Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Doors: Done!

Well, almost done. I have one more to do but I wanted to post this today so here we go!

This is our bedroom door. You can probably see the scratches made by the dogs, especially if you click on the picture to enlarge.
Sanded half way.
Sanded completely.
Two coats of Zinnser varnish (amber).
Two coats of Minwax polycrylic (clear gloss).
And in between waiting for each coat to dry I managed to can a couple jars of fig preserves two days ago, and plain tomato sauce today. I thought I had tons of tomatoes and it only made 3 quarts of sauce! Hopefully we'll get more tomatoes and I can do another batch.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Finished Project: Side Fence

Our latest project we can scratch off the "to do" list is the side fence (between the driveway and the back yard). This was a multi-day project. We worked on it last week, doing just a section at a time after my husband got home from work because of the high heat and high humidity, which we are not used to.

The first thing we did was my son and I went to Home Depot to get the materials. Somehow I miscalculated and ended up getting about 20 extra fence boards. Oh well, I guess better too many than not having enough?

Check out this cross piece. It was straight when we got it. This is a couple days later! Not only did it bow out sideways, but it also bowed up. Another "oh well".
View from the northwest corner. See the silver cans on the right side? They are holding boards which are helping keep the old boards in place so the dogs don't slip through! The first new section is done.
Outside the front gate.
Backside of the front gate. Notice the plywood holding things together.
A couple days later. Three sections down!
Outside view.
We've rounded the corner and now starting to work on the north fence.

Almost done!


The completed north side, new gate and all. Notice the oleanders are very chopped down now. We're trying to get rid of them.
It feels good to be able to cross another item off of the list.

I finished the two doors (Carli's old room and Wil's room). So now I've decided to refinish the other two doors (the main bathroom and our bedroom). This time I did take photos and when that's done I'll show the before and after.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Trimming Bushes

This weekend my husband was trimming the bushes and trees out front.
He found this interesting bug.
I think it is just called a leaf bug.
It looks like a leaf with legs!

Today I am refinishing two doors: the one to Wil's room and Carli's former room. Too bad I didn't take "before and after" photos of those! But I can assure you they look much better now!

I may not be finished fixing up by my self imposed July deadline, but things are definitely happening and getting done. Slowly but surely...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wil's Room: Before & After

I'm finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

This week I worked on painting and cleaning the other two bedrooms (the middle room--Carli moved into a studio rental earlier, and Wil's room).

Wow, what a job that was!

Since the middle room wasn't too bad, and Wil's room was horrible (!) I'm going to show the before, during and after of his room.

This is the before, showing the south wall. Yes, there is no closet door.
The east wall.
The north wall. Notice the "graffitti". That is not a sticker. It is drawn on the wall with marker pens (not with my approval or knowledge, by the way).
Here is the northeast corner prior to starting. You can see my new spray painter in the lower left corner. I took the crown molding down.
I've taken everything off the ceiling fan and covered it with a garbage bag prior to spray painting the ceiling.
The graffitti covered with primer.
And now the finished room. This is the northeast corner.
The north wall.
The south wall. There still aren't any closet doors but they will be going back up soon.
It took me an entire afternoon to scrub the tile floors clean, one tile at a time. The problem with them was that they are a porous type of tile. I'm not sure I'd ever use those type again. I had put that up a long time ago and since I didn't really know what I was doing it never looked very professional.

And may I just say I love my new sprayer. I decided to take the plunge and splurge on buying a nice mid-range sprayer. It's a Graco Magnum X7, the model just under the "professional" model. The reason I decided to buy rather than rent was because it costs $90 to rent. My plans were to spray the ceilings in the two bedrooms and the hallway. We also need to spray the underside of the patio and we can use the sprayer to do the stain on the wood siding on the front of the house. I knew we wouldn't be able to do it all in one day. Plus, we can always use it in the future. Three more sprayings and it will have basically paid for itself.

One thing I would do differently would be that with the "popcorn" ceilings I would spray paint the walls first, then tape them off and do the ceiling. As it was I sprayed the ceilings, then realized it would be too difficult to tape off the uneven surfaces and I ended up rolling the walls afterwards.

A roof guy came by and said it would cost about $350 to do some minor repairs and get a 2 year roof guarantee. And the best news so far was a termite guy came by and said he did not see any signs of termites. YAY!!!

Slowly, but surely, things are getting done. Besides scrubbing the walls in the front bathroom and kitchen there are just some minor things to do inside (closet doors in Wil's room, paint the back of one door, sand and varnish the back of another door, clean mini blinds) and after that it should be fairly easy to maintain.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Horseback Riding On A Hot Day

This afternoon the baby went for a little ride on Flora around the backyard. (I was leading and holding on to her.) It was 97° with 23% humidity. After about 10 minutes Flora wanted to stop. I wanted to stop. The baby wanted to keep going.

We went for another five minutes and I told her we could ride more tomorrow.

We found her mother's old helmet and guess what? It fits her great. I always like to see riders with helmets on. I've gotten to the point where I don't feel right if I don't have my helmet on while I'm riding. And I've come off frequently enough in this last year that it's definitely worth it.
I know I did tell her we could ride again tomorrow, but it's supposed to be 103°. We'll just have to see about that ride.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Goat House/Calf House GONE!

Remember this picture from this post?
Well the time has come for it to come down.
It was very tough to take down and pull apart but between my husband and me we managed to get it done. It's nice to know the structures I build are so solid!

We are now rebuilding the side fence, one section at a time. I'll post that when it gets done.

This week not a lot is getting done because the day care lady is on vacation so I'm babysitting. But I did manage to clean the entire house Sunday and Monday just in time for another real estate lady to come by the house to take a look and talk to us. I liked this lady a lot better as she was much more positive.

Hopefully we'll be able to get this house listed by the end of this month!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Put On A Happy Face

Do you ever have one of those dreams where you are running back and forth and just can't seem to get anything done? That's how I'm feeling lately in real life.

I know things are actually getting done but it just doesn't feel like it. The desk that I wanted to put in storage three weeks ago is still in the middle of the living room. And now it has a companion--my daughter's king size bed!

We took her bed out of the room and I got a daybed to put in its place. Wow, does the room look so much bigger now! I still have to paint the two kids' bedrooms but slowly but surely I'm making progress.

I managed to thoroughy clean the master bathroom walls, so I didn't have to repaint them. Hopefully the kitchen and front bathroom walls will clean up just as easily (it took just a bit of elbow grease--and lots of TSP).

The last three days I've been practically doing nothing but laundry, load after load! I finally got it all done yesterday.

Yesterday a glass guy came to give us an estimate on replacing the badly scratched sliding patio door and fix a bathroom window gasket. Today another glass guy is coming to see if we can get a better deal. For the price of the first one we could actually replace the slider with a whole new unit! Ha!

Meanwhile my husband has been doing lots of heavy duty outdoor work, like trimming the trees and that sort of thing. He's going to borrow a pressure washer this weekend.

Hopefully we'll be making a run to the storage facility this weekend.

I think I'll take a breather tonight with a little drinkie poo, after I do my running around today (got to get new bedding for my son's bed and the new daybed). I celebrated the 4th with a buttery nipple coctail, one of my favorites. I had to get the camera when I put the glass on the table and saw this!
(Buttery Nipple Coctail: equal parts Irish Cream and butterscotch schnapps. I usually prefer mine over ice, but other recipes say to float the cream over the schnapps.)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What's Up With The Kestrels?

We sent our son up the big eucalyptus tree the other day to check on the kestrels. We knew there was another pair up there after the death of Mr. Kestrel's first wife. There has been enough time since the new pair moved in for them to have laid eggs, have them hatch and fledge. But we haven't seen any evidence of babies yet.

I made sure he took my camera to record what he found. And his big sister watched from below to make sure there were no aerial attacks from angry small falcons.

There are two little birdies up there!

I may be wrong but I think because they are so young this is probably the second clutch. I hope we get to see these when they fledge.