Tuesday, November 18, 2008

First Refinishing Project Done!!

The mirror is finally done!


I think it came out amazing for having no idea what I was doing! I used Citristrip, cleaned it with mineral spirits, let it dry for a couple of days, then sanded it with an industrial strength scotch pad, used an attachment on the air compressor to blast the dust away, and stained it with Minwax Red Mahogany and finished with a coat of poly.

It's now ready for it's new home. It's going to go above the couch in the living room. That's really the only place where it'll look right because of it's size. It's about 4'x3'. I'll post pictures once it's been hung.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I left hubby alone with a chainsaw and this is what I came home to: (yes, that is him making a rare appearane in a picture)And there it is being hauled away. It is now sitting by the barn. And we are going to plant a new tree there in the spring, James just hated the cedar tree so much he decided it needed to go.

We are looking into having it cut into rough planks because I really don't want to waste all that cedar. I say rough planks because this past weekend I found out that we have use of a planer and band saw! They're not ours, they actually belong to James brother, but they're brand new still in the boxes and we have full permission to use them! If we can get find some place to rough cut them then we can plane them ourselves and save a lot of money.

Quick update

I have successfully stripped for the first time! The mirror is finally done! Well, almost done. It still needs to be stained but the worst part is over and it was much easier than I thought it would be. I chose Minwax Red Mahogany stain which is a dark reddish stain like I had planned to use all along. And I'm hoping to get it stained this weekend. I would do it sooner but I have a huge test I have to study for and some cleaning that needs to be done before I can do it.

We've also been getting ready for winter since the temp has already dropped to freezing at night here. We removed the a/c unit from the bedroom and laid it to rest in the garage for the winter, and James put a new filter in the furnace last night because we finally had to start using it, and we put a heater in the laundry room to keep the pipes from freezing since the room is not insulated.

I found the material to make the curtains for the living room on clearance at WalMart for $1 a yard! It's actually pretty good material, but I wanted cheap because I know I'll have to make more before too long. One of the joys of having a lab that feels the window is his and anything covering it must be removed. Which is the reason why there are no curtains there right now...he tore them off the widow. Along with the curtain rod.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Termite Inspection and Dining Room Progress

We had our annual termite inspection yeasterday and it went well. No activity, sprayed for other bugs (spiders, crickets, ants, etc) and it was all under $100! When we were under the house last fall we found evidence of previous termite damage in one area. It wasn't anything really bad as far as termite damage goes, but we were curious as to how long ago it had happened so when I made the appointment I asked them. They had no idea and said that there was no record of it in the account history so it had to be before the account became active. So the next obvious question was...What year would that have been? 1946! Our house has had continuous termite inspections since 1946 with no record of activity and the person I talked to said that it was one of their oldest accounts! He also said that since there is no record that it had to have happened before 1946 so it's really nothing to worry about. That makes me feel better.

The dining room is still slowly coming along. A lot of ceiling tiles have been removed from the house and most of the nails are out. Bought patching plaster today to fill the nail holes so I'll be starting on that soon. Hopefully next week. Still have to wait for James to sand the glue off the wall before I can really do anything with that wall. New deadline to have it all done is Christmas since I have to work Thanksgiving Day.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Stupid Computer

I tried to make some changes on my layout and I'm not sure if it was a Blogger problem or computer problem, but some thing doesn't like me. See the way the page looks? It's not suppossed to be like that. The blogroll is supposed to be towards the bottom, and it's not complete...it only listed a few of the sites I entered. And I can't move it or delete it, so I'm going to have to figure out something to do about it. I really wanted to add the blogroll so I don't have to sit here and try to remember the names of all my favorite blogs while houseblogs.net is down. So expect more changes soon, because it's not going to look like this for long.

In house news it's something like baby steps. A little bit everyday, but not a whole lot at one time. Especially since I now have to rewash all the clothes that were in the laundry room. They have that nasty dead mouse smell so they're all getting a good dousing of Tide, Febreeze Laundry, and Clorox 2. And I finally decided on paint colors for the dining room. I think. For now anyway. Now I just have to find the time to get to Lowes and get the patching plaster so I can fix the 100's of nail holes in the walls and ceiling. But, I no longer have a Thankgiving deadline, it's now Christmas since I have to work Thanksgiving.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I'm Back!!

Yes, that's right...I've started up the blog again. It's been awhile, but the only thing thing that's happened around here was that I finally removed the coffee table from the middle of the living room to the garage. I haven't been lazy though. I started college! It's proving to be much harder this time around so all my free time has been spent studying my ass off. But a few days ago I realized that Thanksgiving is not that far away and for the first time ever I'm supposed to be having dinner here in a dining room that looks something like this right now...
This just isn't going to work for the first time my family sees our house. And this picture doesn't even show all the crap that's covering the table or the ceiling tiles that are still stacked 6 feet high or the paneling that's leaning against a wall because it still hasn't made it to it's final resting place in the burn pile.

Here's what I have to do before Thanksgiving:
Remove the rest of the paneling
Take the panels and the ceiling tiles out of the house
Figure out something to do about the curtains (they're pretty gross...they came with the house)
Sand the glue off the wall (otherwise known as removing the artwork seen in the picture)
Fill in about a thousand nail holes
Paint walls, ceiling, trim
Maybe figure out something to do about where the plaster is crumbling from where they removed the top trim pieces to put the drop ceiling in. I have no idea what to do though...any suggestions?

I really don't want to paint the trim, but it's going to be awhile before we have the time or money to strip, repair, stain, and poly the trim so paint is the only reasonable short term solution. We already have the paint so the cost will be $0...which is in our budget.

I'm thinking about gray walls...any input? Other suggestions? I'm clueless about paint but I'm loving gray walls with white trim.

Oh, and that's our new chandelier. I don't think I posted any pictures of it since it's been put up. We were trying for a look that fits our little Victorian farmhouse. I think it works. As I make progress I'll show more pictures...it really looks better than it does in the one. And I can't help the bulbs, we only use the long life fluorescent and they stick out the bottom. When they burn out I'm hoping to find the new ones that aren't as long.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Well, it's starting to get a little cooler here so things are getting ready to start back up on the house. It's still blistering hot during the middle of the day, but morning, evening and nights are cooler. We've mainly been working on the yard some. The other day James parents gave us a bunch of pretty concrete edgers so we'll be doing some landscaping soon. And I'm still loving the weedeater. But that's really all we've been doing here. Nothing worth posting any pictures about yet. There's other news though...

We have a coal mine under us now...or beside us...I'm really not exactly sure which, but I was told yesterday that it's here and that's what all the soil samples and drilling in the field next to us and down the road.

A hot air balloon went down in the field behind us yesterday! We were talking to the neighbor and heard something so we looked around our garage and there was a hot air balloon flying kind of low, so we started watching it and it went down in the bean field behind our house. I ran in to get my camera while James and the neighbor were trying to figure out what to do (call the balloon company, 911, or walk back and see what was going on) and by the time I got back out it was just about out of sight and thats when the balloon company van went by our house. There is a company here that does hot air balloon rides and tours, so seeing one around here wasn't a big deal, but seeing one go down is.

That about covers it for now...more to come on the house soon!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Brick Oven Scandia Blue...

This saucer is a piece of a set of dishes that we use everyday. The set was given to me by one of my managers at K Mart when I got my first apartment. I was talking to her and she asked if I needed anything and I told her I needed everything but I was slowly working on it. She said that she had a lot of kithen things that were in storage from her first marriage and said I could have whatever I wanted. So of course being 19 and broke, I took her up on her offer. I got tons of tupperware, pots and pans (still in their original box and never used), glasses, utensils, and this set of dishes (which were also never used and still in the box). I offered to pay her, but she said no, that she was just happy to get it out of the basement and see them used. These dishes have been with me since, and we are really hard on them. Two plates have been broken, and I think 3 bowls (we have the cats to thank for that...they knocked them off the counter). So I was thinking about selling them in a yard sell since we have 2 other sets of dishes and I'm trying to cut down on clutter and we don't need 3 sets of dishes. I was going to sell them for $5 since I have used them for a long time and there are pieces missing but I decided (out of curiosity) to look them up on http://www.replacements.com/ and see if I had the missing pieces how much the set would be worth, or if the replacement pieces are cheap enough to order them and then sell the set at a higher value. I really didn't expect them to have them because I thought this was just a cheap set of dishes. Boy was I wrong! Not only do they have them, but they are worth more than the antique Notitake China that we have! One dinner plate is worth $15.99! Each cup and saucer is $9.99!

I am just in shock about this because they were given to me, we abuse the crap out of them, and they are worth more than the expensive dishes we got as a wedding gift, and the antique Noritake china I found at a yard sale for cheap(that ended up being worth a small fortune). And there's also the fact that I have never even heard of this brand, where the others are big names in china! So I think instead of selling them for super cheap in a yard sale I'm going to see how much that website will give me for them. And then I'm going to take that money and use it to get the dining room restoration going again.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Loving Black & Decker, and taking a break

We got a new weedeater! It's a Black & Decker cordless battery operated 18 volt weedeater and it's awesome! It's super light and doesn't vibrate, and has a built in edger. It won't tear through the thick stuff like a gas powered one will, but it works great on everything else and the battery lasts a pretty long time. It works just like we thought it would, which is great. I definitely recommend it to any one. We checked out several others but went with this one because of the weight and the reviews. I have weight restrictions and this one weighs 6.5 pounds compared to the 10 or more of the others. And the battery is interchangeable with all other Black & Decker 18 volt tools which is a plus.

But I have some sad news too...due to the unbearable heat here in southern Indiana we will not be doing any work on the house until we get a break from it. It's been around 100 degrees with 100% humidity and a "real feel" around 115! I don't see how all you southerners do it...it's so hot out that you can' breathe and everything sticks to you. most of the things we need to do involve stain and paint and I'm afraid if I try it the stain will just boil instead of drying like it's supposed too. And we are also having that problem that goes with owning an old house...no a/c! We have two little window units that are working overtime to keep the inside of our house around 80 degrees. And it gets even worse when I cook anything. And even worse when Cledus turns the digital a/c unit off. It was 85 in here today when I got home! We don't know how, but some how he's turning it off. OK...I'm done complaining now. Just wanted to share that there won't be much for updates for awhile.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

I just Can't Decide!!

We have been planning a vacation to Gatlinburg for the last year. It's our delayed honeymoon. The time has finally come to finalize all the plans and book the cabin. We already picked it out and the only days left are the days we wanted. It's perfect with beautiful views for miles from the hot tub on the deck. Completely secluded at the top of a mountain, but not very far from Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge. 2 nights, plus gas and food are going to cost us around $500. Well, last night we were talking to some one we know and found out that they know some one who has a pool for sale. For $500, for everything including deck and privacy fence. Now here's the thing...we have been talking about getting a pool for over a year now, but we were going to wait awhile because they are so expensive. This is really, really cheap though. The problem is if we get the pool we can't go to Tennessee, because they are the same price and, well, we just don't have the money for both right now. However, we can get the pool this year, and go on vacation later (as in a couple of years). James has left the decision up to me, and I don't know what to do. I love the thought of kicking back in a hot tub and looking at amazing veiws of mountians from the middle of nowhere for a few days, but the temp here in Southern Indiana stays between 90-100 degrees with 100% humudity all summer.

Which would you do...get the pool now and vacation later, or vacation for 2 days now and no pool for a long time?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Refinishing a Paper Towel Holder

Yesterday I took the vintage metal paper towel holder off the kitchen wall and took a heat gun to it. Blogger is not letting me upload pictures right now, so the only picture I have of it right now is this one you have to scroll down a little to see it. And look close, it blends in with the wall because it's covered in the same wallpaper. All I know about this towel holder is that it came with the house, is metal, and appears to be from the 50's. We don't use it right now because the few times we have we usually forget that it's there because it blends right in and then we end up with two rolls of paper towels in use. And then we end up taking the roll back out so we don't forget that it's there again.

So back to the refinishing. I took it off the wall, which was a pain since it was screwed through the plexiglass backsplash and took it out to the garage. I then grabbed the heat gun and got to work. This was the first time I have ever used a heat gun, so it was an interesting experience. I only had one small fire before I realized the heat was up way too high. It was rough at first because, well, I had the heat too high so all I has doing was melting and smearing the paint underneath. After I got that figured out it went nice and easy. Peeled all the layers right off with no smearing. I have to go back over where I started though because its rough and bumpy. I'm going to try using a scotch pad to get that straightened out. When I get off work this evening I'm going to paint it bright red. And hopefully blogger will be working right again so I can post pictures of it. There ended up being a layer of wallpaper, a layer of paint, some kind of fruit decal, and the original finish which has some kind of writing on one side and a design in the middle.

I'm painting it bright red because I want a red kitchen. Since hubby said no to red walls (actually it was something like if you paint the walls red they'll be white again before you get home from work) I'm using red accents everywhere I can. Like storage containers have red lids, red Kitchen Aid cooking utensils, red towels, red corners on the cutting board...you get the point.

Monday, June 23, 2008

It's like a scab...

You just want to pick at it until it's gone.
This is a wall in our kitchen. This is also the only room in the house with wallpaper. I noticed today that there was some separation at the top of the paper (it only covers about half the wall) and it was bugging me while I was trying to do dishes so I stopped what I was doing and picked at it a little. I thought there would only be one layer of wallpaper and I'd just have the top a little messed up. I guess that's what I get for thinking. I've read enough blogs and talked to enough people to know that it's never that easy. What is there looks to be plaster, paint, wallpaper, paint, cardboard, wallpaper, paint, and more wallpaper. And there may be a few more layers in there. I may be missing something, but I have no idea why there would be cardboard. So all together the kitchen has been neon green, sky blue, dark striped paper, a brown color, and the curent white/flowered paper. I'm not exactly sure what the cardboard has to do with anything, but it's under a couple of layers in there.

And now I'm going to have a whole lot of ugly in my kitchen for a while because I just can't stop picking and I promised I wouldn't do anything in there until the dining room is done, and that's going to be a while. Great.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Yesterday was our 1 year wedding anniversary! It was an absolutely beautiful, burning hot day (I think the temp was 94, but James says 97). We had an outdoor ceremony in a small field at the barn my great grandpa built (and where all our family reunions are at) in Stewartsville, IN. I found out later that this is also where my grandma and grandpa were married.

This picture was taken in the barn and is one of my favorites. And it was not taken by the wedding photographer...go figure, right?

And for fun, this is what we looked like 5 years ago when we started dating.

If we were still dating today would be our 5 year anniversary. This picture was taken at his going away party shortly after we started dating. (He was going to basic training for the Navy).
And history kinda repeated itself this year...about an hour after this picture was taken we went with a friend (who had not been drinking) to see the flood water on the White river because no one had seen the water as high as it was then. This year we also went to see the flood water because it was the highest it has ever been...although we couldn't get within a mile or more of that same place we went before because the boat isn't ready for the water yet. And the river shattered it's record high.

Flood Pictures

Today I decided to post some pictures of the flood. I have a lot more taken from different areas than where these were. The water is now starting to go down some, and the National Guard has pretty much left the area. For a week we were seeing the National Guard everywhere, and we are very thankful for all their hard work. These are random pictures that were e-mailed to me. The first is due to levee breaks on the Wabash river, the rest are from the White river.

This is Westport Auto. Taken from a boat. They started moving their cars on Thursday (last week, not this past Thurs.) evening, and got them all moved by Thursday night. The levee broke and flooded their lot the next morning. Their cars are in Kmart's parking lot (my work) and they are selling lots of cars there.

This is Highway 358 going to Davies County (Washington, IN...taken from helicopter). If you look in the right side you can see the water over the road. Also on the right at the bottom of the tree line you can see the water running over the levee.

Edwardsport. This is not very far from where we camped on a sandbar in the river on our honeymoon last year. This was also taken from a helicopter. The river is the squiggly line between the trees in the middle of the left side. The power plant is in the brown spot in the middle of the upper part of the picture

This is Highway 67 looking from Edwardsport to Bicknell. Bicknell is top, Edwardsport is bottom.

I also found lots of pictures of Lake Lawrence in Lawrenceville, IL (just across the river from us) but I'm not going to post those because they are mostly all of people's homes, and I'm not going to put their flooded houses on here because I know if our house was under water I wouldn't want some one to do that to us. I think nearly every house on the lake has some water, but some are all the way to the roof and one even looked like it was starting to collapse. On top of that a water main broke in Lawrenceville, and all the stores in Vincennes ran out of bottled water because several other towns were already under boil order or without running water. And as fascinating as it was to see the water that high, I hope that it never happens again.

And as far as I know, Mt. Carmel is still OK. They were worried about the water breaking the levees in East Mt. Carmel and on the southside of town, but I haven't heard any more about it, so I'm assuming they are ok for now. I do have a picture of the train bridge on my phone and as soon as I get a memory card for my phone I'll post that one. It was taken by my best friend and the water is level with the tracks on the train bridge, which I don't think has ever happened.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Stripper Supplies

HaHa...not that kind of stripper. But hopefully that got my google hits up a little. I just got (hopefully) everything I need to start stripping the woodwork. I wasn't sure what will work the best so I got 2 different kinds of stripper and a bunch of different tools. I already have a heat gun, mask, and glasses.

I'm going to start small though and refinish this mirror and a bookcase before I start on the woodwork in the house.
This mirror is huge. It's like 3 feet high and about 2 and a half feet wide and it came with the house. It has a stamp on the back that says the glass was plated on 9/25/59 and packed on 2/17/60. When it's done it's going to go in the living room over the couch. And anchored really, really good in case of another earthquake. I'm going to stain it dark like all the other wood in the house but maybe with a reddish tint.

I figured I'd start small so I can figure out what I'm doing and not ruin any of the original wood baseboards, doorframes, doors, or floors. I am hoping to do the mirror tomorrow and I'll post pics if I do.

And I figured out how useless people who work at Lowes are. I had a $10 off $50 purchase so I got all the stripping stuff there. They were friendly, but when I asked about something specific they led me to the area and said "there they are" and then left me to search for about 20 minutes for what I needed (it was in a box that had been pushed back on the bottom shelf). Now I see why so many people get frustrated there.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

Sadly our extended Memorial Day weekend has come to an end. James went back to work today, and I go back tomorrow. (I worked Sat. & Sun. though). It was great to have nothing to do for a few days. James weekend wasn't as easy though. He installed a new Mohawk wood laminate floor in his parents living room. It looks really good, but he got a little frustrated with it a few times. I didn't take an pics because I didn't have my camera, but they are doing the hall this weekend so I might have some then. Yesterday and monday we were lazy though. I didn't know that my dad was a speaker at the Memorial Day services in Mt. Carmel or we would have gone to that. I didn't know until yesterday when my mom called to tell me that he was on the front page of the Daily Republican Register (the Mt. Carmel mewspaper). Yesteray we went to see my best friends new house. It was a great hour and a half drive with the top down (well, until the rain hit about a half hour from her house). Her house is actually an old house thats already (mostly) remodeled. Its really nice and it looks like the p.o.'s did a good job on the remodel. I did notice that her stairs had been relocated at some point, which confused her. There is a flue cover in the wall on the staircase. That means that there used to be a stove or fireplace of some kind there at some point. But the stairs have also obviously been where they are now for a really long time. And James pointed out that her bathrooms were most likely originally a porch because of the low sloping ceilings. They still have a little bit of painting to do but thats really all that needs to be done, and its really nice. Makes me wish our house was already done. Speaking of which, if I can get a day with no wind I'm finally going to drag all the paneling and the ceiling tiles outside to burn them. And then I can get started playing with plaster!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Some little projects

We have actually completed some small projects here in the last few weeks. I don't know why I haven't posted about them. So here they are...
A little improvement that makes life a lot easier. I wish I had a before picture of this. This is in the laundry room/back porch. Before, this corner had a pile of brooms and mops and pet food that kept overflowing right into the doorway to the house (in the right corner). Now, as you can see, it has some order. I installed the rack in about 2 minutes and it holds all the brooms and mops, and since they are off the floor now there is actually the perfect amount of room for the food to set on the floor and out of the way.

The freshly scrubbed floors! Aren't they beautiful! Trust me, this is a HUGE improvement over what they looked like before.
The kennel has been expanded. It used to be 10'x10' and is now something like 36'x12'. I could be off there...actually, I probably am, but its huge now. Before there was only enough room for the doghouse, feeder, water trough, Clementine, and the puppy with a little room left over. Now there is room for 2 doghouses, 2 feeders, the water trough, the two dogs, and plenty of room to run. I mean seriously they run up and down it. It's so long that it had to be supported with t-posts so the sides wouldn't fall down. The doghouse sitting outside of it belongs to the dog that ran away. We are still keeping it in hopes that she may come back.
The reason for the jungle like setting of our yard is that the lawn mower is broken :(


The iris's finally bloomed! Of course the time they finally bloomed is about the same time Cledus decided to tear them up. He had already completely cleared them out under then window. Oh, and ignore the cable coming out of the window...that's just until we get the antenna properly wired into the house. I hate it, but I just keep telling myself it's only temporary so its ok.
Remember the absolutely adorable puppies we had? Well, this is the only one that has not found a home yet. See how big she is? At 6 months old she is huge! And has a mouth on her...she found her "big dog voice" recently and barks at everything. She's absolutely sweet and lovable, and every bit of a puppy still. We are still trying to find her a new home though.
And this makes me sad. James has finally decided that he's tired of his truck and its now for sale. It was listed on Craigslist this past weekend. I love this truck. It might be one of the most loaded trucks I have ever seen (including Bose & remote start)I will give him some credit though...he's owned and driven it for 3 years now, which is a record for him. When we first started dating, and even well before that, he averaged at least 2 vehicles a year. Just because he gets bored with them and wants something different. He's now decided that he needs a diesel.

We are getting ready to enter the next phase of the dining room. I'm just not sure if the next step should be stripping or plaster repair. I'm not sure which would be better to do first. I'm thinking maybe plaster so I don't have to worry about ruining woodwork that has just been freshly restored.

Friday, May 9, 2008

If it's not a boat its not for sale!

We have a boat for sale. We live on a highway and it sits in the front yard with a for sale sign on it. Apparently because we have a boat for sale people assume that everything we own is for sale. I've had offers for the boat, Jeep, Firebird, S10, and our house! I am seriously getting pissed about it. Its like people think that we're a freakin car lot because we own lots of cars. Today some one added a new one to the list. Look at this picture...do you see the car trailer?
You can see a little of it between the cars. It sits in our backyard and is barely visible from the highway. I just had some one stop and ask if it's for sale. No, that's why there's no sign on it and it's in the backyard! I told him the boat was for sale and he said he saw that and thought he's stop and see if the trailer was for sale too. WTF??? No, I tell him...that's why it's in the backyard with no for sale sign on it!

Maybe I just don't get the total lack of respect people have around here. Or maybe they're just curious because the cars are outside and not in the garage. Either way, I don't like it. We don't stop at random houses and ask if their stuff is for sale when it's clearly not, and as for the cars not being in the garage...well, it's our property and if we don't want them in the garage they don't have to be. Maybe I just don't understand people. I don't know. We have lots of cars because James likes them. He likes to fix them up, play with them and then sell them. But for the love of God, until one of them sits in the front yard with a "for sale" sign on it I just wish people would only stop if they're interested in the boat. Which is the only thing for sale right now.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I read one time that old, real wood floors should only be dry mopped in high traffic areas as needed, and actually mopped in all areas no more than once per season using as little water as possible. Well, I have broken that rule. I have been (carefully) scrubbing all of our unsealed but stained wood floors in our house. That's right...I have been on my hands and knees with a scrub brush cleaning the crap out of our floors because I'm tired of them always looking dirty. No matter how many times I mop the floors they still looked dirty. The end result is that they now look clean and even have a little bit of shine to them. And I do not plan to make this a habit, but they needed it. And I learned a lesson...scrub lightly. Otherwise you remove the stain and have bare wood. Oops. And Clorox Anywhere spray will make hard swirls on the floor that have to be sanded to fix. No, I was not trying to sanitize the floors. A bottle was knocked over and spilled on the floor shortly after we moved in. There was no liquid on the floor when I discovered it so we assumed the dog drank it (which resulted in a panicked call to poison control) so I mopped over it and went on. Well, that spot is covered in hard swirls that will not go away. That sucks.

The front bedroom is almost done and ready for our guest. I'll post pictures of it soon. It's no where near done, but it's much better now.

Oh, and my second interview at K Mart lasted about 5 minutes and I have orientation tomorrow.


Ok, so I am remembering just how much I love K Mart's weird policies. I posted the other day that I got rehired at K Mart and I start next week. Well, that's what I thought. I got a call yesterday from their HR manager that they want me to come in today for a second interview with and assistant manager to make sure that I'm qualified for the job. What??

A little back story here. I first started working for them in 2001 and was trained to work in every single department in the store. I then became a department manager a year later. I have done everything a worker in that store could possibly do. Everything. You name it and I can do it, including higher level management responsibilities. I worked there until 2006 when they fired 2,700 employees corporate wide including me. And then they closed the store I worked in. They have access to my file, so they already know everything that I can do.

I am going back to work there as a part time cashier/floor associate, working in the same department that I used to run all by myself! So the thing that I'm wondering is what exactly they need to make sure I'm qualified to do. I guess I'll find out in a couple of hours.

Sorry about that. I realize that this is has nothing to do with house stuff, but I needed to vent a little.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Last weekend James mom bought us a bunch of flowers for the flower bed in front of the house. I tried to tell her not to because I will just end up killing them. She got them anyway.
So here is the photographic proof that I planted the flowers. Now I'm wondering how long it'll be till they die. I have no idea what any of them are because they didn't say and I don't know anything about flowers, but they are pretty. And she said they're shade flowers so lack of sunlight shouldn't kill them. The remaining plants on the porch are tomato's and peppers. As soon as James tills the place for the garden I'll be planting those too. I don't do the tiller though...if I tried it would probably send me to the hospital.

I am now going to go take a nice long hot shower, a muscle relaxer, and a pain killer. I did a whole lot of things today that I'm not supposed to do, and now I'm paying for it in a really bad way.

Too much to do and too little time

Well I haven't posted in over a week, but it's been a pretty productive week. I am almost done with the disaster in the spare bedroom, scrubbed the floors (on my hands and knees with a brush), got all my winter clothes put away and all my summer clothes out, started working on the landscaping in the front of the house, and I have done about 50 loads of laundry. And today I got a job. Pretty easy. Filled out the application, had the interview and was hired...all within 2 hours! Of course I have already worked for the company before so it went a little faster. That's right, for any one that knows me, I went crawling back to K Mart. After swearing I wouldn't and saying that they can kiss my ass before I work for them again, I went back. I need a job and no one else will hire me, so I'm putting aside what they did last time and I'm going back to work there. Yep, I'm an idiot.

The reason for putting the spare room in order and scrubbing the floors is so that the room can finally be set up as a bedroom because some one is staying with us for a few weeks. James friend is coming home for a few weeks to work in the recruiters office here (he's in the Marines) and is going to be staying here. So I am busting my butt to get that room to somewhat resemble a bedroom (you know, doing things like putting the bed together and de-junking it so you can actually move around the room).

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Earthquake Damage

It turns out the damage to our foundation is worse than I thought. I have to call the insurance company Monday to see what they say about it. When James got home he looked at it closer than what I did and he pushed the bricks back in on the corners and under the corner of the laundry room/back porch. It looks like the whole foundation under the kitchen is going to have to be replaced and then some repairs around the rest of the house.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Some Exterior Details

Well, it's official...the epicenter of the first earthquake was my parents backyard! The USGS has officially said that the center was Mesa Lake, which is where my parents live. How cool is that?! They are also saying that we are having an earthquake storm and to expect more (possibly worse) earthquakes over the next few days. Great.

I took these pictures yesterday, but couldn't get them to upload so I'm posting them now. These are all exterior details of our house.
I can't wait to strip this down and refinish it. Both of the front doors have the same details. And the black part isn't uneven, it's just cobwebs.
The inside and outside of the door knobs and locks match, it's just the inside picture shows the detail better. If any one out there knows how to date these, please let me know.
I have no idea what these are, but they are on the top of the storm windows. And they are about 14 feet off the ground (I love zoom) so I can't get up there to check it out because I can't move the ladder.
This is the outside of the doorbell. This is another one that I can't wait to strip and refinish. The only problem is I can't figure out how to get it off the house. There are no nails or screws in it. And the actual doorbell on the other side of it won't pry off the frame either. Notice how the detail on it matches the lock plate for the doorknob? Unfortunately it doesn't work right now. I need a new button. You can see where I scrapped the paint off it to see if that might work, but it didn't.
The other day I finally got James to agree on a paint scheme! It's going to be dark gray, light gray, blue-gray, deep blue, and bright white. I guess it'll qualify as a painted lady when we're done since our house is victorian style and we're using more than 3 colors. Downside is that we have to wait 2 years to start work :( Since I'm going back to school we really don't have the money to do it until I'm working again. I'm figuring it's going to be expensive (even though we're doing it ourselves) because we have to remove all the shingle siding, repair/replace any bad spots in the wood siding, and then scrape, prime, and paint. At least we have a ton of windows and doors (3 doors and 16 windows on a 1400 sq ft house) so that'll be less paint we need.


Now that the internet is working right again I can explain the last post. We had an earthquake this morning. It was a 5.2 (officially...when I posted before it still wasn't official) and the center was close to here. We were still in bed, but awake when it hit and I knew it was an earthquake but we still checked to make sure it wasn't a tornado. We looked around the house to make sure nothing was broken, and luckily nothing was. The dogs were scared, the laptop was almost on the floor, and a piece of trim on a bookcase was sitting at an angle. When the sun came up I checked out the foundation (it's 130 year old brick that already needed some repairs) and sure enough it absorbed most of the shaking which caused damage. There are bricks that are recessed now, morter broken and laying on the ground, gaps, and cracks. Which means that we need to reinforce it immediately because they said that this happened on a fault line that has been inactive so there is a good chance of another possibly stronger one coming.

Right after it happened I turned on the TV and they said it was felt in Terra Haute which was about the time my cousin called to see if we were ok. He said they were all fine down in Princeton. I then called my parents and my mom was laughing! She said there was stuff falling all over the place and flying across the rooms, and it sounded like an explosion there. And they were already having aftershocks. It turns out they were right at about the center of it. The center was between West Salem and Allendale, IL and that's about where they live. I called my best friend who lives in Allendale and she said it scared her and there was stuff falling off the walls but they were ok too. It turns out that it was felt all over the country...Chicago, Nashville, Detroit, Minneapolis, Louisville!

When we had the last earthquake in 2002 they said we weren't suppossed to have any more again. Now they're saying there may be more. That means I'm going to put off hanging the giant mirrors that we have (they're each about 3-4 feet tall and 3 feet wide) and I'm going to move my huge glass collection to a safer place (Not sitting 8 feet up in the air on the open top of the cabinets!)


Earthquake! We are 30 miles from the center. The center was in West Salem, IL which is just a few miles from my parents and my best friend. I already talked to them and they're fine. Internet keeps coming and going but we're fine too. Getting ready to go check out the outside. I'll post more later when things calm down here. We're still getting aftershocks.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Investigating the Porch

I said the other day in my last post that I'm going to start investigating the front porch to find out why it looks like there is a porch post missing when there obviously was never one there. At least not for a very long time any way.
This is what was sitting under the center of the porch. It looks like it may have been part of a post that maybe broke or was never needed. It's not finished and it's broken.
This is the right side of the gable overhang. It looks like this in the same place on either side. With out getting a ladder out (which I can't do) it's one of 2 things. Either something has been removed, or the gable is heavier than it looks and it's breaking. Which really wouldn't be good. Or it's a combination...something was supporting it and was removed, therefore the overhang is now falling.

So the point is that I'm really no closer to figuring it out. And now I'm worried about the roof. I may have to go talk to the neighbor again and see if she may know anything. Her parents owned the house from about 1940-2006 (when we bought it as an estate sale) so if something was changed in the 66 years before we bought it she will probably know.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I saw a picture of our house on the front page of houseblogs and it's been bugging me. I couldn't figure it out at first. Yes, I know I had the angle of the camera off, but that wasn't it. So I opened up the original on my computer so I could get a really good look at it...and I finally figured it out!
It looks like a porch post is missing! There is no evidence that one has been removed though. So now I'm going to have to do some investigating to find out why it looks like that. And fix it because it's driving me crazy. And yes, I realize that if we have lived here for a year and a half and I just noticed it that probably no one else ever has. It's just one of those things. You know what I mean?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I think I jinxed the weather

On Wednesday it was warm (mid-70's) and sunny. I got to open the windows for the first time this year! I looked at the thermostat to see what the temp was inside and noticed that the thermostat was set at 57...not off, but 57.

Me: Why did you set the thermostat at 57? Why not off if you're going to set it that low?
James: Thought about turning it off but left it at 57 in case we get a freak snow storm.
Me: Yeah, ok, like that's going to happen.

It's now Saturday and our high is 45 with a chance of snow tonight. And it was 57 degrees in here when I woke up. Open mouth, insert foot...I should have never made my last comment.

And now James gets to say "Told ya so"

Friday, April 11, 2008

Organization and Spring Cleaning

I have said before that I love my closet. And I really do. Isn't it pretty? The problem is that it is the only closet in the house. And it only has a hanging rod and a short shelf (the height of a shoe box). I have decided that it's time for an intervention. I've been looking at closet storage systems and think I have decided on the Rubbermaid Customizable 4'-8' closet system. It will fit the odd length of the closet so there is no cutting and it comes with all the rods, shelves, and hardware for only $99.97! Then I'll have plenty of room for my 50 pairs of pants (not kidding...a downside of working in a clothing store for 5 years), tops, shoes, bags, and I may finally be able to get some of James clothes into the closet. I decided all this while trying to get all the laundry caught up and ran out of space again. Now I just have to convince James that this is a good investment. Oh, and I'm buying storage totes for the top half to hold out of season clothes, James collection of Nascar crap, and my toys left from when I was a kid (they've made it this long so they're not going anywhere)
I have also started spring cleaning. We have way too much crap and nowhere to put it, so I'm getting rid of a lot of it. I started getting things together for a yard sale last year, but it never happened, so I am adding to it. And I decided whatever doesn't sell is going to Goodwill the same day so it doesn't find a way back into the house. I am tired of all the clutter so I'm going through everything with the "if you haven't used/worn it in 2 years get rid of it" approach. With a few exceptions. And I've been doing actual cleaning too...windows, scrubbing floors, TONS of laundry, and I even cleaned the pets (and no, the kitties didn't like it!).

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Progress on the yard

So yesterday I got James thinking about a tree stump in our yard. What brought it up was a post at One Project Closer about tree stump removal. While I was making dinner (spaghetti and my special breadsticks) he said he was going to go out and fill in some holes in the yard with the tractor. Well, when I went out to tell him dinner was ready I was this:
He some how got the stump out with the tractor. I have no idea how, but he did. This was not planned in any way. I thought we were going to burn it this summer. Oh, well...at least it's gone. I asked him where it went and he told me it was back by the barn. So I looked over and saw this:

I guess after he put it back there he decided to start working on our little field. He got it a little over half done. So in the about hour and a half that I was cooking he filled in some holes, put a pile of dirt over where the outhouse was (couldn't level it because the tractor started sinking), removed a tree stump, and took down over half the field. I'd call that a pretty productive hour and a half!

The field is far from done though. After he gets it all knocked down he has to disc it, then level it, and then we can put down grass seed. After we get all that done we are putting up a fence around our property. Nothing fancy, just a wire fence so Clementine has a place to run.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

What is that?

I have had a ton of people ask "what's a twitter?" since I put it on here. The first was my mom, then James dad, then James, then Sandy, then even more people asked! So...a twitter is a nifty little way that I can update what I'm doing with out actually posting a full entry. I can update it from twitter.com, my cell phone, or IM. I put it on there when I was loaded up on medicine and had nothing better to do. It's actually a good idea, that way I'm not compelled to post about pointless, non-house related stuff. My goal is to keep it up to date for a whole day, but I'm not doing so great with that. Any way, that's what it is.

Speaking of house stuff...I've been so busy trying to play catch up from all that time I was out of commission that I haven't had time to get back to work on the dining room, but I hope to get back to it this week. In the meantime, if you're curious about what I'm doing, just check the twitter.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Everything went well with the surgery tuesday. I have always been scared to go to the dentist, so the thougth of going to an oral surgeon flat out terrified me. They were great though. Very understanding that I was really nervous, so they gave me the "happy gas" and numbed me twice. I didn't feel anything. Its now itching and my jaw bone hurts where they jambed the needle in. And I didn't like what they had to say about my next visit. Apparently 3 of my wisdom teeth are impacted and one is decayed because its "unbrushable". I didn't even know that I had one that had come in all the way...he said thats because its so far back I probably can't feel it, and because its so far back there is no way to get a toothbrush back there. So on my next visit I will be put under and have my teeth cut out. and its going to cost a fortune. And I mean a fortune. So as soon as I find a way to sell our boat I'll be having that done. (Any one wanna buy a boat?) I'm really not looking forward to it, but they said if I don't have this done soon I'm going to have even more problems.

I added a twitter yesterday for the fun of it. So now I can share what I'm doing with out having to post multiple times a day. I plan to get back to the dining room Monday. James is going to get all the paneling out of the house for me this weekend so I can actually move around again, then Monday I am going to work on getting the hundreds of nails out and repairing the plaster. Should be fun...this will be my first time to repair plaster!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Missing Dog Found...And Gone Again

I just saw our missing dog!! The one thats been missing for a few months...I actually saw her!! That makes me so happy cause now I know she's still around. and apparently someone has been taking care of her because she looked really healthy and she was running with another dog. Unfortunately, I didn't catch her. I do think that she wants to come here because when I saw her the first time she was looking at her doghouse, and she was still looking at it when she was running with the other dog back into the woods. So now I'm watching for her...and between Cledus and Clementine they'll let me know if she comes back again.

In other news I talked to the oral surgeons office a little bit ago and they said I will be able to drive myself home tomorrow, so at least thats good news.

A Completed Project!!

On Saturday we made a 2+ hour trip home with this...

So we could make this...
Look like this
It took forever to get the tractor to our house for several reasons. It was at his parents house (about 15-20 miles away), and we ran about 10mph all the way, breaking down every few miles till about 5 miles from home, then it gave up and had to be towed. I followed him in the truck, and had to keep pulling him to get it restarted, then when it gave up his dad came and took over and towed him the rest of the way.

In the end it was all worth it though. That gravel was delivered over a year ago, the picture was taken in august (I think) and its now level! And we have an extra parking space! He tried to start filling in some of the holes and smooth the ruts, but the ground was so wet all he was doing was making even worse ruts in other areas of the yard. So next weekend he's going to get all that straightened out. As long as we don't get any more rain.

I won't be making any more posts for a little while because I am having oral surgery tomorrow. They haven't shared with me yet if they are cutting or pulling, or if they are numbing or knocking me out. I have no idea what to expect so I am planning for the worst (knocked out and cutting) and will probably be out of commission for a few days.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Best Worst Birthday Ever

I haven't been posting lately because no work has been done. I spent my birthday (the 18th) in the dentists office in severe, horrible pain being told I have a massive infection, and need to have surgery. What a way to spend my birthday, huh? Which means I have been loaded up on medication so I can't do any work on the house. Luckily I celebrated on the 15th, so I did get to have some fun, just not on my actual birthday. I got to see friends that I haven't seen in over a year, get drunk on pineapple upside down cake (the drink), and just have a great time.

Here we are at Brewsky's in Mt. Carmel....me, Tiff, Sid, and Jen (I'm already drunk, thats why I look like that)
Then this weekend I was feeling better and my best friend gave me the best birthday present ever...
Tickets to Seether, Breaking Benjamin, and Three Days Grace!!! It was in Indianapolis, the fastest selling out concert in the history of the Pepsi Colliseum, and my first real concert ever! I had a lot of fun, but left before it was over because my jaw was starting to hurt really bad again. Seether was great, but Breaking Benjamin had the best show...lots of pyrotechnics, the lead singer crowd surfed, great light show, and had a surprise...the singer for the Deftones! We got to hear Change(in the house of Flies) in the middle of the show! James didn't really have much fun, but I kind of expected that. Country boy at a hard rock show...not going to go over well, but he was a trooper and didn't complain at all through the whole thing. I took a ton of pictures but the one on here is my favorite.
I am scheduled to have surgery on the 1st, so it'll be a while before I get back to working on the house, but as soon as I do I'll get back to posting regularly again.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A New Mystery

We have had so much water (snow and ice melting) that the sump pump has been working overtime. And its causing erosion around the sidewalk...which is where we found these. We're not sure, but it looks like a patio, a path, or possibly a really old foundation. The bricks are laid in rows and run under the sidewalk and were under about 6" of dirt. You can't tell but there are more in the top part of the picture too. I'm taking this as a sign. For the last few months I have said I want to build a brick patio using the bricks laying in the basement and crawlspace. I just wasn't sure where to put it, or if it would even look right. Now that I found these I can't wait to get started. With help, of course...I can probably lay the bricks, but I can't physically level the ground or dig these up. I have to do a little research though before digging these up to make sure they don't have a historic significance.

The weird part it that I had been on James for weeks to move the tubing for the sump pump because the ground was eroding and I have been freaking out about the foundation holding up to losing all the soil. However, if he had moved it like I wanted him to we would have never found these. Oh, and the pipe in the picture is the exhast pipe off my Kia. It fell off this past summer and James used it to redirect some of the water...must be a guy thing cause I would have never thought of that! I think that might qualify as more redneck DIY.
Isn't that a beautiful site to wake up to? Yeah...not so much. This was taken from the kitchen window behind the stove. Lucky for them they are not on our property. I am seriously pissed about the situation though. That is a huge drill they are using to get soil samples for the railroad that (supposedly) is not even going to be going through here. They are about 20 feet off of our property, driving our dogs crazy, and using our driveway for parking. Without even asking! The parking wouldn't be a big deal except that its only one lane so while this guy was parked there I couldn't leave the house! I talked to James and the police and we decided to get no trespassing signs that way if they do it again it can be towed at their expense. Because if they park there again it will be trespassing. I don't usually get this worked up about stuff, but they are not supposed to be on our property, and there is a driveway in the field where that car could have parked. Ok...I think I've ranted enough about this.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Our Weekend

As a lover of old houses it upsets me to see an old house being torn down. But unless you own it you really have no control over it. We noticed the windows removed from this house in January and it took a while but we finally managed to contact the owners, Mark and Becca Ewing, and they let us salvage it...for free! They had one request though that we were more than happy to follow...they wanted to know about and keep anything interesting that we found. Which turned out to only be some foundation grates.
The house was built in 1911 so its newer than ours. It has hardwood floors, ceilings, walls, and frames! All the rooms have wood slat walls except the living room, which had tons of beadboard.

We salvaged all the beadboard we could, the floors (we think they're red oak), the wall slats, and 2x4's. We couldn't save as much as we wanted to due to asbestos insulation and termites. But we did get quite a bit, so it was worth it. We have to go back and pick the stuff up, and try to get some more of the floor boards out, but we're pretty much done. Once we have everything gone they are going to bulldoze the house in and then have the fire department do a controlled burn.
We are putting everything in our barn for now. We are going to use the bead board in the bathroom and laundry room, the floorboards are back up in case one of ours breaks, and the wood slats are the same size as whats in our bathroom ceiling and porch ceiling.
Thanks again to Mark and Becca!

Friday, February 29, 2008

I Got Wallies

I got my chalkboard Wallies today! Hopefully this helps James find things. I need to order another set though, I ran out so I just put them on the most used cabinets. And obviously I didn't get them straight...

That is an antique Coke crate that I got at a yard sale for a quarter!

If you want to get your own Wallies, or just check out Home Interiors website here is is: http://www.homeinteriors.com-dianesplace/ (Diane is the consultant I use...she's awesome)

Oh, and in other news...we have to replace a wall in the dining room. One (only 1!) panel was glued and I didn't realize it until it fell off the wall...with chunks of the top layer of plaster attatched to it (ouch!). This is the same wall that has the bad drywall job where they tried to cover where the pass throughs were at. So with all that going on we think it'll just be best to replace the wall. But until we have the money to do that we have a work of art on the wall right now (see the last post and you'll get it)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A picture worth a thousand words...

...and not one of them are pretty, nice, or ladylike.

Whatdya think? Can we call it artwork?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

And the walls came tumbling down...

Literally. A piece of paneling was hanging on by a nail somewhere and I got between it and the wall to see where. I found it. I went to reach in with the hammer to pull the nail, heard a creaking sound and pulled back just in time for the whole panel to go crashing to the floor! I think that coulda left a mark...each panel weighs a ton.
The room seems to have doubled overnight from taking down the ceiling and some of the paneling. I only got 1/2 a wall done and had to stop. I had not expected the weight of each piece to be so much, and with the problems I have with my neck and shoulder I can't physically do it. So James gets to have that fun.
This is where the top trim piece goes over the transom window. I about cried when I saw what was under the little piece of paneling. The wood in this picture is the actual door frame and the hand hewn lathe. And the plaster, of course.
Same thing from a different angle. I figured out that the plaster is true horse hair. I picked up a little piece that was laying up there and could see the hairs in it. From this angle you can kinda see that the lathe is hand hewn (notice the rough edge). The lathe and the frame are made of the same type of wood, but I have no idea what kind it is. Its a little dark with a reddish color to it.

When I was removing the nails from the now bare walls it looked like the plaster was crumbling around each nail I pulled out. Upon closer inspection, its not. What is crumbling is layer after layer of paint! I also figured out that the paint on the door frame is peeling too. Its like it never adhered to the paint under it.

Last night when James was hanging the chandelier I looked up and noticed a crack between the wall and the ceiling. I climbed up on the freezer to get a better look and realized it was drywall that was not hung right and there for didn't line up right. And I can see where the pass through's were at...they drywalled it, but didn't mud or paint it so I can tell where everything was. Oh, and I was told there was no drywall anywhere in this house. That its all plaster. Uh, no. That's not right. Last time I checked, plaster has never been made in sheets that you nail up. It'd be sweet if it was though!