Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tree Update

More trees have been taken down!  Thanks again to Mr. H for all the invaluable help and tree experience. 

A total of 6 trees came down - 3 cedars, 1 dead dogwood and 2 fir or spruce.  Three were 15-20 ft tall and fairly easy to take down but the other three were 30-40 ft tall and took a little more effort.

We're not big advocates for taking down trees but our yard has just become too overgrown and the health of our house and surrounding trees are getting compromised.  Here are a few pictures of my favorites in the yard (maple & flowering dogwood).

Kitchen Update

Believe it or not, the kitchen island is almost done!  I haven't taken pictures of it lately but I do have some progress pictures.  Below are pictures of the sink install into the butcher block counter. 

It took awhile to layout the opening but the cutting went rather quickly.  I had thought that the cutting would be the most difficult part.  My past experience with cutting 3/4" plywood using my father's old Black & Decker jigsaw was not very encouraging.  Well let me tell you the Bosch jigsaw went through the 1-1/4" butcher block "Like BUTTA!"

Also, here's a picture of the working - yes working - dishwasher!

All that is left to do is to attach the back panels and toe kick to the island and install some drawer hardware!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

And another giveaway!

One project closer is having another Skil giveaway - a 7-1/4" Skilsaw 

Deadline is today so head over to their site and enter!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Giveaway from One Project Closer.

One Project Closer is giving away a Skil Random Orbit sander.  Enter now as there's less then until the deadline!  This would be great for conditioning the new butcher block counter we are currently putting in.

Another project!

One of the fathers (Mr. H) from my daughter's 2nd grade class made me an offer I couldn't refuse.  He offered to come by to cut down trees and help clear up the overgrowth in the yard.  Now, the bathroom and kitchen are on the priority list as far as projects go but this offer I just couldn't pass up.  Especially since they just sold their house and would be leaving town in July!

Yesterday, we got started around 8 am.  Mrs. Forest and I wanted to take down a huge Mulberry that was leaning and had some fairly big dead branches, one of which had fallen a year or two ago.  We cleared the area around the Mulberry to gain access to the trunk and once we got a better look at the trunk we decided to clear more of the surrounding area and then decide if we still wanted to tree to come out.

Well 5-6 hrs later we cleared a lot more of the area than I had originally thought.  Mrs. Forest wanted the area cleared out anyway but I was amazed at the amount of work we got done.  We could have continued but I was dying and could keep up with Mr. H (who's 10 yrs older, by the way).

We ended up taking out a lot of small maples, small oaks, yews, pines and a bunch of other stuff (mostly of the poisonous variety).  The transformation is amazing and the pictures I took don't really show the size of the area we cleared.  Below is a before and after of the Mulberry.

Now I have a couple of huge piles for the wood chipper and about 2 seasons worth of leaves to clean up but it's all worth it.  Thank you Mr. H!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


We have lived without a dishwasher for almost 7 years and I thought we could get by a little longer but I was wrong.  Our dishes that have figured out how to reproduce by themselves and it's time for some birth control!

Today is the day that our new dishwasher will be delivered!  It won't be hooked up but it will be in the house, which is a step in the right direction.  I had hoped that the new kitchen island would have been ready but that didn't go as planned.  Turns out it was better that the island wasn't set because we decided to switch positions of the sink and dishwasher.  It would have been terrible to cut holes in the wrong locations in the cabinets!

We also need to properly vent the island sink.  Of course the original island sink was not vented and only worked because it was a double sink with one of the sinks serving as a vent.  I searched online and found a few ways to vent the sink.
  • Provide a loop vent according to the Uniform Plumbing Code
  • Provide a loop vent according to the International Plumbing Code
The Air Admittance Valve would be the easiest to install and take up the least amount of space under the sink but I wasn't able to determine if it could handle the discharge from the dishwasher.

The loop vents are similar in both the Uniform and International Plumbing Codes.  The difference is that the uniform code has a separate branch out to a vent to the roof.

I'm opting for the International Code, not because it will be easier.  Well, actually I am doing it because it will be easier as running a separate vent 3 1/2 stories up and through the roof is not something I really want to do.  And tying into the existing stack would be equally difficult if not impossible. 

I'm fairly confident that the International Code will work fine but if not I could always add the branch in later.  I will post the results when done.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Blue Jay Update.

It's been about 2 days now with no blue jay incidents to report.  No wait, as I was just starting to fall asleep last night I pictured myself laying on the grass in the backyard with the jays starting to gather around me.  One started to swoop down and instead of pulling up at the last minute, flew right into me.  I quickly woke up and could swear something had hit me.  Freaked me out a little but gave me a good laugh in the end.

I could deal with them outside but now (even if only in my head) inside!  The next home purchase may have to be:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Wait a minute, two posts in one day!

Yes, that's right I actually have something else to post about!

We came to the conclusion that one of the things getting in the way of the bathroom project was the lack of a dishwasher.  How are they connected, you ask?  Well, with 5 of us in the house now the dishes have overrun our kitchen and dining room.  We always seem to be trying to catch up and it just doesn't feel right to work on the bathroom when there are dishes piled up in the sink.

So on Saturday we started to demo our kitchen island to make room for a dishwasher.  I had grand plans to have it all done this past holiday weekend.  But as usual other social activites just got in the way.

We did manage to get the island out and new Ikea cabinets assembled and rough layout complete.  We also managed to get my parents' hand-me-down fridge cleaned and put into place.  The old one that came with the house was just sucking too much power.


Because we didn't have enough issues at home, a group of Blue Jays decided to form a little gang and terrorize us every now and then.  It started when one day last week Mrs. Forest went to the car to get her phone.  She ended up calling me at work and freaking out about being trapped in the car by some crazy birds swooping at her.  Now I have this fear of birds and the smaller they are the worse the fear.  So I was definitely able to sympathize with her but I did have to fight the urge to laugh.

Well, things changed this weekend when I went out the back door and noticed 4 to 5 Jays screaming and looking at me.  One of them swooped towards the back door so that was the end of my time outside.  Then the next day I moved my car to the back and was immediately surrounded by 4 to 5 Jays screaming and swooping at the car.  Talk about Alfred Hitchcock, these guys are NUTS!

I managed to snap a few shots of the craziness.

I know there must be a nest around somewhere but it doesn't seem to matter if we're in the front of the house or the back.  They seem to have lookouts and when one sees us it calls for its buddies and all H#!! breaks loose!  I really don't know how to handle this and don't really want to wear a helmet and eye protection just to mow the lawn.  Maybe I can buy a plastic owl and attach it to my shoulder when I'm outside.

All joking aside, this really is a pain and we're scared to let the kids outside.  I don't want to hurt the Jays but if they end up hurting one of the kids they better watch out! 

Any advice would be welcomed.