Thursday, August 30

fall planting

I planted my fall garden in one of the raised beds Jake made for me in the spring. I bought hoops for it for when the weather turns cooler. I installed them and put summer-weight fabric on it. I figure it'll keep the birds and chipmunks from stealing the seeds. I will put a heavier fabric on whenever it cools off.

I put in bunching onions, mesclun, carrots, spinach, beets, swiss chard, radishes and beans. Some of these things I've planted in the fall before, but some are new. I just keep trying stuff to see what works. I'm hoping to be harvesting well into November this year--that would be awesome.

Monday, August 27

getting darker

This time of the year is always bittersweet. While there's still plenty of time to garden (especially since I'm planting a fall garden this year), as it gets darker earlier, there's less and less time each day that I can enjoy the outside.

The good news is that I can finally get some stuff done around the house. Not that I don't get stuff done in the summer--it's just a struggle. I've come to the conclusion that I really need to hire someone to clean my house. Because if there's one thing I don't like to do, it's clean. Plus it takes a lot of time that could be better spent elsewhere. Unfortunately, with the dogs (not that I'm naming names--Buster!), I don't see how that will happen. There's just nowhere to put them when someone is here so that would probably be more trouble than it's worth. Though Brian did take Buster to the shop a few times the other week and Buster was a little angel down there. This could work out on a number of levels--Buster would be out of everyone's hair and Brian would have to work on woodworking projects. Hmm.

Monday, August 20

red dawn

Brian thought Jake might like this movie (you know, because it had a lot of guns and stuff), so we gave it a watch last weekend. Despite the movie being popular when I was a teenager, I'd never seen it before (mostly because I wasn't a teenage boy). It was ok, but Brian and Jake really liked it. I hear they're doing a remake of it. Despite the fact that the remake stars Chris Hemsworth, I don't think I'll be watching it.

Saturday, August 18


This wasn't bad for one of those co-authored James Patterson novels. It was a quick read (as are most Patterson novels) and sure, it had some ridiculous things going on in the plot, but I guess everything can't be a literary masterpiece.

Thursday, August 16

the end

I started removing stuff from the garden today, so this officially marks the beginning of the end of summer. And, quite a bit earlier than usual, at that. This was a weird gardening season--the spring was so warm and the summer started off so hot, but now the weather is getting cooler (at night, anyway) and the plants are dying. That said, it was a pretty good year. I'm pretty happy with my vegetable yields this year. Sure, there are always things that could go better, but overall, it was pretty good. I picked quite a few tomatoes this evening, and they will be getting canned in one form or another this weekend. And I have a lot more out there, so I'm hoping to do a few batches of sauce and maybe even some straight-up canned tomatoes.

I already have some plants growing for this year's fall gardening experiment. And, I'm going to put in a mini hoop house and plant even more stuff once I clear out the raised beds. My hope is to be harvesting veggies into November. We'll see...

Saturday, August 11

bathroom project: done

As promised, here's the photo of the completed tub surround. Unfortunately, I do not have a 'before' shot, but everything was tiled previously and the window ledge ran the whole way to the right wall of the shower.

The biggest challenge of this project was the window ledge. While they do sell window ledge kits for showers, none would fit in this one because it was too deep. So, the guy at Home Depot suggested using plastic lumber. It seems to have worked out pretty well. We used the same type of molding for around the edges of the surround.

This project has inspired me to schedule the 3rd and final bathroom remodel of our house. Well, that, and the fact that it's awfully crowded in our tiny bathroom when everyone's getting ready in the morning.

On the top floor of our house, we have a powder room. The room is pretty large for just a powder room so I think we can squeeze in a shower up there. One issue is that we will have to hire a plumber to rough in all of the plumbing since stuff will need to be moved and added. We shall do a feasibility study on this soon (i.e. get an estimate). Another issue is that we have a slanted ceiling up there so we're going to have to get a custom shower door made. The rest of the work we can do ourselves, though.

Friday, August 10

the queen of bedlam

This was the second book in Robert McCammon's Matthew Corbett series. And, much like the first book, this one was excellent. Also, like the first book, this one took me a couple of hundred pages before I was committed, but once I got into it, there was no stopping me.

The best thing about this series is that there are at least two more books in it. (I'm not sure if he's writing a 5th, but I sure hope so.)

Highly recommended.

bathroom project: day 7

We're done! We finished the caulking and cleanup this evening--it only took about an hour. Jake helped, too, so that sped things up a bit. I will post a picture tomorrow as we're going to run over there in the morning and take one final look at it.

Thursday, August 9

bathroom project: day 6

Ok, so we weren't able to finish up everything this evening. Such is the story of my life. Brian did get all of the new plumbing fixtures installed as well as the remaining trim, so at least we can check those off the list. I finished about half of the caulking (there's so much to caulk!). And, we have at least half of the clean up done. So, I guess we will finish tomorrow.

I'm looking forward to getting back to my regularly scheduled tasking.

Wednesday, August 8

bathroom project: day 5

Things are back on track. Everything looked good this evening, so we were able to get the windowsill and all of the trim (except 4 pieces which couldn't be measured for until everything else was installed). So, tomorrow, we just need to install those last 4 pieces of trim, caulk everything, install the new plumbing fixtures and clean up.

Tuesday, August 7

bathroom project: day 4

And, just like that, we're behind again. We worked from home this morning and went to our rental property after lunch. There were a couple of spots on the surround that needed to be re-glued so we did that first. We also ran to Home Depot to pick up some more supplies (mostly trim). After that, Brian cut the pieces for the windowsill and we went back over there after supper to see if everything was going to fit. We need to wait for the tub surround adhesive that was applied today to finish curing before we install the windowsill, so that's on hold until tomorrow. It's only Tuesday, but it feels like we're running out of time already. I'm hoping that I will have a different outlook tomorrow.

Monday, August 6

bathroom project: day 3

Today was the big day. We both took off work in order to put in a long day on the project. The messed up plywood was replaced and we also lined the whole surround area with quarter-inch plywood--we had some concerns about the new adhesive sticking to the leftover glue residue from the tiles, so the plywood will remedy that. Brian also got the window boxed in. Then, after cutting out the plumbing holes and the giant hole for the window, we installed the tub surround. It looked pretty good when we left. We had to put bracing up in order to hold everything in place--hopefully that will hold up until tomorrow or we're screwed.

So, assuming everything is ok with that, all of the hard stuff is done. There's still a bit of work to do, but we should easily be able to finish it up by the end of the week. Since we're back on track, we're only going to take the afternoon off tomorrow. We should be in pretty good shape by the end of the day tomorrow (fingers crossed).

Sunday, August 5

bathroom project: day 2

We only had a little bit of time to work on the bathroom today because we had my cousin and her family over for a cookout this evening (which was way more fun than working on the bathroom, let me tell you).

After further inspection, we decided to remove and replace some of the plywood that was around the tub--it just had too much water damage. We managed to remove the plywood, but we didn't have a chance to buy the new stuff yet. Brian also built the framing for the window that we're boxing in. For whatever reason, there was a 4 foot ledge beneath the window. We're going to make the ledge window-size in order to cut down on potential water issues. 

At this point, we're definitely behind where we'd like to be, but we're taking tomorrow (and maybe Tuesday) off work and we're going to be dedicating all of tomorrow to working on the project, so that should put us in good shape (I hope).

Saturday, August 4

bathroom project: day 1

The bathroom at our rental property has been in dire need of a tub surround since we purchased it. Even though the tub area was tiled, it was never meant to have a shower in it (thanks, people who owned the house before us, we really appreciate you installing that shower head!), so the walls and the area around the window were all squishy. Squishy is not typically a good thing when you are talking about a tub.

We finally bit the bullet and decided to install a fiberglass tub surround. This evening, we removed all of the tiles from the shower area, along with the rotted wood beneath them. This was a rewarding experience--there's nothing I'd rather do that remove ceramic tiles from a wall. The end result was worse than I hoped for, yet better than I expected. I guess you can't ask for more than that.