Thursday, October 28, 2010

Puffer Fish! The Light!

This is what Rob rigged in the bathroom for light since the overheads are temperamental and outlets are at a premium.

After the house was broken into, we had this guy on a timer so the placed looked lived in. Talk about a high tech security system.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

We Live in an Ice Cream Parlor

We have knob and tube electricity, which I had never even heard of until the inspector told us ours needs to be replaced. The outlets work fine -- what few there are. Our living room has two; the bedroom one. I can imagine the electrician in 1909 telling the owners they were being extravagant putting two outlets in the living room because, honestly, back then what were you going to plug in?

The overhead lights, on the other hand,
when they feel like it. Again, what few overhead lights there are; the previous owners graciously removed the living room and dining room fixtures when they moved out.

Rob decided to hang Christmas lights to keep us from stumbling around in the dark. They work quite well and make the place feel cozy. It's been a while since we've had incandescent bulbs; the light is much warmer than with compact fluorescents.

Of course, now that Rob has come up with an alternative light source, our ceiling fixtures have started working again. Even so, the Christmas lights are staying.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Lest There Be Any Doubt....

...that this guy is little.

My finger is at the 15 inch mark.

We expect it to start providing shade some time after we start collecting social security.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It's In!

We planted the Engelmann oak this weekend after consulting our contractor about where our sewer line is. These trees put down insane tap roots, so we didn't want any plumbing problems. Right now, we've got weeds that are bigger than this little guy, but he will grow to be gigantic.

This is a picture of an Engelmann on the Cal Tech campus. It's estimated to be 400 years old. Hope ours gets to live that long.

We went to Cal Tech because, according to the
Arroyo Seco Foundation, our sapling will die off if it doesn't have the right symbiotic mycorrhizal funghi for its roots. The easiest way to make sure it does is to put a little dirt from under an established oak in the planting hole. We had visited the Cal Tech Engelmann when we were deciding what kind of oak to plant and thought it would be nice to start our tree off with a little of its dirt. Unfortunately, it's fenced off so you can't get to it, so we had to settle for some dirt from a random oak by where we parked the car. That's me scraping some dirt (and a couple of acorns) into a plastic bag from Taco Bell. Hope I got the right fungus!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Now We're Cooking!

We bought a period appropriate stove from friends who are in the process of turning a Victorian duplex back into a single family home.

It has two funky burner covers our friend jokingly c
alled "tortilla warmers." Yesterday I made burritos and heated the tortillas. The warmers worked perfectly, getting the tortillas evenly toasted. Even Rob noticed the difference!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's Little Now...

As if we didn't have enough to do with the move this past weekend, we also went to Theodore Payne Foundation, because we had learned they were going to have Engelmann Oaks in stock for just this weekend.

Rob's been wanting an Engelmann for a while and they're pretty rare, so when we got the call that the nursery had them, we were off and running.

Hard to believe that little guy is going to live 600 years and grow to be massive!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


While we were in escrow, we learned the house couldn't be sold because it didn't have a heat source -- a pretty significant problem in Southern California in July. Because it was a short sale, the owner refused to do any work on the property. The listing agent had a heater installed, but we didn't have any say on where it went. It now cuts up the only wall in our living room that would hold a book shelf, and the contractor's sloppy work left the floors the mess they were in my previous post. Sigh. And to think we're just going to rip the damn thing out at the first opportunity.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Before and After

After mopping the floors three times, I finally hired someone to come in and clean them. Can't wait to see the difference after we refinish them!

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Rose Grows

When the previous owners left, they dug up all the rose bushes out of the front yard. Now some of them are growing back on their own, pretty amazing since they've gotten NO water. Of course, the first rose to appear was pretty sickly. Seems fitting.

Ghetto Curtains

After the house got broken into and graffitied, we upped our "security" by installing a couple of motion sensors and lights on timers. We didn't want the lights to come on, however, and shine a light on the fact the house was empty. And we didn't want to spend a lot on curtains. Hm. Ripped sheets, anyone? Classy!!