Tuesday, July 24, 2012

07_24_2012 Exciting new appliance purchase...

So this is what it's come to...blogging about a new appliance. Oh come on, you know you're secretly psyched by a new VACUUM too! We needed one. Each of us had our old trusty machines...old and crusty with the suction of dazed barracuda. Dave's was a Hoover. Mine, a Kenmore. (Anyone need lots of  Kenmore bags?).  
They'd each been good machines to us. Dave can't remember even buying his. Mine had sucked up a lot of parrot debris and I too can't even remember buying it. In the end, our long term relationships with the vacuums didn't matter. We had dirt that needing attention.

We were in McGuckins (our first costly error) and there she was...the new Eureka, HEPA, Cyclonic vacuum. Retractable cord. With POWER!! No vacuum cleaner bags to buy. A see-through canister to watch the debris sucked up swirl round and round and round. A perma-attached accessory hose (no attaching and unattaching - just grab the hose to suck up that pesky fuzzy.

We played with dirt thrown to the ground over and over. In fact, they started turning the lights out as the store was closing. We both played coy like we didn't really need the vacuum, but secretly each of us really wanted it. Home it came.
Oh, and the upholstery/pet attachment. That thing could scalp someone!  Dave quickly assembled it. Snap piece a to piece b. Snap c to front. Voila! A vacuum!
We had vacuumed all the rugs before getting this so they technically weren't dirty. The Cyclonic felt differently. We vacuumed the downstairs den, the new rug in the addition, and barely got started on the living room rug before we had packed the debris canister.

Zoinks! This think is wicked! And great fun. I know you can relate. :)

Free Blog Counter

Monday, July 23, 2012

07_23_2012 Luke and Jack visit with Pente

Fun day at the house - Vicky brought her sons, Luke and Jack, by to see the renovations.  The boys were most excited to see Pente while Vicky and I yapped about things.

Here is a photo of Jack and Pente.
You can see they are professional cat guys - they know how to pet and love on a cat. And Pente ate it all up. She lounged for them and allowed copious belly-rubbing.

Luke joined in the fun.
Here Jack relates the story of how he saved his cat. The cat had slipped out of the house during the same week coyotes had been seen on their block. It didn't look good for the cat.  Happily, Jack made flyers to alert neighbors about his missing cat and in no time, the cat was found and returned unharmed. We were all very relieved!
Thanks for coming by guys!

Free Blog Counter

07_23_2012 House 99% Completed - The Interior

Middle of the day - bright sun - maybe not ideal photo conditions. Still, here they are. This is standing in the original living room, looking into the new room. The couch arrives later this week. Coming to visit? This is your new guest bedroom!  The doors are currently glass but will be getting a sandblasting treatment so they allow privacy and light. See Rudy the Rooster in the back left corner? That's where I'm heading for the next photo.
Looking toward the old living room to the left of the doors. See the cat? That is where she's been since we put the room together on Saturday. She hasn't even bothered to sleep with us. She's clearly thankful we went to all this trouble to build her a lounging room.  My desk was to have arrived together. It got crunched en route so a new one is coming...sometime.
From the other corner, looking out the glass doors.
And looking into the new room from upstairs...
New non-dusty wood ceiling in the living room as seen from the dining room! We are going to do something with the post and rail...just not yet sure what that will be.
At the top of the stairs looking out the dining room sliding doors...
And from the same position, looking toward the kitchen. No more wall.
Another poor photo of the kitchen
The sink, dishwasher and refrigerator all remain in the same places (new appliances though).
This was once a blank wall and it now houses our range, microwave and precious storage. Travertine tile are used in the backdrip and the granite is called Golden Crystal.

Starting there, the next series of photos are taken from the same position looking around the room.
The new induction range and even a pantry. We had no pantry before.
Looking toward the dining room.
Toward the back door...
Kitchen window and sink
And back to the new counter-depth (yay) refrigerator.

So there you have it - the new house. :)

   Free Blog Counter

7_23_2012 99% Completed House Photos - The Exterior

Here it is - a promised three month turn around took almost exactly three months. Pretty impressive!

The largest remaining part is the front yard (obviously). The landscaper can't get to us for a month so it'll look a little rough up front.
Still, you can see that the front looks very different than it did before (consult April postings and before). The new room is exactly what we'd hoped - a room that looks great, but also looks like it's always been there. The windows and skylights rock. The front porch is more enjoyable than we ever imagined. And the new bedroom window (top right) is a great addition.
The house was painted really well and looks terrific as a result. Some flowers even survived. We (Callie and the builder) watered then through out the process and it's paid off. The landscaper was able to come and build the walkway - another component that is far better than we anticipated. Hopefully in a month you'll see some posting of new flowers, trees and grass. Then it'll be 100%!

Next posts - inside!

  Free Blog Counter

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

08_17_2012 Bird Photos, Part IV and final photos

Last installment of pretty birds.  Here is our Spotted Towhee again.
And an adorable male baby Kestrel fresh out of his nest box.
Here is one of them still considering heading out. Can't blame him for taking his time!
If these pictures don't touch you, you may be dead.
Must be hard to see one's parents and three siblings out there. He waited a day, but finally made the leap.
More nest action. This is a House Wren feeding her nest of chicks. During this entire time, a pair of Tree Swallows sat patiently as if waiting for these guys to vacate the nest. They wanted to move in!
The two Tree Swallows were getting a start on making a nest of babies for the House Wren's habitation.
Cool photos of Tree Swallows in action. They made a cool call during this activity.
One last Tree Swallow shot.
Another of the House Wrens
 A female Killdeer. How do I know? Because we saw her sitting on her nest. It was a typical Killdeer nest - far too close to a trail (12") and the time it took to "build" the nest may have been one minute. :)
House Wrens
Love these! We only see them in the dessert - Phainopepla. Just beautiful birds!
The Phainopepla again
And finally, a Western Bluebird. Bluebirds - regardless of the type - never get old!

 Free Blog Counter

07_18_2012 Bird Photos, Part III

This photo is of a very young Kestrel!  This pretty bird had fledged only days before in a yard of a friend. Note his cute little feather tabs on his head. Just want to give this bird a big kiss! (More photos of him and his siblings below).
Before the other Kestrel photos, I wanted to share this adorable male Yellow Warbler. His mate and he were bathing in the stream edge. Nice view of a bird that is usual WAY up in a tree.
I think this is a Say's Phoebe. These little flycatchers are hard ID jobs. I know a Say's by call and this one isn't talking here. :)

The Cedar Waxwings are back! Here's a handsome one. We've not yet seen the young, but I'm sure they'll be here quickly.
The rest of this blog entry is devoted to the family of Kestrels. There were four babies in the box and they fledged within a couple of days. Glad we were able to watch them for a while!

A two-fer!
   Free Blog Counter