Sunday, January 23, 2011

Oh, the floor

   Well, the kitchen floor was installed in just one day!  Fantastic!


   There were some installation flaws that occurred, so the guys are coming back on Monday to rip up about half the floor and re-install it.

   None-the-less, the floor is beautiful!  And it is so much fun to have the room completely empty.  We are fantasizing about how to put it back together, totally differently than it was before.

   Not to mention the sheer joy of sliding as fast as we can across the floor in slippery socks and seeing how many bouncy balls can be kept in motion at once.

   I'll post more photos when it's all put back together (in some wonderful new way!).

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Kitchen floor, Baby!

   That's right!  Our kitchen floor is being installed as I type this!  Finally!  The years of ripping my socks and stubbing my toes on broken tiles and sub-flooring are over.  I can't wait to slide my bare feet across a smooth floor.  To be able to mop without shredding the mop-head.  Oh baby, it's going to be pure bliss....
   Part of what took us so long is that we were hoping to be able to install radiant in the kitchen/dining room floor, since there is no heat in that part of the house.  But, that would require an entire kitchen remodel because it would raise the floor ~4", which in turn would lower the counters ~4".  So... if we didn't want the counters down around our knees, we would have needed to install new cabinets/counters.  Needless to say, it was all too expensive.  But, we kept holding out for it.  We finally decided enough is enough!  We instead concluded that when we rebuild the room that was formerly our solarium (before the tree smashed through it!) we will put the woodstove down there which will be lower than the kitchen and, therefore, heat the kitchen.  So, no need for the radiant.  At least not right away.  Maybe someday....
   Rather than the expensive radiant with tile and a whole kitchen remodel, we went with easy, less-expensive marmoleum.  Tile would, of course, be our first choice.  But, with no heat on a slab foundation, it would have been way too cold.  Wood would have been an easy second choice, but since there is already SO much wood in our house, we looked again for alternatives.  Next, we decided on cork.  Then we found that cork fades over time when exposed to sunlight.  Well, only half the room gets sunlight ever, so we would have ended up with a two-toned floor.  Not so appealing.  Then we started playing around with marmoleum.  We brought home lots of different color swatches and laid them all over the place.  We had the dog practice walking on them, dropped all manner of objects on them, spilled things on them, danced on them, put them to the test....  So, marmoleum it is!  We opted for a click-together floating floor.  It is backed on the underside with cork which is nice and insulating, and no adhesives are used to lay the floor, so no off-gassing!
   Like I said, marmoleum would not have been my first choice.  But, I can't tell you how excited I am about it.  I think we'll love it.  I can't wait to post photos of the final product.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Getting crazy

   Things are starting to get a little crazy again!  I have managed not to work much over the past few months while we have been settling into homeschooling.  It has been oh so very wonderful!  But, in the past couple of weeks, work is sneaking its way back in again.  Each day a little more than the day before.  I am actually blogging right now as I await a response from my boss via email.  Need to email the boss, then post to the group, then organize the research plan, then organize that other research plan, then pack that order, then make that extract, then contact that lab, then research those grants, then convene with the group again, don't forget to communicate with the other group - oh, and that other one, then make those 20 other extracts, then coordinate that other massive project, then get all those samples out.... RIGHT AWAY!
   Oh yeah... and homeschool my kids.  And care for all those animals.  And tend to my home and land.  And squeeze in some QT with that guy I love.  Hmmmm.... Can someone remind me how I used to pull this off?  Because I forget.

Monday, January 10, 2011

   Well, jeeze... I haven't posted in a long time.  December was pretty busy.  All my spare time was spent crafting, cleaning, organizing and baking.  What an exciting month though!  We had family visit, finished lots of projects and made lots of cool things.

   On the hot topic of projects worked on, we have been so productive!  Yes!  We have had some unseasonably dry weather here in western Washington lately.  It's been beautiful, cold, sunny and DRY!  Steve and I have been taking full advantage.  We got the kids' trampoline assembled (thanks grandma Linda!), got all the firewood  neatly stacked in the woodshed, tarps dried out, folded and put away, finally cut up the trees that had to be felled to clear space for the woodshed, thinned out our raspberry patches, cleaned up the hoop house, cleared the brambles out of the orchard, and started some new sheet mulching projects.  The wood stacking took a few long days of hard work, but it feels SO good to have many cords split and stacked up off the ground and ready to go... a goal several years in the making.

   Ha!  I just looked out the window and it's snowing!  How wonderfully exciting!  What a crazy winter!  The usual months and months strait of grey, 45 degrees and raining has been frequently and extensively broken up with snow and sunshine.  I love it!  I'll take cold, snowy and sunny over mild, wet and grey any day!

   The November chick, Napali Jr, is settling in with the flock nicely.  She spent a few weeks in the house by the woodstove when the weather got really cold and her true mama was no longer interested in keeping her warm.  She happily adopted the kids as her new mama.  It was adorable.  She would contentedly perch on the side of her box and watch the kids all day as they went about their activities, but would peep loudly for them anytime they left the room.  On occasion, she would even work up the nerve to take flight from her perch and fly clear across the room to land on someone's knee or shoulder. She became so attached I was concerned she might not transition well once she had to move back outside.  Her first night out she peeped and peeped and peeped for the kids.  But then she settled in.  She still loves to be picked up and snuggled, of course, but she seems to enjoy her new place among fellow poultry.

   Well, I need to get going on some lessons with the kids.  But, I will try to get back to posting regularly.  Hope you all are staying warm and cozy and happy!