Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The floor installation, Day 2

We feel very fortunate to have such excellent craftsmen installing our marmoleum.  They are really, really good at what they do.

Checking yesterday's work...

Laying out a piece to be cut to shape

Cutting and fitting the template

Cutting a straight clean edge on the marmoleum

Rolling out the first piece of marmoleum

Spreading the glue

Gluing the marmoleum in place

The first piece is in!

The second piece has several tricky cuts.  It goes across the floor, around a couple of doorways and the stairs and then, wraps around into the closet under the stairs.  This is the template for the second piece.

Wrapping around the doorway...

following the stairs...

It is going to wrap around into the closet.

 You can see the cutout for the closet wrap around

Here it comes!

And now you can see it wrapping into the closet

Rolling the marmoleum with a heavy roller

And tomorrow, the final piece goes in.

The floor installation Day 1

Our new marmoleum floor is being installed.  We had to clear everything out of the kitchen and stash it in other parts of the house.  Every downstairs room has been affected.  We locked the cats in one room with all their paraphanalia (food, water, cat box).  They were pretty easy going about it though they got cabin fever by the end of the day.

Dave Pitzer (DJs Floors) is doing the work and he is great.  If you live in Portland, you would be lucky to have him do your floor.  I certainly feel lucky.

We have our camp stove set up in the backyard; however, we have to go out the front door and around the house to get to the backyard.  I feel anty when my house is so chaotic.  And I can't remember where everything is.

the cats hiding out
 removing the old vinyl

the marmoleum waiting in the dining room
The subflloor under the old vinyl was not in very good shape and the whole floor had to be "floated", which means that it had a cement like compound spread on top of it to smooth out the irregularities and such.

That spot where you can see the plywood is where the new island will go.  And today the marmoleum will be installed.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dream Dates

Hiking, that's my dream date.  On a trail  with dappled sunlight through mossy trees alongside fast moving talking water.  And that's what we do.  We go on dream dates a lot.

This week's dream date was to Siouxon Creek, pictured below.

For more photos, click here Siouxon Creek Photos

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cleomes in my long ago garden

In a different time and place, we had a lot more land and a lot more gardens.  One of the things I miss is having enough room to grow big stands of cleomes.  This is a photo of a long ago cleome stand.  That's me on the left.

Marble White

It's a good time to paint the kitchen ceiling while everything is moved out and there is no island.  The space is so big and open.  The floor is about to be replaced.  The schedule slipped a little so there is some unexpected time.  Like I said, it is a good time to paint the ceiling.

Our kitchen has a beam that divides it where it was once two rooms (I think the other room was probably the mudroom).  Yesterday we painted the section on one side of the beam.  Today we are painting the second section.  

Here is John washing the ceiling.   It's never much fun working over your head on a ceiling.

We are painting the ceiling white, but not true white.  The color we are using is called Marble White. It reads white but it is softer than true white.  You can see the difference here as the Marble White gets rolled over the true white.

True white house paint didn't exist until around the mid twentieth century.  Until that time, houses and rooms were never painted true white.  Check out this link.

      modern white paint

So if you have and old house and want to be historically accurate, stay away from true white.  I do have an old house but I am not trying to be historically accurate.  I just think true white is too stark.

Just that subtle color change makes a world of difference in how the whole room feels.  It also changes how the color of the walls look.  At night the change is even more striking when the lighting makes the room warm and rich with color.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fairy Flowers

When I was young I was obsessed with fairies.  I knew what they looked like, what they did,  how they lived.  And they lived in places that looked like this...

fuchsia 'grayrigg'

Oh, wait.  That's my back yard.  Yep, they live here.

Friday, July 20, 2012


I really like the sunflowers I planted this year.  But, I can't find the seed package so I don't know what I planted.  The plants are about four feet tall and they look like this.

Any help on identification would be appreciated.

Anatomy of a drawer

You take one of them there thingies

And you stick them on one of these here things.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Demolition Day photos

The demolition went well.  It didn't take long and it wasn't as noisy as I feared.

They have the tile off...

The cheap components revealed.

The cabinets were entirely constructed of melamine, which is particle board with a plastic coating on each face.  Particle board is made from scrap wood and it's good to use scrap.  But how can you recycle melamine?  The Recycling Center wouldn't take it.   The glue and plastic mean you can't even burn it.

It's used a lot in kitchen cabinets, even fairly high end ones.  I think it is a bad material especially since you can't recycle it.  The island became this pile of trash.

 The footprint left behind.  The kitchen seems huge now!

Fountain in July

We had to move the fountain and the plants for the demolition yesterday.  It was a good opportunity to clean things up and rearrange the pots a bit.  I was feeling unhappy with how things were looking but now I am happy again.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail fascinates me.  How did women pack up their lives and walk into the unknown like that?  They had so little information to go on and the journey was difficult.  How did those women manage day to day?  They wore long skirts.  They had to keep house in the dust and the dirt under very primitive conditions.  They had children to take care of, often including a baby.  They were usually pregnant.  They walked all day and then had to set up camp, make dinner and clean up after the dinner.  There were clothes to wash.  Illnesses to tend.  Firewood to gather.

Much of the time the women didn't choose to go.  Their husbands would announce that they were going.

The Oregon Trail makes walking the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian Trail seem like a piece of cake.  On the Oregon Trail they couldn't ship things to pick up along the way.  If they were sick, they couldn't get off the trail for help.  All the wonderful lightweight watertight modern materials weren't available.  There were no convenience foods.  No water filters.  There were no good accurate guide books.  It was easy to get lost.  I could go on, but you get the picture.

My fascination with the Oregon Trail is long standing.  Recently I got a book that answers so many of my questions about how it was to travel that trail.   The book is called Women's Voices from the Oregon Trail by Susan G Butruille.

Here's a link to the book with some information about it.

Women's Voice from the Oregon Trail

And here is an Amazon link


Monday, July 16, 2012

Demolition Day

Wednesday is Demolition Day for our kitchen island project.  That is the day the old island goes away.  Our cats aren't going to like demolition day.  We hope the noise is over quickly.

The new island is part of our 20 year kitchen renovation, which I talk about in this post

Twenty year kitchen project

This part of our project also includes replacing the failing vinyl floor with marmoleum.  But that won't happen till the end of the month and the new island can't go in until the marmoleum is installed.  Until the new island is installed, we won't have a stove top so we will be cooking in the back yard with our camping stove.

Here is the old island in all its glory.  It's so big and has such an awkward unattractive shape.

That is its (relatively) good looking side.  Here is the part I hate most about it.... that cut off corner.

I've lived with it for seventeen years and never liked it.  As long as it was reasonably functional, we kept it.  Now it is really showing its age.  The igniters on the gas stove haven't worked in years.  We have a burner that goes out on low (pretty scary).  John hates the tile and especially the grout.  It's a pretty poor tile installation.  The cabinet itself is cobbled together from cheap components with doors that never worked right and lots of dead space.  Much of the particle board is warped now and the drawers won't stay closed, even though John is a wizard at working on such things.  

Home renovations generate so much trash and we've done a lot of those in our life.  I feel guilty about making more trash.  When I was young and lived on the farm that my grandparents homesteaded, we had our own private dump with all the things that wouldn't burn.  As kids, we used to dig around in it for treasures like old glass bottles.  If I had my own private lifetime dump, I wonder how big it would be?  I imagine it as being huge and I hate that imagined pile of my own private trash.  This time a demolition company is handling that part and I know they will recycle everything they can.  Still, there will be trash, I am sure.

I am so looking forward to the new island that John is making.