dirty dishes are back

•November 7, 2009 • 4 Comments

kitchen is up and running.  Last week we had the countertops installed, greg plumbed the sink and dishwasher and Bob and Greg finished the floor.  We of course have lots of little projects to do in the next couple of weeks but i can cook again!

Sadie dressed up like an angel for halloween.

saving some oatmeal on her nose for lunch.


almost d. to the o.n.e.

•October 20, 2009 • 3 Comments

Here is yet another example of why everything takes so much longer than expected:  We wanted to add a duct that went under the sink base and forced the air out a register (in lieu of  allowing the base of the whole cabinet to be the funnel). However, they only make non-custom toe kick duct pieces 3×10 inches and registers 2×12 inches wide. So Greg being the handyman he is whipped up a homemade unit:

Almost all of our cabinets installed

Sadie taking a snooze in the back of the car

Introducing Cork: We purchased Wicanders Cork for our kitchen.  It is a floating floor that clicks together in a tongue and grove system.  Cork is a sustainable product, it is harvested from the bark on the cork oak tree found in the Mediterranean region.  The bark can be harvested after the tree is 25-30 years old and typical trees are harvested at least 20 times through their life span.  Portugal produces more than 50% of the worlds cork and its government has had protective laws in place since the 14th century. Cork forests are highly protected, sustainably harvested and produce one of the few environmentally friendly flooring options.

The non-glue, floating floor option is also incredibly easy to install.  Greg and I did this much in one afternoon.

also please note our beautiful new island.

Last night Bob came over and helped finish the next and more difficult third of the floor

We also installed our full height pantry on Saturday…that was fun.

Next up, we get our appliances tomorrow…new range, microwave, dishwasher and refrigerator and the countertop guys are coming to measure on Thursday and will come to install next week!

sick of the stinkin’ microwave

•October 13, 2009 • 2 Comments

Our kitchen used to have a recirculation system for the exhaust above the stove.  We didn’t like this so one night Greg took the handy dandy sawzall and drilled a big ‘ol hole in the outside of the house. A little disconcerting since winter is looming around the corner but Greg did a stand up job installing duct work and insulating the hole.  Greg should be the new Home Depot’s poster child for DIY projects.

We got our cabinets delivered, moved them to the kitchen, unpacked them and then realized we had six more weeks to wait because three were damaged in the shipping process.  Ah, the joys of living in the AK

Well once we stopped procrastinating we started hanging the wall cabinets. This is an example of our love/hate relationship with the sawzall. Really it’s the only tool that could do this type of  job, but its just not delicate enough for our cabinets.  The thing bounces around better than a rubber ball. This is why I stopped bracing the cabinets for greg, i like having ten fingers.

After a long weekend we finally got all the wall cabinets hung and the hood hung and installed.

last night we leveled the floor and put in the first two base cabinets. You would think its easy but leveling for those two dinky cabinets took us almost two hours.  i’m going to die cooking in this kitchen, it must be perfect. hah

In the mean time we took a quick trip out to the cabin to check on the boiler. It was a beautiful autumn day and a nice excuse to get out of our house on a saturday.

Sadie checked out the lake again…still not a swimmer yet.

Sadie also graduates from kindergarten puppy class this saturday. She’s been attending for the last six weeks and is the star of the class. That’s her playing with her brother and sister who also make everyone else look bad.

She looks really sad in this picture. perhaps its because we’re not sharing our popcorn with her.

Oh, this was also one of our evening projects. Greg turned off the water and cut our kitchen water pipes so we could slide the new cabinet in.  However, he had to solder caps onto the pipes so we could turn the water back on without finishing the fittings. The water wouldn’t stay down in the hot water pipe so when he tried to solder the cap on the pressure was too strong and it just leaked. When I got home I started blowing in the pipe like a balloon to force the water back up and drain the pipe.  You see, Greg the engineer can figure out how to cut water pipes, solder on new fittings and build new ducting for the heat ventilation system, all with no previous experience.  I just come home with stupid ideas that work 10% of the time.

Congrats Liz and Evan!

•October 7, 2009 • 2 Comments

(even though they don’t read my blog :)… ) Congratulations in your nuptials Liz and Evan!!  It was a beautiful wedding and we had a great time. DC is an awesome place and we found a little bit of time to do some sightseeing between the big event too.  Here are some pics:

The Washington Monument. We got advance tickets and went up to the top. Beautiful views of the city which I did not get from the plane. However, the swaying building reminded me of the Eiffel Tower back in ’99 when I lost my lunch discretely in the corner. This, thankfully did not happen.

The WWII memorial. Given some props to the AK

The Vietnam Memorial

Alex, Keith and Neal, some of the ASH crew who came for the wedding

We went on the worst possible tour of the Capitol. Thanks for nothing Cantwell.

The church in Georgetown where Liz and Evan tied the knot

Greg and the two finest BM’s of all

The whole group in front of the capitol

Us Alaskan’s clean up pretty nice

Back at the National Harbor for the reception

The ASH gang

autumn rulez

•September 20, 2009 • 3 Comments

Alaska has officially won my vote for the most beautiful autumn colors.  Denali Highway also has won the favor of Forbes Traveler as one of the top 15 Fall Foliage Drives for obvious reason.  The weather been perfectly sunny and crisp this week but unfortunately pictures do not give justice to the natural beauty found here.

Sunset seen from blueberry hill in the Chugach range

we took sadie on a hike to see the sunset one evening

flattop in the background is a popular short hike that provides beautiful views of Anchorage and the inlet

strike a pose

the city is just turning the lights on

The hills here are covered with birch trees which provide a nice yellow hue to the fall

five minutes from the house and we get into our backyard of the Chugach mountains

us and our dingo for a dog

Mt. McKinley made a stunning appearance today (although you should just come visit because i can’t seem to capture the reality on camera)

Sadie munched on wild blueberries all the way up to Near Point

At the top of Near Point

On our way down we spotted a large bull moose.  In the middle of the picture are two white dots, that’s his huge rack

as always – click for more

yellow is mellow

•September 20, 2009 • 1 Comment

work continues in the dingstrom kitchen.  Although things have slowed down considerably in the last week (see next post on our beautiful autumn in alaska and you can see why we didn’t want to stay in and work) we have gotten quite a bit done since my last post.

we started painting

with lots of needed help

we tore up the underlayment in the kitchen

it started off good and fun with greg on the crowbar and me with the vice-grips pulling staples

and then we came across this graveyard of staples needing to be pulled

8 hours later and exhausted

but of course there’s always time to share a snack with friends

Greg installed new electrical boxes and phone cords around the kitchen

with his dad’s help we put the kitchen light back up and finished all the electrical work

all new paint too!

We are currently prepping the floor to lay cork. It started last week and has continued through this weekend as little ten minute sessions until we realize that maybe we don’t know what we’re doing so we stop to talk about it….and then go for a hike instead.

demo yo

•September 5, 2009 • 3 Comments

Last weekend we started the demo of the kitchen and rec room (or reading area, office, library, family room etc…i’m having a hard time thinking of a name to describe the room adjacent to the kitchen).  The first step was taking out the carpet, pad, trim and tack strips. I surprisingly managed to do this all by myself. Of course it took two days and several naps to get there.

Looks clean, right?

not so much!

Two days, one bottle of wine, a putty knife and a hammer was all I needed to get down to the subfloor

We’ve begun walking Sadie to near unconcious levels, really cuts down on the hyperness, we’re so smart 🙂 .  I mean she was out cold from this walk. At one point I had to check if she was still breathing

When Greg got home Sunday night he really jumped right into to the demo. I think he felt left out that I did the carpet without him, so I decided to let him go ahead and finish the kitchen. fair, right?

Well not quite, during my lunch break I managed to take out this small base cabinet and the countertop attached to it.  When I tried to take the upper cabinets down alone Greg hid the tools.

“and this is how its done”

Bob and Cherie came over Thursday night and this morning to help take out the rest of the kitchen.  Not only did their physical help save us a ton of time but we couldn’t get away with sitting around and taking afternoon naps when they came down to help, thanks for the motivation! 🙂

No more fridge, no sink and no more stove. Bring on the Hungryman dinners and paper plates! (on a side note I was shocked at how much prepared food is sold in the stores…this may be a permanent switch)

Here’s a sneak peak at our paint color

He’s just so darn handy!

The three of us (Sadie, Greg and I) have been doing quite a lot together this weekend. We nap together…

We eat together

And we share a nice cold Tecate with each other

Chris and Sonja got us a sawzall for a housewarming gift. We’ve already put it to good use! Thank you!

Just a few more cabinets to go

Last one.

Now we just have to figure out how to rip up our underlayment to prepare to lay our cork floors.  Oh and move electrical boxes, fix holes in the walls, clean the ceilings and walls, relocate water connections, hang new light fixtures and paint the whole room. And I’m still hoping to have the floors layed by Friday. hah!

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