Monday, June 23, 2014


Hopefully you read the title of this post like this:

The quick answer: Yes...yes you can.

That is if you get as lucky as we did. About two weeks ago, one of our friends mentioned that her mother wanted to get rid of the hot tub she had in her backyard. We asked her if her mother might possibly sell it to us (because we have wanted a hot tub ever since the one next to our hut cooled our worn tootsies after walking all of Key West on our honeymoon). She talked to her mom and came back with the best possible reply, "If you can move it, you can have it".


So the research started. We started looking into hiring someone to move it for us, but apparently that doesn't exist anywhere in the Lexington area. Scott probably called 5-7 different places, all of which said that they 'used to', but don't anymore. It looked like it was up to us to move it ourselves.

Youtube provided videos of others who had moved tubs, including professionals, and we decided that it probably wouldn't be that bad. We could totally do this. Our group of six people managed to use a technique that involved turning the tub on it's side onto some furniture dollies, then slowly rolling it down plywood to the flatbed truck. It was like this.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Before we could even get to that point, I ventured over to the Bachmeyer house and took a good looky loo at the tub itself. It was in need of some love.

It's in there somewhere, next to Waldo.

That afternoon was spent killing the wasps nests that had developed in the electric box and under the tub cover. We also managed to get rid of the forest that had grown up around it from the year or so of not being used.

When we had finished and bagged as much of the chopped foliage as we could, getting this tub out seemed much more plausible.

We were also able to get a much better look at it. We turned it on and messed with the controls. Everything still worked. Mrs. Bachmeyer has an electrician as a neighbor who came a day later and unhooked it. The process was chugging along nicely.

Mrs. Bachmeyer then presented us with every possible chemical that could possibly be purchased to even glance at a properly maintained tub. The box included the following:

 If anyone is wondering, we are choosing to do bromine over chlorine. Thankfully, the Bachmeyers already had this covered.

Along with test strips, a floating thermometer, some Jet cleanser, and all of the paperwork for any of the repairs that had been done in the past. This was the real deal. We felt like we were ready to bring it home as soon as possible. We checked out the forcast and were a little worried about rain, but decided that Saturday was the day to try the move.

There aren't a lot of pictures from the move itself. There was no rain, Scott almost got the Home Depot truck stuck in the place that we least worried about (because it didn't weigh enough), and he powered the fully loaded truck with tub up the steep hill at the Bachmeyer house and backed it up the steep hill here at the Sturdivant house. It was very labor intensive and we were so happy that our friends came out to help us. Every single person had a job to do and every single person was very intent on doing it. The entire move took about two hours, so we were very efficient. When we finally had it on the porch, we all sighed with relief.

We had prepped the porch before getting the tub by moving the picnic table into the yard and the umbrella to the other side of the space.

When we had the tub in place on the porch, Scott noticed that there was a bit of a gap underneath the far corner between the tub and the pavers. It wasn't level and everything we have read says, "Never ever shim a hot tub. It will crack." Scott was dissatisfied.

The next day we slide the empty tub over a couple of feet and he pulled each of the pavers up individually, leveling them with paving sand.

The difference was a big one. Here is a picture of the tub on the pavers once they were leveled out.

See the gap? Full of water, that might have done major damage. It also might not have. Thankfully we don't have to find out.

First things first, we took the cover off completely. There are two zippers, one for each side. We unzipped them and pulled out the foam pieces that were in them. We set the foam and the cover itself out to let it all dry really well overnight.

Scott started on the tub by grabbing a drill and taking off the access panel on the side. Besides wanting a good idea as to what was in there, we were able to remove the roots that had grown into it over time.  For anyone who hasn't seen the inside panel of a tub, here ya go.

It's usually pretty obvious to find because it has screws all around. Undo the screws and you'll find this. It has a separate door to more efficiently heat the tub. THE ROOTS DO NOTHING.

Take out the two screws (and roots) that hold on the inside door and you reveal the inner workings of the spa.

We cleaned it all out and put it back together. We then began the arduous and sometimes gross task of cleaning out a used tub. For the record, I really feel as though we've done a good job of sanitizing it and I feel comfortable getting in it, but the things I have seen come out of it will probably haunt my dreams for a long time. Essentially, it went like this:

1. Removed and cleaned filter with Leisure Time Instant Cartridge Clean product. It turned it WHITE. We are going to use this filter for the entire setup process, then get a brand new one when everything it ready to go. This was just a nice refresher.

2. Use Clean & Perfect All Purpose Cleaner by Natural Chemistry to scrub and wipe down the ENTIRE inside of the tub itself. I used microfiber clothes to do this step so I could avoid scratching or harming the interior.

3. Spray down the interior with the hose. It was set to the harshest setting (jet) to really get all of the soap and other nasties off the tub surface. I did this twice while Scott set up a drainage hose to empty the water.

4. Empty the dirty water from the tub. All the way. All of it. The stuff we couldn't get with the siphon we got with some old towels. This helps keep any sort of contamination down.

5. Refill the tub with fresh water. This time, we just let the hose run till the tub was filled just above the highest jet.

We put the cover back together and gave it a good once over with the Clean & Perfect. We have it on the tub, now, to keep as much debris out of it as possible.

Next on our list is to:

1. Hook up the tub to electricity (We have water in it because you should never hook a tub up to power without it being full)

2. Run the Leisure Time Jet Flush to clean out all of the pipes (Need to be able to run the jets to flush them, though, which is why we were waiting).

3. Drain completely AGAIN to keep down contamination.

4. Get a new filter for the system.

5. Laze in our new hot tub!

We are so excited and thankful to our friends for helping us move it. Mrs. Bachmeyer, who is so sweet, was just as excited as  we were (she is moving a gazebo where the tub was, so she can sit outside and look at the stars!), so the whole process went really smoothly and we couldn't be more appreciative.

I'll update a little later with more on the revamp process (and maybe I can get Scott to write a How To on hooking the tub up to electricity.)

Sorry that my posts are further apart! There are a couple of projects currently in the works, but I hate writing about stuff before it's finished (unless it's a loooooong post like a hot tub procurement).  If you get a hankerin' for some DIY, check out Beth at Over on Dover and their recent walkway paving! We helped with that, too!

Till next time, think Summery thoughts!

PS- I took all of the photos for this post with my new HTC One phone. Not bad, eh?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Our dining area, which was the original living room of the house, has been a little lacking. It has been described as, "a room with furniture in it". These are strong words for people who host at least 9 at dinner on a weekly basis. We had our wonderful table and newly refurbished chairs, a large area rug, and.....

that was about it.

It was pretty bare.

To make it worse, we have a couple of mismatched Walmart bookcases that were scattered about, holding only a few of the books we wished we could display (the others were in the attic). The other junk that piled into the room only made matters worse. (That wooden stand was our cake stand for our wedding.We are still trying to find a place or use for it now!)


After a good ol' browse, though, my interest was perked by the thought of a wall of built ins. Our dream would be to have shelves on top for displaying objects while cabinets on the bottom added storage for kitchen items, serving plates, and board games. Here are some examples that made the designer in me perk up.

The cost of these items weren't really doable, though. We are currently working on a budget that doesn't allow us to tackle something this big yet, so we just let that room fall to the wayside.

The other day, I had a wonderful epiphany. It was one of those, "Duh" moments. We all have them. Sometimes it's Wrapping Things In Bacon because "Duh" and sometimes it's Moving Bookshelves From One Room To Another because...well..."Duh".

Obviously before the second couch, but you get the idea.
Being a night owl, the epiphany hit me right after dinner, before dessert. We took everything off of the shelves that had previously flanked our TV and moved them into the dining room. This left our living room feeling quite open and wonderful.

That's not Bob Marley, it's Vikings on History. Everyone should watch that show. It is amazing. 

It also left our dining room feeling a little more loved.

Notice that we moved the desk between the shelves. This is how I had mentally pictured the room when the epiphany struck. We want to place two floating shelves above it for my old antique camera collection.

As for the desk itself, I decided to give it some much needed attention. I moved the record player to one of the shelves (where it shall now live) and removed the table runner I had thrown over the dehydrated wooden top of the desk when we first moved in. I then wiped it down with some Murphy's Oil Soap, allowed it to dry, then gave it two coats of poly before accessorizing.

I decided that with all the warm wood, the 50's feel of the room, and the fact that it's probably the most formal room of the house, a good ol' Kentucky Bourbon bar would be the most effective use of the space.

This gave a wonderful opportunity to display some of our nicer bar items, such as our six Woodford Reserve martini glasses and our bartender books.

There was still something missing, though. The light over the dining table was a great light for intimate dinners with friends and family, but with the bar over to the side, it needed it's own light source. The obvious choice was my favorite lamp in the house. This stain glass beauty was made one summer by my parents and I and has been one of my most beloved belongings ever since. My Dad and I turned the base on his lathe ourselves while Mom and I soldered the stain glass. It always makes where ever it is feel like home.

Aside from the shelves for the cameras, this room is feeling pretty good now. We would still love to have built in shelves in there someday, but for the moment, at least the room isn't so bare. Scott and I also appreciate being able to see which books we have again since they haven't really been displayed since moving into the house almost a year ago.

As for the living room that these shelves left behind, we were able to spread out some of our seating and take advantage of the space a little more. We did get rid of our DVD/game storage when we removed the shelves, so we are going to add some either industrial or floating shelves on the right side of the television, like so.

Not only will this add storage, but it will also visually balance the white window on the other side of the room.

For the moment, it's just nice to know that the first room people see when they enter the house is a little more cozy. I keep wanting to call it the 'Wood Room' because of, well....the overabundance of a certain building material in one area of the house. It really does have a nice welcoming feel, though, and it reminds me a lot of my grandparents house (which is a good thing). Of course, the best part of this entire post is that it cost us exact $0. Sometimes moving around things you already have can make a huge difference!