Saturday, October 9, 2010

I found my long-lost what should I do with it?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Clerihew for Tim...

Home remodeler Tim
Is looking rather grim.
As this project takes longer than expected,
He gets increasingly frustrated and dejected.

(you can revisit
this old post for a history of the clerihew...tell Sir Humphrey I said hi...)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Kitchen Demolition

The kitchen was next for the wrecking ball. Actually sledge hammers, hammers and crowbars. We've tried to save as much of the trim as possible to re-use later. There's nothing too fancy about the trim as it was put in sometime during the 50’s, but it’s in good shape and should clean up nicely. The original owners wallpapered right over the plank walls. Sometime in the 50’s drywall was put up and painted. They didn't tape and mud the corner joints; instead, they put up simple crown molding. We will be leaving what drywall we can, since it is in pretty good shape. Most of the seams have small cracks so we will tape and mud them. The wiring was also updated at this time. All the wiring is flexible armored cable, and will all be replaced.

We were glad to have help with the major demo from out friends Jim and Terri from State College (pictures are currently MIA. We had computer crash shortly after this and all of our pictures from this time period are on a CD floating around our house. Once we find it we’ll update with the pictures). Terri was a great help pulling all the little nails in the floor that was used to hold the underlayment that Jim and I tore up. The only major thing that we did not move was the coal stove. The previous tenant had the coal stove functioning as a hot water heater (?!?). The coal stove would eventually be moved out, but at this point we had no idea how to move it – it’s a monster.

With the demo completed, framing of the new walls began. Before we got too far with the framing we submitted the layout for the kitchen to the landlords for approval. This layout also included our plan for the back room. The back room runs the width of the house, and is about 7 feet deep with low (7’) ceilings. It consisted of 3 small rooms and the floor had a pretty decent slope to it, one that you would expect to find on a porch to let the water run off. Our plan was to tear all of the interior walls out of the backroom, put in a ¾ bathroom, large pantry/laundry/dog area and a small office/computer room. There were 2 doors going from the kitchen to the back room. One door went to one small room and the other door went to another small room. The new floor plan eliminated one of the doors, which allowed us to create a larger floor plan for the kitchen. To our delight the layout came back approved. JJ was thrilled to have planned for an island with an overhang at bar-stool height, so that the whole family can eat together in the kitchen – 9 years of lugging dinner to a separate dining room is long enough. Things really shifted into high gear now. We began to get quotes for the kitchen cabinets, counter tops and flooring.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

More Gratefulness

More things I'm thankful for:

  • a working computer
  • grapefruit (gosh, I do love grapefruit)
  • great homeschool textbooks that do the hardest part of the work for me
  • my husband!
  • space heaters and slippers and other warm things (it's really cold and bleak today!)

Saturday, January 3, 2009


I've resolved this year to be more thankful for the little things in my life that I take for granted. Today I am very thankful for:
  • Long, hot showers with pleasant-smelling soap and shampoo
  • Old photographs
  • Kids who sleep late
  • Hot, sweet, strong black tea
  • My chiropractor
  • A January full of birthdays to keep the winter doldrums at bay
  • Maternity clothes
  • Elbows (this one is weird, but can you imagine how difficult everything would be if you didn't have elbows?)

Thank you, Lord...Amen.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Tim's Bathroom Update

No, not THAT kind of bathroom update. Ewwww. This is a family blog. No, Tim has been kind enough to type up a report of all the work he's done at the farmhouse over the last 9 months, and I'm just now getting around to posting it for him. The bathroom was finished to this point by late summer; he's been working on the kitchen and back porch (3/4 bath, laundry, pantry) since fall, so watch for future updates!

Remodel efforts started in earnest early in the spring. Top propriety was to get a functioning bathroom. There is a usable outhouse on the property, but the girls could really not come up for the day and help me. From what we have been able to find out so far, the house was built pre-1900’s. It is a post and beam construction house with outside plank walls. There are 2” thick planks that run on the outside of the house from top to bottom and 1” thick planks on the inside from floor to ceiling; no studs. The only insulation was newspaper between the planks. The plan is to leave the planks and build 2X6 framed walls on the inside of all the exterior walls. This will allow space for new wiring, plumbing and insulation. We will also be installing new windows and doors.

The bathroom was in pretty rough shape. It appeared that the outhouse got more use than the bathroom. The cast iron bathtub was hauled out to the side porch (still sitting there – anyone want a cast iron bathtub?!?) and the toilet came out in pieces. We submitted a new layout to the landlords, which they approved. It was roughly the same layout except we rotated the tub 180 degrees and added a large closet. The bathroom is roughly 8X10. We started with the rough framing, then installed the tub. Next was the new window. My brother Matt was gracious enough to take a break from his new home construction to help me install the window. Nephew Camden came along to make sure he fully understood what we were doing. The windows are new construction windows, which are a little bigger than the existing window. We had to cut the planks to increase the rough window opening. We then framed in the rough window opening using 2X10’s. Once that was completed the window fit right into place. Because we are building the walls out we are going to have very deep window sills.

The next order of business was the rough wiring and plumbing. Once the rough-ins were completed, we put in the insulation and then up went the drywall. Next I mudded and sanded and mudded and sanded and mudded and sanded. Once the mudding and sanding were done we tackled tiling the tub surround. This is the first time that I have tiled and JJ and I were both pleased with the end result. JJ’s dad helped out with this, as well as a lot of other things along the way. We then painted the walls and installed the flooring. Once the flooring was down we could put the toilet and vanity in…and Voila! FUNCTIONING BATHROOM. We completed the electrical as well as the hook ups to the tub/shower. We also put some of the trim up but we then stopped there to move onto the kitchen.

Monday, December 29, 2008


I desperately need to update this poor, sad, lonely blog. I am making it my New Year's Resolution. Someone please hold me to it!