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Hot Tub Disconnection and Removal

After we finally decided to get rid of our hot tub the actual removal was pretty quick. We placed an ad on Craigslist (probably priced it a bit low), got some calls, and the first guy arranged pickup two days later, and now it’s gone.

I made it very clear in the ad that they would have to have experienced movers, as the tub weighs about a thousand pounds. As it turned out the guys who showed up were experienced hot tub movers, but it was almost too much for them. Had it just been a bunch of guys and a pickup, then that would have been a recipe for disaster.

First step was to drain the tub. You can just drain it as normal, by gravity, but the movers brought a pump, which made it all go a lot faster. While it pumped they removed the cover and loaded it on the truck. Read more

Get Your Project On: Young House Love’s New Book

The other day, one of my favorite blogs, Young House Love, posted something that made me very happy. Their new book, titled Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love, is officially available for pre-order!

You can hear the whole story from them right here.

In my other life, I’m a crime fiction writer trying to get my first novel published. The process for publishing fiction is different than for non-fiction, but hearing about John & Sherry’s journey in getting this book done rang some familiar bells for me:

It’s so funny because we distinctly remember every single phase: signing on with an agent well before Clara was born, writing an 100 page proposal in 2010, pitching it to publishers and picking the right one for the job right after moving in 2011, turning our proposal into a complete book outline and then a complete manuscript right around New Year’s, shooting for three straight weeks in our house back in February of this year, and then refining and proofing and proofing some more, and finally – finally! – sending this baby off to be printed.

One thing is certain, the world of publishing is not what you’d describe as a high-speed bullet train. It’s more like a horse-drawn carriage. Read more

Hot Tub for Sale

I’ve been bitten by the gardening bug big time. I have my heart set on planting a fall garden but unless I do it in the front yard there’s just no space. I’ve seen plenty of front yard gardens and they are great looking, but I’d like to keep ours as is, at least for now. Unfortunately, we live in the city and outdoor space is at a premium. Something has to be sacrificed if I’m going to have that beautiful vegetable garden I’ve been dreaming of. Turns out, it’s the hot tub. Yes, there’s a hot tub for sale at our house.

Picture of hot tub

Sad to say goodbye

Curse Mick for taking a picture of it that makes me want to jump in and never get out.

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Exhaust Fan Install in the Garage

I spend quite a bit of time in the garage, as that’s where my workbench and tools are. But it gets very hot in the summer. There’s no ventilation, and the black roof just soaks up the sun, heating up the air in the garage from the top down. So I decided to install a fan to suck out that hot air, to be replaced with cool air in through the window.

The obvious spot for a fan would be through the roof, at the highest point possible. But I decided to do it through the wall instead, only slightly lower, as it seemed like an easier install, and far less chance of leaking, and causing rot. Here’s where it ended up (it’s the black square just to the left)

Exhaust fan on the garage exterior, alley side.

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Window Shopping at VivaTerra

The other day I got a catalog for a store I’d never heard of before called VivaTerra. This morning I made myself a tall iced coffee and sat down to do some window shopping at VivaTerra.

The first thing that caught my eye was this chair and ottoman:

Bruges Chair and Ottoman

Image borrowed from

This is the Bruges Chair and Ottoman. At a sale price of $829 and $349 it’s a bit splurgy (actually many of Viva Terra’s items are splurgy) but if it fits into your budget I really like the shape of it. Kind of like an Eames Lounge on vacation in Tahiti.

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Kitchen Fire Extinguisher

Most fires in the home start in the kitchen. So I decided we probably should have a fire extinguisher in there. I found they make them specifically for kitchens, and I ended up getting the Kidde FX10K Kitchen Fire Extinguisher. It’s incredibly cheap for the peace of mind it offers, just around $22.

Kidde Kitchen Fire Extinguisher

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I Will Name Him George

Someday soon, perhaps tomorrow, I will pick this ripened tomato I grew my very own self. I will name him George.

And  I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him and pat him and pet him and rub him and caress him and…

Then I will tell him to get in mah belly.

Cherry Blossom Bathroom Mood Board

I have long been enamored of cherry blossoms, but surprisingly, I don’t have any in my house. Creating this cherry blossom bathroom mood board gave me some good ideas for a future bathroom re-do.

Cherry Blossom Bathroom

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Installing a Solaira Alpha Outdoor Electric Heater

We love eating outside at our big table in the back yard, but here in Venice it quite often gets a bit chilly in the evening, even during the summer. So we started to look into some kind of outdoor heating solution. Here’s what we ended up with:

Solaira Alpha H2 3000 watt outdoor heater, in our back yard.

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Open House: Modern Cube

There’s something you should know about us: we can’t resist an open house. Call us nosy, but going to open houses is a good way to keep up with what’s happening in the local real estate market, plus, it’s just fun to look at other people’s houses. When the house across the street came up for sale and held its first open house, we hustled right on over.

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