Archive for the 'Materials/Specs' Category

Concrete Trough Water Feature

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Our backyard water feature is still in progress, but here are the steps that got us to this point:



First sketches of a water trough and how it might tie into the retaining wall. We had to step down the wall and already had these notches where the level changes happened. It seemed one of those “aha” moments when the thought occurred to put a steel channel spout at the notch above the water trough.

Here’s my first sketch trying to work out how the water circulation would work.

I faxed the sketch to Teresa at Hill Country Water Gardens and she graciously fine tuned it and sent it back to me. I had thought to run the pvc inside the concrete but Teresa’s recommendation was to run it all on the surface for easy access. It definitely cuts down the “oops” factor — concrete is pretty permanent. I had also thought the pump could be behind the retaining wall but it turns out it has to be inside the water and also has an optional filter attached to it.

I especially like my note, “they have a lady who can come out and do this…”


Here are the guys pouring concrete.

On a different note, on the tv show “Bones” there was a great moment when someone refers to concrete as cement and Brennan corrects him, saying no, cement is a component of concrete.

I always want to correct people when they say cement but usually let it go because nobody cares. The guy’s response on the show is exactly what I would expect in real life — annoyance, bewilderment (like, why are you wasting my time) and disgust — well, maybe not that bad.

The glamorous world of water filtration

Friday, July 6th, 2007

I seem to do alot of things at the last minute. Today for instance, the countertop fabricator — aside: a very nice guy named Paul, who really knows his stuff, and who, therefore, makes it really fun to talk about the minutia of some part of the house that only 3 people in this world could really give a crap about. Those three people being Paul the fabricator, myself and of course, my contractor, Larry. — was measuring and getting his sink and cooktop cutout dimensions and and I thought “Hmm, it’d be nice to have a drinking water dispenser. I wonder if it’s too late…”

The good news is, no, it’s not too late and I get to pick one out and buy it. Joy!

Here is the system in a nutshell, and this Aquasana seems like they really filter out everything and their price point seems great too. So says this water filter comparison/review, but what if the review site was put together by Aquasana as a marketing device!?! I may have uncovered a conspiracy.

But I think I will buy it. Oh, and these glass water bottles too because “you should always keep water in glass containers”. I ain’t no sucker.


*Did you know Amway makes water filters? Is that the pyramid scam? This is a shady, shady, watery world I am entering.

Yummy salt fields

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

Scott came across this photographer, David Maisel, and his aerial photos of salt fields are so beautiful. The yellow/greens are similar to the accent colors we are using at the house.





We are sprinting to the finish

Monday, June 11th, 2007

Yes, time for the pep talk. “You can’t slow down now. It’s the home stretch, you can see the finish line, but that doesn’t mean you can’t f@#$U@ it all up so you better buck up and breath later, got that!? Good!”

That’s just my internal dialog — I am so good to myself. :)

So, back to house business. We HAVE to pick EVERYTHING. period. Oh, and BUY IT too. I think that covers it.

The little bit of natural wood we have in the front of the house continues to be a thorn in our sides. For a moment we thought we had it (see picture). Me to Larry: “This finish sample is perfect!” Larry: “Um, I haven’t done anything to it. That’s an off batch of the Cedar, it just comes that way sometimes.” Me: “Crap.”


Update—yet more lights

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Anyone go to I get a weekly update on their new stock and they have some GORGEOUS things! Now only if the offerings were in my price range. The lesson? If you have money you can furnish your house pretty easily. If you don’t, well, it just takes a little longer. Hello ebay!

Check these out. I would love any of these fixtures in my house:

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Here’s another one from – a candidate for the Sun Room.