Thursday, September 29, 2016

Caterpillars in the Garden

This is the milkweed plant called "Hairy Balls".
I'm pretty sure you can guess why.
And you'd be right to guess that I bought these for the Monarch Waystation
simply because they're called "Hairy Balls".
What can I say? 
I have the humor of a 12 year old boy.
The "balls" are the seed pods and form in late summer/early fall.
They're perennial only in Zone 8 and above, so just an annual here
but you can save the seeds for the following season.
Sadly, I haven't noticed any Monarch caterpillars on the milkweed, 
though I've seen some actual butterflies stopping for nectar.
I do have Eastern Black Swallowtail caterpillars.
I planted bronze fennel just for them (their favorite food).
While I've been mainly concerned with helping the Monarch population, 
I also want to help butterflies in general because really, 
the world can't have too many butterflies.
In other news, 
I've nearly finished weeding the jungle garden.
With all the hot weather and lack of rain, 
I let the garden go way longer than I should have.  
I'm 3/4 of the way finished cleaning it up.  
And Big E cut down the last of the shrubs we needed to remove.
We still have some stumps to dig out, 
and a large pile of brush to haul to the mulch plant
but it's all coming along.
And once I clean the kitchen, 
I'll share pictures of the new floor.

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Bedroom

This is the Master Bedroom.
It isn't that pretty.
Basically it looks brown.
Big E has a very large wardrobe/Armoire that was built by his great-grandfather
that we'll be bringing to the house in the near future.
And it's very large.
I think the dimensions are 72" high, 64ish" wide and 22" deep. Give or take.
So, large.
Needless to say, it took some planning to figure out where it was going to go
and where everything else was going to go
so that it all looked good and not squished into place.
This means, I had to make sure everything would look good and normal.
(because Big E likes to measure and say, "Yep, it fits"
and ignore that it just doesn't flow right, and I have to measure several different areas, 
get a visual of how far out things will sit and picture it all in my head so things do flow right)
We settled on moving the bed between the front windows,
and leaving the long wall for the wardrobe.
We'll be getting rid of a dresser and the tall chest of drawers
(that can be used in the future guest/grandson room),
which will make the room less hodge podge plus add a little space.
Eventually, we'll be building a window seat in the bay window alcove
that will provide storage.
So, while I was unsupervised alone this weekend, 
I decided to move things around and get ready for the wardrobe for when we can get it.
Did I mention it's large?
It has to be taken apart to transport and to fit it up the steps and into the room.
Anyway, I took the wrought iron foot and headboard off the bed.
The plan is to build a platform bed
out of reclaimed wood that offers storage along the base with crates.
But that's down the road a bit.
So I moved the room around, 
and the photos show the new configuration.
Job done.
I was left unsupervised alone. 
So I ripped up a section of the carpet.
After ripping up the section, 
I texted Big E to see if he minded if I rip up the carpet.
I find it's easier to do it, see if the other person thinks it's okay
and either carry on with what you were doing, 
or ask forgiveness and carry on with what you were doing.
Luckily, he didn't care.
But at that point, I knew there was adhesive on the floor.
Once again, someone thought gluing a carpet to a hardwood floor 
was a good thing to do.
It's not people.
Don't do it.
So I started scrapping with a little putty knife.
The process seemed a little easier than the dining room floor.
I think it's because the carpet that was glued to it had been gone a while
(the one in the dining room was still the one that was glued down),
and a bedroom doesn't have the same foot traffic as a dining room.
I decided it would be best to cut strips of the carpet,
and only work on small sections at a time.
This keeps the ugly, messy, dirty adhesive covered floor covered
while I work in small sections.
Plus it's easier to get rid of small sections of carpet and padding than to
coordinate the disposal of an entire giant room sized piece of carpet.
I also went to the local hardware store and purchased a couple of alternate tools.
One is a paint scraper (which I need for other stuff) and one was a 5 in 1 paint tool
that has a chiseled edge on it. 
It's also stiffer than a putty knife.
So far, I've used these 2 tools (mostly the 5 in 1 tool),
and I haven't needed to use any Goo Gone at all.
And they seem to be better at not gouging the wood.
  I started working along the wall that the wardrobe will eventually live.
When the wardrobe is large and heavy, 
I think it's best if it can stay where it is until it absolutely must be moved.
So the floor will be scraped, and the wardrobe can stay put until we're ready to renovate the walls
and refinish the floors.
Big E thought working in sections was brilliant,
which I am it is.
And I really like the look of the new floors.
The color is better than the color downstairs, 
and I think it's going to look awesome in a room with sage green walls
and woodsy/rustic/outdoorsy elements.

And in case you want to see what we went through in the dining room, 
you can check it out here and here.