Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Porch and Patio

Covered porch and patio.Now that the summer season is over I wanted to post a couple of pictures and write a couple of words about our outdoor areas.

When we were looking for a house we came upon some really nice porches — a raised veranda with an exit from one of the top floors leading to a nice outdoor space. These came in different varieties, but the one type that we liked the most was that with a roof and a set of screened windows.

Porch set. Table and 8 chairs.Other houses came with nice patios where you could put some furniture down and a firepit in the middle for some of the cooler nights. The first house that we tried to buy and didn’t succeed — luckily — came with a smallish patio. I was really sad that we wouldn’t have a nice porch.

Porch. Another angle.But fate had it so that the house we actually bought had both. A nice big patio and a really nice big porch with an uncovered area to put the grill at in addition to everything.

This indeed ended up being a nice perfect setup as our first summer shows. We’ve spent hours open hours in both of these areas and ate most of our family dinners on our porch.

Around the fire.Throughout most of the summer we had multiple guests visit us for a day or two — my parents with my sister, Ignat, Vika and their daughter Alisa, Ilya and Ulyana with their kids, Zhanna and Marat with their kids, Arosha’s Brooklyn friend Mehdi with his grandparents, Arosha’s other friend Alex with his family, Geoff, Sarah and their daughter Io and some other people. Not to mention my 38th birthday bash.

Patio set.It was great. As far as furniture goes we got everything from local Patio.com retail location. We weren’t sure whether we should go with wood or aluminum patio furniture, but in the end we went with a very nice, albeit expensive, aluminum set. In retrospect it was a good decision as it will age a lot better.

Patio. Around the firepit.For the patio furniture it was Arosha who set us on a path that we went down with. When we were picking up our porch set he saw a whicker chair with ottoman and a coffee table that was on sale for $200 since it was a floor sample. He liked it so much that he talked us into letting him buy it with his own money.

Grill on the porch.And then we got the rest of the pieces from the same set or similar sets. And then we bought a nice, deep firepit to top it all off. We got the last piece — loveseat — delivered on the day when we had a lot of people over for the birthday.

By now it has gotten too cold to spend this much time outside so we moved most of the patio furniture into our living room for the winter, which actually seems to work really well in its new location.
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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Birthday Gathering

Everyone around the fire.A little over a month ago I’ve had yet another birthday. But what made this year different was a fact that I could actually invite all my friends to our house for a little celebration.

Tables on the porch.And not only could we invite all my friends, but we could also cook for everyone on our grill instead of ordering something. That is exactly what we did. We invited everyone to Ridgefield on the very next Saturday after my birthday.

Conversations around the table.All in all we had 19 people that we had enough place to sit on our porch. The only people who weren’t there were Ignat, Vika and Alisa — but they visited us a week before, and Lenchik.

Kids marshmallowing.One of very pleasant surprises was that even Eldar made it. He actually managed to skip our whole previous apartment altogether. We were really glad to see him. Too bad that he didn’t have much time in New York. Hopefully we will see him sooner next time.

Kids on trampoline.Overall I had all my best friends and their families over — Misha, Natasha and their son David, Ilya, Ulyana and their sons Matvey and Misha, Sasha, Maruk, Alina and their daughter Emma, Eldar and all my family — papa, mama and Lina.

Ilya summoning the fire.Also a day before we had a final piece of our patio furniture delivered, so we could set it all up around a fire-pit on the patio. We also took out our cooler that we bought right after we got our house and filled it up with ice and beer.

Vast collection of wheat bears.Ilya helped with grilling the vegetables, then we grilled a lot of salmon. After lunch-dinner we sat around the fire-pit where kids fried some marshmallows.

Ilya claims fires requires summoning to burn. Arosha claims that it's complete nonsense.It was a really pleasant gathering. I hope everyone enjoyed it, because I certainly did.

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Monday, September 3, 2018

Our New Home

Our house. Front yard.We are still in the process of settling down, so it is still hard to find the time and energy to actually sit down, write things up and prepare pictures. Things are changing in the house on the daily basis as we’re making it cozier and homier.

Back yard from the far edge.The house that we ended up buying is located in Ridgefield, not Redding. We are quite happy that it worked out this way in the end.

Back yard. Flat grassy area.The schools are stellar. Ridgefield has a lot of nice benefits for residents, including a decently priced pass for a town lake and all year round access to town pools among other things. It has a great, big, modern library. The schools are simply excellent — from elementary to middle to high. All are rated 9 and higher. Really top notch schools.

From the side. Our garages.A small aside — all the pictures were taken in our first days in the house, so nothing is close to done or orderly. It’s a complete mess. And there are a lot of places for improvement — giving an evil look to the closet. But hopefully future posts will illustrate more and more transformations as we get settled in. It is already looking very different as I write this post since we have put our personal touch on things.

Our driveway.We’re located centrally between the centers of Ridgefield, Redding and Bethel, although I think Redding doesn’t really have much of a downtown of any kind. Town lake and beach is a 2 minute drive from our house. The lake is situated in between the mountains and is very picturesque.

Patio.The house itself has 4 bedrooms — this was one of our requirements. One for us, two for kids and a guest bedroom — so our parents could come and stay as long as they wanted. It also gives us an ability to host people with overnight stays. In addition to that there is a lot extra space for inflatable mattresses and such.

Covered porch.Out all the houses that we have seen this was the only one that actually had both — a covered porch and a nice patio. We’ve been eating a lot on our porch. Not going to get a lot of use during the winter, but during summer month it’s been very pleasant to dine in the open air. And just several days ago we acquired a nice wood-burning fire-pit that kids cooked marshmallows on.

Covered, screened porch.Even though bedroom are on a smaller size it has three large living, family rooms. We decided to use the fireplace room for our main TV watching air. Our bottom living room is going to be a playroom for the kids and will house our Peloton. And we’re not quite sure what to do with the last one yet.

Grill on the uncovered part of the porch.The house has a huge kitchen — at least compared to what we’re used to — with a nice L shaped bar stand that we can eat at as a family. Alёna can be doing stuff in the kitchen and be with us all at the same time — this is a great feature.

Empty family room with a wood-burning fireplace.As I said, our very first purchase for the house was a grill. We opted in for Weber Genesis II propane grill for the easy of use as opposed to coal. In fact in our month and a half here we’ve used up a full tank of propane already and are on our second one now. It has actually been a pleasure to host friends and family for full weekends with sleepovers — something that we never could do before.

Our kitchen with granite counter tops.First major project that we did was replace the whole septic system. It took a week — we had a full crew of people working from 7 to 4 daily. The new system has a life time of 40 years. Full concrete install with leaching field being built right on the edge of the woods.

Bar top kitchen counter and living room.That’s one thing that we won’t have to worry about ever, hopefully. They did dig up pretty much most of our front yard and backyard. Grass seeds were placed after the work was done, so our yards are still recovering, although new grass did come in fairly quickly.

Bottom floor, right after the move.The photos in the post have been taken right after our move, so a lot of stuff is in a complete disarray. But since then we’ve made a lot of progress in settling in a getting things in order. So I have a lot of material for future posts.

Bottom floor living room -- play room for the kids.Also as I mentioned the house has both a patio and a covered porch. There is also an uncovered portion of the porch for the grill, which is a very nice touch — something that we haven’t seen at other houses we looked at. It’s nice to be able to cook and talk to the people at the same time — not being far away with the grill.

Main bathroom.When we originally looked at this property it had a built into concrete basketball ring and it had a trampoline in the back yard with a hole under it. Although trampoline had a rip in it, which I thought might not be fixable. But we still were excited that our kids will get to play with all that.

Our brand new trampoline. Kids love it.The basketball ring is still there, but we discovered right before the closing that the trampoline is gone and a hole is completed filled in.

Front of the house.So soon after our move we ordered a brand new 15″ trampoline1. Although we had to wait for quite a bit for all the septic work to be done. But now it is constructed and kids and their friends enjoy it very much.

Master closet. Original form. Separate post for transformation is coming.Another surprising thing was how all the neighbors started coming over and introducing themselves. We have amassed a collection of wine from all these visits. It was very unusual having come from Brooklyn to experience it. We seem to be surrounded by nice people.

Arosha's room. Original form.So having been here for a month and a half we’re enjoying it very much. I keep saying that we live in “a vacation” kind of deal. Obviously there are more things to deal with as opposed to an apartment, but I think we’re adapting nicely, so far.

Hallway to the bedroom. Fairly ugly staircase light, before we replaced it.

  1. Skywalker 15-feet round trampoline and enclosure with spring pad — $329.99. []
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