Posts tagged ‘leucadia’

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th!

It’s been awhile since my last post, there’s no reason, sometimes busy, sometimes not. The house is not done, there’s all those odds and ends still, dude smashing and breaking his finger on a surfboard out in the water kinda slows things down a bunch too. So yes, we’re stalled now as I’m not very skilled when it comes to table saws and routers and things, I’ll spare us the grief as it seems danger, danger lurks lately. Friends also visiting from far away and our youngest visitor of course gets wiped out by a wave, left with a mega elbow a.k.a. a supracondylar fracture…poor thing.

Then the earth rattled a bit over the weekend too, reminding us all who’s boss. I didn’t feel it on the floor, just the windows doing a sudden dance. It felt more like the impact of an explosion or something, scary but at least we didn’t topple, still standing. So much for my joking about completing the house and then getting wiped out by an earthquake, yeah, not so far-fetched of a thought now and how that would suck, no? And as for impact and things falling, the birds will keep that up around here, no need to wait for “the quake” as there’s not a day that goes by without a few birds flying into a window at full speed and all that’s left are feathers on glass

as they fall straight to their death.

And so in the spirit of collisions, broken bones and possible death around here I wish you a happy 4th! Topping it off with a eucalyptus framed fireworks show courtesy of the resort nearby and right from our deck, sweet!

Monday, June 11, 2012


Last year we spent the summer building our home, right now though, not so much. Still at it of course but it’s done enough though that we can live in it and take a little breather ’cause this is what beckons 2 minutes from home.

It’s pretty sweet when you have friends who live on the bluff and with private beach access too. Sitting on the stairs eating lunch, this is why I live here.

And I’m reminded how much I do like a grilled hot dog, the easiest summer lunch. Yeah, I know they’re horrible, excerpts from Michael Pollan’s, ‘The Omnivore’s Dillemma’ race through my noggan and driving by that factory-like cattle farm on the way to the Salton Sea the other week was testimony to the fact, so gross. Anyway, I’m trying to feel a bit better about my hot dog eating experience here, buying decent dogs and everything in moderation, right? Uncured, no nitrates or nitrites added, beef raised with no added hormones, no antibiotics, vegetarian fed and we’re all supposed to feel better about this processed thing made of left over parts?? Forget it! and just smother it with grilled onions, mustard, relish and this Indian style ketchup that’s not really spicy at all, but good nonetheless and all on toasted challah bread, the only kind of bread I have around, open faced and ya don’t feel too bad about lunch. I’ll try to lay off on the guilt trips, happy summer folks!

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Still nudging away at this house thing, it never ends.

Last window getting installed, the rest getting tar papered and now we’re ready for the last bit of stucco to go up.

Kitchen counters and cabinets get done and the last bedroom’s hardwood floors finally get installed too.

Building and installing the last of the mahogany doors, hallway closets and the last bedroom.

The Cali sun also had me re-oiling the hardwood facia. And the storage containers that we’ve had parked in our yard for 2 years finally bid farewell with no animal casualties to report of, just a startled rabbit that shared its home with one rudely awakened skunk, both angrily bolted out from under, evicted!

The last of the mangaris (Indonesian mahogany) soffit gets installed as well, as does a patch of sod our landscaper neighbor had left over from a job, just hoping now it survives the summer heat.

And there’s no shortage of decapitated beasties around here. We figure the hawk that lives in our neighbor’s eucalyptus must be on bath salts or something ’cause it attacks and only eats the heads of its victims. Wha..what?? not looking good for non-zombies.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

wood burning stove

It’s up and running finally, my brand new contemporary European Pallas Back wood burning stove that I got nearly 2 years ago for half the price on ebay, a score with a few glitches of course. The first stove they shipped arrived damaged with half of the wood crate missing, really? Take two and the second stove arrived intact at our front door. There was then the dilemma of moving this 500lb cast iron beast to sit in storage for over a year, which it did until we were finally ready for it, traveling up our sloping driveway to the road again, through the front door and into the house. It took a few people and a furniture dolly and if that wasn’t enough, try purchasing adapter pieces for a metric European stove when you live in the U.S., a country who’s main system of measurement is still the imperial system. And the photos I’ve seen of this stove model prior to purchasing it were all ones where the stove was set up right against the wall, and me knowing nothing about wood burning stove rules/regulations I soon realized that that’s an impossible scenario, a wood burning stove has to clear the wall by 18″ for fire safety. We also had to address the dude who built the chimney in the first place screwing up the measurements, the stove now needed to be an inch more off of the ground to have it line up right into the wall so yeah, we had to build up the section directly under the stove with some concrete and tile to match too. We figure one day after a good long break from building we’ll attempt to build a stone wall directly behind the stove so the heat can radiate off of that, super efficient.

Fact being, there were too many trips to fireplace shops, different solutions from different salespeople, some advice completely wrong and my words of wisdom after all of this, if you’re not certain get a second opinion. Henning’s Wood Burning Stoves in Vista was great help, and even when their parts did not fit onto our Euro stove they directed us to hit up a sheet metal place that could custom make something to fit and Addison Sheet Metal near the beach in Carlsbad did just that, delivered real quick too, nice! And considering our furnace isn’t running yet and we jumped the gun on moving in, having a wood burning stove to heat up the house now is ideal, it’s so efficient and it doesn’t take much time nor wood for the house to be toasty warm. Good thing we have lots of firewood from the trees we cut down when we first bought the property, that and the scraps from construction should last us for many, many years, sweet!

Monday, January 23, 2012

backyard studio

Moving on up, a long time coming and it’s nice to stretch out and have everything in its place, organization never felt so fabulous and what a reno! We survived and success! Seriously now, what am I gonna do with all this space? It’s not a mega sized house, far from it but after a year and a half of sharing 480sq ft, 4x more space feels like a mansion and I’m certain more cleaning and dusting is a given. And finally the studio will no longer be used as a storage locker, it’s a clean slate again and we can finish it the way we had intended all along. Of course I’ll miss being hidden in the backyard with the birds and coyotes, the rabbits and like it or not the occasional skunk or two as company. Just 2 years ago it was a site of overgrown wild brush the animals had called home, change is imminent in our ‘hood and it’s like the coyotes are clued in on this fact as well, life moving forward and they were howling up a storm the other night.

coyote serenade from dia morris on Vimeo.

Plans to redo the sink counter wall are in the works, more cabinets and a larger countertop with a fridge at the end, its own tiny kitchenette.

A proper patio deck with its own awning we can grow vines off of is another project for us this year.

Our cozy backyard studio strategically placed for all day afternoon sun and pretty sunsets.

Moving out, cleaning up all weekend and whether we knew it or not its like we were keeping in line with the ol’ Chinese Lunar New Year’s tradition/ritual of cleaning your home to expel negative energy or bad luck, making way for good fortune this new year. Check out my mom’s friend’s New Year spread in Winnipeg, the chicken is a little funny, no? Chinese/Vietnamese or not, Happy New Year! Rawr!