Sunday, July 27, 2014

Cleomes in their full glory

I am so happy with my cleome patch.  I just love those flowers and I am so happy that I found a place they are doing well.   I love the smell of their foliage, too.  I go out there and touch them to get the smell on my hands.  But then, I like the smell of tomato plants.  I think both of those smells is an acquired taste.

 I especially love the pink ones and their petal color variations

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Mile, Mile and a Half

I watched a great documentary of people hiking the John Muir Trail.  Beautiful, beautiful video and funny wonderful people.  It's called Mile, Mile and Half and I watched it on Netflix.

At one point they add "teeth" to this rock formation and then....

Monday, July 14, 2014

Basement projects to escape the heat

John has been working on a few small projects in the basement.  It's a great way to escape the heat.

refinished kitchen table

I am making a tuffet and John made the base for my tuffet.

plywood base

bun feet being stained

 assembled base

Closet Project

I know I just posted that we are working on our upstairs bathroom and we are.  But that project will take months and the tile and shower door will be done by someone else before John even begins the vanity.  So, in the meantime, John has started work on our big downstairs walk in closet... this closet is almost nine feet long, which is pretty big for an old house!

It's always been in disrepair.  It has some holes in the wall from some wiring projects and the ceiling has water damage that pre-dates our time here.  So yes, that says we have been living with this dilapidated closet for the nineteen years we have been here.  Even dilapidated, it's a nice closet.  But it will be beautiful when John gets done.

John is going to put beadboard on the ceiling as well as repairing the walls and painting the closet.  I love beadboard ceilings.  I wanted one in the kitchen but I'll love it in the closet, too.  Maybe I should move my bedroom into the closet, like Harry Potter.  My closet has a window.  Harry's closet was under the stairs and it didn't have a window.  I like windows in closets a lot, too.

Purslane and Portulaca

I've always loved portulaca with its delicate beautifully colored flowers.  It's a kind of purslane, I think or at least a relative.  Some kinds of purslane are annoying weeds.  But not this one;  this is Purslane Rio Scarlet, which is new to me.  It has really beautiful flowers and loves this heat.  It really is more beautiful than either of the photos shows.  Of course I got this beauty at Portland Nursery.


It's hard for me to get a really good photo of it myself.  The flowers open only in the sun and my camera doesn't do so well with extreme light conditions but here it is on my step.

And this is the portulaca in front of ornamental oregano

Upstairs bathroom project

We've been pretty busy for several months between the garden and getting ready to paint the house.  But now some other projects are underway.

We've started work on the upstairs bathroom.   The bathroom was remodeled by the previous owner about twenty years ago and it wasn't the best quality job.  We are doing a relatively simple and inexpensive bathroom remodel.... We don't want to go through the process or expense of getting all new tile so we are leaving most of the tile in place.   Most of the tile is in good shape and fairly innocuous though not our taste.  The shower floor tile is failing so we are replacing it.  We are also getting new shower doors.  John will make a new vanity and we will get a new faucet and sink (just one sink, not two).  John gets a lot of say in this remodel because this is mostly his bathroom.

I already got two rag rugs made for the floor.  I bought them on Etsy from the Vermont Rug Farm.

The state of the bathroom now:

The shower has hard to clean sliding doors with a failing track... the new doors will not be clear glass.  We don't really want to showcase the tile in our shower.

the shower floor grout is failing and the drain has never been the low point

The vanity screams cheap

 The faucets are really falling apart and it is more than cosmetic

These days most kitchens and bathrooms get remodeled more often than every twenty years.  However, old kitchens and bathrooms held up much longer than today's shoddy workmanship and materials.

Too hot

We are in the midst of a hot spell, though it hasn't been as hot as they predicted.  But still, it has been too hot.  Hot spells always make me think of Oneonta Gorge.

When we had our first hot spell in this house (nearly twenty years ago), our neighbor Charlie took us there to escape the heat.  You wade up the narrow gorge to a swimming hole and waterfall.  It's harder these days because there is a giant log jam at the opening.

I moved a lot of the garden pots to less sunny spots for the duration of the hot spell.  It's fun to have things in pots.  Moving them around can change the garden dramatically.  A few garden photos of our own small oasis in the backyard ...

And here are some of the plants hunkered down in the shade for the heat spell...

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Walking to the Farmers Market

Today we walked to the Wednesday Portland Farmers Market.  We parked on the East side and walked across the Hawthorne Bridge.  It was a beautiful morning.  The air was cool and refreshing and the walk was fun.  And we got TOMATOES!!!  BLT's in my future!  We also got nectarines, green beans, a cucumber, hot dogs and salami.  There were many more things to tempt us....

View Walking directions to SE Hawthorne Blvd & SE 9th Ave, Portland, OR 97214 in a larger map

chimney on old building under the bridge

Fun advertising

 Hawthorne Bridge

That's John in the red shirt on his way over the bridge

 Look at that... a skateboard route in downtown

 At the market
 I think that is somebody sleeping in a park near the bridge