And the 2010 house resolutions!

January 4, 2010

Last week I gave the final rundown on the 2009 house resolutions, which means it’s time for (da-da-daaaa!) the 2010 list.

This year’s projects are mostly short and sweet, because we’re tackling one HUGE project and also getting married in June, so there will be more than enough things to occupy us. Still, there are some projects here I’m super excited about!

1. A DISHWASHER. Well, a whole new kitchen, actually. This a carryover from last year’s list. It’s our one huge gigantic project for this year after a year off from contractors—we did the electrical and seismic work back in 2008—and since we’re trying to do at least some of it ourselves, I’m expecting it to consume a lot of time.

2. HONEYBEES. Thanks to a little bit of a kick in the pants from my sister in the form of a gift certificate to Her Majesty’s Secret Beekeeper in San Francisco (thanks B!!), this jumped up our list a bit, and I can’t wait to get started on it! But first, I need to learn a little bit more about what I’m doing here—so look for more in the months to come.

3. MEDICINE CABINET. I’ve been procrastinating on getting a recessed medicine cabinet for the bathroom for a while, but I’m hoping to actually get moving on that this year, and also repaint the bathroom while I’m at it. This project is a bit daunting because it involves knocking holes in plaster, and I’m still not quite sure what we’ll find in there. (You can still see the shadows of the framing of the original cabinet, but I have no idea how or when it was filled in, or whether the framing is still intact.) We’ll see…

4. LAWN LANDSCAPING. We successfully killed all of our grass* this past year, but we haven’t done much with the space yet. Now it’s time to have some fun with the landscaping, and figure out what interesting natives we can put in. (*Note that by “grass” I do not mean oxalis, which is having a field day with our bare lawn…ack!)

5. HEAT REGISTERS. I started replacing these with functional reproductions this year, but got sidetracked when I discovered the moulding around the registers needed to be replaced. Hopefully I can check this one off the list pretty early this year…

6. GARAGE SHELVES AND BIKE RACKS. We’ve needed these forever, but it’s just never a very high priority project…maybe putting it on the resolutions list will make it one!

7. CHICKENS. Finally, though this may be a long shot, I’m hoping by the year’s end we’ll be involved in a chicken project either at our house or at our neighbor’s house (since they had the great idea of setting up a block chicken coop to share the responsibility and, more importantly, to house the hens somewhere where there is no big black dog!)


  1. Chickens and bees (not to mention having a proper vegetable garden again) are on my list, though I’m not sure if they’ll both happen this year or not.

    Give a holler if you want a hand with any of your DIY projects.

  2. Thanks Gene—we may indeed have some DIY questions for you, especially as the kitchen project gets rolling!

    I’ll also keep you posted on how our bee project is coming, since we’re closer to moving on that front than on the chickens…I noticed recently that Builders’ Booksource in Berkeley is now stocking a great selection of beginner books on both, and the Institute of Urban Homesteading has classes on getting started with chickens and bees, too.

  3. Bees and chickens are on our list too. My hubs took the IUH beekeeping class and said it was excellent.

    As you might recall, we are the proud parents of Oakland’s *other* BBD Labradane. We are hoping that he and his Terrier sister will respond to training, and welcome our girls as productive, egg laying members of the family.

    If you find a nontoxic, fast, permanent way to get rid of oxalis (other than calling it a “crop”), please let me know!

    All the best to you in 2010! I’ll stay tuned!

  4. Thanks Yolanda—yes, I remember you’d written about your dog! I spent a while researching this (before we even got our dog, actually) and it is hard with dogs that have strong prey drive, but there are also lots of people who have been able to do it successfully. (The only dogs that seem to have great track records are the livestock breeds—Great Pyrenees and the like—but they also failed D.’s requirement for does-not-shed-and-drool-insanely.) The other thing is that in Oakland, any chicken coop needs to be mega-raccoon-proof anyway, which generally means dog-proof as well…so then you really just need to worry about time when the hens are out and about, which is a lot easier to monitor.

    I can give you a long list of things that *don’t* work for oxalis…but really haven’t found anything that does, sadly. (I’ve tried sheet mulch with newspaper, vinegar, boiling water, soapy water, eco weed killer from the Ecology Center, and even just plain old digging—the last works best, but even that only gets half at most.) My game plan is to keep digging it until oxalis season ends, and then put in whatever other plants we want and hope they get growing before next year’s oxalis army rolls in. Ugh.

  5. just saw a neighbor’s newly installed mother of all rain barrels. 1,000 gallon polyethelene looking above ground container. Comes up close to the eaves of the one story bungalow. Guestimate was that it would supply enough for their very small garden and landscaping drip for about two months. Does that seem optimistic or about right?

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