Saturday, August 28, 2010

New windows!

Finally weekend again! 

Our windows arrived this morning and the J's wasted no time putting them in.

It's 3 of the rounded ones. 

And inside... You may ask yourself why the bathtub is in the middle of the bedroom.

Bathroom window...

Aaaaand inside...

Speaking of bathrooms... We have left the design conversation behind a little but a visitor sparked it back up the other day. Couldn't come up with a good idea for the light above the mirror but all of a sudden it was obvious.

Namely this one. The picture is interesting because it shows the light on a surface that is very close to the color we are painting the mirror-wall in. Looks snazzy I think.

And this fixture from IKEA (Fado) will go in the ceiling.

This is subway tile and we are putting it in the shower area and around the tub. Also it will be on the vanity top around the sink. 

The floor will be this:

We are of course insulation and sheet rock away from doing any of this but we are gathering all the components.

There is no lack of things to do around here on the weekends. We are scraping and sanding and priming and fixing and eating and watching movies too (last night David Attenborough taught us everything about Bowerbirds!) (Fascinating stuff.) (Seriously.). I made an attic window ready for primer today and James is finishing the caulking around trim and windows. Most of the trim is waiting on PAINT PAINT. Exciting stuff. 

Work dried up for me suddenly, although I've had a good solid 3 week run and I feel alright about spending some time in Clintondale. 

So see ya around the hood!

Monday, August 16, 2010

For sale on Maple Ave!

This cute blue guy just came up for sale. It's 2 houses down from us on the opposite side of Maple Ave. Nice little tree-lined property!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Quality time

Friday was my day and I took full advantage of every minute. Number one priority was the dump. We never bothered setting up a garbage pick up at 19 Maple Ave since we never know if we will be here to roll the bin out on weekdays, so we just go to the dump. Which is kind of fun. The garage was overflowing with recyclables and garbage and it was time to face the nastiness. I tackled the bin and a swarm of maggots and threw the bags in the Pathfinder, which has become the around-the-town car. OMG the smell. But OMG the sense of accomplishment!

Next on the list was the front porch. I got a ladder, a respirator, a heat gun and a scraper out and went to work on the underside of the ceiling. 40 minute intervals is all my arms can handle and in between I cleaned up  around the house. Got the mail.  Did some weeding. Pruned my willow bushes. Went food shopping at Hannies. Watered the hostas. And back to the porch. 

In the afternoon I started anticipating James' arrival. He's working on a kids show and his hours are quite humane and was almost definitely going to make an 8 o'clock train. 

I thought a mini Italian buffet would kick off the weekend nicely. Some mozzarella and fresh tomatoes. Ciabatta with olive oil and balsamic dip. And a fine red box wine. 

Also in preparation of the weekend I started a Vichyssoise. My first. We are fans of soups around here and in the summer we like'em cold. I've done  Gazpacho and cold cucumber soup and this was the next logical step.

Vichyssoise in the making.

Chop 2 leeks and 1 onion and sautee them in butter until they are soft.

Add 1 1/2 chopped potatoes and 2 1/3 cups stock. 

After Thanksgiving last year I tried my hand at making turkey stock and it's been in the freezer ever since. It finally made it's way into the pot and I think that is what added that extra special touch to the soup.

Let this simmer for 30 minutes.

Put it through a blender until smooth. 

I left this mixture in the fridge until it was time for lunch today and right before serving I mixed in a cup of half n' half. Some fresh ground pepper and YUM!

I also prepped a dough for a Toft loaf last night and let it rise overnight and baked it this morning so we had fresh bread with our Vichyssoise. 

Lunch is served.

So there was a time when we thought we were painting our house white. Yea, simple and  and very un-offensive. Hm wait a minute... Since when do we care about being un-offensive?! E! 's long face when we told her "WHITE!" was enough to get us to start thinking in other directions. 

So Rosemary sent a book. 

This house was in the book. And that is exactly it. THAT'S IT! Darkgreen, to be exact - Benjamin Moore: Deep River. We took a look at that swatch and decided against and instead are going with Space (C225) from C2, in a solid stain.

And not at all to copy the mean greenies of Goatvalley fame... Just merely another homage and hats off for being brave enough to paint a house black!

Their new garage which will also house studio, workshop and store. Rrrrrraow - foxy.

Why hello there Mr. Fancy Pants.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Quick update

The boys weren't kidding when they said they would have the hole patched up by friday! A quick before and after, ladies and gentlemen. 

The before was taken about a year ago, we are coming up on our 1 year anniversary actually. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

7th inning stretch

Not a baseball fan but it seemed like a clever title. I just worked 7 days in a row and have one day off. It seemed a little bit overzealous to head upstate but also quite essential. 

And thank goodness I did or I would have missed some splendid photo ops. (The J's are back at it and we all know that things happen fast when they are!) 

I haven't been up here since the Swedes left and James is back to work after spending some quality time getting LOTS done on the outside. Soooo, Clintondale all by my lonesome it is. A bit melancholy for sure, summer is coming to an end. The vacation is way over and it was so GOOD, I miss them Swedes like crazy! When do I have to say good bye to the humming birds? They are supposed to head out to Mexico I hear and sometimes I wonder if this isn't the year when they are going to realize that staying down there is a much better idea than commuting every season. So will we see them again next summer?

But part of me is looking forward to wearing boots and sweaters. Fires in the fireplace. Halloween. Making BIG soups. The return of the Juncos. The colors of the valley. Apple picking! And our green house!

For the country it was pretty noisy this morning when I awoke. The J's are tearing down the half bay window by the living room and last night a cicada got stuck inside and was whooping and making a racket all night long.

By friday the boys are saying they will have this patched up! 

So - before.... (waaaaayyyy before. This is when we first moved in. No new windows yet.)

and afterish...

Some old clapboard siding exposed. It's in pretty good shape actually but we are sticking to our plan. Paint the shingles. Low maintenance baby.

They built the lower part of the wall and poured concrete today and closed the top up temporarily. 

And that is all that is left of the ugly bump.

The ever amorphous south side went through another transformation.

Spring time obviously with the lovely Star magnolia in bloom.

And today with the taller windows installed and the door finished with it's step stone. Only thing left construction wise is the top attic window which has been ordered and should arrive soon. And then paint!

Bedroom from inside with windows James can look out of without bending down!

Our new door handle which I think is so very Scandi and nice!

The smaller windows from the south side have a new home.

New bathroom and pastry shop window facing west. 

Bathroom from the inside.

Before James left he got a bunch primed:

The eave above the front porch.

Eave above the living room.

Dining room window. Or still life with finch sack.

And this is a really flexible chipmunk.

And this is a finch party. Boss.

And Woody in flight.

Late summer bloom.

Monday, August 2, 2010

What I did on my summer vacation.

It's back to work for this gal. We had ourselves a goodbye party on 9th Avenue of all places at 3 this afternoon. We've seen such beautiful things these past 3 weeks and our last impression is going to be 9th Avenue and 37th Street???? Seems wrong. But I don't have to dig very deep to grab hold of memories of country side, mountains, beaches, creeks, Clintondale sunsets and everything in between. 

The kids spent some time in the city on their own (read about their good times and look at pictures at Gizmo's and Kajan's blogs!)  and I went upstate to work on the house. They came back just in time for us to have a wild evening in Marlboro. Dinner at the Raccoon Saloon was a definite hit. Cool view and really good food. Made with love even. Mussels for me, pate for the big guy and lots of vegetarian options for the mean greenies. After that we strolled over to the Falcon for some live music. The act of the night was Marc Ribot known to music nerds and some regular people as a guitarist for Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and others. Cool. But for the evening Marc had decided to play an experimental jazz set all by his lonesome. A man and his instrument. I don't know who in the audience knew this beforehand and who (that "who" would include "us") were a bit miffed when the first song Smoke gets in your eyes took a wrong turn 30 seconds in and became a series of yelps and eeeks and deedle-deedle-weeeeeps. That was by the way the title of the second song. We wanted to like it so bad and we wanted to be adults and sit still and nod our heads just a little bit but I'm sorry it was mostly painful. And I could draw a picture from memory of Marc's bald spot because that's all I saw for an hour. And being like 13 Kajsa and I got the giggles and couldn't stop. 

There was an electric guitar leaning against the chair and we said "let's wait". Maybe this will pick up. Maybe Marc will go into an awesome rendition of Black Dog and the whole joint (which IS a very cool joint) will start swinging. But alas - after a 20 minute piece called Silent Movies we started filing out. One. By. One.

SO - thank you Marc Ribot for giving us so much comedic material that it lasted for the rest of sis/Giz's stay. Lotsa mileage for sure. 

But HE IS very talented.

Friday was a chill day with some house work sprinkled in. One of the first things Gizmo decided to tackle at 19 Maple Ave was the stones in the pit.

Kajsa captured our manly men in action.

(Sorry I just couldn't help myself)

We had realized we were sitting on a gold mine in stones. And that they could fill all kinds of purposes. 

Like this:

Some digging and some leveling sand and...

...a beautiful step stone for the new entrance. Thank you Chris for helping with the idea!

And this one:

A gorgeous stone bench in one of the prettiest spots in the yard. It doesn't take the place of the picnic table but only makes the picnic table more useful and so that it can be moved to shady spots whenever wherever!

We are also saying goodbye to this structure this week. It's old and leaky and falling apart. It also makes no sense. Once upon a time when people were 4 foot tall the kitchen was in the basement at 19 Maple Ave and this half bay was maybe built to make the kitchen brighter and roomier? Anyway, the J's are tearing it off and we won't miss it. 

So Kajsa and I decided to move our precious Hostas before this turned in to a war zone and we found a pretty place over by the little sister veranda. 

I think they will be happy here.

But don't think we worked all day. Whatta ya crazy? We made sure to stop and have challah french toast with fresh fruit and Mimosas. There was a slight chance it was going to kill our motivation but it was a risk we were willing to take.

Saturday was set aside for our BIG TUBING ADVENTURE! There had been talk of how awesome tubing would be if you had a little hangover. So that became some kind of lame excuse for having a schnaps sample party the night before. How do you spell schnockered? Anyway. We accomplished our goal and picked up Meg at the New Paltz bus station on Saturday morning. We peppered her with excuses for our base humor and lack of control over bodily functions and set out for PHOENICIA! There was also a quick run down of internal jokes that have developed in the past few weeks so that she could be part of our cool club. 

The ride up 28 is just beautiful and the journey became an integral part of our adventure. In Phoenicia it was not hard to find TownTinker. The big red barn that rents tubes and all the acutrement. (I don't know how to spell that either.) It's  like the biggest structure in town and it seems to employ most of the population. The tubing package consists of a tube with a wooden seat in it, a life vest and a bus ride up the river. We get our stuff and jump on the bus. 

Our busdriver Harry was totally the coolest busdriver! He channeled Sam Elliott and made the girls happy. Go Harry!

In the river we jump. Trying out our techniques, getting ourselves comfy on our tubes so that we can enjoy the next 2 hours to the max.

And we did! Due to lack of rain the river was pretty low and there were spots you had to get up and walk and I got a little chilly but it ended just when I developed fanny fatigue and I was ready to walk home rather than get off my tube to get off a rock one more frikken time....

Those are my wah-wah complaints - but the rest! Man - when can we do it again??!?!? When you go - you really go and the rapids are fun as all bejesus and in between you just bop and float and look at birds and maybe if you're lucky you can find a can of Bud Lite in the water that has gotten away from the fratboy party just ahead of you and you get off your tubes and share it on the shore between 5 friends and you realize that beer tastes good again and that the river has totally and completely cured your hang over. WOOOOO-HOOOOO! 

Here's to buddies and tubing and great days in the country!

On Sunday morning the kids and I left for the city around noon. The big guy stayed in Clintondale to get some scraping done and joined us later in the eve. Sis/Giz and I had 2 more things on the list to check off and we set out on the subway. (We tried to count all the modes of transportation they have taken during this trip and we didn't come up with a number but found only very few that didn't make the list, such as rollerskates, snow mobile and paraglider.)

And the Statue of Liberty. I talked them into taking the Staten Island Ferry cause it's cooler and more blue collar and you get a pretty good view of the lady. I just hope we came close enough. Scale is what you're after and unless you stand next to her it's hard to appreciate it.

Our last dinner was Korean BBQ and we were at one point fanned over by 3 waiters, who knew 1/16th of the English language between them. Made for an interesting eating experience. And tasty as always! Drinks at the Frying Pan for a final look at Manhattan from the water. An emotional and lovely evening. We have gotten very used to having sis/Giz around and are truly sad to see them go. The big empty has lodged itself in the heart area and I guess we'll have to fill it with Skype for a while. But as the case was with mamma and pappa - it was hard to say goodbye but it feels so great that my whole immediate family now has a real picture in their mind of my beautiful house and my beautiful yard and my beautiful village and that is worth very much. Vi saknar er redan och hoppas vi ses snart igen!!! Kram kram kram!!!

So as I get my lazy ass back to work tomorrow, James is going back to C-dale to kick some painting butt. 

Look at the progress already!

Bay window primed!

Windows primed!

More windows primed and an eave above them scraped, sanded and ready for primer! 

That is all for now. I'm going under the radar for 7 days in a row of work and won't have house time for a while. Sad but very needed!

I can't wait to plan our next adventure together!