Sprucing Up – The Living Room Garden

This area had the last two rotting window boxes so they had to go.  It also has some very overgrown currants (we don’t really like black currants or the smell of the black currant plants), a few out -of-control blackberries and some huge, but beautiful, hydrangea plants.


  • Remove the window boxes. ✔
  • Start the paint from the window box removal. ✔
  • Trim the currants. ✔


  • Finish the paint from the window box removal. ✔
  • Trim the hydrangea ✔
  • Weed ✔
  • Rescue the birdbath ✔


  • Wash the windows ✔
  • Begin the bark mulch ✔


  • Start laying edging ✔


  • Finish edging✔
  • Finish bark mulch✔

Sprucing Up – The Garage Front Garden


  • Trim back the maples. ✔
  • Weed ✔
  • Remove window boxes ✔
  • Rake out old leaves. ✔


  • Finish trimming back the maples. ✔
  • Start the paint from the window box removal. ✔
  • Trim the hydrangea. ✔


  • Clean the gutters ✔


  • Touch up the paint from the window box removal ✔
  • Clean the windows and screens inside and out ✔
  • Hemlock bark mulch ✔


  • Perhaps add trellises over windows
  • Fix path to water spigot

Sprucing up – the Front Porch


  • Touched up the paint on the front door step. ✔
  • Touched up the varnish on the front door. ✔
  • Deadheaded the flower pot. ✔
  • Changed out the rosemary in the other flower pot. ✔
  • Changed the hanger from a reindeer to a cow. ✔
  • Pressure washed the stoop. ✔



  • Touched up the paint on the screen door. ✔
  • Repair the loosened screen. ✔
  • Clean the gutters

Fresh Air in – Bugs Out

Today we installed a new screen door in the living room.  The old screen door was installed in 1999 and was a very inexpensive, very cheap wooden door from a big box store.  We took hours and hours planing, trimming and sanding to get it to finally fit into the opening.  We primed and painted and found just the right tension for the hinges.  The, as soon as the weather turned cool it started sticking and required a swift kick at the bottom to fully open of close.  It lasted about 10 years and was finally too warped to continue and we’ve lived without a screen door since.

After years of searching Facebook Market and Craigslist, DH ran in to a daily special at that same box store for a retractable screen door.  It arrive on Friday, but we were still finishing up the bathroom flooring so the door was put on hold.  Saturday afternoon we were having lunch on the patio when DH decided to install the new door.  I thought this was a huge mistake, but it is summer vacation so what’s the harm in trying.  This door was so easy to install.  With just two missteps (we didn’t thread the screen into the channel when we put the top and bottom of the frame together and we didn’t put on the threshold before putting the door into the opening) we had a new, functional and attractive screen door.  The dogs loved sitting in the living room sniffing the fresh breeze.

Master Bath Redecorating

The house needs a bit of a face lift as we start thinking about what the post-retirement future looks like for our family.  The toilet plumbing leak of a few weeks ago led to the removal of the bathroom flooring so we could ensure that everything dried completely.  This week we put in the new flooring, something that took quite a bit longer then it did in 2012 when we replaced the flooring the first time.

I didn’t realize that the flooring was so much darker than the previous one until I saw the photos next to each other…

Flooring 2.0
Flooring 3.0





The Guest room Revamp

We have an embarrassing problem.  A few years ago we adopted this beautiful little snowshoe Siamese cat, Suzuki.  She wasn’t very cuddley and hid more then we liked, but she was lovely and needed a home.  They couldn’t keep her in foster care because the other cats would all attack her.  A few years in, she was getting to trust us, enjoyed being petted, love to scoot under the covers on a cool night and started peeing outside her cat box. We had her checked by vets (several) for urinary problems and all her tests came back fine.

Because of Suzuki’s new problem we’ve had to confine her to only one room in the house, the guest room.  We don’t want to but we can’t send her to another shelter and we can’t have her ruining the house.  Someone usually sleeps in there with her to keep her and we don’t, thank goodness, have overnight guests.

So we’ve decided (with four days of our vacation to go) to strip out the carpet and pad, seal the subfloor and baseboards, paint the walls and lay down a waterproof vinyl flooring.

Day 1 – Everything from the room was moved into the adjoining office space.

Day 2 – Carpet, pad and tack strips we’re removed and taken to the dump, baseboards were removed, and the subfloor was sealed.

Day 3 –  The hardware was removed and the walls painted with two coats. The first photo is after one coat.

Day 4 – We filled the nail holes in the floor and finished the flooring on day four.  I love this flooring.  It’s easy to cut, no messy adhesives, and should provide a nice water-proof  area for the problem kitty.


Lovin’ Craigslist

We also drove up to Orchards/Vancouver this afternoon to look at eight chairs that I found on Craigslist.

I’ve been looking for a set of Windsor chairs for several years and they usually have too tall of an arm to slide under our table.  These not only fit perfectly, but have a beautiful beeswax finish. The price was wonderful at less than $30.00 per chair.  There are 6 side chairs and 2 captain’s chairs.