Thursday, April 24, 2008


"I used to have a Super Cat too, but she just spent all her time trying to get out of the cape"
Squeak is visiting! What fun!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Orange Door is One!

One year ago today we officially moved into the Orange Door. The house wasn't officially ours for a few more days after that--due to our "unique" situation we had to pay to rent our home because all the paperwork wasn't done. The two weekends of painting to happen before the move never came to fruition, but at least we kept our move date. For awhile there it looked like we would have to postpone it.

We've done a lot since April 2007 and there are still many plans afoot. We've chopped through a lot of our "to do" list, but I've been silently making yet another list in my head. I'm thankful it has been such a good house and a great year.

On that note, posts will probably be less for a bit. I'm taking a class which meets twice a week and has, darn it all, homework. Last weekend we did a lot of fun blogworthy things I will post someday, but to do something and to blog about it takes more time than I have right now.

Know that fun posts are coming soon, I'm just not sure when.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Jocelyn and Marla's wedding.

Matt attends school with Jocelyn at Lewis and Clark and we were lucky enough to be invited to her wedding. It was at the North Star Ballroom (in our neighborhood!) and we enjoyed it very much.

The brides. Marla is on the right, Jocelyn on the left. They had matching wedding gowns, but with small detail differences. They were beautiful gowns and I really liked them.
Cutting the cake.
CJ and Andrea also attended. Notice some of the yummy food on CJ's plate.
And here we are with slightly fixed smiles. I am enjoying the fact that Matt's tie goes so well with my necklace.
Congratulations Jocelyn and Marla!

One less blind.

Time to say goodbye to another blind.
Before. Notice the cute kitty we are taking care of....
And after. I bought another of the big art stickers on sale at the PSU bookstore. It was half off, so for $10.00 and about 20 minutes of work I got to say goodbye to yet another blind.
I cut peepholes into the side so we could still see who is at the door. One is at Matt's height and one is at mine.
The sun had shifted by the time I took the after photos, so you can't see how nice it looks from the outside.
But you can see me taking the picture...
9 more to go....

Hail! Asparagus! Hail!

The asparagus crowns have arrived and need to be planted. Too bad it is freezing outside. Should I have to wear a scarf in April to work in the garden? No. That is why I moved away from Massachusetts.
Leo's patch (my next door neighbor has let me plant in his back yard) is ready for the asparagus.
I dug a trench. Then it hailed. You can see the hail in the trench. Blasted colder than usual spring!
The asparagus crown looks like something a villain in a Disney film would have for hair.
I spaced out the crowns in the trench and then lightly cover them with soil.
In 2010, I will be ready for my first asparagus harvest!


Today is the day! The day I get to put up my zip code map of Portland. It has been waiting over a year to go up on the orange wall. In fact, the zip code was planned for the orange wall before the orange wall was planned to be orange. It is an exciting day.

It's a huge Thomas Brother's map of Portland. I love to look at it while I eat my dinner. Two months later, as I actually writing this post, I've also enjoyed finding the "map people" among my friends. "You have a big map of Portland!" they will exclaim, spying it. Then they immediately walk over and point out where they live.
This wall will get floating shelves someday. In the meantime, it's time to install the guitar hanger.
Now the guitar is available for easy practice and playing.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A new rug.

"Sometimes a rug pulls a room together nicely" said my mother. And she was right. Not only was she right, but she also bought us our new rug. Thanks mom.

Before, angle 1:
Before, angle 2
After, angle one:
After angle two:

Friday, April 11, 2008

Making a trellis, or how I fell in love with the angle grinder.

I bought electrical conduit to make a trellis with, but then had to confront cutting it down to size. Research on the internet opened my eyes to a most wonderful tool: the angle grinder.

I hate to saw. I'm not that good at it, and though I enjoy doing some things by hand, sawing isn't one of them. So I was thrilled that the angle grinder (which I checked out from my favorite place: the North Portland Tool Lending Library) could cut my conduit down to size.

It was fun, too. I lined up the conduit I needed and then, after donning the proper safety gear, dropped the angle grinder onto the conduit. It cut through them like butter and made impressive sparks. I was glad I followed the recommendation to have a bucket of water handy.

My first attempts were too long, but it didn't matter so much as I had the angle grinder to make yet another cut.
After cutting the conduit to the correct lengths, I used the sledge hammer to pound in some rebar. It was fun and felt very John Henry-like.
I assembled and decided that my trellis was a bit tall. No problem! The angle grinder helped me again.
After cutting off the proper amount, the trellis looked much more sturdy.
All that was left to do was to add the netting. It was too early in the year to have the plants uncovered though, so I simply picked up the trellis and stored them against the side of the house.
And then! I sharpened all of my shovels with the angle grinder. It was incredibly fun.

Look at that sharp(er) edge!


Do you know what that is? Well, yes, it is the back yard. But more importantly, it is the back yard illuminated by solar light. That's right. The sun. It has been a very dark, cold and dreary spring. Sunny days like today have been rare. I was happy to have the day off from work so I could work outside.
The apple tree has blossomed.
Those tiny green specks are peas!

Homemade Earthboxes

Back a year ago, in my manic, no-sleep days before we moved, I found a website ( that explained how to make, on the cheap, the very expensive self-contained watering planter systems that cost an arm and a leg.

I had the day off from work and the supplies, so here I go.

The supplies: 2 Rubbermaid containers, a pond basket and a bit of pipe are all the materials needed. The tools are a drill, a jigsaw, and a marker. I got the jigsaw from the tool lending library.
First you measure the height of your pond basket and cut one of the containers down to size. Then you cut a hole in the middle that is a bit smaller than your pond basket. Note that my container was dirty, so dirt got everywhere. Next time I will wash it out first.
Then you make a hole in the side for the pipe and drill a bunch of holes.
The pond baskets go in the bottom of the whole bin sitting upright, then the cut off container goes in upside down.
Cut a bit of pipe off at an angle.
And assemble.
To use, fill the pond basket first with soil, then the rest of the container. Add fertilizer. Plant your plants. When watering, use the pipe on the side. The water goes down to the bottom of the container where the plant can drink to its heart's content.

The whole process took about an hour to make three.