eSalon Hair Kit

eSalon offered a hair coloring kit for $10 so I thought I’d give it a try.

Coloring one's own hair is not easy.
Coloring one’s own hair is not easy.

I have very light blonde hair.

The questionnaire is not difficult.
The questionnaire is not difficult.

I filled out the questionnaire online.

The kit comes with a brush and 2 pairs of protective gloves.
The kit comes with a brush and 2 pairs of protective gloves.

In a few days for $10 (usually $20) plus shipping I received a kit.

The extras.
The extras.

In addition to colorant and developer there was stain guard, stain remover, shampoo and conditioner.

The toner and developer is mixed in the bottle by shaking it together.
The toner and developer is mixed in the bottle by shaking it together.

I mixed the developer and color together in the squeeze bottle. (I could have mixed it in a bowl.)

The directions were clear and easy to follow.
The directions were clear and easy to follow.

I followed the directions carefully. The entire project took about an hour.

For the final step I still had half a bottle of color to use.
For the final step I still had half a bottle of color to use.

There was plenty of colorant for my hair which is not always the case with drugstore kits.

I like my hair lightest blonde in summer.
I like my hair lightest blonde in summer.

And I’m blonde.

Have you tried any wild colors in your hair?

Flooring Delivered

Slowly but surely the logs from our felled trees are being removed from the front yard.

The large sections of tree are heavy and awkward.
The large sections of tree are heavy and awkward.

Yesterday our son came over to move a few more logs over to the pile near the woodshed. He has promised to come from time to time and move some more. It’s a labor intensive job.

The yard was cleared enough to back a trailer up to the ramp to the front porch.
The yard was cleared enough to back a trailer up to the ramp to the front porch.

It’s a good thing he cleared the front yard because The Viking came over yesterday evening to deliver the unfinished oak flooring that I ordered here.

The trailer holds 400 square feet of oak flooring.
The trailer holds 400 square feet of oak flooring.

As he and Charlie were carrying all 400 square feet of it into the house I noticed it was the wrong size.

The kitchen floor (top) connected well to the vintage dining room floor with 2-14 inch boards.
The kitchen floor (top) connected well to the vintage dining room floor with 2-14 inch boards.

Our floorboards are 2-1/4 inches wide.

I've decided to use this flooring that is an inch wider than the original flooring in the house.
I’ve decided to use this flooring that is an inch wider than the original flooring in the house.

Unfortunately I ordered 3-1/4 inch wood.

The conservatory floor will be laid at right angles to the dining room which, hopefully, will diminish the visual variance.
The conservatory floor will be laid at right angles to the dining room which, hopefully, will diminish the visual variance.

I checked my order form and sure enough I ordered the wrong width.

The master suite hall and closet will also be floored with the new flooring.
The master suite hall and closet will also be floored with the new flooring.

Alas, I’m just going to live with it.  I can’t bear the thought of returning all this wood and reordering. I really need someone to check my figures before I order.

Have you made an error in figuring that you chose not to correct?

Upgrading the Look of the Potager

We have an abundance of wood chips.

Deep in the backyard looking toward the vegetable garden in the middle.
Deep in the backyard looking toward the vegetable garden in the middle.

Charlie uses them to neaten his already ordered garden.

Cardboard deters weeds.
Cardboard deters weeds.

First he lays down either corrugated cardboard or layers of newspaper.

Dump the chips from a wheelbarrow and smooth them with a rake.
Dump the chips from a wheelbarrow and smooth them with a rake.

Then he covers everything with a thick blanket of wood chips.

The chips also keeps mud and dirt from being tracked into the house.
The chips also keeps mud and dirt from being tracked into the house.

The beauty of this method is that it discourages weeds and eventually biodegrades.

The garden viewed from the master suite deck.
The garden viewed from the master suite deck.

Square-foot gardening is compact and productive.

Garden viewed from the master bathroom window.
Garden viewed from the master bathroom window.

And now the garden is also attractive.

Have you done a project with salvaged materials?

We Kept the Wood

When our giant but dead oak trees were taken down we kept the wood chips.

Wood on the east side of the front yard.
Wood on the east side of the front yard.

We also let them leave the rounds of wood in the yard.

The front yard is full of heavy oak rounds.
The front yard is full of heavy oak rounds.

Charlie plans to use this oak as firewood.

Charlie is moving the smaller rounds first.
Charlie is moving the smaller rounds first.

I know we will use some, some we will sell, and some we’ll just give away to the neighbors.

Our woodshed is fairly empty.
Our woodshed is fairly empty.

Charlie started moving the lumber closer to our wood shed and the wood splitter.

Charlie will be piling wood for a long time.
Charlie will be piling wood for a long time.

It’s a big job which will only increase when our last but largest tree is felled in a couple of weeks.

Happy Independence Day!

Do you have an outdoor firepit? Do you enjoy it?

Clean and Chippy

When the trees were taken down in the front yard we took the option of keeping a truckload of chips.

Chips from our trees.
Chips from our trees.

Charlie had them dump the pile on plastic at the end of the driveway.  This pile won’t last as long as the rubble pile.

We have plans for these oak chips.
We have plans for these oak chips.

A friend came over to clean up the plantings in front of The Cottage.

The weeds in front of The Cottage are potentially oversized trees unless removed.
The weeds in front of The Cottage are potentially oversized trees unless removed.

Basically she cut away weedy tulip poplar trees and other stalky greenery.

The hosta looks healthy this year.
The hosta looks healthy this year.

All that remains are hosta, liriope, and liatris.

I was named "sidewalk supervisor" since I was just out of the shot sitting in the shade.
I was named “sidewalk supervisor” since I was just out of the shot sitting in the shade.

Then I pulled out some corrugated cardboard to line the path that leads to our propane tanks.

A chip path is an easy way to neaten up an area.
A chip path is an easy way to neaten up an area.

Charlie covered it with some of the new chips.

Before
Before
The driveway ends in front of The Cottage.
After

Voila! A neat appearance at the front of The Cottage.

How do you deter weeds in your yard?

Flooring Ordered

The Viking came over on Sunday evening to get a run down on the scope of finishing projects that are necessary to call the renovation concluded.

We've been living with subfloor.
We’ve been living with subfloor.

The biggest incomplete details are the conservatory floor and the hall floor and closet in the master bedroom. Traditional red oak flooring is to be laid.

We'll be moving all the conservatory furniture into the dining room.
We’ll be moving all the conservatory furniture into the dining room.

Everything will need to be removed from those spaces so the floors can be laid.

Professional floor installers put in the kitchen floor from beginning to end.
Professional floor installers put in the kitchen floor from beginning to end.

The plan is for the Viking and Charlie to start laying the flooring on a Saturday morning and for Charlie to complete the installation. We are expecting to hire floor finishers to do the sanding and polyurethaning which will bar us from using our two new bathrooms for about a week.

The red oak floor for the kitchen was a hefty pile.
The red oak floor for the kitchen was a hefty pile.

After having checked at a few other flooring purveyors (Carpet and Wood Floor Liquidators [only prefinished available], Lowes, and Home Depot), I called Lumber Liquidators and told Travis (who answered the phone) I’d like a quote on 400 square feet of select red oak, 3/4 inch by 3-1/2 inch boards.

The middle sample matches our floors.
The middle sample matches our floors.

He told me $2.79 per square foot. (A previous quote had been $2.99/sf.) Charlie called to get a better price but ultimately $2.79 was the best price on select oak.  This was actually a quote for rustic oak.  Select red oak is normally $3.29 per square foot.

The Viking may need 2 trips for 400 square feet of flooring.
The Viking may need 2 trips for 400 square feet of flooring.

I stopped by the store and put in my order. As soon as it comes in the Viking will pick it up.  Plans to lay the flooring are set for late in July. At least by then the Book Club will be over.

How do you deal with trying to temporarily empty rooms of their furniture, etc?

Another Mirror Change-up

We’ve been using this small (too small) mirror in the conservatory bathroom until 1) the tile backsplash is in and 2) I can find a more appropriate size.

The frame of the mirror in the conservatory bathroom should be painted a fun color.
The frame of the mirror in the conservatory bathroom should be painted a fun color.

Most bathroom mirrors start at 21 inches which is just too large so I’ve been searching for something vintage or rustic or both.

This space will ultimately need a very special size mirror after the backsplash is tiled.
This space will ultimately need a very special size mirror after the backsplash is tiled.

The  present mirror hangs too low and is too small for Charlie to get a good look at himself. He mentions it frequently.

The approximately 12" by 18" mirror was free.
The approximately 12″ by 18″ mirror was free.

I found a small rustic mirror on the “FREE” table at church which I still thought was too small but which I thought Charlie would like better.

Tiny knobs -- less than half an inch in diameter.
Tiny knobs — less than half an inch in diameter.

I removed the hooks because they didn’t make sense hanging over the sink and they were cheap looking.

The tiny knobs hid the holes where the hooks had been.
The tiny knobs hid the holes where the hooks had been.

I found in my stash some small knobs that would cover the 3 holes left from the hooks.

The mirror is not very heavy so a small hanger is enough to hold it onto the wall. I could have used the hanger holes left and right but decided not to.
The mirror is not very heavy so a small hanger is enough to hold it onto the wall. I could have used the hanger holes left and right but decided not to.

I tacked a central hanger on the back so I could use the same nail as the first mirror.

Too bad this mirror is a little longer.
Too bad this mirror is a little longer.

Charlie still can’t see himself unless he steps closer to the mirror.

Before
Before
A little change made a big improvement in the look of the mirror.
After — a little change made a big improvement in the look of the mirror.

And I’m still looking for a better mirror.

Do you try to make “freebies” work?