Saturday, June 29, 2013

In which my floor erupted...

....and I had to get a new one.

A week or so ago, I noticed a change in the kitchen floor.

It seemed to have raised slightly near the stove and dishwasher, and was a bit soft feeling around the raised bit.  By Sunday morning there was a noticeable change.  By Monday morning, I was tripping when I walked around in the kitchen.  It was clear that something had to be done.  We were confused, stymied, unsure as to what would be causing the shift.  There was no sign of leaking around the dishwasher or water anywhere else.

So we made a phone call.  The result of that call is that a couple of the floor boards came up (we have laminate flooring in the kitchen, so it was relatively easy to remove the boards).  Underneath the laminate, we found the foam underlay, and under that, we found first...disintegrating linoleum, and then...hardwood.  But the hardwood looked like this:

It may be difficult to see, but it was obvious to us that the boards had buckled.  Something had to be done.

I was headed to the city the next day, to see my Dad, and help him pick out a memorial for my Mom's grave.  It was decided that work would begin Tuesday morning, and hopefully would be completed before my return.  Seems to me, we've been there before.  At any rate, the plan was to pull up the damaged hardwood and replace it with plywood, and then install the laminate.

Under the damaged hardwood, they found this....(will wonders never cease?) 

 I believe it is an early type of linoleum, that had to be waxed?  If anyone knows better, I'd welcome comments.  (With floors like this, it makes me wonder what colour the walls were!)

The hope was to be able to patch the areas that needed work, and not have to completely take up the old floor. times change, so do products.  Not only did the new boards not match the colour of the old ones, but the tongue in groove system had also changed, and no amount of effort was going to make the old tongues fit into the new grooves.

So while I was blissfully away in the city (sort of) family was hard at work doing this...

And then 

And finally

It wasn't all done before I came home, but it was mostly done,  and I was home in time to help move everything back into the kitchen.

What caused the problem?  Water. But not from inside.  Somehow, somewhere it is coming in from outside, and going under the floor.  So that is the next project.  And I am glad it is summer and there is no snow to melt and ruin my new floor.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Yard Work

The weather has been beautiful this week, not too hot, and perfect for working on the jungle that has been our yard this spring.  In fact, the kids and I even did some of our lessons outside, soaking up some of the rays.

We've had our garden in for a while.  It is a very small garden.  We just have tomatoes, onions, leeks, and some herbs planted in there.  Then  my husband has planted an herb garden in the big farm bucket that is covered with blue tarp and sits on the remains of our big tree.  It is the perfect height for him to work in.  My little patch is the flower garden in the side yard.  It has bulbs that come up in the spring, and then I like to plant petunias in it for summer colour.  It looks a wee bit messy at the moment, as the tulips are still partly green and brown, and the petunias haven't spread yet.  I also have a couple of carnation plants in there, and they are full of buds.

At the back of the yard, by the fence, the gout weed had taken over.  While it was a mass of not an ugly colour of green, it was taking over everything.  I haven't been able to completely get rid of it, but we pull lots out every year.  The kids and I pulled three yard debris bags of the stuff the other day.  We uncovered the compost bin (we had still been able to get to the lid),  and eight plant pots that had completely disappeared under the green.  We also found two tennis balls (Boo bats and throws them around instead of baseballs--LOTS easier on the windows).

Belle took all the pots and dumped the dirt into the wheelbarrow, where she worked it over and took out all the weeds.  Then she mixed in compost and refilled the pots.  Off we went to the store to get more flowers.  The pots are now planted  with petunias in a mix of different colours.  I am hoping to eventually put them by the back fence so I can see the colour from the house, but they may go out in front of the house for a little while.

Yesterday we all started work on the patch at the front of the house.  There used to be three rose bushes and two shrubs in there.  But the grass got in and the rose bushes were no longer doing well.   One of them had a tree (we think maybe it is some kind of sumac) growing just behind it and overwhelming it ( I had thought it was the plant the rose was grafted into).  Also an invasive vine was growing over everything.  The shrubs were overgrown and getting increasingly difficult to handle.  It has been a source of frustration for me for the past two years.  And I always thought the front looked like a rental property...don't ask me why because I couldn't tell you.  It was just something about the look--or lack of care.  At any rate, we cut and chopped for hours yesterday.  My dear husband did most of the hard work.  I worked at bagging all the debris, and the kids helped where they were needed.  The shrubs are gone now, and two of the three rose bushes.  We ran out of steam before we got to the third one.  Now we want to clean out the dirt and plant something else in there.  We are not sure what yet.  The front of the house faces south so gets a lot of sun in the summer.

The other big project is the weeds in the driveway.  Dear husband is working on those.  Belle had already worked to pull the weeds out of the gaps in our walkway.  And with the grass mowed, the yard is looking improved.  There is still lots of work to do though.

Sorry, no pictures.  I never even thought of getting the camera out--I was just too busy working.  But when it is done, I'll post photos of the new look.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Thankful Thursday (on Friday again)

It has been kind of a tough week in many ways.  I started out the week thinking I was relapsing into the illness I had last month.  I had three days of sore throat again, and then it mostly disappeared.  Was it residual stuff or allergies?  I don't know.  Other things were tough, and made it kind of an emotional week--health concerns for family members, feeling like I was barely keeping my head above water with lessons for the kids, meals that didn't turn out well, and relationships in tough spots.

But there were other things that were good: (in no particular order)

  •  A visit to a 90 year old lady with my Pastor husband.  She was so very happy, content, and while a bit forgetful, very aware that she is not alone, that the Lord is always with her.  It was an encouragement to me.
  • Reading one of the school books to the children, and the time we have spent laughing over the story.
  • Playing "Lazy Batter" outside with the kids.  A game in which a person sits on the deck steps with a bat.  One child stands a couple of yards away on either side, and pitches a tennis ball.  The Batter tries to bat the ball either right or left-handed.  Needless to say there were a lot of misses, some hits, and a lot of laughter.  (The children made up the game.)
  • My new dishwasher, installed on Tuesday.  It is so quiet, and I'm hoping much more energy efficient than the other one, bought (at a higher price) nine years ago.  Right now it is running on the overnight cycle--takes up to six hours, but supposedly saves lots of energy.
  • The many verses that have popped into my mind, at times when I was really struggling.  I remember asking the Lord for a verse one evening, thinking that the verses from Lamentations 3 were good for mornings, and I needed one for the evening.  Before I even had thought it all out, Isaiah 40:31 was there, in my mind.  He is faithful.
  • Listening to a Red Sox game on MLB and hearing of their 17-5 win over the Rangers.  It was a fun game to listen to--if you were supporting the Sox.
  • Finding that I have an iris in the yard that has buds on it--I have never had one bloom since we moved here.
  • Planting my petunias.  Hope they do well this year.
Funny, that when I was thinking of trying to do a Thankful post, I was having a hard time finding the good things this week to be thankful for.  It is a good exercise to work on.

I am linking up with The Army Chap's Wife for this post.  Please feel free to join us.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Moved from Xanga

Well, given the word that Xanga might be shutting down/moving, and not having a paid blog over there, I decided it might be time to move.  I've followed quite a few blogs on Blogger for a while, and I thought I would move here.  But I haven't so far been able to move my archives.   If anyone can give me advice on how to do that, I would be much obliged.

I am hoping to be able to stay in touch with my friends from Xanga, so if you have a blog over here that I don't already know about, please let me know.

This is not the most exciting first post, but it gets the business out of the way.  I hope to blog more regularly soon.