Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I had a hunch about a hutch

After we put the bid in on the house my mind went into decorating mode. From my morning walks on the beach I knew that I wanted a calming color pallet of ocean blues and greens. This photo is the inspiration for the colors I planned to use.

So, while I was thinking of what I would like to put in the room, a vision of a cabinet popped into my mind and I started to draw my vision with photoshop, I was thinking of something like this.

Something with lots of storage, a bit of a cottage look to it. I was thinking of making it myself. But being the perfectionist I am, I knew I wouldn't be satisfied. So I started looking for carpenters. But with out measurements I couldn't get an idea of what it might cost to make.

Of course I was already scanning Craigslist for an old brass bed and one day a "60's Hutch" popped up and I fell in love. Only problem was it was long, long before we would fly over for the closing. I wrote the seller and asked, if she was wiling to to hold it until we came over in July. To make the pot a bit sweeter, I offered her a bit more and she agreed.

As soon as we had the truck empty we drove over to pick it up. She told me that so many people tried to buy the hutch after I sent her the money. But she stuck with the commitment she had with me. Really nice people!
So may I present my Hutch

You may notice it has some similarity to the one I drew. A bit smaller and has a top part, but still similar. I plan to have a slip cover made to cover the area between the top and bottom of the hutch. The cover will be made from some of the wood from the shed out back. 

Hope to meet with a carpenter on our next trip over. Excited!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Going, going, GONE

So, as I mentioned, I'm selling things on eBay, Craigslist, Etsy, ScubaBoard....basically anywhere I can sell - I'm selling.

I've learned:
  • that being nice means that people can be mean
  • that you can't write it plain enough for everyone to understand
  • there is always going to be someone that thinks they're special and NO exceptions doesn't apply to them
  • Weigh and measure two or three times to make sure you're not going to wind up paying someone to take your stuff.
  • that if someone doesn't read your post right, it's your fault
  • some people will pay a ton of money for something you think is worthless and no one will bid on your treasures
I've been buying and selling on eBay for 10 years now and I don't know what it is, but it seems that people aren't as nice as they used to be. They won't respond to messages and will wait for days and days till they pay (this is on ebay).

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What should we do with the hole?

The previous owners had planned on building a 2nd house right behind the main house. They had the foundation ready and it looks like the plumbing is there for it too. But for what ever reason, they never got around to putting it up. 

So now we have this HUGE 40'x60' foundation and are unsure what to do with it. We've been told that some critters have made their home under the boards and I don't want to encourage racoons, skunks, wasps or the likes to hang around that close to the house.

Part of me just wants to knock it down, fill it with soil and put up (or is it in?) some kind of deck/patio/lanai. Then again, leaving it as deep as it is gives us some other cool options. We could put in a sunken outdoor living room that would protect us from the outdoor fireplace, bread oven, outdoor kitchen, little pool....perhaps sell a kidney while I'm at

So here is the "hole":

The window to the right is a kitchen window and the window on the left is in the wood bedroom
Here is another view from the back corner
This view is from the irrigation pump - See how big it is? More that 2x's bigger than the entire house.

Here in the left part of the photo. The yellow ribbon runs around the edge of the foundation.

I'm a planner and a dreamer....The proportions are all off...but this would be kinda cool..

One can dream....

So, what would you do with it???

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I'm stuck on you...

So I've been thinking and thinking about the kitchen, no real big surprise there, right? A thought just came to my mind about the back splash. I know that I want a subway tile back splash, but was having a hard time deciding what kind of tile I wanted to add to it so it isn't too plain.

Sooo looking forward to all that storage in the kitchen!
Just so you get the idea of what I have planned for the kitchen; the cabinets will be an off white and stained to look a bit more aged, the counter top, depending on the budget will either be Silestone or Formica. Which ever it winds up being, we want it to be neutral color a bit darker than the cabinets, but not too dark so it makes working in the kitchen dark. Our splash of color will be things like the cobalt blue Kitchenaid stand mixer Roger bought for us.
A lucky Craigslist find
As I said, I was thinking about the back splash and it hit me, the decorative stripe should be be stainless steel tile! It will match our appliances and I can hang magnet hooks, my spices and such where ever and when ever I need them with out having to ruin the tile or worry about removing old tape when the hook breaks or I want to change styles over the years. It would look something like this. So looking forward to doing this when we go over next summer :o)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Look before you buy...

If you know me, you know I long for a nice kitchen. If you know me, it's no surprise to you that I am thrilled with the prospect of designing - rehabbing our country kitchen.

But where to start? I guess the fact that we bought the house without appliances kinda sealed the deal on them being the first step.

One Saturday I got Roger to go with me to Sears to check out the appliance section. He wanted a gas range, I wanted electric because I wasn't planning on cleaning the oven and I know he wasn't planning on that either. As we looked at gas ranges and I was thrilled to learn that you can get a gas cook top and an electric, SELF CLEANING oven! Can I hear a Whoop whoop?!

Next came the fridge. We knew we wanted a decent size fridge with freezer. After all I had plans. A big vegetable garden, eggs, dairy, jams, jellies, pesto I NEED a big fridge! But for the sake of the environment, it had to be energy star rated. Next we had to think of the lay out. If we get a big fridge opening the door will take up a lot of space. So our options were narrowed down to either a side by side or french door fridge.

Since we were planning to stay at the house on our last trip and there was no way to keep food cold - the fridge became our first purchase. Shopping around, watching sales, I was on a mission. I knew it would have to be a GREAT deal in order for me to buy. The Sunday before we flew over, a french door Frigidaire fridge went on sale at Best Buy. It was $700 cheaper than comparative models. I called the Best Buy in Idaho and it was selling for another $100 less than it was selling in Hawaii! Good things do come to those who wait! I placed the order and scheduled delivery for the Wednesday after our arrival. I was so excited.

On that Wednesday the delivery men carried the fridge up the front stairs thru the front room and wanted to go on to the kitchen...and then guess what? It was to big to get thru the door way, even if we took the doors off it wouldn't fit in.

Talk about Bummer! Not only should I shop for bargains, I should have measured the door way before I ordered! But I'm not giving up yet - we have a plan. After we put new flooring in the kitchen the contractor will remove the door frame so we can slide the fridge in. I'll strip all the paint off the frame, restore it and then it will be put back up. See? I fixed it.

So for now it's standing in the front room, waiting for us to come home.

We didn't bother putting the handles on yet.

Another thing we were able to get done while we were there was fulfill Roger's dream by putting in a propane gas tank. It's just like the kind you use for your grill, just 4x's as big! Right now it's empty. No sense in letting a full tank stand around. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

stack 'em high

I received the pictures of the yard and what a difference! From the first batch of photos I can see that they trimmed the "grass". The yard has more weeds than anything. I'll worry about grass when we live there. For now, keeping it short and tidy is enough.

cut down all the tumble weeds and cut the grass

This view is from the mailbox at the front of the drive way

This is the view from the front, looking to the back.
The pines and the birch are gone. Look at all the wood back there! 

and the grapevines are gone too!

Because of the ditch and the lack of a weed whacker we didn't clean out around the trees when we were there. They did a good job of it.

Here is another view of all the wood. What do you think Dad?

There was a lot of tumble weed growing right here - looks so much better.


This is the drive way, looks like 3 trees were removed. Might nave to take that one to the right down too. We'll see when we're there.

This looks so much tidier too

The trimmed the stuff in front of the shop too

This is the base of the irrigation ditch.
It looks like the county came, put a pipe in and covered it up. Makes us sad that we won't hear the water splashing when we sit under the trees out back.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Turkey Day!

My latest computer scribble
It's already Thanksgiving? How did that happen? With Christmas everywhere you look it's hard to get in the mood for Thanksgiving. After Halloween, Christmas is my favorite holiday - being a Christmas Baby and all - but putting up the decorations 2 weeks before Thanksgiving? What the heck? I'm not thrilled with this new trend at all. It seems like it's all about the mighty $$ and not about the magic of Christmas. Not that it hasn't been about sales for just seems they are pushing it even more.

For what it's worth, it's totally killed my desire to do anything for today and I've given Roger free reign of the kitchen. Looking forward to what he cooks up.

I do want to wish you all a Wonderful Thanksgiving and am thankful for all of you. I'm thankful that my husband and my son had no major physical damage from the auto accidents they each had. I'm thankful for my independent daughter who is level headed and goal oriented. I'm thankful that we are all over all in good health. I'm thankful that my Fireman son by partnership has stayed out of harms way. Bless you all.


They're done!

Just got word from the neighbor that the dead trees have been chopped down and we have a nice stack of wood waiting for us. I guess they couldn't mulch the giant stumps so they wanted to burn them, but since it snowed it was too wet to ignite them. Maybe on another day.

Lisa, one of the contractors, said she will send me pictures soon. They are our life line to the house.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What's in a name?

So, by now you'll be wondering how we came up with the name of the Ranch.

Well, here we go. When we flew over to take possession of the house we had already been thru a few tough days. Problems with the lender, problems with the title, problems with the notary....then when we got there we lost a few more days because things were still not completed. We had to spend a bunch on extra hotel nights...and, and, and...We were upset and tired, but Roger kept my volcano temper down and we waited patiently for everything to fall into place so we could get the keys...

On one of the extra evenings that we stayed at the Mr. Sandman Suites in Meridian we were watching TV and a reporter was talking about a turtle. That you can never rush a turtle - Now those of you that don't know, when I met my husband on line he was going under the ID of Turtleguy. We looked at each other and we knew that that was going to be the name of our ranch.

Would like to get this made of metal and treated with acids to get cool coloring effects.
Naturally I didn't waste any time coming up with a sign that I hope to someday have across the driveway :o) What do you think?

Aloha Hui Hou!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wash the Dishes, Dry the Dishes...have a cup of tea

As we were on our house hunt Roger promised me that we will get a house with a dishwasher. Well, turns out the one we bought didn't have one and there isn't really a spot to put one if I want to keep the vintage kitchen. So what to do? Well add more counter space and put one in is what we'll do!

So we were on the sale hunt again. We knew we wanted stainless steel to match the fridge and that the style of the handles should match too.

On Thursday Roger went thru Sundays ads again and found that they had a dishwasher that not only matches the style of the fridge, it is from the same manufacturer. On Saturday we drove over to our local store to see what it looks like close up and we were not disappointed. Looks great and was $150 off. What a deal! Went home, ordered it online and even got free delivery. Our contractor will be there on Monday anyway to finish up with the trees so they will be there to check it over and sign for it. Woo Hoo!

Aloha Hui Hou!

There's snow on dem der hills...

Well, got word today - it has started to snow in Idaho! Hee hee...that rhymes!

Anyway, the folks cutting down the trees said that they had to take a break because of the snow and will get back to work on it on Monday. Can't wait to see the after pictures and see how much wood and mulch we made out with.

In Germany we heated the house with wood....and my dad always spent a lot of time in the forest, cleaning out what ever spot the forester assigned to him. Bring the wood home using his little 2 horse power vineyard tractor.

I remember a day that he had gone over to a spot near the village soccer field. He had been gone all day and we were waiting and waiting for him to come home - getting worried. This was back before cell phones (yes there was a time without cell phones) so we had no way to find out what was going on other than wait.

Around 5 or so in the evening we hear the putt putt putt of the tractor and run out to see what took him so long. As he backed into the drive way you could tell he was a bit....let's say upset.

He turned off the engine and when we asked what happened he told us that the tractor got stuck in reverse as he was getting ready to pull the load home and he had to detach the trailer and ride the 8 or more miles home backwards....with 2 horse power - that took forever. We started laughing and in spite of himself, he had to join in too.

Wonder what kind of wood making adventures we will have?

Aloha Hui Hou!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Urge to purge

We don't know when we are going to take the big step, but I don't want to wait until the last minute to go thru everything and figure out what we plan to keep and what has to go. So for the past couple of months I've been going thru my things - nothing is safe. So far I've had a couple of yard sales, donated items and am selling on eBay and Craigslist.

I missed decorating and celebrating Halloween SO much when I was living in Germany. When I moved here I was in hog heaven. Building up my stash, creating things. I had so much fun, but when it comes down to it, it was too much stuff to ship all the way over to Idaho. I had to let it go and letting it go at the right time - just before Halloween. Once I made the decision to sell and posted it on Craigslist, it went really fast. I sold most of my beloved Halloween decorations, and I'll tell you, it wasn't easy.

This was Halloween 2010. I wasn't here for Halloween 08 or 09 so I was really excited to decorate the side yard.

Some of it went to strangers, most of it went to someone I know. At least I know my treasures will be enjoyed.

Roger is also busy reducing his scuba collection. We've removed several tubs from our storage locker and every week I post a few items on ebay. We've sold masks, harnesses, spear guns, wet suits, regs, Some buyers have been great. Others not so much.

Today I'll be taking photos to list some more stuff and Roger will write them up (because I have no idea what I'm selling). For now, our biggest challenge is finding boxes to ship what we sell. But it's all about purging, so we will find boxes, take pictures and list.....onward we go.
The gear we wore for our wedding is gone, gone, gone.

Aloha Hui Hou!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Over the years...

The fun thing about buying a home with history, is that it has history.

We know the woman that owned it before us was a metal artist and created these HUGE metal sculptures.

From what we've been told she developed carpel tunnel and can no longer create her art. Such a shame. She made amazing things. The building you see on the right and the silos are still there, the building on the left is gone.  

Our neighbor, two doors down, was the original owner of the house and it used to be a working farm. We didn't get a chance to meet him and talk story last time, but is is definitely on our to do list for next time. 

While looking at the property on Google earth I discovered that you can view a spot over the years. Amazing how it has changed over the past 20 years, not to mentions how the quality of the satellite photos have improved over the same time. Take a walk with me

This is the latest photo. It was taken after it became ours.

This photo was taken in 2010. As you can see, it was a busy place. The big building with the silver roof burned down to the ground and that flat top building is gone too. Behind the house you see the foundation they put in for a 2400sqf Kodiac Kit house. We know that they received the kit and put it up for sale before it was  ever built.

This photo was taken in 2006. You see that there is another building next to the one with the silver roof. Not sure what happened to that, but we'll find out :o)

This photo was taken in 2005. So green!

This was in 2002 and there is another unknown in the picture. Looks almost like they might of had honey bees.

This is the last one, from 1992. The quality of the few between 1992 and 2002 are so poor, I didn't bother, but I did want to share the first one they have posted.

Aloha Hui Hou!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Accidents happen

Roger and I have this thing going on. He leaves for work at around 4:50AM, and around 6AM I get the call that he made it to work safely. I feel better knowing that he made the hour plus drive from our place, along the coast to the North Shore safely. Sometimes he'll get busy right away and I'll give a quick call "to have a piece of mind"*.

November 7th was different. At around 5:30 AM my work phone rings. Wondering who could have a problem this early in the morning, I pick up. It was Roger. My first thought is that he forgot something, wanted me to check something. But no, he tells me he's had an accident, by the Hygienic Store. He always says that's the area he fears the most, because it is not well lit and "crazy people cross the road wearing dark clothes". Roger is so worried about driving thru there that he even turns off the radio so he can give the road his full attention.

Poor guy, he's a bit shaken, but he is able to tell me that he was ok, just got the wind knocked out of himself and that he hurts. He was also able to tell me that he wasn't at fault, that the guy took his right of way.

About 15 minutes later Roger calls me again, said the police were finishing up and asks if I could come and pick him up.

As I drive over I have the radio on and the news guy says that an accident just popped up over by the Hygienic Store and that the road was blocked in both lanes and traffic was being detoured thru the Store parking lot. Kind of a strange feeling when you hear that and you know your loved one is involved.

From a distance I see the flashing lights. I see Roger sitting in a chair in front of the store. Because of the closure I have to pull into the gas station across the road.

What a mess. There is our Itsy, all banged up. The airbag was hanging limply out of the steering wheel, like a sad party left over.

The other car was a pick up truck. The impact of the accident must of been great because the trucks front tire was broken off the axe.

Roger says he was coming down the road and the truck just pulled out of the gas station, to cross the road. Not making a great effort to get out of the way. Roger tried to avoid truck, but there was no getting away.

The ambulance was there, but Roger said he wanted to go home. Would rather go see the doctor later. So that's what we did.

We got home and I checked him over. You could see that there was a bruise developing across his tummy and chest. Over the course of the day it went from a shadow to a HUGE bruise that covered his entire tummy (1foot+ by about 2 feet large bruise). The one on his chest was about fist size. A week and a half later the tummy bruise is fading, the one on the chest is still going strong.

When he was ready we drove to Honolulu and they checked him over and took some x-rays. For now he was sent home with some codeine pills and told it will take some time for it to feel better.

The next day we went over to the junk yard to take a look at our Itsy - she looked sad.

From what the insurance lady told me, in most cases when the airbag deploys, it means that the car will be deemed a total loss. And that's what happened. Heard from them yesterday and our insurance will be paying for the car and we will be getting some money back. So that's a good thing. Sad thing is it will take about 30 days to get the police report and find out if the other guy was insured or not. Hate this waiting.

Roger says he is still sore and can't wait for it to go away...

So that's that for now...

Aloha Hui Hou!

* Inside joke - This is a commercial we laugh about....happy that the woman can get a "piece" of mind....

There is a hole in your bucket...

Naturally we had a home inspection when we bought the house. The inspector said  "the roof shingles were at the beginning of their useful life"., but he found a hole where the previous owner had an antenna/satellite dish and some of the ridge caps were missing. We knew it was something that had to be repaired.

While there in July we hooked up with a contractor and told him this was on top of our priority list of things to get done.

So, there we were in September the roof hadn't been repaired yet and this commercial pops up


I NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT! We wanted that fixed before critters start looking for a winter home. So I try to reach the guy we hired but he never responded when called, texted or emailed. When I finally did reach him, I got a bunch of excuses why he hadn't repaired it yet. I'm working on the big job (told me that on for the same job twice), I haven't had a chance to make it all the way over there yada, yada, yada. After he finally went out to do the fix, I found out he only did half the job.  - "Oh I forgot about that" was the answer we got to that. 

That got me on the internet REALLY fast, looking for roofers to take care of the job for us. The company that finally finished the job called back on the same day with a quote and completed the task in the same week. That's the way, ah-huh ah-huh I like it, ah-huh ah-huh!

In the short time we've owned the home I have come to realize that the BBB is a good place to start looking. That finding someone that can do the job that lives in the same town is my best shot - They seem to respond quick, don't mind stopping by the house to look and are happy to have the work.

No raccoons in the attic for us!

Aloha Hui Hou!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fire and Water

There are some projects that we won't be able to do ourselves and the bathroom/plumbing is one of them. This week we have a contractor starting work on our very tiny, very PINK bathroom

It's going to be totally gutted and the only thing we are going to save is the medicine cabinet over the sink. I plan to sand prime and repaint the insides. Then I'll brush the metal frame so it will match the rest of the brushed nickle hardware that's going in. The shower will have black and white tile. There will be wood look ceramic tile on the floor. The rest of the bath will be half white bead board and the other half will be pale blue. Doing this long distance is a challenge. I've spent hours and hours on the computer looking for ideas that we can work off of to create the bathroom we dream of. So for now we're looking forward to seeing my Google searches turn into a bathroom. <==click "a bathroom" to see a drawing of what we hope the layout of the new bathroom will be.

Photo from Google Earth

Another thing that will happen this week is that they will be cutting down and stacking the 14 dead trees around the house.  They will also run the branches and the wood the county left behind when they cleared the irrigation ditch thru a chipper. Home grown mulch! Anyway, as you see, Google updated their satellite maps and you can really see the dead trees.

These are in the drive way. When we were there Roger tried to save them. Watered them every day, gave them spikes, but it didn't seem to help.

This is a small grove of trees, right at the base of the irrigation ditch. Same thing - Roger really worked hard to save them. They might not all need to go, but a couple do for sure
This shows the birch and a group of 5 or 6 pine trees that have to go. They were already dead, dead, dead when we were there. I love the look of the birch and am sad that it has to go

The silver lining is that we will have lots of wood for our first winter in Idaho. WooHoo!

As long as we are on the subject, a fireplace was on our wishlist, but it was one of the things we had to compromise on. After lots of looking I found the Vermont Bun Baker. Again it is a compromise, but a  good one. I wanted one that looked good and had soap stone around it to maintain the heat, maximizing the wood. Roger wanted something that he could cook with. I can't wait, but think we will have to wait till we live there to have it installed.

Aloha Hui Hou!