Saturday, April 24, 2010

Such a Magical Place

It is days like today when I realize that Sparrow Haven is a very magical place to live.

While doing some yard work I wandered over to the flower bed behind the garage, with the intent of removing a tarp we have in place to kill off weeds. A mourning dove was on the tarp picking at the leaf litter from last year. As I walked to the edge of the bed, she calmly walked to the far side of the bed and looked to see what I was going to do next.

All I did was stand and look back at her. I've always had a soft spot for mourning doves and this one was so pretty it brought a lump to my throat. The fact that she allowed me to stand less than 5 feet from her made the lump turn into a frog. As I stood and watched her she went back to her foraging, at times walking to within a couple feet of me. It gave me an indescribable feeling knowing she felt I was no threat and was willing to come so close.

I watched her for a few minutes and decided the tarp could wait for another day, when the mourning dove had moved on to another place. And, if it turns out she is there again then I guess the tarp will wait for another month, or maybe even next year.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Chickens are Free

We made the decision to let the chickens have free run of the entire yard this week. The grass in their small yard was dead and even moving the fence to give them fresh grass wasn't enough to keep the grass from dying back within the week. Beside, the chickens were becoming quite adept at getting out of their fenced in area, regardless of what effort I put into fixing any loose fencing.

So, we bought some metal posts and several rolls of 4 ft green, plastic fencing and fenced in the entire yard. Well not the entire yard. There is a small 6 foot strip between the house and the driveway that they can not get into, otherwise they have the entire yard to run around in all the time. They love it. And, if I get worried they have hopped the fence all I have to do is call and they all come running for their treat.

The chickens go into their coop to lay their eggs. If it is raining they will go under their coop to stay dry. They know where their feed and water is served and will go to it when they want. The only problem we have had is they love to dig in the flower beds and herb bed. Luckily I haven't planted much yet since the weather cooled off, but I will have to figure out a way to discourage them from digging up all my freshly planted seeds. Maybe a short decorative fence will work.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

And Renovations Continue

It is amazing how spoiled I have become. Last weekend we were able to finally get the tub surround and fixtures installed. PeterC and I drew lots to figure out who got to take the first shower. I won and spent the next 20 minutes with hot water sluicing, oh so luxuriously, over my body. I'm pretty sure there was a moment of transcendental mind shift when I glimpsed Nirvana, or maybe it was all the blood rushing to my skin and away from my internal organs. Either way, it was a very delightful sensation.

During the week, I worked on filling nail pops and low areas with drywall goop and started the paint job. Mind you I could only do part of the wall as we were still waiting for the shower door people cabinet and sink people to call. But, I was able to get two, and in one place three, coats of paint put on the ceiling of the shower and onto to new drywall just outside the shower with a brush.

The paint we chose was CIL Premium Kitchen and Bath paint. It was expensive, at just over $35 a gallon but we figured the extra quality now would save us frustration in the long run. I must say we are quite happy we went with the better paint. The section that has already had three coats of paint is very smooth and glossy. What little water that splashes around the jury rigged shower curtain beads up and is easy to wipe off. Even cat paw prints wipe off easily. The can says the paint includes a ceramic layer as well as mold and mildew inhibitors, which will prevent any issues from the steam, splashes, and sweating toilet in the summer time.

The sink and vanity arrived Wednesday, so yesterday PeterC and I ripped out the old sink, patched the holes and such with drywall goop, and applied the first layer of paint to those areas. Today PeterC took out the toilet and we painted the rest of the bathroom with a coat of paint. Later this evening, a second cost of paint will be put on, the flooring put in, and the toilet put back into place.

That will leave a third coat of paint for me to do this week as well as the final caulking around the edges of the tub surround. We are still waiting to hear from the shower door people to find out when they will be arriving to install the door mouldings and cut the template for the shower glass. We are also still waiting for the window we ordered to arrive so we can install it. And, finally, we still have to stain and install the floor, door, and window mouldings.

After all that has been completed, then I will take some photos to share with you all.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Spring Break

This is Spring Break week for PeterC and we have been making good use of his time off. I already mentioned we started renovating the bathroom. It is still not complete. The shower surround is almost complete, though we have been able to shower for the last two days. We still have painting and final caulking to do for the surround to be complete. We decided to hire a company to install glass shower doors. They aren't even calling to make an appointment until sometime next week. Needless to say we have had to jury rig a shower curtain until the doors are installed.

I had originally hope that PeterC would build a custom cabinet to replace the existing vanity sink. As time and money went into the shower we realized that was not going to happen so we ordered a sink top and cabinet that we agreed would look nice in the newly renovated bathroom. It will be arriving sometime next week. Once the sink and cabinet arrive we will replace the existing sink, lay some new flooring, and paint most of the bathroom. The last bit of paint and drywall work is going to have to wait until the shower doors have been installed.

While waiting for drywall plaster and caulking to dry we took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and did some yard work. I planted the spring garden consisting of several kinds of lettuce, spinach, and broccoli. I also planted a few herbs in the still not quite ready herb bed. I just couldn't stand not planting some seeds in the sections that were ready. I also used up some flower seed packs that I have had for years. I don't know if they will sprout but if they do they will make a nice filler for the flower beds.

Spring break is almost over and we still have a lot of work on our plates. I think this is a case of our ideas were far larger than our time and money. I think the next two days will be spent cleaning and organizing the rest of the house, leaving the renovations and rest of the garden work for next weekend.