Thank you, Mike Holmes

I started on all-natural kick a couple years ago.  Back then I was more focused on cleaning supplies; I thought that something that created such noxious fumes could not be good for you, so I started inching towards all-natural cleaning products.  It wasn’t that big of a deal because I’m usually the one to buy cleaning products and because I do most of the cleaning.  Regardless of my efforts, I have been unable to get bleach out of the house.  Tanner has been completely convinced for years that vinegar has its limits and that there are some jobs that only bleach can handle.  Well, my friends, last night I was vindicated.

Mike Holmes1 s3x4 al Thank you, Mike Holmes Tanner and I were watching Holmes Inspection on HGTV to pass the time before Mad Men.  Mike Holmes is an expert on just about any home-related construction subject, meaning that he’s someone Tanner will actually pay attention to.  Mike and his team help homeowners fix major (and often dangerous) problems with their homes.  When Mike’s team found mold in the walls of a house, he emphatically said that bleach was worse for you than mold and that you should simply use soap and water to clean affected areas.  I immediately looked at Tanner; he knew what was coming before I even said it, so all I said was a quite spirited “Thank you, Mike Holmes!”  After that, I think I will be able to get rid of the bleach.  Hallelujah!

Garden Update

I mentioned a while ago that I was looking into starting a garden.  Well, it’s actually going to happen.  We decided to tear down the shed in the back corner of the yard, set up the garden there, and put a smaller shed elsewhere.  The whole process has taken a bit longer than I thought it would.

IMG 8669 Garden UpdateJust cleaning up the brush around the shed took an evening, in part because Tanner’s weed whacker wasn’t working at the time.

IMG 8683 Garden UpdateWe tore down the shed rather quickly, but the clean up has been lengthy.  Our county doesn’t pick up construction materials, so we’ve had to dispose of it ourselves.  Luckily, Tanner has a truck, but it has still taken 2 truckloads to get rid of everything.  Then, in-between truckloads, we discovered that a wildebeest of some sort had taken up residence under the floorboards.  We don’t know what kind of animal it was, but it was quite large.

IMG 8926 Garden UpdateWe heard movement under the floorboards, so Tanner just lifted it up by the middle joist, and we saw the body of a Hitch-sized animal–30-40 lbs–hiding on the far side, which was definitely enough for us to drop the floor and retreat.  I think that scared it off, but just to make sure, we propped up the floor the next day and left it up overnight.  Who knows how long that thing was living down there.  We’re thinking it was either an opossum or a raccoon, which would explain why the dogs get so uppity when we let them out at night.  Anyway, today I’m going to finish cleaning up back there and try to grade the land a bit, but I think we should be ready to go by the end of the month, at least I hope so.

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Small changes, big impact

When we bought this house, there weren’t house numbers.  Scratch that, there were house numbers, they just weren’t on the house.  They were on a dilapidated lantern (connected to the house by an extension cord buried in the ground!) located at the front of the yard.  Well, it didn’t take long for the “numbers” part of the lantern to break, making it very difficult for new people to find our house.

Feb 026 225x300 Small changes, big impactSome time later we bought new house numbers, and more time later they were installed.  Yay! We finally had house numbers! Several months after that, we decided to paint the house gray, which was really exciting.  Then we realized that the house numbers that we had practically just put up weren’t going to work.  They were brushed nickel and would completely blend in with the paint, essentially rendering them useless.

570d3584 5b4a 4876 a378 b89effa91aae 300 Small changes, big impact

The only options were to buy new house numbers or to paint what we already had, so I took a page from Sherry’s (from Young House Love) playbook and suggested we paint them oil-rubbed bronze.  Our mailbox had been spray-painted to match the previous house color, so that obviously needed an update as well.  The mailbox thus joined our house numbers on the way to oil-rubbed-bronze-ville.

  Feb 0251 225x300 Small changes, big impact

We’re happy with the results; we might even stick with this mailbox–it’s not so ugly anymore.  To see the big picture and also the before, check out yesterday’s post.

A whole new house

So I failed to mention this before, but we actually did finish painting the house in November, which made for some very cold mornings on the roof of the back porch.

Nov 002 300x225 A whole new house

Both of our fathers came up to help.

And now that Tanner has been working hard to replace the trim, it’s starting to look really great–almost better than I thought possible.

20th St 006 300x225 A whole new house

The day we closed on the house 3 years ago

Yes, that is an old fridge sitting on the front porch.  In this image, it’s tough to see how bad the paint really was.  To see a close-up, check out this post from when we first started this project.

Feb 023 300x225 A whole new houseToday

The new seamless half-round gutters look pretty snazzy, as well.   There’s still more we want to do to the front of the house, but that won’t happen until next summer.  We also (obviously) still have some cleaning up to do, and the old trim is still hanging out in our front yard, but it really is a vast improvement.  Needless to say, we’re thrilled with the results, and it feels like a completely different house.

Re: Happy Birthday!

I feel like an a-hole.  I totally forgot that yesterday was Hitch’s first birthday.  It’s not like she knows the difference, but she did look happier than usual when we sang her happy birthday.  Anyway, here’s a quick little montage of a year in the life of a cute puppy: