Friday, October 14, 2016

Unpacking at the Bamboo Lagoon

After organizing
So, we had two big shipments of our stuff...the stuff that was in long term storage was packed in 2007 and mostly contained stuff that we would not need living overseas...the second shipment was the items that we did take with us but still sat in storage for a period of time.

Most of our yard stuff did not make the trip because we didn't know what kind of housing we would end up with and we were limited on weight so anything too heavy and not absolutely necessary did not make the cut.

These four big boxes along with all the stuff that is sitting around them was stuff that didn't make the cut and still didn't have a home in our yard quite yet so I was content to leave it packed up.

Before starting...trashcans, tarps, coolers, and boxes

This week, we had a big storm coming our way, and I needed to get the gutter in the back of the house cleaned out. This gutter is actually under the covered area of the back porch so it can't be accessed from the roof and has to be cleaned out using a ladder on the back porch. I couldn't get to that section due to these boxes and extra stuff, so I was motivated to tackle the boxes.

Midway through gutter and cleanup

While doing this, I found a little hidey-hole that a neighborhood rodent has been using...lots of droppings and half eaten acorns, but that little spot no longer exists. Found a half eaten ant trap too...didn't realize those were a delicacy.

Nasty little hidey-hole

It took me a while to get it all unpacked and ended up finding a few surprises (the movers always put a few things in the boxes that don't really make sense), but for the most part, it was all yard stuff.

Some of the yard art will go up on the walls of the house rather quickly (once the storm has passed), but the number of pots we have is pretty immense and most of that was stacked back up near the house in prep for the storm and will be sorted out later.

So while it doesn't look like a lot of accomplished as far as moving things out, in reality it was....everything is cleaned up, organized, and accounted for.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Deterring Woodpeckers

Deterrent on south side
Each fall, we have a few juvenile woodpeckers that seem to get confused between our house and the trees that they should really be pecking on...so each year, I head to the dollar store to find some cheap, colorful, shiny things to hang off the house for a few months...

This year, while I was on the roof cleaning gutters, I also hung the deterrents on the eave near the front of the house (where we have had pecking in the past). The wind usually pulls them down by the end of the fall, but by then the woodpeckers have moved on.

We have a spot that they created a hole at one year that is still only filled but not repainted yet (it is in a high spot on a slant so the extension ladder on unstable ground is scary) but I hope to get up there and paint it in the next few weeks when we get some dry days again.

Unlike some people, I am not willing to hurt the woodpeckers to get them to stop this behavior (not to mention that it is illegal to do so), so this little bit of effort is worth not having to fill holes in our house.
Deterrent on north side
Seems like it wasn't an issue the first two years we were here, but I hate to wait until I hear them pecking before starting to do anything about it since they can do some serious damage in a very short time. These are preemptive strikes for me....LOL

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

More Pine Straw at the Bamboo Lagoon

After the clean off
We are expecting a big storm here and by experience, I know that cleaning up pine straw is much easier done when dry than wet so I really wanted to at least get it off the roof and solar panels even if it didn't make it into the bin.

In order to get to it, I have to get on the roof in two different spots in order to not damage the solar panels. The first spot, allows access to the gutters as well so I figured while I was up there, I would clean gutters, and move some pine straw.

In order to make the new downspout screen, I had to take one of the other ones out for sizing, and then tin snips and some hardware wire made an easy job of it.

New screen for downspout

The roof was nice and dry and the view always takes my breath away. Gutters were not too bad, although I had to rebuild a screen for one of the down spouts. The back porch side of the gutter can be reached from a painting ladder, but was blocked by another project (subject for another post) so there was a bit of a diversion during part of this day of tasks. The pine straw was pretty massive but easy to move.

Pinestraw before cleanup

While I was up there, I also cut off a few limbs from the pine tree that were hanging too low over the panels and house. The pine tree is so big compared to when the panels were installed so they really don't get sun like they should anymore.

Pile off the roof

Once done, we had a pretty big pile of pine straw with some limbs in it. I was able to get all the limbs into the bin as well as get some of the drainage areas cleaned out of leaves so that we wouldn't have too much run off in our sloped yard. The rest of the pine straw will go in next week's bin.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Pine Straw Clean Up At The Bamboo Lagoon

Pine straw is like leaves, it is a never ending project each year. Even though we don't have nearly the amount of pine straw here that we did in NC, it still requires a certain amount of maintenance. I really only clean up the straw that falls on a particular area of the yard and let the rest lie where it falls.

This area is right under two Ponderosas we have in the yard and is a thoroughfare to the back porch from the front yard so it has to be cleaned up. This is just the pine straw that fell directly on the ground....there is a bunch more that is on our patio roof that I need to push off onto the ground, but I wanted to get this out of the way first. This straw filled up our 45 gallon yard waste bin all by itself. I wanted to get this area cleaned up before I attempt to do some work on the back porch since walking through this area is necessary and the pine straw is very slippery on the landing area.


I raked all of the it off the landing area, and off the sloping area of the rock wall but left it alone at the top where it just adds to the nice forest look that we have on that side of the yard. It took me an hour to get it all cleaned up and that included cleaning up one side of the drainage system that runs along the yard as well.

I think it looks a lot better and I am sure that the plants that were under a portion of it are much happier to be back out in the open.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

List Needed

So I was telling my sister today about how there are a lot of projects to do around here, and part of what makes me feel like I am making headway is to get all the supplies for those projects even when I can't start those projects just yet...it is a false sense of accomplishment when nothing is really being done.

In the course of this, I have a lot of supplies and several half accomplished projects (along with many unstarted projects) and thought I better make a list. This is just a list of the ones I have already got supplies for, not all projects which need to be done around here (which would make for a very big post).

Update: as I remember items, I have been adding them to the list, and as I have been finishing things off, I am striking them out. Having this list is actually a really good thing for me...not sure why I didn't do it before.
  • Replacing all four porch lights Aug 4
  • Fixing 220 outlet in laundry room Jan 10
  • Setting up remote garage door opener Apr 13
  • Create new screens (frames and all) for downstairs bedrooms June 7
  • Set up weight room July 21
  • Weedblock bed
  • Reinstalled downstairs blinds July 21
  • Put table together July 21
  • Fixing redwood bench on pool deck
  • Check insulation situation in attic Sept 7
  • Changing lock on downstairs closet door Sept 20
  • Painting white lattice under pool deck
  • Painting all bedrooms, bathrooms, hallways and the laundry room
  • Fixing electrical outlet on pool deck March 25
  • Fixing electrical in garage October 25
  • Fixing electrical in house March 25
  • Replacing lights in two bedrooms January 3
  • Replacing exhaust fan in office with light
  • Mulching beds March 30
  • Reinforcing joists under front porch
  • Changing curtain rods in livingroom March 21
  • Planting items in yard
  • Getting rid of gophers
  • Redoing side beds and border
  • Removing dead stuff from yard
  • Removing overgrown stuff from yard
  • Cleaning grout in kitchen
  • Fixing grout along kitchen backsplash
  • Reseeding grass
  • Fixing fence on right side of house Apr 13
  • Fixing fence on left side of house 
  • Fixing closet in bedroom  Oct 13
  • Patching and retexturing holes in walls
  • Sanding and staining railing
  • Sanding and staining window seat
  • Pruning plants in backyard
  • Putting in vents to front porch
  • Touching up exterior paint
  • Caulking kitchen sink and around faucets in tub July 22
  • Cleaning and painting table for pool deck
  • Labeling all plants in yard
  • Painting exhaust fan covers, doorbell cover and intake vent covers July 22
  • Replacing towel racks and toilet paper dispensers in both bathrooms March 23
  • Prepping and painting all stained doors and trim white
  • Installing CO2/smoke alarm downstairs April 24
  • Change filters on heating/cooling system July 15
  • Change out electrical 220 in garage
  • Tiling laundry room
  • Tiling mbath
  • Tiling downstairs bath
  • Installing vanity
  • Installing Magic Mesh March 12
  • Install new vanity lights in mbath August 24
  • Install new vanity lights in downstairs bath
  • Replacing sand filter and multi-port value June 23
  • Install storage for extension ladder April 13
  • New herbs June 15
  • New plants in pots June 15
  • Fix rock wall near pumphouse
  • Fix support in weight room closet Oct 13
  • Fix rock wall in guest parking area
  • Create manual sprinklers for side yard
  • Create manual sprinklers for lower back yard
  • Work on pool deck boards
  • Install reducers on the drip lines
  • Installing new mirrors
  • Moving old mirror from mbath Sept 20
  • Fix electric box cover in laundry room Sept 7
  • Insulate attic opening cover Sept 7
  • Secured dryer vent Sept 7
  • Fix hole from woodpecker Sept 20
  • Install new cabinets in laundry room Sept 20
  • Unpacking 12000+ lbs of household goods
  • Installing bamboo floors on main floor of house  Oct 13
  • Install ceiling fan
  • Caulking and filling all baseboards on main floor  Mar 11
  • Filling floor in kitchen Jun 9
  • Patching pool  Feb 20
  • Replacing pool liner July 16
  • Powerwash patio furniture
  • Powerwash driveway
  • Fixing drain in bathtub
  • Putting new trim pieces on faucets
  • Fix porch stairs
  • Fix sprinkler problems
  • Fixing fence posts on left side of house
These are all the ones I can think of off the top of my head, and as you can see, I have plenty to keep me busy without needing to go get any more supplies any time soon...whew, that makes me tired...LOL