Friday, January 30, 2015

Here's Mud in YOUR EYE...

And you hair, face, and all over your clothes!  The offending bucket of MUD! It was not too hard to get inside I did use the van's doggie ramp, rolled it down and let it land on the hand truck and rolled it inside! We women gotta use more brain since we have less muscle!! :o) Look how much I've already used!! I don't have a Hawk (one of those flat boards) so I just scoop out a good sized glob into a smaller bucket..

I watched a lot of you tubes the pros start off with a 4 inch knife for first layer it dries & you sand it, then a 6 inch knife, let it dry sand it, and then a 12" knife...I did none of here is my knife collection...
I realized if I put a glob of mud 4 inches wide in the center of the 8 inch knife it works best and on the second layer I put a 6 inch wide glob...and the last one,  my final coat will be 8 inches!  I was about ready to throw in the trowel after 4 days with no progress...but today I feel I can DO THIS! I've got one layer on each seam!! And I've got all the screw holes filled.  It will be many more days till its finished!! OH wanted to share this photo of the second French door in place..I finished that project up the week before the sheetrocking party....I ordered new hardware for it cause somewhere along the way this door lost its original lock set, this is called a Mortise lock set and I got the rubbed bronze finish it matches my others...

Here's how the 2 doors look in place you have to look beyond all the stuff in the way--the dishwasher and stove are still in the living room, and the fridge is on the porch ONE DAY tho...I think that white trim board to the left of the Fireplace is not straight I may have to remove it and straighten it up..hmmm.

I want an old barn beam for the mantle IF that arson hadn't burnt the old house down that was nearby grrr!

SO that's the work I did this week...we put the dry wall up last Saturday and now its a week into the taping and I made progress!!  Check this out...I really was surprised to see this poking up through the brown leaves...SPRING is on the way!!

It was a lovely day here a bit windy and I'm sure I'll have a ton and a half of dead fall to pick up but look at the beautiful clouds!

To all the football watchers hope you win!!


Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Things are Looking ^ UP ^

Toward the ceiling that is...

The sheetrock is up now its up to me to try and tape and mud it!  Can I say a big thank you to my Sister and her Husband for helping me gets this photos of the process only the results And the shots I did take are not so good!! I will take more as I get the taping going...

 Ceiling Before--was tile with 4 inch batons
  (And that is an indoor wind chime I always enjoyed hearing it when the ceiling fan was on!  I'm considering NOT putting a ceiling fan back up  WWYD about that?)
(tip: to move a heavy sofa, lay a blanket on the floor or plastic if you have carpet, and tip it over on its back or up on end, now one person can easily slide it around)

with batons and some tile removed the two ceilings are the same level...there used to be a wall here it was removed in 1977

took 12 sheets of Dry Wall or Sheet Rock as I call it..this is a really awful photo at end of this job the day was cloudy so we had harsh work lights aimed up and my hands were so totally in pain I could hardly hold up my camera without trembling

I will finish around the attic stairway once its replaced with a new one this is the death trap that tried to kill me!!  My Brother in Law has offered to help install a new one IT will be metal no wood to break under the unsuspecting...I priced them its about $179.00 well worth it!!  I really want to be one of the people who drags this monster to the trash pile.

I drew those arrows on the wall to help us locate the wood underneath it was a big help too!! Once the seams are taped, mud has been applied 3 coats (recommended) then I can put the crown molding back up, prime and paint!  I saved it all and wrote the location of each piece on the back to make it easier to put back up!  Meanwhile I've been watching you tubes on the correct way to mud drywall...holy cow~its one messy job I can say that much!!

Other ceiling work that got accomplished this past week took place in the new entry foyer which is the old laundry room!  The overhead light was this old porcelain light bulb holder - in another very old board and baton ceiling!

2 screws hold it up there...removed it and I had to mark where the new fixture would sit and cut away the batons to allow the fixture to sit flush against the I used my new oscillating saw for that its one the handiest tools I've ever owned!! Next of course is to connects black and white using electric screw nuts and  install the new fixture...(I picked up at habitat store)...using two longer screws to connect to the overhead electrical metal box....I am a big fan of saving the environment by cutting back on electric usage but these squirrely bulbs are not my favorites--I did put it back in, but I don't like them!

I know I have to paint in there but I can use the blue painters tape prior to paint I may even spray the antique gold finish to an aged bronze, my new favorite metal finish, also can do that while its up with taping it off  next I put on this awesome glass cover I also found at Habitat for $1. Its from the mid century of when this house was built...I love it ...there is no power on in this house just now so I'll have to test it later!!

I have another one of these old porcelain fixtures to replace in the small sun room...not sure what's going up in there yet!  SO I gotta get busy sitting in my van is a bucket of dry wall mud that weights 63 lbs...first I have to figure out how in the {H} I'm gonna get it out and into the house without help...I have one of those rolling hand trucks I think its gonna be called into service today!! Im thinking a ramp to slide it down out of the van the one I built for my dogs to use....
 The sun is out and guess what ..I hear John Wayne again....
Daylights A Burn'n

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Saturday, January 24, 2015


Why is it so hard to get anything done these days??


Okay I've been trying to get someone to repair that section of roof on the project house where a leak was continuing around the chimney...for a year! 
the yukky leak mess
I even went up myself and gave it a try it actually worked for a while then drip drip drip it returned.. so last summer...
I called the fellow who built the room addition  I added when I moved back here from NYC, I figured he knew me, I knew him, paid him 15-$Grand for the work he did for me, he never even returned my call! (was I that hard to work for?) I saw him in Lowes not that long ago he smiled and asked how I was I wanted to say, "why didn't you return my call?"  Since I'm pretty socially inept I could have pulled it off but decided against it.
Several weeks later...
 I knew this guy I went to school with was a handy man/carpenter so I called him he came out gave me an estimate of $400 to redo the flashing around the chimney and replace the damaged shingles about a 3 foot section... he would come do it a week later,
never showed! 
several weeks after that....
I called a guy listed in the phone book he sounded asleep when he answered at 10 am--ALL I could hear was John Wayne in my head saying "daylights a burning,"   He promised to call me back and set up a time to come look, never did....crash n burn that one.
then a dry spell in the weather so it went on the back burner...

few weeks ago; I called this roofing company...they said they would call me next day-- they didn't --3 days later they called...they would send a guy at 6:30 am? Excuse me its dark at 6:30 am--okay he will come at 3:30 in the afternoon.  He showed up at 5:30 right before the sun set! He reeked of cigarette smoke, and my clothes had more paint and dirt on than his.... he had a clipboard and a tape measure with him. He measured, figured, and then came up with the price of 


This is a 10 x 10 foot section of the roof....They might get to it in a month and it will take an entire day with 3 guys working...he said: 2 squares of shingles would cost me $500.00??? Are they made out of Spun GOLD...I'm a regular in Lowes...I see all sorts of building supplies each week when I go to get the materials for my projects I have never in all my born days seen shingles that cost $250.00 a square!! (a square is 100 sq ft) where is this price coming from????
It's the "stick it to the unsuspecting lady price" uh huh....
He gave me the speech about being licensed bonded yada yada yada.. he wants half up front deposit!! I look THEM up on the web that night there was 4 complaints with the BBB (better business bureau) against them..okay not going in that direction!  START 0VER!

I saw a truck at a stop light, Vadal Roofing.  A Mexicanish looking young man ...hmmmm 
I jotted down the number, I called next day..a heavy Spanish accent legal/illegal?..I don't know! I set up an appointment for 10:30 am he shows on time he has no clipboard...he was wearing those mirror glasses---- I see me when I look at him..his Ingles' very broken...I explain I want that section about a 10 x 10 ft area completely re-roofed the chimney flashed all the way around and the neighboring section has to have some new shingles woven in where the chimney sits cause its leaking on all 4 sides!...

I have MY ladder in place its been there for months as I kept worrying about the condition of that area of the roof..he readjusts my ladder shows me how its in the wrong position to be safe...up he goes like a rabbit I swear he had his hands in his pockets, so nimble so quick I knew in a moment it must be St Nick? Up on the Roof there arose such a clatter....that is what came to my 

He pulled out his phone and started to play with it...wth?  Climbs back down and says "I can do the flash, this section, 30 yr shingle, take me 6 hrs for $550." His phone is also a calculator, and camera he took photos of each thing he spoke about...and explained to me what he would do....oh now I see why he had  his phone out...high tech roofer!--

"When can you do it?"
 He says" FRIDAY" (this was on Monday)
I ask, "you want money up front?"
He says "NO" 
I say DO IT..he writes the estimate gives me a copy and his business card! On it is Vidal Roofing And General Contracting, Licensed and Bonded In this area 14 years

Friday 9:30 am he arrived, he has 2 helpers and a trailer full of materials, they get busy he speaks to his crew in Spanish, they are polite, quiet, they work steady non stop, they don't smoke, they clean up completely, in 5 hrs they are done he comes with his phone in hand shows me photos of each stage of the work they did...the job looks good he says I should have no more problems!
I pay the man!! They close and lock the gate on their way out!

Rained all day yesterday NO LEAKS!! :0)   Here is the new roof section----with the snazzy flashing! 

He told me I may get 2 more years out of the rest of the old roof but this section here is 30 yrs good to go!! I'll be 92 and it won't be my problem!  He said he would work with me and divide the roof into sections and I can do it section by section as I can afford it...just call him when I want to go with that's how I like to do business!

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Some Birds on the Way to Lowes!!

The sun came out finally---for a few days anyways I had to make a trip to Lowes to get stuff for more projects.....but all this work is getting to I stopped at a park to see what birds were hanging around...

Eastern Phoebe

This phoebe was busy catching flies just above the surface of the small stream that cuts through this park.. Next up was this portly American Robin!

this Red Bellied Woodpecker was really upside down..

and I didnt know Goldfinch loved to eat the seed in these sycamore  balls they were all over these trees...

they dangled,



and contemplated the next move!

 jumping from one ball to the next!

On the way back home I stopped by the corn corn this time of year but it looks pretty in its winter colors..

and then this afternoon we had a lovely sunset!! 

the best way to end a peaceful day!!

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Open Concept kinda...

Im about ready to install that second french door in real time..but

Meanwhile...another project I've worked on and was on hold is now beginning to move all started here in the before shot IT is this wall that separates the dining room from the kitchen! An awkward entrance from the back porch you turn immediately to your right and enter via this doorway (FAR left corner) ..the first french door I refinished used to be here in this you see there was upper cabinets and the dishwasher and one base unit was under those and the little breakfast bar was angled in here.. the chandelier is in the dining room.
The purpose of this project is to give a more open concept and create  better traffic flow.

the french door, the bar, dishwasher and cabinets removed...that butterscotch door is the rear entry off the screen porch but in reality its the main entrance since the front of this house faces the property NOT the road..or parking area you drive up and enter the rear of the house longgg story.  I have made a lot of change to give better curb appeal to the rear entrance which is the front yes its backasswards. 

SO I wanted to change this up---with a more open concept and move the entrance  straight into the dining room.  Now the back door (butterscotch  with doggie door) used to open directly into the laundry room and I never liked that so the plan was this 
  1. remove the laundry machines---Done
  2. repair water damaged subfloor----Done
  3. remove the plumbing, pipes, etc --------Done
    (I watched a You Tube on how to "sweat copper" pipe and I cut the pipes and put caps on 'em!) everything I needed to do this job was in the old tool shed! Its a treasure trove of 38 yrs of collecting tools, gadgets, and the coffee cans of  "stuff" that every DIY'er accumulates over the years! I had the lead free solder, the flux, flux brush, the soldering torch, the sanding tool, all I had to buy was the brass caps got a pack of 5 for a couple $$ dollars. 
This is where the machines were...on this wall...Gone!! (still have not decided on where the laundry will now be :0/ BUT I'm sure it will come to me soon!  This foyer is about 5 x 10 ft.  

So now the entrance comes into a foyer/mud room and then into the dining room... This is a great spot for a coat rack a bench to sit down and put on shoes, and a place to stash keys and cell phones by the door! 

this will be painted when the room gets painted.The paneling will be painted... it kinda gives the appearance of bead board once its painted...this room will not get hardwood it will get Laminate floor...the door is too low to use the 1/2 thick plank and due to the doggie door being cut so low in the back door (my x did that) I cant trim any off the length....and  a new door  is NOT in the budget!! The thin laminate will have to do. AND the right turn doorway was closed up on both sides.

Next step to better traffic flow is to...

5.  Cut a new opening through the dining room wall!-----Done
you need a saws-all to do this! 
that shelf unit holds my tools and stuff so I can be somewhat organized on my job site! (its a complete mess right LOL) I see a ceiling fan on the top shelf so that's where that fan ended up if only I could find that pair of lost door hinges~

I used the trim that I took off the walk through.  Nothing is going to waste the trim was reused around this new opening it matches what is in the rest of the house..the half way paneling is staying, it sort of ties the panel room to the dining.
Here is this opening from the other side the entrance/foyer side...I used some of the 1 x 4's taken off the ceiling to make trim for this door embellished it with some of those cute bulls eye wood discs on the upper corners.

To continue with open concept in that kitchen wall the old door entry was closed up..AND the wall where the overhead cabinets were was cut through to give more light and the header over the walk through to the dining room was removed up to the ceiling to give the room the appearance of more space and height...the old ceiling tiles have been removed and the kitchen and living room will get new sheetrock ceilings, the tile ceiling in the dining room may get sheet rocked too not sure yet depends on the budget IT did have a leak and some tiles were removed and I HOPE the roof will be repaired soon it has been very hard to get a roofer to do that job for me!! Ive had at least 4 promises and NONE have come to do the work!! Estimates have ranged form $1470.00 to $400...wth? The header is gone, the pass thru has been opened up...

and the old doorway closed off with sheetrock and...

the studs cut off outta the pass through..

from the other side standing in the new doorway.

the pass through was NOT what I wanted but this was a load bearing wall and I couldnt do a big heavy in the future if my son wants to go that route I've done half the work for him!

My sister and BIL are coming on Saturday and we plan to sheetrock the ceiling so another update is on the way!!  then I can finish trimming out this new  walk through, and start on the kitchen.....These changes are giving a more open floor plan and hopefully not taking away form the charm of the 1950's house...
It seems to be never ending---

OH there's lots more to come!!!


Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


I'm not much on getting out in cold weather we have an Arctic Blast on the way our low tonight is expected to be 14! Homeless shelters are open and the cots are ready...meanwhile since I'm not outside with my camera right now..I'll show you another project I've worked on last fall...

I didn't really take many "before" photos of this area because I had started moving things around but here is a kinda shot of the floor in the kitchen...lower left of this photo

Make notice in this shot above the right of the was once a window, then became a shelf unit, and you saw I've turned it into a french door opening...(my last post) see how much light it brings in? And that's the other french door (open) I told you  it would  be stripped and put back in this same spot..I'm planning to start that project later this week if the Lord is willin' and the creeks don't rise lol. 

now let me update you on the history of this house.  It was built in the 1950's as best we know, it was located on the West end of 1977 we purchased this house it was slated to be demolished because a Wendy's Restaurant purchased the lot it was on. We knew about the house because My MOM had been renting it!! So this house has a long history with our family.  We moved it 18 miles! NOT us but a house moving company..My husband and I removed some walls and did a 1970's this kitchen floor was vinyl, and under that another layer of vinyl, then a layer of 12 in" tile and under that a layer of 1/4" underlayment and UNDER that some old red linoleum AND under that pine wood floor planks! DO any of you watch Nicole Curtis's show Rehab Addict? Well its her fault I decided to take all that stuff off the kitchen floor and make it a wood floor again...BUT when I took up that last layer of 50's red linoleum there was this black paper backing stuck to the floor its not just paper it had like a tar paper backing! UGGHHH I guess that is how they made it water proof!

In this photo you can see the breakfast bar and the dishwasher and a floor cabinet have been removed...and all the vinyl, tile, underlayment, and linoleum, GONE! And you see the black mess! It wouldn't sweep off, it wouldn't scrape off, thought of blasting it off with  TNT finally realized it could be sanded off!! hooray.

So I sanded 1 sq ft or so... each day for about 6 weeks!

and finally it was all removed  So I learned about sandpaper...36 grit is what I used to cut this with its the toughest grit I could buy for my 3 x 21 sander a belt the higher the number of sand paper the finer job it will do..lower the number the tougher it is.  So now you know too in case you didn't!!


It was a hard job!! THE Hardest part for me was wearing that darn dust mask....I do not like to use one but absolutely had glasses fog up while Im wearing this type mask...

I will rent one of those big drum sanders and run it over all the floors in the main area probably use an 80 grit first then a 100 grit to give A fine finish TO all the floors and finish them at the same time so it will be one of the last projects to get done!  If you recall long back I posted about the work on the dining room floor..blogged about it in Jan of 2013 its about the same condition as this floor and I put in a new floor in that little sun room I'm currently working when it all comes together will sand the wood to about the same tones all over....As you can see there was an old chimney flu in this area, and a wall with doorway...I had to fill in wood to close that in.. stole that out of the BATHROOM  it was pine wood too...but that's another post! 

I didn't have refurbish an 1800 sq ft  house mostly alone on my bucket list...but looks like it has moved to the top of the list!  Tomorrow I'll tune into the Rehab Addict to see what she is up to now! She has a crew that does her work when she is off camera...I can only imagine  what a luxury that must be!