Archive for October, 2009

Baseboard (3)

David’s nail gun has been putting in some overtime and the Victorian-style baseboard is going up. The floor trim includes 3 parts- the baseboard, corner pieces and shoe moulding. We think the 3 piece baseboards work in harmony and add an attractive and cohesive look.


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Recently, David and I had the opportunity to catch a movie at the State Theater on Front Street in downtown Traverse City. We saw “Capatialism: A Love Story” by Michael Moore and it was fantastic! Everyone should see it…and if you can, watch it at the State (pictured below.)

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The State Theater is a beautiful art deco-style theater featuring fiber optic stars on the ceiling! So what are you waiting for? Check the movie schedule and go see it for yourself!

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Today is Blog Action Day and the topic is Climate Change. You might be wondering (especially since we had a super cold summer and where the heck did fall go…is it winter already?) if global warming is really happening here in northern Michigan. In Traverse City, there is a rather large  indicator that points us in the yes-global-warming-is-really-happening direction. It’s the Bay (you know the big body of water that we all love.) For over 130 years, the Bay had reliably frozen over for seven out of ten winters (in 1874, it was frozen solid from Jan. 13 to May 8, and from 1883 and 1902 it froze every winter) but during the 1990s it only froze three times, and most recently, it froze in 2003 and 2009. So, global warming is happening, what can I do about it?

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Consider your impact. Some of the major contributors to climate change is the increase in carbon dioxide levels from fossil fuels. So… shop local. Buying groceries from a local farmers market or fruit stand has a lesser environmental impact than the grocery store who may truck their produce in from California, Florida or Central America. Or even better yet, take the risk with your neighbor farmer and join a farm share and enjoy fruits and vegetables that are locally grown and in-season. Your carbon footprint is minimal when you are eating food that is grown just miles from your own front porch. Grow your own vegetables and enjoy the fruits of your labor and the savor in the first-hand knowledge that your veggies were never sprayed with chemicals.

Also, consider shopping at resale or consignment shops. I’ve read that some clothiers have coined the term ‘upcycled’ instead of resale, which is a great way to think about gently used goods. There are some great finds out there! You just need to be patient.

We enjoy a good cup of coffee and have fallen in love with Higher Grounds fair trade, organic, and shade-grown coffee. Higher Grounds is a coffee bar and roastery located in the Grand Traverse Commons. If you want your java to-go, make sure you bring your own mug because Higher Grounds doesn’t carry paper products. They do, however, have some donated mugs that you may take your beverage away in. We buy our coffee in bulk and have it delivered to our doorstep. They deliver “Beans by Bike” within the city limits by bicycle and had a special bike-delivery system custom built to accomodate their needs! It doesn’t get any greener than that. (They even have t-shirts for sale at the shop that say “I get mine by bike”… how cute!)

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There are many other local Traverse City area establishments from restaurants, clothing boutiques to speciality stores who are making conscious decisions about how they do business whether they have founded their business on sustainable principles or are changing the way they do business in a way that takes the environment into account. Choose to patronize businesses who share your values and who understand that there is a cost to being socially and environmentally responsible. Make sure you tell the owner that you applaud their decision to go green and let them know that you are willing to pay a little bit more to ensure a greener planet. 

And finally, Traverse City has its own currency, Bay Bucks, which ensures that dollars stay local. With Bay Bucks you can pay a handyman, buy food at the local organic food co-op, pay your cab fare, indulge with some designer chocolates, take a yoga class or hire a lawyer. There’s quite the directory of participating individuals and businesses who accept Bay Bucks as currency.

Yes, you can make a difference to prevent climate change even in Traverse City. Start small at first. Once you’ve made a few trips to the farmer’s market and know the farmers by name, you’ll be hooked. It will snowball from there. Enjoy.

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Backyard update

A modest amount of yard work has been going on in the back yard. I’ve been working on relocating existing plants to maximize the garden space on a tight <read free> budget. I thinned out some hosta plants and transplanted them to the garden near the garage. I also divided and transplanted tons of day lillies, so that next year the rock wall along the garage will be sporting many orange blooms.
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The gooseberry bush in the back yard also found a new home. No more thorny shrub to intercept the rugby ball (Wyatt’s game of choice in the back yard.)


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Side porch

Our little side porch is a gem. We added some exterior lights and painted the decking white. This porch faces the bay and is a great place read a magazine and relax after a long day at work.

Side porch

I’d like to change the cushions for the chairs for an updated and a bit more stylish pattern. The metal chairs and table could also use a fresh coat of spray paint. Once I fix them up, then I’ll touch up the paint on the porch decking to cover up the rust spots from the chairs. Check out more great Traverse City porches here.

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It’s been a long time coming. Here are a few pics of how the space is shaping up. Our friend Scott, who owns Warden’s Point Woodworking, is building our lovely kitchen cabinets. Pictured below are the beginnings of the peninsula area. There will be a raised breakfast bar off the back of the peninsula row. We’ll also wire the area with outlets which will be super convenient when baking or whipping up a smoothie in the blender.
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The cabinets are birch and are paint-grade. David and I settled on a color called “Saffron Ivory” for the cabinets; however we will need to prime first. The “Saffron Ivory” is a warm lemony creamy white that will pair well with the trim color we picked, “Swiss Coffee.” Below is our recycling station! It is located right next to the sink. How cool is that?

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The kitchen sink will be centered below the window. The space next to the sink is for the dishwasher.

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Below is a view of the future kitchen from the front of the house. Of course there will be cabinets all the way down the wall on the right hand side as well.

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I’d say it’s quite the improvement considering that the kitchen used to look like this…

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Yikes, I know. Obviously we didn’t buy the house for it’s kitchen. We really liked the marble window sills, original doors (some with skeleton keys in tact), and large square rooms. Can you even believe it’s the same place?

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