Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Key West - El Siboney

Sometime back, probably 15 to 20 years ago, Penny & I took a trip to Key West.  We had a great time.  We did a lot of walking, and one day we got really lost.  I remember it being early afternoon, and getting very hot.  We stumbled upon a little restaurant off the beaten track and stopped in for lunch.  It had great Cuban food and wonderful Sangria.  We've talked about it off and on all these years.

So when we went back to Key West last week, we decided to try and find it.  We described it to a waitress in a local bar, and she knew exactly which one we were looking for, El Siboney.  So we took all our traveling companions over there for lunch.  I knew it was the right place as soon as we walked it, it smelled soooo good!

Anyway, lunch was great, and I'm glad we found it again.  It's very unusual in a tourist area like Key West, to have a restaurant stay around a long time.  But this one must be patronized mostly by locals.  If you get down to Key West, definitely stop in for lunch or dinner.

Pulled pork with onions, casava & tamale.  Notice the sangria with lime :-)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New Bed Frame & Duvet Cover

I've been meaning to buy a new bed frame with an upholstered headboard, and finally found one I liked.  Ordered it from CB2 a few weeks ago.  It's been sitting here in pieces, today I finally got around to putting it together.

It's very sturdy but I wasn't thrilled with the dark gray color on the headboard.  So I stopped in at the local fabric shop today and picked up a couple of yards of yellow cotton cloth.  Ironed it and stapled over the existing cloth so it will be easy to change out if I decide I don't like it, or just want a change sometime in the future.
Gray Headboard Insert

Padded Insert added to frame

Assembled Frame

The pieces of this frame actually went together pretty easily, but it was a 2 person job.  I'm really glad Valda came up and gave me a hand with it.

It's a big change from the yellow sunflowers.

Next I need to get a couple of real night stands...

Monday, September 16, 2013

Glider Rocker

Virginia is here visiting for a couple of days.  Yesterday she had to sit around watching paint dry...

So this afternoon I put her to work helping me put together the glider/rocker that I bought back in June and left in my exercise room in it's box.  Lots of little pieces but it went together pretty easily, and seems work work just fine.

Exterior Doors Painted

I moved into my house almost 4 years ago, in fact next week will be my 4th anniversary.  I have no idea how the past 4 years went by in a blink, but they really did.

So it's high time I finally got my exterior doors painted.  I couldn't decide on a color, so Paul just installed them the way they were shipped.  They are fiberglass doors, in primer white.  Which actually looked great with my gray siding, so they didn't move up the priority list until last year.  And then it was so wet all summer that I didn't get around to getting them painted.

Anyway, Becca came out this summer and repainted the inside of my house.  I went with a bit whiter color, and I really like it.  And Sunday she came back with her boss and his portable spray booth.

Here is the spray booth being set up in my driveway.  Sunday was such a beautiful day, but it's definitely fall.  Look how the fireweed on the hill above me is all bloomed out.

They took all 9 doors down (yes, I know 9 exterior doors seems excessive, but that's how many I, sprayed them, and put them back up.  I really like how they look.  I'm still not really sure what kind of paint they used, but it dried to the gentle touch in about 15 min, and could be re-hung after about a 1/2 hour.

The doors now have a glossy surface, which nicely covers up all the dings and cement, and scrapes, etc. left over from the building process.  And the color matches the new interior paint color.

Except for the outside of the front door, which is a hot pink/fuchsia color.  It's bright and I really like how it looks against the gray siding.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Coffee Table - Part 1

This is a project I've been thinking about for at least a year.  I'm finally moving forward with it, and part one has come together nicely.

I need a coffee table in my living room.  Something sturdy that I can put my feet on.  Besides it's time for the surf board rug to go back to the hallway where it belongs.
I had a set of these metal legs left over from building the kitchen island/dining table.  So I thought I should incorporate them into my coffee table design.  That way the 2 tables would sort o f  match.  I did have to take them down to the Gear Shed and have about 8 inches cut off each leg, but the whole table should now stand 20" high.  That part went really quickly.  The tube stoppers I bought to act as leg glides were just a tiny bit too small.  So today I added a bit of silicone caulk.  Once it drys they should stay in place without any trouble.

I wanted the metal part of the table top to coordinate with my kitchen island top.  I talked Ralfy into building the raw top for me.  I really wish I'd stopped to take a picture of it before I had it clear coated.  It was really rusty and gnarly looking, exactly what I wanted.  Here is what it looks like with the clear coat added.  It has such wonderful colors and patterns.

Once I got the metal top done, I needed to build the wood base.  I bought the material at SBS and had the guys in the yard cut it for me, since I don't own a saw.  There were a few small issues, but it all worked out great.  I know they did a lot more than then needed to, because they aren't supposed to make precision cuts, but I really appreciate their help.

Here it is with the frame all screwed together.  I really need to take a woodworking class and learn how to really use some of these tools.  Maybe then I'd even buy my own wood saw instead of using my chain saw inappropriately.

The legs will bolt onto the bottom like this, but I won't attach them until I'm ready to finish it all up.  
Part 2 is a concrete box with an ecosmart bioethanol burner.  I'll need to make the concrete mold and pour that part when I'm home on my next R&R.

Stay tuned for part two :-)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Painting Roof Support Beams

Wow, it's really been a long time since I posted on my blog.  But then it's been a while since I did anything new around the house.

This week I tackled what I thought would be a small project.  Though I've been putting it off, and it turned into a 2 day ordeal.  I've been wanting to paint the roof support beams the same gray as my siding.  Originally they were painted with a clear urethane coating, but while I liked seeing the wood grain on the glulam beam, I didn't care for it on the posts. The last couple of winters have seriously abused these wooden posts.  Snow builds up and water has leached up from the bottoms, so the urethane turned white and was peeling off in long strips.  That was easy enough to peel off for a foot or so, but the rest had to be sanded.  And my hand sander died, so I spent a good 4 hours yesterday, sanding both of these beams.  And the ends of the glulam beam have really weathered, so I sanded both ends too.

So here is the glulam beam freshly coated with a exterior urethane coating.  The whole beam got a fresh coat, and both sanded ends got 3 coats over the course of the day.

The worst part of the whole project were the mosquitos.  I had to wear long sleeves, gloves and a bug net.  UGH.

Sanded Posts

Posts painted with primer

Posts with 2 coats of paint

Finished project
But the other wildlife was fun.  A small bull moose, maybe a 3 year old at the most, ran through the yard at one point.  Glad I was up on my ladder and he was in a hurry.  And as I'm writing this a pair of Sandhill Cranes just walked up my driveway.  They must have come up through my back yard.  I'm guessing I'll see then head back down the driveway, in an hour or 2.

So the next project is interior painting.  I finally admitted to myself I was never going to do that, and hired a painter.  She's doing a great job.  I'm hoping she gets to all my exterior doors soon.  The front door pictured above will be a bright fuchsia.  But that will be the subject of another post.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Kona Vacation

We've been here on Kona a week now.  What a great trip.  It's been a bit hazy, but nice and warm.  Yesterday we went up to Hapuna Bay, I even got in the water and floated around for awhile.  And then we had a few AK friends over for dinner and Mai Tai's.

The house we rented is great.  Plenty of room for all 10th of us.  We've been having coffee at the pool in the AM and dinner at home most nights.

There are lots of whales around.  We can see them breaching from our house.  We also did the morning Captain Zodiak whale watch a few days ago.  It was great fun.  Thanks to Capt Colin n First Mate Budda.

We've also booked a tour up Mauna Kea to see the sunset and do some star gazing.  I'm really looking forward to it.

Here are a few pictires.

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