Posted by: Stoney | August 27, 2011

The Wall & The Deck

Looooooong story short: when we bought the house we knew we would eventually have to build a retaining wall and replace our renter’s deck. We were told that it would have to happen sometime in the next decade…then the inspector for the housing and rental department informed us that because the previous owners had really pissed off the city, we now had 30days to bring the wall and the deck up to code. Luckily we had already finished the architectural plans and started the permit process. With the clock ticking we broke ground.

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After seeing the work he did on his own house we hired our neighbor Perry Brown as contractor.

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Goodbye deck!

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After breaking out the old footing we began digging pylon holes 8ft into bedrock

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While digging the holes we struck an underground river! The first day there was 2inches of water, the next morning the holes were filled with 7ft of water. We had to raise the psi of the cement (quick drying)

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After the pylons were poured and dried, we tied them with rebar into a long footing cage and poured again (very sturdy)

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Meanwhile the deck foundation was being poured 4ft into the ground

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Then, after the footing dried we began creating a mold for the wall. Rebar all over the place.

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After drying we removed the mold and began the slow (and loud) process of compacting the soil behind the wall. This effectively added five feet of extra space on the side of our house. Plenty of room for a walkway and new privacy by our bedroom window.

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Then we made a mold for the stairs and the new side walk

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Next was metal hand rails (per the permit)

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This week we finished the stucco on the deck, the wooden deck hand rails and final inspections. After three extensions all work needed to be complete by last Thursday. Perry screwed in the last two screws as the inspector arrived. Final inspections are complete and by Monday this ordeal will be over. At the end of the day we have a beautiful new wall, our renter loves her new deck and the city is happy with us. We made it!!

Posted by: ViVi | July 1, 2011

We’re having a GIRL!!!

Hey everyone,

Stoney’s been so sweet and hasn’t missed a single pre-natal appointment and our visit today was amazing. We had a 3D ultrasound. The size and development of the baby looks absolutely perfect. Yippee! Her little hand was up against her face and she was squirming and wiggling around like crazy. It was adorable and wonderful to see that she is so healthy. We didn’t doubt it but it’s great to be reassured along the way.

It’s been 20 weeks which means we’re half way through till the “launch date” (as my Papa T says). It’s more fun being pregnant than I could have known. We always wonder what her personality will be like and of course we have many hopes for her. Apparently, she can hear sounds from the outside world now so we talk to her all the time. She’s a lucky little girl to have so many positive, supportive and loving people in her life already.

We were able to get this video from the ultrasound. It’s more clinical than cute (well, we think it’s cute but we’re biased) but it’s fun to try to spot all of the body parts such as the four valves of her beating heart, the black dot stomach, the umbilical cord, spine and of course limbs. Her little head is pointing straight down right now. Don’t think there’s something wrong with the footage, the doctor stopped the film periodically to take measurements. We hope you enjoy! 

p.s. If you look closely, you can see her waving to you. 🙂

Posted by: Stoney | June 23, 2011

Garage in Progress

Getting ready for next winter by water-proofing the garage and evicting the skunk family. 20110623-074352.jpg20110623-074414.jpg20110623-074434.jpg20110623-074455.jpg20110623-074526.jpg20110623-074556.jpg20110623-074630.jpg

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Posted by: ViVi | May 10, 2011

Family time in CDM

Stoney and I are having the best time in Corona Del Mar with Molly, Maizy and Charlie. More pics to come!

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Posted by: ViVi | May 9, 2011

Beautiful Spring Garden

We still are loving our house even if it is a lot of work. This Spring has brought a plethora of rain and with that of course comes extraordinary foliage. Below are pictures of our garden from today. Hope to have you over for a picnic soon!

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Posted by: ViVi | June 19, 2010

Gardening With Dad & Memorial Day BBQ

For Memorial Day, my dad helped us clear a patch of over-growth before we all went to our friend’s BBQ. My dad’s energy and know-how really helped us make a huge impact on the yard. Our renter, Rosie, said, “I didn’t even know I had a grapevine in front of my parking spot!” It was a great day.

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Posted by: ViVi | May 27, 2010

Surprise Birthday Trip

This year I turned the 3-0. We had a great party with friends at a local bar. Stoney knows I love surprises so, for his gift, he took me on a secret vacation. All he said was to, “pack for fun.” I was delighted, and the anticipation was half the joy!

I could not believe where he took me- one of the nicest and most elegant hotels around; the Four Seasons/ Biltmore in Santa Barbara! Mostly we just relaxed, worked out and ate delicious food. What a perfect anecdote to a crazed month of remodeling, moving and work. I wish we could go back again and soak in the mineral bath right now!

Here’s a slideshow with some pictures from the trip.

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Posted by: ViVi | May 27, 2010

A quaint pathway

This week our fabulous friend, Tiphanie, spent the better part of a day helping me pick up free mulch from the city, buy drought resistant stone plants and reuse some sandstone pavers we had lying around to perk up the renter’s front walkway.

Posted by: ViVi | May 24, 2010

Home sweet home

Life has normalized in our new home. Some boxes need unpacking and our to-do list is growing but we love being here so much. We had Chad and his dog, Eli, over for our first meal with friends and now it officially feels real. Can’t wait to have you over soon, too.

Posted by: ViVi | April 23, 2010

The floors are beautiful!

Now all we have to do is decide what color to paint the walls. I can’t believe it’s almost time for us to move in!!!

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