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 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!