Seen at the house

Tile Shopping

One of the things about our bath remodel that needs to be addressed is the tile for the wall. Originally we were going to go with Heath Ceramic tile, but it looks like we might have to pass on that due to cost, and the time it will actually get the tile we want. What we are looking at is on back order, so today we are tile shopping locally to see if we can find something that looks as good as the Heath tiles do.

So after two hours at the tile warehouse in Merriam, and having looked through about 500 sample of various tiles, we narrowed it down to a specific look and pulled the trigger. Semi-gloss white subway tile that will rise 48 inches, to a band of warm gray glass tile with a 4 inch insert of rectilinear glass tile, followed by more gray glass, then semi-gloss subway tile.

The pattern, and combination of materials work well together. A series of warm muted tones combined with the semi-gloss white. The opaque vs the transparent of the glass. The tile will surround the entire shower enclosure running across three walls, floor to ceiling. On the wall that extends behind the vanity, the longest wall in the room, the tile will run the full width of the bathroom filling in behind the vanity and mirror.

The only thing left to purchase is the mirror, medicine cabinet and lighting. We have a number of items on the short list, so the next step will be drawing up a perspective rendering of the bathroom and trying on the remaining fixtures virtually before pulling the trigger. Right now, it looks like the remodel will start at the end of March, and take about two weeks. Should be a fun spring.


Give Me a Home Where the Buffalo Could Roam.

My lawn is a disaster. I’m the first to admit it. In the year and a half that we have lived here, the lawn is slowly being taken over by Bermuda grass which is encroaching front he field to the South. The Bermuda grass is drought resistant, and high sun exposure tolerant which is fine. The problem is that it looks like hell after winter, takes forever to green up, spreads like a weed, and chokes out all the other grass in the lawn.

All those brown patches are Bermuda Grass that died off this winter. It looks awful, and it's time to get serious with the lawn.

Slowly we have been planning landscaping for the house that will begin later this month and run all summer long. One of the things that I am going to try to do this year is get the lawn under control, or at least back to some level looking good. One of the things that I have been looking into is using native grasses that are indigenous to the area, and have evolved here over thousands of years to become a hardy weather tolerant grass that looks good. My current pick, and the one I will probably go with is “Buffalo Grass”. To be more specific, “Cody Buffalo Grass”.

Cody Buffalo Grass test field at the University of Nebraska. If my lawn looks half this good I'll be in yard heaven.

The reasons for doing this is pretty simple. Buffalo grass require less water, it is a native grass so it has positive environmental impacts, it is weed and pest resistant so it require little fertilizer, herbicide and pesticide, and it looks pretty damn good for what was a grazing grass that grew wild on the prairie for ions.

Cody Buffalo Grass is a short height grass with low growth habit, which means longer periods between mowing, or no mowing at all. (Plus and double plus) It forms a dense blue-green turf, keeping weed competition low. This allows for a chemical free, low maintenance lawn.Cody Buffalo Grass  has successful growth from Arizona to North Dakota and has been bred for dense first year cover, winter hardiness, heat tolerance, and drought resistance. Cody Buffalo Grass is hardy  and excels at rapid lawn establishment making it useful in high traffic common areas, and residential lawns.Because of this, it has caught on with golf courses and is now being used extensively in landscapes as a low maintenance lawn, which suits me just fine.

Close up of Cody Buffalo Grass in a lawn application.

This hybrid Buffalo Grass was developed by the Native Turf Group in cooperation with the University of Nebraska. Because of this Cody has established itself as a premier warm-season turfgrass. Faster establishment, higher density, lower growth rate, excellent winter hardiness, low water requirement, darker color, fine texture make Cody Buffalo Grass my choice for a better lawn. I just hope to hell it works.

A Truck Load, or Three of Snow.

In the last 24 hours I’ve shoveled a truck load of snow. I mean that quite literally. My drive is 16 feet wide by 90 feet long, and by truck load I mean 2 tons minimum. So, how much did I shovel?

“The weight of snow varies greatly. Light fluffy snow may only weigh about seven pounds per cubic foot. More average snow may weigh 15 pounds per cubic foot and drifted compacted snow may weigh 20 pounds or more…”

The stuff I shoveled not including what the snow plow deposited at the end of my drive this afternoon was average, so I’m going to split the difference on this formula and go with 7 pounds per cubic foot, but first a bit of math.

There are 7.48 gallons per cubic foot of water – that’s about 62.4 pounds.

For Wet Snow
Let’s say wet snow would be equivalent to 1″ of rain or 5″ of snow, you would get a resulting 62.4/5 = 12.5 pounds.

For Light, Fluffy Snow
Let’s say fluffy snow would be equivalent to 2.5″ of water and 12″ snow, you would get 62.4/12 = 5.2 pounds.

So, 16 x 90 x 7 = 10,800 divided by 2,480 pounds (true ton weight) = 4.065 tons or a couple of truck loads of snow. This doesn’t include sidewalks, decks, front porches etc. All told, I’m going to go with6 tons total in the last 24 hours.

Seven Years With Annie

For the last 7 years I have been the owner of a Blu Dot bed, but alas the frame has lived its last sleeping days at the house and must go away. I bought the king size “Annie” bed frame on close out from Blu Dot, and for the most part have loved it. It has some design flaws with the cleat system they used to attach the rails to the footboard but for the most part it has been a really nice bed frame.

I originally got it because I loved the look of the headboard and the late 40’s early 50’s styling that it featured. Unfortunately in the new house, the height of the headboard is just to tall. It sits 6 inches higher than the window base which makes opening and closing the casement windows a pain in the ass. So with some sad feelings I have to retire it to the basement until we build out another bedroom downstairs.

Selling the bed on Craig’s list was unsuccessful. I was hoping it would sell and go to good use in a home in need of a nice piece of modern furniture, but the only response we got was from a guy in Pennsylvania and shipping would have cost more than the Craig’s list asking price. It’s OK though. Hopefully next spring we will start to build a guest suite and the Annie bed will be put to good use again.

Time to bust out the screw driver and start the disassembly process. New bed arrives in the AM.