Home Improvement: Fireplace Edition, Part 4

Let’s just jump right in where we left off. I’m not mentioning much else in life because it’s going pretty normally otherwise, and this is what’s (literally) keeping me up nights.

Without further ado: Bright and early this Monday morning, the heating duct guy called and told me that in another hour, his guys would arrive to install our heating duct.


This only took them about two hours — they said it was a trivial job, even with having to replace some copper water pipes (going to our master bathroom) with… PEC? Some kind of flexible plastic tubing. They took off, and I immediately called to schedule the inspection for the next day. Continue Reading >>

Home Improvement: Fireplace Edition, Part 3

OK, our project is not exactly a well-oiled machine of closely-scheduled contractors. We’ve had many days of no work fine at all, then here and there someone shows up, does a few hours of work, and leaves again. I don’t think it’s been even eight hours of work yet, even though we started 10 days ago.

This is all right – we’re not on some tight schedule – but I’m looking forward to having interior access to our laundry room and garage back some day, hopefully sooner than later. It’s pretty inconvenient carrying all our laundry out the front door, through the garage, and into our laundry room. With all this in and out, we have a hard time remembering if the garage door is open, too, and have narrowly missed leaving it open all night several times. However, I remain grateful that we don’t have to go to a laundromat or carry our laundry long distances normally. Continue Reading >>

Home Improvement: Fireplace Edition, part 2

This morning, bright and early, the Kirkland Fireplace installer showed up to install the actual fireplace itself. He arrived about 8:00 and finished about 10:30, so quickly I didn’t even have time to make a batch of cookies to say “thank you.”

The stove itself!
Installer Eric hard at work, having just hooked up to the gas line in the crawl space.
It's installed and we can even turn it on!
Not the most ideal location for a vent...

Wow, it worked! All my careful design and agonizing research actually did pay off: It’s not touching the wall in the back; the direct vent was able to bend and go straight out without being too tall; the sides fit in exactly right; the gas line had been run to the exact right spot and he had to do minimal work to hook it up. I have to admit, I’m kind of astonished. Continue Reading >>

Home Improvement: Fireplace Edition

After three months of… Let’s be generous and call it “planning,” rather than the more accurate “completely ignorant bungling” – anyway, after three or four months, today we actually started breaking ground (or, in our case, carpet) on the new fireplace project.

Before, although after we moved all the furniture.
During just got way less exciting.

This is a day fraught with much anxiety for me, since I did all the research and design. I started from a place of complete and total ignorance, and did the entire thing based on advice from architect friends, City of Bothell code requirements, and the fireplace installation manual. On paper, it looks like it might be decent, and once we got the permit, I stopped worrying about it. Continue Reading >>

Back Yard Construction Project

It seems like we’ve had construction of one sort or another going on in our back yard for ages. Actually, it started June 23 with the fence coming down, and – mark it on the calendar – finished today, August 9.

Incidentally, today is my and Ian’s 11th anniversary. Yay for Team Ferguson!

Anyway, today we got home from our sunny Seaside interlude to a completed trellis and bench. Jim continued working while we were gone, and here’s what our finished product looks like.

image Continue Reading >>

Home Improvements


We’ve lived in our house for over 3 years. A hose hanger has languished on our back porch for a year. Now, finally, I have a home for our back yard house. Seems small, but it’s sure nice to have it off the porch!


Back in April, we paid money to a upholstery place to make new cushions for our old, sagging couch (which, I will say, came to us free). At the of July, the guys came and took our couch. And finally, last week, it came home. Hooray! Amazing how comfy and improved it is. Continue Reading >>

Overheard on the Baby Monitor

“This poopy diaper is the worst disaster since World War II!”

“I didn’t even know poo could get there!”

This is what happens when Benji saves up his poo. Now he’s a hot potato, and you never know what you’ll get when you open up that diaper.


In non-Benji news, we’re looking at replacing a portion of our downstairs flooring. This, it turns out, is nearly as intensive and costly as replacing the roof. However, we think it will make the house much nicer and easier to keep clean as Benji gets older. Continue Reading >>