Volunteer Strawberry

May 24, 2016 § Leave a comment

Last year, Mr. E planted strawberries. We didn’t get any – critters got to them before us – but the plants are blossoming again. There’s even one that’s somehow gotten outside the patch:

Volunteer Strawberry

This one was among the first to have flowers; the rest have caught up in the last day or two. Here’s hoping we’ll get to enjoy some this year!

An Adorable Arm Knitting Project

May 18, 2016 § Leave a comment

Aaaaaah!

Anne Flax Twine Arm Knit Bunnies

Anne at Flax & Twine.

Such a pair of cute (and huge!) arm knit bunnies. This fun project is by Anne at Flax & Twine; go visit her blog for more pictures!

Work on the House Returns

May 12, 2016 § Leave a comment

Last fall, we had drywall cracks in the bedroom and master bath fixed by a professional since our efforts didn’t take. Unfortunately, the cracks came back this past winter. Our repair guy said that if that happened, there might be a more serious problem and we should call him back. So, we did.

Turns out that there were structural issues. A vertical support beam that should’ve been solid was build hollow instead (apparently that kind of a beam construction is called a pocket), and couldn’t bear the load. That’s why our bedroom door corners cracked. No wonder we couldn’t get them to stay away!

Adding Support Beam 1st Fl w Mark

We got a beautiful hole in the stairway wall and an added 2-by-4 for support (which I lined with orange in the photo above to see it better). Seriously, I’m not kidding about the beautiful part. This crew is so neat and tidy!

There was also a second spot where the support was inadequate. A wall continuing up through the first floor to the second was essentially floating between two floor joists, and consequently the first floor flooring had started to sag. This photo is not at its worst, but it’s noticeable:

Green Room Floor Sag

We got a new lolly post in the basement underneath the wall / sag. It required a hole to be dug into the foundation, and a lot of work, but it’s soooooo worth it not to have the house slowly fall down under you.

Basement New Support Post

Neither of us is upset at having an additional post to deal with in the basement. Sure, it’s a little inconvenient, since we’ve been used to not having a post there. However, it’s actually in a place that we’ll be able to easily accommodate – essentially just push a shelf against it and forget it’s there. And it could’ve been so much worse. (Plus, the whole house-not-falling-down-under-us thing!)

In addition, the same issues caused the floor to sink in a few places all the way upstairs by as much as 0.25” / 6 mm or so. Aaaaah! That we hadn’t noticed at all. The guys added support under the basement stair landing to combat it.

Basement Stairs w Added Support

The orange line in the photo above shows you the new support; there’s another set at the other end of the landing.

It’s such a relief to have all of this stuff done. There’s still some patching and repainting to do, and a back door rot issue to check out (hey there, mushroom from last fall and persistent ant issue), but we’re close to being done – hopefully for a good long while.

Short April Recap

May 9, 2016 § Leave a comment

End of April was busy. We had a houseguest from home for three weeks…

Finn Visit

…and, correspondingly, a lot of laundry. One day I ran out of drying rack space. Since it was sunny, I hung the two pairs of still-damp wool socks on the curtain rail to finish drying:

Socks Drying Sunny Window

Well, why not!:)

Apart from visits to area attractions, there was also out-of-state training, movies and eating out. We also played board and card games. And Mr. E got fantastic non-job-related news, plus a promising job-related lead. Life is good in that sense.

The weather has been surprisingly uneven, though. We had cool, even cold days for April (see the wool socks above!). Then the temps swung in the other direction and it was marvelously warm and sunny. Flowers have been out for weeks already, but the grass took time coming. Here are a few clumps of dandelions on a dry patch of the lawn.

Dandelions Dry Patch Mashup

I’ve never been terribly fond of dandelions, but this spring they were very welcome – that dry patch has been looking so desolate. Plenty of rain showers at the end of April and early May did the trick, though; it’s much greener now. (But it’s colder again, brr. This past weekend we were 10 degrees F / about 6 degrees C below average for early May.)

How was your April?

Colors in the Kitchen

April 4, 2016 § 2 Comments

A few lovely kitchen pics for a sunny spring day!

Painted kitchen drawers make for a lovely surprise glimpse of yellow:

Lindsay Everything LEB Yellow Kitchen Drawer

Lindsay at Everything LEB.

By Lindsay at Everything LEB.

A wonderful combination of white and bright colors by Jutta at Kootut murut:

Jutta Kootut murut Kitchen Remodel2

Jutta at Kootut murut.

Orange walls and accents from the home of Adelle Robinson and Justin Keefe, found via design*sponge:

DSponge Adelle Robinson Justin Keefe adelle3

Adelle Robinson and Justin Keefe; via design*sponge.

I’m not a friend of subway tile, but in the picture below they’re tolerable (but still not handsome enough to tempt me):

DSponge Katie Graham 4katie

Katie Graham; via design*sponge.

That yellow toekick on the other hand – very nice idea! Photo by Derek Swalwell; found via design*sponge.

Last but not least, blue kitchen cabinets!

Desire to Inspire 7_Balmoral1arent and pyke

Arent and Pyke; via Desire to Inspire.

Design by Arent and Pyke; found via Desire to Inspire. Such gorgeous floors, too! (I’d hate to change the bulbs, though; I’m not that good with heights.)

I’m taking the rest of the month off, blogwise. Happy April!

(Note: I do not not publish sponsored content, or accept gifts or discounts to write about products. Blog posts are based on my personal opinion.)

Takatalvi

April 4, 2016 § Leave a comment

Ha! Just after saying we’re not likely to get snow anymore, the forecast changed into…

April 2016 Snow Forecast

…snow yesterday, snow today and some night frosts ahead. Last week it was so nice and spring-like: budding leaves, first flowers and spring birds. Yesterday, it was still the same – except with a layer of snow. Here’s a view from yesterday morning:

April 2016 takatalvi

In Finland, we call this kind of return of winter takatalvi. Word-for-word it translates back winter or maybe after winter. The concept doesn’t seem to exist in English, so I can’t translate it any better.

Well, after today, it really, truly seems to be it for the winter. Let’s hope.:)

Last Views of Winter

March 28, 2016 § 1 Comment

Two winter views, now that the snow’s all gone and we’re not likely to get any more. Funny window reflections on the snow:

Reflections on Snow

Fireplace earning its keep:

Fire Feb 2016

The weather’s been unusually warm. In sunny spots, a few wild flowers are already blossoming – I’ve seen dandylions and coltsfeet (voikukkia ja leskenlehtiä) and tiny little white ones I can’t identify. There are some small leaf buds on various trees and bushes, too.

Yay, spring!

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