Sunday, October 15, 2017

Hurricane cleanup update

I went out to pick up the paper this morning and noticed that our brush piles were gone. I slept through that, but later I heard beeping and thunks so they were still in the neighborhood. Lots of scattered debris that the homeowners will have to clean up. A neighbor is already on top of her cleanup--4 cans of yard trash. I've got a can ready to take out for our cleanup--and another one waiting in the wings.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Clever storage solutions (link)

And again from HGTV. com, some unique storage solutions if you need more space. I like the table and chairs furniture, and the collapsible futon looks useful, but check out the rest here: Space saving ideas

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Clearing countertop clutter (link)

Here are some useful solutions from HGTV. com to help you clear off your countertops or simply add needed storage space: Clear off the clutter

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Hurricane Irma report

We had plenty of time to prepare for Irma and even filled a number containers with water, though we usually don't lose water in town. (In the country, when we lost power, we lost the well pump.) We lost power at 11:50 Sunday night (September 10), but we were expecting that. We'd closed down the electronic devices, etc. and planned to go to bed, as we've always done when we didn't have power--sometimes because it hadn't been installed yet.

We got our power back Thursday night (September 14); the linesmen had been working on our street earlier and told us it would be on that night. We are so appreciative! It was much better for sleeping 'cause it was hot--and catching up with so many things...  Other homes got power at various times and some are still waiting. Now we have to get some groceries to restock the fridge and freezer. 

Most of the homes around us are in good shape, though there's lots of flooding elsewhere around bodies of water and flood zones. The huge trees down everywhere you go are impressive; lots of them were in the roads and the trunks are cut up in big chunks and piled along the roads, along with piles of branches.

We have only two piles of debris to be picked up; one pile is branches from the oak tree and elsewhere; the other pile is pine tree branches which our neighbor cut up with his chain saw. (Thank you, David!)

Friday, August 25, 2017

Open house and beyond!

Since we have accomplished most of our remodeling and landscaping plans, we finally had our open house and invited family and friends and ordered sandwich and veggie platters from Publix and added a fruit platter from the deli, along with snacks, cookies, soda and sherbet for our sherbet punch. I love open houses because there's more time for visiting and more space for parking.

My matching hall switchplates made it in time for the open house, as did our tables for the screened porch. However, there just wasn't time to put the tables together, and they're still--all three--in the box in the garage. We have yet to finish the edging for the back beds; we've taken four trips--30 pavers each trip 'cause they're big and heavy. And the horticultural honcho is laying the hose out to plan changes. If we straighten the edging a bit, we can cut down on the number of pavers, but I love the curving serpentine look and we'd lose some lawn--and have to buy more mulch to extend the bed outward.

Also, we'd like to get rid of the carpet in at least one more room... Oh, then there's the stenciling and my Shaker pegboard; the pegboard needs to be sanded, the pegs inserted, and then it needs to be painted. (Well, I think that pink is too light--and it's my bedroom!) The foyer is the next room to be stencilled, and the stencil hasn't been chosen yet. The art deco rose? The geometic pattern? The tassels are definitely too big. And the screened porch floor will be stencilled in a stone pattern.

So, errands, chores, projects, and work to keep us busy, but there's always time to play with our new kitten, Bree. She's a black and white Manx--and so cute--and incredibly active... And this is what home is all about.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

More storage ideas (link)

Storage suggestions, including behind, below, and above, from  Potential storage ideas

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Homes from fiction

"The room they entered was a perfect Queen Anne sitting-room, .... The walls were white panelled and hung with delicate mezzotints. The old rose of the Chinese carpet was echoed in the brocaded hangings which framed the perfect bow of the window. The old walnut furniture reflected softly the bright fire in the grate. The candlesticks were silver and the upholstery covered with needlework." 

From Police at the Funeral (Albert Campion #4) by Margery Allingham.

Friday, July 14, 2017

More new house projects

Our new house's front exterior wall has a brick (thin brick) facade and was pinkish. It really stood out, and I didn't like it so we had our contractor paint it. We studied color choices for a while; though some people suggested white (the house is white), we wanted to go for a stone look so we chose gray. Okaaay. So many shades of gray: I really liked Stone Fireplace, but the consensus was that it was too dark, so we looked at a number of lighter shades of gray and decided on Harp Strings. It looks good--certainly an improvement--though it's possible that we could have gone a little darker. However, it was so close to the line that it might have been too dark, so we're satisfied with this. (Often you can't tell until it's done, and we could have spent a lot of time experimenting...) Oh, he prepped it with tsp 'cause it was a little chalky.

The tree trimmers (two men) took down a small tree and pruned back another one in the back yard the other day, and the next day they tackled the big oak out front; since it was such a big project there were four guys and at least three chain saws. The guy who went up the ladder put on a harness for safety; then he began cutting off big branches--some of them trunk size--and dropping them. Some of them really went THUNK when they hit the ground; then the other guys sawed them up and piled everything on a long flatbed trailer. You wouldn't think that all of that would fit, but they trampled it down periodically; the big pieces helped weigh it down too. I watched from a front window--very impressive; and most of the men were older and they carried lots of big pieces of trunk to the trailer. They did a good job of cleaning up too--branches of all sizes--and they also raked. 

I got grass seed (Bahia) yesterday and started planting it 'cause we have mostly weeds out front and in some places out back. I hope it rains on it.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Small kitchens (link)

This small kitchen design idea from focuses on an open floor plan. Our new small kitchen already had an open floor plan--it's open to the living room--and we only have room for a small table and chairs, plus a table for the cat food dishes and treat cannister. There is enough room near it for the dog food dishes and two pet food bins (one for cats and one for dogs), and we have a waste basket. So, actually, we have enough room to move around when cooking, though there's not much counter space. Still, it works. (We did have to get rid of our old heirloom table; we used to have a dining room.) For ideas for your small kitchen, see these small kitchen design ideas

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

We have a new roof!

We got our three roofing estimates--all good and known to us, but we chose one that a friend had just used and recommended. Then we had to choose the color (we studied the samples carefully; it had to work with the house) and the type of shingle; we went with Antique Silver (Owen Corning 30 year Ark type). This should stand up to time and hurricanes. (These shingles should stand up to 110 mph winds.) 

The estimate included shingles, flashing, and felt--and removal of old roof.  Repairs are extra and we had to have some work done... The work took almost three days; it was slowed down a bit by storms (rain, lightning, and loud thunder boomers), but mostly the guys kept working. And now it's done. It looks good, and we feel secure 'cause it rains almost every day during our rainy season.