For the upper deck, too.

Along with comfort and style, portability is an important feature. With a huge wraparound deck that soaks up the heat, we’ve found ourselves moving to shade quite often. Our current metal chairs that rock and swivel weigh a ton.

We purchased the lounges from Frontgate—on sale back in February. That’s one nice thing about buying outdoor furniture early in the season, you can usually find a sale, and you get to dream of sun, and barbecues, and playing cards, and good times.

Wishing for sunny skies for me and for you.

The Second Time Around

Last year, I had these visions of vines covering the chain link fence around the tennis court. They would soften the harsh lines, add greenery and charm. Reading through a catalog, I came across hardy kiwi vines and knew they’d be perfect. Leafy vines with flowers and fruit, what could go wrong?

Sometimes plant orders go out at different times, and our kiwis arrived as we were leaving for a trip. Too much time on the deck resulted in only one of the three vines making it through the summer. So at Christmastime when I was ordering the MR’s satsuma tree (for indoors), I ordered two female kiwi vines to go with the male that appears to have made it through the winter.

They arrived a few weeks ago when we were headed to California, and we left them inside away from possible winter storms. Reading up on the planting info from the nursery, they said as long as the ground wasn’t frozen when we planted our vines, they should be fine. The ground was pretty soggy but definitely not frozen when Cocoa and I got to work.

I added some worm castings that I’ve been saving up this winter and replaced the dead plants with new healthy versions. Cocoa did her best to tamp down the soil around them. This is why she’s usually banned from the garden.

I had a lot of castings leftover, so I made a circuit through the orchard to scatter some around the fruit trees. The plums and plucot are in bloom and the pears are budded out. Let’s hope for a good harvest this fall.

The MR says the bees are our doing their part. I do love picking fruit from our little orchard. The MR has been talking about adding a more permanent fence around the trees. I’m glad that they are finally getting big enouch to withstand deer damage. We just have to hope our pear trees get a little friendlier with one another. They’re supposed to cross-pollinate, but they haven’t been on speaking terms for the last few years.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the company we’d contracted with for the new propane tank took pity on us and installed it last Friday a few weeks earlier than promised.

New Propane Tank

Now I can fry food, heat the kettle, and dry as many clothes as my heart desires. The new tank is about twice as big as the old one, so we’ll have a little more peace of mind when the power goes out.

Are you getting your garden ready for planting? What’s in bloom at your house?


It’s in the Details

A few weeks ago when I was putting together my monthly recap, I spent the afternoon out and about and didn’t get an updated picture I needed during daylight hours.

No worries—after all, it was the fireplace where the MR had touched up the paint to make my cluster of photos look even better. The heart of the home with three sets of lights, it would surely be well-lit. So I turned on all those switches and…

While the sconces flood the sides with light, the mantel and the place of pride above are left in shadows.

Granted, we’ve added some task lighting next to the seating area; and if it was still the sunken “conversation pit”, that area would be lit. But with all the care and effort people put in to decorating their mantel, wouldn’t it be nice if you could actually see it?

That’s why when me and the MR met with an interior designer this week about a possible master bathroom renovation, we talked lighting as well.

These little details can make or break the function of a room.

If you’re a guest at our home in the evening, you’re just going to have to trust me that the copper piece dances in the light and the sweet family pictures are pretty cute, too.

Any lighting dilemmas at your house? Don’t worry; I’ll keep you posted on any changes we make.

You can see the mantel in daylight here, and if you can’t remember the conversation pit or how the fireplace has changed check it out here.

In other news, it’s Baby Girl’s 21st Birthday. Love you Missy.