Saturday, January 1, 2011

 The original 1973 kitchen with a drop ceiling and fluorescent lights.  After 35 years, the electric coil burners still worked but the oven didn't.  Yeah for microwaves.

This is how I had it set up.  Everything was accessible.  The pot lids on the back splash I affectionately called my "hubcap collection".

Now I have a gas cook top, cherry cabinets and corian counter tops.  I have to redefine "accessible" but it's working for me.  (Old dog, new tricks category)

Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 guest bath remodel

Unfortunately, I have NO photos of the original bathroom.  I could ask a neighbor for a photo of her guest bath since our houses were built at the same time using the same materials and floor plan.  However, I hesitate in asking her for an ugly "before" photo. 

In words, the original bathroom was narrow and tiny.  The soffits (2!) made it worse.  If guests wanted to shower and change clothes, there was no where to put things.  We won't talk about the towel bar falling off the wall every third time a towel was put on it.....

Another "feature" was that if you were at the front door and looked down the hallway on your right, you could see the toilet through the open bathroom door (and unless occupied, it was always open.)

Now, coming down the hall, this is the view of the new "salle de bain". 

The close up in the mirror shows the bath/shower.  Dang. I should have turned on more lights.

 There, that's a little better.  I LIKE lights!!
And here's one over the shower.  I tell ya, NO MORE SOFFITS!!!

You don't need a picture, but trust me, the tub is deeper now too.  It doesn't have jacuzzi jets but neither do I have to put my feet up on the wall if I want to get my shoulders under the water!  Woohoo!!

2010 the first project - master bath remodel

Basic, simple bathroom (cleared of my clutter).  I didn't get a photo of the soffit... the dropped ceiling that loomed over the sink and toilet.  This house was big on soffits.  In the bathrooms, in the bedroom, in the kitchen.  They made the normally low ceilings worse.  Acck!  

And here we have the "frosted" glass shower door.  Too bad you can't tell that it's sagging off one hinge and the catch to keep it closed is missing....
I totally endorse built-in, tiled ledges for shampoos and such.  My old shower caddy was "icky"!
and now, the new clear glass door with subway tile.   

The best part about this photo (and the new bathroom) is the ceiling!  It isn't any higher than in any other ranch style house but with the soffit gone, it seeeeeems so much higher.  It makes all the difference!!

And the total view from the bedroom.  Tiny bathrooms are hard to photograph.  I don't know how those camera men on HGTV do it!

2010 Kitchen remodel

It was too late to get a shot of it as a little breakfast nook under the light.  Oh well. 

The wall between the kitchen and dining room is going to come down.

That's a refridgerator with all the cartoons and such stuck to it.

You can't see the backyard at all from the kitchen.


The wall is gone.  Hard wood flooring has been installed.  The backyard can be enjoyed.  Still missing the dining room table.

Another "before" view.  This is taken from the other direction.  We are in the dining room and are looking around "the wall" into the kitchen.

View from the dining room into the kitchen.  The wall is gone and laying the hardwood floor is in process.  The living room is on the left with someone coming in the front door.

Viewing again from the dining room.  The wall is definitely gone with a new pennisula in it's place!  (The living room is still on the left.)

Another view just because it doesn't cost anything to add another photo!  Haha.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 The year of the remodel - the sunken living room

I had a mantle made and tile work done to cover the original, circa 1973, white brick fireplace. (See Polaroid).

 I was proud of the job, however, pride goeth before the fall.  Upon inspection, plywood was left exposed along the edge of the tile.  It was.... ahem...a fire hazard.  Sheesh..... (rolling my eyes).

I lived with it as a decorative piece.  For 15 years, it was good for burning candles in it, ala Martha Stewart.

 When I wanted the floor raised, it was an easy decision to remove the fireplace altogether.  It was easier and cheaper than somehow raising it from the sunken living room and fixing it too.  

Here it is before it completely goes away......  

The fireplace is gone.  The floor is raised and a window installed.....

and now, with a new view, it looks like I need to do some yard work......

Friday, June 12, 2009

June: The month of deaths and birds. I’m taking care of the neighbor's two chickens and small garden for a couple of weeks. It’s a bit of a bother to go let the chickens out in the morning and then go shut them in at night. Yet, when I approach the coop and hear their little clucky noises, I change my mind. Henrietta and Penelope are endearing. (Or, at least now they are. They might not seem so fetching with the winter dark, cold and rain.)

The home-made coop has a pitched roof made of a wavy, clear plastic. I can see the 2 chickens inside doing whatever it is that chickens do. One morning I observed both on the long perch extending the length of the structure. One of them was walking carefully along the bar, heading for the other side of the shelter. She made good progress until she reached the other, all hunkered down, roosting in the middle of the bar ~ blocking the path. The first didn't stop or even hesitate. She just dug in her claws and climbed her way over the back of the one that was in the way. (Squaaawk!) It made me laugh.

It's funny watching them through that wavy plastic and see them watching me back. They look at me so intently. I'm thinking they are hoping for some fresh feed but then again, they might be wondering about my distorted image as they look through 1) chicken eyes and 2) wavy plastic. What does a chicken think?? What does a *captive* chicken think?

One evening, in the warmth of the wonderful summer air, I walked to Lamb’s Thriftway for a few items. I was passing a field when there was a fluttering of feathers and a bird fell from a tree into the tangled grasses. I didn’t see any movement after it fell so I crossed the ditch to investigate.

It was a sparrow of sorts. I wasn’t sure what kind. It was lying still in the open field. It was breathing heavily and blinked at me as it lay there. Its feet were curled tightly and one wing was outstretched. I watched it for some time wondering if it was a fledgling out of the nest for exercise or an older bird that was dying. I looked up for a nest and parent birds. Nothing was evident.

Studying this poor creature, I decided it was not healthy and was probably dying. I wished I had water to give it…and wondered if it had been able to find water during the hot day. I wished I could scoop it up and take it to Audubon for treatment. I also knew that picking it up would be an additional stress which would certainly kill it. I left it, hoping a cat wouldn’t find it and continued on my way.

On my return, I checked on it again and found it on its back. It was still breathing…only lightly. I knew it would soon expire. I’ve thought of the different deaths I’ve dealt with during the past two months. Disease, accident, and incidents of age, all led to a loss and an inevitable gap in the circle of people I know. I reflected on my friend battling cancer in Idaho and of others here closer to home.

I mused on how deaths occur to animals in the natural world. Wildlife author Ernest Thompson Seton said, “The life of a wild animal always has a tragic end.” This bird would be the first I have witnessed that just falls from a tree and doesn’t have the strength or ability to save itself. No family or friend was there to help – just a passing human who let it be. I thought of the scripture where Christ says, “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father [knowing]. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:29-31)

My Idaho friend no longer has any head hairs to count but Heavenly Father is aware of her fight, her body and her spirit. I don’t know what or when her end will be. Or mine either. I don’t know if the little bird was old or maybe had been poisoned. It died alone, without notice. Not even by me. I had walked away after I saw that it was weakening with each moment.

I’m hoping that as we live our routine, daily lives, we are surrounded by people who care about us. I pray that when the time arrives for any one of us to leave Earth that people either known or unknown by us, will be there with us, to ease our transition through to the next life with their protection, concern and love for us. Each one of us is worth that care.

I am comforted to know that my value is greater than that of many sparrows even as they are all loved by Him, our Creator, my Father.

Friday, February 27, 2009

From Oman to Dubai for stake conference with Elder Jeffrey Holland presiding. Incredible. Dubai was crazy with construction everywhere. Paper maps and the GPS were worthless as detours and re-routings were everywhere. Freeways were 7 lanes wide in each direction. Hotels being built everywhere. Can't describe it except to say perhaps it was crushing. Traffic and populations were mixed, tight and busy like New York City. Yet, in the desert, it had the mega porportions as you'd find in Las Vegas. It was an amazing place but not where I'd want to visit again.