kriselkeeper: May 2013

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Great Outdoors!

I'm so glad I started this blog.  It's good to get in pictures how far we've come with the house.  There are many details that go into making a house feel like a home. Often we forget how much it is those very details that affect our lives in a big way.  Surprisingly it's not the big stuff...unless you're adding a room or something.

In 2010 our patio looked like this:

In 2012 it looked like this:

And now here is where we are this year:
The Bertoia chairs moved out to the patio table. The patio table came to us from the neighbors who lived behind us. They were in the hood very shortly. It was less than six months before they had to move again. Since they were trying to pack light they left us the patio table. It's not what I wanted stylistically but who is going to pass up a free table? It spends most of it's time under a table cloth anyway.  It's also given me the chance to feel it out for size. I think I want one that seats 8 instead of 6 next time. 

I love eating outside. I believe every meal tastes better "al fresco".  I feel much more relaxed. If there are spills, a quick hose off is easier than a mop. And for some reason food doesn't seem to get tracked all over the place the way it does under our dining table. 

This scenery, this space, makes me happy. I love eating and just hanging with the family out here. I realized it was time to make an investment in outdoor dishes this year.  We had the set up ready for meals. I got the "mermaid" set from Cost Plus.  P and her friends really love it.  A little whimsical for the kids but grown up enough for us. 

G is becoming more independent and with that means more messes. Hoping this summer she will do lots of practice so when we have to go back inside in the fall her eating skills are a little closer to perfect. 

The best part of eating outside is that we are 8 paces away from doing this! 

Labels: ,

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Unless you live in a 1950's home for it's architectural coolness, you may not understand why in 2013 people willingly live in a home without insulation.  Yes, there are more nuts jobs like us out there, who will without a doubt put a down payment on a glorified thatched hut with the right lines.  And albeit this is Southern California.  Our temperatures are rather moderate, but still!   One hundred and twelve degrees is still hot in my book.

After surviving 5 summers in the San Fernando Valley we made the call and got insulation put in our walls!  I think Dave is hitting his limit with my bitching about the heat.  I am miserable from May to October because of the weather. And I don't care that it's a dry heat. Heat is heat. I grew up in South Florida with humid heat. I went to college in Tucson with super dry heat. It all sucks.

On Tuesday, Everguard came to make my life better. Green cellulose with an R37 factor was blown into our walls. The process required 2 inch holes drilled at 14 inches apart at the top and mid section of the walls. They pumped the cellulose into the walls and finished by sealing the holes up again. One guy started drilling around 8am.  Two more joined him about 2 hours later and they finished by 1pm.

The crew was really kind and I trusted them enough to leave the house open while I went for a super long walk with the girls. In fact, when we made a pit stop at home I left the girls in the stroller while I ran in to get a snack for them.  When I came back out one of the guys was waiting beside the stroller. He said he didn't want to leave them alone and he felt better waiting for me to return.  How thoughtful was that?

Here are a few pictures of what they did.

The drilling begins...

Our house was swiss cheese for a few hours there. 

Everguard Insulation. They were quick and good and explained how to get our rebates with both the power company and at tax time. 

Next the cellulose got pumped in. 

The magic hose. 

They were drilling, blowing in cellulose and patching all at once.  

Weird to see our "holy" house. 

With all the loud drilling we needed to take a break and get out. So the girls and I walked over to the fields at Pierce College for a snack and run around time. 

When they were done they patched all the holes right up. 

Our house needed a paint job before this but now it REALLY needs one. Paint and getting the bad stucco job off the house is next on our agenda!

I felt a difference in the house right away.  For the first time EVER, I had to turn the AC off because it was too cold in the house in the month of May.  Amazing!  We are looking forward to seeing our utility bill this month.  I couldn't be happier!  The fluctuations in temperature are tolerable now!  In Woodland Hills the temps have a 30 degree range in one day.  We would go to bed in short pjs and by morning would need sweats and flannels. Not any more! The only regret I have is that we didn't do this earlier!