Summer Garden Tour

July 5th, 2012

Do holidays in the middle of the week make you feel strange?  They do for me.  It’s weird but wonderful waking up late in the morning in the middle of the week, then puttering around the house, doing all those little things you don’t have time for during the hustle and bustle of an ordinary workweek.

I was wandering around the yard yesterday in the late afternoon, glass of sauvignon blanc in one hand, camera in the other, as the sun set over the back hill.  The children also we’re running around the yard, picking strawberries before they’re ripe,  discovering lizards and spiders, and noticing other mini magical moments in nature, it was a blissful afternoon. 

As I wandered I listened to the comfortable repetition of the “snip, snip, snip” as Matt pruned back hedges and pulled unwanted suckers.  I appreciated the new growth around every turn, blooms and buds and fruit that didn’t exist just a few weeks ago.  Here’s a tour of what’s growing in our yard this month, it amazes me year after year. 

Bower vine is blooming in the courtyard and creeping up an old iron trellis.  It lingers over our broken fountain that still needs a new pump, but I think its aged finish is a beautiful focal point, functioning or not. 

bower vine on wall fountain

 

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Alma Project: Kitchen Remodel!

July 3rd, 2012

Greetings all, doesn’t it feel so strange that the Fourth of July is on a Wednesday?  It’s totally throwing me off but I’m happy for the day off tomorrow.  Well as I’ve been hinting at for days, we are really proud to have finished the kitchen at our Alma Project just in time for four new families to move in.

If you’re unfamiliar with this project, you can read the details and the motivation behind it here, but basically we adopt a house every year with our local Committee on the Shelterless (COTS) and we take time every few months to upgrade the spaces (playroom completed in April).  This home is shared by women with children who are making the transition from homelessness to success stories through counseling, job training, and abstinence from substance abuse.  This four bedroom home currently houses 9 people, including 4 mothers and their 5 children, each family shares one of the four bedrooms.

The kitchen was a total disaster when we started and we had limited funds and only six weeks to make the necessary changes before the new families moved in.  Thankfully,  several of you donated to the project and we were able to raise $1,550 from your donations (thank you donors, see list below) but that wasn’t nearly enough to get us where we needed to go.  So I struggled with what to do, and thankfully others stepped up to take this to the finish line.

First was Home Depot.  I’ve got to give them so much credit for this transformation, I wrote to them and asked them to donate cabinets to replace just the center island and they generously agreed.  Then when they sent their kitchen designer and cabinet supplier to the site we told them the story of the purpose of the house.  They looked around and they decided to do an amazing thing.  Home Depot decided that just the island wasn’t enough, they were going to donate all, yes ALL NEW kitchen cabinets.  I can’t explain how amazing it was to get that email.  ALL NEW CABINETS?   Wow, we’re talking several thousand dollars in cabinets donated for this cause!  THANK YOU HOME DEPOT!!

Thanks to Kelly and Nicole from Home Depot corporate, Christine, our local kitchen designer, and Keith, Craig and John our local cabinet supplies who all came together to replace all the cabinets for the entire space.  COTS was also able to allocate $1,700 to the project so with the donations by several of you, Home Depot, and COTS we were able to complete this full kitchen remodel for just over $3,600.  Without any help it would have cost us $9,000 in just materials (not including any labor).

Here’s the full tour and the story to go with it!

alma house kitchen tour

 

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