Seven years ago, when we renovated the entire bottom floor of the house, we put in a new kitchen. Being located in Sweden we made the nearly automatic choice of IKEA for all of our cabinets, shelves, doors and counters. We went with solid wood counters made of beech. We like the look and feel of having natural countertops. When I put them in, however, I didn't truly appreciate how much love and care would be required over the years in order for us to maintain their fresh look. I have now completed my fifth total sanding and oiling of the beech counters and while I see it as a labor of love, I can partially appreciated why people tend to go with laminate countertops or marble.
If you have ever read any of my previous blog posts you'll be familiar with the large backyard deck I built a couple of years ago. I completed it pretty swiftly, but it took me a couple of years to decide how I wanted to build a place for a cozy fire. Sweden can have some chilly evenings in the summer (not even going to mention spring and fall) and it's also a handy way to keep these damned mosquitoes at bay. Anyway, I'd left an open corner in the deck for just this purpose and my neighbor had lovingly welded a metal container for a fire pit for my birthday a couple years back, so I finally decided what I would do with my fire space.
We have a 10 month old poodle that has decided she likes to explore more than we would like her to explore and we have now had to build a fence with a gate to keep her in the backyard. Actually, we have been wanting to do something like this since we moved into the house, but hadn't gotten around to it until now. As luck would have it, I had just enough leftover pressure-treated lumber from my backyard deck project to cover the materials I would need for this project. I also had enough screws, cement, nails, oil, paint and hinges along with nearly enough brackets for the entire gate and fence. I had to buy 2 metal brackets, so the entire new cost for this project came out to be a tad over 2 dollars. Not bad, me thinks!
Now that our children have grown-up some (8 and 11) and we're certainly not expecting any grandchildren in the near future, the sandbox I built so lovingly built 8 years ago had become a clunky eyesore in our backyard. We didn't want to drag it away and leave a square patch of soil in the yard and I didn't have anywhere to store for the next +15 years; as I cannot let go of things I have over-engineered.
Luckily, the wife came up with a brilliant idea of planting a little olive tree in the center and surrounding it with a few Mediterranean-type plants and flowers like lavender.
Earthtronics, an energy efficiency and technology company, is offering a rooftop wind turbine for sale to homeowners. The turbine, produced by Honeywell, is said to operate across a wider range of wind speed than traditional wind turbines, making it suitable for home rooftop installation.
Between the heat wave we experienced a couple of weeks ago and the rain of this past week, our fruit plants and trees have really popped.
Many families can be identified by their favorite foods and dishes. Ours is no different, except that ours is a drink. We're a smoothie family. Each one of us loves our smoothies in the morning, afternoon or evening. Unfortunately, our family has been suffering for awhile since the youngest in the family broke the knob off our beloved blender a couple of months ago. That should be an easy fix we thought, but, try as I might, there was no easy fix.
Following the renovation the living room we had some extra boards and paint plus with all of the tools still upstairs we decided to go ahead with giving the hallway a facelift. Initially we though a new coat of paint would do the trick, but we had one of our usual conversations that tend to result in more work. This time we came to the conclusion that it could be nice to do some of the corner frame moulding like we did in the living room but with thinner boards as the hallway is much smaller.
So my neighbor made the plunge and bought himself a hot tub. Not one of those fancy ones with jets, but a rustic fire-heated hot tub that looks like a large wooden barrel. We gave it a test run the other night before he gets it positioned up on the hill where there is more of a view to enjoy (and mosquitoes to be had).
The wife and I had the idea that good project to tackle this past winter was to oil the hardwood floor in the upstairs living room. Of course, to do such a thing require one (me) to remove all the furniture. Once that was sorted we had look around the room and decided the yellow/beige wallpaper wasn't our style and since we had done most of the rest of our house to our liking maybe some new wallpaper or a coat of paint would do the trick.