Sunday, May 27, 2012

Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It (Find Me Some New Curtains)

What movie is that from? Mission Impossible? I think so. Charlie’s Angels? I’m not sure. Anyway, I need your help. Your mission: Help me pick out new curtains for my family room.

When we first moved in, I thought deep red would be part of my color scheme, mostly because I found these panels on clearance at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. However, the colors have strayed far from red, and now its grey, yellow, and a little turquoise.

So I desperately need new curtains. Plus, they’re about as fashionable as Urkel’s pants. Even when I was still into the red color, that was my mom’s first reaction: “They look like high-water pants.” Duly noted.

IMG_4752 (Ignore the khaki curtains to the left. I’ll do something about those after the kitchen remodel.)

I can’t decide if I should get stripes, a solid color with a textured fabric, or just plain white. I’ve got a lot of patterns in the room so I am shying away from a wild fabric. The red curtains feel really heavy here, so I’m looking for something lighter (either in color or fabric), but I am open to any ideas! I just don’t have any brilliant ones of my own yet.

What do you guys think? What style curtains should I go with? Any great ideas? 

(Mom – help!)

PS. I can’t wait for all the big Portland garage sales in June. Several neighborhoods have sales with 100 houses! Look at this wooden box I found last year for $2.50. Love it!

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Get Out Of The Dining Room

Look who moved outside today, and got the hell out of my dining room? :)

The coop isn’t quite done yet, so they’ll still need to take over the dining room at night. But now, they are outside chickens in the daytime.

The run is protected from vicious predators.

That’s about as vicious as Diego got. Just checking out his new friends, I like to think. And that is not the run! Just a temporary holding area while we finished putting up the hardware cloth.

They like all the extra room. Maude found and ate an earthworm! I put a tree stump in the run, I thought they’d want to perch on it, but so far they just want to eat the moss.

I plan to finish the coop this weekend, so they can be permanently-outside chickies.

IMG_4799 (They do not like posing for photos.)

Any other newbie chicken people? What is your favorite and least favorite parts about your new pets?

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Beds I Want To Lay In

I feel like life has been speeding by lately! I haven’t been sleeping well, the weekends go by waay too fast, and I’m using my brain more than usual at work :) No rocket science or anything, but to use corporate jargon I love so much*, I’m juggling too many balls right now and one of them is going to drop. I’ve got just the right amount of work on my plate** where I’m able to get everything done, but I’m starting to feel really unorganized.

* Please sense the sarcasm.
** Seriously, people can’t work without silly sayings and making everything into an acronym. Oh, the acronyms!

So like any MYP (motivated young professional), when I start to feel overwhelmed I go into pure paralysis mode, staring off into space in a panic rather than getting myself organized. Its a self-created problem, really. I’ll get it together.

Anyway, I have that same “I don’t have my sh*t together” feeling at home. Part of it is because I can’t tear myself away from the chickens, and part of it is because we’ve started too many projects but have yet to finish any of them. But I think the biggest problem is that instead of going and getting my sh*t together, I do super productive things like search Pinterest for beautiful beds, which are calling my name inviting me over for a nap :) Like I said, a self-created problem.

But oh, the cozy beds. I know these rooms are all pretty different but they have one thing in common. I want to grab the cats Matt, snuggle up, and have a good long sleep in there. Which is your fave?

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OK, I’m off to bed now :)

When you’re feeling overwhelmed or unorganized, how do you get back on track?

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Going Home to Roost

Ever since we got the chickens, we’ve noticed how many sayings are inspired by them (and how many we never understood until now!).

All cooped up, going home to roost, flew the coop, ruffle your feathers, and quite possibly the most accurate:  bird brain.

I actually think they’re pretty smart, but mostly because they decided to like me. They still run when I put my hand in their cage, but instead of shaking frantically in the corner, they now come to check out my hand and peck my ring. May have something to do with the fact that I’ve started giving them treats. Nope, they just like me ;)

The little chickens have been consuming my thoughts and weekends lately. They’re still so young and small I worry about them all the time. I can’t wait until they’re big enough to go outside. It’ll be nice to have my dining room back and I’m hoping I’ll worry less :)

I’ll share more details about the coop when I’m all done (so I can tell you what I’d do differently!). But here’s a look at the progress.


We’re converting the old shed we never used into the new chicken digs. We tore off the walls (and we’ll replace them with hardware cloth) so they can have a nice open air run to hang out in during the day. The white walls you see are the half-built coop, a nice, warm, protected place for them to hang out at night while they’re sleeping.

I’ve only primed the two walls and floor. I want to finish painting those before putting the other two walls and ceiling on the coop, which  I’ll paint before they go up. It’ll be much easier than getting myself through a doorway designed for a chicken :)

The part I’m most proud of so far is the nesting box.

(Please ignore the crazy hair and awkward position. I was trying to prime the box without killing/painting all the raspberries. BTW, not successful. We now have white raspberry plants.)

I’m mostly proud that I was able to cut all of the pieces and they actually fit together reasonably well. Nothing a little trim can’t fix. Having the nesting boxes on the outside of the coop will make it easy to get eggs without entering the coop.

So that’s it. I’m surprisingly sore from cutting all the boards with the circular saw (free hand!) and still have quite a bit of work to go. While I was working on the coop, Matt (nearly) finished digging the hole for our kitchen foundation.


Did I mention he is crazy? We (mostly Matt) have dug that entire hole by hand. In related news, we turned in our plans for the permit! We had to draw floor plans, foundation plans, framing plans; all things I wanted to hire out. Matt has far more patience than I do for reading code books. But he did a great job on the plans. The reviewer at the count office said she didn’t see any problems so we should have a permit to start building in a couple weeks!

So while we’re not working on anything pretty here at the Newcomb home, we’re definitely making progress. Now I just have to find energy to actually make dinner after work and chicken coop-building!


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