Monday, April 29, 2013

Accident? I don't think so...

[We take this break from construction/remodel updates to bring you this news just in:]

Wife accidentally kills husband during gun lesson

  • Vodka
  • 3:30 AM
  • Guns
  • Accident?  
I don't think so.

I'm sorry her husband is dead.  I'm sorry she was the one who shot him.  I'm really sorry for those kids - particularly the five-year-old who IS going to remember (possibly the earliest memory that child will have in his life) hearing his mother screaming as she called 9-1-1 and always knowing that his mother was responsible for his father's death.

But accident?  Not so much.  An accident is something that happens for which you have no control, no way to prevent.  These two participants had absolute control and this incident was 100% preventable.

Alcohol + guns is NEVER GOING to = Accident

I'm sure these guns were legally owned and that the owner passed his criminal background test.  I just wished that either one (preferably both) of these individuals would have passed a basic mental test.  Alcohol and guns is a lethal combination.  PERIOD!  Unfortunately I doubt anyone is going to register THAT information.

~later, tw

Thursday, April 25, 2013

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Kitchen...

...everywhere you see.  While I tried to have them match the original colors of the dining room (a barely, almost undetectable green tint for the ceiling and what I'm sure those old enough to remember as "avocado green" for the walls), we had some disastrous results.

I'm not extremely great at choosing colors but I do like to at least think big and bold.  I really loved the dining room colors and opted to bring the wall color throughout the dining room and new kitchen.  And though most of my life appears chaotic, there is some organization.  I keep a 3-ring binder (thank you mom for introducing me to the value of that idea!) with information about each room and specifically actual paint chips for each color used.

I gave this to my contractor and he had another company "match" them.  Now I'm sure they did an excellent job...except...the greens were REALLY GREEN.  I mean LIME GREEN.  And my formerly nearly unnoticeable barely-there green ceiling was pretty much IN YOUR FACE GREEN.  And the walls...?  Well, the walls were almost identical to the ceiling.  Which is when the painter, a really nice kid, brought it to my attention.  "Did you mean for the ceiling and walls to be the same color?" he asked.

Again, I wish I had a photo of what I'm sure must have been quite a startled look of horror on my face.  NO!!!  Stop painting now please while I call the contractor and find out what we're going to do about this.

David came right over with a huge box of paint chips from Parker Paint so I could find one I liked.  I started by matching a chip to the existing not yet repainted wall.  Because of the base used to create my "custom" color, I wasn't going to be able to turn these 3 gallons of paint into that.  Okay I said, show me what I can have.

The guys were great (especially the one who was looking at putting yet another 2 coats of paint on the vaulted ceiling of my dining room - we opted to forego the pale green here and just go with the same ceiling color as in the kitchen/TV rooms).  "Don't worry about the cost - get what you want" (they've clearly been taking lessons from Gerry).  No, I'm not about to waste 3 gallons of paint if I don't have to.  I'm a team player.  Fortunately, there was a perfectly great color, just a shade lighter than what I previously had and after David confirmed that Parker could remake the paint into this new color (Pole CL 2023W), painting once again resumed. 

Of course even this wasn't without a little scare - Gerry was attempting to photograph for my blog.  As you can see, flash photography doesn't always tell the exact truth!

The first photo he took he thought the wall in the foreground was actually BLUE!

Okay now the foreground is closer to what you actually see but the far wall (in the dining room) - OY!


In any event, painting of the kitchen is now completed.  And the cabinet hardware is in and makes it start to look even more like a kitchen.  The granite guy was here most of yesterday morning (the island is huge and the sink fixtures a bit complicated and we definitely want him to be able to get it right on the first try!)

I think we're still on target for our "soft opening" date of Memorial Day (Monday, May 27th) - hope you're around!

~later, tw

What a little "deer"!

Though within miles of the bustling metropolis that is Redmond, Washington (by therefore in close proximity of Seattle as well), we are still "country."  Critters of all types make routine appearances on the property.  We've had raccoon, coyotes, mountain lion, rabbits (galore!) and even a bear!  But certainly deer have vastly outnumbered all of these (even the very incredibly prolific bunnies!)

The deer are like pets - I've been known to wander out to them in the yard and try to discourage them from eating the better plants (know what deer like better than roses?  NOTHING!) and they just slowly take a break from their munching to give me a once over.  They pretty much consider our yard to be their personal critter preserve.

This morning, though, I think they've gotten just a tad too complacent.  I caught some movement out of the corner or my eye near our front door and figured one of the workers was coming in.  Turns out there she was...right in the very front yard of the house.

No, I mean RIGHT IN THE FRONT OF MY HOUSE!  Like practically on the sidewalk!

Any closer and she be IN MY HOUSE!  (What will I serve her to go with the dandelions she seems to enjoy?  Do deer like tea?  This is why I get nothing done in a day!)

~later, tw

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Welcome to the Emerald City!

Okay - it's not really emerald...more like a light avocado but my "Mother's Day" wall that Sarah painted years ago is no more.  The color is in the same family as the "old" dining room - just a lighter variation (and more like the actual color we had painted it years ago.  Boy did it get darker with age!)  The photo is a bit dark since I couldn't wait to take it with the good camera and used my cellphone instead but you get the general idea!

Painting has begun - ceilings are done and now the walls because the granite guy comes tomorrow to template for the countertops!  After discovering my initial granite choice was not big enough to do the island without a fairly noticeable seam, the granite guy made another suggestion and it is a beauty!  (I can hardly wait to see it installed!!!)

~later, tw

Friday, April 19, 2013

Murder's Row Is Now Complete

It arrived...finally!  The last piece for the island, the one that mistakenly was shipped to Elko, NV, finally arrived.  All the pieces for the island are now in place.

This means that we are starting to see the remainder of our "living areas" throughout the house return to some semblance of normal...well, not quite because there are still a few boxes and things remained covered in plastic.  But there's hope!

We can watch TV again and Gerry doesn't have to move the couch back each night when we're done .
We still cover though!

The only problem remaining was the 27" base for the beverage bar.  I distinctly remembered ordering the unit with one drawer and two pullouts but when it arrived it came with 2 drawers and one pullout.  I just didn't see how this was going to work - no way I've got enough wine "doo-dads" to fill one 27" drawer, let alone two.  I stewed about this for two nights...

It finally occurred to me that my problem with wasn't so much with the two was with the single pullout.  Where was I supposed to store wine glasses, bottles, etc.?  And then I had a "scathingly, brilliant beyond brilliant idea!"

I patiently awaited Todd's arrival Wednesday morning (okay...not so patiently, but as best as I could manage!)  I wanted to run this idea by him to make certain it would work.

I would keep the base (because that would keep us on schedule with the granite guy coming next week) IF we could use one of those 21" hanging cupboards that we had ordered but had to change because we weren't taking out the exterior wall (oops!).  The darn thing was just sitting in its box in the TV room - taunting me for with that mistake.

So instead of wasting both the hanging cabinet (on me) AND the base unit (on the designer), instead it's become a win-win.  Sue is going to order a glass door and Todd is going to put lights into it (like the china hutch their building for me) so it will become a beautiful display addition to the bar area and a great place to put my crystal wine glasses.  (More importantly the granite guy can come and finally template the entire kitchen next week!)

The wine fridge is now in as well leaving only the double oven and the cook top in the garage (the cook top will be going on an adventure next week as the granite guy will take it with him in order to precisely  place it in the granite).

Should we add the "dummy" handle to the right side of the door?
Additionally, the door hardware has been installed on the exterior door in the dining room and nook area (the back room will just have to wait until everything else is complete).  She did order "dummy" sets for the double doors (dining room and back room).  Here's your chance to vote - do you think we should put them on (it would look exactly like the one on the left side only it wouldn't actually "work")?

~later, hoping it's not too terribly much longer now, tw

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Opening Day 2013 at Home

The Mariners at their best (and it's apparently all...okay only mostly...downhill from here)!

Clearly it's going to be a long season.  We are right now today, 4/16/13, on pace to LOSE 116 games (Yeah, I'm not great at math but it seems like in 2001 we won every 3-game series and split two of the 4-game series which led to 116 games won that season and so far this season, WE HAVE DONE EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE so shouldn't I...and everyone thinking that the OPPOSITE results  are indeed possible, if not outright probable?  And I really hate the notion that two weeks into the season my team is already mathematically eliminated!)

But still...opening day is something special. The introduction of the entire Mariner team.

The huge American flag.

The national anthem (shown on the REALLY BIG SCREEN!)

The fireworks.

The first kid from Make a Wish who gets to "touch 'em all" as she runs the bases to kick off the Mariner 2013 season.

And best of all - to throw out the ceremonial first pitch of this season... 
# 50 - Jamie Moyer

The pitcher is set and starts his wind up and delivers the pitch.  And who better to catch him than #6 - Dan Wilson.

And all of a sudden, it's just like old times again.  One of the best starting batteries in baseball, certainly in Mariner history has taken the field and I'm ready for some baseball.

Fifty is a special number for Jamie - not only his jersey number, but also his age this year!  And still he says he's got some gas in the tank and is not yet ready to retire.  I just hope that Jack Z. was listening...and has Jamie's number on speed dial!

~later, going to get me some crackerjacks, tw

Monday, April 15, 2013

In the Hood

The ice maker might have been the first appliance to officially gain entrance to the new kitchen, but it was the Kitchen Aid Island-Mount Hood that earned distinction as the first one installed:

It wasn't without its share of grief though.  Despite the best guesses of three of the experienced guys working on the project, the two homeowners and a visual inspection outside the house, the pathway for the vent was not an easy one.  (I think the Kennedy "mystery bullet" took a straighter path than some of the plumbing, electrical and venting work of the original house!)  Herb had quite a challenge re-routing existing venting, water, etc. before it would work.

It was starting to look good - but also looked low.  Herb had to take it down and cut the support brackets ~ 7" so that neither Gerry nor I would scramble our heads while scrambling our eggs!  (Herb thought he was wrong when he located the hood and that it would have to be moved.  Fortunately it turned out he WAS wrong - and it could stay where it was!)

Meanwhile, the boxes and cartons of cabinets, appliances and accessories seemed to be breeding - I'm quite certain that every time I turn my back another few appear.  They are everywhere - in the tv room:

In the piano room:

I wish I had thought to snap a photo of all the cardboard accumulating in the foyer, because all that cardboard meant that boxes were being uncrated and cabinets finding their way into the kitchen.  First, the guys turned their attention to the wall of cabinets and appliances (because we thought maybe we had all the pieces that would be going there!):

Next up, the "window wall" and while Herb worked on the hanging cupboard on the left, Todd worked on the one on the right side of the window.

And eventually they met up in the middle as they put up the "light board" between the two:

Finally, the base of the hutch was moved into its eventual home (though there is much work to be done here before this little part of the project will be complete)!

By the end of the week, a lot of cardboard was gone and a much larger portion of the floor in both the TV room and the piano room is now visible.  PROGRESS!

~later, tw

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What the pluck??

Apparently "urban chicken coops" are all the rage right now - people housing a few chickens in order to by-pass the farm and go directly to FRESH eggs.

Ah, but what to do with those chickens when you want to head out on vacation?

You could try finding a chicken sitting service such as Easy Acres Chicken Sitting where Anna Goeser will come take care of your flock ($25/day or $40 if you lives more than 10 miles away).

But don't those hard-working chicks deserve a vacation too?  For those in the U.K. there is Fowlty Towers  in Cowden (village in southeast England) and The Chicken Hotel in Cornwall - where they will even (for a fee) provide you with a special chauffeur service and you can indulge your  hen with "eggstras" like spa treatments and emery-board pedicures!

And now, you finally have the option of providing your chick with luxurious accommodations right here in the U.S!  Bill Bezuk and the Eugene Backyard Farmer (Eugene, OR) has opened The Nest with two suites right next to his urban farming supply store.  Basic service (fresh food, water and a safe place to sleep) is $2 per chicken per night.  For an extra dollar he offers "deluxe accommodations" (organic food, vegetable scraps and...wait for it...TURNDOWN SERVICE!)  Oh, and no roosters allowed as that is against city ordinances.  Toughest challenges for this joint - overbooking and "guests" failing to check out on time.

Lest you think this is a joke - this hotel opened in February and May is already completely booked!

And THAT ain't chicken feed!

~later, scratching her head, tw

Monday, April 8, 2013

Easter with the Lynches

Easter Sunday, since as you've probably noticed we were unable to accommodate guests, we spent with Jenny and her family.  It was great to have a place to go and the weather was absolutely beautiful!

After dinner we went to play with the boys in the grassy area right in front of their place.  It was the perfect place to try to launch the new kite that Jax had gotten for Easter and for Shay to just run around!

Turns out, Jax would rather drag his kite behind him instead of letting it fly in the air.  And since there wasn't much of a breeze, he was fairly successful at that.

Meanwhile, Shay was fine just digging in the dirt and playing with the rocks.

When Travis was finally successful at getting the kite into the air, Shay decided he'd rather chase the kite (he really would make a pretty good puppy!).

On our way back into their apartment, Travis & Jax decided to plant their new pinwheels in the ground so that they could catch the breeze there.

While Shay was chasing, Jax was hiding:

Back inside we sampled Jenny's desserts (well she made more than one flavor so we had to at least try a bit of each)!  They were so cute in those little mason jars!

Then the boys tried out their new play-do bake sets!  They were very focused on the project (while the adults struggled to build the cake & ice cream shop).

It was a wonderful Easter!

~Hope the Bunny was as good to you, tw