New House Update

The “new” house is starting to come along…
We are our own contractors so juggling everything is tricky, but worth the money we’ll save.
We’ve always done everything ourselves, but this is just too big a job to do it all. 
Floors have been started (sort of) with patches done and kitchen rough sanded.   They are all quartersawn old growth red oak.  Very pretty.  

Floors “Before and After” Sanding

I ordered the floor stain/finish from Monocoat.  It’s a NO VOC product that is supposed to be very durable.  The thing I liked about it was that if there are scuffs or dings you don’t have to resand.  Good to have tough stuff when you have three wild kids and a big dog.   I’ll let you know how it comes out and holds up!

Color we picked for stain in whole house

We have the cabinet style and plan done- cabinetmaker will start next week actually building! 
I wanted simple and historically accurate so we picked a basic Arts & Crafts/Shaker style door with a small bead on frame and inset doors.  (I didn’t realize there were so many choices.)  I want exposed hinges, but not sure what color yet or what knobs.

From “This Old House”- LOVE the tile

From BHG- Love the use of different colors

We got our fridge and dishwasher in the scratch and dent room at our local appliance store.  They are panel ready and much nicer than what we could have gotten for the same price otherwise.   I still am in limbo over the range and hood.  I want a nice one- I love to bake and most of the “fancy” 36″stainless ranges have smaller ovens than you’d imagine despite the range size.  Also, a lot of those are really more for looks and not function from what I’m reading.  This will be my big splurge though.  I’m leaning towards the Bertrazonni, an Italian range that I found online (on sale AND with a free hood.) 

but… the one I’m drooling over is this…

Isn’t it a Harley Davidson for a kitchen?
  Sigh… really don’t think it’s worth the extra dough though. 

I’m off to paint the kids’ rooms and contemplate kitchen colors. 

Green Floors?

1930’s Linoleum (2 layers down)– so cool!

Oak Floors under old linoleum!!

I’ve been trying to find a natural product for refinishing the wood floors in the new house.

  • Polyurethane is nasty (chemical-wise has lots of lovely VOC’s) and scratches so badly.   We had the floors in our house now redone ten years ago and they have scratches from roller skates, toy cars, dog claws…
  • The floors under the kitchen floor we tore out are original but worn to a different color/sheen because they weren’t waxed as regularly.  Plus they still have the backing from the 1930’s linoleum on top which needs to be sanded off.  
  • Wax products you can buy have yummy stuff like xylene and cresol unless you can just use beeswax or another European wax (but they are expensive and not as durable as I’d like)

I just found a product called Rubio Monocoat and think it might be the answer I’ve been looking for! It’s made from flax, and has zero VOC’s.  Very safe and is LEED certified. 
We’ll have to sand the floors, (but really need to anyway considering the kitchen and patches from floor furnaces and electrical work,) then just paint this oil on and wipe off excess.  If we use the fast drying one it’s done in a day!  They have lots of colors to choose from but think we will just go with the natural color of the wood.
In the playroom we still have to lay floors (and subfloors.)  Since it’s upstairs we want something that absorbs sounds, and still not certain what we’re going to put there.  I’m leaning towards wood with an underlayment of soundproof material, or cork (also with an underlayment.)  The kids want carpet, but I’m not a fan of the chemicals in carpet or the dust that it collects.  Anyone have ideas?

On Not Buying It…

I really want my family to take the “Not Buying It” challenge for at least half of 2011,but haven’t worked out our specifics yet.  Thinking we’ll do an exception for shoes (I’m sorry, used shoes are not my thing, especially for kids) and we’ll see what else.  Might have to do exceptions for some home things as we’re still working on the rent house and who knows if I can find what I need at Habitat for Humanity Restore or Freecycle.   I’ll keep you posted after our meeting.
*On another note, does anyone have any idea why my right sidebar won’t show up?  I have done all I want to and nothing.  I think I’m going to wait and just redo it all when I do my revamp sometime soon.  


On Houses for Chicks

For Christmas my chickens got a new house!  
Cole and his pets

This was a long time coming.  We had hired a man to come build a coop from plans… he said it would be done by Thanksgiving.  (Two weeks after Thanksgiving he showed up and built the frame, roof, and brought the rest of the materials then never came back.)  Scott finished it in about two hours.  We still have to stain it and fix the roof (the man put the tin roof on going the wrong direction!)

Sorry for the bad pics but this shows the walkway to house

Side view so you can see the nesting box (opens to collect eggs)

Easter in November?

The start of the hunt (slightly muddy eggs)

We just had an amazing egg hunt!  (Yes, I know it’s November, let me explain…)
Our chickens have been acting strangely. 
We couldn’t find the girls last night and searched the yard (and neighborhood) high and low.
No sign.  I thought they were in a pot or cat’s belly somewhere.
This morning they all wandered out around 10 AM.  They had been hiding under the deck!  (We have a HUGE deck.)
Dinner, the sweetest chicken, was not coming out but for a minute or two to eat and I thought maybe she’d been injured by a cat or some other creature…


When we went hunting for her tonight (to put her up in the coop) I found her in the smallest part of the deck (about 6 inches from the ground.)  She was sitting on a “nest” of eggs and she pecked at me when I went to chase her off.
Uh oh- a broody girl!

When I managed to chase her off Scott went to reach for the egg she had been sitting on.
Hubby: “Um, babe?”
Me:  “Yeah?”
Hubby:   “She doesn’t just have one egg…”
Me:  “Oh?  How many?”
Hubby (laughing):  “Get me a BIG basket.”

Before washing and testing

The Grand Total?
81 EGGS!
After washing them assembly-line style twice, and testing them 2-3 times by independent judges (me and the kids) we ended up with 44 GOOD ones!  Oh me.

After, only part of the find

And I accused the chickens of being lazy.