Happy 3rd (House) Anniversary to Us!

Today is the 3rd anniversary of when we closed on our house!  I can’t believe time has passed so fast.  We’ve done a lot, and still have a lot left to do.  But that’s OK since we’re both retired and don’t want to be bored 🙂

Here’s a quick look at some of the highlights from the last three years:

Whew!  We did more than I thought we did!  (And by we, I mean mostly Jim.)  There are a few more things for me to catch up on blogging about, like the LED lights in the family room and the shelves that the Man of the Place has put in the pantry so far.  It’s been a good three years!

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Mixed Recycling Arrives

My name is Donna and I’m a recycling nerd. How do I know this? Because I got insanely, freakishly excited when our new mixed recycling container showed up in our driveway recently.

Recycling 1

It was shiny and blue and brand spanking new. I loved it!

Recylcing 2

Recycling 7

To at least partly understand my excitement, you have to know what our old recycling was like. We have had two blue bins in the garage, one for paper and one for plastic bottles with necks. The City of Largo would pick these up curbside one day a week. If you had any cardboard, you needed to flatten it into pieces no larger than 2’x2′ and put it under one of the bins.

For glass and metal, you had to take them to the local recycling center and dump them yourselves. This led to our fancy schmancy recycling center in our walk-in pantry.

Recycling 3

We had been discussing how to build in a 3-bin recycling shelf into the next set of shelves that Jim will make for the pantry. Now, with mixed recyclables, everything can be dumped into one bin in the pantry.

Recycling 5

When that’s full, we can take it out and dump it into the big blue bin, which will be rolled out to the curb once a week.

Recycling 4

I. LOVE. IT. This makes recycling so much simpler for us. Not only that, but the City of Largo has expanded the different types of items you can recycle.

I was so excited that I had to take a picture of the contents of our bin the first time we rolled it out to the curb last week.

Recycling 6

Yes, as I said, I’m a recycling nerd. I even had to run look when I heard the recycling truck coming down our street. It has a cool gizmo on the side which reaches out, grabs the big bin, lifts it up and dumps the contents into the truck. Very neat.

I’ve been slacking off on posting about the pantry shelves…I’ll try to get some pictures up soon. Jim’s done some nice work and we’re already putting it to use!

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The Pantry Base

My last post about the pantry showed how the Man of the Place finished off the inside of the room to get ready to work on the shelves.  The next step was to install a base on which to put the cabinet-style shelves.

Jim had to create a nice level line around the perimeter of the room, so that the base would be perfectly level.

Pantry base

Pantry base 2

Next, he was able to begin installing the base, which is basically a structure of 2 x 4’s, elevated off the floor by little pressure-treated legs.

Pantry base 3

Pantry base 4

While this might not seem too difficult, keep in mind that the floor is not perfectly level, plus we’re going to create a toe-kick under the shelves, so everything had to be done with great precision. At times like this, it’s really nice to be married to a structural engineer 🙂

In a future post, I’ll show the first shelves that Jim has put in.

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The First Fire of the Season

Yesterday was Thanksgiving – it also happened to be the first day cold enough to have our first fire of the season – nice!

First Fire

We had it going for most of the day and evening.

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Creative Parking

Here’s a photo of some creative parking we saw when we dropped our daughter off for her afternoon class the other day.

Creative parking

While this person obviously knew better than to park in one of the handicapped spaces, they apparently thought it was OK to squeeze in BETWEEN the two spaces. Too funny!

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One morning a few months ago, someone knocked on our door at 9:00 a.m. First of all, a note to any potential door knockers out there…when’s it’s summertime, do NOT knock on our door at 9:00 a.m. Our kid is on school break and we’re retired, so you will be rousting some grumpy person out of bed. (On this particular day, that grumpy person was me.) Try 12:00 p.m. or later as a safe time to knock.

I managed to remember to turn off the alarm before I yanked open the front door.
A guy wanted to know if we wanted a really tall palm tree in our front yard trimmed. It is so tall, that we have to hire someone to shinny up to the top every now and then to trim off all the dead fronds.

When I asked how much, he said, “$55.” I told him that the last guy had trimmed it for $35. He said, “I’ll do it for $35. I need the work.” I had a brief William Shatner moment.

PricelineNegotiator Source

Then I opened my mouth and squandered away my savings. “Well, let me check with my husband…we’ve actually been thinking we may take the tree down since it’s so close to the house.” Well, the guy didn’t waste a nanosecond…”I’ll take it down for you for $125 – that includes sawing it up and stacking it by the curb for yard waste.”

After a quick consultation with a sleepy Jim, we decided to have the guy take the tree down. It was extremely close to the corner of the garage, and we didn’t want a storm to blow it down onto the house. Plus it was just so darned tall, it belonged next to a mall, not a 1980’s ranch. So the guys went to work.

They tied a rope high up on the trunk.

Tree 1

One guy cut the trunk down low, while the other guy pulled the rope to direct the fall.

Tree 2

Tree 3

Once it was down across our neighbors’ driveway (which the tree guys had fortunately cleared with the neighbors beforehand), they got it all sawed up with lightning speed.

Tree 4

Tree 5

Tree 6

I was a little worried at all the debris scattered across my neighbors’ driveway, but the tree guys got out a blower without me asking and tidied up the entire mess.

Now all that’s left is a little stump, which we (by “we” I mean Jim) can chop up in a nice afternoon project.

Tree 1

And our roof is safe from any tree damage from any future hurricanes.

Tree 2

And most important of all, everyone now knows not to knock on our door before 12:00 p.m. ZZZzzzzz

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Drywall in the Walk-in Pantry

By moving our pantry a la rednecque, we had cleared out the area where our future walk-in pantry will be located. Jim had already studded in the walls, but the inside of the pantry was totally unfinished.

East wall

South wall

West wall

North wall


Jim had many hours of work to do, just to get the pantry ready so that he could start work on the shelves. Also, in the middle of the drywall work, we were so very rudely interrupted by the great flood in our master bathroom. So all of the work you’re about to see took a while.


Drywall 1

Drywall 2

Drywall 3

Drywall 5

Drywall 6

Pantry floor

Now the room was ready for some shelves, which is what Jim’s working on at the moment. I’ll share his progress in a future post!

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