Thursday, September 24, 2015

Smokey August Projects

August here was filled with smoke from the many surrounding wildfires.  We had a few days of falling ash and regularly watched the planes fill up at the lake.  Thankfully, we were never evacuated but some in nearby neighborhoods were.

Smoke from our house
Daylight?  Not for a couple of weeks.
Red sun
Despite the smoke, ash, dust and windstorms, we managed to fill August with projects.  The first weekend of the month we set off for Montana and my brother & sister-in-law's new house!  While the weekend was shadowed by the recent loss of their puppy, we were so thankful to get to help them with their fence and spend time with them in their beautiful new home.
They have a wonderful view from their house

Mixing cement for the posts
Sunset from their yard
We spent some time at the lake with the family and also began another big outside project.  Expanding the deck out back.
Always love sunset at the lake
Even when the smoke rolls in
This boating adventure didn't go quite as planned and ended with a tow back in
We also harvested our first zucchini and of course more peppers! Yum

The deck was our biggest August project and we were very lucky to have my folks home to help with this.  It turned out wonderfully and nearly doubled our deck space.  Couldn't be more pleased!

Taking off the old steps getting ready to put up the frame
Frame mostly up
Aria is inspecting the work so far
Making it so no critters (or Aria's) can crawl underneath
Starting to put the top on.  Love the camo fastener system that has hidden screws.
Almost there
All the boards on
And the steps on
Just need to paint the trim now!
Thrilled to have so much deck space now!
It's all finished now other than painting the trim which we'll finish soon!  Hopefully we'll get lots of enjoyment out of it this fall before the snow comes.  This also freed up the second cement pad so we put it in front of the shed so we have a nice landing there now.
Both cement pads in
All finished in front of the shed

Our local library moved locations so we had a delightful quick date morning with coffee and a book sale where we acquired quite a few titles for our new home library.

Love book sales
And coffee
Our haul
Even got a bag out of the deal

We also had a visit from my dear friend Courtney which as usual was wonderful.  Took some time downtown shopping, had a delightful meal at Rock City Grill, and then a trek to Greenbluff for peaches and lots of cider tasting as well as a late lunch at Twigs.  The time flew too quickly but we are so grateful she came up for a visit.

Tasting at Twilight Cider Works
Martinis at Twigs
New favorite local cider!

The month ended with an exciting craigslist score, Kayaks!  A matched set, one for us & one for my folks.  Excited about the new adventuring this will bring our way!  Now we just need to round up one more...

New kayaks! 
Sunset test paddle
We're all excited!

In non August, but recent news, we also just opened an etsy shop.  We are hoping to continue expanding on here as we create things!  Check it out here.

Next up: Library, Library!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Dog Run

We finally finished the dog run on the side of our house.  We are thrilled with the way this project turned out and so happy to have one more thing off the project list!  Many elements went into this project including the fence, the flower bed, pavers under the dog house, stepping stones from the front gate, gravel, and of course making the gate Aria escape-proof.

Part of the fence in,the first stages of the project
New fence and paver path with landing

Starting the flower bed

Drip irrigation in and rocks around where the plants go

Plants in!

Pavers in for under the dog house

Dog house back, starting the stepping stones

Stepping stones going in, and starting gravel


Aria likes her new dog house & patio

Spreading gravel
Escape proof gate (or so we think)

And now for the Before Picture:
Flashback to when we moved in, the side of the house prior to any projects

And the after pictures!
Gravel is in

All done, view from the front of the house

All done, view from the back of the house

Couldn't be more happy with the way this turned out!  It is flush-able, drains well, and really cuts down on upkeep and weeding.  One more project off the list!

Up Next: Smokey August Projects

Saturday, August 29, 2015

July Flew By

Wow, we blinked and it was August.  Our July flew by with projects at home in between bouts of extreme smoke from wildfires & maintaining things at my parent's while they chilled Up North at the cabin.  We harvested peppers & tomatoes for the first time, finished up a project for a dear friend's little girl, worked in the dog run, played on the lake, and had a visit from my hubby's folks.

First pepper harvest
We started working on some additional projects to finish up the library in July as well.  These projects are coming along so hopefully we'll be completely done with that room soon!
Getting started on the table for the library

Top & bottom of the table stained
Made another blanket for a sweet baby girl my dear friend had at the beginning of August.  I think it turned out rather well. 
Baby blanket, pinning letters on

Finished name side

Finished back side

Tag on the blanket

Caprese Bites I made for her baby shower
We used our first tomato harvest along with our peppers to make this delicious grilled cheese.  Yum!

Grilled Cheese with homegrown veggies
I also spent at ton of time mowing at both houses.  I even wore out a pair of chacos.  I guess after 11 years they'd had enough.  Don't worry, we sent them in to get repaired so they'll be back.

This makes mowing more difficult
We made great strides in the dog run in July & got all the pavers in.  We finished this project up in August, so more on this to come.

Getting the ground level for pavers

Aria is a big help, as always

First two rows in

All the pavers in

Looks wonderful!
I was also very slow at work, so Aria got to have a "go to work with mom" day.  She had a blast.

Aria chilling at work

With her bone

Hanging out in her bed

Playing with her dragon

My folks were home for a couple of days between trips so we took the new-to-them boat out on the lake with my aunt & uncle.

At the lake

Storm rolling in

The fam

Swiftly moving clouds

Did I mention the boat has a bit of a problem with staying running?  Luckily we were almost to the dock when it died so only had to paddle a short ways.
At the end of the month my hubby's folks came up for a wonderful weekend visit.  We had a good time, picked some fresh peaches at Greenbluff, drove up to the top of Mt. Spokane, and took them to The Wandering Table.  They also took a quick tour up to Sandpoint, ID.

Peach Picking

Top of Mt. Spokane

At the top

Amazing view

Looking through the arch
Shadows below

Incredible view