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, 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, 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, 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!