Monday, March 31, 2014

Macro Monday {Texas Paintbrush}

{To see a larger image, go here.}

We had more paintbrushes sprout since I first spied one on February 27, 2014. Both Dan and I are thrilled to them on our land. The above pictures were taken on March 12, 2014. I am real pleased with these as I am still having a hard time getting the colors to run true.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Texas Paintbrush {First Sighting}

I was roaming the backyard on February 27, 2014 when I spied the following:

Texas Paintbrush (also known as Indian Paintbrush)

Let me tell you, I was absolutely thrilled to see this paintbrush as I missed them sorely last year. We had a few scrawny ones; but, not a bunch of healthy ones. Seeing this made my soul sing.

By the way, paintbrushes are very difficult to photograph because the color does not want to run true. I was frustrated.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Garage Conversion V {Flooring}

You can see the previous post here.

We picked up the flooring on January 19th and starting putting it down on January 25th. I could not wait and opened up a box immediately to look at the flooring.

It turned out prettier than I imagined from the itty bitty floor sample in the store and I was thrilled.

We first laid down underlayment for approximately half the room.

We then began laying down the floor. The first several rows is always the hardest.

Custom cuts around closets always slows the process down.

And, around outlets. Yes, I have an outlet in the floor! It's going to be perfect having this!

From here on, work went at a steady pace and abruptly came to an end when we hit the doorway between the kitchen and the room. The door was an exterior door and the threshold was giving us fits. We decided to shift our focus to doing some work outside because the weather was beautiful. In the meantime, we discussed and debated the problem and eventually decided to get a new interior door.

It turned out that due to the height of the tile, flooring and threshold, the new doorway casing and the door itself needed to be trimmed. I have seen DIY shows where this was done and Dan did exactly what I have seen on those shows. It turned out perfect! By the way, we kept the exterior door and it will go to the shed or chicken coop we plan to build in the future.

Replacing the door meant having to do some tile work because the old threshold was HUGE. Thank God the previous owners left behind the leftover tile from the kitchen and bathrooms. We had kept and reused the tiling tools from a job we did in the north Houston house.

Cleaning up the tile adhesive.

As you probably already saw, Abby Gail was Dan's little helper. She was fearless and into everything.

Mixing up the grout. We choose the grout color that closely matched the existing grout in the kitchen. It was all from memory. Actually, from my memory as Dan does not remember details like I do.

Abby Gail was begging to see what he was doing.

So, Dan let her have a look. She was then content and went on exploring the yard.

Once the grout was put down, we sought to get some threshold. Shopping for the new threshold was a nightmare. Apparently, the company that makes this floor does NOT make the matching threshold we needed. It was frustrating. But, Dan persevered and found some that is a close match to the floor. This process took a couple of weeks.

Not bad considering what we had to work with.

By the way, we are planning to get someone to come out and clean all the kitchen and bathroom tiles and reseal the grout. Honestly, I do not think sealer was ever applied.

The last row of flooring! March 16. 2014.

We are very pleased with the floor.

We are now working on priming and painting the new door, casings, baseboards, etc. and etc. I will have to do a blog post about what I did to the door itself (the kitchen side) because it was so plain!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wordy Wednesday {Flooring Tip}

We have installed hardwood flooring three times. The first time was in north Houston years ago. The second time was in the main portion of this house. Now, we have finished installing flooring in the attached garage which is now the studio. (Pictures in another blog post coming soon.) It is no longer a garage. So, I need to stop calling it by that name and just call it "my room".

The one thing I dislike is wastage. In case you do not know, I am frugal. Sometimes, I am extreme in the frugal department. I just hate the thought of wasting good flooring and filling up the landfill. It makes me feel ill. I mean, it is like throwing away good money. Correct? After all, we paid good money for the boards.

These are some end pieces that Dan cut. We usually lay flooring down in one direction and most of the time, Dan must cut the last piece so that it would fit. Many people would just cut the ends of pieces of flooring and toss that which is not used. Not us. We reuse them.

In this case, the ends can be reused in the beginning of the next row to be laid down. When we did the main portion of this house, we often ended up using the cut off pieces to fill up a row of flooring. It all depends on which direction you lay down the boards.

By the way, This is not easy as I make it out to be. Decisions, decisions, decisions occur at this step. We have to make sure the seams are at least six inches apart. And, there must be at least two boards between seams that might line up. Yes, it might seem complicated; but, once you get into the rhythm, it is not all that hard to do.

All glued up. It is final! There is no going back! Ha!

Let me see if I can make this clearer as I fear using just pictures would not make sense to y'all. Sometimes, using graphics makes things a heck of a lot clearer.

Choose cut off pieces to use. Lay them down.

Done!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Macro Monday {Bluebonnets}

Day 1 {First Sighting on our Land on 2/23/2014}

Day 2 {Opening}

Day 3

Day 4 {After the Storm Beaten and Battered}

Day 4 {Raindrops}

Day 5 {Battered but Recovering}

Day 6 {Perking Up}

Day 8 {Beautiful Recovery}

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Random Thursday {Throwback}

This was probably written while I was in first grade. It was found among my Dad's stuff and enclosed inside a letter from my Uncle Verton (my dad's brother) on September 23, 2001. He said that he should probably send it to me but that he decided that my dad and mom should enjoy it first. Apparently, my grandparents were sentimental too. It must be hereditary because Dad was this way and so am I. However, I have been throwing away some stuff of late. What relative would want to go through my sentimental crap? No one! Ha!

PS I did not throw away any of Dad's stuff including this memento.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wordy Wednesday {My Mockingbird}

I have taken to calling this fellow "My Mockingbird" because he is so cheerful and friendly. He often lands on this stake which is used to mark the defunct electrical outlet that once went to a greenhouse. It is mostly to prevent me from running over it with the yard tractor. He loves to survey his kingdom from this spot not to mention hunt bugs.

Dan and I was outside with the cats a couple weekends ago when we noticed he was with a mate having some fun. We watched them laughing at their antics. We also watched Chessie slowly go all the way to the back of the land where they were located. I did not want to disturb the birds; but, I also did not want Chessie to escape our yard. She can no longer jump much; so, I was not worried for My Mockingbird. The female flew off to a nearby tree when Chessie got too close for comfort. But, My Mockingbird stood his ground on a fence post and just watched Chessie approach.

When Chessie got too close to the back fence, I slowly went retrieve her. Much to my (and Dan's) surprise, My Mockingbird let me approach. He just cocked his head observing me all the while keeping an eye on Chessie. He did do a little fussing about Chessie and I just talked calmly back at him. I could not have been more than six to eight feet away! It was so cool to see him up close. When I slowly bent down to pick Chessie up, he hopped/flew one fence post away. I guess he did not trust the cat! Ha!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Macro Monday {Wildflowers II}

I posted the first wildflowers sighted here. Those were part of the Phlox family of flowers which I neglected to mention in the original post. More of those flowers have sprouted and at certain times of the day, you can see the land covered with those beautiful pinkish purplish flowers against the brown ground.

I went out again on the 20th of February and sighted even more wildflowers popping up. For some reason, most of them were yellow. Yellow is a very popular color hereabouts. A neighbor has tons of yellow wildflowers growing on his land. I did spy one lone purplish wildflower on my outing.

Here are more beautiful wildflowers for you to enjoy. By the way, identification is listed below each picture. If there is no identification, I cannot recall the name at the moment or I do not know and are not listed in my wildflower books. I do not have the bandwidth to research these days.

An emerging Dandelion with a Bee Fly

Texas Toad-Flax

I am fairly certain this is part of the Figwort family. Exactly what, I am not sure.

Yellow Wood-Sorrel (Oxalis}

Yellow Wood-Sorrel (Oxalis}