Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Yard Update

We've somehow hit the 'one year' mark at this house. Some projects have been completed, others not. We laugh when we look back at our 'first' goal list for the house renovations - we were quite optimistic and naive. But, we are proud of what has been accomplished. (Photos of the inside will be posted in the near future.)

But, since summer is now upon us I can't help but share with you our yard and the transformation that has taken place since we first began pulling out shrubs and weeds back in '08. You may recall this:

But, with many hours spent tending these gardens it now looks like this:

While we have more work to do here, we think it is quite an improvement and our neighbors thank us.

We also want to share our growing vegetable garden!

The heirloom tomatoes are growing like mad, as are the onions, various squash and lettuce. We've struggled a bit with our bean varieties and the broccoli - between the slugs and wet weather they haven't flourished like we hoped. Everything is growing the 'natural' way without use of any pesticides/chemicals, so we know some of the crops will be lost to the bugs. We have really enjoyed eating our home-grown lettuce - the taste & texture is remarkably better.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

First Quarter 2009

Work progress is like blog postings for us -- few and far between.

But things are happening nonetheless. We have trim to be painted in the garage, a built-in bookshelf in the office, built-in wardrobe (to be finished) and several outdoor projects underway (on our handful of sunny spring days -- or 3" of snow, like today).

Without further ado, the photos:

There you have it. Hopefully we'll have the finished details of the bookshelves and crown moulding up within the next week or two!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The OCB Update

Walls have gone up. Doors have been hung. I feel weird and good all at once.

Take a peek at our most recent living situation. We are trying to acclimate to this new environment where people actually sit on sofas and chairs - and, yes - even watch TV! The extra help we hired was a wise investment - now we can relax and enjoy the holidays. Phase II of construction comes after the new year:) hahaha - never ends.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Quarterly Report

You may have been wondering..."where did those Elza's go?" Well, we are alive and so is the house. Or we should say, we've been getting by.

First we tore down more walls in hopes of a fast renovation - insert laugh - and then the flood waters came (three inches in parts). We were not prepared to handle this new challenge - but, who is really - and we mucked our way through with the help of wonderful family and friends. Basically, what was housed downstairs is now upstairs and we have been left with a mess of a basement and a crowded construction zone - i.e. the upstairs. So, we now have been living in a chaotic state for almost two months. Who wants to come over?

Here are some photos of the past three months - you've been asking and now we are delivering...brace yourselves.

As you may note, we have made quite a mess of our new home. However, the next batch of photos should be a bit more uplifting. We've actually put drywall up! You'll just have to wait to see...

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Line Level Can Save Your Marriage

When it has been pretty darn Fox Valley-July hot and we've been working hard all day, I say the edging brick looks like it isn't sloping right. And get a look that says and "how am I supposed to tell what's level you [wonderful person]".

Aluminum and simple, on spooled string pulled taunt (thankfully purchased on a whim at ACE a few days before), sets the approaching evening back to calm.

Pathways now added to the side yard -- looks like we're headed toward the finishing touches (finally).

Gentlemen -- I exhort you: Invest in a line level. Relationships may hinge on your good decision.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Got the results back today from the environmental testing facility. No asbestos!!! What a relief - considering we were dopes and left our masks off while cutting through walls and such. I, Alyssa, almost had an anxiety attack when I realized these materials could very well have asbestos. I would prefer living a long life. We can breath easy now and finally finish up our interrupted demolition. Here are some shots of our first attempts at breaking down walls.

Hands off ladies.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Our Blooms

Sorry it has been so long! As you might have guessed, we are so worn out with house work that we haven't had the energy to write any entries. We will try to get better at this! In the meantime, we've knocked down more walls. However, we're currently on hold as every bit of wall, ceiling tile, etc...is being tested for asbestos - oh the joy of old homes. The first batch came back negative, so we are optimistic that the second batch will be too. Fingers crossed.

I've been working out in the garden and decided this is definitely a job I enjoy. I love being outdoors and making a space beautiful and green. These are some photos of our recent plantings! Enjoy:) - Alyssa