Thursday, June 30, 2011

Planning our Kitchen!

This is what our kitchen looked like:
This is what it looks like this very moment:

And this is what I have planned for it in the near future:

Beech flooring has been ordered. White cabinets, built in oven, beech butcher block counter tops. What's missing? Oh yeah, the fridge!

No matter how I arrange it, a full-sized fridge simply takes up too much space. I have found an alternative, though- a 6.1 cubic foot freezer/refrigerator that tucks underneath the counter top.

Plus side to this arrangement? If we resell this house, there's already a prime location for someone to install a dishwasher, if they want one (we already have a dishwasher... her name is Julie). There's enough room for a standard fridge on the other side of the wall, but I personally want that wall open so I can finally have my own baker's rack.

So there it is! I'm sure our contractor will laugh at us... but hey, he's not the one that has to live here.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Flyte so Fancy

It's not a secret that I want chickens. Some women are experiencing maternal urges toward children, while I'm nesting in an entirely different and perhaps more literal way.

I want to attempt to build my own coop. My goal is to have it done by Easter, so I can have little chickens first thing in the spring. Of course, the house will have to be finished by then, and there are only 50 other things that are of a higher priority... but the heart wants what the heart wants.

Of course, this doesn't stop me from obsessing from what they'll live in. But I have to say, my jaw dropped when I found these:

The Gypsy Willow £3250.00,

The Gypsy Wayfarer £2750.00

The Gypsy Daydream £3900.00

Each of these amazing little hen houses can be found at Flyte So Fancy. They have more 'typical' coops, as well, but even those are extraordinarily lovely. Perhaps when (if) we head back to Europe in the fall we can swing by Dorchester and ship one of these back... I wonder how much beer it would take to convince the husband that we neeeeeeed something like this in our lives?

Ah, pipe dreams. :)

Permits Secured - Moving Forward!

This weekend actually felt like summer. So we spent all day Sunday doing yard work. I can't get over how nice it is to spend time outside in a place that is our own. Living in a condo really is a horrible fate for someone who loves to be outdoors.
It's so rewarding to watch the backyard evolve. We're taking back the land with each slaying of a blackberry or english ivy plant. We've gained at least 300 sq/f back!
As far as the house goes, we're moving along! New pipes/plumbing have been installed, the attic has been insulated, our closets have been framed, the bathroom vanity has been picked out. Our roof has been freshly patched and is now leak free!
The garden seems to be happy- we've had our first produce.
I planted strawberries on Father's Day in memory of my dad, and had a fresh strawberry to snack on by Thursday! Most of my other plants seem to be content and are growing steadily.

Have I mentioned that I'm SO EXCITED about this house?? I can't wait to move in!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sacred Permit Land

House: No new updates. We are currently in the Sacred Permit Land, which will last probably for another week. In this time, the details of our modifications are being drafted and submitted for approval. We estimate that we'll move forward sometime next week. And then I can bore you with pictures of our house adventures again.

The garden is flourishing! I have it completely planted, and the tomatoes are taking off. Every time I look at it the plants seem like they've doubled. Grow, plants, grow!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Breakfast Cookie Base

Yeah, so this may be the most delicious cookie I've ever eaten. Why am I posting this? Because I will cry so many tears of sadness if I lose this recipe. Thus, it's going online.

Asterisks denote changes I've made to the original recipe.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookie
(original recipe found here)Link
2 cups flour*
3 tsp. baking powder*
1 tsp. salt*
1/2 Tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 sticks butter
2 cups old fashion oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup molasses*

Mix, roll into quarter sized balls and flatten with a fork. Bake for 9 minutes at 350°F.

Healthy for you? Um, not so much. This is the nutritional information per cookie:

It doesn't really come as a surprise, especially when there's a stick and a half of butter in it. The base flavor is SO DARN GOOD though that next time I'll be modifying it. I'm thinking about using more pumpkin in lieu of one stick of butter. We'll see!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I smell rotting flesh...

And it's because of this:

The corpse flower is blooming at the University of Washington. We've been home for about 40 minutes, and the stench is still stuck in my nostrils. However, I didn't HAVE to climb up the ladder and stick my head in it, but it seemed like the thing to do when you get faced with a perhaps-once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

More photos of this beast found here, courtesy of the photonerd husband.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hello, Julie v3.0

Guess what? I turned thirty yesterday! I spent three very busy days celebrating. As a result, this post will be a photo-barf.

Saturday: BBQ at my brother and sister-in-law's place.

Perfect day to be on a Washington State ferry, right?

I have a new gnome friend! Meet Jameson!

Sunday: Puyallup to visit the Mother Earth News fair (I saw an electric VW Karmann Ghia- my dad would have loved it!!). And had a delicious tea celebration in Seattle.

Monday: Jumped on a boat plane and flew to Victoria, B.C., waved at my birthplace and hometown as we flew by. I rode in the cockpit.

Visited the Butchart Gardens.

Champagne before lunch?? Why not, it's my birthday!

And we flew back home.

I have videos and real pictures but I am exhausted and can't be bothered to deal with uploading such things at the moment. Hope everyone had a fantastic time with the beautiful weather we had over the weekend!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Day 2: Renovation

Guess what we found in our front yard last night?

Oh hey, it is (was) our leaky chimney!

Cinder blocks have been sealed from the inside for added moisture resistance. Take that, mold!

Today we met up with our contractor at 6:45am to discuss the framing. I was very tempted to stick around and watch the framing process, but given how small the space is and the large amounts of lumber coming in, I was a hazard being in the way. Can't wait to see the changes tonight!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Renovation Day - More Pics

Thought I'd share some more of these images. Perhaps this house is one that only her owners could love, but there's something beautiful about the light drifting through the bare beams.
Definitely a little piece of Seattle Heights Garden history:

What's that?? You'd prefer a video? Alright, here you go: