We picked a floor!

And the winner is: top left corner. 

Stay tuned...


Are you moved in yet?

You'll be the first to know. I promise.

Every day I check several decisions and purchases and small projects off the list. In case you are wondering what that looks like, it looks like this...

But the biggest excitement for today was just beyond the magical clear tarp...

By tomorrow, the floor will be officially one level throughout the entire first floor of the house. I have wanted this from the first moment I walked into the open house.

Now if we could only choose a hardwood floor color.


Lawn love.

There are purists and naturalists and horticulturists who turn their noses at the existence of artificial grass. And there are home owners who believe that it melts and gets hot and choose to put in new sod lawns in their yards no matter what. And then there is the drought in California.

And then there is us.

Two years ago we installed a brand new sprinkler system and beautiful green grass. And when it was good, it was good. We bought a lawnmower and a weed wacker for the edges and only slightly cringed when we saw the increase in our water bill. I mean, we had a flat patch of grass in our before non-user friendly back yard.

But the upkeep and maintenance became tedious. Much of the mowing had to be done by hand because of the weird shape and curves. The surrounding rocks and walls were getting more water than some of the areas of the lawn because of the weird shape and inability to contort sprinkler heads in the way we needed them to be. And what started as one brown patch, turned into more and more. And then it stopped raining all together. And then construction started. So we slowly let the patch of dirt return.

Until last week.

The hefty extra "difficult to access" fee that all 3 proposals I received included made the already expensive choice for artificial grass even more ludicrous, so we took it upon ourselves to do the prep work. It took all of last week for my determined and ever cheerful band of helpers to dig up 4" of dirt and fill two 5-yard dumpsters, add some pavers to the flagstone patio, and then carry up 5 yards of recycled base rock and 1 yard of decomposed granite in 5 gallon buckets. I carried 4 buckets in an effort to show solidarity. I decided providing a cooler of cold drinks and lunch was a better way to show my support and gratitude.

On Saturday morning, at 7:30AM a team of 5 installers rolled up in a huge white truck and got straight to work.

Installers spreading out decomposed granite layer.

Measuring the green carpet in our rental house driveway.
Installing the green carpet.

And all of this for approximately 600 square feet of green. That we absolutely love.

And all of this for a 600 sq foot patch of green. That we absolutely love.

Ps. If you are interested in what we learned, why we choose artificial grass, who we used and why we chose them, feel free to contact me!


It happened in 1936

Not really sure what or who, but something happened on April 19, 1936 and we've got bits and pieces of the San Francisco Chronicle decopaged onto our floor to prove it.

Just another day of making a mess and getting dirty and this one started with 3 very diligent guys who finished pulling up bits and pieces of our old Oak floors only to be tasked with the back breaking chore of pulling out all the nails. Every single teeny, tiny nail. But they did it, without complaint and eye rolling. And I even heard a bit of whistling and song humming.

Not too bad. I kind of like the rustic farmhouse look. But it's not staying. We're choosing a floor product tomorrow, so stayed tuned.

But this post is not about the new floors, it's about what Victor discovered under the old. 


It's crazy that we found newspapers from 1936 stuck to the original floor that could be as old as from 1894. Who knows. And we are going to cover it with new flooring.

My husband thinks we should add a page from 2015 before we cover it up. We might just have to go buy the Sunday Chronicle tomorrow.


Back shoveling dirt today

After much discussion, several "professional" opinions and a few outrageous proposals, we made the decision: we are installing artificial turf.

And to save some money, the prep work is on us. And it starts like this...


I passed my first official inspection today!

This is a really unsexy topic. It's not pretty and no one will ever see it. And it is an upgrade and cost we had to endure because we had to put in sprinklers. But we will undeniably be grateful for today because we officially have water!!!!!

And we officially have water because I managed this little side project while our contractor stayed focused on getting Phase 2 done. And by doing that, we saved ourselves $930. And I get the satisfaction that something that I managed passed an official inspection.

Just in case you are wondering what that all means...

1. Drove to local water district, completed application and paid $170 for them to come and update the water meter at the street to a new 3/4 meter

2. Got an encroachment permit from Public Works which allowed us to dig in the public right of way in order to get from the meter to our property

3. Called 811 - "Call before you Dig" in order to get all the local utility companies to come and mark the location of gas, electrical and water lines in the vicinity of where we wanted to dig

4. Scheduled our gardener to come and dig a 20" deep trench and dig out the old pipe

5. Scheduled our plumber to come install the new 1" pipe and back flow apparatus

6. Called city to schedule inspection of completed new pipe

7. Bought 8 bags of sand which needed to be put under pipe before the inspection

8. Worried that we wouldn't pass the inspection because upon closer view, I realized the trench was not 20" deep but only 13" deep

9. Called the city this morning at 8:40am to get our 1 hr inspection window

10. Found out the window was from 8:45am-10am

11. Drove back to the house before taking H to pre-school and in 10 minutes, while he sat in his carseat in the car, dumped 6 bags of sand under the pipe in the public right of way trench

12. Made it back for the tail end of the inspection that happened at 9:40am. And was thrilled when the inspector said you PASSED!

13. Spent the next 2 hours shoveling pea gravel, dirt and rock in order to fill the trenches

14. Checked water service update OFF MY LIST!