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Showing posts from August, 2011

Waiting For Irene

I'm definitely not in a panic, but I can't imagine living in Hurricane Lane and dealing with this every year!  So, time to batten down the hatches.  Here's pretty much the extent of my preparations:

1.  Putting together an emergency kit.  Water, batteries, flashlights, and getting the old portable short wave radio out.

2.  Filling the bathtub with water tomorrow just in case we have floods.

3.  Topping off the gas tanks in both cars.

4.  Putting down the storm windows.

5.  Going around the yard and putting away anything that could fly around (you know - flower pots, bird houses, trash cans...).

6.  We only had water in the basement once, and that was due to city lines being overwhelmed.  They're predicting 7-10" of rain, so gonna go through the basement and make sure anything of value is off the floor.  My air compressor immediately comes to mind! 

There you have it.  I'll probably think of some other things, but for now this is it.  To those of you in the d…

Hanging a Valance (I always break into "The Man Who Shot..."

A good friend of mine made this super valance for the back porch, and I love it!  It really adds that finishing touch that I've felt the porch was missing.  (Ha!  At this rate I don't think the words "finish" and "porch" go together!)


I put a lot of thought into how to hang the valance.  I thought about rods, cables, bars, staples (yup - it was a thought).  Then I saw this picture at Fresh Art Photography  and loved the simplicity.  

I guess my thought was that my porch is just that - a porch.  It functions as a mud room, and it's out primary entrance (I could count on one hand the number of times I've walked through the front porch door!).  I really wanted something simple, and at the same time I certainly didn't want ugly!  This is what I did:


(I really need to get a "real" camera!)  I put nails over the window trim, and hung the valance using curtain rings with clips.  That's it...simple and we love the look.  We also experimen…

Kitchen Help Wanted!

For 14 long years we've suffered with one of the most outdated kitchens left in America.  No, really - I mean that!  It's not just hyperbole!  Anyway, like I've mentioned in a previous post or two, it's time to start addressing this issue.  Yaaay!  Wait, wait, wait - don't get too excited yet.  I'm still in the "thinking-about-how-to-go-about-the-whole-thing" stage.  I read a lot of great blogs, and watch all kinds of shows on HGTV, and they all make it look so easy.  Heck, on HGTV these people have new kitchens in an hour - and that includes commercials!
I'm really not procrastinating here.  I need to plan, mull, plan, fret, plan, understand, fret, plan before I can really dig in.  And that's where YOU come in!  With all the great bloggers out there - could, or better yet, would any of you care to share a simple step-by-step?  I don't mean the details, just the logical steps to get from beginning to end.  Here's what I know so far...
1.…

Retro Project - Garden Bench (From Leftovers!)

I'm in a hotel for the week.  Nope!  Not vacation.  I have one of those jobs that takes me out of town on occasion.  It's not a bad gig at all, but really - there's no place like home!  So, I'm sitting here in a small town, in a major chain hotel (which shall remain nameless because it's really run down), and I thought this was a good time to post another Retro Project...you know - a project I did some time ago, before blogs!
Today, it's a garden bench.  Several years ago we re-did the fence.  As with all projects, there was leftover material, and we're all about using stuff up!  One day we were at a nursery looking for some perennials and maybe a tree when we saw a gorgeous, simple garden bench.  After asking the manager of the nursery permission (so as not to look like a lunatic) I pulled out pen, paper and a tape measure and started making a diagram.  Using nothing but leftover lumber, this is what came about:

Okay, I know the finials may be a little ki…

Even More Door Stuff AND I Made the Reading List!

It's incredible to me how many little things go in to simply changing the color of the back door.  Here's the list (for crying-out-loud) SO FAR:

1.  Strip the door
2.  Make my own window stop for step #3
3.  Replace glass broken during step #1
4.  Prime the door
5.  Paint said door
6.  Touch up paint removed because I keep doing something wrong with the painter's tape
7.  Notice how bad the hardware looks - remove, strip, prime and paint, re-install hardware

Then today:
8.  Notice that the door sweep and the weather stripping looks horrible, so replace weather stripping.

Now, step #8 wasn't difficult at all, and the results made a fantastic difference, but - I can't get over the fact that I keep running into more things to do with the door!  Good Grief!  It's time to move on already!

A couple things I learned about weather stripping the door:

1.  It's REALLY easy - took less than 45 minutes.
2.  It comes in colors other than just aluminum!  I went with oil …

Punch List - Back Door Hardware

Snow day!  No, it didn't snow in August (although it wouldn't surprise all the "Global Warming" folks out there), "snow day" is what I call those even semi-unanticipated days off, like waking up in the morning in 2nd grade and finding school's been cancelled because of the 11" of the wonderful white stuff!  I hadn't planned any projects for today, but something's been buggin' me all week. After stripping and painting the back door, the handle and lock looked a mess...




Part of the problem was - they were simply old and worn.  The other part was that I'm just a horrible painter! When I stripped and primed the door, I didn't remove the hardware because it was old and I was afraid I'd never be able to get it back on properly (experience is a hard teacher!).  So this is how it turned out...

So this morning, I measured the hardware and - off to Home Depot!  I looked around for a new plate and door handle, and considered a new lock.…

The Back Door - The (next to) Last!

It really seems insane that the transformation of a back door would require this many posts.  I thought about that for a few minutes before sitting down to write, and I think I know what it is - it's NOT that it was such a complicated job, no.  It's that yours truly isn't patient enough to wait 'til it's all over to post something about it! As a result - the (next to) last Back Door post.  (There'll be one more just because I'm contemplating one more thing.)

So when we last left the back door, it was primed and looking like this:


So we decided to paint the door while on the hinges.  I know, I know, not best practice...but it was a rainy day and I just wanted this thing done!  So we got it all taped up.  One note here - the more I use painter's tape, the more I realize I'm doing something wrong, or it's just not what it's cracked up to be.  Every time I've ever used it, it pulled paint off the project (in this case the door) and I had to …

The Back Door - Part Two

Finally the humidity has let up and, luckily, I had the day off today!  So I took the back door out to the car port and got to work.  The first job today was to sand the whole thing down


Then I used one of those small rollers and primed:

Then I had to replace one of the window panes I broke while stripping the door.  I went to the local hardware store, but they didn't carry 1/4" thick glass (I had no idea door glass was so thick, although it makes sense!), so I had to go to a local glass place (I guess it's a store, but I never think of places like this as stores).  The guy at the hardware store told me to bring my first born child and my best car because 1/4" thick glass was expensive.  But, as it turns out, it only cost $9!  The problem was though - while attempting to remove the glass, I broke one of the window stops, so I had to fabricate my own.  It wasn't that big a deal, I just ran some decorative base molding through the table saw and - wallah!  Window st…

I've Stalled...But In The Meantime!

Heat + humidity + me = not a whole heckuvalotta work getting done.  In the humidity I worry about the paint on the back door drying properly - so finishing that project is on hold for right now (although I do have a plan!).  The porch roofs need either painting or replacing.  I like the replacement option just because what's up there now is soooo old!  Gotta get the estimates in.

Then there's the windows in the upstairs.  Several of them need to be re-glazed and the insides re-polyed, I'll get to that really soon, but right now I'm mulling over what to do about the stain color.  More on that when the time comes.

I also want to put a new roof on the car port, but I'm thinking we'll have to take our chances for this winter.  So there's LOTS of work to get done, maybe I should use some of the really hot and humid days to make a priority list!

So, a little crippled by the weather, but the granddaughter of the folks who owned 173 before us, has been sending some…