Archive for June, 2009

Hickory (4)…the mouse ran up the clock. Well… our situation doesn’t follow the nursery rhyme, but our Hickory hardwood floors are unbundled, fully acclimated to the temperature, and ready to be installed. We plan on working this coming weekend on this project and hope that the 3-day weekend will allow us enough time to accomplish most of it. We have roughly 1000 sq. ft. to install but neither of us have installed flooring before.

Floor prepping (6)Of course, preparing the floors to get to this point was quite the process.

Floor prepping (3)David rented a heavy-duty edge sander to even out the old sub-floor. Some areas (in the picture to David’s right) were extremely rotten and had to be replaced with 3/4  plywood. It seems like the cast iron radiator must have had a leak, because the flooring below it was very weak. We also fortified the floor joists and screwed-down all the old pine planks. We’ll be painting the radiators and re-installing once the flooring project is complete. We really enjoy the steady allergy-free heat in the winter months.

floor prep (2)Next, David laid down some 15 and 30 weight roofing paper that is supposed to level the uneven spots. So, we’re all set and ready to go. Now all we need to do is get it down and not be distracted by the beautiful weekend weather that is expected! I’ll keep you posted!


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Leelanau TrailA recent 30-mile bike trip out to Suttons Bay and back on the Leelanau Trail was met with blue skies and scenic vistas. Roughly half the trail is paved, the other half is a hard-packed two-track. The unpaved section goes through beautiful agricultural fields planted in cherry orchards and grape vinyards. The Leelanau Trail is a rail to trail conversion and goes from Traverse City to Suttons Bay.

On the way back to Traverse City, we stopped at the water pump at the DeYoung Natural Area to refill our water bottles. The cold well water sure was a treat!

Overall, it was a wonderful excursion and it’s great to see many happy faces enjoying the beautiful weather. It was especially nice to see many elderly utilizing the trail near Orchard Creek Assisted Living. There were two trail users plodding along with walkers and a family taking a relative for a walk on the trail and pushing her in a wheelchair.

Isn’t life grand?

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Kayak West Bay (12)A weekend paddle on West Bay was a great way to beat the heat and get out on the water. The wispy  clouds in the sky and deep blue-green water made for a stunning backdrop. I had to pinch myself a few times to remind me that I actually live here! It felt surreal to paddle around in the beautiful setting. We are lucky to be able to wheel the kayaks down to the bay from our house, with one hiccup: The Parkway. It’s a bit stressful to cross the highway with the kayaks and we would go a lot more if it were easier to cross. One advantage is that because it’s a divided highway, we can cross 2 lanes, wait in the median, then finish crossing the final 2 lanes. The boats are sea kayaks and are really long, so we have to turn horizontal while waiting in the median.

Kayak West Bay (10)The Manitou Tall Ship was out for a sail including several other vessels that were also enjoying the bay.

Kayak West Bay (4)Both kayak hulls and decks are made out of 4mm-okoume plywood and are sheathed with fiberglass. In fact, David made his from a kit. It’s a Chesapeake Light Craft. I found mine in the classified section in the paper a few years ago. Both boats are very sea (bay) worthy.

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Homemade laundry detergent (4)No, I’m not trying to be Martha Stewart… but since I wrote a post about Selestial Soap, a local eco-friendly laundry soap, I received a homemade laundry detergent recipe from an old friend. So, I decided to try it out. The ingredients are pretty simple (I picked all of the supplies up at Tom’s grocery store):

1 C. grated Fels Naptha bar soap (I used a cheese grater, but a food processor would work better.)
1/2 C. Borax
1/2 C. Baking soda


Homemade laundry detergent (5)I made a huge batch and stored it in an airtight glass container with screwtop lid. 1 Tbsp per load (I use 2 Tbsp if my clothes are especially dirty) and no dryer sheets or softener required! The scent is fresh and clean. I have added a drop or two of lavender essential oil to a load for some added aroma. It is lovely! I don’t know if I’ll ever go back.

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umbrella (2)It’s amazing how a new patio umbrella spruces up our tired furniture and really makes it feel like summer. We spend a lot of time outside and it’s nice to relax comfortably. flowering tree

Around the corner from the patio is this wonderful flowering tree. I’m not sure what it is, but it sure is beautiful.

Things are really shaping up and I love our house!

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Pyatt PreserveI recently went on a trip to Pyatt Lake Nature Preserve on Old Mission Peninsula with my black lab, Wyatt. It was totally rejuvenating and it felt like I had been on a mini vacation. Not only did I discover a special place, but I gained an understanding of why land preservation and the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy is so important! I heard countless bird calls, saw lily pad flowers that were nearing full bloom and happened upon a young fawn who scampered away after I startled it. The fawn still had it’s Bambi-like spots and was nimble-footed.

Pyatt Preserve (7)This preserve really awakened the senses and I’m already plotting in my head a reason to come back. I thought about combining a hike in the Pyatt Preserve with a trip to the new Jolly Pumpkin brewery & restaurant next to Bower’s Harbor Inn. Doesn’t that sound like a stellar evening? Go for a hike infused with nature stimulation, then feast your taste buds to craft beer and dinner at a new restaurant… Yes, I think I will make these plans come true in the near future. 

Pyatt Preserve (5)Until then… I’ll be pining for Pyatt.

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