Backyard Shed: Margarita Holding Area

One interesting and annoying thing about Eugenians is that we are notorious for home construction projects that are often done with a small budget, without a permit, and with the help of friends and neighbors. When looking to buy a home in Eugene it is very common for the Real Estate agent to say something along the lines of "It appears the previous owners added on this room but it's not counted in the square footage . . .". There are many a Eugene home with "unique" design features that were initiated by the whim of a high weekend warrior to "open the room up" or "let some more light in." They seem to be good ideas at the time but when it comes down to it the game is on, there's a Ninkasi beer in the fridge that waiting to be opened, and it's much too time consuming. Corners are cut and you end up with some odd shaped bedroom or a "sun room" with outdoor dingy carpet that's really more of a sun closet. So it is in this great tradition that Mr. Monkey has attempted to set a new bar, a higher bar, in fact a dry bar in the clouds. I like to call it the Margarita Holding Area. Truly Mr. Monkey is doing a great and amazing job building the backyard tool shed of all backyard tool sheds and in the process I talked him into a roof patio where we could drink margaritas and watch the summer sun sets. Also all the Dwell magazines and talk of modern design rubbed off on him and he decided to make the shed out a combination of reclaimed wood, windows, and board form concrete. Mr. Monkey is making some serious progress and so I'll be posting pictures to show off his work. He's also had some friends come on over to raise the framed walls and pour the concrete. Yay for friends. Tune back in soon for more pictures!


Holidaze: Preparing for House Guests

For the first time my family will be visiting for Thanksgiving. But this is only a half truth because for the actual Turkey day we will head down to Mr. Monkey's family's place and they have the joy/burden of preparing the Thanksgiving dinner. We will bring pies from our favorite pie-ery in town - Sweet Life and a caserole. I should get my pie order in now in case it's too late. Yikes. My main focus is making sure our bungalow is clean and organized. So over the last few weeks I've taken several stuffed-like-a-turkey-bags of clothes and glassware over to Goodwill. This week I have two bags of clothes to take to the clothes exchange and the rest is mostly laundry and prepping the guest rooms (1 is usually the T.V. room) for Mother and Brother Monkey.
I recently read a post at Apartment Therapy about preparing the bathroom for guests. All of their pointers are a part of my usual routine with the exception of the air scent diffuser or soy candle. I tend to stay away from this because of the strong smell. I end up as Sneezy and I think about guests that may have allergies too. I have yet to find mild but pleasant scent that can just hang out in the bathroom. If you have a favorite let me know. With the four of us adults using one restroom I think a air scent diffuser of some sort is in order.
Here's a pick of the last time we had a guest. Sorry for the blur. That's a fresh flower in a jar, a clock, a light that can be turned off from the bed, a candle plus matches, and the usually small bottled liquids, and oh yes the towels.
As for towels I used to like the idea of leaving a nicely folded tower of towels in a bathroom cabinet. That is until one guest used a towel that (to me) had obviously already been used and was hanging on a drying rack! Major ick! I felt really bad just thinking about her probable gross thoughts about using a pre-used bath towel! I didn't do a good enough job as a hostess - argh. So I've since switched practices. Now I leave nicely folded towels on top of the guest's bed or in plain view in their room so that it is very clear which towels are theirs. Plus there is now a hook on the back of their bedroom door where they can hang their towel to dry. There are so many little details to make sure that guests feel welcome and are comfortable and can get a good nights sleep.

One final note from my Mrs. Monkey Hostess Book - when decorating I was sure to place a mirror in the guest room. Since guests don't have their own bathroom at our wee place they have to stumble out of their room on their way to the lieu every morning. I always prefer to look and make sure nothing is hanging out of anywhere that should not have things hanging out . . . wink wink . . . if you know what I mean. Or even if you don't you probably get the idea. A mirror in the guest bedroom lets the guests see themselves (if they care to) before they head out of their safe and cozy temporary dwelling. That's all my pointers for now. I should probably go and do some of this sh*t instead of just talk about it. Good luck next week. Take a deep breath and another swig of that seasonal ale. Cheers!


Modern Fences IV

The quest for the perfect modern fence continues on . . . Mr. Monkey and I have been on a search to be good neighbors and to have happy neighbors. In our case this involves hiding their houses (for privacy) and keeping our late-night laughs and bunches of bon fires contained to our yard and not echoing off their walls. We often walk around the neighborhood in search of ideas for fences. These first pictures are of the winner of the fence that we liked best in the neighborhood, that is a little different and meets our needs. It's modern but not too modern like a wall of corrugated metal. I like the horizontal lines and the big carriage bolts. I also like their color scheme and their overall landscape. We'll be skipping the raised bed boxes and our fence may not be 3 thick pieces. We're thinking four slightly narrower pieces that would also have a slightly smaller gap in between each horizontal strip. Of course we'll keep you posted on the existing fence coming down and the new fence going up! Next up -scroll down for a wacky totally unique Eugene fence!

Recently this fence went up in our neighborhood. At first we walked by and wondered what was going on over there. Was it a parade float? Was it a booth for a festival? Was is a gazebo? Finally it took its final form as a fence! I'm not the hugest fan of the aesthetics of this fence (aka I don't like the way it looks). But I admire the way they just went for it big! It's new and different and it seems like it uses twigs and not processed wood so it's environmental impact is small. It is creative and offers the house a nice privacy screen without feeling unfriendly. Yay for fences. Even though we've ended our search for our fence I'll keep my eyes for y'all. You can click here for my other 3 posts on modern fences.


Fall in the Friendly St. Neighborhood

Life in the PNW is pretty good these days. Our Oregon Ducks are kicking booty in football and our weather is gorgeous! It's my favorite time of year and I have to say that this year has been specatcular. I'm not sure if it's global warming or what but the rain seems to mostly come at night, leaving us with crisp and sunny days. I'm feeling very fortunate to be here in Eugene during this time of year. Here are some pics that demonstrate the fall colors. A tree in front of our neighbor's house and dahlias still blooming in our front yard!

This is a little neighborhood park on 27th and Monroe. It's a sweet little park in our Friendly St. Neighborhood. Within the last year or so they added the community bulletin board and updated the playground equipment. we've headed over a few times with our niece and nephew and they've really enjoyed it. Below we have fall crocuses that popped up in our park strip in the front of the house. We forgot we planted these last fall until one day I came home form work and there they were.

Mr. Monkey's fountain all dried up. Jefferson St. Above.
Our street one morning with quite the cloud coverage.