Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Attic Archaeology

 I've always said my favorite thing in the house was the banister.
Every time I walk up the steps, 
I think about how many hands must have slide along the railing.
 When we tore down the walls that separated the upstairs from the downstairs
into apartments, 
we discovered that the end of the railing had been sawed off.
It was rather depressing, 
more so when we were told it would cost around $400 
to have that section replaced.
 So we slapped a piece of wood on the end to keep every thing as stable as possible.
Rummaging in the attic,
I found one of the missing spindles in a box.
I thought for sure I'd find the piece of the missing railing too.
But Big E said that was unlikely, 
and in my rummaging, we didn't find it or the other spindle.
So just this past Monday, the day after Christmas,
Big E finally installed a second light in the attic.
He too rummaged around, but didn't find anything.
Then yesterday evening, 
I went up to the attic in search of a door for the old kitchen.
There are several old storm windows, 
old fashioned window screens, 
old windows and old doors
piled on one side of the attic.
Armed with a measuring tape, I was determined to find the door for the room
that was once the upstairs apartment's kitchen.
I had to move all of the windows and lean them against the chimney.
Once I did that, I saw that there were some panes of glass
with something under them.
I couldn't quite tell what it was, but at the same time, 
my brain was registering that it was something to get excited about.
 It was the missing railing piece!
I can't even begin to describe the excitement about finding this.
Plus, I also found the other missing spindle.
While it has been sawed, 
beat up, 
and missing about a 2 inch chunk,
I definitely want it reattached.
The abuse it has suffered only adds to its story.
I can not wait to have it back to its original glory.
there were a couple other finds in the attic too.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Winterizing the Coop

Tuesday I finally managed to get the chicken coop 
ready for winter.
I had already put the heated waterer in the coop, 
but I hadn't managed to get the plastic sheeting up.
With a deep freeze forecasted for today and tomorrow, 
it was important to get the run covered.
I left some areas open to offer some ventilation,
and to allow the chickens to see out.
If there is a bad storm forecasted or some seriously cold weather,
I'll cover up these areas temporarily.
I only have 2 chickens left, 
so they don't have the ability to generate as much warmth
as, say, 10 chickens.

This is the only pullet I have left from the 4 I ordered online.
She ended up pecking her fellow pullet coop mate to death.
It seems that my Jersey Giant hen was preventing 
the two pullets from getting to the food.
I've named this pullet Donner.
I'm not going to bother with any more baby chicks.
I'm just waiting for April to roll around so I can head out to the Poultry Swap
and grab some more pullets ready for the coop.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Secret Project: The Upstairs Bathroom

The following photos are the before shots
of the upstairs bathroom.
This is our only working bathroom while the downstairs bathroom 
gets gutted and remodeled.
The bathroom is ugly.
It's ugly, and it seems like it isn't clean, 
though I assure you it is, 
and that means it's a huge embarrassment when people need to use it.
So I came up with the idea to paint the paneling.
I met resistance from Big E, but he eventually gave in.
He didn't agree with me, he just accepted I was doing it either way.
The bathroom has the exact same formica on the walls
that is on the kitchen counter and backsplash.
And one of the previous tenants used that plastic window film
to winterize the windows, 
but they left the sticky strip of double sided tape behind.
It actually came off pretty easy with some scraping with a putty knife
and a little Goo Gone.
The room looked better just removing that old yellowed tape.
Afterwards, I washed down the walls with just some warm soapy water-
just using a little Dawn dish soap, nothing chemical.
Then I had to use medium grit sand paper to knock the shine off the paneling, 
and then use a damp rag to wipe the dust off the walls.

You can't see in these photos, 
but the wall inside the shower is actually damaged from the water.
That's what happens when you put paneling inside a shower.
(you an see that the tile doesn't go all the way up the wall)

Then I used a kitchen and bath primer to prime all the walls.
It took 2 coats to get really good coverage.

The room really brightened up and looked 100 times better
just with the primer!
The primer also covered the areas of damaged paneling.
I'm not sure how it will hold up with the water from the shower,
but it's still better than it was.
Big E grudgingly admitted it was an improvement.
Now he wants to paint the ceiling too.
I picked a peachy color for the walls.
These photos don't really do the color justice 
because the lighting isn't the best.
It took 2 coats of paint to get the best coverage for the paint.
I washed the mini blinds off in the tub with some warm water
and a little soap which cleaned them up pretty good.
I also got a new shower curtain to match the new walls.
Big E isn't a fan of the shower curtain, 
he thinks it's too psychedelic.
 But he also didn't think painting the bathroom was a good idea either.
The last thing I wanted to point out was 
the watercolor painting hanging on the wall.
It was painted by my very talented cousin for our grandmother.
The bathroom color was chosen to match this painting.
I think I chose well.
The bathroom turned out awesome if I say so myself.
I was unsure of the color once it was up, 
but it is actually exactly what I was looking for.
It makes the bathroom feel bright, warm and cheery.
The cost break down is:
Gallon of Primer- $20
Gallon of Paint- $15
Shower Curtain- $15
Picture Frame- $15
For a total cost of $65.00
I didn't go with the expensive paint because this room will be demoed in the future, 
I just wanted a quick fix to make it less embarrassing. 
I think I totally accomplished the goal.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Updates and a Secret Experimental Project

Lots has been going on the past 2 weeks.
My grandson turned 3 and we're hosting a birthday party
this coming weekend.
That means the "honey-do" list gets kicked into high gear.
Big E and I managed to take a large brush pile
to the local mulching plant.
That frees up a parking space
not to mention the yard looks a lot nicer now.
Big E has also hooked up the light in the dining room, 
so now we can see in there past 5:00pm.
I'm finishing up the Christmas decorating,
and I've started another project I'm hoping will be finished Thursday night.
During work on my secret project, 
I discovered that the upstairs bathroom was once painted a lovely pepto bismal pink.
That's only slightly uglier than the shiny speckled wall paneling.
Stay tuned for the updates on my secret.