Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Light at the end of a long tunnel

Home port- Port Orford, OR
November 6, 2013

It's been a long time since my last posting and I fear I may have lost a few loyal readers in the lull.  I worried that people tuning in for a travel blog, may grow weary about this turning into a home improvement blog, with our efforts going towards updating and repairing this old house.  My fears are most likely ungrounded, as I've noticed quite a few of my fellow bloggers digress from time to time.  Suffice to say, this posting is to wrap up our summer's remodeling efforts and set the stage for a new season of travel.

We have finished the new floors on the whole down stairs- including a tile entry at the front door, which was a last-minute change

Joan is quite the tile expert in this family- this is, I believe, her 6th tile floor, and it turned out fantastic!.

We removed all the cabinets in the kitchen and hung the new ones that have adorned our living room for over a month now

Joan installs the door and drawer pulls on our new cabinets

We installed our own granite tile counter tops, with assistance from Oregon Tile and Marble.
Steve at OTM walked us through the process- using their "mini slabs" of granite that are 18" wide and 26" deep, one slab covers a foot and a half of countertop.  The tile joints are kept to 1/16" to give the finished top the feel of a one-piece granite slab top.  Our good friends Jim and Sara loaned us the awesome Bridge saw, that will cut these slabs in the 18" or 26" direction.  We also invested in a diamond polishing kit to polish any cut edges that are exposed.  The polishing kit consists of a variable speed grinder and 7 different grit pads ranging from 50 grit to 3000 grit.  All totaled, the granite top cost us a little under $1000 dollars!
Joan numbered the pieces of backsplash with dabs of tape to help get them installed in the correct location- and set them with construction adhesive rather than the thinset mortar we used on the countertop.
One of the ironic parts of this remodel was having to remove this fairly new 8' picture window in the dining area, to make way for an expanding kitchen which now includes a dishwasher.  The addition of 24" for the dishwasher pushed the refrigerator down the wall and in front of this window.  Reluctantly, we removed this one and replaced it with a 6 foot window ( below) 
The new window gives space for the relocated fridge, and also for the addition of an island cabinet which we really need.  The island gives us much needed counter space, and is handy to the refer and the pantry, making food prep a breeze.
The island needed lighting to finish it off, and with a 16' vaulted ceiling, that meant long cords to get them to hang at the appropriate height.
I think we nailed it!
I am very pleased that Joan was able to find LED light ribbons to replace the old fluorescent up-lights for the tops of the cabinets.  We also now have a set on the bottom of the cabinets.  Both are wired into a set of wall switches- and are dimable.  Still to come is the crown molding which will finish this off nicely.
Last weekend, our good friends Marla and Kermit visited us and the distraction, was very welcome, as were the gifts of a table and area rug they brought for us.  Marla and Kermit rented a room in Bandon, and got a free upgrade to a vacation house on the bluff with spectacular ocean views!  It was a great place to hang out when we weren't off seeing the sights, shopping and (of course ) eating.  We conned Marla and Kermit into taking a drive up to Coos Bay, where Joan and I bought the flue pipe for our gas heating stove, which Blue Star is in the process of installing for us.  We took the "back way" through Shore Acres state park, and Seven Devils Road on our way back to Bandon.  The arboretum at Shore Acres is nearly all wired up with colored lights for their spectacular winter light show.  We were there in the late afternoon in the sunshine- so we missed the lighting effects- but the plantings and landscapes are beautiful.
November 2nd was our 36th wedding anniversary, and we celebrated with Marla and Kermit- lunch at Bon-Appetite Deli in Coos Bay, and dinner at Tony's Crab Shack in Bandon.  Great fun! 

I'll leave you with this bit of whimsy-

Anyone know what this is- does?  It appears to be a watercraft, fabricated completely out of aluminum plate.  We found it sitting on this trailer in the town of Langlois 14 miles north of Port Orford.  Hmmm.

Your friends

Jeff and Joan