December 24, 2008: Holly, the little kitty that we adopted from the Cat Adoption Team, a no-kill shelter in Sherwood, OR. Her litter was scheduled to be euthanized at the Salem area animal control. C.A.T. took the litter and places them into foster families until bleeding hearts like us can be found. She's pretty damn cute; she's the runt of the litter, and full of attitude.
February 1, 2009: Puffy-tailed kitty, and another napping spot she's laid claim to...
March 10, 2009: Ruby putting up with kitty.
April 8, 2009: All the form work Heather, me, and my ace carpenter friend Anthony put together. The city and I worked a deal out where we were given permission to build our fence within the setback zone (we gained an additional 2' of space along our fence line that is actually Portland Department of Transportation property!) in exchange of us tearing the entire 150 lineal feet of sidewalk out, installing tree wells, an ADA handicap corner, and ;repouring a nice, new & shiny sidewalk. Eight grand later...
April 8, 2009: Flat work concrete guys starting the first leg of the one day pour. They were there non-stop, no breaks from 9:00AM 'til 7:00PM.
Snapping lines. FYI, concrete tradesmen snap lines into large pieces of flatwork because of the one thing you can expect from concrete: it's gonna crack. This way, the cracks tend to follow the trowel lines.
ADA corner, and turning the corner heading North toward the back of our property. Check out the Pinto to the right - ver, ver nice!!! It actually had moss growing on it.
Final touches. Unfortunately, I was in Albuquerque, NM on business and couldn't be there for the pour, or be there with Heather to stand guard over the still soft concrete. And of course, more than one jackass scrawled their name and besmirched my most precious sidewalk. No respect!
May 17, 2009: Me posing with the initial layout of our main cabinet assembly for the coffee shop.
May 28, 2009: The first brood of robin babies under our porch!!! We even saw one of them take their first flight (fledge) and leave the nest (that's the little guy on the right). It was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo cooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool to waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
June 14, 2009: My most beautiful and hard working wifey Heather shooting the steel fence panels with primer. To this day she refuses to race me on a panel by panel basis - her with a spray gun, and me with a mini stubbie roller and a roller pan.
June 14, 2009: Dan the metal man, fabbing up the custom built, fully welded ornamental steel fence. Even in my more lithe & supple days, I would think real hard before hopping a fence with barbed spike finials on top. I couldn't help but think if I were to fall, how could I de-impale myself without causing permanent damage, and before the property owner comes out to properly "set the hook." Or at least I hope that's what goes through the good for nothing's who've been vandalizing our building and the neighborhood.
June 23, 2009: Nate, another ace carpenter we met through my parents foodie group, installing temporary supports under the sleeping porch. He was definitely a get'er done guy - he figured it'd take three to four days to finish the re-posting / pouring new footings for the porch, and on the fourth day it was done with an invoice in the mail. Those guys are always the best.
June 23, 2009: Heather and I kneeling on the three odd ton of flagstone for the coffee shop patio that should at the very least attract a lot of birds if not customers to enjoy the pretty flowers. I have at the minimum picked up and moved each of those stones ten times over the last five odd years since we removed them from my families garden where I grew up.
June 27, 2009: Ed Bell & Sons Paint Removal company beginning the stripping of the old lead paint from the exterior of the building. Stinky job, and it was hot!
July 4, 2009: Heather and I chambering the guns after pouring the concrete pad under the sleeping porch.
July 11, 2009: Uncovering the original sign from when the building was built. It reads, "Wm. Landauer Groceries Cigars & Tobacco."
July 14, 2009: bamboo rhizome barrier successfully installed after the grueling excavation of the concrete deadman anchors we poured into the side lot to pull off of in order to straighten the building. Remember those? I talked to Dan the metal man who was then the structural / foundation man during the Phase I structural renovation about where we had poured the concrete. We wanted to install a 100' long grove of bamboo along our Western fence line to act as a privacy barrier, and I was hoping to miss the concrete anchors. My memory was that they had poured three - three foot by four foot concrete plugs about a foot below ground level. Well..................................... We ran dead smack into them once we started excavating. And there weren't three of them.............................. there were six. So..................... use the excavator as much as we could, then hand dig around the plugs (picture six - three foot by four foot concrete plugs running dead smack in the middle of your three foot deep trench) go rent a big heavy mo-fo jack hammer and run that thing for a ten hour day, non-stop, and still not be finished. It took two days, we hired a hispanic day laborer who turned out to be pretty much worthless when he realized how much work there was. And............................. we couldn't even remove all of the concrete!!! I had to cut channels through the plugs, two of them per plug, a total of twelve, just to complete the rhizome plastic barrier trench / moat if you will. And, like clockwork - our lovely neighbors to the West of us called the police not five minutes after the construction noise curfew.... And you wonder why we're spending so much energy installing such a hella stout fence and what soon will be a very thick privacy screen of beautiful, lush, rustling bamboo? Don't get me started... Two words - Buh bye...
July 22, 2009: Trench successfully backfilled and hand compacted. One thing we should have done is laid tarps down between the flagstone patio and the excavated dirt. It compacted after walking on it and it took more effort than it could have cleaning up the patio.
July 22, 2009: Some sepia tinged photos of the building after all the exterior paint had been stripped. The light colored siding patches are new pieces of siding that we used to replace old boards that were cracked. We previously rebuilt the entire first floor storefront. If you look at the before and after pictures, you can see just how much altering we actually did.
July 23, 2009: One of the painters prepping the building for paint, and another starting the priming.
July 24, 2009: Dan the metal man finishing up the fence.
September 12, 2009: The beginning of the original sign restoration by Heather and me.
September 13, 2009: Buster and "The Cone of Shame," and Heather showing the world that she's got "two tickets to the gun show!"
September 19, 2009: Me and the final niggling details surrounding the restoration of a historic sign, not to mention that I do not like ladders or scaffolding whatsoever, and that the entire time I was up there, each of those trident spikes were winking at me.
September 27, 2009: Finally moving on to the landscaping and making things oh so pretty!!! L to R, T to B - pretty flowering vine, but I forget the name - not a camelia, but a ???, sounds like an STD, ..., CLEMATIS!!! Next, me and my ability to turn a simple matter of buying & installing a cheap, Home Depot little herb garden fence into making a handmade / hand sewn patchwork / fishing net herb garden fence from scratch and spending the better part of the day sitting on a stump drinking good coffee making it happen. And you can't forget Ruby and her uncanny ability to find the smelliest sunspot.
October 18, 2009: The first official fire in the Jotul! Another very heavy item I've been moving from place to place for the last odd years. It came out of my family's basement where I grew up. Looks like an Easter Island figurehead.
October 31, 2009: Heather and I on All Hallow's Eve. We volunteered as actors / tour guides for a halloween event a non-profit group puts on every year at the old pioneer cemetery. I was one of the actors at one of the tour stops. An attorney named Leander Holmes who was instrumental in getting Lincoln elected back in 1861, but who suffered a stroke (softening of the brain) and so they put him in the insane asylum. He died two years after being admitted into the asylum, and then he was buried in an unmarked grave with no acknowledgement of his conributions to the history of our nation. Heather was a tour guide and played one of the more well known "ladies of leisure," supposedly the only one buried in the cemetery.
Onward & Upward...
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