Sunday, January 24, 2010

One painted lady...

Ever since clearing out the dining room for New Years, Marisa got into painting the 1st floor ceiling and crown molding full force. Some of the improvements included replacing the broken bottle light with a new one, and finally covering the water stain with a`fresh coat of paint.

Ferris and I helped by staying out of the way.

There is more work to come in the next few weeks, with the mason coming back to touch up some bricks and mortar work, as well as the electrician to set up the cable outlet in the living room as well as add an exterior light at the rear door. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Thinking back over the year, we've actually done more work than we realize on the house. The "To-Do" list never seems to get any shorter so it isn't obvious I guess.
Back in September, I extended the basement shelves, bringing them all the way to the back of the house. Big Steve would have been horrified by my methods! I cannot cut a straight line even with a chalk line. I failed to put in as much support as he did on the shelves themselves (didn't realize that till they were already installed. But mine seem to be holding up just fine!). I also let them free float rather than anchoring them to the ceiling. But the craziest part was installing them. I very carefully used the level and measured the length of each support...once the bottom shelf is installed and level, theoretically, the supports up from there should all be equivalent lengths, right? WRONG! They were all different! I kept thinking "this can't be right". Measure twice, cut once I did and weirdly, the multiple height supports resulted in level shelves. I still don't know why it worked but it did!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sabbatical ends...

It is safe to say we accomplished nothing on our house over the course of the summer. With winter approaching, we figured now was as good as time as any to get moving on some projects.

This weekend, our focus was on the vestibule and basement. After peeling two layers of vinyl tile, we were left with an ugly layer of VCT, but it should work as a sub-floor for new ceramic tile.

The second project was to get the basement walls sealed, but after doing one wall, the sealant fumes spread into both neighbors' houses and left all of us with a bad headache. We halted work until we can find a better alternative to the low-grade Depot stuff. We may also need some expert masonry work too.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Patio in full bloom

My last post on the patio staining was pretty vague, but a couple of friends have asked how hard of a process it was. Looking at the pictures you can decide for yourself:

One indifferent wife

One post-op dog

Actually two buckets of Behr Semi-Transparent stain colored for Terra Cotta using a roller got the job done in a couple of hours, and most of that was time for drying between hosing the concrete off, the first coat, then the second coat. It looked pretty ugly after the first coat, but the guy at the Depot told us it would.

After we brought everything back into the patio, I noticed our container plantings were looking really good this summer.

I am most impressed with the cactus I took off the hands of my neighbor. I wasn't sure what to expect, but give it a couple of weeks in direct sun and check out the difference.

Basic green and blah

Now flowering and thriving

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Eventually #2 wins

From our last post, we took advantage of Sunday's sunny weather to tackle project #2. What was a gray, cold rear patio was transformed into something warm and welcoming. How do you think it turned out?

Friday, May 22, 2009

What will it be? Cast your vote!

Ok, we have a long weekend in town and Marisa and I have several projects we "could" tackle this weekend, but we need your help. Vote for the project you'd like to see get compelted:

1. Build a second set of shelves in the basement.
2. Stain the back patio concrete.
3. Install a new door bell.
4. Seal and paint the basement walls.
5. Install the cable outlet box in the living room.
6. Sit out back and drink cocktails all weekend.

Please don't vote for #6. We'll most likely do that with or without your vote.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


See this

Apparently having your gas feed from the main run through your neighbor's house is not a good idea. BGE proposed installing a new main and new meter. See old meter below.

A simple request to be at home at 8:30 AM today has turned into a day-long absence from work and this mess...

The crews aren't too happy. I don't know why they act like I built the house. They underestimated how deep the main gas line will be. The project will require them to come back tomorrow but I already notified Marisa it's her shift to cover.