Wednesday, March 15, 2017

It's "Flowering Quince!"

I had asked last time if anyone
knew the name of this
pretty flowering bush
found at the back 
of my property
and heard from several that it is a
Flowering Quince.

One of the people who informed me
was Anna, one of the four siblings
from whom I bought the house.
What a treat to have been able to
meet them all during the closing!
Anna is the only one of the four
who still lives in the same town.
She is following my progress on the house.
Hi Anna!
Hope you'll stop by to see it.

Sheet rock now covers most of the kitchen walls.
Cabinets are ordered.
The open doorway you see
is to the basement.

Remember the downstairs bedroom,
my future workroom?

I started stripping wallpaper from the walls
last Saturday.

I spent a few hours on Monday
finishing the job.
The plaster walls need some repair,
but will be fine.

This is the same room with a view
through the adjoining hallway
into the kitchen.
Please note, the toilet 
is only "visiting" from the hallway bathroom.

The bead board in both bathrooms is starting to go up.
So, although the house is far from finished,
I feel good about the progress thus far.

A friend is running for city alderman
and I was asked to have one of
his signs in my "new" yard.
I already feel like part of the 

Monday, March 6, 2017

I Need a Manicure!

Daisy and I spent the weekend at our new house!

 Not overnights,
just all day Saturday and Sunday.
(She's such a trooper!)

Our mission was to remove some wallpaper.
Hence the sorry state of my nails today.

 This is one of the upstairs bedrooms,
which will become mine.

Tools of the trade.

My method is to first score the wall 
with a razor knife.

Next, I saturate the wall 
with a mixture
of white vinegar and water.

 After about 15 minutes,
once the vinegar and water
 have done their magic,
I began to pull the top layer 
of the paper off the wall.

Underneath the patterned paper
is another layer of paper.
I am not really sure if this layer
is backing for the original paper,
sizing paper,
or a layer of glue.  (???)

At any rate, 
I then saturate it 
with the vinegar/water mixture,
wait until it soaks in and
That layer can be pulled away too.

One finished wall!
Truthfully, I have made this 
appear much easier 
than it really was.
Not all the paper comes away 
in nice long pieces.
Sometimes it's seemingly, 
by the square inch!!!

After about six hours 
of very tedious work...

...the entire room was done!

Sunday, it was onward 
to the second upstairs bedroom.

I do not have a finished pictured 
to show you of this room.
By the time I finished it,
I was too tired to think about pictures!

Other things accomplished this week -
the subway tile is here!
It will be used as a back splash 
in the kitchen,
and as wall surrounds for the tubs.

The "old pantry" has now been 
framed in for the new laundry space.

The kitchen has a new sub floor installed.

The wall around the upstairs tub 
has been replaced.
The wall at the foot of the tub,
next to the window,
was bare brick 
when I arrived Saturday morning.
It has now been covered with sheet rock.

So, things are moving along.
Daisy and I discovered this blooming bush
at the back of the property 
during one of our breaks.
Anyone have any idea what it is?
It is lovely...
as are all the forward steps made 
in the past week!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

What a Difference a Week Can Make!

I closed a week ago (Monday) on my new home.
My contractor had his crew in the next day
and started the renovations.
I had to go out of town for a long weekend,
so on my way back home today,
I made a detour to see what has happened since.

All the "stomp" ceilings have been covered with sheet rock.

This is the downstairs bedroom, 
which will become my workroom.
This room's ceiling had already been done.
I will be removing the wall paper and painting,
and the carpet will be removed.
So this is one of the easier rooms.

Remember the kitchen from last week?
Totally gutted today.
I hope to get the cabinets ordered tomorrow.
The contractor says they will take about three weeks 
to arrive.

I show you this picture because it represents
a little structural change.
This was a door, off the kitchen,
for the pantry.
It will be closed off.

Around the corner,
in the hallway,
a new doorway has been framed
into the same pantry space.
It will become home to a 
stack able washer and dryer.

A fiberglass wall around the 
downstairs bath has been removed.
This will be tiled.

The upstairs bathroom has been gutted,
except for the tub and toilet,
which I am keeping.
This room will have a pretty
extensive update.
There will be a wall between
the toilet and tub,
in order to install a shower.
The plumbing for the tub 
was in the center of the room
because the other end
butts up against a solid masonry wall,
so there was no way to reposition
the plumbing.

Upstairs bedroom, which will become mine.
Note the smoothed out ceilings!

The guest bedroom with it's new ceiling too!
You cannot imagine how happy I am
to have those old ceilings gone!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Look What I Bought Today!!!

Or, changes are coming!

I have just  embarked upon a new adventure!

I have lived in my present home for 11 years, 
and pretty much loved every moment of it.
I shared this house with my sister Nancy
until she moved out a year ago.
(She has moved six hours away 
to become a care giver for
our mother who has dementia.)

During this year of living alone 
I have contemplated what I want to do
with myself for the next phase of my life.

What has become clear to me is
that I do not want to continue to live
in this house alone.
It's really too large for me to 
maintain by myself and after
sharing it so happily with Nancy,
it just seems too empty without her. 

So I began looking in a neighboring town,
which was actually "home" before coming 
to my present location.
It seemed to be where I wanted to settle.
I have many good and long time friends there,
and I am familiar with the town.
So, at the beginning of the year
I started my new home search.

I got very lucky and found the cute 
Cape Cod above quite quickly.
So January and February have been busy
putting its purchase into motion.
I closed on it today.

This does not mean I will be moving quickly.
It needs LOTS of work.
I am lucky that the 
contractor I hoped to work with can 
start on the renovations this week.
 I am contemplating being moved by Fall.

I am hoping this renovation "adventure"
will be a bit of a kickstart for my blog, 
which sadly has been neglected for a while.
 I am sharing some of the house's 
interior pictures below.
Hopefully you will follow along
as I make the house into a "silk purse!"
(I am using some of the realtor's listing pictures
since I haven't taken many yet.)

Good bones, but in dire need of TLC, right?
Changes to be made are 
*a new kitchen
*total redo of the upstairs bathroom
*cosmetic redo of downstairs bathroom
*textured ceilings GONE
*crown molding added to several rooms
*all carpet gone
*all wallpaper gone
*completely repainted
*floors refinished

I expect the next few months will be busy
since I am going to be the 
wallpaper stripper and painter,
to help defray some of the 
renovation expense.
I will also be getting my 
present house on the market fairly soon
and will start the packing up process 
as time allows.

 I hope to use my blog
to journal about the renovation.
I hope you'll come back often
and watch my progress!

Oh, and icing on the cake,
my daughter Kate came home for a weekend visit
and went to the closing with me.
Afterward I was able to show her my
"new house!"

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