Week 4: Accomplishments Big and Small

CEFreemanJune 7, 2014

Hi all!
I'm starting a 4th week. It's been very encouraging to me to see how the little things move us forward. Sometimes I'm such a slug, I know I was stuck, but other things I didn't think about got done.

For example, yesterday and today, I managed to hook up my hoses to water my front gardens, which include probably 50 or more Japanese maples. They're my babies and my responsibility, so that's a big deal.

Today I've already sprayed PI again. I cannot believe how many new starts there are. It's not been this aggressive in several years. Must have had a herd of Canadian Geese pooping out seeds.

Will work today at 3:00, since today is my Monday.

Vote: Do we continue after this 4th week? I know I'm enjoying it, but it's totally up to you guys. :)

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I'm enjoying it!

I didn't join in until last week because I thought it was all for kitchen progress (which I don't have a lot, yet) but I love reading all the bits and pieces of everything.

CEFreeman - are your Japanese Maples to raise to sell or a landscape installation or?

It's not 9am here yet. I'm an early riser. When I can stay off the (*^% computer, I get a lot done in the mornings.

I've done some laundry, rearranged some furniture, 1/2 cleaned the hall bath, 1/3 cleaned the kitchen, and swept the LR/DR/Kitchen. Currently baking blueberry quickbread (I admit, from a box). Probably spurred on by the two (small) pots of coffee.

DH has poker here tonight. The monthly game assures that everything's in it's place at least once a month. :)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 11:55AM
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I'm simply reveling in a few days without having someone else in my house and having to sequester my cats.

I'm on a quest for 60-watt soft-white vanity bulbs in a brick-and-mortar. Who knew? 40-watts will do the job, but I'd like a little extra oomph, even if I dim it back. I'm reluctant to buy online since it sounds like breakage is rampant.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 12:11PM
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Went to look at flooring today. My uncle, who lived with me, passed away recently. He liked wall to wall and so that's what I had in his bedroom. It needs to be replaced though so I went to have a look at wood flooring. I'm hoping to replace the tile in my kitchen/family room one of these years so I'm trying to pick something that would work for those rooms as well.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 2:15PM
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Went to work, came home and permanently installed the pantry shelves. Cleaned up a few things and started moving them into the pantry. Then had a calzone and a bunch of beer. Tomorrow is more of the same, minus the beer.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 9:04PM
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I want to permanently install pantry and laundry shelves but I can't until the fire inspector signs off on the sprinklers!

Yesterday our backsplash was finished and grouted. Today we bought silver outlets, switches and plates and DH is installing them as I write this. We did nothing (but watch TV) while the Stanford-Vanderbilt baseball game was finishing up (Go Stanford) and the USA-Nigeria soccer game was on (Go USA). That was an accomplishment for us - sitting and relaxing :-)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 9:57PM
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Out in the yard from 0545 AM til after 1 pm. Divided perennials, planted some squash and melons. Mulched. Repeat. DH painted the rebuilt front steps on our soon to be old house and we may have a buyer which is awesome! Love to be done with that soon. Tomorrow we are having a cookout and doing nothing that isn't fun. Glad I don't have any p.i. around here.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 10:07PM
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Christina222, sorry for your loss.

I worked 12 hours today. And it was pretty good. I didn't lose my mind on anyone and it was reasonably slow. When I got home I made a quick template for the sink wall backsplash and I'll lay out some tile tomorrow where I want it to go. It's a white marble and some pieces are more "active" than others, so I want to get a sense of what pieces I want where. My friend is coming over Tuesday to help me put it up. I'm a bit nervous about it!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 10:46PM
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I have spent the past week doing nothing but lounging in the pool and hot tub every day, playing with my kids on their first week of summer and trying to recuperate from my May month of hell.

My dads retirement party was a great success, even if I did get supremely annoyed at my brother and his wife. My daughters birthday was great, her 3D cake turned out awesome and, perhaps the greatest thing of all, which I have no control over, is that we have had rain, ACTUAL rain so many times in the past two weeks that I've lost count!!!

For anyone who doesn't remember, we have been under an exceptional drought for years. I can't remember the last time we actually had a "rainy season" so...even though the rain messes with my pool temps and chemicals, it is extremely welcome.

I took May off of the reno on the wonderful advice from all you GWers, I should have been working this week but I figure mental/emotional recuperation and health matter too right?

Next week I start watching a friends kid during the day and I will hopefully get some trim painted and ready to install.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 11:39PM
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I've been slowly packing up more of our house this week. Our remodel was supposed to start on Monday but we had a serious wrench thrown into our plans this past week. Surprisingly I'm quite calm. We leave tomorrow for three weeks, then move into our rental once we get back. We may start our remodel later this month if things go well, or we might not start till July or August. TBD. But I've decided not to freak out. It will happen. The hardest part about this setback was trying to address these issues in the three days before we leave. I wish this wrench in our plans had occurred a week earlier, allowing us more time to address the problems while we are physically here, but it's coming together. Not solved but addressed in a helpful way. And today my husband and I got a huge amount of the house packed up. And we all packed for our trip! We had to wait on packing some stuff as our kids finished school on Thursday and we couldn't completely disrupt everything until they were done. Tomorrow we only have a few incidentals (okay probably a bit more than that) and the kitchen items we held off on packing to deal with, yay!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 1:13AM
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Great attitude malabacat - I think it helps a lot that you're moving out during the remodel. It may cost a little more, because you may be in the rental longer than anticipated, but that's "just money" in exchange for your sanity! Have a great trip.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 12:03PM
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Setbacks suck! But, then you get to make decisions and maybe even [whisper] change your mind. Not that anyone actually ever does that.

Today I started cutting down junk trees in my garden. I started around 9:30 and my reciprocating saw batteries are both dead. I got around 2 sides before everything pooped out. I'm losing steam, so I'll probably have to continue tomorrow morning.

I can't believe the mulberry and choke cherries. Let alone those d@!#med vines. Virginia creeper, some thing that looks like oak leaves, and a couple others I cannot identify. I'm covering the stumps or chopped up ends with this vine and stump killer. I've added some good ol' Dawn for good measure, and a surfactant so it sticks for awhile. I'm also killing ornamental grasses. I scream, "Die you stinkin' b!tich, DIE!" Ok, not that, but I'm sure thinking something similar!

I feel pretty accomplished today, because I've been meaning to get to this for a couple years. I still have some to cut down that will have to fall into the road. But given that I'm on a dangerous curve, I need some poor fool one to help watch for traffic. These are B.I.G. I have a 12" blade and it's not reaching all the way through.

I have no fear.

Off to work at 4:00 again today. Yeah! I'm liking my job, although I'm working pretty darned hard.

You guys have a beautiful day on this gorgeous Sunday!

Edited to add photo:

This post was edited by CEFreeman on Mon, Jun 9, 14 at 10:29

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 12:52PM
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Schicksal-you need to post pics of those pantry shelves! Mine are to be installed tomorrow.

CEfreeman-care to post a pic of those Japanese maples? We tried to grow one at our last house but started out with one about as thick as a pencil and the wind demolished it. :(

Figured out where the silverware and spices will permanently call home. I had been playing musical drawers and finally found what feels right. Cleared out the garage of boxes so we can finally start parking inside. Woohoo! Now to unpack them (they moved to the basement) and put the stuff away!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 2:30PM
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Switched the dryer door to open on the opposite side so it's easier to move wet clothes directly from the washer.

Framed and hung three posters that have been sitting around for ages.

Sprayed basement and perimeter of house for bugs instead of paying an exterminator.

Chose and bought backsplash tile!!!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 2:44PM
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Today I bought the next round of kitchen stuff. The sink, faucet, soap suspensor, GD, and air switch kit. Also a ton of Lutron faceplates because they are half of what Lowes/HD sell them for if you buy online.

These are the pantry shelves - 4 of the 5 anyway. Some of the appliances will migrate to the countertops and cabinets once they go in. The lowers are 16 inches deep, the uppers 12. Made em myself. There will be doors once I find someone to make them.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 5:13PM
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Wow- busy week
I only was able to do 2 bicycle rides and 2swims this week- need to beef up the riding before our Jasper to Whitefish ride in August. I have a relay race next week 5 person-10 event race. Some of the legs are downright silly- tubing down the cascades, 300 yd swim and water slide. I have at least one serious leg- 1 mile swim but have only been swimming 5 times- oops.
Hope it is like bicycling and my muscles remember to keep paddling along.

Keep working on removing the 100k maple trees - darn those propellers are fertile!

Big task- cleaned our 40x12 foot deck! Pretended I was curling with the deck brush! And looked at umbrellas, pergolas, and awnings- oh my!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 6:18PM
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Wow schicksal, nice shelves! Good job! I'm impressed - looks great. :)

My big accomplishment for yesterday was pulling off the surprise 70th birthday party for my mom. We had about 50 people all together. It's the first REAL birthday party I can remember her having. Many of her VIPs were able to make it and I think that she thoroughly enjoyed herself. If I do nothing else this week, this accomplishment is more than enough.

But that being said, I have narrowed down some paint choices for the kitchen and will be getting samples here in the next day or two...hoping that I have the right color in amongst the little swatches I'm working with.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 6:22PM
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Thanks Schicksal-looks good! I went with 14, 12 and 6" depth. Hope I don't have any regrets. Tomorrow I will know.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 8:00PM
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More kitchen progress this weekend. New fridge was delivered yesterday so that was super exciting...I can finally have a full-size fridge. Before we started this reno the space for the fridge was small and I had to pay extra money for a smaller fridge to fit in that space...ridiculous. So spent some time yesterday afternoon switching everything to the new fridge while checking expiration dates and purging some things.

It rained most of the morning this morning so DH and I caught up on the last season of one of my favorite shows, Mad Men. Love that show but, any fans here?, what the heck was that ending??? Spent a good 2 hours cleaning the old fridge. It is only 5 years old and works perfectly so I was able to sell it to a co-worker for $500. Learned that cleaning a fridge to sell it to someone you know is WORLDS apart from the cleaning I would give it to sell it to a stranger on Craigslist!! Searching for every stray dog hair...how exactly does dog hair find it's way under the drawers in both the fridge and freezer anyway?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 8:36PM
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Is selling/giving your fridge to your inlaws easier or harder than a co-worker ;) MIL/FIL downsized last fall and plan to re-do the kitchen 'sometime in the near future'. They've got a DW what worked for a month, then died and the worlds smallest/loudest fridge. Our fridge and DW are 4 and 2 years old respectively and not really anything wrong with them. We thought about integrating them into the reno, but we opted for a built-in fridge and when the DW was the last thing to stay and I knew MIL could use it, I talked her into them. :) I don't really want anything for them. They do a lot for us. I just know 'sometime soon' will be a year or two and they should have a functioning DW and something better than that fridge. She isn't a SS fan, but she decided she'd be better off with them for a year or two than not. She already spoke up for our W/D which are going too. :)

Today's accomplishment: I took a shower. lol. I did work second job a longer day than usual and babysat the Braava while it mopped the back half of the house.

I painted a bigger swatch on dressing room wall with the most recent candidate for a color. I'm more confused than ever. It looks SO different in different corners of the room.

I also ordered a table cloth that will actually fit our DR table and that nifty dish drainer thing that rolls up.

And started prepping for one of the three new courses I'll teach next year.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 8:57PM
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Thanks for the kind words about the pantry and flooring!

We LOVE Mad Men. I'm about a season or so behind and spoilers have been very hard to avoid. Don's apartment settled the grasscloth wallpaper debate though and we're replacing the 1990s polished brass on our MCM ranch using door hardware similar to what they have on the show.

Aside from the decorating, the actual show is great too :)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 6:59AM
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DH and I went on vacation, to a lovely resort in the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota. We were joined by my Mom and my 9-yr-old niece.

Most of our time was spend riding horses:

But DH and I did find time for a zip-line tour:

Today's project (after work): two loads of horse-stinky laundry.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 10:32AM
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Hi all!
This is really veering off the accomplishment topic, but I'd like to answer a couple of Japanese Maple questions while I procrastinate gear up to go out cutting more trees down.

I started buying them from eBay in 2004 from venders I still frequent. They were all 2 year grafts, which makes them anywhere from 8" to 1.5' tall. Very young, but at that point, only $9.95 a tree. I just bought them for me, cal_quail. Not to sell.

No sense to it, but somewhat OCD. Ok, a lot OCD. Mine OCD manifests itself in collecting. I remember back as a kid having to have all of an artist's albums, rather than just one, for example. Anyway, medication has been a godsend to me and my budget.

Being a bit compulsive and addicted to red, I had to have every red variety there is. Or a variety that turned red in the fall. That included crape myrtles (32) regular maples (19), every red flower you can imagine, and of course, my red truck and red undies.

I had many mishaps.
One year my dogs got loose and stomped them to death.
Another, rabbits clipped a bunch off right above the graft. Some survived, some didn't.
Heat has taken many, then of course, the tornado that smashed a 60' pine tree down on my shade bed, and tool down the only (maple) shade-providing tree I had.

I probably have 70 or 80 varieties and sadly, love them all. I feel like they're absolutely my responsibility, since most are in pots. I did count yesterday, that I've put 27 in the ground over the years, +2 that didn't make it.

Some of my trees are as much as 12 years old now, and some taller than I, some dwarfs, which will remain short. All in all, I love them and no, they're not for sale.

One of the (stupidest) most annoying suggestions I receive blithely from people is, "If you have any extras, I'd take 'em" or "You have too many and they're gonna die in pots. You should figure out which ones you can give to me."
Let me think.
That would be
[scream] NONE.
Trees of my sizes, over which I've lost sleep and tears, run not only as much as $300-$400, but more importantly, they're mine. And here, I'm stingy. You can come over and dig most anything you want from my 3 acres of gardens. But not those.

With the loss of my shade tree, many of my supposedly delicate JMs have been in full sun for 7-8 years. As they pass the 3-year, full sun finish line, I put them in the ground. In the sun. Most require some afternoon shade for the best color, and there are some that just cannot be in the sun. However, I'm here to tell you, that in the unmitigating drought and southern-like heat of my microcosm, some do take the sun and are thriving.

Autumn_4, they're picky little devils. One as small as you're describing would have required shelter, no matter what the climate. You're probably better off to take a baby like that, pot it, and get it to a 4-year point. Depending upon where you live, they can overwinter in the pot, sheltered, of in the garage, with periodic water.

Here's a picture of some of them that are in full sun, still in pots, right outside my front door (ignore my lack of weed-whacking, please).

For anyone wanting to experiment with a sun-taking Japanese Maple, but no farther south probably than 6a, these are:
Inaba Shidare
Crimson Carol
Japanese Sunrise
Sherwood Flame
Booskop Glory
Maku Jaiku
Dissectum Nigrum (full sun)
Fireglow (also a full sun plant)
Red Dragon (Full sun)
Burgundy Lace
Chantilly Lace
Emperor I
Bloodgood (full sun)
Skeeter's Broom
Red Pygmy
Del's Dwarf
And those are all I can remember from this picture.
There are more behind it, and some behind me on the porch.

Perhaps the accomplishment here is that they're still living and thriving! :) Thanks for letting me go on about my remaining gardening fetish.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 10:53AM
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After that morning hijack,
today I piled my cut down trees into different piles to pick up with my truck.
I went to work.
I am home, where I sat until dark watching the fireflies and drinking wine.
Now I'm hunting for my TV, since my Multi-Purpose Fred moved it somewhere to prime.

Good night all!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 9:24PM
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CEFreeman- I don't want to come take any of your gorgeous trees (they would just die here) but I sure would love to come tour your grounds. I miss seeing green....and red and purple and orange and yellow. My poor daffodils didn't bloom this year...stupid drought!

From the pics I have seen you post plus the descriptions you write, it sounds like paradise!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 10:29PM
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CEFreeman, They're lovely! As are the pops of purple (all from Hostas?).

My home accomplishments today were making an appointment to have the remaining LVT installed in the master on Thursday (they were supposed to do it last time they were here...a little bitter here) and keeping the house clean/picked up. (About to have dinner, this WILL still apply after dinner, I promise.)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 10:42PM
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CEF- wow!
My one JM deposits baby maples around the yard.
I am happy to share the offspring. Anyone in the area- stop on by!

I am further north but would love to add another one- different variety.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 11:51PM
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Thank you, all. To me it is a paradise.
This morning's accomplishment is that I went around the other two sides of the yard and cut out trees, branches, vines, etc. I sweat like the little piglet I can be.

Then, I sat on my porch and watched the gentle rain roll in. I do love my space!

cal_quail, those purple splotches are actually Siberian Iris. I also, actually, want them dug out and gone. I think I have a taker from the MidAtlantic Gardening board. It's center seems to be here in the DC area, so there are wonderful people, generous people, great swaps, and a place for every plant you might change your mind over!

I also want the hellebores gone out of that garden. They're the ivory variety and I have some deep, dark purple ones I'd like to put there instead. These reseed like crazy, which is a good and bad thing. :)

a2gemini, there are lots of resources as to what variety and type would go well in what area. I could possible help when you're ready to start looking. I might be able to send you pictures. :)

Off to work at 2:00.
Everyone have a fantastic day!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 11:52AM
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It wasn't a bad afternoon and evening. Cabinets are going to come in on Monday but there are still things to do for the time being.

- The TV and entertainment center are back where they belong. I have no clue how to get the towels underneath it (so I could slide it on the floor) out. That requires help. We haven't had a TV since around Thanksgiving I think.

- The area rug and coffee table are back and cleaned up. They were crazy dirty from all the demo debris before they were moved off to a bedroom. I measured the rug and bought a felt pad for it to protect the new floor.

- I can clean with a dust mop again! That has never been possible in this house because of the refinished, jumbo sized bevel stuff that was here before.

- The breakfast area table is a yesterday thing. There hasn't been a table to eat at all year since the dining room has been an overflow construction area and that table is still covered in stuff.

- I stopped by the lumber company this afternoon. This has been a challenge... I need a front door frame and sidelight, without the door and sidelight since no one sells this with a flat slab, wood door. I have my own door design with three windows and need the glass to match the sidelight. I also would like to order about 1,200lf of paneling for the family room ceiling and now have good measurements. The order is getting done because I want to order both at the same time - the easy (paneling) + the not as easy (door stuff).

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 8:15PM
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What a nice open space Schicksal! It's coming along!

CEF what a nice piece of property you have! So private and pretty.

Today, was a long day! I went to the dentist, mowed front and back lawn, then had a quick snack before my friend came over.

When she got there we installed the backsplash on the window wall of my kitchen. I learned to use a tile saw today! And how to install a backsplash! It's a marble subway tile, and we had to rig up a support for the area behind the stove and then there were a lot of precise cuts around the OTR microwave and window sill area. The sink is not quite square (nor are the walls, which were in terrible condition on that side) and so we had some creative solutions to that.

Tomorrow, we'll tackle the other side. It's a galley, so the other side is simply a nice (hopefully square) rectangular space with two outlets, so there won't be as many cuts. We should be able to grout the window side as well.

I owe my friend BIGTIME!! We were at it for hours! I even forgot to feed my kid before karate! LOL I said, I'd get him something after, so how about a banana before he went. Then we forgot to bring it in the car! While he was there I ran home to keep tiling and then on the way back we all got Dairy Queen Blizzards! YUM! Nice dinner, eh? Best Mum ever! You like Blizzards, CEF? I got Reese's! It's the only kind I ever get. :)

Sometime next week, I'll upload my pics and post a reveal. I'm off for 4 days, so I should be able to get the whole thing grouted/caulked before I go back to work on Saturday. After the backsplash I just need to fix the one roman shade and I'm done!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 10:26PM
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Thanks! Beforehand the ceiling in the larger room was 8' and walled off completely from the kitchen except for where there was once a sliding glass door. The wall used to be the rear of the house and the previous owners did an addition that wasn't that well thought out.

Blizzards + wet saws and backsplash make for a pretty awesome day too! Backsplash work is fun because it's relatively simple, and there's a big difference from the before and after in a relatively short amount of time. It also signifies that you're almost DONE with the remodel!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 6:30AM
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CEFreeman - thanks!
My birthday is just around the corner (22nd anniversary of my 38th birthday - you can do the math) and DM always sends me a check.

Since I got the bug, I have been surfing. I don't have a lot of room, so either need a dwarf or a "bush" type.

I thought I wanted dissectum leaves but then I saw the Winter Flame with its bright red bark in the winter....

So now, I need to find a true dwarf, bush with red bark...

Are you in MI? Email me directly (but let me know you did as I don't check the email very often) and we can discuss.

Also, we are listed as 6A but think we are really closer to 5B


    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 10:26AM
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MGMum, you've embodied how exciting it is to discover you can do something yourself, and do it well. I really look forward to pictures!

A2gemini, I am unaware of a dwarf with red bark, other than my Red Pygmy, and Shania. I do know I have some. Most are a dark red bark, vs. a bright red such as a red-twigged dogwood. I'll go wander around the yard. I do know of a gorgeous dwarf with yellow bark: Fjellheim. It's beautiful. Up there, you're going to need to shelter it.

Sure, they're maples, but for some reason they're more delicate. Mine endure some serious abuse, but sometimes I'll lose one. Even a mature one at times. Almost lost my Inzuma to the cold we had this winter. Never expected that of a 12 year, in the ground tree.

Interesting that no, I'm not in MI, but I'm from MI. :) My sister & progeny are still there. I do need to go up this summer and get the things my mom left for me. Perhaps we can plan a Forum meet. That's always really fun. Greenhaven..? you in?

I'm currently lusting after a Jordan, Autumn Flame and Emmet's Pumpkin. I'm into the broader leafed trees right now because of their better sun tolerance. Plus, they're showy even when leafed out green. My Vitifolium is light grass green right now and just lovely. Sorry guys. I can talk maples for a long, long time!

Well, I'm outta bed.
I did walk around to examine the trees I cut down yesterday and to see if the vines I sprayed are showing wilt. It rained about 30 minutes after I was done, and I have no idea of this Brush killer's timeframe.

Today I plan to do nothing go to work. It's my Friday night and I have a lot planned for my next two days off.

Pics, guys! Eye candy. Lemme see those back splashes, tile and color choices. How 'bout just those clean and organized closets and pantries? Remember, I have no life. I want to live yours. Yeahhhh baby!

This post was edited by CEFreeman on Wed, Jun 11, 14 at 11:13

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 11:09AM
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Oh, I also hadn't been posting or reading these threads because I thought they were about the kitchen. I've been spending the dry days the last 3 weeks on the yard -- I guess that I have pulled out 1000 violet seedlings from my garden beds (clearly I didn't mulch well enough last fall, because walking and working was still painful on my broken toes/plantar fasciitis foot). Sorry this will be long, no one else wants to hear about what I do on my days off! I am sure that CEFreeman will understand!

So, over these 3 weeks, I have got the weeding done, except for a daily few minutes pulling those straggler pop-ups. Also pulled a bunch of aster and goldenrod that decided to expand their territories. Deadheaded all the columbine (boy do I love it but boy can it reseed!). Pulled out 5 million it felt like forget-me-nots. Made a strawberry hill out of an old papasan chair, and a trellis for a melon out of the base and some bamboo.

Transplanted a rose and some tulips. Bought the material to make Al's gritty mix (check the container forum for info) and repotted my 5 citrus trees into that. Planted some items that I overwintered in pots -- still working on that --, repotted some others, and laid out where I want to expand a couple of beds. Bought more plants (oops). Cut bamboo from a neighbor's yard to make trellises with. Dug a dry well to help control spring wetness in the back yard. Tossed the compost piles. Sprayed/sprinkled deer repellent several times. Cleaned the gutter covers. Sprayed mosquito repellent. Trimmed the ornamental pear and cherry trees back from the roof. Started to cut down the dead parts of the vitex (new growth coming from the roots -- yay!) and pruned back an overgrown purple elderberry and redtwig dogwood. I think that I will take that dogwood out, sometime this summer.

I had planned to cut down my rust infected hawthorns this week (with my new reciprocating saw!) between rains, but my knee and back have decided to rebel. Back spasms since Sunday ( don't know what instigated this) and an odd painful swelling in one knee. Going this afternoon for an MRI so they can tell me that it is just a cyst that will go down eventually. The sun is out for now but not sure that I have time to do anything but laundry before I have to leave.

BUT, on the kitchen front, I did manage to get down on the floor and finally install the Ikea Variera slide out bin under the sink! I had hoped to put two there, but the outlet and plug for the GD is in the way. Next time we have a "what would you change/what should I think about" thread I will mention this -- I planned for the pullout baskets on the floor of the cabinet, but with a little tweaking I would have had the space for a second Variera -- but I didn't know that they existed at that time! Too bad that Ikea doesn't make a shorter version.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 2:25PM
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Schicksal, I am glad that you posted pics -- yours is one of the projects that I was following and seemed to lose (you said that your thread wasn't popular, but I was very interested!). How did the ceiling drywall fiasco get resolved, and what colors did you choose among all the other details that I have missed?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 2:29PM
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The owner saw the lights and immediately realized they screwed up. The price was discounted by what replacements cost and life moved on.

Some colors are still up in the air... The family room and kitchen walls are white. The ceiling planking will be stained, probably a lighter shade to keep the ceiling feeling high, but I'm not sure what yet. The backsplash it's a big unknown along with the stools. Maybe turquise because it was a big part of the original 1959 kitchen. Furniture in the family room will need to be looked at because it was bought for our old place with a room that was much smaller, so I am not trying to coordinate any of it. Doors in the family room will probably have a wenge finish.

In the kitchen the cabinets will be walnut, white quartz countertops, chrome Grohe faucet, silgranit sink in metallic gray, and the pantry doors will most likely be white glass. The entry hall and living room will have grasscloth wallpaper to stay true to MCM design, slate floor in the entry hall. The living room furniture has a lot of celery fabric and glass/dark wood and should still be OK.

Today wasn't that exciting because of late meetings. The faceplates came in and they're installed now. For anyone looking for screwless Lutron (Claro) faceplates, Mr Supply has the best prices and fast shipping. Things around here are going to be pretty quiet until cabinets are in and more details are figured out. In the meantime I'm just cleaning and moving things back where they belong.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 8:25PM
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Schicksal, it's great to see your ongoing progress pics; the scope of what you've accomplished is pretty mind-blowing! The floors look wonderful. Your walnut cabinets, white countertops, and possibly a turquoise backsplash sounds delicious.

Love the discussion of Japanese Maples; unfortunately they will burn to a crisp where I live, but I have always found them hauntingly beautiful and serene. Today we planted a Mexican redbud, and have another to plant tomorrow. I love the small, shiny, crinkly leaves, and it should have a tough enough character to withstand our desert climate. Fingers crossed. Hose on drip!

Raee, fingers crossed for good news on the MRI! I'll bet your yard looks wonderful, after all that hard work. I am happy to see all these gardening posts here, since I have been feeling a bit guilty about neglecting house progress for gardening progress.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 12:37AM
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CEF- sounds like a plan. There are a few other GWebbers in SE MI as well
I will check out the JM options. I saw a really nice catalog in eastern canada but they don't ship across the border and I usually buy locally but varieties are limited

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 9:47AM
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Mostly watchng hired crews ... :)

Three Tree of Heaven are GONE, one big mulberry is thinned

We marked all the hollow sounding spots in the rooms for potential plaster patching ... looks like a really tall toddler got loose with the sidewalk chalk.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 1:41PM
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I took some stuff to the drop off depot this morning, then did a bit of grocery shopping and home to grout the other wall of backsplash.

My one son came home for lunch, so we ate lunch and then I took some photos of the kitchen, which is finished except for the caulking and the one roman shade.

Then I got dinner in the oven, posted my reveal thread and then we ate early as my older son has a soccer practice tonight. I might go jogging while he's doing that, or I might hang out with the Moms.

Here is a link that might be useful: My kitchen reveal

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 4:59PM
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Mostly been working the past few days. Took today off because this morning I was SUPPOSED to get the master bedroom LVT installed (second time it was supposed to be installed...second day taken off work). I asked if they could start in the afternoon so I could work the morning, I was told no. Then, when I didn't get a call last night about what time they'd start, I called the shop this morning and they said they were starting at 1 or 2. I COULD have still gone in to work for a bit in the morning, but ended up running some overdue errands instead.

Same (lead) guy from last go around came to install today. Came about 11:30. Last time he said they couldn't pull our old floor, thinking it was asbestos. I said it was cork. He said it looked like there was asbestos tile under it. I said I was told it was only cork. Guess who was right? So today, he came alone and started to pull the carpet and cork. Said it was going really slow and didn't know what he'd be able to get done and asked what I'd been quoted for getting it pulled. (Bad on me here) I said I've been having a hard time getting numbers out of them, but this thing has to get done today. TODAY! He quoted me an hourly rate to pull the floor. I said okay. I also said I was going to work along side him to get it done. He said okay. A little while in, he said it was going to cost me a lot, was I sure I wanted it pulled. Then he stated the hourly rate and it was not what I heard the first time. I said whatever, lets just do this and I just kept scraping, blister and all.

At the point he stopped and questioned the second time, he estimated it would take 6-9 hours to pull. I kept working along side him (much slower, but making a point). We did it in less than 3.

Helper arrived. Started laying the floor about an hour ago. I'm betting they'll say they'll only finish half today. I. am. not. happy. May go to MIL's to sleep.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 7:29PM
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I'm jealous of those who have a crew to watch. Except for cal quail's cranky one, they don't sound fun. There will be people here on Monday to do cabinets, then countertop measuring late next week if I'm lucky.

Today I was on houzz forever to come up with a modern looking baseboard. The winner is simple poplar 1x4. I may ease the corner just a bit with a planer before painting white. I made drawings and marked up pictures I took of the front door and jamb so the lumber guy can get an order made.

Also the sink stuff came in! The box for the sink looked pretty bad and the Styrofoam was broken in pieces, and I read enough old threads about damaged silgranit sinks so I was expecting the worst. It's completely fine. The metallic gray sparkles and is about the same shade as stainless. It looks promising so far... All of our cookie sheets can sit flat on the bottom so that's a good sign. No more divided sink with stuff poking out everywhere. Here's the loot.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 9:10PM
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Well, I'll play too. My major accomplishment so far this week was Sunday when DH and I started back priming the wood for our exterior siding. We are putting an addition on and it has been going on forever. Cliff note version, we broke ground last Sept, demo happened the Monday after Thanksgiving(no kitchen since then either) and drywalling is in progress now. What was supposed to be a 5-6 month project has been 10 months and counting. But the KD is coming next week to measure for the cabinets, so I'm cautiously optimistic that the project will be finished in my lifetime.

My other accomplishment this week, besides getting out of bed to go to work has been to cover all the furniture with the plastic drapes in the morning and to pull them back at night so we can do fun things like sit on the couch, watch TV and heat dinner in the microwave. Not very inspiring compared to everyone else I must say. I'm so sick of living in a construction zone! But we have lots of projects for this weekend so the week won't be a total loss.

CEFreeman, we have two thread leaf Japanese Maples which have been easy to grow. The red one had to be moved because of the house addition, so we had a local nursery come out and look at it since it had about a 6ft wide canopy and was about 4ft tall. The nursery guy said it was pretty large to move, but he could do it. It had to be trimmed some, but since a replacement at half that size would have cost over $800 bucks, it was worth it. I know what you mean about keeping your trees for yourself. The tree has been living in its temporary location since Nov 2012 and I actually think we will be able to move it to a permanent home in the fall. Our other tree is a bright green thread-leaf which turns a spectacular rainbow of oranges and magenta in the fall. It is much smaller, I don't think it will ever be as large as the red one which can get up to 25 ft. tall.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 9:58PM
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Today: Got quartz samples and looked at them with the sink. Came to one conclusion. Looked at them against the wall, came to another conclusion. The ones with the best tone have the least visual interest, and reminds me of corian (not a good thing). The ones with the most interesting look go into the blue/green shade of white (Hanstone) or go crazy with speckles (Silestone). I want the Viatara tone with Hanstone number of Silestone speckles. Ugh.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 9:55PM
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I've had a few uneventful days.
I cut down more trees.
I procrastinated driving around picking them up.

Today might have been the most productive. I actually set up the boards to create raised beds. Essentially, I'm edging these particular beds with boards, actually. I got some cool adjustable stakes that you screw the boards into. It lets me make corners or diagonal lines with the boards. I have to now fill them with the wood chips the tree trimmers left in my drive. 5 truckloads.:)

I'm home on a Friday night again.
Somehow, I gotta get a life and get out.

aamichz5, I really like threadleafs. I have a Red Pygmy, 2 Koto no itos, and a really gorgeous Atrolineare. The last has bark that turns black in the fall/winter. And, takes completely full sun. I planted it way before I knew my ears from my elbows. I think I was lucky it survived.

shicksal, I laughed at "the loot." I feel that way sometimes!

What do you guys think? Should we continue this thread another week?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 10:33PM
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Absolutely. It is fun to learn what everyone is doing.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 11:05PM
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I want to jump in here and say please continue. I haven't posted until now, but all of you are inspiring me to get all my little chores done. Kitchen reno started last year, finished about 90 percent last year. In the last month we finally got the pulls installed, actually, I helped my son, who meticulously measured for each one and did it perfectly. I made a promise to myself in the last month to come home from work and get something done each day. Garage got cleaned, closets got straightened, lots of junk got tossed out. Just a little each day, but things are gettin' done.

Now that I'm home for the summer I'm trying to get the yard work done so I can get the trim stained for the kitchen, dining room and living room and that can finally get installed. Still have to decide on a backsplash and get going on that. So thank you all for being so inspiring!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 1:07AM
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raee, Thanks for sharing on the slide out bin. Will be going to check it out. Looks interesting.

schicksal, Exciting about the sink stuff. Not so fun about the counter choices.

All the garden stuff that's happening, I'm feeling sorry for myself working these two optional weeks last week and this next week (most days) since we'll likely have the last of our June Gloom. The best time in the world to work in the garden, IMO.

Today, I work job #2 for a bit and then we're going to go see a Miele showroom. The guy at the local place gave us an invitation and we're supposed to make an appointment, but DH said he kept getting a machine and it didn't sound like we need an appt, so we'll go and see. We'll see what we can find about the new SpeedOvens and we're contemplating a Miele DW, so we'll see about that as well.

Tomorrow, no work!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 10:12AM
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Yeah, from one Bad Self to another. Keep up this thread as it's motivation for us DIYers to get something done this week.

I finally have something to report! This week I ordered my new garage doors and commercial grade railing for a back elevated concrete deck. Still shopping for the hammer drill masonry bits, though. The rail will be delivered Tuesday then it's a race to get the concrete drilled for install before the weather converts to hot.

Next up in the kitchen is floor renovation of about 900 square feet of hardwood. Uh, let me re-phrase that. My kitchen is not 900 square feet, but the hardwood in my kitchen is also on most of the first floor and it will all be refreshed at once.

But first, yesterday I got around to fixing an "ugly" in a bathroom. This bathroom is undergoing a facelift with a new frameless glass sliding door, soon. The tub is a 42 inch wide tub that doubles as shower pan, so you have a roomy shower, but only ONE fixture to clean. : )

The tub had a false front panel that originally matched the tub, but over the years has yellowed from UV exposure, you can see how it's more ugly yellowed on the left where the window throws more light, than on the right.

Kohler wanted $300 some bucks for another panel with the same problem, so that's ridiculous and I nixed that solution. Time to get out the tools, and a visit to the store.

So yesterday I made a new panel using PVC bead board strips and trim, and PVC cement (no primer as I needed the cement to stay clear) and my handy-dandy chop saw.

I'm really pleased with the result. Cost was about $25 for materials, including a $6 new can of multipurpose pvc cement (which I had to buy because it wasn't tainted with purple from primer as my other cans were. I plan for now to leave it uncoated and let the white mimic the white of the tub, but I could paint it the wall color. As it is, it is virtually maintenance-free - always a good thing in this house.

Here's the ugly problem:

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 10:29AM
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Here's the new panel.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 10:31AM
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Yeah, ignore the baseboard as that is slated for a refresh and paint job as well so it's lookin' rough in this shot.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 10:33AM
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EEEK! Removed a semi-built-in armoire in one bedroom, part of the reflooring project, and found this .... busted-out plaster and gaps in my mud bricks.

That room has the really old-style baseboards molded in plaster, not wood strips.

I showed it to the repair guy and he said ... "meh, we'll bring a couple of buckets of fresh mud and fill the voids. After it dries, we'll replaster."

The nice thing about adobe is that the new stuff bonds to the old stuff, and until a wall collapses you can repair it with more mud.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 11:09AM
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I'd love to join all of you, if you don't mind a late-comer. We are renovating our entire house and it has to be move-in ready in exactly one month, so I'm hoping this thread will inspire me to keep going as I see all if the wonderful accomplishments of everyone else! We just insulated our home this week. What we have down to the studs we put in batting, and everywhere else we had a company come in and spray foam. I know it will make our home more energy efficient since it had NO insulation at all, but man do I have a mess on my hands! It will only get worse as we put in Sheetrock this week. My other major accomplishment was actually deciding what to do for my son's 2nd birthday, which is in two weeks. Nothing fancy, but it feels good to have it nailed down. This week's goals include beginning to pack our old house, massively cleaning the new house, and getting Sheetrock up and that inspection scheduled.

CEF- your trees are lovely! Our new home is a short sale and the gardens have been very seriously neglected. We also have a tree that is completely dead and needs to come down, but I'm not brave enough to tackle that project. Will bring in the pros sooner or later. I will want to replant something there as it could provide some very lovely shade and privacy, but I'm no tree expert and I don't even know where to begin. We have a right of way for power behind us, so it can't get too tall because they would just cut it back and kill it. Any ideas? We are in northern jersey if that helps.

Beauty- the difference in your bathroom is amazing!

Lazy gardens- we have an old plaster house as well and have also had to deal with cracks and gaps. One room had that old-fashioned washable wallpaper that was thick as could be, but when that came down, the plaster behind it was atrocious! It's amazing what you find in old homes.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 12:54PM
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