Monday, August 1, 2016

Picture


Monday, March 17, 2014

The best fuzzy friend EVAH


My fuzzy buddy Mojo traveled over the Rainbow Bridge last night. I think he's Thor's dog now. Just as Thor had a mighty hammer, Mojo had a mighty paw. And an uncanny ability to discern fresh new sheetrock from the old crappy stuff. (Remember puppy, the insulation belongs on the INSIDE of the wall!)

I sprung Mo from the a local county shelter a little over 10 yrs ago. I thought I was getting a more sedate 6 yr old. Instead, I took home a stinky mop of an excited 2 yr old. In our first full day of being together, he managed to try to hang himself, and then led me on a merry chase through Kuser Farm Park and into the adjacent neighborhood where he was captured. (Later that day, I got a call from the groomer who said that he was proving "difficult".)

Mojo LOVED his walks where he would woof at his vassals and pee upon his lands (while his loyal servant trailed along and manned the poopy bags.) He also liked to make friends on his walks. Usually the biggest, most muscular dogs sporting very thick, sharp choker collars.

His physical ailments, though numerous, were definitely outnumbered by his personality traits. Have fun in Asgard buddy. I know there are bunnies and squirrels to chase, unlimited goodies from the grill, no more pills and needles with meals and your very own couch to sleep on.



 

Taming the bathroom

Once upon a time, the bathroom here at E's house was a vision of almond, pink and baby blue loveliness.  The stopper handle for the sink would pull completely out if you dared attempt to use it.  The tub spout was working on corroding away also.  The vanity and accompanying cabinet had exceeded their shelf life.  The medicine cabinet had seen better days, and the wall mounted ceramic toothbrush holder had been on the losing end of a fight somewhere along the line.  You can see the damaged toothbrush holder, blue sink, vanities and a bit of the medicine cabinet in this photo.  (Taken whilst perched atop the baby blue toilet.)

 

And let us not forget the tiled ceiling (hiding who knew what) and the rusted beyond repair baseboard heat cover.  This was an adventure that spanned quite a few months. Luckily, once the ceiling tiles were removed, we were left with furring strips that were nailed into the original plaster.


We were able to sheetrock the ceiling and add crown molding for prettiness.  E replaced the rusted heater cover one day while I was away.  I didn't hear any horror stories, so I think that may have gone smoothly.

Somewhere along the line, we took a trip to World of Tile up in North Jersey to seek out a replacement toothbrush holder.  They have piles of older tile in all sorts of vintage colors and patterns.  It's definitely worth a visit if you need to match a tile something in your old bathroom or kitchen.  At the time, we were also in the market for a few matching wall tiles in case anything got damaged when the shower plumbing was redone.  We brought samples of the toothbrush holder for a color match.

Earlier that week, I managed to gently and carefully remove the old jagged toothbrush holder by taking an oscillating tool, hammer and masonry chisel to it.  I'd hoped the oscillating tool would get the grout out from around the edges deeper and better than a grout saw.  It also left burn marks better than a grout saw:

Luckily, that was OK because the toothbrush and soap holders usually overlap the adjacent tiles a bit, so in the end, I was able to hide most of the mess I made while trying to be "gentle".  A little thinset and a lot of duct tape and we were soon to have a beautiful new toothbrush tealight holder.

I think this is a good time to end this post because it's been sitting in the can for over a month now.  I don't know that regular blogging will be my strong suit.  More on the beautification of the bathroom later.  In between there, I have more current news to share.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Oh looky! I started a blog SIX YEARS AGO...

Having recently moved (if you consider a year and a half ago "recently"), and embarked upon another set of home DIY renovations with my significant other, I considered starting a blog.  After all, I'm continually inspired by reading some of my favorite DIY and renovation blogs.  Lo and behold...I find a blog that I apparently started six years ago when it was just me, and a dog, and a money pit.  And a bunch of garden gnomes...can't forget the garden gnomes.
So let me catch you up on the whole story from the beginning:
I bought MY house in 2003 when I was 30.  Cute little Cape Cod...only 70 yrs old or so.  I fixed up much of the house myself, with a lot of starting out help from family and friends (mostly on my rotten kitchen and the forest of ivy).  Nine long years of home improvement inside and out.


JUST about when I finished my beautiful little house, I met the love of my life.  I did take a big risk, but within 2 years of meeting E (AKA "Love Of My Life"), I put my pretty little house on the market (2012),  and the dog and I moved 40 minutes away to live with E (and his daughter and cat).  I was proud when I was able to accept an offer on my house within a month of putting it on the market.  Oh did I cry on closing day when I sold.  (ALMOST as much as I cried that first year when I realized what a pit I had purchased...)

E and I are currently in the process of refurbishing HIS 70 something year old house.  He's been there about 12ish years or so, but never really had the time or cash to do any significant renovations.  The kitchen needs a can of gas and a match, and is slated to be gutted and turned fabulous sometime this spring.  (Maybe sooner if a sledge hammer just HAPPENS to fall into a certain wall between the kitchen and dining room...  I AM a VERY clumsy girl, you know.)  Right now, we are finishing up a beautification band-aid on the bathroom.  (More on that later.)

I should mention that E has recently become an excellent hobby woodworker, and so I will hopefully be able to feature some of his creations here.  As a result of the merging of two households, we've sold off many of his and my tools, and upgraded to bigger and better ones.  As a result of my longer commute and increased responsibilities, I regret that I don't have very much time to play with any of these tools.  I suspect that that will change once the kitchen reno starts.  Until then, my home improvement contributions are primarily staining, painting and polying right now.  I am also caretaker to my 12 year old rescue puppy, who despite many ailments is hanging in there and quick to remind me when I'm slacking with the walks, hugs and pets, and food prep duties.

Onward!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Welcome!

I'm addicted to HouseBlogs.com and have been for quite some time. I've toyed with the idea of starting my own blog, but figured that since I've completed a lot of the more entertaining tasks here, what's the point? Well I was reminded tonight that there's still a long way to go...

A little background...my dog and I live in a 70 year old money pit in NJ. When I initially moved in, I had no idea that a good part of the house had been fed to the termites. The first project was rebuilding a rotten, termite eaten wall between the kitchen and dining room. I am eternally grateful to my uncles for doing this for me. Since then, I've laid tile, stripped wallpaper, put down laminate, stripped wallpaper, refinished floors, stripped wallpaper, replaced molding, stripped wallpaper, stripped paint from doors and banisters, minor electrical stuff, washer and dryer repair... oh, and I had to take down some wallpaper.

Yes Mom...after college, I became a stripper. In an effort to preserve a few remaining brain cells, I started taking doors to a local paint stripping place to let them remove the 5 or 6 layers of ivory, pink, aqua and avocado green paint. These aren't super fancy doors, but I like the original door hardware, and it's good to re-use the doors, and all that. The doors came out beautifully. I sanded and stained them, stripped and refinished the hardware, and they are happily doing what doors do.

But then someone decided to play a trick on me. I dropped two doors off a couple months ago, and when they finally got stripped last weekend, the man at the stripping place (no, not a go-go bar) called me talking about how the doors were veneered and would need to be reglued.) This surprised me, since all of the other doors were single paneled, with a solid wood frame. So I went to pick up the doors today. Oh my. The veneer is horribly buckled, and really, the color of the wood is so varied and "off" that even were I to try to put forth the effort to save these doors, I think they would still look awful.

WTF? Why did the original house builders in the 40s torture me by sneaking these veneered pieces of crap into the mix? And what do I do now?! The molding around the frames for these doors has already been put up and caulked and painted around. I really don't want to tear this all down to put a pre-hung door in... Yeah, I could try to find doors with mortise lock holes that would fit...but I haven't seen any that would fit well... I'm guessing that out of the 3 remaining downstairs doors to be addressed, 2 of them will also prove to be veneered. I could probably strip them with out the damage that the other two sustained (the industrial stripping is much harder on the stripp-ee, I think)...but would they still look crappy?

STAY TUNED, for answers to these questions and more!