Sunday, May 31, 2009

Kitchen Remodel

Now that we finally have our keys, we have been able to start on the inside of the house. Our two main pre-move in goals are to remodel the kitchen and finish the hardwood floors in the whole house.

We had talked about putting a hole in the kitchen wall in order to open it up to the living room...problem was that I had never done this before. I was pretty sure I knew what needed to be done, but just needed some assurance. Thankfully FIL (for father in law) was free and willing to help us out. (I'm glad I didn't do it all myself because I have been learning so much. Next time I think I could do it!)



We made the spice rack smaller to make room for the counter tops

The header is in place, the wall is ready to be finished off and the old floor has been removed and is now almost ready for the new hardwood floors. Next I think we will finish and paint the walls and then be ready for the new floor. The hole that we built will soon be our new breakfast bar!

While the boys were working in the garage, the girls were working hard in the garage sanding and priming the cabinets. The white of the cabinets will be a nice contrast to the dark hardwood floors Morgan picked out for the kitchen.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Yard work with my beautiful wife

*** Warning...this was a long weekend I wrote this while trying not to fall asleep :) ***

This weekend has been a busy one. We had planned on tearing out the old kitchen this weekend but the closing feel through and we did not get the keys. We SHOULD be getting the keys tomorrow...I hope.

This could have been a blessing in disguise because it forced us to take time and work on other project for the house. We found all but one part of the fountain that we are going to be making for the fountain in the courtyard. We made two stepping stones (one each) and made some killer headway on the front yard.

To make the stepping stones, we went to the local thrift shop on bought a stack of plate for $7 and some mix from the craft store (I'm pretty sure this is just concrete so next time I'm just going to buy a bag and save some money). We took the plates home and smashed them on the ground to get our tiles.
We then made and pour the mix into our molds (plant liner trays) and added our design.
A day later and they are enjoying their new home in our garden. I'll try and remember to take some picture for you.

Over the course of the weekend, our new yard went from this:

Next on the list is to get keys and then remove the kitchen! Stay tuned!

Friday, May 22, 2009


Hopefully we will be able to start our potatoes this weekend but looking back, I'm glad that we had to wait because we just learned some new potato information.

I had no idea that there were different season lengths for potatoes and the longer the season, the better they grow in hills or towers.

If you plant a short or early season potato in a tower, you are still only going to get fruit in the first 6-10 inches of reason to bury under 3feet of good soil. Mid and Late season potatoes are the best option for hills or towers.

Early potatoes (short season) 60-80days
Main potatoes (mid-season) 80-100days
Storage potatoes (Long Season) 100-130days

Turns out that we got lucky when we bought our taters. We are going to plant Russets (storage) and Reds (main) so both so do great in our tire towers.

For more information check out:
Seed potatoes - Ronniger (check out their catalog and growers guide for lots of great tips)
Potatoes from seed to storage
Growing potatoes in pots

Good luck!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bought a house

The papers are signed and we handed over our down payment check. It's crazy to think that we just bought a house! I think that this was a great decision and I am very excited. If everything goes well, we will get the keys on Friday and then start tearing out the kitchen this weekend.
The signing seemed a bit rushed but we got through it okay. The title company (Service Link) is a huge pain in the butt to work with....seems like everything is wait, wait, wait and then RUSH! I am looking forward to getting the keys and being done with them.

Our weekend plans are to remove the tile floor in the kitchen, the cabinets, stove, and sink. We are also going to transfer our garden boxes and plant the garden. We got a great pink bush from our friends that we are going to plant in the front yard this weekend as well.

If your bored this weekend or just feel like helping, come on over :)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Awesome Wife +Craigslist = Killer Deals

For those that don't already know, about three years ago Morgan was able to find us a $600 Pottery Barn table (and chairs) for $10! Today drove to Dayton (about 50 mins away) and bought a $1800-$2400 gas range and oven for only $400! I don't know how she does it but she can smell a deal a mile away!
This is not the exact one that we bought but is the same make and model. I'll take a picture of it when we bring it to the new house.

Tomorrow (Sunday) we are going to do our final walk through of the house and we might even be able to close and get keys on Monday! If not Monday, our close date is Wednesday the 20th.

I PROMISE to take picture tomorrow when we do the walk through...won't be until 5pm though.

After we got home with the stove, we went to our new neighbors house (friends of ours) and built two 4'x4'x10" planter boxes and a worm harvester - We'll use this to separate the worms from the castings in about a month. I was hoping to be able to use it to separate the rabbit manure from the pine shavings but I need to build another one with chicken wire that is smaller the 1/4".

We built the boxes at our friend's house so that once we close we will be all set to drop the boxes in the ground, add dirt and plant. We are pushing the planting window but I think we'll be okay...although I still haven't ordered our dang potatoes.

We are also going to get some measurement for the kitchen tomorrow and start planning the layout out. You can see our possible color choices at Morgan's blog here. Please be sure to leave a comment and vote for your favorites.

Monday, May 11, 2009


We had the inspections last week and things are a go! We have our work cut out for us but I don't think it will be anything more then we can handle. Is seems that we are still on track to close on the 20th of this month.

Here is the jist of what the inspector told us:
  • He's glad we didn't buy the other house
  • Needs about a day worth of an electrical work (not bad)
  • Roof needs to be patch in a few spots
  • Some dirt to wood contact
  • Kitchen and floors need some love
  • Need to reinforce the basement window well
That's really about it. We actually already had the roof fixed (per the loan agreement) so that's done with and should be good for about 15 years.

Before we move in, we are going to do the following:
  • Redo the kitchen - tile, cabnets, stove, breakfast bar, halfwall/arches, fridge
  • Paint
  • Have the hardwood floors refinished
  • Move/plant the garden
I am also going to be taking apart the basement (so we can redo it to code) and dig out a planter box in the front yard to deal with any damage caused by the dirt to wood contact. This will be my on going summer project.

It seems that everyone we know really wants to plan our kitchen so we are going to measure everything out and allow people to "submit plans to the committee" as Morgan says. BIL (Brother in Law) has suggest that we allow people to "bid" on the kitchen...any takers?!

I promise to take pictures when we get to see the house again.

Don't forget to ride to work on Friday!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Worm Brochure

Good Morning, good morning! It's Friday!

Last night I put together a worm brochure to take to work because I wanted to be able to share the joys of vermicomposting with my coworkers. Here is the link the brochure. You can either view it online or download and print it.

If you have some information that you would like to be included in the next Vermicomposting brochure, just let me know.

You can email me @

Related posts: Mold okay?
Kitchen scraps to Garden Gold
We've got worms

Meat your Meat: Chickens

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? I still cannot believe that "farms" like this are allowed to exist. I know not every chicken "farmer" is like this but if this is legal, how do you know which eggs or chicken you buy was raised like this?

What brand of chicken and eggs do you buy?

Related Posts:
Pescatarian Update - Meet your Meat: Pigs