Saturday, April 14, 2018


We had to say goodbye to Ivan this week. 
He came to live with us in the fall of 2009 from an animal rescue in Michigan state. His original family couldn't keep him and he had been living with a foster family. We are unsure of his age, just that he was our kitty for almost 8 years.

When Ivan first moved in, he was so scared, heartbroken & lonely for his family. I promised him he wouldn't have to move again and that we would be his forever family.

Ivan was a Russian Blue cat with polydactyl paws. He was a social cat who loved people and got along well with dogs. He enjoyed cuddling, meowing, playing with his toys, taking naps, hanging out with his canine siblings, and eating. 

This week he quit eating and drinking water. Figuring something was wrong, I wrapped him up in a blanket, put him in a carrier, and took a Lyft to the Vet. The Doctor told me what I already knew - but didn't want to admit - that Ivan was dying. Kidney failure. Medical procedures were performed to take away his pain and suffering. The Dr let me stay with Ivan until the very end. 

Here are some photos of Ivan through the years:

This picture is from Ivan's first week with us.
It was shortly after we moved into our house - before any work on the stairway.
This bed is where Ivan slept his last night here. His impression is still in the pillow.


Monday, March 26, 2018

Landscaping - making plans for spring

These photos are from September 2017. We added 6 new plants and killed the grass.

Hostas (on the left) came with the house.
We planted the two boxwood shrubs several years ago.
The plant in the middle is a couple of years old. Forget the name but it is supposed to flower at some point.
The short patch of green in the bottom right corner is a fringed pink perennial that we planted last fall,
 as well as, the shrub on the far right. It's a rose glow barberry.

The four matching shrubs along the fence line we planted last fall.
They are barberry shrubs.

I have random pieces of wood as a little fence to keep our dog out of the plants.
When we deal with the grass situation, this front yard area will not be pet accessible.

This mudpit needs grass, plants, or rocks.
Still undecided.
All ideas & suggestions are welcome.

The area outlined in red needs to stay clear because our driveway gate rolls horizontally over that area.
I am thinking pavers should go there along the front fence line.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

A map of our neighborhood with a little history

We live next to the old Lincoln Log factory.
The map and more info can be found here.

First floor bathroom updates

I painted all of the things black! Floors, walls, light fixture, door and tile!
The paint is Pittsburgh Paints Paramount One Coat in "black magic" .

A new toilet and seat to install.
We ordered it from Amazon Prime. Cheap and free delivery!

A cornucopia of possible parts needed for installation.

Still shopping for a new sink.
The old pedestal sink, that we planned to still use, broke and cannot be fixed.  I swear to God it was an accident! haha
Also need a new mirror. The old mirror/ medicine cabinet is long gone.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Dining room- with dark teal painted walls

 It literally took a year for me to finish painting this room!
The trim is black. The walls are dark teal.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

2009 to Present { First floor bathroom remodel}

The start of the bathroom demolition.


Goodbye broken medicine cabinet/ mirror.

We are keeping the pedestal sink.
Goodbye tile.

When we first moved in I painted the walls grey.

Need to patch the hole in shower. 

Goodbye graph paper tile with blue grout.

We need a new shower basin.
I wonder if this could be painted with Rustoleum fiberglass or plastic paint.

The door frame needs some tlc!


Goodbye dirty grout floors.


In 2009 I painted the blue grout white.
It still looked bad but a little less bad.



We need a new doorknob with lock!

Minus wall and floor tile.
When we did our recent drywall project(s), we replaced the drywall in this bathroom too.

The tile behind the toilet is gone and replaced with fresh new drywall. 
The toilet and tile still needs to go. Before we work on the floors.

This is with black Rustoleum paint. 
Still needs another coat.
I cannot get the door shiny clean. Tried degreaser, dishwashing liquid, WD40, vinegar, and even scraped it with a razor blade.
The door doesn't hang right either, so not sure if it can be saved. 

Painted tile with Black Rustoleum paint.
Still needs another coat or more.

The floors need some major tlc!

Paint color is "inkwell" from Sherwin Williams.

I tried to install the old sink and broke part of the pvc pipe.

I had to cut a hole in the wall to see the damage. Will have to patch it up later.
Broken PVC. 
If I can separate the pvc elbow fitting from the pipe without breaking it, then it should be an easy fix. 

The toilet needs new hardware. 
I just replaced everything in our master bathroom and it wasn't too difficult.
The materials were under $50. Much less than a new toilet. 

So that is where we are at with this bathroom. Not pretty!
The progress has been slow, but since it is low priority project it's ok.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

March 2017 { kitchen plans }

As you can see we haven't done much since our big insulation and drywall projects
The dining room is in the process of being painted (again). The color is "dark night" from Sherwin Williams. The trim around the windows has been painted "inkwell" from SW.

Kitchen to do list:
*  prime and paint walls and ceiling white
*  paint the door black
*  lay new floor tiles
*  install new lower kitchen cabinets and countertop
*  install back splash with open shelves above the sink
*  hang wall mounted range hood
*  install light fixtures
* patch and install floor molding and transition strip

Before we install anything we need to decide on tile, cabinets, etc. 
This is what I have in mind for the new kitchen...

Black slate floor tile with dark grout. Something in the $3-4 square foot price range.

White subway tile with dark grout.

Countertops and base cabinets:
Butcher block counters with black doors (probably Ikea)

Wall mount range hood:
in black or stainless steel