Monday, July 30, 2012

Sierra Silver Mine Tour

The next day we took a Silver Mining Tour.  We didn't expect much going in because the advertisement was modest(a small sign on the store front) compared to all the in-yor-face kind we are accustomed to, but were surprised at how informative and entertaining it was.  The 90 minute tour was enjoyed by the adults and kids alike, which is a rare and wonderful thing.

You get to ride this open trolly around town and up into the woods where the mine is.    

With jackets and helmets on, we are ready to enter the mine.

Lots of demonstration from a retired miner as we walked through the mine.  The local high school has a mining class and the students get their field education in this mine.  They helped stage the mine for the tour.  

I had no idea how tough the work was.  Dark, hot, humid, dirty, dangerous, and lonely because they each get paid by how far they can dig in a day.  I can't imagine doing it day in and day out.      

The tour ended after a stroll around the town Wallace, where we saw some historic buildings and cute old houses.

Hiawatha Biking Trail

Just as we were loosing hope for a trailer vacation because we have been so consumed with the renovation, Scott decided getting away from it all for a little weekend trip was a must.  We loaded up the bikes and headed to Northern Idaho...

... to Hiawatha Rail-Trail.  Hiawatha Rail-Trail is a scenic section of abandoned rail-bed from the Milwaukee Raod that was turned into a world class non-motorized trail.  It is either a 30 mile round trip with 2000 feet of elevation change, or 17 miles of level and downhill dirt track with a shuttle bus ride to regain your 1000 foot elevation loss.  We chose the latter.

Here we are excited to get on our way.  

There was a 1.7 mile tunnel at the beginning and several shorter tunnels that followed throughout the trail.   The kids enjoyed turning on their LED head lights.   

The view from the many bridges were just fantastic.      

This was Kai's first big bike ride.  He was a champion on his old and rickety Spider man bike that wouldn't cruise.  He pedaled and pedaled, until his legs were exhausted.  He still made it three quarters of the way.   

We had Dixie cups back at the camp ground afterwards.  They tasted extra yummy after the long bike ride.    

We can't wait to come back again.  "But with better bikes, Mom!" the kids say.    

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sheet rock

It has been a dusty week, but the result is exciting.  It is finally starting to look like a living space.

eat-in dining area

mud room
This used to be a laundry closet .  You can see where it used to end.    

Jerome's room

Asha's room

second floor alcove
This used to be Asha's room.  We tore the walls down and opened it up to be an upstairs living room.  

The sheet rock guys were covered in sweat and white powder when they were finished.  They left two sets of white foot prints down our driveway all the way to their truck.  What hard work they do!

There are a few new additions to the kitchen.

pot filler 

600 CFM range hood
Hopefully this powerful fan will be able to expel the smoke fast enough that the smoke alarm won't go off as much as it has "when Papa burns food".  I might even be able to fry spring rolls inside. 

Scott is in the process of painting some built-ins for the family office area.  I should be able to show it to you in a few days.  The counter top is scheduled to go in this Thursday, which means we will have plumbing back in the kitchen.  The kids have never been so excited to load the dish washer.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The face frames are in!

The face frames are in!  

We took the old wall cabinets and microwave off the wall.  We love how open and spacious it feels.

Last saturday we ripped out the tile with the help of Scott's brother Colin and nephew Seth.  It turned out to be a lot bigger job than we anticipated.  Scott and I stayed up until two to finish getting the 2500 square head screws out of the hardie board.  The screws wouldn't come out unless the grout was scraped out of the screw heads which made the process painful and long.  

Now we are working on getting the staples out of the sub floor.  Unlike the square head screws, these staples are fun to pull out.  Don't get me wrong.  It still is a process.  You stick a flat head screw driver by the staple, hammer it under the staple until the staple comes up a little, and then pull it out using fencing pliers.  But it is satisfying when the long staple comes out.  If only my back didn't hurt after a while.  I would be doing it all day.  Instead, we pay the kids 10 cents per staple.

This is not related to the reno, but here is a picture of what happens when you have two boys volunteer to make milk shakes for the first time.  Yes, they really were trying to put the whole box of ice cream in my blender.  

Friday, July 6, 2012

bar stool side storage

Today we got the bar side cabinet doors in...  

... and the sink cabinet got doors, too.  

Scott got started on the face frames, which he says is a tedious job.      

The cabinets are in!

This past week was mostly spent on electrical work, plumbing, and making of the drawer fronts.  We decided that Scott's time is better spent doing things he does well, and hired a pro to do the plumbing.  We are glad we did because plumbing for an addition turned out to be a bit complicated.  

Today Scott changed out all the old drawer fronts and made some special pieces to finish up everything that uses drawer slides.  I put pulls on all day long.  Here is a the wall side.  

The first piece Scott made is a pull out bottle holder for oils, vinegars, and anything else you want when you are cooking at the stove.  There are two of them, one on either side of the stove.

This is the island.  The two empty spaces you see are for the dishwasher, on the left, and the sink, on the right.

And the second piece Scott made is a pull out trash and recycle bin.  He followed a tutorial from this blog.  

Our life has been interesting now that we haven't had plumbing in the kitchen for a week.  Here is how we do dishes.      

Don't let this fun picture fool you.  The boys "helped" just once before the novelty wore off and they lost interest.  It's fine because I actually don't mind doing the dishes as long as I have Jerome and Asha's help.  Jerome fills up the two storage containers with water.  It takes him several trips to the bathroom sink with a big pot.  He does this happily whenever I call, "Jerome, get water from the well!" Jerome and I thought it was fun to pretend that we were pioneers, until we realized that we were silly for thinking that getting warm city water from a faucet fifteen feet away didn't really qualify as a pioneer experience.  But it is still fun.  We first tried to take the storage containers into the bathroom sink to fill, but then learned that we couldn't get the faucet out of it before loosing most of the water.  That made a big mess in the bathroom when a lot of that water ended up on the floor.  Jerome also dumps the dirty water into the toilet after I am finished, a big help.  Asha "unloads the dishwasher" by putting away all the dishes that I pile up in the basket.   I pulled the lower basket out of our dishwasher and put it on a bath towel so it wouldn't roll off of the countertop.

Scott is taking the rest of the week off of work, so we should have more things to show you soon.  Stay tuned!