Saturday, March 31, 2007



The Light at the end of the Proverbial Tunnel
well we still need to grout the shower tile, but things are progressing. i am exhausted and so i'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.

Friday, March 30, 2007





In honor of our trip to Milwaukee this weekend... a photo of the botanical gardens roof taken a couple years ago.

Monday, March 26, 2007


Dragging on

We're past the half way point. Yes, that is a purple wall. No, the tub and shower are not hooked up to water yet. Yes, it's a tad awkward using the new toilet without a wall. We had to reinforce the sub floor from the basement this weekend, which was kind of stressful because we had already tiled and were worried about it cracking. Two car jacks and well over a 100 swings of a mallet forced a new floor joist under the floor. Christina and I (well more so I) felt my toilet installation was wrong when we noticed some water on the floor. After replacing the water supply line and gasket we realized the humidity was to blame and it was just "sweating." The condensation built up around the tank was dripping onto the floor. In hindsight that makes sense, since Saturday was super humid. In the morning I couldn't see more than 75 to 100 feet ahead of my Jeep on the road due to the thick fog. Today it was a record high of 81 with 82% humidity.

Friday, March 23, 2007





Joining the Circus
on wednesday kristen and i had our first circus class at a place in NE mpls. it was kind of just like swinging on the monkey bars at recess in elementary school. we did a bit of 'tumbling' and then learned the basics on the trapeze. neither of us has any gymnastics experience, nor does it appear that either has any innate ability. kind of don't think that the ringling bros will be asking us to apply. nevertheless it will be fun to learn some circus tricks over the next two months and meet new people... like clowns.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Garbage post
My friend Mike came over in his pickup to help me schlep a bunch of the trash that has accumulated from the bathroom renovations. It was a pretty light load compared to the 1700 pounds of plaster we took last year from the ceiling work. After a foggy and rainy Wednesday the city dump employee admitted it was a "really slow day." Last time I went the garbage pile was over 10 feet high and filled the entire 100 foot area. In fact we were the only people dropping off and the place looked pretty clean, for a dump.

This blogger visited the same Minneapolis South Transfer station. He comments on how organized the process is and I agree. His blog post goes on to explain the plight of the dump in Tegucigalpa. Christina and I saw the short documentary that was nominated for an Oscar called Recycled Life. It was amazing to see entire generations of people work and live in the Guatemala City Dump. Maybe amazing isn't the correct work; distrubing seems more like it.

Here's a photo of some progress on the bathroom. The toilet went in after this was taken.

Sunday, March 18, 2007





Meet Audrey (she's the black one)
so i wasn't planning for this to be the photo of the week, but a funny thing happened yesterday... audrey catch on FIRE. yes, you read that right, on fire (she's fine today, don't worry). we always joke that she is the spawn of satan, but perhaps this confirms our suspicions. let me back up, so my roommate amanda had a st. patrick's day party last night. we were all standing around chatting and all of the sudden there was a bit of a commotion and the smell of burning hair (or fur in this case). i didn't actually witness it happening (although i truly wish i had -- only to make the telling of the story that much better!) but apparently audrey jumped up on a counter that had a candle 'snake' deal on it and she burst into flames. luckily there were some people standing right there and they aided her in the stop, drop and roll technique that we all learned in 2nd grade. the flames extinguished right away and it doesn't appear that she has any degree of burning on her skin, just her entire right side has super short, and kind of crusty, fur. also her legs a bit. (also for those of you wondering, i wasn't able to take a good picture of it, since she has black fur and all). never a dull moment around here....

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ye ol' tile job

The wall between the hall and bathroom is no more. It's absence serves several purposes; the new pocket door can be framed to slide into the wall, the tub can be carried directly into position, we could tile the floor from the hallway, and photos encompass the entire room. The initial tile job was imperfect so Christina painstakingly pried out dozens of the 3/4" hexagon tiles, then reset them for four plus hours (I finished my NCAA bracket). Slow goes it from here on out. The tile needs to cure, then we grout, then wait, then we seal, wait, then the new tub, toilet, and sink go in. That's not the end. No, no, no.... then we begin the tiling process all over again doing the subway tiles in the shower... the list goes on....

Sunday, March 11, 2007

3 bedrooms, no bath

Over the past 9 hours I ripped just about everything out of my lone bathroom.

It had to be done. See below how it looked. I hated it! So I set a budget and planned it out.

As usual with my house projects a few surprises came up. First, the bathroom actually had the original hardwood flooring under 2 layers of tile and plywood. The subfloor itself has seen better days. I need to patch the area around the toilet stack before I lay down 3/4" exterior plywood and durarock. Even before that I need to break the cast iron stack so I can convert it to PVC. The PVC flange will give me a better conection than the 80+ year old cast iron; oh, and I ordered a 12" installation toilet and the stack is at 14". Got all that?

The fiberglass tub (dated 9/12/83) was pretty settled in . After a few tries tugging it out I opted to just cut the sucker out in pieces with my sawzaw.

I also opened up the wall shared with the hallway in preparation for the pocket door framing. Tomorrow my handyman and I are going to fix the subfloor, install the tub, and frame the pocket door. At least that's my optimistic timeline. Here's how I left the bathroom at the end of the day.

Thursday, March 08, 2007






Elissa's Mural, Catholic Charities Branch III - Minneapolis
so today was the day that my good friend elissa's mural was unveiled. she has been working on this project since the fall and has involved many members of the community, including family, friends, classmates from MCAD and homeless shelter 'guests'. it looked great! she has many stories to tell from the experience, as one might imagine. a few weeks ago the downtown journal did a front page story on the project. for a bit about her involvement with murals- click here and her projects here.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Homentashn time!

I'm a couple of days late getting to this, but I made a giant batch of homentashn tonight. I baked up almost 100 of these triangle shaped Jewish morsels to celebrate Purim. They have the flavor of a sugar cookie with (in my case) cherry, apricot, or poppyseed filling. My mom has a similar recipe to the one I use.

Cook 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup fruit preserves, any flavor

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

cupcake!
BY POPULAR DEMAND (ok, only two people asked) i present to you... the cupcake baby hat that i just knit. i don't really have a baby in mind to give it to, but it was fun to make and i love cupcakes. i came up with the idea the other day while half sleeping one morning and freestyled the pattern. i think that the next one could be perfected a bit, but am quite satisfied with this one.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Blizzard 2007





March link of the Month

Finally tracked down this blog that Christina keeps pointing out to me. If you google Minneapolis Picture of the Day blog the Minneapolis Daily Photo comes up. Chris and Deb keep Minneapolis Daily Photo updated, well daily.

I'm so happy everyone has been able to enjoy Christina's weekly photographs. It certainly helps keep McBlog interesting.

Oh, and don't forget...