Monday, December 31, 2007

Completing 8 in 2008

Completing 8 items in this house seems to be a Realistic Resolution for 2008.

I would like to think we could complete more, but the reality is.....we are slow.
Everything with ThirteenEleven is a "production" as Chris said in the shower the other day.
"A full complete Hollywood production." (Ben Hur maybe?) Chris and I being the producers, directors, set designers, and actors. Just a couple of guest stars and extras have appeared. At ThirteenEleven there is always DRAMA. It's not like saying today I will level up the floor in the kitchen. "It's only slopes 2 inches". Then four weeks and 4 huge piles of debris hauled to the street we have a total ground up new floor in the kitchen. Remember this is after I finished the drywall in the kitchen meaning with all the floor work.....the drywall taped seams cracked........Errrrr. Just as soon as we dig in and start working on a small project, it becomes a major ordeal = major money.

So for 2008...
1. Finish the floors. (now that we have back steps to the deck this is more of a reality, I can work on the hall and still live in the house.(two ways in and out of the house)
2.Finish the kitchen, cabinets, trim, counter tops, and back splash.
3. Strip the trim and doors (more on that later)
4. Finish the Bath.
5. Install a toilet and sink in the 1/2 bath.
6.Work on the windows. We have 30, so I see us working on a room at a time.
7. Yard, Yard, Yard !!Working on the kudzu jungle, so we don't look so trashy in this hood.
8.Finish Middle bedroom. (right now it is basically storage)

The trend being..... finish. Finish some of the projects we have started. I am sure some of these won't make it. I am also sure will work on many more projects that eat up time, but don't really show much progress.

Happy New Year Everyone !

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Fireplace Surrounds.

While procrastinating working on the house the other day, I read where 1870's House opened and cleaned out their fireplace. I thought..... "that surround looks familiar"... So I looked over at our fireplace and suuure nufff. They are the same!! cool.. They were lucky. They only had leaves, sand, and soot in theirs. We had BIRD BONES !! EEEEEEHHHHH! along with soot, more soot,leaves,and probably a little rat poop mixed in. Unfortunately, we were missing the coal grate and the cover for ours. My Aunt and I did a basement search wishing there were tucked away in a dark dirty corner. No such luck. We did find enough coal to build a good fire, or several. The top picture is 1870's house and the bottom pic is ThirteenEleven.

In ThirteenEleven's pic that is little bit of the truckloads of wallpaper removed from the house. Since then I came up with a "quick fix" to keep the drafts (birds too) from swooping down and blowing more of that greasy black soot everywhere. I filled the cavity of the chimney with spray foam. "YIKES !" the purist renovators are saying... Well.... Spray foam, when dry, is easy to remove and who knows when and if we will ever get these old fireplaces working again even with gas "coal looking" inserts.

Friday, December 28, 2007

You know you are a houseblogger when....

You move a shelf on your kitchen cabinet and you can't decide if the white powdery substance is drywall dust or flour.......and then you have to get the camera to take a shot....

Well, it shouldn't have been that difficult since no flour has been used since we moved in.... Drywall dust it is.... why wasn't that cleaned up earlier???
No, the cabinets aren't finished yet...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

All I wanted for Christmas was a new dryer....

Anyway.. after over a week or two with out a dryer and a search for the part to fix the old one... We combined our Big Box retailer cards we received for Christmas and got a new dryer. The second most simple one we could get... We are soo happy to have a dryer now, I am washing towels as I type.
Thanks everyone for our Christmas gifts. We appreciate them all and had a wonderful day.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Camellia and Doors

Another one of ThirteenEleven's lovely Camellias.
Doors I wish for. I love the wedge shaped panels on the one above.

Merry Christmas from ThirteenEleven

Wishing all of our readers a Christmas filled with Joy!
Maybe the stockings will be filled with a heat gun to take 70 years worth of paint off the bricks, mantle and metal insert. Any suggestions on type, brand, etc. would be appreciated. I haven't been able to find one in this town and a little hesitant to buy one off the Internet with out knowing much about them.

ThirteenEleven has a Twin.

I know you are thinking WOW they have been busy painting the exterior, but no, it's our twin. (Scroll up and look to the right, that 's us. )Our twin has great railing. Not that crappy,rusty, 60's style metal railing. Every time I look at our railing, I have to hold myself back from ripping it out and dragging it to the street at that very moment. The only good thing about our existing railing is that it somehow reminds Puppy to stay on the porch when we tell him to. He goes to behind the railing and looks at us.

This kissing cousin of ThirteenEleven has Doors that make my heart skip a beat. I HATE ThirteenEleven's Door. YUCK. YUCK. For the longest time our doors paint looked like a cross and I felt as if I needed to kneel in prayer when I entered the house. Well maybe I should have...the house needed (still needs) a lot of help. Then one day I had white primer left on my roller and I thought, get rid of that green making our door look like a cross, so I did.
(Was that somehow, sinful?)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

All New H20 lines...

Yes it is complete, I was out of town visiting my grandmother yesterday or
I would have made progress shots. Not as big of mess I thought it would be.
In ThirteenEleven's pecan trees this morning.
I wish my camera would have zoomed a bit more.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Lovely Yellow Flags.........

YIPPEE !!!!!!!! The Gas Line is Marked...............but guess is raining........just in time to dig up the front yard. It hasn't rained since the little rain on Nov.25th....thank goodness it is raining... but we are soooo lucky it is raining now... yeah? right?........but we can't complain about the rain.....

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Kitchen Sink....

Finally, we decided to go ahead and install the kitchen sink, that had been sitting in it's box for over a year.... ( Yes, OVER A YEAR!) No, we still don't have counter-top. No, the cabinets are still not finished. When Chris was building the cabinets he used plywood for the tops and we just installed the sink over the plywood. (for now) Since the plumber was here, checking out the water leak in the line from the meter to the house,we thought wouldn't it be nice to have running water in the kitchen. While he was at it he hooked up the dishwasher, wait, I haven't had a dishwasher in about 8 years.

I had forgot what our sink looked like..So here it is..............

Chris had help leveling the dishwasher....( looking like a little plumber.....)

Water Leak update -Underground utilities saga

Well, we are still waiting on the gas people to mark the lawn in order to dig the water line and thus repair the leak.......... This time, I called the emergency number of the city. They promptly told me they have nothing to do with the marking. I have to call the state, here is the number.xxxxxxxxxx. I inquired, " Well, I saw the City trucks and city personnel doing the other marking in the yard with the water and electricity, why haven't the gas people been by" ( Now that I think of it, why doesn't one crew come and mark for all the utilities provided by the city at one time... Wouldn't that be the most efficient??) The city lady told me, it is state law to call this number then the state calls the city to do the marking for underground utilities... I told her we've called.
She said, she has no say so in sending out the people to mark the lines, it has to come from the state...... Good Grief !!!
So........... I called the number, and after listening to a long recording, I get a person,(actually speaking clear english ) who in return ask me for my ticket number........ TICKET NUMBER??? WHAT? Anyway, apparently Chris was given a ticket number when he called. They searched and found the request and stated that they have until Monday to come and mark the gas line. WHAT? Monday. By then I am getting quite frustrated with the run around I am getting. I tell her the situation about the water, and state that we are in a severe drought and the leak is wasting gallons and gallons of water each minute, can't there be some kind of rush on this. I then think of the long recording that mentioned "an emergency qualifies if the utilities have to be disconnected from the house...... " So I tell her we have to walk to the street and turn the water on at the meter when we want to have water in the house . So she ask, " Do you want this to be an emergency request." I say YES !!! Basically even with an emergency request, state law gives them 48 hours to mark for underground utilities...and state law prohibits any underground digging with out marking, and the state has to call the city to mark the underground utilities, all while the water keeps running, running, running. TYPICAL !!!! We really have cut the water off at the meter, because we are responsible for the taxes of the water.
This is a really %$*@! up system......How many people are our taxes paying to mark underground utilities?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Tree.........

It is really difficult to think Christmas in 70-80 degree weather....... but here are pics of the tree. I placed it in the sunroom (sleeping porch) with all the windows.

(Someone needs to finish scraping these windows...that would be me.)

Great French Doors to the sunroom

Oh......What a Beautiful Morning Oh what a Beautiful Day!!

Don't you wish you were here? This was taken a little after 5:00 pm.

getting closer to finishing.....

From the back yard.

Low Humidity, Sunny, and.......... a high of 80 degrees on December 9th ! WOW! Today was the most glorious December Day I can remember. Working inside as planned was NOT an option today.
(Actually working on the house as planned was out as well. ) After lunch at our favorite Sunday Buffet, I sat outside (on the almost completed deck) in shorts and finished reading my book. Chris brought Puppy's bed out on the deck and he joined me basking in the sun. Then I went on a long walk to the town square and back and Chris went to play basketball with friends.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Water Bill............

I haven't posted in a while about the house. I have pictures of the progress of the deck, just need to download and then upload. Things have been busy, with design work, the holidays and of course the house. I finally have been unboxing some stuff and organizing. Which really means......... drag it all out, make a huge mess and go through and then toss some and stash the other stuff away in drawers and closets. Right now...... it is pretty much in the everything is everywhere stage. I did put up a Christmas tree, which I haven't done in years. (The last time I put up a tree, I was working full time and traveling for work and after I put up the tree I was gone 3 weeks in December and never saw the tree until New Years when I took the tree down.)

Well today we got the Utilities Bill. Of course I am concerned about the gas and the power bill in this old house with the high ceilings, old windows, and drafty holes everywhere. Oh no......... that wasn't the problem. The gas and the power was less than $90, very good!!!!!!! But.........the water bill was outrageous........ WHAT the WATER Bill......... Let's remember we are in drought water restrictions and are being warned that we will not have water in 100 days if we don't get rain......... And let's also remember I was the one who had an article published about using water wisely. I keep a pitcher by the sink to catch the water that runs, while you wait for it to heat up. I use dish water to water my outside plants. I have been sooooo very careful not to be a hypocrite about using water after my article, that I am getting on my own nerves. So WHY is the water bill so high.....?????? Let's also remember........... No KITCHEN SINK (installed)!!!!!!!!!!! meaning we use very few dishes. NO Dishwasher (installed) and there are only two of us living in this house. Let's also remember ALL NEW PLUMBING......except the line from the house to the road.
So........ Chris called the city and went under the house to make sure there wasn't any water anywhere..... No drips, Nothing. The city came to check out the meter. It was spinning around like a whirly bird........WHAT???? WHY?!?!?! The city dude said " Well it must be leaking in the pipe to the house" He also said that if the meter is twirling like that, water is running, not just dripping. What I don't understand is there is NO wet area in the front yard, anywhere. Our grass is dead. Since we haven't had any rain in months, and if the water was leaking shouldn't there be at least a wet soggy spot somewhere in the front yard. So.........we've called a couple of plumbers who are suppose to have some kind of machine that can determine the leak..........

YIKES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

What is new?

I hope everyone had a great Holiday. We had a quick trip to my sister's new home in Mississippi to visit for Turkey Day and stopped back by my grandmother's house on the way home. Back at ThirteenEleven, the support for the deck is almost completed, but there is no work going on outside today because something odd is happening .... It is raining (YES, RAIN) and it is quite cold. I will have more pics of the house to share this next week.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

New Banner

Look, I finally created a banner for the BLOG!!!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Whacha diggin for?

Puppy is wondering if there are any good bones left by the P.O.'s in that dirt, and if there is he has first choice. Why isn't he helping? He can dig?
Yes, we are leveling off the area under the deck, before it is built, so hopefully it will be close to the same elevation at each side of the house. There is always something to do before you can complete the task at hand. We are using the dirt to fill the big hole in the back yard where a tree fell years ago. The night work continues, and slowly progressing.

This ladder is our back steps for now.

Historic Time-Line (so-far)

Yesterday, after lunch at a local downtown southern buffet, I thought I would walk next door to the Local Archives (photo below)to see if they had any info on ThirteenEleven. I walked in and there was my High School AP history teacher. (That's what it is like living in a small town.) He flipped to the directories they had on file and found out some interesting stuff.

Time Line so far. (we need to research the first 19 years)
The first Directory that contained information on the home was 1938. (The other directories did not state information as far down the road as our house.) In 1938, Richard J. Willis owned the house. Richard owned a grocery store. His wife's father built and lived in the house next door. R.J. Willis's phone number was 796-J. (wonder where that phone jack was? hall maybe?) Richard was married to Emma Bradfield. ( How did one dial a "J" on a rotary phone?)
Ebay 1938 phone


WWII- no information available

Owner Lord H. Morrison he owned the local Nehi Bottling company located closer into town on the same street. His wife Edna G. worked at Nehi also. The location was probably the block next to the old Coke-Cola Building. Too bad we didn't find any old Nehi Bottles. Only about 45 new beer bottles.

Harold W. James and his wife Helen owned the house. Helen was the dance teacher. In 1948 Harold was a salesman and in 1950 he was an accountant at JK Boatwright.

James H. Wynn Jr. ia listed in the directory as living in the house. His phone number was 4253.

Robert C. Worthy a mail carrier owned the house. The Worthy's had two daughters and we bought the house from the estate of one of the daughters. After Robert and Blonde Worthy died. (more on that later)The Worthy family rented the house out for a number of years. Which explains the poor lack of up keep and condition of the house. Actually a friend of mine lived in the house in the early 90's.

In 1952, the Worthy's phone number was 3835.

Ebay 1950 phone. I am SURE they had pink!

More exciting news is our house is officially on the National Register with out us having to do a thing. The whole street is a Historic District and all the homes are included. 130 acres. The paper work states that "the area is significant as a rural residential area that was originally developed along a country road at the outskirts of town and was gradually incorporated into the urban development of the city." On the map our property is included.

Everyone was helpful at the Archives and were glad we were restoring this house. I just hope everyone has patience with our mess.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Dreaming of a Kitchen...........

I just saw Camping with a Mortgage's '06 post about their kitchen.
Can, I say WOW ? ! This is what is in my mind for the counter tops and cabinets. I just love how the cabinets go to the ceiling, and the DYI soap stone counter tops.

Technically, we really are not with out a kitchen. We have a stove and a refrigerator. (Plus a refrigerator on the front porch. Lovely!)) However, we haven't installed the sink. Oh.........we've had the sink for almost a year... but all the delays with the total rebuilding of the floor joists, supports and basically everything in the kitchen area, that of course we haven't planned.....the cabinets... just haven't been finished. They have been 1/2 built since June......the framing of the cabinets are finished. But, that is all. I am not sure why they aren't complete. I guess it got old and the project had to be postponed to start another like the middle bedroom, but then the middle bedroom had to stop to work on the deck. Who knows when any project will ever be finished in this house. I have threatened take out the 1/2 finished cabinets and drag them to the road, and start over. But, last time I took out a cabinet, the floor fell in....

Back to the dreaming of a kitchen. I am so tired of eating out and TV diners. I guess they really aren't TV diners anymore, but you know the yucky frozen kind in black plastic. Call me stubborn, but I refuse to bring the dishes to the tub to wash them. I know we are having extreme water shortages and taking a shower while washing dishes would save water, but again yuck. ( Wasn't this a Seinfield episode?) So until, we have a kitchen sink ( installed), we will continue to be environmentally unconscious by using all that black plastic diners, plastic cups, forks, and spoons. I would really like to cook some chicken and dumplings, a casserole and biscuits. It is Apple Cake time of year. I want to sit around the island with friends and family and a couple of bottles of wine. I want all the wonderful smells of home made food filling ThirteenEleven's air. Oh Well. One day.... Until them, I am heading out to get a soup and salad at Chick-fil-a.

Also, check out this post about that dreaded big box retailer known by their orange color. So true....I will say our local store's manager was good to me when I had a problem. I let him know how often I was in there and he remembered me, I am a high maintance (blonde)customer, and gave me a store credit.

Did you notice something?.... I learned how to link.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Post no. Fifty

5-0 Wow that's a lot of picture looking and reading on what's been going on at ThirteenEleven.

Today was a nutty day at the house......
Take a look

I picked up a sack of pecans quite quickly this afternoon while I was out with Puppy. Now which box is the nut cracker in ?????

I have a busy day tomorrow with a trip to the big City so I hope ya'll have a HaPPy HaLLowEEN.

Yeah,The other pumpkin died over a week ago....but that big box retailer that I refer to as China Mart had pumpkins for $1.98 today. Wonder if that orange color is really lead paint???

Monday, October 29, 2007

Day 1 Pictures

Day 1 at ThirteenEleven..... The long awaited beginning, starting point pictures of our home 15 months ago. The pictures give you an idea on just how dirty was this place. Probably the second dirtiest place I've been, maybe the third. The thing the pics don't show is the smell. Eugh!!! I couldn't get it out of my nose for days. Then Mom suggested using the ol' Vick's in the nostrils trick. ( Yes, the very one the police use to hid the smell from murder scenes.) EUGH!!! AGAIN !!! ----- Well it worked.
Day 1 at the house was really Day4 after closing. The dude living here just would not leave. Then he left stuff here and kept coming by to pick up other things. I think we were very generous with the time we gave him and the fact that we allowed him to keep coming back to pick up stuff. But, considering the bullets and bullet holes found everywhere in the house, it was probably the best idea to let him take his time and not to anger him.....Yikes.

So here they are...

Entry Hall ( looking from front door)
*note* Pepto Pink.. Lovely choice of color.
Also note this is the wall paper didn't want to come off the walls,and made me a true disbeliever in all the store bought paper removal solutions and systems.

Living room to sun room ( left)
to dining (right) Yep, it really is Pink Carpet.
Dining Room
See that moldy moisture spot to the left.
Yes, anything like that means, whole walls have to be removed and re-built.
Including replacing the interior workings of the double hung windows.
Keep that in mind for future projects.

Main Hall back to front, then front to back.
-The carpet was really dirtier than shown in the pics.
-The wallpaper covered the well known Pepto Pink.
-Why would anyone place sconces on the moulding?
-Lovely drapes covering the washer/dryer area.
(To date... no doors added to wash dry area)

Front Bedroom.
"That is a Groovy light fixture, dude."
We sold it at the yard sale and the lady was going to paint it red.

Dining Room.
Why are there bricks on the hearth? Is that blob near the hearth the reason Puppy won't go in this room?

Living Room
Wow what a mirror! and it was PLASTIC !!! We were so lucky it came with the house.
Note* The mirror was not glued to the wall. It was hung on a nail and they painted around it. See the pink peeping through underneath. It went well with the pink carpet. See the logs crammed in the coal burning fireplace. They plugged in and had a red light bulb inside. Lucky Again !!! That is a bug bomb on the vent.
I insisted the former owner to set those off before he left.

Half Bath
Note* Each door in the house had a dead bolt lock.

Middle Bedroom
I forgot about the top layer of wallpaper. Two other layers were underneath.
Why was stuff left in the drawer? This is the cabinet, when removed revealed a fireplace and the infamous hearth the fell to the basement.

Back Bedroom
Showing the carpet that was over the vinyl that was over heart pine floors.

Last Cleaned in 1989. The black stuff around the sink was facial hair ( Maybe?) where the dude shaved.
Many Thanks go out to Mom, Aunt Lynne, and Marlene who cleaned this room before it was demolished for re-building. We were able to use it for a while, while we were here working. Then it became a hole in the floor for 3 months, complete with a ladder providing quick access to the basement.

I've saved the best for last.....

Words really won't describe the status of this room. It is best described using guttural noises. Go ahead, give it a try.....EEUUGHH, EeeeE, Augh!!! UGH.
Notes* That is cat food left for the cat he left here for two weeks. I told P.O. "Puppy hates cats". Thankfully, the trap provided by the animal shelter caught the cat before Puppy. I am not sure what the trails of splatter goo are on the floor and carpet. Did I tell you, This room made me gag. There was a pot left on the stove that had something black inside. Shout outs go to Uncle Irv, who helped take down the cabinets and 'hawl them to the street. In the pic showing the pantry, there is a door above that was full of beer cans. Beer cans were in most of the hollows in the home.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Full Moon

While walking out with Puppy in ThirteenEleven's backyard
(aka = Kudzu Jungle),

we looked up and saw this.......

a little closer with the pecan tree in the foreground.......

What a beautiful full moon lighting up the clouds left over from the little bit of rain we had that day. I should have taken the time to get the ol' tripod and maybe the pics could have been a little steadier. A slow shutter speed digital with low light definitely is a case for blurry shots. But these two out of about 128... ( no really about 17) turned out O.K. We'll call the blurriness... creative photography.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dance Lessons

Yesterday while walking in "our hood" with my Aunt, I met a lady that lived on the next street towards town from us.
She was so happy we were "fixing-up" that house. She went on to say she took dance lessons in one of our rooms in the house in the 40's. How exciting, someone who remembers who lived in the house before the Worthy's. ( The Worthy's bought the house in the 50's) I was so excited about hearing about the dance lessons, I forgot the lady's name who taught the lessons. ( That Figures) I will have to go back by to talk to my neighbor again.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I broke down and "wasted" money on this pumpkin to carve for Halloween. I paid a whopping $10. I spent probably about 15 minutes finding the perfect one with a great curve to the stem and a pretty shape.... but, what I failed to do was look closely at the stem...... slightly around the edges there was a crack and the pumpkin became over ripe.... so I went ahead and carved this yesterday, knowing, it will never last until the big night.... I went and looked for that pumpkin preservative that was all the rage a couple years back... but could not find it in this town....So I used a little lemon juice??? I will let you know if it seems to work .... Being the home improver and using the tools that are handy... a jig saw blade became my carving tool.

Friday, October 12, 2007

ThirteenEleven's wish lists.......

Sink For 1/2 Bath
Fire Place Covers....... These are V.E.R.Y. ornate!!! I would love some simple ones to cover the holes in our fireplaces.... I so was hoping the original ones were hiding out in the basement. But no such luck... Everything else was there...

Close up of how it fits in the existing surround.