The adventures of Brian the pug and his devotees.

20 December 2015


Happy Subie.

08 December 2015

Main Bathroom

Spent the last couple days doing demo on our existing bathroom. It was awesome to take out our old, nasty vanity, and the cast iron tub. Tiling starts in a couple days. I can't wait! We are replacing the tub with a walk in shower.

Starting demo

Bye bye tub

Almost there!

Bye bye sink. Enjoy your new life in the landfill.

Done! At least it's spacious!

The stamp on the bottom of the cast iron tub

Made in November 1925. Thank you for 90 years of service. See ya!

03 December 2015

Guest Bath

We're making progress on the 2nd bath addition. For such a tiny bathroom, it's been a big headache. A lot of planning goes into such a tiny space. I agonized for weeks over the placement of the bathroom, and then where all the fixtures will go. But it's going to be worth it!

In order to maintain the attic space as a bedroom, there was really only space for a half bath. However, we really wanted to have a second shower and a dedicated guest space, so the idea of a wet bath was born. It's essentially a shower stall with a toilet and a sink in it. Good thing felines don't like water, because there's not enough room to swing a cat in there. Anyone who has been to my (condo)minium knows that I do have a fondness for small spaces.

The electrician was here today to do the rough wiring, so this weekend will be spent furiously waterproofing and tiling. Fingers crossed we can get it done by next week!

Outside looking in. It's hard to get a good photo of such a small space!

Ben hard at work. I wasn't allowed to do much for a few weeks after my surgery, so I was in charge of photography and handing Ben tools. It was horrible!
After the plumbing work, the most costly part of this project has been purchasing all the waterproofing supplies, so I really tried to keep the cost of tiles down. Luckily I was able to take advantage of the Pratt & Larson Outlet Store. Pratt & Larson is a local tile manufacturer. All their tile is handmade at the factory in SE Portland. We ordered the tile for our main bathroom from them. They make everything to order, so we'll have a locally made, custom pattern (more on this later). Doesn't get more Portland than that! Anyway, they have an outlet with factory seconds, and I was able to pick up 20 square feet of floor tile for a steal! The walls will be tiled in a basic subway tile.

We've borrowed most of the tilling tools from the North East Portland Tool Library (NEPTL for the win), and we're doing the tiling ourselves, so we've been able to keep the cost manageable.

Bonus pug photo.
Not long after I made the bed this morning, I went to check on the dogs, Brian had buried himself under the covers. 

02 December 2015

Wall, would you look at that!

I realized that I haven't posted a photo since we got the kitchen wall down. It's been gone for several weeks now, and it's hard to remember what it was like before. The kitchen feels a lot more airy and open now that the wall and the four massive trees in the back yard are gone. I have to say, the before photo actually looks nicer, but I promise in person it's a huge improvement.

Here's what we started with


Gone! And after the addition of the header.
We'll be installing a kitchen peninsula where the wall was with a cooktop. We've been living with a camp kitchen setup for quite a few weeks now, and the fun has definitely worn off. Even if our kitchen turned out to be a disaster, I wouldn't care. It will be so nice to have a dishwasher, or even just a kitchen sink for that matter. And a full size refrigerator! Although, after close to a year using a bar fridge, I have gotten used to only having a small amount of food in the fridge. I have to plan the grocery shopping carefully. No plastic lettuce containers here! It does cut down on food waste, as I can only buy enough food for a few days at a time. I think our fridge will be virtually empty for a few months. I did pretty well in contributing four dishes to the Thanksgiving dinner! 

Artichoke and spinach dip stuffed bread. So good.

Homemade croutons and quinoa salad.
In the next few weeks we're getting cabinets and countertops installed, tiling done, new bathroom fixtures installed, and kitchen floors installed. Phew! The only bad part about having a kitchen again will be that there's no excuse for going out to eat. Maybe that we don't want to dirty the new kitchen?

28 November 2015


Roof vent installed.

21 November 2015

You want us to go where in this weather?

20 November 2015

World Famous

Our house was unexpectedly on the news. We're having some trees taken down, and they interviewed the crew doing the work.

Here's the link to the KOIN article and video. They made it seem like we were removing them because they are dangerous, but it's actually because they are ugly weed trees, and I want our yard to be full of lovely plants that are native to Oregon.

Arborist Jesse Martin, Nov. 19, 2015 (KOIN

04 November 2015


Betty's in charge of hammering.

01 November 2015

Happy Halloween!

22 October 2015

Fixing a hole

Trying to fix the squeaks in the wood floor is proving to take longer than I had hoped. But it will be worth the effort.

04 October 2015

More Progress

Today we started to remove the chimney, and tore down most of the kitchen wall. There is already a huge difference in the amount of light that comes into the kitchen. Next week we have someone coming to patch the roof, so we'll disconnect the appliances that vent through the chimney and knock it down all together. I can't wait! I was jealous that Ben got to go on the roof, and I didn't,  but with my ear condition, it's just not safe for me. Boo.

02 October 2015

Houston, we have a table

Look at the dining table I got off Craigslist! It's the best thing ever. Drop leaf, and it has two removable leaves so it can seat from two to eight people. It fits perfectly in our house. Now who's coming over for dinner? We don't have a kitchen, but I'm sure we can work something out.

29 September 2015


The cabinet and I suffered a few bumps and bruises, but worth it in the end! Who's coming over for dinner?

Now I Know Why it's Called a Built-in

Alternate post title: Easier Said than Done

Our designer suggested we move our built-in cabinet to the adjacent wall in order to create space for a dining table. I have been attempting to remove this stupid thing for two days, and it's still stubbornly stuck in place. It's starting to look like it would make great firewood at this point. There are millions of trim nails in every nook and cranny which are difficult to see, and even harder to remove. Every time I think I've pulled the last one, the cabinet still won't move, and I find another nail.

In happier news, we have layout plans for our kitchen, so it's a bit easier to envision what it will be like when all this work is done.

28 September 2015

Welsh Dog Poop

That's a lot of bones.

11 September 2015

Renovation Commence!

We started to pull up the floor in the kitchen at our house in NE Portland. Or shall I say floors? Guess how many layers we found (so far).

Brian the project manager is helping by sleeping on top of discarded carpet from the bedroom. Betty just chased her tail.

30 August 2015

B & B

08 August 2015

Slime Mold

Recently at work, I encountered this amazing organism; a slime mold! The slime mold is fascinating because most of its life is spent as a single celled organism, but in order to feed, these organisms band together to form what you see here.

I had another not-so-fortunate encounter this week with a bee that ended in a trip to urgent care and a prescription for an epi-pen. Sad face. (Sad face full of hives.)

In other news, Ben and I are embarking on a major renovation project at our house. So expect the next several months to be full of "exciting" house updates with lots of before and after pics. Our first purchase was a vintage sink for the bathroom at a re-building shop.


17 July 2015

Hummingbird Buffet

All you can eat!

09 July 2015


02 June 2015

Brother and Sister

03 May 2015

Jackson Bottom

Went for a walk at the Jackson Bottom wetlands in Hillsboro yesterday. We saw tons of birds,  and even saw a beaver and its dam! 

05 April 2015

Happy Easter

16 March 2015

No pants policy

It's nice to be reminded of the no pants policy once in a while.

Leslie Hall: No Pants Policy {NEW REMIX ALBUM}

08 March 2015

Sunbaking pugs

01 March 2015

Live long and prosper

Saddened by the loss of the great Leonard Nimoy. But cookies make everything better. Also, I concluded it was illogical to use regular sugar in place of powdered sugar in the frosting. Fascinating.

24 February 2015

These are a few of her least favorite things

This week,  we've added two items to the list of things Betty doesn't like:

1. Caterpillars

2. Wheel of Fortune

22 February 2015

Brian Eating with Chopsticks

Yum yum!

15 February 2015

Family Planting Day

Even Brian and Betty helped!  We planted 180 juncus plugs today.

01 February 2015

New Digs

Our pied-รก-terre has finally come together, and it's nice to be settled. My mom and I built the table in the right of the photo of the kitchenette,  and my dad and I put up all those shelves today. We're using my great-grandpa's sewing machine for a computer desk. You can see the manual foot pedal used to run the machine.

I had a great first week at my new job last week,  and I'm looking forward to another one. 

Bye for now!