Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, Permaculture, DIYing, organic gardening, food preservation, Chicken keeping, cookery, crafts, thrifting and more...

May 24, 2021

Time To Hire A Pro/Bathroom Tile Upgrade!

Time To Hire A Pro/Bathroom Tile Upgrade!
Back in 2014 we re-modeled our old main bathroom due to rotting floor issues. The tub was probably 20 years old, tan ceramic tiles, etc.  Here's the full re-do we did Bathroom Remodel Reveal  As part of the remodel we installed a new tub and the shower walls we did with three vinyl walls. We were on a tight budget/short on time for the shower walls. Looked much nicer at the time-

We LOVE the window over the tub, lots of natural light! 

Fast forward-

Scale buildup

We decided to invest our Covid $ in the house. The whole Boise valley has very hard water which made this hard to clean after years and years. We tried all kinds of products! I had wanted subway tile but after seeing larger tile we decided to go with that. Large white matte tile (no gloss with hard water) and very light grey grout. Dave and I both decided to have some pros do the install. We thought we just wanted it to be perfect, with re-sale value and all. I also have hand issues, which would have been an issue handling so large heavy much tile, grout, etc. There was an issue with the installer not wanting to look at the job in person and bid, so we did photos and went into the store. We had three three panels, but the bidder thought it was a full shower surround.  On the day of install they realized it. That was good, as the labor went down and speeded up the process! Good news, we saved $800.00! We only have one full bathroom in the house. We will use part of the savings for our next project, the coop/ garden fencing. I was also happy to hear about the new technology that is the epoxy grout. Supposedly lasts forever and should be pretty mildew proof. We choose large 12" x 24" matte white Porcelain tile. I had seen this before with light gray grout and loved it! We added a new shower head/rod as well. I deep cleaned the faucet spout and handle/cover and we re-used those. 

We had planned on having a niche with a shelf put on the back wall, but the studs were too close together. We had planed on adding one heavy, stainless steel shelves to the front corner, decided to add two more to the job for more storage instead-

Love the floral pattern

The workers (two) removed the panels fast, scraped down the old adhesive, then sanded. I didn't take photos of this since it was a small space and didn't want to freak them out. They sanded and smoothed the walls. They added a water barrier, on top of our cement board, mesh up for the tile-

Next tile went up, with spacers-

I ran in while they were out

When they got all the tile up, with spacers, they left for the day. We choose a light gray grout Grout Epoxy listed as Cape Gray. It was darker as first and lightened up as it dried. Here's all the details-

Two shelves rear and one front

Front shelf

New hotel style shower rod/head

Tile around the window, looks much more finished! 

They drilled thru the very thick porcelain tile into the studs for the rod

Shelf floated between the tiles 

As this house was built in the 70's not a surprise when the worker told me the wall wasn't quite level. He had to level the tile by using thicker adhesive/grout. You can see on the edge the gray is wider. I may paint this white. I emailed the grout manufacturer and they said I would have to use an epoxy paint. Will live with it a bit, Dave says it looks fine. They used a white metal edge on the tile, bull nose would have been really expensive! 

I bought new towels from Ikea since the green ones were pretty well done. Sadly they discontinued their apple green color I LOVED!!! I bought a nice Ikea set of blue ones with some edging- baths sheets, hand towels and wash cloths-

I kept the same Ikea shower curtain since it was only a few months old-

Shelves work great!

I added two Ikea shower hooks under the front shelf to hang things from. I had also bought a basket to match but looks like we won't need it. We may put it right above the edge of the tub on the wall if we take baths. We are more shower people-

Art work back up

All in all it came out great! We will be able to maintain this tile easier with the matte porcelain finish. We're looking at the kitchen counter next, time will tell! 

May 15, 2021

Oh What Blogger Fun, Not


Oh What Blogger Fun, Not-
If you use Blogspot you may have been in the same boat as me last night. I went to my blog and got a red screen saying my blog was full of malware, etc. 

Oh what fun, NOT! I didn't know what was going on, then got an email that one of my posts had been deleted by blogger. I did a post about the red screen which was also promptly deleted too, with an email. I could feel my blood pressure rising! Would my entire blog be deleted??? Panic mode. I did back up my blog, although I was worried about the malware issue with that. I posted a help question in the Blogger community saying what happened. I guess it was an error on their part. I did get 2 emails early this morning saying the posts had been re-instated, with a URL, which didn't work. I also got some emails from answers on the Help post. I stumbled on the one recent post (the other from March) and it was in the "draft" mode. Glad to find them! I re-published the one from March The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly It did appear to go back to it's original publishing date. If this happened to you atleast you know what the fix might be for you! Wow what crappy way to the the work week. But atleast it's fixed...

May 11, 2021

Garden Rehab Phase 3, High Lumber Prices = Coop Rehab, Pond Fun!


Garden Rehab Phase 3-
As part of our garden rehab we went shopping last weekend at Edwards Nursery, which has an amazing assortment of plants. While we do buy some plants at big box stores I really like to go to smaller nurseries that have more variety. I like to mix and match! We went through their perennial section of shade loving plants that can also take some sun. The part of the garden were rehabbing is under our maple tree but does get some filtered light. We decided to go with some different colored flowering and non-flowering plants- "Lemon Frost" Nettle, a "Orchid Frost" Lamium, Pulmonaria "Trevi Fountain", "Bowles Garden" Gold Sedge, a Masterwort "Star of Beauty" a fern Dryopteris filix-mas "Parsley", a "Stained Glass" Hosta. We also found a beautiful small "Ruslyn Pink" Japanese maple tree. Dave planted the dwarf Alberta spruce first. I posted about the 3 large Arbovitae we got from Costco, those went first!  We already had some Feather Grasses, 2 Boxwoods and the large Bamboo, we Dave moved. Luckily I worked 4 hours of overtime last weekend and brought in a little extra pay for this, which I don't mind. Will help offset some of the costs of what we've been buying. Leftover hardscaping is going to one of our girls this weekend. Dave will move the boxwood near the coop to the right corner after it's gone.  We'll add some bulbs in the fall, I put out some markers, circles cut from a mild jug and stakes-

I may choose some Irises and we'll bark dust soon. For a reminder, here's the "before" photos-

We moved the listing solar lights

Dave will fit the flagstone soon

Thrilled the bamboo survived the move! Dave also moved boxwood to the right 

That's it so far and we love it! I will be building a small fairy house since they requested one! I got idea here one morning channel surfing-

High Lumber Prices = Coop Rehab-
We thought about rebuilding our Coop and moving it to a different location in our backyard. The coop is over 10 years old and needed some help. Original post here Coop Re-Do 2013 Dave started pricing lumber and talk about sticker shock! I have been hearing on the news that lumber is up about 35%, which is huge! Previously Dave worked in some jobs where he was able to get free lumber but not so much now. We decided to look at what the coop really needed to be repaired. One thing was the floor,  an elevated section when you first walk in. The wood was sagging and it was obvious it was time to replace it. I was talking to Dave and thought instead of buying a sheet of plywood what if he could get some kind of scrap wood in short pieces and use it for the floor. Wouldn't you know it! He found free (at work) 2 pallets that are made for shipping very, very, very heavy electric motors. These are not your typical pallets, more like 2" x6"s! He was able to get two free from work! He basically disassembled them using a Sawzall to cut the nails-

Dave cutting nails

Recently I INSISTED he buy some new sawhorses, much safer, they fold up nicely

Nice wood pile

Big crack in floor

New elevated floor goes in 

All done!

The second part of the rehab of the coop was doing the rest of the floor. We had just had a dirt floor in the coop with the chickens digging in it constantly. One of the problems is they have dug under the edge of the walls, which is weakening the whole structure. Since we had so much hardscaping left form various projects I mentioned to Dave maybe we could just use some of that for the for the coop? The pine shavings would go on top of that. Since the chickens have access to the Garden run year-round there's plenty of dirt for them to dig in there and take dust baths. So Dave started digging out the coop floor including the pine shavings. It was time to clean the coop and add fresh pine shavings anyway so he did it all the same time-

Uneven is ok, will be under a thick layer of pine shavings!

Chickens had to help dig! 

I should clarify that Dave is not being coerced into doing projects. Dave loves projects! It was Saturday 8:30 am in the morning and Dave was out digging in the coop! The bricks were  free, they came from the edging of our front yard, that came with the house. We replaced with river stone that we got free. I'm just not a fan of brick garden edging. Over the years we've been able to get free river stone from various sources (legally) so we've been replacing the edging around both yards with those. I love the look, very natural.

The last thing for the coop was the wood door. When we built the coop I found the old wood door for $10, but now it was really, really warped. I asked Dave what he thought about buying a used storm door that we could use instead. Something aluminum/lightweight that could either be opened or closed depending on the weather. Dave found the door for $15.00 at the Habitat store. The glass panel comes out for the summer, back in the winter. I'll replace the screen soon. We may have to tinker with the glass panel locks and I may paint it later-

So the coop re-do TOTAL was $15.00 and a box of nails, pretty good!  A lot less that $500.00+ for a new coop!  

Pond Fun! 
The ducks have been coming and going, mostly later in the day. I put out some extra wild bird food. They love the small pond! They flew in fast and low over my head 2 days ago before landing in the yard. About gave me a heart attack! So cute though, love them.

Nap time

May 3, 2021

Garden Re-Hab Phase Two, New Feathered Friends! Old Cedar Planter Rescue, Bye Bye Technology


Garden Re-Hab Phase Two-
Dave removed the old cold frame last week to prep our new garden area, inspiration below, modified to fit our space-

Old cold frame, top course already removed

I helped him come up with the perimeter marked with bricks, then he raked out the soil. He added a few wheel barrels full of soil from our veggie garden-

He put the plants from the cold frame in pots, will re-plant some and some going to his work for another project!

Rough draft of the garden border-

See the ducks?

Yesterday we bought a Japanese Maple and some shade loving perennials to plant in the area. We may add a really small pond to the area, not sure yet.

We hope to have it all planted and bark dusted in the next week or so. Looking better all ready with the green along the fence! Next he removed the big Bamboo and moved it to under the maple tree to fill in the space. Luckily it had a shallow root system! 

Bamboo gone, more sun to plant more veggies, just need to weed! 

New home!

New Feathered Friends!
Last week a pair of wild Mallard ducks showed up in our backyard. I put out some extra wild bird food for them and gave them their space. They've been in the backyard all day today, except for a short period of time. They forage, swim in the pond, drink and sleep. I'm wondering if they'll build a nest? I read if they hang around they may already have a nest. Time will tell. They're quiet and pretty tame. Dave mowed and he said they stayed within about 5 feet. Nice shots, makes me smile when I look out and see them. A good reminder why we have an organic backyard, no worries for them! 

Mr. Handsome! 

Dinner time

Heading to the pond

And the pond repair tape worked!!! 

Lots of info here on wild Mallard ducks

Old Cedar Planter Rescue-
Dave built me a nice cedar planter years ago. The wood was split and rotting, time for a re-do! We took out the plants that wintered over. Dave bought some new cedar and he re-used the galvanized metal-

Last he added the metal sheets and the old soil-

I re-planted the old herbs and added some new ones! We should be good for a few more years.

Bye-Bye Technology –
We bought a laptop last year since we were still working off of Windows 8 and it wasn't really being supported much anymore. We reached the point where we couldn't do TurboTax or banking securely.  The computers we had were also really, really sloooooooowwwww. So we decided to buy a laptop, with an adapter, so that we can also use a regular PC monitor with a wireless keyboard and mouse. I backed everything up to the nth degree and it works great! We decided to keep the two old hard drives just in case we forgot something. We decided we reach the point of being happy with where we are at. I pulled out the two hard drives and removed the memory chips from both of them. We retired them both to a local PC recycler, who work with lots of government agencies, schools, etc. I removed the chips since I knew how to. I had actually added some for additional memory. They did lots of good years of service but it was time for them to be retired, haha. Freed up some extra room in my craft closet and under my kitchen desk/counter. I was able to sweep and mop under it and looks nice and open! Bye bye!  

Before shots, black hard drive and printer gone

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...