I told you guys our “flophouse chic” walls were fashionable.

Thanks for proving me right, yet again Anthro!

Photo from Anthropologie.

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Updates from around Little Red

Sometime in June:

Growing right along.


Zuke flowers!

Just in time for the Fourth of July!

Our patriotic porch.

July 7th, 2011:

Hecka tall corn.

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Mirrored Jewelry Cabinet

After being struck with inspiration a few weeks ago, I started working on my project this weekend (and may have let Patrick finish it, but that’s neither here nor there).

The mirror banging against the closet door whenever it was opened and closed was driving us insane, and I had some time to get the ball rolling, so I did.  We had a great door from the old pantry we ripped out and I figured I’d use that.  This door is HEAVY.  It’s made of several 1x1s of wood glued together to form one larger plank and it may as well be iron.  I was very concerned (and truthfully still am) about the door being too heavy for my pine and plywood frame and hinges, so wish me luck.

I measured out the mirror, the wood, and the door – since we have a door with inset horizontal panels, I wanted to ensure that it mounted in the proper place and covered the panels completely without interfering with the doorknob (I felt like little strips of panel showing on the sides would look weird, plus there is nothing wrong with more storage).

I (yes, I!) cut the heavy ass door down to size and got the measurements ready for the frame.  We picked up a few more pieces of wood and went to town.  We got some pine 1x2s and used those to make a simple frame, with shelves running across, and a plywood back.  While Patrick helped because he’s great and I’m lucky, I will have you know that yes, I wielded power tools and called the shots – he was very sweet to not take over my project just because he could do it much faster.  🙂  I even impressed him with my “let’s just use this screwdriver as a chisel” ingenuity, thanks to MacGyver my father no doubt.

Handy MS Paint style illustration to make up for the fact that I didn't take pictures.

The frame is done; now I just need to clean it up and paint it, then attach the hooks and mirror and hang it.  Photos will come along with further updates.  For now, here is the lone photo I took after my moment of “see, I can use a Skill Saw” pride (see the little discarded bit down there on the floor?).  Uh, and safety first kidlets – please don’t do these types of projects while wearing flip flops, because yes, I did hurt myself, yes, it’s probably infected, and yes, it hurts to wear shoes today.

Why thank you, it is a lovely color - it's called "Dive Bar" by Essie, and yes, giving myself a mani/pedi before starting a woodworking project was a horrible idea.

Once the frame was done and the door and frame attached with hinges, I left Patrick to attach the back of the cabinet for me while I did the dishes and started dinner.  How very domestic of us.

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The Girls are here!

Thursday morning I got a lovely phone call from my mailman – would I be home because he had a box with some sort of birds in it. . . . “HECK YES I WILL BE HOME, THOSE ARE MY CHICKS!!” I may have shouted in excited response.

Well, around 9:30 am he knocked on my door with a peeping shoebox of fun – little Blanche, Rose, Dorothy and Miss Olive had arrived, all healthy and excited to be let out of the dark box that had been their first class transportation from Connecticut to California.  Peep peep – we’re here!

Stitch meeting her snacks, er, sisters, for the first time.

Figuring out the whole food & water thing

Teeny baby Olive

Squirmy Baby Rose

Little Baby Dorothy

Little Baby Blanche

We have only had them three days or so, and they are already bigger and braver, and pooping like crazy.  Their little wing and tail feathers are starting to grow, as are their teeny little combs!  It’s the cutest thing, and I have to say it, baby chicken butts are also very cute; no joke.

Blanche is the boldest – she’s been our loner; if any chick is not in “the pile” it’s bound to be Blanche.  But she’s also the first to run up to check us out and she’s pretty comfortable being held.  Rose is skittish – she tries the most vehemently to leap out of hands that are holding her (which is probably why I had a bad dream that Stitch got her), but also has a very sassy attitude about her.  Olive is the baby – she tends to be at the bottom of the sleep pile, acting as pillow, and she is also the loudest of the bunch; especially when we take her out of the brooder away from her flock.  Dorothy is fairly mellow – she sticks with the pack and is fine with being held – a stereotypical under the radar middle child, though we expect she’ll be the biggest of the bunch once they’re fully grown.

Three days old and already saucy

Thanks to My Pet Chicken (the hatchery where we got our girls), here are some images of what they’ll look like once they grow up.

Miss Olive the Silkie Bantam:

Rose, the Rhode Island Red:

Blanche, the Silver Laced Wyandotte:

And last but not least, our star layer (I’m kind of hoping she lays blue or green eggs, but will happily accept pink, and grudgingly take white or brown), Dorothy the Easter Egger (because Easter Eggers are not purebreds, but are bred for the likelihood of laying blue or green eggs, we’re not sure exactly what she’ll look like when she feathers out):


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Drowning in a sea of projects. . .

It should come as no surprise to anyone that we are WAY behind where we’d like to be with Little Red.

Since we just have to entertain (it’s seriously like an illness for me), we have to hope that our friends and family can look beyond the chaos that we’re currently living with.  Take the Fourth of July for instance.  We’re having a bbq, and it is 7 days away.  In that time, we hope to accomplish the following (feel free to start laughing now):

  • Clean kitchen
  • Clean living room
  • Clean dining room
  • Clean bedroom
  • Clean floors throughout
  • Dust
  • Get junk off back deck and tidy up yard (hope that guests manage to ignore the giant blue tarped stack of future kitchen chaos in our carport)
  • Pick up dog poop
  • Weed whack the “lawn” (or ask a neighbor if we can borrow their mower)
  • Put up lattice along deck to hide all of that stuff we’re taking off the deck and throwing hastily underneath to a) make things look better and b) try to prevent any children or drunken party goers from climbing underneath and getting hurt by a protruding nail or something.
  • Put up last few shelves in laundry/pantry
  • Put all the junk in the dining room on said shelves
  • Finish painting the trim in the laundry/pantry
  • Put in dryer vent in laundry room
  • Hose down dirty, filthy, house (how on earth do you keep the outside of a house clean?!)
  • Get rid of creepy spider webs all over the place
  • Return broken Adirondack chair, and put together new one
  • Paint the bathroom (!! – Patrick is insane for wanting to include this one, but that’s just one busy girl’s opinion)
  • Attend a motorcycle class all night on Tuesday, and half the day on Saturday and Sunday (Patrick)
  • Have dinner with friends on Wednesday
  • Fly to Phoenix and home again on Thursday (Jen)
  • Get stuff ready for imminent chicken arrival week of July 5th
  • Figure out some way to keep Stitch from escaping as people come and go that doesn’t involve tying her up, which leads to the dreaded doggie screeching
  • Shop
  • Cook
  • Bake
  • Decorate

No problem, right?  Thank God I’m taking Friday off. . . .

Posted in Backyard, Bathroom, Bedroom, Dining Room, Jen & Patrick, Kitchen, Laundry Room, Living Room, Pantry, Stitch, The Girls | Tagged | 1 Comment

Kitchen Remodel

Well.  I didn’t think I’d be titling any posts like that any time soon.  We sort of figured our updating of Little Red was limited to the paint and plaster variety given our teeny budget – what with the whole “blowing our savings on buying a house” thing.

We figured we’d have to make do with peeling off wallpaper, repainting things, and maybe, MAYBE finding a nice cheap slab o’granite or something for an updated counter top.  We were fully prepared for this to be the case for the next several years, and in fact, weren’t even considering going that far right now.

Now that the pantry is “done” (please note, the pantry is not done) and we can actually put stuff away in there, we can focus on the other rooms.  Our bedroom is first and foremost.  One can only let one’s last image for the day be this for so long:

This makes me gag a little, even after having been away from it for almost a week now. My "flophouse chic" has lost its chic.

So yeah, see?  Bedroom first.  Then the living/dining, then the office, maybe repaint the pink (same shade as in bedroom) bathroom somewhere in there, and then – years and years from now – kitchen and bathroom remodels.

Thanks to the lovely and thoughtful and non-wasteful, Joe Nunley, our kitchen remodel just got bumped up to like, now-ish.  He’s redoing a kitchen and before pulling out the “old” stuff and just trashing it, he thought to bestow the wonderful gift of opportunity upon us.  He called Patrick to see if he wanted to come take that “old” stuff for Little Red.  And yes, yes he did want to do that.  Because this “old” stuff is still perfectly lovely – its current owners just got tired of it.

Cabinets galore, sink(s), maybe even a chunk o’granite countertop if we can pull it out without destroying it.


More cabinets and sink.

More cabinets. . .

More cabinets and counters. . . how big WAS this kitchen?!

We’ll still want to paint the cabinets – I don’t think either of us is into the light maple, but these are much nicer than the drab, old, flat front cabinets we currently have.  AND we’ll have to figure out a good layout to maximize our storage and counter space, while not making the kitchen feel too weensy.

This is one of those stories that happens to other people and you think, “Man.  Luckies.”  It feels quite a bit like winning the lottery.

Thanks Joe!!!

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My coworker Lisa was telling me about her favorite new purchase – an over the door full length mirror/jewelry case, like this one.  A quick search of tha interwebs led me to two conclusions: 1) it seriously looks handy and 2) it’s way too expensive.

Combining this with an idea that has been floating around my head ever since I got a picture frame and piece of screen to use as a jewelry display (back when I was making the stuff), a new plan has formulated.

I can totally make this.

The $16.99 mirror we just got at Bed Bath & Beyond + the door from the old pantry we ripped out + some scrap wood Patrick brought home + some of the paint we have, maybe even the color from the pantry/laundry + some little eye hooks and those hinges Patrick picked up that we don’t need for the project he bought them for = brand new full length mirror/jewelry display thingy.  I’m guessing I’ll spend less than $30 in materials making this, including the mirror.

Now to find the time. . .


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Laundry Room/Pantry Part 2

It’s nearly done now, as the photographic evidence below will show.
Pantry and Laundry Room remodel

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El jardin de La Casita Roja

This is taking us way back because I am way behind on posts.  Once upon a time, we posted an offer on Craigslist for any takers to come on over and dig up any of the plants we inherited with Little Red.  They came in droves (okay, four people came) and dug up everything from what we wanted to make our planting bed, and we went to town.

Corn, tomatoes (two kinds), lavender (two kinds), peppers (two kinds), zucchini, strawberries, and flowers all went in.  In smaller planters, went basil, oregano, chives, cilantro and thyme.

We chopped and turned and scattered poop and stuff, and turned some more, and then planted our little future dinners, watered, and waited.

Grow little zuke, grow!

Now, a month later, we’re going strong.  Only two strawberry plants bit the dust, the tomatoes and corn are going like gangbusters, the peppers are maintaining (come on peppers, show some gusto), the zukes have finally broken through (we had to replant after a certain four legged whirling dervish scattered the first mounds), the lavender is . . . I dunno, growing or something, and the herbs are going nuts (except the chives, which are exactly the same size as they were when I planted them – wtf chives?!).  My basil has gotten a bit rubbery though, what’s up with that?  I mean, it still tastes good, so I guess it’s not a big deal, but the leaves are very firm and thicker than I’m used to.

Corns and 'maters and lavenders and bachelor's buttons.

Little bitty berries.

We also adopted some plants from my step-grandmother’s backyard – sweet little flowers which I put in a planter (and still have more to go) and they’re doing quite well.

The only thing that’s suffering is the gorgeous hydrangea my mom got us as a housewarming gift – it was so beautiful, and then looks like it got scorched during a heat wave.  I just trimmed everything back and will keep my fingers crossed.  The plant is quite large, so I think it needs to be planted asap, but we don’t have a spot for it quite yet.

And yes, in the photos below, I had just watered.  Not the prettiest, sorry.

Look at those zukes now!

It's like a jungle!

The hydrangea we inherited with the house is blooming like woah.

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Farewell to the Tetanus Shed

Lucky lucky me to have such a great and handy dad – my pops and stepmom drove out from Colorado and spent a week out here to see the house and help out (Aylene did some SERIOUS work on the front yard – it looks fantastic now, but I’d still like to change a lot about it – my neighbors are stepping it up to stay in line now).

When it wasn’t raining (stupid rain!), Dad pulled down the Tetanus Shed, and put up some new fence boards – but not before Stitch escaped, which I know because my neighbor called me in the middle of the day to tell me he had her.  The backyard looks much bigger and YAY!  No more tetanus shed!

Backyard before. Note tetanus shed in back right corner.

Shed remnants.

Minus a shed, plus some new fencing.

However – taking the tetanus shed down left some of our feathered friends and their nest a little vulnerable, though they seem to be doing okay.  So far their biggest threat is me, as I go peering through branches to see their cute little pale blue speckled eggs; or Stitch as she chases them around the yard (The Girls are in for it).  The FUN part has been the archaeological dig site underneath where the Tetanus Shed was.  Stitch has found so many super fun things to play with – desiccated rats, vertebrae, jawbones, old dried out poo, various flotsam and jetsam, poison, returned checks from 1971 ($2 to a church charity for boys!), a rain boot (high heeled, with laces – I guess you could keep your heels on and slip these guys on over), an ashtray, and a ton of spiders and centipedes.

This jawbone is not bluetooth enabled.

We’ve since then pulled out the rest of the jades, and most of the junipers, and moved the bricks (aka Spider Town) and pavers; creating a bunch of pseudo holes that Stitch is helping us make bigger every time we turn our backs on her.  Sand is so easy to dig.  She could be in our neighbors yard in 10 minutes if she really wanted to be.  Oh, and what do you know, she DID want to be, and it didn’t take 10 minutes, it took more like one.  The extra exciting part is that it’s easy to get out of their yard, and sniffing around the neighborhood unattended is superfun.


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