Tuesday, June 26, 2012

In The Garden June 2012

Since I get to work from home, I tend to go out and check on the garden multiple times a day. So its king of hard to see much change between visits.  I was out of town all last week for work and so I got to come home to more noticeable progress. 

The first tomatoes are starting to get ripe.  These are Black Krim which actually grew as volunteers from our compost.  I made gazpacho last year from the Black Krim tomatoes that I grew in the garden and accidentally threw all the tomato seeds in the compost instead of down the garbage disposal.  Since then they have been popping up all over the garden.  This weird tomato developed from a monster fused tomato flower which I guess is kind of common on brandywine type heirloom tomato plants.

The tassels are starting to emerge on the corn in the three sisters planter box behind the barn.  I can only see one ear forming. Hopefully the ears will catch up with the tassels soon. 

I think we will end up with a bumper butternut squash harvest.  The little baby butternut squashes are so cute.

The purple tomatillos are growing like crazy.  I have never grown them before and never really cooked with them either.  I will be making a whole lot of salsa verde.  But, I think I'm going to have to look up some more things to do with them also.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


After a long period of fear and procrastination, we finally tiled our bathroom floor.  As you may remember, when we bought the house, the bathroom had decent looking grey and white tile in the tub surround, counter and backsplash, but the floor was just sheet vinyl (as shown below).  It actually wasn't too ugly for sheet vinyl and vaguely resembled white tiles with grey grout.  But, it still needed to go.  

I have always loved hex tiles, especially on bathroom floors.  I know they aren't that practical, since there is an awful lot of grout to get stained or cracked.  But we figured that with dark grey grout, stains shouldn't show up nearly as easily as with white grout.  

The whole process ended up being pretty involved and taking two weekends.  First we took off the base boards, ripped up the vinyl and took off the toilet.  In a house with only one bathroom, having to take off the toilet is a pretty major deal.  Underneath the vinyl was just plywood subfloor which apparently is too flexible for tile.  So we cut and thin-setted down cement backer board.  After that was dry and we could walk on it we put the toilet back on.  The tile we ordered from Lowe's still hadn't come in yet and we weren't going to go all week without a toilet.  

Once the tile finally came in we took the toilet off again and started dry fitting and cutting the tile. Cutting 1" hex tile on a mesh backing is not an easy thing to do.  We tried cutting it with a wet saw borrowed from a friend at first, but the water disintegrated the glue on the mesh backing and all the tiles started falling off.  We ended getting this kind of paper-cutter-like thing that we used to hand score the tiles and then crack them.  Not super accurate on 1" tiles, but it worked well enough for us. 

After dry fitting all the tiles and numbering each sheet, we layer them down with thin-set.  

Here they are all thin-stetted down. 

The next day was grouting, then buffing, putting the toilet back on, and more buffing. 

All in all I think it turned out pretty ok for our first ever tiling experience.  Definitely not perfect, but good enough to live with. 

We still need to put the baseboards back on.  That should hide some of the roughness around the edges.   

I think it made us more confident in the possibility of tiling the kitchen floor and backsplash at some point and I think it saved us a good chunk of change.