oklahoma + laundry
Last Thursday I hopped on a plane and headed to Oklahoma for a long weekend. What started out as a sister’s weekend (we have a yearly tradition that dates back to camping in the backyard as little kids) turned into a family reunion of sorts when we decided to meet up in northeast Oklahoma instead of one of our respective cities. My parents live in the same small town that I grew up in and two of my three brothers live a couple of hours away so they drove over for the weekend. I even squeezed in a visit with Kyle’s mom and my sister-in-law (who is due with their first baby in early July!) when they drove up from Tulsa for an estrogen-laden brunch on Saturday.
Even though I love Seattle, sometimes it is hard being 2,000 miles away (an absence of direct flights makes it even harder).
The weather was pleasant (warmer than 55 degrees!) and we even got a real rain storm on Saturday morning! Above is the view from my dad and stepmom’s back porch (thanks to my sister for the awesome photo)…
…and this is the view from my mom and stepdad’s back deck. Same town.
One of the highlights of the trip was meeting my new niece, Holly. She and zerbebe will only be about 5 months apart and I love the idea of them spending long weeks in the summer together (y’know…when the grandparents host “camp cousin”).
She’s the cutest, right? And she makes the whole baby thing look deceptively easy…sleeping 8-12 hours at night, every night. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
While I was enjoying a slower pace of life and temporarily forgetting about my massive to-do list, Kyle was knee-deep in a surprise weekend project:
New washer and dryer! Kyle’s plan was to surprise me with a new laundry set-up when I got home, but the weekend got gobbled up with plumbing diagrams and trips to Home Depot instead. So when he called me on Sunday night he let me in on his plans. Normally, I would have been peeved that he had made a major appliance decision without me, but his intentions were so sweet that I didn’t mind (and we had more or less narrowed down our choices anyway).
We ended up getting the larger capacity Whilrpool Duets from our go-to local appliance store Albert Lee. Using a trade discount, we saved about $600 on the pair and still have at least one utility rebate to apply for, plus the sale of our old machines. [FYI - we've worked with Tylar Strong at the Southcenter Location for a few years now and as a new father himself, he assured us that he hasn't had any problems with washing cloth diapers in the Duet.]
But before the washer and dryer were delivered, Kyle’s first project was to remove the awkward column in the middle of the space. (You can see it in one of the photos from last week’s post.) To compensate for the column, Kyle first bolted a steel channel to one side of the existing beam. (We’d been throwing around this idea for a few months and had our friend and structural engineer Julie do a quick calc for size and bolt spacing.) Once in place, the column could be safely removed.
At each end, the wood/steel beam combo bears on 2x studs.
In the photo below, you can see the opposite face with exposed bolts, spaced evenly across the span at about 20″ on center. Kyle did all of this by himself, he amazes me.
Bye bye column. The next step will be to jack hammer out this funky concrete curb. Removing the column and curb will free up this side of the basement and give us more flexibility in our laundry room layout (which has been modified, yet again).
Kyle also picked up this 3′-0″x8′-0″ birch solid-core door. Although he’s been using it as a temporary work surface, it will soon become a countertop over the washer/dryer and utility sink.
So even though he didn’t get as far as he wanted to, the good news is that all the details have been worked out and the supplies purchased. It’s officially go time! We’ll be back next week to talk more about drain lines, furring walls and if all goes well, just how many jeans we can wash in a single load.