Thursday, May 25, 2017

Bath Mitzvah!

Today, our bathroom became a grown-up. I took my first bath in the new bathtub!!!

Sadly, my spoilsport husband says I'm not allowed to shower before the glass enclosure is installed, even though the water works. I promised to stand up really straight and not to accidentally turn on the sprayer or body jets AT ALL. He was not convinced.

Not that I have any experience with accidentally turning on the sprayer instead of the rain shower head.
It looks so innocent.
We're not 100% done yet. We still need to hang the medicine cabinets, install the vanity hardware and towel hooks,  caulk the sink and tub base, and touch up some drywall and paint. And of course there are a few minor issues to resolve. We turned on the chandelier and the breaker immediately blew. The tub filler is kind of wobbly. But these seem like small things with easy fixes. More importantly, the tub didn't leak into our bed in the room underneath or just fall straight through the floor. (As you can see, our standards are very high.)

But that said, all the big pieces are really in place now. Check it out!

I'm hoping to take care of a lot of the remaining details over the long weekend.

Because a finished project means more time to relax in the sun with our pupper!

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Unbearable Lightness of Seeing

Every light in our house is on.

I repeat.

Every. Light.

Not just every light that happens to work at the moment. Not just every light that isn't on one of the many breakers we've had turned off for a year. Not just every light that's plugged into that one outlet that still works for no apparent reason.

Every light.

Today, the electrician turned all the wires that have been dangling in the upstairs bathroom for months into lovely lights, power, fan, and heat. So not only does that mean the electrical work in our new bathroom is basically done(!!!!!), it means the breakers that they connect to are back on too. And those breakers also control our kitchen vent hood, hallway light, and bedroom light. It's like we got half our house back overnight!

Brett and I spent half an hour running around the house, flipping switches and cackling like movie super-villains.

Sconces! Outlets!
Light switches, fan timer, THERMOSTAT! (Er, and a little drywall patching to do. I didn't say we were done with that part.)
And finally, thrillingly, we had confirmation that the heated floor works!! It was terrifying to cement in something before being able to really test it. I needed to feel it turn on to really believe we hadn't screwed it up. But then I didn't expect this conundrum... it was 80 degrees out today. How do you test a heater in that?

Obviously, I cranked it up to 90, and then splayed out face-down like a sea star for maximum skin exposure to the floor. That's clearly the logical response.

Since it heats up really gradually, this led to a lot of weird mind games as I tried to differentiate between the effect of my own body heat and the radiant floor. It's heating up! No wait, it's just warm from my arm. No wait, it's really working! No wait, it isn't and we broke it and my life is over! Oh no, actually, it's definitely working now.

So, long story short, it works. And now I need therapy.

Now please excuse, me, I need to go flip some more lights on and off and giggle maniacally.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

A Brush with Joy

This morning, Brett turned to me and asked "Want to do something naughty?"
Me: Ooooh.... yes please.
Brett: Let's go brush our teeth in the new sink!

When people tell you about major life milestones, they usually focus on things like getting married, buying a house, having kids. Nobody ever told me about the intense joy of the first-teeth-brushing-in-a-new-sink milestone.

I can't imagine why this has been left out of the standard literature.

A truly life-changing moment. Look at those (very hygienic) smiles!

And because I still need to keep repeatedly going upstairs to make sure I didn't just dream this - I give you proof!

It's aliiiiiiiiive!

Friday, May 19, 2017

More Plumbing Progress!

Every day is a new present! It's amazing that it took us three years to get to this point, and now it's only taking about a week to go from empty room to fully functioning bathroom.

First - running water!

The sink and toilet are in and ACTUALLY HAVE RUNNING WATER. And the electrician even got started with a couple of fixtures.

I've never wanted to pee so badly in my life. Should probably wait until it's not up on shims, though...

A sconce over the vanity. Not sure why the electrician only hung one of the two today, but... okay?

Shut up, it's really hard to take a picture of a light fixture that doesn't light up yet, in front of a window in full daylight.

Pretty soon the whole house will have running water and electricity! A girl could get spoiled with all these frivolous modern conveniences.

Of course, some of us are already spoiled rotten. But who could resist those puppy eyes?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sink your Teeth into This!


Is this even real life? Am I experiencing hallucinations brought on by three years of breathing drywall dust? Did I manifest this mirage out of sheer desperation?

 No, it's still there! I double checked.

So it's not 100% installed yet - there's some caulking to do and the water is still turned off until we also get the rest of the fixtures in. But that is going to take literally just a few days! In one mere week, we will have functional running water upstairs for THE VERY FIRST TIME EVER.

Can you tell I am a wee little bitty bit happy? Having our first bathroom fixture installed is an enormous milestone.

PS - you know you are officially an adult when Grownup You is more excited about the plumber than Little Kid You was about Santa.

I guess I need to tone down the hyperactive celebrations, because even the dog is looking at me like I'm nuts.

More close-ups of the fixtures and shots of the whole room to come. I just couldn't wait to post the first photo! It's going to be an amazing week. Yesterday we had an empty room with a bunch of holes in the floor and walls; by next week, it will look like a bathroom. Squee!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Spring Vegetable Gardening in the Pacific Northwest: A Step by Step Guide

It's been an unusually long, dreary winter. Climate scientists (like my beloved gravelly-voiced weather siren Cliff Mass) say that spring weather generally starts to roll in around the third week of February. Conventional wisdom says that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Well, this year it waddled in like a platypus and came out screeching like a wet cat.

Thankfully, after an incredibly long wait, it finally feels like spring. The dandelions, tansy ragwort, and scotch broom are blooming happily. It's time for spring veggie gardening!

I'm always looking for local planting guides that tell me exactly what to plant and when in my local climate. So I've decided to create my own, and share it for your gardening convenience. Here we go!

Vegetable Gardening in the Pacific Northwest, Step-by-Step:

  1. Weed beds and work in fresh compost. Your vegetable beds and pathways have started growing all manner of invasive whatnots while you hid in the nice dry house all winter, no matter how diligently you mulched them. 
  2. Realize you got over-excited on the first nice day, and you have to wait three weeks until you can actually plant anything. 
  1. Weed. Since you made such nice, healthy, empty beds, a whole new crop of blackberries has moved in. Good job. 
  2. Go to the store and buy fresh vegetables.
  1. Purchase the most rot, damp, and mildew-resistant varieties of seeds you can find. 
    • If your selection is green and leafy, start looking up spinach and zucchini recipes right now. You're going to need a lot of them.
    • If your selection has any kind of colorful fruit on it, pick a god and start praying. You may also want to make a sacrifice at the altar of Amazon (or preferably your friendly local garden store) and order a whole lot of mini-greenhouse and irrigation supplies. 
  2. Weed again. In the hour it took you to get to the garden store and back, every weed you struck down earlier has sprung back, Jedi-like, more powerful than you can possibly imagine. Clearly, weeds are just flowers that have turned to the dark side of the Force.
  3. Plant! Feel satisfied.
  4. Realize that you planted seeds, not starts, and so your freshly planted bed still looks an empty box full of dirt. Feel unsatisfied.
  1.  Spend every waking moment trying to tamp down the weeds without accidentally yanking out your young plants. 
  2. Engage in a battle of the wits with your local slug and vole populations. Lose.
  3. Let the dog into the vegetable garden to deter the slugs and voles. Immediately regret this decision. Evict the dog and fill in the terrier-dug holes.
  4. Wonder why it isn't summer yet.
  1. Enjoy! Your garden is going to give you incredibly bounty and beauty. Bask in the warm-but-not-too-hot sun, feast on fresh organic veggies and eggs from right outside your door, and soak up the unparalleled lushness and beauty of this part of the world. Remember that you wouldn't trade living here for anything! 
  2. Weed. 
So as you can see, we have a lot to look forward to this season!

Front left: strawberries. Back left: garlic and onions. Front right: peas, empty space for tomatoes. Back right: lettuce, carrots.
Far small boxes: fennel, mint. Back border: lavender.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Inching Closer...

We dragged the vanity into place!

You can almost get an idea of what it's going to look like when it's fully installed. The plumber is supposed to come this week to take a look...

This is a photograph of my soul on the day the plumber hooks everything up.