Sunday, December 30, 2012

Outdoor lights, Bathroom lights, Christmas lights



We’re having entirely too much fun with lights. This is the story of how we ended up with three bathroom lights for our one bathroom house!

Yesterday we went antiquing with a friend over in Portland. We started out at a place we regularly hit for cabinets and lamps when we are building sets – The ReBuilding Center in north Portland. This place is packed with lights, knobs, cabinetry, doors, sinks, just about anything you can think of for a house that is not furniture! We wandered around for a while looking at stuff, but our big score was a vintage light cover for the bathroom.


It has cool pink ends, and is wide enough to cover our entire bathroom vanity. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a fixture for it. It was only $5, so we had to buy it and hope a fixture would be found later, or we could figure out some way to mount it.

Continuing on towards Hawthorn, we stopped at the Habitat for Humanity store, which is under a bridge. They mostly had modern stuff, but we found this neat little bathroom lamp with a fixture for it. I wasn’t a big fan of the pattern, but it was getting closer to what we needed, and it was only $10.


After lunch we hit a couple more places, and finally ended up at a vintage store (same one we bought our dressers from a few weeks ago) and found complete fixture and cover, the same size as the first cover we had found. If has a bold leafy pattern, but the mounting holes will fit the pink cover as well.


And that is how we ended up with three times as many bathroom fixtures than we can possibly use!

Meanwhile, outdoors, We hung LED Christmas lights around the edge of the patio cover, and installed a new light with a GFI socket to plug them into. Now we can turn them on and off with the switch by the backdoor.


It’s gotten really cold here, so we just about got frostbite hanging this lamp, but Dave did a super job while I handed him tools and tiny screws.


Looks great!



This was Dave’s effort for Christmas decorations this year!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

LIghts out!

Story time: The other night Dave stretched out his foot and bumped the outlet under his desk where the computer is plugged in, and the computer lost all power and turned off. I heard his agonized scream, as he had been working on something, of course. So he reached under the desk and wiggled the plug, and all the lights in the front half of the house went out - uh oh!

He went out to the garage to see if the fuse had blown, and I stayed inside, and after a few minutes the lights came on, and I shouted th news to him out in the garage, to hich he replied 'I haven't done anything yet'. Uh oh, that's even worse!

So we thought about it, wiggled it and saw the lights flicker on and off, and finally threw the fuse to shut it all down, and called our friend Scott, the electrician. He recommended pulling the outlet out to see if  a wire had come loose. We pulled it out, but the wires were fine, so the problem must have been in the outlet. It was one of several outlets in the house that were kind of loose anyway. So we headed off to the hardware store.

Half an hour later we were back and Dave installed the new outlet, threw the fuse, and everything was back to working all hunky-dory. We bought a few extra sockets, because I think we'll need to replace those other loose outlets as well, just to be safe. Glad this was such an easy fix!


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The bedroom ceiling light

Our bedroom came equipped with this enormous ceiling fan:

It was seriously HUGE, and hung down so low Dave could hit his head on it, and we both regularly bumped it when putting on shirts, or doing anything that involved raising our arms above our head. I couldn't do exercise videos without moving off to the side away from it! I can't imagine laying in bed and having that giant fan whipping away overhead!

So today we took it down and replaced it with a nice ceiling fixture. We picked one that had a sort of clean, retro look to it, with a cloth shade. I quite like it.

It lights up the room very nicely, I just had to take a very fast picture to get the color of the shade to show up without the picture being overexposed. And no one will be bumping their head on this!


Sunday, December 16, 2012

The last major pieces for the kitchen

The kitchen is where we spend a lot of our time, and so we wanted it to look just right. I'm overjoyed with the cool vintage cabinets, and we needed some nice vintage furniture to go with them - mostly a hutch to handle overflow because there's not enough storage, and a nice vintage table to sit under that awesome UFO light.

We actually found the hutch a couple weeks ago, but waited until we'd looked around a bit more. Since we didn't find anything we liked better, we went ahead and bought it.

It replaces the honey pine bookcase which we gave to a friend. This has a lot more storage, and the dark walnut formica matches the dark cabinets nicely. I like the open shelves for my cookbooks, and I can display some of my pretty vintage bowls and cups. I had to set my mixer and food processor on top because they are too big to store in any of the cabinets!

It has these neat space-age drawer pulls. Love it!

Dave was out doing some shopping during the day and spotted a dining room table he really liked. He called me up and said it was great, and he was going to buy it. I wasn't too sure, since I hadn't seen it in person, but I think he has a good eye, so I said ok. Of course he'd already bought it...

I love it! Mouse loves it too! It has a nice pattern on top. The formica isn't too dark, and the chairs are in excellent condition. Since I plan to paint the kitchen yellow, I think they will fit in perfectly.

So that's the last major addition to the kitchen. Not room for anything else anyway. Now I can concentrate on cleaning the cabinet doors, fixing the dings and scratches, and then getting a nice coat of wax on them. They are already starting to glow.

Dave says The Rancho is like the Airstream - about the same vintage, same type of cabinets, and feels about as small - so we have to keep everything organized and neat! It's great. Just like the Airstream, it already feels very much like home.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

More vintage lamps


First of all, no 70s home is complete without a swag lamp. Lets take care of that.


Dave found this neat lamp on Craigslist, and went and picked it up in NE Portland, where it had spent the last 40 years or so hanging in a lovely 60s house. It was a pendant lamp, and wired directly into a box in the ceiling. So all we needed to do was turn it into a swag lamp. Luckily getting a swag lamp kit from the hardware store, and a new socket was no big deal. We reassembled it and tested it out and then hung it in the living room.



Hey that looks great! Wait a minute…DOH! Can you see the problem? Back to the workbench.



After disassembling it, moving a few pieces around, and reassembling the socket again, everything was back where it belonged. Now we can sit back and admire our new swag lamp!


For lamp #2, we have a special lamp which I have been trying not to break for the last 7 years or so, since I found it in my Aunt Margie’s basement while clearing out her estate. It is a Plastco Chalkware lamp.




Why is this lamp special to me? Well, it’s cool. Plus, take a look at this picture of my Dad on his wedding day:


James Lynn

Check out that awesome lamp on the table behind him! That’s my lamp!

Unfortunately I can’t find an awesome lampshade like that for it, at least without spending a fortune. I cleaned up the lamp, rewired it with a new socket and cord, and set it aside. Today I was walking through a store and happened to spot a shade I thought would do the trick. Maybe someday I’ll get it a proper vintage shade, but for now, I thought this looked pretty nice.





Friday, December 14, 2012

Pictures from the new camera

I'm getting the hang of my new camera. It does all sorts of things the other one didn't do, and sometimes it just beeps at me and refuses to take a picture. Hey, it's digital, I should be allowed to take bad pictures if I want to! It's not like I'm wasting film! So I've been taking lots of practice shots to get the hang of using it.

Hey Dave, look over here!


Cute head-tilt!

 Barclay wants me to finish playing with the camera and pay attention to him!

Navi and Mouse

Smilin' Barclay

He's tired of waiting for me to finish playing with the camera, so he's going to sleep.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Feelin' better!

He's all 'I feel much better now, thanks for all those happy pills'! It's good to have him bounding around and looking for trouble again. It's amazing how fast he went downhill, and how fast he's rebounding!

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Barclay's sore throat

Saturday morning we had to rush Barclay to the emergency vet! He had been coughing on Wednesday, lethargic the past two days, and Saturday morning I followed him around the yard and he looked like he was so weak he was going to collapse. I had already decided he would go to the vet that day, and planned to call them as soon as they opened at 8, but here it was 5am, and he wasn't looking good. I took him inside and gave him some soft food, and he ate a bite, then just stared at the bowl and shivered. That was it, he was going in NOW.

We got to the vet and they examined him and determined he was running a very high fever! They took him back to do xrays and blood tests, and had to knock him out because he was so upset about it. They found a sore in the back of his throat - they think he may have poked it with a bone. I think it was the 'pig ear' rawhides he likes. Some of them are thin and have pointy ends - I could see him swallowing a chunk and hurting his throat.

They put him on an IV, for fluids, antibiotics, and pain meds, and kept him all day. I was so worried I called to check on him every couple hours. Navi didn't know what to do with herself, being the only dog. By afternoon she was sitting in the hallway yapping at nothing - I think she was just nervous. Being the only dog is a lot of pressure for her! By evening the vet said Barclay was eating solid food and drinking, and was so upset about being there, they were ready to send him home so he could rest.

Of course he was super happy to see us! We took him home and he drank and ate and slept in the middle of the living room where he could be the center of attention. Navi followed him around wagging her tail, and sat on the couch watching him sleep until she fell asleep too. He pretty much slept on our bed all night. I heard a couple coughs from him this morning and we got up and gave him his pills, he ate and drank, and even barked at the front window a little. But mostly he's resting.

Hopefully this will be a quick recovery. The vet says there's a chance the sore is a tumor, not a wound, but I am assuming it's a wound, and that's what the vet felt was most likely too. It makes sense, and I refuse to even think about another dog having cancer at this point. He'll get another exam in a couple weeks to see how it looks. The first thing I did when I got home is throw out those 'pig ears' - no more of those for him!


Saturday, December 08, 2012

Kitchen Light

Continuing our upgrades, Dave scored a nice vintage light cover for the kitchen. It's 19 inches across, which is HUGE, and has little dots/bumps all over it for the light to sparkle through. We had no problem removing the old light and fitting a new fixture. The new light shade covers everything, and even hangs down enough to fit fluorescent bulbs underneath.

I think the kitchen is really looking up now. Most important, we're both having a lot of fun finding these treasures for our house, and getting them installed!

We were at Home Depot looking at lights last night, when a lady came up and said 'We have a special offer for people who don't like their kitchen cabinets..' and we looked at each other and said 'No thanks, we LOVE our kitchen just the way it is!'. No Home Depot kitchen for me!




When we moved in, there were two big woodpiles, one on either side of the yard, covered in ugly brown tarps.




We peeked under the tarps and discovered some mouse poison right after we took possession, so we spent some time looking for any more of it before we brought the dogs over, and then I’ve watched them like a hawk while they’re out in the yard to make sure they didn’t find any we missed. If those logpiles weren’t already on my to-do-list, that put them there for sure – the woodpiles had to go!

So Last weekend a friend came over along with two other friends with full size trucks, thinking they’d each take a load of wood and it would all be gone. Not quite. It took FIVE full size pickup bed loads to clear the piles away! The one closest to the house was the oldest, and a lot of the wood was rotten and full of termites! Yikes! They took as much of that as they could too.

That left me with a lot of debris to clean up:




And a new, and not entirely enjoyable view, of the neighbor’s yard!


Hey, I moved away from the farm to get away from that sort of ramshackle chicken coop/blue tarp stuff! Oh well.



The other pile left less of a mess. At least it was all good wood, none of that rotten stuff. But it was still full of mice and rat droppings. I didn’t find any more poison hidden in the piles. The boxes had looked pretty old, so it had probably all been consumed by mice long ago, but I wouldn’t take a chance of the dogs getting any. I’m sure we displaced a lot of rodents though.



Much to Navi’s delight. She’s been hunting mice every time she goes outside. She caught one the other day. She’s fast! I don’t think these mice came out of the woodpiles though, she’s been hunting mice in the garden area.

Our next big outdoor project is to clean up the big garden and reseed it for grass so the dogs will have more grassy area to play in. I don’t need that much garden anyway! Not sure when we’ll get a dry weekend to do that.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Maple Leaf Swag

My husband is so awesome! He surprised me with this lamp today!

This is a special lamp, because it's exactly like the lamp that was in Grandma's house! I saw one on ebay but it was really expensive. By some miracle Dave spotted one on Craigslist (for a lot cheaper) and went and picked it up while I was at work. I came home and saw it all lit up in the window - I couldn't believe it! The one at Grandma's house was right by the front door, so it was the first thing you saw driving up in the driveway. This gave me warm fuzzies to see it here in our little 'vintage' house!


Wednesday, December 05, 2012


Sherry and Scott (and Sake and Sitka) came over for dinner - first dinner party at our new house! And after dinner Scott installed our new lamp. I held a flashlight, that counts as helping, right? I was amazed when it lit up, because it did something I hadn't expected - the fiberglass shade lit up like a UFO! So cool! I couldn't be more happy with this little treasure! I'm going to need a vintage table to go with it!


Saturday, December 01, 2012

Furnishing the Rancho


Now that we have started to settle into our charming little Mid-Century house, we decided to go looking for some Mid-Century furniture to go with it. We did not have a lot of furniture to bring from the other house, much of it was so worn out it went to the dump (even Goodwill wouldn’t take it), and we never had a real bedroom set.

The first thing Dave wanted to replace was our country-style knotty pine buffet. Not that there was anything wrong with it, it just fit into the farm-house better than it does here.



So we went shopping around antique stores until we found a nice vintage bedroom set that struck our fancy:




Love it! This is the sort of furniture we both grew up with, and it looks very cool. Just what we wanted.

And it has a matching dresser!




Look at those little legs! So awesome!




Our bedroom is shaping up nicely!

Next on our list was a vintage swag light for the front room, which we didn’t find, but we found something we weren’t looking for – a pull-down dining room light to replace the large greek-style modern lamp a previous owner installed (which doesn’t fit with the kitchen style at all).




Here’s a better look at it:




It has a brass base with a large fiberglass disk. It’s just too awesome! We found it at an antique mall and the note on it said it was new (by which we assume he meant it had never been installed), and had a piece of the original box label.




I can’t wait to get this installed in the dining room. Things are going to be pretty retro-cool at the Rancho if we keep having this sort of luck!