Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Garden of the Month

I wish we had prepared a speech. What an honor...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Wall Continued

I am proud to say that the wall is completed! Fence posts are sunk, and fence building will commence this weekend, much to Gideon's dismay (he rather likes launching off of the wall into Russ and Sandy's yard).

After Brett & Chip sunk the fence posts, they began working on moving rock for another retaining wall of sorts. They built a little staircase from our bottom terrace to the bottom landing, as well. Our yard is slowly but surely beginning to look like something!

The Retaining Wall

The silence neither indicates boredom nor lack of projects, but laziness on my part. Oops! As per always, projects abound. Brett has been such a diligent and faithful laborer, and I've been his fairweathered friend. Thank goodness our neighbor, Russ, has been so willing to help, and as always, Chippy is ever-faithful to lend a hand.

The recent undertaking has been a pretty massive (60'L x 4'H) retaining wall between our house and our neighbor's. I had no idea the expense of building a wall. Gasp! Nonetheless, it had to be done, so we bit the bullet and began. We ended up using stackable block, meaning no cement and no rebar. Phew! We did have to dig a pretty substantial footing, and cut back into the bank, while also combating crazy roots from our humongous fir tree, mind you. I helped with that part and was sore for about 2 weeks. This whole project has reminded me again and again how proud I am to be married to such a Hulk. He is strong like bull. Serious.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Weekend Backsplash Project

Brett and I decided that the time had come to get the stinkin' tile saw off our porch! This was my motivation to get the backsplash project over and done with. Instead of going backpacking this weekend, we stayed home and got some sheet done (believe it or not, this wasn't exactly Brett's idea of a fair trade. Backpacking: Take 2 will be in our future). We started tiling on Saturday afternoon around 3 or 4 pm, worked for a couple hours, then ran out of tile, then commenced tiling Sunday for a couple hours, then grouted on Monday. Backsplash tiling goes insanely quick! My kind of project.

Worth noting: I rarely see Brett on edge, and it is most probable that neither have you. Should you have any interest in seeing this, next time he and I tackle a tiling project together, come watch. You'll be in for a treat. He feels that if ever there were a time for me to be a perfectionist (which, in my books, there rarely, if ever, is), while tiling is one of them.

Here you go. A few pictures featuring our new subway tile backsplash.

bathroom: (almost) done

This post is overdue, as the completion of this particular project was actually a couple weeks ago. My dad (finally) came up for a visit!!! We loved having him. Though I wish we could say we really put him to work, as our yard could obviously use his supremely magic touch, I fear we did no such thing. Well, kind of. We did have his help with the installation of our new shower door. A couple trips to Bi-Mart, and a day longer than expected, he and Brett successfully installed the door. Our bathroom is nearly complete!

Note: I did not post a pic of what is directly to the right of the shower because it is an empty space, partially painted, awaiting a cabinet. Soon, but soon.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Project: Excavate: Complete

Meet our Excavator Extraordinaire: Joe.

He is the man.

We proudly announce that step one is complete. Sayonara nasty ivy (which housed a variety of items, unbeknownst to us: a futon frame, toy trucks, countless balls, tires, a nest of rats *barf*, bottles, trash), and dead neglected everything else. Hello cleared space, freshly graded ground, terraced sections waiting for some love. I know these pictures don't really do much justice for the amount of work that went into this. I also recognize that the pictures hardly display anything pretty, but all in due time, my friends! It's gotta get worse so that it can get better, right?!

Prep your oohs and ahs...and feast your eyes on THISSSSSSS:

Here's looking from our back patio to the back edge of our property:



This is the crazy dead Siberian Elm that we fell several months back that took had at least a 40-ft diameter canopy, taking up the majority of any sun exposure:

This was the aftermath of the fallen tree:

This was after finally clearing all the tree remains out:

Here's a similar panoramic view post-excavation.


AFTER (from neighbor's yard)



Sunday, July 25, 2010

Shower Tiling Begins

Yesterday Brett and Chip began tiling our shower. Being that it was 95 degrees in Ashland yesterday, and that we don't have AC, believe it or not, the tiny bathroom became quite the hot box. They were good sports, and managed to crank the tiling out. Perhaps the heat served as motivation to make quick and accurate cuts? We're really pleased with how it turned out. Elation fills me at the thought of having a second fully functioning bathroom. Soon, but soon.

Project: Excavate: Day 2

We fired our excavator and hired a new guy.

Well, maybe not, but Brett sure did like sitting in the big boy tractor (well, I guess it's technically not a tractor, but for blogging purposes, let's just call it that). Joe is the B.A. excavator we've been using, and he became significantly more B.A. in my books when he showed up Friday with one freaking leg and crutches. So, the day prior he was wearing his prosthetic leg, which I thought was just a sore leg causing a limp. But Friday one of his entire pant legs was completely flapping in the wind, and he was getting around--up and down from his machinery, mind you--with his crutches. He was crutching himself up and down the bank, making dump run upon dump run. Dang.

I know it's hard to tell really what's going on here, because it's hard to get oriented. Plus it looks like we've still got an abundance of crap to clear. We do, there's no denying; however, we've come a LONG way, baby.

This is standing about 20 feet in front of our patio, looking toward the back corner of our lot. The red shed marks the corner of our neighbor's lot.

This is taken from the same spot, only facing the back right corner. We fell another tree, and cleared all the ivy from the bank. We also got rid of a thicket of lilac, bamboo and privet, so that we have more of an open space to work with.

This is standing toward the bottom of our lot (toward our neighbors) facing toward the upper right corner shown above.

There's obviously more work to be done yet, but it's been fun to see the progress. To be continued Monday...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Defender of the Property

Apple Stealer

Weapon of Mass Destruction

Defender of the Property
(while the Wizard awaits fence construction)

Get off our lawn, deer

Try it again. I dare you. He'll be waiting.

The Taming Begins

We are finally doing it. Finally taming the beast. Day one: done. Here are some pics of the day-long process. I'm thinking of quitting my job and becoming a tractor driver. It's pretty freaking BA.

You need this here stump removed? Ain't no thang.

Voila! Our newly cleared front yard. We thought we knew excitement when we got all the tree brush chipped and out, but, man, this is somethin' special. A clean slate! (Am I officially an Oregonian now? I'm excited about tractors and stuff)

Now we feel the heat to figure out what the heck our plan is. At this point, game plan is non-existent.

After working his butt off all day on the front yard, our BA excavator, Joe, decided to invest 15 minutes of time in the backyard. Here's what it looked like this morning.

Now begins the process of forging up the blackberry/ivy hill into our yard, from our next door neighbor's yard (I have failed to mention that we have the most AMAZING neighbors ever. They are letting us drive dump trucks and tractors on their lawn. They let us take down part of their fence so that we are able to gain access to our yard. They have been absolutely incredible.).

A little unnerving at times...

Joe plucked the tree that was in the corner as though he was picking up a piece of paper. Have I mentioned that I'm considering a career change?

All in a day's work. More tomorrow. Eeeeeeeeee!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Why, hello, Sink

Here she is! Plumbed and ready to rock. We're well on our way to a functioning bathroom! Toilet. Check. Sink. Check. Shower...ummmm...

Big day tomorrow. Our explosion of a backyard, and front yard, are getting CLEARED. Like, big machinery is coming into our yard and scrapping it all, save a few trees. I suspect our yard will be hardly recognizable, and feel huge. We are pretty excited. Pics to come soon.

Monday, July 19, 2010


We have a bona fide closet!!!! This is exceptionally exciting. No joke. This is our very first legit closet since being married. Amazing, it is, being able to gently hang so many clothes and having shelving on which to put our neatly folded clothes. It's a wonderful thing not having to use all our body weight to shift our bursting-at-the-seams hanging rod just to squeeze a single hanger in the mix, thus creating an even more wrinkled item of clothing. And how wonderful having more than three shelves to share and CRAM our balled up mess of clothes onto. We have ample storage, and are on our way to a more organized existence. BIG SIGH. Thanks Chippy and Brett!!

Amidst serious summer-time activities this weekend (have I mentioned how I love Ashland?!?), B managed to get going on tiling the vanity in our bathroom (can I get an Amen?!). Chip came over and helped, and got the top cranked out within an afternoon. We just have to grout and install the sink (today!), and the vanity will be pretty well good to go!

Here the boy is, surveying his work. Job well done!!

Further proof that we've been enjoying sum-sum-summer. On Saturday we went for a lovely hike to the top of Mt. Ashland with the Wizard, and enjoyed our sammies at the summit. It was wonderful. The place we call home is kinda...ummm...BEAUTIFUL.