Does it Look Like a Bathroom Yet?

by fourteenergirl on August 20, 2014

in Home, Just Stuff

So, the past two weekends have been ALL WORK, NO PLAY and I can tell you this: we are getting to be very dull people.

We put in the waterproof liner.

waterproof shower liner

We put in the slope thingie (yes, that’s the technical term, quit laughing at me).

slope thing

We mixed concrete (ow, my arms were hurting!) and poured it into the shower base.

concrete shower base

We lined the walls with waterproof plastic sheets.

waterproof plastic

We added the concrete backer board all round.

concrete backer board

And this is where I had to get some writing work done, so my guy has used the mud to fill in the seams and create a sure-proof shower base. What’s next?

We still have to install a pocket door (door is ordered).

We still have to tile everything.

We have to build the vanity.

I have to restore the toilet (it is not a low-flow and I won’t give it up).

We have to buy and install the bead board and paint and put up light fixtures and install the toilet … we have a way to go and visitors coming at the end of September, so just 4 weekends to finish all of it.


So, what are we going to do this weekend?

We’re taking a late birthday trip to Catalina Island. Four days of sun, biking, drinking, hiking, and fun. We NEED it.

What’s really great about DIY projects? We talk about silly things, like stuff we read on the Internet or stuff that’s going on at work. Stuff we don’t have time to talk about. We’re moving about, measuring stuff, and I’m learning to use a lot of tools I never touched before and he’s learning I know more than he thought I did about tools (at least I hope he is) and it’s fun.

So, this weekend is a break, and I’ll blog all about it. Then it’s back to work.

Don’t worry. I’m charging the camera now.



All We Have is Today

by fourteenergirl on August 19, 2014

in Just Stuff

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about how hard it is to find or make the time for creativity, for rest, for fun. Our careers have a tendency to take over our lives. Add a house that needs remodeling, a pet or two, a kid or two, and you’ve got a whole whack of responsibilities threatening to eat up every single moment.

In the last year, I’ve been in this terrifying, amazing space. My primary client killed my workload, and my income last July and since then, it’s been a crazy scramble to find enough work. At the same time, I realized that I wanted to do something different and the universe conspired to give me an opportunity of time and space to create something I have had in the back of my mind for ages. That company is now well on it’s way to being a reality and I am so, so grateful and amazed. Not only do I get to work with some really loving, beautiful inside, smart people but reaching out into the local community and online has brought me in touch with some friends I would have never met or made if that one event hadn’t happened.

Yeah, I’m pretty broke but I have support and I’m making enough to fund the company on cash – which is important to me. I’ve considered driving a school bus, learning to make coffee, and applied for any number of jobs that are well below my education level but certainly not below my work level. I’ve applied for technical writing jobs I could do in my sleep only to be offered a salary less than what I earned just starting out almost 20 years ago. It’s horrifying. It hasn’t been easy. It certainly has been humbling. It has also opened things up for me in so many ways.

I used my knowledge to design, organize, and record a class for I proposed a second class, too, which I’m working on now. These classes take a tremendous amount of up-front work for relatively little money, but the long-term result is passive income.

I am now in the process of organizing and building a woman’s entrepreneurial group like no other. I have been to almost every networking event, every support group, every business group in my local area and not one of them has given me the support I needed. All of them are operating on their own agenda, without regard for what smart, experienced, entrepreneurial-minded women NEED. It’s a shame.

The SCORE folks are friendly but they are (excuse my bluntness) so out-dated that they couldn’t offer any help. Plus, they cannot refer my skills to new business owners starting up, so they aren’t a good fit.

The Women’s Economic Venture folks are amazing – very helpful for women who need ground-up training in creating a business plan, a marketing plan, and getting financing. I know several of their graduates, and I respect them, but if a woman already knows what they have to offer, they aren’t much help.

I can go on and on, but the long and short of it is this: all we have is today. If what we need isn’t easily or readily found, then it’s time to seek out others who also need it and make it happen ourselves.

Looking forward to sharing more in the coming months.


Shipping rules for booze lovers

by fourteenergirl on August 11, 2014

in Just Stuff

Steve couldn’t get his favorite whiskey in California. It’s called Stranahan’s and it’s made in Colorado. They won’t ship it, so we had to go around the rules.

Step 1: have a family member (preferably one who loves you) with a bar.

Step 2: send them all your empty wine shipping boxes and a check.

Step 3: open it when it arrives (joyful grinning is allowed)

shipping booze

Note the clever labeling. Empty all paper and boxes to create a fascinating kitty paper tent.

kitty paper tent

They played in this for days. Booze stored safely.


Seriously, if you like whiskey and you’re in Colorado – ask for it. It’s amazing stuff.



Doesn’t look like much, but this was a lot of work

by fourteenergirl on August 10, 2014

in Just Stuff

So, the bathroom is coming along but wow, it doesn’t look like much at all. Yesterday Steve finished updating the plumbing. This took 4 trips to Home Depot to get all the right fittings. Several of those trips I completed, so don’t think I’m just the observer in this adventure. I don’t know how to do a lot of it, but where I can I do.

diy bathroom

That red stuff is some sealant and the fan is on it to dry it out. That’s all I know.

I did, however, get to use this thing to build the shower wall base of two by fours.

radial saw

First time I’ve ever used it. It’s loud and kinda terrifying. Even Max was impressed.


We ordered the vanity and have the tile, so today the liner goes in I think. Keep you posted.


Views from an after-work walk

by fourteenergirl on August 9, 2014

in Just Stuff

It’s been super busy … working like dogs we are. So, I took a minute last week to take a walk with my friends’ dogs. We started out at the city college. School is out and so parking is free (nice).


We walked along the college grounds, and I have to say this is a lovely campus. We could see the docks from above.

Harbor docks

And the sea-side street that leads to downtown.

seaside Santa Barbara

There is also a little garden overlooking the harbor. Now this is a cactus!



More coming on the bathroom reno too … it’s coming along.



What’s a perfect day of sailing?

by fourteenergirl on July 9, 2014

in Sailing

It’s a trick question – it’s one where nothing goes wrong!

I promise that we have been certified, that we have experience, and that we are constantly striving to be better sailors. Have I told you that we have ‘knot nights’ where we practice knots and quiz each other. We’re big loads of fun I tell ‘ya. Amid the folded laundry and two kitties, we’re tying knots and trying not to screw them up. When we do it in bed, we hope that the neighbors – who are ever so close in these tiny lots – don’t happen to look over and see us in bed with ropes strung everywhere. Could send an interesting message, don’t you think?

So, here’s my little bit of complaining: no matter how experienced I think I am, I can always do something stupid.

Last time we went sailing, we had 4 guests and Steve was backing out the boat – we had conferred, agreed upon our strategy for leaving the dock correctly. There was the big catamaran parked in a bad location for a smooth departure, so we were going to have to do a little expert maneuvering and what did I do? I left one of the stern bow lines attached to the dock.

No kidding.

Smoothest departure I’ve ever managed, no lines fouling the prop, nothing tangled, I didn’t fall overboard or get dragged off the dock hanging on to the safety lines … but I left us hooked to the dock.

Ergh! One of these days, I need to get the dock guys drunk and have them tell me all their worst stories and hope like hell one of them isn’t me. I think that would help – hearing about the other mistakes people make.

So, what happened this time?

We could not find the damn main halyard. That’s the line that hooks to the top of the sail and raises it. Without it, the sail doesn’t go up.

Even worse, we could find the secondary halyard, but it was badly tangled and wouldn’t work.

We finally located the main halyard and got it hooked up and had a glorious day. We had one lovely couple of friends on board and they were superbly patient as we worked out this latest issue.

perfect sailing day

Who said that mistakes are the best teaching instruments? Not sure, but boy are we making the use of our mistakes.

Still, it was a great sail. Nearly perfect wind and sun and not too hot. Amazing.

perfect sailing day


On the Summer Wine Pass tour last weekend, we ran into a total gem of a winery – the Cimarone and 3CV wine tasting room in Los Olivos. These wines are so superb we were speechless. The owners don’t like dry wines (neither do I) and they specialize in Bordeaux-style wines. They have only one white but it was amazing. Honestly, it blew away the Brander Sauvignon Blanc and may very well be my new favorite white.

cimarone winery

Our rule for visitors is that they get to pick one winery on the wine trail and then we always end up at one we know well. In the past this has always been Gainey, but I think that 3CV may now have replace that. We were blown away by these wines and, of course, they only do small batches and their wine club typically drinks it all up so you’ll never find this outside the valley.

3CV wines

The wines were so good we became members on the spot and bought about 8 bottles.

We highly recommend that if you’re in Los Olivos, you try this wine and if you’re visiting us, we’ll take you there. Lovely little tasting room. They have a back area where you can picnic and we will definitely be coming back.

Of course, what’s even better than just wine? Wine and cupcakes, of course!

wine and cupcakes



Further update on the summer wine pass tour.

Wineries tasted = 3

More wineries to go = 12

End of tour is August 31, will we make it?

So, we started at Brander. They have a Sauvignon Blanc that I have enjoyed at restaurants in Santa Barbara, so it seemed like a good opportunity to try their other wines.

summer wine passes

Nice entry way … the owner was born in Argentina and raised in Sweden, hence the multitude of flags.


Out in the courtyard, there were kitties.

brander kitties

This one was initially shy.

shy kitty

Until Steve went to get a drink of water and she decided to come and have some.

kitty water

When we went inside to taste wines, one of the servers had a small kitty over her shoulder. She had just adopted her and named her Pinot, but didn’t want to leave her home alone so she brought her to work. She let me hold her baby.

baby grey kitty

The wines were good. We bought a bottle of the Sauvignon Blanc and a red. More to come … we found an absolute gem of a winery to share with you. Our new favorite.




Bathroom reno progress – Tub versus Sledgehammer

by fourteenergirl on July 6, 2014

in Home

So, the tile is gone, the electrical is moved and now it’s time to remove the tub. We’re replacing it with a shower stall (who really uses the smaller tubs for baths anyway?). bathroom reno Except, it wouldn’t come out. Steve removed more drywall, lifted and tugged to no avail. Damn thing was really in there. So, we pulled out my grandfather’s sledgehammer. smash the tub Yes, you will notice my safety conscious hubby is wearing eye protection and sandals. I stayed safely around the corner. sledgehammer versus tub Shards everywhere. cracking the tub Finally, it broke in to two large pieces and Steve was able to carry them out. broken tub Big empty space now. Not sure what’s next but you can bet I’ll post about it.


Wine Tasting in Celebration of Summer

by fourteenergirl on June 29, 2014

in Just Stuff, Traveling

After the disaster of a bike tour, we went wine tasting. We have these summer passes – $40 gets you tastings at 15 wineries until August 31st. We had to get a move on!

We tried the Daniel Gehrs tasting room first …

daniel gehrs wines

Because this one was the official greeter.


And these lovely ladies admitted they put Chloe out on the bench to lure people into the wine room.

daniel gehrs wines

Worked for us!

They also have a lovely backyard patio, so I recommend coming to this place with a lunch and sitting out there.

wine tasting

The wines were pretty yummy and we got a few bottles. We liked their Chardonnay and their Cab is delightful. Plus some lovely port for my sister and brother-in-law as a bribe to send us some Colorado whiskey Mr. Man loves.

Then, it was on to Gainey where they were having a summer celebration.

You gotta love a place that greets you with a goodie bag and a loaf of fresh bread. Man that cheese was awesome!

gainey summer party

The cupcakes lasted about 2 seconds.


We got in line for a jeep tour and they gave us more wine!

more wine!

Steve came back and waited with me.

waiting for the jeep tour

We got to hear about growing grapes from the head grower.
head grower

Anyone recognize this barn from a famous movie?

barn on gainey property

The jeep ride was super windy!


After that, it was off to the place where they make the stuff.

bottling wine

After that, we were super hungry and we stopped at this place – Cold Spring Tavern. It’s in the Sideways movie and it’s a big local hangout.

cold spring tavern

Lots of bikers here mixed with people in fashionable clothes. While there is a restaurant in this ramshackle-looking building, everyone gets their tri-tip sandwiches outside from this guy.

tr-tip sandwich

I didn’t get his name. He wasn’t chatty or even smile-y. I thought it best not to press the issue.

tri-tip sandwich

This is your basic sandwich – meat, bread, sauce. No veggies to screw it up. Good thing I’m not a practicing vegetarian right now.

So, that was our blast of a Sunday.