Apr 282009

Records are falling everywhere, as an early heat wave arrived in mid-April. Wildflowers are rioting throughout the hills, our landscaping is blooming — it’s an instant springtime. And, we happened to pick these weekends to tile the upper deck. I can still feel the sunburn from a week ago.

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First, some colorful photos. These purple flowers are everywhere, along with California poppies. Bush or arroyo lupine, perhaps? Just gorgeous.

Ruth, a friend of ours on the Fairfax Open Space Committee, kindly gave us a baby oak from her yard. Since the big oak next to us is badly diseased, I planted it nearby, visible from the kitchen window you see in the background.

The landscaping is mostly taking off, with only a few plants failing and needing replacement. All four Western Redbud trees are doing great.

And then there is our tile project. After a somewhat shaky start (OK, I should have listened to you, Nancy!) we are moving quickly. I bought a nice used Rigid tile saw off of Craigslist, and we have most of the bluestone in. The picture at the top of the page gives you an idea of the scope of this project, as seen from the hillside behind the house. The saw is set up on the right, the hose, buckets, level, tools are scattered everywhere. A big drill and mixing paddle perch in a bucket near the railing, where we make thinset mortar and grout. The furniture and potted trees get moved around freely, so we can get the tiles down.


Here is a shot of our progress after the first weekend. It’s still blazingly hot at 6pm, when we called it quits. About a third of the deck got finished, and half of the skylight. You can see the tile saw on the left. Thank god for some shade!

Yesterday, we finished installing nearly all of the Italian blue glass tile that is going on the sides of the skylight. Even without the white grout (my project for tomorrow), it looks beautiful. I still need to cut bluestone to fit the spaces around the base.

On other fronts, I’m still looking for my next career position, sending resumes & cover letters, contacting old co-workers, updating my skills. I’ve had several encouraging interviews, but no offers yet.

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