Tag Archives: home improvement

(D)Rats

It pains me to record this story, but…

We had a rat at 3675.

Being the clean freak that I am, “rats” aren’t something I ever imagined I’d personally ever encounter, in MY home. Even as it sits on the precipice of its centennial birthday, with its dirt-floor crawlspace and steamy attic, right in the middle of the crowded Bay Area, overrun with urban wildlife feasting on the local and sustainable bounty of year-round backyard gardens…

My home is (or was, in my mind) an air-tight rodent fortress.

I’m only mildly comforted, still, by the fact that rats can be found in one-third of all homes in America. Like, barely comforted. 3675 had to be a 2 or a 3 – so clean you can eat off the floor in every room, inspected top to bottom inside and out on the first each month for signs of so much as a hairline crack

But alas, I saw the rat. It ran RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY FACE – I kid you not, I felt a breeze – while I examined what I thought had to be a harmless little mouse dropping in the basement behind the washing machine.

I’ll never feel the same about what lies beyond this door…

Mice, by the way, are NOT THE SAME AS RATS. Mice are tiny – cute, even. I’ve encountered plenty of mice before: in my office while working late, in our woodpile at our mountain home…

Rats: they are not cute. Continue reading

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5 – Another One

This past weekend, while Trent and I were in the middle of…

  • Cleaning and touching up our 100-year-old redwood patio furniture
  • Refinishing our enormous custom-built cedar deck box
  • RE-refinishing our enormous custom-built cedar deck box, after we woke up to find the finish had gelatinzed (is that a word?) overnight
  • Repairing our broken sprinkler heads (our gardening team is great, but they nevertheless murder the sprinkler heads, every season)
  • Repainting all the pressure-treated lumber in our landscaping, and…
  • Repairing and rerouting our gutters, now that it’s actually RAINED IN CALIFORNIA and we understand where the water from our roof goes (in short: not where it should)

…all to get 3675 ready for a summer of TOTAL RELAXATION and ZERO HOME IMPROVEMENT…

…it occurred to me:

We’ve lived in our house for exactly five years.  Continue reading

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Guest Room: DONE!

It’s kinda pathetic that almost one year to the day that I documented we were FINALLY starting to decorate our remodeled guest room

…I have FINALLY finished decorating the remodeled guest room.

Okay. So, since is the second project I’ve finished this month that feels as though it kinda dragged on a loooooong time, I feel like I just have to be clear… Continue reading

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Bark Beetle: The Transformation Begins

Life has felt like a bit of a downer lately. Have you noticed?

Old white people protesting on the corner in my neighborhood because even they're like, "WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!"

Old white people protesting on the corner in my neighborhood because even they’re like, “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!”

Come on! The airwaves are filled with racism, sexism, homophobia… Everyday there’s this wanna-be demagogue hollering poorly-articulated calls to march into the past – so we can just get more of the racism and the sexism and the homophobia, I guess.

We’ve got innocent people being murdered daily by the authorities supposedly empowered to protect us – right here in America. Global war, terror, death, children who look like this, a complete and total lack of human compassion about it all and, my favorite…

A stunningly ignorant regression in our understanding of science?

Really? Continue reading

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Rejuvenating

Lest you think I’m the only one that’s been KIND OF a mess this year…

Our deck at 3675 was HELLA gross.

And no, I haven’t given up on my list of to-dos for this old house. Despite being sick, and dealing with two grandparent deaths in one month, I’m STILL GETTING EVERYTHING DONE.

I feel a little bit like I’m about to have a nervous breakdown, but the s#!%’s getting crossed off the list.

For now.

Check out the crap they sanded off our deck, after just four years!

EW! GROSS!

EW! GROSS!

Luckily, they DID clean it up, and they did a decently-decent job. I give them a solid B on the Lisa Wisniewski cleanliness scale, which everyone knows is like a normal human’s A+.  Continue reading

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