27 December 2006

We're IN!

Moved today - All basic necessities are in the house, and no luxuries.

That means we're without cable or internet access, so expect few or no updates for the next week or two, and then lots of them.

See you next year!

25 December 2006

It's always something

Oh, yes, before I forget, Happy Christmas.

We got the bedroom painted last night - well, sort of. We went into this week with the attitude that we'd get the house ready enough to "not get paint on the furniture or plaster dust in the food," as I said elsewhere. The bedroom is painted on all the walls that would be impossible or highly inconvenient to paint with the Great Bed* in the room. That leaves out the end of teh room where we still need to buy another can of spackle to level out the difference between the old closet, the patch where the ex-wall was and the bedroom walls. It's a nice soft, restful cloud grey, and I felt calmer just being in there while we painted it, or that could have been the fumes.

The ceiling isn't painted, but that's not just because of the strip of unfinished patching (though the rest of the ceiling is solid now, after we patched 1908039794856289 nail holes from the removal of the pasteboard tiles). It's also because, if we cannot get it satisfactorily smooth (which is unlikely just now), we're going to paper it with a grey and white marble-pattern paper and just go with it. I know, I know - people who paper ceilings to cover problems are evil. I should know. But it'll be a lot easier to paper than paint the ceiling after the big bed's in there - it makes fabulous scaffolding. And we have to live there, too. So that's my defense.

Here's the Cool Original Detail, before painting over:

It was a simple frieze of wreaths with ribbons, stencilled on the original thin layer of ocher yellow paint (probably milk paint), in green and russet. It was about 14 inches high.

Detail shot:

It's pretty, and it was a real pity to paint it over. At least we were able to document it.

Handy Tip For the Day:
Bicycle handgrips, applied to the non-business end of a paint roller pole really help with control when using it at full length. And you can't drop them paint roller downward when you're up on a ladder...

And now, to this week's installment of "I Thought We Bought That!" : We went to put the outlet plates on in the kitchen and discovered that we had somehow bought three times as many double outlet plates as we needed, and only one box of single plates. Which are all gone, having been installed elsewhere in the house, I guess.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? I bought the outlet plates, and I distinctly recall buying the right number of everything. Well, back to the home store we go. Next week. Or sometime. We've got bigger fish to fry right now.

But our bathroom looks beautiful! Of course, I didn't take any pictures of that...

24 December 2006

a quick note

I'm clearly psychic - here we go to work on the house.

But first, a progress report.

To do today(aka pre-move-in "must-do" list):
  1. patch holes in bedroom ceiling
  2. paint bedroom walls
  3. paint rest of unpainted kitchen wall
  4. put moldings and put down quarter-round in bedroom
  5. change lightbulb in hallway
  6. fix kitchen sink cabinet drawers (if we have time)

In other news:
  • Bathroom is done!
  • Living room is done!
  • Major repairs in dining room are ... done!

We also got the fancy fake part of the beam up over the ugly, real, structural beam, in the dining room. We might even get the panelling and trim up in the dining room bay by new years eve.

Wow, optimism is weird.

We're not even going to talk about the back porch or the dressing room for now. They can wait.

22 December 2006


We are within days of move in -the moving van comes on Wednesday-, and my heart goes pitty-pat, but not in anticipation.

It's stress. And possibly fear.

Read my wailing lament:
We have a huge pile -or two- of salvaged lumber that has to go to the basement, another pile of demoed plaster the size of a live bear, an accumulation of trash on the back porch that I have no clue what to do with (we have no trash service at this time, or trashcans, for that matter), and 3 rooms that MUST be painted prior to move-in (bath, master bedroom and kitchen). I'm sure there's more, but my brain is being kind and refusing to allow me to recall it.

On the positive side, where I'm focusing my energy to stay sane, we have all but completed the bath - it just needs paint, installing the glass shelves (6) and remounting of the light fixture and shower rod, and we're ready to go. The master bedroom is really almost done, we're stripping the last of the wallpaper today, and we discovered a Cool Original Detail under the last stretch of paper at the top of the room - a stenciled frieze of wreaths. The dining room ceiling is closed, if not pretty, and most of the wiring is really done. I got the kitchen cleaned up last night, in prep for painting and move-in.

The hardest thing, right now, is not doing the things that can wait right now - the frieze paper in the dining room, the desk in my son's room, the window-seats, the kitchen faucet. The only optional thing I did was spend a whopping 20 bucks on some cheap xmas stuff and we put a tiny, pathetic tree up. It's only 3 feet tall and looks overpowered by one string of lights and 18 ornaments.

I so desperately want to build those window seats. And do all the other things we must wait on. There is simply too much else to do.

So, we are only taking off Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and maybe not even Christmas Eve.

10 December 2006

Grout and About

We've taken a hill, in our overall battle for the house. It took us nearly all night, but we stand atop this rise and can see the remaining ground ahead. We're that much closer to being able to move in, because, really, a functional bathroom is an admittedly necessary thing. Almost as much as heat.

After much trial and tribulation (every battery for the two drills was in need of charging, we had to mix the grout partially by hand, and really, where do you stand when sponging a floor you just grouted?), we finally finished grouting the bathroom at 1 am. We also finished the plumbing - almost. The toilet works, the sink works (after a last minute mad dash to Lowe's, an hour away, last night), even most of the plumbing involved with the bath itself is functional. However, there is, as anyone else who also chose the self-punishing road of home renovation will expect to hear, one part missing. That one part, typically, is something Utterly Crucial, i.e, the threaded connector that serves to attach the tub faucet to the otherwise hideous and unattractive pipe.

At this point, we now have all the necessary things done. Much of what's left to do can be worked on after we move in, if need be. We are, realistically, two workdays (paint, plaster, tape and spackle, and maybe stripping the rest of the bedroom walls), and a cleanup day away from moving in. Christmas is now a realistic goal.

We find out next week when Chris goes. I hope we do get moved in before then.

08 December 2006


That pretty much covers it. We got to be warm today, while working on the dining room and bath, on one of the coldest days on record in the past couple of years.

We couldn't see it, but it was the same as if we had completed something visible.

06 December 2006

Scraping, Scraping, Scraping

The master bedroom is nearly denuded of its many layers of Vile Old Paper. Some of it, say, the gray-and-pearl stripe with its coordinating ceiling paper and edgings, was okay (not my taste, but tolerable), but others were emphatically NOT. Let's just say that I really don't think that Mrs. Songer (2nd owner of the home, from whose life most of the wallpapers date - the renters in the 40's may have papered too, but the Whites mostly painted, before the panelling went up) and I would have agreed on any decorating decisions. I am especially unfond of the mint-icecream colored floral stripe dating from the 1930's and its posy borders. Made me feel like I was in a perfume box, just looking at it, and I reminded myself that it was the choice of an older widowed lady.

I still like the ochre that the Wolfes painted the bedrooms originally, even if it also covers the ceiling, making it an oppressive color choice. I liked their paper in the dining room and hallway. We're not going with that color scheme, though. The bedroom will be gray, a soft, cloudlike, cool gray, with a coordinating sandtexture painted ceiling and a blue stripe at wallpaper-border level around the room.

We are returning to the Hell of Vile Paper Shreds momentarily, to continue our labors. Surely we must have painted over old wallpaper in some past life to have earned this suffering. O! See How I Lament! Perhaps if I do enough of this in this life, I will never have to do it again.

My happy place for this work is the vision of the soft grey room in which I will sleep, in our overpoweringly large bed with its new curtains. So calming. Our bed really isn't quite so large, but it's close enough to pretend that we have that bed.

Also, the heat isn't on yet. We wanted to get the soaking and scraping done with first, before we dry out the house too much. Hurrah for wrongheaded prioritizing!

05 December 2006

Amazing Progress, Due to Unbearable Pressure

As everyone knows, we are under a lot of pressure around here to get done and moved in as soon as possible. So, with that bearing down upon us, (and the help of our dear friends) we have made some progress.

Thanks to J, the furnace is on a real electrical line (meaning, of course, the electric pilot sparker and the thermostat line), and most of the heat vents have now been vacuumed. The rest will be cleaned out tomorrow, and then the intake filter will get cleaned and we can throw the switch, turn on the gas, light the pilots and work in a warm house. We also magically have lights in the kitchen, with a bonus lightswitch!

The dining room bay has been reframed (where necessary), insulated (Hurrah! now the heat won't be sent directly out of the house from the vents in the bay!), and sheetrocked. It looks astonishingly civilized, barring the untaped seams.

The last remains of the old, nonfunctional, passthrough closet in the master bedroom were demo'd out, and the floor given a temporary patchjob. Relaying the boards and refinishing can wait, honestly. We have a nice seagrass rug I intend to tack down over the ugliness. All that remains in there is to remove Far Too Much Wallpaper, patching where that pesky wall was torn out, painting, and replacing the mouldings. We are now, as of tonight, properly armed with a scoring tool and more blades for the scraper, and I expect to be doing battle with the Powers Of Evil (six layers of old paper with two layers of paint) by Thursday.

The bathroom isn't any closer than last reported, but we did buy the rest of the tile, and found out how to return the extra. How did we end up with nearly 10 extra linear feet of edging tile? You tell me. The math checks out, but I must have overbought. Oh, and we did buy more grout, just in case. We can return that too, if we have to.

Yet to do, and urgently needed, is the ripping out and replacement of the hopelessly fractured dining room ceiling plaster. In addition to the quarter of it that has already fallen away, leaving a breathtaking view of the attic through the exposed lath, there is a large section - say 1/3 - that is partially keyed, but hanging onto lath that has almost entirely separated from the beams down the center of the room. This problem was made worse (as was to be expected) by our re-squaring of the dining room when we added the support posts a couple of months ago. The plaster's not salvageable in the time we have, so it must go. We have already purchased the drywall, and we have a plan of action that includes saving as much as possible of the original plaster, even giving our pressing schedule.

I still need to scrape, patch and paint the West wall of the kitchen, and re-engineer the sink cabinet drawers and doors, but mostly, the kitchen is at a "usable" stage, once the gas is on. There's stuff to do, but it's little stuff, by comparison.

I think we might just get moved in before Chris goes. This is my driving force, to have our home be our home, even for a little while, before he is gone for so long.

No pictures today, and probably not for a few days. The work is more important than the talking about it, but I promise to keep y'all posted on progress, even if it's short.

18 November 2006

Thank You

I'd like to thank the folks at Houseblogs.net and Bearfort Lodge for their support.

However, as Bearfort Lodge says, please don't just think of us. There must be more families like us, trying to build or rebuild homes and lives while loved ones are deployed (or keeping going after they've lost someone). Blue Star Mothers and Fisher House are good places to start, or just go directly to military families in your community and offer to help out, if you can. More resources are here.

And, also, don't forget people who have lost homes and family members to disasters or accidents. These people are also in our communities. Need is everywhere. Every little bit helps, and being good neighbors is the very best place to start. Please visit Habitat for Humanity and Modest Needs, or ask your church or local community groups where you can be of service.

Thanks from us and ours, again. The world may be smaller, but that just means our neighborhood gets bigger every day. I have some of the best neighbors in the world, and I mean that. That goes to my local community, too - if I could pick a place to be alone while my husband is overseas, this is a great place to do it.

17 November 2006

Making Myself a Blue Star Flag

Big changes lie ahead. Delays, maybe, and certainly scary times. I am consumed by hopes and fears, and distracted from concern about our house.

My husband (former USMC) has been asked to return to Active Duty. He is going to go. We've discussed it, and I understand his reasons. If I couldn't cope with this possibility, I would have run screaming when he asked me out. It's my job to stand by him, keep the family together, and make sure he's got a home to come home to. It's my job to be strong so he can be strong.

It's going to put a cramp in our working on the house, but right now, that's the least of our problems, and at the same time the biggest. We're living with my mom right now, and working on our house just down the road, so we have a place to live, but our house isn't yet livable. I want to be *in* the house before he is gone, I want ... more time.

There's so much I want to say that's just not appropriate for this venue. Much of it is layers of emotion that's got no place in trying to prepare for this. All the personal stuff just keeps bubbling to the surface, as I write, and interrupting me. And there are things that keep coming into my head that I don't want to write because of what they might mean.

I wrote a post over at houseblogs.net asking if there were any other people trying to fix up a house with a deployed spouse, and I've had an amazing outpouring of support. It honestly floored me. I also have just realized that I have an online acquaintance who is going through exactly this, though she doesn't have the added wrinkle of kids. Her husband has been deployed 3 times (or is it 4?). She asked if I knew of anyplace to get a nice Blue Star Flag - I didn't. I'd been trying to figure out how to ask her.

I think, now, that I'm going to make her one, when I make mine.

09 November 2006

Inching Towards a Usable Bathroom

Today, I got the last of the whole tiles up on the bathroom walls, discovering along the way that I had somehow purchased 1 box less of the white/blue tile than I thought. Fortunately, it is identical, save for the color of the accent tiles, to the floor tiles, so I spent an extra hour yanking tiny, sharp-edged, square, black tiles off of sheets of tile to finish the wall, and hunting up every single blue tile that had not yet been split, to fill in the gaps.

SO, now we need to go buy about 10 square feet of tile to finish (that's 20 bucks for this stuff, thank goodness). I cannibalized the floor to rough out the wall, and we still need more itty-bitty blue tiles to finish the wall tiling to a groutable stage. Oh, and probably another 2 bags of grout.

But it's almost a bathroom.

31 October 2006

This is Halloween, here at Vintage House

BabyJ wasn't anything. He's only 4 months old, can't have candy, and really doesn't care yet. I'm too covered with paint and babygurp to care either. FX, on the other hand, decided he was going to be ...

Bob The Builder! Complete with itty bitty toolbelt (not ittybitty enough, actually - it fell off three or four times today), hardhat, and toolbox. Oh, and phone. That sticky foam is some nifty stuff (what, you thought I'd not DIY my son's costume? I can't even leave my house alone. Come on.)

Mom declared a First Toolbelt to be a Very Important Milestone. Pictures were duly taken.

I decided it was time he had his own toolbox, mostly full of pretend tools, but also including a REAL level and measuring tape. ValdeMart has some great play tools, so we got him a couple of sets. You know, for variety.

And also probably because Chris and I like to buy tools...

What? Everybody needs four hammers.

23 October 2006

More silliness and a resource referral

Now the house has low self esteem. [falls on floor laughing] I suppose I can see why, but she's really getting much prettier, even with the incompleted remodelling. I am reminded of the old Rejuvenation ads that had a little label inside a heating register that said "Oh, Thank goodness you are here! The last owners had TERRIBLE taste!" or something to that effect.

Okay, to get back on subject, I am begging, really begging you to buy something from these people. I ask because I've been bugging them with questions about their books and they've been lovely about answering, but it's just not in my budget to get the book(s) I want these days.

I'm just hoping they are still doing this one when I have the money, oh, and this and this and this...

Silly Google!

This week, my house apparently has an eating disorder. All the ads are for eating disorder help information, or live-in clinics.

I know she's ugly, but we love her anyway. And she gets better every day.

This would be less funny if some of the links weren't misspelled: "Balemia?" What's that? Fear of eating baleen? And "bilimia" just sounds .. ew. Bile. Yuck.

16 October 2006


"PrognostiKote: the Paint that Knows the Future!" comes from a commercial I saw in one of my house dreams the other night. I also had a dream about the wallpaper layers. Hundreds of them, that came off in unstained, wall-size sheets. I'm no sure if that was a nightmare or not. No more spicy foods before bed for me.

I swear my house is trying to get me to come back and work on it - I wish I could! I have too much else to do right now, so the Halloween deadline has gone right out the window. It's Thanksgiving, now.

I just want to live in my house. Is that too much to ask?

08 October 2006

More tile!

I spent several hours in the bathroom yesterday, and we are now at 75% tiled. I had to go back to mom's to feed the wee one, or I'd have kept going.

The end is distantly in sight.

04 October 2006

Reading: Plus ça Change...

Houseblogging isn't new. It's just the medium that's new. Writing humorous (or simply sarcastic) essays about attempting to do things has been around for ages.

Last night I read a short essay entitled Down With the Restoration! about how sickening those perfect-scenario remodelling articles can be. It was written by S.J. Perelman in the 1930's. Another piece of his that I highly recommend is Insert Flap A and Throw Away, about trying to build something from a kit.

This morning I was talking to my mom about it, and she suggested I read Please Don't Eat the Dasies, which is (unlike the film) actually mostly about the Jean Kerr's life in her enormous rambling house, while they are renovating it. It's from the 1950's. Of couse, now that I'm intrigued, we can't find our copy.

Any other recommended readings about living with any sort of restroation or DIY? I'm now dying to know if there's more.

25 September 2006

Advice for the Sticky Tile Questioner

Sweetie, your email bounced, so I'm making the reply a post!

Sticky tiles on counter as a temporary face lift atop hideous old Formica until real money/real remodelling comes along:
I've done this in my mom's kitchen and mine (both are temporary!!! and will need to be replaced in a few years), and for both projects I used the stone-textured tiles that are fairly rigid. They cut with a razor knife, just like the thinner/cheaper ones, but take a bit more effort (and a straight edge - like a counter top edge- to snap them over) to snap.

Teh best advice I can give is to make sure your counter is CLEAN and smooth (I had to mount that molding on the edge and shim underneath to make my 3 independent counter sections contiguous and smooth enough to tile). The tiles will stick best to Formica if it's not bubbled, chipped or damaged. If the counter is damaged/chipped/has an uneven surface, ask the floor guy at the hardware store for advice on picking out a floor levelling compound. Don't tell him why, though, or he'll try to sell you a new counter.

I don't really recommend this for covering any other counter surface, like wood, ceramic tile (if it's really ugly, get it refinished instead, or if the grout is bad, clean it up and re grout it.), or bare particleboard. If it's wood, you'll get weird water damage issues, and that is a whole other kettle of fish.

Things I've learned about non-standard uses for sticky-tiles:

  • Don't use sticky tiles on vertical surfaces unless there is something supporting them from the bottom (like mouldings), unless you want to have to go back and glue them in place with E-6000 in 3-6 months (or on any hot day). My mom has a few vertically placed tiles that slipped for 2 reasons (no primer and no support) which we have had to re-mount. All the tiles on my walls in my kitchen that I was lazy about (i.e. walked away from the job half-finished because I've been really ADD about this house) and did not support with mouldings have slipped because the house wasn't air-conditioned this summer, and I have to re-mount them when I get the mouldings put up. The ones that were supported are fine.

  • If you do have to remount, use E-6000. It works really well. Spread it thin. If the tile is reluctant to be remounted, tape it up with masking tape while you wait for it to set. Alternatively, use a contact-type cement (whatever type you are comfortable with).

  • If you put tiles on vertical surfaces, use the thinner/cheaper kinds of tile (heavier tiles will slip even if the adhesive is good), but don't go with a discount brand, as the adhesive is different and not as secure. I'd avoid them for any surface or use, really, as they tend to slip or peel up no matter what.

  • ALWAYS use the latex surface primer for applying sticky tile, as it really improves the adhesion.

Okay, now to paint choices for cabinets:

My cabinets are steel 1950's cabinets. Paint choices for these don't necessarily apply to wood or melamine cabinets. If you have non-metal cabinets ask someone at the paint store for advice. There are special paints for melamine, for example.

I used appliance epoxy spray paint for the doors, except for the red ones. I'm not very happy with how the red ones turned out and may take them down and re-paint them with a different, more durable, even paint. What I used was regular safety red (fire engine red) spray paint, and I'm probably going to re-do them with tractor spray paint (not as good for my purposes as appliance epoxy, but comes in more colors).

The matte black paint on the cabinets is brush- or roll-on chalkboard paint, and it comes in a can, which was necessary as I wasn't going to be able to move the cabinets outside to repaint them (when they come down, they're going AWAY and period-appropriate ones are going up in their places). I just took the drawers and doors out for painting in the contrast colors. I understand that you can use this paint in nearly any surface as long as it's prepared correctly, which means sanding it smooth (but not too smooth), filling any dents, and re sanding to smooth it and allow the paint to stick properly (that's a from-memory summary of the surface prep instructions on the can). I used 3 coats, waiting until each coat was dry before putting up the next. It can cover in one coat, but I have kids, and wanted the surface to be durable. 1 quart did all my cabinets and left me enough to do part of the wall for another chalkboard.

If you have an old appliance (like a stove or fridge) that is chipped or in a weird color, appliance epoxy is the stuff you need to refinish it. However, stoves require high-temp paint on the cooking surface, and that comes only in matte black, silver, white and cream, so keep that in mind when you are planning to refinish one, and figure out how you want the overall look to work before you buy paint.

Now, I shall return to feeling sorry for myself about my apparent ear infection.

19 September 2006

How We Came to Rootabaga Country

As a little girl in coastal California, I fell in love with Carl Sandburg's Rootabaga Stories. I loved the open plains dotted with little towns, full to the brim with fields of corn and wheat and beans and squash, with barefooted children in overalls running home from school to help with harvest. I loved the magic of that wonderful fairytale land, with its oddly named towns and strangely named people. The funny stories as well as the sad ones have resonated with me in a way I can't even really express. I've been dreaming of this place that was like Oz, but more real, nearly my entire life.

Four years ago, my mom bought a house in southern Illinois, which is also called "Egypt" for its grainbasket reputation (and possibly where that famous term -too rude to mention here- for the middle of nowhere originated). We're from here, semi-originally (at least since the middle of the 19th century), and Mom has always wanted to move back to where her mom grew up. So she did - she fixed up and sold our little farm on the Mendocino coast, packed up everything and trucked it across the country, doing it all ourselves, because we are those sort of people.

Mom's house is a massive, crumbling pile of bricks, surrounded by trees, on the edge of a town with a name that's truly unique - it was named after a town in Scotland, but we spell it differently. There is no other town with this exact name, and the whole place is full of towns with odd names: names of foods, names of people, grand and ambitious names, and names that seem like they were just nicknames for a spot in the road until someone painted a sign to hang on the way into town. This end of the state has a couple of big interstates, but mostly it is cobwebbed with tiny rural highways, graveled roads, narrow cuts that were clearly made for a Model T to pass another Model T, and you sometimes feel that you are goign back in time as you drive down a little road with a cornfield on one side and little green hill with a little white frame house on the other.

Two years ago, we moved here. I loved the snow in winter, the silence of it as it fell on everything like an insulating blanket. I was enchanted by the burgeoning life of spring, little frogs leaping in the growing grass and the awakening of the bees. Then we suffered through an oppressive humid summer accompanied by the stressful yet lazy songs of cicadas, and went on into a changeable autumn, not unlike this one, that runs hot to cold, punctuated by rainstorms that blot out everything around us.

There is so much green here, so much life, it is like places farther down the great rivers, but not so dripping with sweat. This country is all about the growing of things, and a little of the taking of things out of the ground. It's slow and quiet, gentle and neighborly. No high-speed city life is here - you have to drive to St. Louis for that, as well as any unusual shopping needs. The fastest, or slowest, thing around here is often the train.

A few weeks ago, I realized I had come to Rootabaga Country, or a part of it, or somewhere nearby. I think it might have been when I was working on the historical society website, organizing hundreds of old photos in the archive, and I found myself staring into the faces those same little kids in their overalls, looking ready to run home to cut the corn down, or bring in the cows. It might have been when I walked my little boy to school along a gravelled drive for the first time.

Maybe it was really the day I saw the dragonflies dance in the fading autumn sunlight last year, or when I saw the bees break off to go somewhere new. It might have been the day I found a large praying mantis sitting neatly on my lampshade - they always sit neatly - delicately eating some little bug. Possibly it was the day I looked out the back to see the woodchucks - three of them - eating the fallen persimmons and apples in the grass. Or, really all of these things and many more.

I'm in love with this place. It's easily as magic as any I read about as a child, and the people, well, they aren't any less interesting or freindly.

I think we might stay.

18 September 2006

More Housestory

Here are some tidbits about the house's history. I searched the local paper summary, based on "Kate Songer," who was supposed to have bought the place in 1921. It's pretty thin until 1930, and after that it's mostly funerals:

5/15/1930: Seth Clark FOSTER of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, formerly of Kinmundy, was born near Kinmundy on Dec. 4, 1860. Early in life he entered the employment of the I.C.R.R. and was station agent at Kinmundy at the time of his removal to Oklahoma where since 1903 has made his home. On Aug. 29, 1886, he married Miss Anna FENSTER of Kinmundy, and they had 1 daughter, Mary Edna. A sister, Amanda FOSTER, and a brother, Willis ROSE, also survive. The funeral was conducted at the home of Mrs. Kate SONGER, sister of Mrs. FOSTER, where her mother, Mrs. R.H. FENSTER also resides. Interment in Evergreen Cemetery.

10/13/1932: Nelson Hawley LINGENFELTER was born March 13, 1867 in Albion, Ill, son of Rev. and Mrs. V.D. LINGENFELTER. When he was 5 years old the family moved to Kinmundy, where his father was pastor of the local M.E. Church. He completed his studies at McKendree College, and having learned the printing trade, he returned to Kinmundy and purchased "The Kinmundy Express", bringing his father and mother with him. In 1895, he married Jennie Belle FENSTER, daughter of the late George and Mrs. FENSTER and the following year, Launce was born. 3 years later, their twins, Charles and Roy were born, but Charles died a few days later. After residing a short time in St. Louis and Memphis, Nelson moved his family to Oklahoma City, Okla., and associated with the Daily Oklahoman in 1901. He also served in the newspaper business in Sioux City, Iowa, and Frederick, N.C. He died in Charlotte, N.C. on Oct. 4, and the body was accompanied to this city by Mrs. LINGENFELTER and his son Roy. The funeral was held at the home of his sister-in-law, Mrs. Kate L. SONGER, and interment was in Evergreen Cemetery. He is survived by a widow; 2 sons, Roy of Charlotte, N.C., and Launce and wife, Elaine, of Omaha, Neb.; 3 sisters, Mrs. Belle BEACH of Gozales, Texas; Mrs. Josephine WILLIAMS of Richmond, Mo.; and Mrs. Hattie ORGAN of Chicago.

10/10/1935: Mrs. Rachel FENSTER died Oct. 4, 1935. Rachel H. CURTIS was born in Waverly, Ohio, on June 22, 1844, where she spent her childhood and young girlhood. On May 22, 1862, Miss CURTIS married Gotleib FENSTER, and they were married for 48 years. This was a happy marriage but at the commencement of the Civil War, the couple was separated for 4 years. Soon after the war, Mr. and Mrs. FENSTER came to Kinmundy where they have lived, Mr. FENSTER until his passing April 16, 1910, and Mrs. FENSTER until Friday. They had 7 children: William G., died in infancy; Anne E. FOSTER of Oklahoma City, Okla.; Mary GRAY of Weleetka, Oklahoma; Jennie LINGENFELTER of Kinmundy; Charles C. FENSTER of Oklahoma City, Okla.; Kate L. SONGER of Kinmundy; and Roy FENSTER of Champaign, Ill. There are 5 grandchildren: Miss Edna FOSTER of Oklahoma City, Okla.; Mrs. Gail GRAY DUBIE of Tulsa, Okla.; L.M. LINGENFELTER of Omaha, Neb.; R.C. LINGENFELTER of Detroit, Mich.; and Mrs. Zelma FENSTER HALEY of Houston, Texas. There are 2 great-grandchildren. Since Mr. FENSTER’s death, Mrs. FENSTER has made her home with Mrs. SONGER, and the past 3 years Mrs. LINGENFELTER has been with them. Services were held from the SONGER home with interment in Evergreen Cemetery.

2/13/1936: [yay! NOT a funeral!] Miss Audrey DUNCAN and Robert MOATS were moved Feb. 1 at the First Methodist Church in Champaign. Attendants were Miss Dorothy DUNCAN, sister of bride and Robert ARMSTRONG. The bride is daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert DUNCAN of Sandoval, and the groom is son of Rev. and Mrs. Ira MOATS of Maquon. Mrs. MOATS attended Kinmundy school, the school her mother, then Forrest WOOLLEY attended, while living with her aunt, Mrs. Kate L. SONGER. Mrs. MOATS has lived in Champaign with an aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Roy FENSTER.

4/15/1937: [also not a funeral]- Mrs. Anna FOSTER and daughter, Miss Edna, of Oklahoma City, Okla. arrived in Kinmundy Saturday. They will make their home with Mrs. FOSTER’s sisters, Mrs. Kate L. SONGER and Mrs. Nelson LINGENFELTER. Kinmundy is Mrs. FOSTER’s girlhood home, and where she lived for a number of years after she was married.

5/19/1938: [Another death. Poor Kate seems to have spent a good deal of her life taking care of ill and dying relatives.]- Charles C. FENSTER died at the home of his sister, Mrs. Kate L. SONGER, May 17, after an illness of several weeks. He was 65 years, 3 months, and 20 days. Services were held from the SONGER home this afternoon with interment in Evergreen Cemetery.

5/26/1938: Charles Curtis FENSTER was born on a farm near Kinmundy on Jan. 27, 1873, and died May 17, 1938. He married Miss Mae BRENNER on June 8, 1897, and they had 1 daughter, Zelma. They made their home in this city until 1903 when they moved to Oklahoma City, where he lived until recently, having spent the past year in the home of his brother, Roy, in Champaign. He became ill in January and came to Kinmundy 5 weeks ago. He leaves a wife and daughter, Zelma, now Mrs. Joe HALEY, of Houston, Texas; 3 sisters of Kinmundy; 1 sister of Weleetka, Oklahoma; and 1 brother of Champaign, Ill. Services were held at the SONGER home with interment in Evergreen Cemetery.

9/22/1938: Mr. Launce LINGENFELTER died at his home in Champaign, Sept. 16, 1938. He was born in Kinmundy, Sept. 12, 1896, son of the late Nelson and Jennie LINGENFELTER, nee FENSTER. In early childhood, his parents moved from Kinmundy, but his frequent visits to this, his birthplace, to visit his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Gotlieb FENSTER, now deceased, and his aunt, Mrs. Fred S. SONGER, have made him quite well known here. He was married to Miss Eulaine WEST of Fort Worth, Texas on Dec. 2, 1928. Besides his wife and son, Danny, he leaves his mother, Mrs. Nelson LINGENFELTER of Kinmundy, his brother, Roy LINGENFELTER of Cleveland, Ohio, an uncle, Roy FENSTER of Champaign, and aunts, Mrs. Edward GRAY of Weleeka, Okla., and Mesdames Seth FOSTER and Fred S. SONGER of Kinmundy. Mr. LINGENFELTER was a member of the Christian Science Church. The burial service was conducted by Mrs. Melvin B. ROGERS, a Christian Science Reader from Champaign, at the home of Mrs. SONGER. Interment was made in Evergreen Cemetery. A list was included of those traveling from a distance.

11/26/1942: - Mrs. Kate SONGER suffered another stroke Monday. [I hope she had someone to care for her like she cared for everyone else.]

5/6/1943: - Mrs. Annie FOSTER passed her 80th birthday May 4 in the home of her sister, Mrs. Kate SONGER. Due to the serious illness of Mrs. SONGER, the day was spent very quietly. Most of Mrs. FOSTER’s life has been spent in Oklahoma City, OK., but for the past 6 years, she has made her home here. [Looks like her older sister cared for her. That's good.]

5/20/1943: - Mrs. Kate SONGER died at her home here Saturday after an illness of several months duration, aged 67 years, 6 months, 6 days. Services were held from the home with interment in Evergreen Cemetery. Katherine Louise, daughter of Gotlieb and Rachel FENSTER, was born in Kinmundy, 1 of 7 children. The parents; 3 brothers, William Grant, Charles and Roy; and 1 sister, Mary (Mrs. Ed GRAY), have preceded her in death. She was married to Dr. Frederick S. SONGER on Dec. 7, 1903, and he died July 4, 1919. She was a member of the Easter Star and White Shrine. She is survived by 2 sisters, Anna (Mrs. Seth FOSTER), and Jennie (Mrs. Nelson LINGENFELTER), both of Kinmundy; 3 nieces, Miss Edna FOSTER, St. Louis, Mrs. Paul DUBIE, Tulsa, Okla.; and Mrs. Joel HALEY, Houston, Texas; 1 nephew, Roy LINGENFELTER, Kinmundy.

4/20/1944: The names of the following will be included in the next call from this county: Carroll Wayne GARRETT, Glen Charles WHITE and Gilbert Lowe DOOLEN. [I don't know if the Whites had bought the house yet]

6/1945: - Mr. and Mrs. Glen WHITE have a son, David Chester, born in Centralia last Friday. The WHITEs now have 3 boys. [I still don't know if they owned the house yet or not]

11/21/1946: Miss Anna SUKUPCHACK, daughter of Paul SUKUPCHACK of Benton Harbor, Mich., and Merle JACKSON, son of Mr. and Mrs. A.J. JACKSON, were married in the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in East Chicago, Ind. on Nov. 18. They were attended by Miss Mary SUKUPCHACK and John J. VANA, of Chicago, both cousins of the bride. The bride is a graduate of the Twin City Business College of Benton Harbor, Mich. Since her graduation, she has been employed by the State of Michigan at Lansing. The groom is a graduate of the local high school with the class of ‘30. Soon after his graduation, he entered the service station business, which business he still has. He entered the service on April 17, 1941, and was discharged Nov. 4, 1945, after spending several months overseas It was while he was stationed at Fort Custer, Mich., that he met the bride. They couple will make their home on the LINGENFELTER property for the time being. {These are the first renters! I wonder if they were renting at the time the White family bought the place?]

I'll keep you posted as I find more.


Instead of working on the house itself today, I worked on learning more of its story. I'm assembling quite a picture of its history and the lives of the people who lived here. It's amazing how much more real a place seems, how much richer, when you know about its "life."

I went to the tax office and asked about records on the house, and while what they had was a single sheet of manila from when the records had been standardized in the 1970's, that single sheet had a 30 year old photo of the house stapled to it.

Look! There is a vent gable on the front, just like I thought. And look at the gentle, highly Craftsman-style curves on those beams on the porch. Sigh. I must figure a way to copy that in my makeover of the porch.

Unfortunately, they also have its build date at 1925, which isn't possible (see below), and I suspect that's actually the year the parcel was split into 2 parcels, when the house was sold. I'm going to go down later and bug them about the old records (probably on microfilm, and maybe in Springfield -ack-) maybe I can get my hands on something more concrete.

I also have the following statement, from the notebooks of the late owner (my neighbor's mother)comments [in brackets] are mine, spelling and formatting are hers:
Edith Heppe [of] Centralia, IL }cousin of Glen's [Glen is my neighbor's late father] This is Dudie and Ellis Wolfe's daughter. She is a sister to Marceline Wolfe Williams, wife to Eddie Williams of Champaign (They are freinds of Elwyn Cheatums){visited in Kinmundy April 21 1994. Ellis Wolfe built the house we now live in (it is a Sears Pre Cut). They sold it to Kate Songer. Her nephew afer her death sold the house to us. We then rented it to Ann and Merle Jackson, then to Trickey (who was manager of Ill. Brokerage in Salem).

When Chuck graduated in May of 1950, we moved in and have lived here since. We later sold the house next door [apparently they owned both addresses?] to Dave and Sue and they tore it down and built the home they now live in [it was apparently in very poor condition and very tiny] Chuck graduated from high school in 1950, Jim from middle school in 1950, and Dave was 5 and a half years old.

Dudie Wolfe was a sister of Johnny Nelms. Her real name was Allie(?) Nelms. She was a relative of Grandma Sarah White, grandmother of Glen.

Edith Wolfe Hepp was Dudie and Ellis' daughter. She lived in Centralia.

Interesting, no? There's more. If I may interest you in some tidbits about the family that built it, from our local paper:

11/2/1905: Advertisement: Get Ready for Winter! If you have not bought that Heating Stove, Range or Cook Stove. Everything in Hardware. TOMLINSON & WOLFE. [I think this was where Ellis worked, as the partners are elsewhere described as "our enterprising young hardware men."]

8/23/1906: Two Electric Storms: This vicinity has been visited by two severe electrical storms, the first occurring last Friday and the last one Sunday. During Friday’s storm H.G. LACEY, residing two miles east of town, had two good horses killed by lighting. A number of farmers report the loss of hay stacks. During Sunday’s storm, Theo. GARRETT, residing five miles west of town had a good horse killed, and Wm. C. THREEWITT of Meacham, also reports the loss of a good horse. In the vicinity of Farina and LaClede the wind did great damage to the orchards and the apples. In many orchards the fruit was estimated to be one-half destroyed. Sunday afternoon the farm house of William JONES, one mile south of Miletus, was struck by lightening to two places and considerable damage done, but fortunately the house did not catch on fire. Several young people of the neighborhood had gathered in this place to spend the afternoon and all received a shock and were knocked unconscious for a time, some being worse affected than other, but no one was seriously hurt. The residence of Ellis WOLFE, in this city, was in the way of the lighting and received a slight wound [I think this might have been another house]. Mrs. S.B. SARCHET received quite a severe shock which lasted for several minutes but she escaped without much injury only a bad scare. Taking everything into consideration, our city and citizens were very fortunate in escaping as luckily as we did.

4/4/1907: we discover that Mr. Wolfe was a Republican, as he ran for Town Collector (and lost).

6/6/1907: Firm Dissolved: The hardware firm of TOMLINSON & WOLFE have dissolved partnership and Mr. WOLFE has retired from the firm. Mr. TOMLINSON will continue the business at the old stand where he invites your patronage. [still not sure if this is the same Mr. Wolfe.]

1/21/1909: Advertisement: When in need of Nails, Bolts, Locks of all kinds, axes, hatchets, hammers, pocket knives, table cutlery, copper nickel plated ware, heating stoves, cook stoves, ranges, pumps, kitchen sinks, etc., etc. I’ll be glad to show you. Ellis WOLFE. [I guess it was teh same Mr. Wolfe!]

2/11/1909: - Fire Dept. Elects: A meeting of the members of the Kinmundy Volunteer Fire Department was held last Friday evening and the following officers were elected for the ensuing year: N.A. RICE - Chief; Ellis WOLFE - 1st Ass’t Chief; F.W. KILLIE - 2d Ass’t Chief; J.T. BROWN - Engine Foreman; W.H. STORRS - Ass’t Engine Foreman; C.F. PRUETT - Hose Captain; J.L. LASWELL - 1st Ass’t Hose Captain; G.M. NIRIDER - 2d Ass’t Hose Captain; F.E. NELMS, Marion BRANSON, F.O. GRISSOM - Ladder Man; F.O. GRISSOM - Sec. and Treas. The Treasurer’s report for the past year was read showing a balance on hand of $24.39. The 1st Assistant Chief was instructed two axes to be added to the engine equipment. On motion the department adjourned to meet on Friday night, Feb. 26, at which time all members are requested to be present.

8/24/1911: Ellis wolfe is listed as having a telephone, along with numerous others.

2/8/1912: Members of the Kinmundy Fire Dept. met last Friday in pursuant to a call by Chief C.F. PRUETT. The Annual Election of officers was held, and elected were: Geo. W. SNELLING, Chief; Ellis WOLFE, 1st Asst.; C.F. PRUETT, 2nd Asst.; J.L LASWELL, Hose Capt.; C.B. MENDENHALL, 1st Asst.; F.W. KILLIE, 2nd Asst.; G.M. NIRIDER, 3rd Asst.; F.E. NELMS, Ladder Captain; B.J. ROTAN, Asst.; J.T. BROWN, Engineman; Andrew JACKSON, Asst.; F.O. GRISSOM, Sec.-Treas.

4/25/1912: The Senior Play at GRAY’s Opera House; Wednesday, May 1st, Cupid at Vassar. A College Comedy in Four Acts. Cast of Characters; Myron ROSS, Clarence CONANT, Leon HANNA, Hugh SPENCER, Lauretta SCOTT, Elsie ROHRBOUGH, Josephine O’BRIEN, Ruby HULTS, Ruth DOOLEN, Vera BARGH, Bess BRYAN, Dorothy DOOLEN, Marcelline WOLFE. Doors Open 7:30. Curtain 8:30. Admission 25 cents. Children 12 years of age 15 cents.

9/5/1912: On Sunday afternoon, Sept. 1, 1912, at the home of the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ellis WOLFE in the presence of a few relatives and friends, occurred the marriage of their daughter, Marceline E. to Mr. Edwin D. WILLIAMS, of Terre Haute. At 2:30 o’clock the bride and groom attended by Miss Lois NELMS, of this city, and Mr. Arch MORROW, of Chicago entered the parlor to the strains of the wedding march played by Mrs. Frank DAVIS, where the beautiful ring ceremony was pronounced by Rev. R.D. WOODLEY of the First Methodist Church. After hearty congratulations the guest were invited to the dining room where delightful refreshments were served. The couple received many beautiful and useful presents. The bride is the oldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. WOLFE and enjoys a large circle of friends and acquaintances and is one of Kinmundy’s most highly respected young ladies; she will be greatly missed by her many friends and classmates. The groom is a young man of high, moral character, and holds a good position in the Auditing dept. of the Vandalia Line at Terre Haute; he has quite a large acquaintance here, especially among the young people. The happy couple departed Monday morning for Terre Haute where they will make their future home.

1/29/1914:- Mrs. Edwin WILLIAMS and babe of Terre Haute, are visiting here with her parents, Ellis WOLFE and family.

4/23/1914: In the school election Saturday, J.F. DONOVAN was elected president, and E.W. DOOLEN and I.D. INGRAM, members of the board. The hold-over members of the board are W.W. LOWE, W.H. GRAY, C.S. NEIL, and Ellis WOLFE.

12/19/1917: Mrs. Edwin WILLIAMS and little daughter, Valeda, of Pittsburg, Pa. are visiting here with her parents, Ellis WOLFE and family.

4/17/1921: Mrs. Ellis WOLFE and daughter, Edith, and mother, Mrs. NELMS left Monday for Centralia where they plan to make their home. Mr. WOLFE is employed there. [This is why I say it's impossible for the house to have been built in 1925. Why would they build a house here when they never again lived in Kinmundy?]

After this point, it's all news about the family, and none about the house.

6/8/1922: June 7th was the 78th birthday of Mrs. E.E. NELMS, former resident of our city now living in Centralia. There was a surprise given for her on June 4th at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Ellis WOLFE, of Centralia. All of her living children were there to give her a birthday surprise.

10/19/1922: Emma E. WINTERROWD was born in Shelbyville, Ind. on June 7, 1844, and died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Ellis WOLFE, in Centralia on Oct. 16, 1922. She married Anderson DEIWERT in early life and with her family she moved to Effingham, Ill. She married John T. NELMS, and they moved to Kinmundy in about 1870. He died Dec. 29, 1890. The children were raised in Kinmundy. When her health began to fail about 2 years ago, she made her home with her daughter, Mrs. Dudie WOLFE. She leaves her mother; Mrs. Ellis WOLFE of Centralia; 4 sons, Myron DEIWERT of Everett, Wash.; John H. NELMS of Kinmundy; Frank E. of Centralia; and Maurice B. of Hindsboro, Ill. Also 11 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren, and 2 brothers, L.H. WINTERROWD and E.A. WINTERROWD of Ennis, Texas; 3 sisters, Mrs. Nora RAMSEY, Mrs. Delia EVANS, and Mrs. Ella ADAMS. Services were held at the Christian Church here with burial in Evergreen Cemetery. [That's kind of sad, that her daughter gave her a party and six months later it's a funeral.]

8/7/1924: Last Monday evening, Miss Dorothy PRUETT married Dr. H.A. LANDESS, both of this city. Miss PRUETT and Dr. LANDESS were accompanied to Salem by Miss Edith WOLFE of Centralia, Mr. James MORGAN, and Mr. and Mrs. R.J. ANDREWS of this city. The marriage was performed at the M.E. parsonage in Salem. The bridal party was entertained afterwards at the home of Mr. and Mrs. John W. DOOLEN of that city. The bride is graduated from K.H.S. in ‘23, attended 1 semester at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind, and this spring attended S.I.N.U. at Carbondale. "Doc" is a popular young dentist in this city. Dr. LANDESS is the only son of Mrs. J.O. WILLSEY of Ashley, Ill. He graduated from St. Louis Washington Dental College in ‘23. The couple will make their home here.

8/27/1925: Swift School Items: A birthday party was held at Mark SWIFT’s for his birthday. Those present were: Otis CHARLTON and wife, Thurman McCULLEY and family, Jeffie McCULLEY and family, Ellis WOLFE and wife of Centralia, and Gerald STRONG, uncle and aunt of Champaign.

8/18/1932: A son was born to Mr. and Mrs. Edwin WILLIAMS on Aug. 11, weighing 8 lbs. The mother is formerly Miss Mercelline WOLF(sic).

2/28/1935: - Mr. and Mrs. Ellis WOLFE of Centralia, announce the marriage of their daughter, Miss Edythe (sic), to Mr. Rolland J. HEPP, which took place Feb. 20 at St. Mary’s Church in Centralia.

4/29/1937: Mr. and Mrs. John NELMS were host and hostess to the NELMS family Sunday in honor of Mr. NELMS brother and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Myron DEIWERT of Everett, Wash. The party attended the morning service at the Methodist Church after which dinner was served at the noon hour at the ARNOLD home. The afternoon was spent in the John NELMS’ home, where the family in jovial mood, with gay repartee and reminiscent stories, whiled away the hours. A number of years had passed since the brothers and sister, Mrs. Ellis WOLFE, had been together. In the family party were Mr. and Mrs. John NELMS, Mr. and Mrs. Myron DEIWERT, Mr. and Mrs. Frank NELMS, Mr. and Mrs. Maurice NELMS, Mr. and Mrs. Ellis WOLFE, of Centralia, and Mr. and Mrs. Lois NELMS ROBB and son, Howard.

4/27/1939: Mr. Ellis WOLFE, a former Kinmundian, has recently sold his tin shop in Centralia, and retired from the business world. He and Mrs. WOLFE are comfortably situated on their little farm south of Sandoval.

5/11/1939: Mrs. Edith SHULTZ, nee WOLF [Edith Wolfe Hepp must be named after this aunt], of Chicago, returned home Sunday after spending a few days with her cousin, Mrs. Florence SHRIVER. Mrs. SHULTZ, her brother and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Ellis WOLF of Centralia motored to Champaign Sunday to the home of Mr. and Mrs. WOLF’s son-in-law and daughter’s, Mr. and Mrs. Edward WILLIAMS, where they celebrated Mr. WOLF’s birthday at dinner.

5/7/1942: At the regular meeting of the Kinmundy Lodge A..F. & A.M., Ellis WOLFE was presented with a gold button signifying that he had been a Mason for 50 years.

3/18/1943: Mr. and Mrs. Ellis WOLFE of Sandoval spent Saturday here with Mr. and Mrs. J.H. NELMS. They just sold their property south of Sandoval and are looking for a new home. We tried to tell them there was only one place for them to locate and that was right here in Kinmundy. [these folks were obviously well loved here..]

6/17/1943: Mrs. Lois ROBB entertained to dinner, honoring her father, J.H. NELMS on his 75th birthday. Those present were Mr. and Mrs. J.H. NELMS, Mrs. Alma NELMS, Mrs. Hazel SEIMER, and Mr. and Mrs. Ellis WOLFE of Centralia.

I really hope I can find out more. The more I know, the more I want to know.

15 September 2006

I must be psychic.

Many months ago, I wrote this:

There's a sag in the diningroom, at the join between the bay and the original construction. Things Must Be Done About This, as it is just sort of hanging in space. I see beams in my future, and screwjacks, and pain.

Wow, was I ever right. Last night we pretty much rebuilt the dining room wall where it meets the bay addition. There were beams, and jacks, and pain. My back hurts, and I bet K's head hurts. The planned posts are in now, and the look as nice as I thought they might, even without the mouldings and with unfinished walls.

We used 2 boxes of screws, and we are going to use more when we finish the job. We spent 50 bucks on securing hardware to prevent wigglyness today.

As an aside, while I LOVE visiting the hardware store, I HATE how it eats up a whole day. I also hate how money flits swiftly from our wallets seemingly by our very presence in the store.

It's the price of our passion, I suppose. The house, she demands it, and we must obey.

Also, StuccoHouse noticed that we were mentioned in print. I am shocked, honestly, that anybody reads this at all. It's nice to know that somebody reads from time to time, but I've been just sort of madly raving into the ether for months now.

10 September 2006

Progressions, Plans and a Thing In The Attic

So, it's Autumn, we've owned our home for 6 months (only 6? it feels like an eternity), and we've made some small progress. There's paint in the hallway now, a "Very Craftsman" green, according to Mom, and I'm working my way around the dining room. We've got all the floors clean of hideous carpet, though some are a little scarred from the experience. The living room is done, save for scouring the floor to remove the last of the carpet pad, and I've got a lovely play area set up for my older son to use while we work. The bath is half tiled, and the master bedroom still languishes, but at least there's a light in there. Things are moving along, if slowly.

I'm aiming for Hallowe'en as our move-in goal.

I have made some sketches of what I'm doing with parts of the house. My plan for the dining room bay is to take this:
hideous before picture
The dining room bay as it appears now.

And turn it into this:
Bay Plans

I made the sketch without looking at the bay so I misdrew the windows - they actually cover the full width of the bay. Other than that, it's spot on. The posts are structural, not just cosmetic. They will support the poorly-remodeled wall cutout on a 4x4 beam, and we've got plenty of mouldings to wrap them with, to make them look Really Original. Eventually, I'd like to add cosmetic ceiling beams to the dining room, too, but this comes first.

The bookshelf is actually a family heirloom, which belonged to my paternal grandmother. It's going to be mounted permanently to the wall, and there will be wainscot added around it, right up to the vertical posts at the corners. It'll be the same as the panelling in the "built-in" I made to fill the arch.

The window seats will be made of the salvageable parts of the old living room archway double doors, which apparently sat unloved for many years in some leaky place. The bottoms have completely rotted, leaving me with a nifty, but not reusable, item. I decided (since I can't replace them where they belong, and because I want to make them again a part of the house), to make window seats of them. Also, the bay is only 4 feet wide, the ends are not evenly deep, and that space is nearly wasted. Finally, it is because I have really fond memories of the enormous window seat in the dining room of my parents' craftsman bungalow when I was a kid. Nothing like curling up in a sunny window with a good book. I want my kids to have that.

Speaking of kids, I'm still working on FX's room. When last I posted about it, we were here:
boy's room built-inThere are a few more shelves in the bookshelf, but it pretty much still looks this way now.

And we (which really means "I") plan to finish it thusly:
Plans! Such plans we have!

That's going to be an open closet with coat hooks on the outside, and shelves for shoes. The closet will have an upper and lower level, the upper one being for things he wears every once in a while (Sunday or seasonal clothes) and the lower being for his school clothes. The desk in the plans is all cut out, but not assembled.

Now to the progress. Quite a bit has been done, some has even been reported, none has been photographed ... Until now!
The Very Craftsman Green hallwayThe Very Craftsman Green hallway.

That's just bare old plaster above the border. The frieze paper (really only by virtue of position - its only pattern is a sort of golden parchment look) goes up after the whole dining room and hallway are painted, and really will look more like an intended plaster finish similar to what's there now, but without the obvious patches and old mucilage. I love how the border paper looks, even if it's only tacked up.

The dark green will make a lovely background for two paintings, done by my cousin, that I was given. You can see one if them in the photo of the living room:

It'll be nice when there's furniture in it. Not lawn furniture.It'll be nice when there's furniture in it. Not lawn furniture.

I love that vintage Greek key paper, but there wasn't quite enough. I have to make some more, which will involve printing it on archival quality paper and pasting it up. It's always something :)

Now, the floor. Here, you can see the line of demarcation between the dining room and living room where the two different carpets once laid edge-to-edge:

Seamy, isn't it?Seamy, Isn't it?

Yes, I figure they didn't strip off the old wax prior to laying down a pink rubber carpet pad however umpteen years ago, so when the pad degraded, it bonded to the old wax, leaving ... this. This is after scraping for two days. I'll keep you posted on the scrubbing and what works. Once it's scrubbed, I'm waxing it.

Call me old-fashioned, or call me masochistic - we do have 2 kids and a dog - I like waxed floors, even if I know what it takes to keep them up.

And now for the playroom:

It's not perfect, but it's a nice, bright, stimulating environment for a 3 year old boy. And he loves it, which is what counts.

On to the half-tiled bath. First, a before picture is in order:

It was very pink, and plastic, in there.

Now, we have this:
tiled wall with medicine cabinetThat's the "fixture wall" with the new/old medicine cabinet in it, sans door.

We were lucky enough to find the old girl under the dining room bay, and she's sound, so I painted her and in she went. The mirrored door is in the kitchen until we're all done flinging heavy stuff around in the bathroom. I wish I had time to finish in there right now, but I don't.

And the master bedroom currently houses all the salvaged lumber, mouldings, doors and panelling:
piles of wood!Sad, isn't it? Eventually, we will have to sleep in here.

Finally, we come to The Thing in the Attic:
The Titanic, or our cistern.The Titanic, or our cistern.

A few months back, when I wasn't allowed up on ladders, my friend K stuck her head up in the attic where her husband J had been working to look for a tool we needed (we were demoing something), and said: "Hey! There's some kind of wash tub up here!"

I, of course, pictured a round tin tub, with handles, like the sort that get sold for icing down beers, and thought "Cool! I could use that for something."

Many weeks later, I stick my own head up there and see this HUGE bathtub shaped thing, about 4 feet wide and maybe 8 or 9 feet long, and a good 4 feet high. It must be the old water-pressurizing cistern, and must have been in here since the place was built. The way these things worked was that you'd pump water up here from the well, by hand, and it would sit up here until you turned on the taps, which would give you water pressure, like a water tower. It certainly goes a long way toward explaining some of the odd plumbing in the basement.

Now, what are we going to do with it if we ever decide to finish the attic?

08 September 2006

Paint me, baby!

I'm heading over to the New House (as distinct from mom's place, the Old House - by 60 years) today, to get a wall painted in the dining room.

Yes, you read that right. The dining room is slowly becoming a usable space. I did teh test patches of paint day before yesterday, and I will be applying paint, for real, to the repaired plaster walls today. I can hardly beleive it.

I'm taking the camera for pictures of what's Done So Far. I may even get them posted tonight.

Of course, the bath is only half-tiled, the kitchen needs the rest of its wiring, the master bedroom isn't much beyond the demo stage, and I still have an old bathtub in one half of the enclosed sunporch, but we're getting there.

That light at the end of the tunnel might even be the end of the tunnel, and not another train ... but I'll knock wood to be sure.

01 September 2006

LIfe intrudes. How rude of it.

I've been nowhere near my house for over a week. I had to deal with actual real-life things instead.

I have been finishing up the historical society website (well, version 1...) that I mentioned some time ago, and getting it ready for uploading. My older son is sick, and my younger one is demanding. I suspect a growth spurt. My husband's work ... well, we'll just say it sucks right now.

And Dad had to go back to California. He called a little bit ago to tell us he'd gotten in fine, from the In-n-Out Burger in Gilroy. I'm jealous - we haven't had In-n-Out since Chris got out of the Marines. I told Dad I wanted a 4x4 Animal Style and an order of fries the size of my head, but he doesn't think it'll mail well at all. Especially not the shake that's mandatory to wash it down with. My tastebuds are homesick for California, if that's possible.

Back to the Website of No Sleep. I think I'm going to name my webdesign company "Sisyphus Productions" - after all, who better do the work that just has to be done over and over again? Mom and I have been throwing around slogans, but I'm so tired right now that I can't recall any of them. Pity, I really thought they were hilarious at the time. That may have been sleep deprivation, though.

21 August 2006

Why I Love My Dad, and other reasons it's good to be a 2nd generation rehabber

My dad, though we don't always see eye-to-eye, is a great guy. He does things that drive me nuts (whose dad doesn't?), and amazing things that make me cry from their sheer wonderfulness. For example, when he helped us finance the house purchase, and what he did this weekend.

He's spent the past two days demoing out the powdered dryrot, painting what's left with Cuprinol (so I, breastfeeding mommy, don't have to), and reframing the now-missing bits. In between, while waiting for the copper green to dry, he's removing all the remaining carpet tackstrips.

I told him not to worry about insulating the addition or drywalling it, because I can do that, and also because he's one of those "lucky" ones that gets more than itchy from installing fiberglas (He gets a full-blown case of allergic dermatitis, no matter how well covered he is). If he can spare me some discomfort and exposure to things I can't be exposed to (mold, copper green), the least I can do is spare him some in return.

Thanks, Daddy. I can't even tell you how much it means that you've helped us out like this. Especially now. It's the best birthday present in the world.

17 August 2006

Powdered House

I finished demoing out the ceiling in the diningroom bay addition yesterday.

Me: "OH MY GOD. It's powder. This was a beam."

EMT J (as distinct from Wiring J): "Is that like cancer for a house?"

Me:"Yes. Hopefully, it's operable, and not terminal."

We discovered the dryrot. Lots of it. In a place I was hoping against hope wasn't dryrotted. And after I stopped swearing, I made a plan of attack.

There was a leak from the rain gutter, maybe 30 years ago, that was allowed to EAT AWAY THE SUPPORT MEMBERS of about a 2'x8' section of the bay roof. And the roofers who "fixed" it just put up a really heavy sheathing board over the hole (I'm guessing 1" ply, since I can SEE it through the approximately 2x1 foot ragged hole in the old tongue and groove sheathing). The 4x4 beam that runs across the face of the wall has been reduced to powder in one place, and to an uneven 1x4 in others. The crosspieces that allegedly rest on it are damaged, so they really more hang near it.

The bay is literally being held up by the roof sheathing resting on the house sheathing (thankfully, some hard wood in big planks, topped with good solid wood lap siding). Oh, and the windows, with their trim.

Shudder. SH@# F@#& D#^* M@&^*@#$^$@#!

So, we have a lot of yanking of trim and reframing to do, which puts us back a good week or two, optimistically. Last night, we bought a shopvac to "demo" the powdered wood with, plus some filter bags to catch the yuck. Today, we are off to buy the replacement lumber.

Good thing we already have a nice stash of salvaged 2x4's. We'll need them to build the temporary supports.

07 August 2006

We finished something! Call the press!

The living room is DONE (well, except for refinishing the floor, but we'll wait on that until the kids are older). We also got the carpet out of the dining room, and it looks an order of magnitude better, even with the hole in the ceiling. A million staples later, we have floors we are already happy with.

The bath is half tiled, all fixtures are in, and the only things waiting to be done (besides part 2 of the tiling) are the faucets on the shower wall (we must finish tiling and grouting first) and connecting the sink to the plumbing. All the weird, fiddly, awkward tiling is now complete.

The Amazing Debris Collection is almost gone. The next dumpster load is waiting next to the dumpster, and we have a few pieces left in the house.

I updated our budget sheet last night and we have spent about 4 grand on tools and materials so far. It sounds awful, but if we had hired people to do this for us, we would have spent 10-20 grand, just to get this far. Even if it would have gone faster, it wouldn't have gone much faster (and may have gotten slower). Our friends A and R hired folks to do all their work last year, and it took them 9 months to get into their house. It's a Stick style house, and it looks great now, but it was a fustercluck for a long time, there.

By the way, spellcheck hates "fustercluck" - and suggests I use "festers" instead. Apt.

06 August 2006

Some progress, some regression, and some blessings counted.

I'm counting my blessings, lest I sink into despair. There will be no moving in this week. FX will come home to an unfinished house, even if he will have a play area to use while we work.

Why? We have fixtures in the bath now, and even some tile (Thanks, MOM!), but that's not really done yet. That's the progess. However, in the process of getting there, we discovered that the toilet we wanted to keep was Done For.

After re-installing it. Sigh. Off to the Home Improvement Store (this time it was Menard's) for a new toilet, a cheap new toilet, and other necessities. Unforseen spending later, (under 200 bucks, really, so we got out cheap, but it was still not budgeted for) there is, once again, a toilet in our new bathroom.

Well, if we have to move for any reason, we can advertise it as having "all new fixtures" in the bath. I don't want to move, this house has ahold of my soul.

Now to the livingroom carpet. Remember the carpet dream? Well, it was partially prophetic - that horrible carpet was on a pad that was either glued down or that degraded in a manner most foul. We've been scraping for two days, and we only have 1/3 of the floor exposed. I see refinishing in my future - but, at least, not sanding. Scrubbing, on hands and knees, and revarnishing, but no sanding in this room, at least.

01 August 2006

The Clock is Ticking

We are supposed to be moved in, at least enough to to consider ourselves to be residing in our house, by the time my older son returns from Texas. We have until the 9th.

Tick, tick, tick...

Understandably, between this and the heatwave, I've stopped sleeping. I decided, therefore, to get out of bed at 4 am and go paint my living room. It seemed like a ggod idea, and lo, by 8 am, there was a successful paintjob, even if I had to stop and patch a couple of cracks I hadn't fixed yet, mid-painting. Our living room now only requires the border papers (2 hours) and removal of the Vile Pea-Green Shag Carpet (however long it takes, I'll enjoy every ripping, wrenching moment).

It already looks Really Nice. The greys I picked really set off the cherry-stained woodwork, and the wood floor, once completely revealed, should just make it that much more wonderful.


I still have work to do on the bath, but it should be in its temporary usable stage by Thursday night. Toilet, sink, tub, cheap plastic temporary flooring... Not lovely, but a place to go. A water-resistant place, at least, and that's always an improvement.


I've decided to just Make Do with our bedroom. I can re-hang the window skirting board, patch what needs patching, and paint, paint, paint. We have Way Too Much To Do left to really make this livable before moving in (like patching in the floorboards where the curtain wall was, finishing the raw flooring in the former closet, resetting the mouldings, and pulling down the boards the acoustic tiels were stapled to) to worry about things like scraping out two rooms worth of hideous layered wallpaper. Unless it comes down Very Easily. I already pulled up the carpet, but put iback down to protect the floor from our construction.


I Really Must finish the painting in the kitchen, for safety reasons. There's the old flaky wall that I'm still only halfway through scrubbing with a wire brush, which also needs patching (natch) as well as painting afterwards.


Then, we have our Fabulous Debris Collection. It's been preventing work on the dining room (we won't even go there - we plan to get that mostly done AFTER number one son comes home) and the porch (which, mercifully, needs little work done) for two months. The dumpster finally arrives tomorrow morning. I await its appearance with ... cynicism. There's a reason we've been collecting debris for months, and it was a dumpster shortage. I really do hope we can get it, though.

Tick, tick, tick...

29 July 2006

We're Different Here

Some girls call Mom for cooking advice; "Hi, Mom? What makes your gravy taste so good?"

I call home for ... help with obscure restoration and construction techniques; "Hi, Mom? Did we buy the right kind of mortar for this job? The label says..."

We're definitely a bit on the odd side.

In other news, the plumbing revisions are Just About Done. We expect to have the bath ready for fixtures tonight - And the water back on! It's essentially waiting on me, as I have to finish mounting the tilebacker boards before we can do things like putting the toilet back.

The plumbing revisions include, by the way, repair/replacement of the scary rubber hose that formed part of the kitchen sink waste pipe, and relocation of the showerhead to point above my husband's when the tub basin height is calculated in.

It's progress, and I'm not sure I trust it. Don't pinch me - I don't want to wake up.

21 July 2006

Almost brought to you, Again, by Sisyphus Productions!

I don't have to procrastinate - my life does it for me.

So, I did in fact need a new tetanus shot, as the old one was nearly expired, and some antibiotics (Keflex), for the ensuing infection, and some new shoes. And several days with my feet up. Argh. My left foot was ... very much larger than it should have been, and entirely too pink, when I went to the ER on Monday. I got ordered to take it easy.

I get to go back to the house today and put up hardibacker in the gutted bath. After a week. So we can have a toilet and shower and sink in there, and, eventually, we will get to move in. I just want a functioning toilet, and sinks, and tub. Is that so much to ask? That end looks ever so distant. I feel little feather-like ticklings of despair.

Hopefully getting things completed for this part will make me feel less piteous. Action always helps, but renovation always seems to block that therapeutic activity.

16 July 2006

bathroom demo complete, plus bonus wound report

Look, the idiot is dancing again. But this time, she is limping.

The good news: the bath demo is done! The tiny tub (very HEAVY but also tiny) is out, and awaiting removal* in our otherwise empty living room. The appallingly designed, 1970's, also tiny (below crotch level on a small woman), sink vanity was ripped out (and destroyed) with glee yesterday. The sink and bath had a strange synergy going - the tub is a wave-front, streamline designed built-in tub, and the vanity was a flat-sided box that was installed rightupagainst the tub, leaving a little pocket between the head of the tub and the side of the vanity, where water and a half dozen washcloths had gathered over the years.

Not surprisingly, I had to rip out several punky floorboards, but the subfloor is very intact, which means that patching that spot on the floor before installing the tilebacker is going to be a piece of cake (all supply lines run through the wall, so no cutouts even need to be made!). Yuck, but fixable. AND - no termite damage, just old mold rot, which is now well dried out (the house was not lived in for 2 years before we bought it and we didn't use the tub or sink at all) and gone.

All the Vile Stinky Tile Adhesive came down with the plaster coat it had been attached to. The bare lath looks a heck of a lot better, and smells better too. Funny how much bigger the little room looks when it's empty...

We have elected to keep the old, high-flow toilet, as we like it, but it's getting pulled gently and set aside until the hardibacker is laid and skimmed.

The plumbing is demoed, too, so now we know what we need to get - and what we forgot to get. Like the tub overflow valve...and the drain pipe parts. Nothing quite like discovering you forgot to get something essential when elbows deep in a job. Sigh. We also have nowhere to go when working on the house. Well, I have nowhere to go. For the guys, there are plenty of trees in the backyard...

The bath wiring is also complete - J was putting in the two new GFI outlets as we left last night. The box for the wall fixture was put in, and the ceiling fixture was pulled out (even if it's nice, I really don't need to climb 9 feet up to screw around with a wet fixture to change bulbs in the middle of the night). The hole will probably end up holding a through-attic vent, since the enclosed back porch covers the only window.

That window opens, but it hinges open against the showerhead. The window predates any shower in that bath, so it's a matter of old laziness (I think the PPO, when they fixed the house up for sale in 1949). I say this as it is an easy fix - swap the hinges and latch from one side to the other. I want to pull and strip the hardware anyway, so why not fix this issue now?

We have also come to a decision about the 1940's - 1950's medicine cabinet - we're selling it. We'll put in either the original cabinet (found under the bay addition, and in need of restoration) or an equivalent repro. Craftsman-style wall cabinets are popular and can be had fairly cheaply these days, so it comes down to whichever is the less expensive option for now.

Now, we get to the limping part. I caught my shoe on a multi nailed scrap yesterday, and thinking I had shaken it off, put weight on my foot. No such luck - it had caught me and I got punctured. My foot HURTS, but the nail was a clean one, I've had a Tetanus shot in the past few years (in '99) and we have a first aid kit handy. My foot still hurts, though. I'll live.

* This gets mentioned last. My husband was theorizing yesterday about uses for the ex-tub. Like a fishpond, or planter. In the yard. I think he's pulling my chain. I hope he's pulling my chain. I'm all about reuse, but that's a little rednecky, even for me.

Here's an example of his sense of humor:


My advice? Don't sit on the smudged lid of a spackle can in black pants when he's around ... whether he has a camera or not.

12 July 2006

Renovating the Blog

I'm thinking that, now we have accomplished something (Power! Which means we can turn on the gas soon - Hot Water!) and are approaching done-ness on several others, it may no longer be simply depressing to have a project tracker widget on here. So I might just add one. One of those bars will be labelled "moving in" as I think it will take us a few weeks to really get settled.

Also, I was watching HGTV and the DIY network and thinking (this gets dangerous, what with the smoke pouring from my ears and all) about doing a weekly how-to feature on here, just give me something to do while feeding BabyJames other than watching tv. It would be more of a "how I did this" with step-by-step instructions for those who might be facing the same things. Like how to live with (or just plain refinish) old steel kitchen cabinets, doing a successful wall application of stickytiles, or faking a built-in. Stuff like that. The temporary stuff, the superficial stuff, the decorative stuff.

In other news, DOver books emailed me that they've got some new Architecture books out. Go take a look. I've already spotted at least four that I want, and only one that I need. And they've got a 25% off sale on as well.

06 July 2006

Dancing Idiot has a Baby. Film at 11.

Well, I'm now off bedrest - the baby is here. James Edward was born Jume 17th at 2 am on the dot, preceded by much screaming and accompanied by a great deal of relief. He's doing great, and so am I ... now.

It's been almost 3 weeks since then and I've finally gotten back into the house (first because of the bedrest and then the postpartum healing/in-law visits) to do a bit of work. I did actually get a few things done this afternoon, between removing the old storm door from what is now an interior doorway and wandering around the house a lot. I also got some progress made on my older son's bedroom murals, after discovering that the midnight blue mismix we bought for his ceiling had been mismarked, too. It's lavender. I guess I can figure out a use for a pint of lavender paint, but I was thwarted in my plans for the day.

"Oh, poor me, I'll have to go to the home store again for supplies. Whatever shall I do?"

Also, our sainted freind and electrical engineer J got the wiring/box/etc in place for the power company to come in and do the meter and service upgrade. That's tomorrow. I'm doing a happy dance, but that doesn't translate well in print. This is a good thing, as I look like an idiot - a happy idiot, but an idiot nonetheless.

The bad: we've discovered that the drainpipe from the kitchen sink needs replacement, in a rather unfortunate way - it fell off. Well, better to have found that out before we do all the other plumbing work, no? We plan to do that stuff next week, and I think we can fit a bit more PVC pipe into the budget. We'll have to, or no move-in before FX gets back from visiting our relations in Texas.

29 May 2006

houseblogger on bedrest = rehab nightmares

The absolute worst thing that can be done to a pregnant woman working on a house is putting her on bedrest. Especially if that bed is not IN the house she's working on. It's been almost three weeks now and I've been going insane. Obviously, I'm worried that we won't get the house done enough to live in before Baby 2 arrives, but I had begun to adjust to the idea of it.

I'm also worried that I've lost my housefixing muscles. Then there are all the unfinished projects to avoid thinking about. AND I'm worried, constantly, unreasonably, about the house. I have nightmares, of the late pregnancy variety, except they are all about the house.


The carpeting dream. I dreamt that when we pulled up the carpet in the house, to reveal the lovely floors, there was more carpet, patchy, 1970's psychedelic, stained carpet, underneath. Shag, indoor/outdoor, etc. Like six layers. And under that was hideous linoleum. The last layer was glued down with construction cement that laid in huge blobs on the formerly pristine wood floors. I woke in a sweat, and spent several minutes calming myself down by recalling that I'd peeled up carpet corners all over the house just to assess the condition of the floors.

Next, the fire dream. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's had this dream during the rehab of an older house. I put it down to it being rewired and my being forced to not go out enough to be reassured by the house's quiet, unbothered appearance as I go by.
I've been tempted to get up and drive over to check on it more than once, though.

The flood dream. We've had lots of rain this spring, like most everyone else. The old dryer exhaust tends to collect water in rainstorms (this is on the List of Things to Fix), which isn't a problem as our cellar floor is actually graded to drain towards the drain on the downhill side of the house, and that water is a fairly small amount. But, I keep dreaming that the whole basement will fill with mud and water like a huge swimming pool, followed by the collapse of the house into the muck.

The vermin dream. Just a simple ick-factor dream, about finding a sudden, massive termite/ant/cockroach/rat/mouse/etc infestation that causes the house to become irreparably uninhabitable.

Augh. I'm off meds and bedrest on Thursday. Maybe I'll stop with the crazy, if I can at least get over there and finish painting the boy's room.

14 May 2006

Pictures, and progress.

Or is that "Pictures of Progress?" I'm not sure. Anyhow, here are some images of what I've been ranting about recently. Updates to my in-progress phots are here.

First, I was talking about filling in the open archway between what had been originally intended as a den and the dining room, so that my son could have some privacy (and so that we could make use of otherwise wasted space). I wanted to do something really Stickley-style, like a fabulous built-in. We really don't have the money for that and all the other things we need to do first, so I had to figure out how to do this in a sympathetic, period looking style without spending any real money, as well as doing a temporary thing.

Why temporary? Well, in five or so years, we plan to have two bedrooms and a bath built in the cellar, for the boys, as well as a completely finished laundry room, workspace, and finsihed storage areas. When that happens, we can turn our den back into a den, and I'd like to be able to put in abbreviated Craftsman-style cabinets with square pillars inside that archway. So anything we do now is just set dressing.

Here's the before pic, with the PO's non-sympathetic solution (vinyl accordion curtains):

This is taken from the dining room, looking west into the den (my son's bedroom). Not pretty, but it worked for the PO, an elderly woman in need of constant care.

Now, a series of on-the-way-to-after pictures, taken from the same vantage point:

This is the built-in, mostly done. I think it looks fairly good, and is sympathetic enough to the original style of the house. It's naked, though.

This is halfway or so through staining it with Minwax Polyshades Satin in Old Maple. It looks like a good match, so far!

And this is the staining nearly complete, without the last trim pieces. I realized I'd have an easier time with the trim and stain if I stained the panel above the shelf, then applied and stained the trim sections. It still looks really good. I'm happy with is, and can hardly wait to see how the room looks all done.

This is a demo-in-progress image of the dining room bay addition. It's slightly less ugly right now, but we have some fairly major work to do here. First, we are going to put in posts and a support beam, as you can see some bowing where the bay was cut into the wall. There will be four posts, two at the ends, mounted flush to the walls, and two set in about 2' from the ends to create an open but divided space. There will be wainscot panels done in the same style as the archway fill-in in the bay, from the corners and under the windows, a built-in bookshelf under the center short window, and I'm going to build two window seats into the otherwise wasted space in the ends of the bay as well. I think this will all work together with the built-in panel in the arch, to increase the "Craftsman" feel of the house. I see a larger can of Minwax Polyshades in my future.

Now for the view from my son's room:

This is the built-in on his side, about half finished. For practical reasons, I'm having to alternate painting and finishing his built-in furniture. There will be a desk built below the single shelf that divides his frog mural, and in that corner that's full of salvaged lumber for the project, there will be an open "closet" with a shelf at top and bottom for more storage. I used two layers of salvaged acoustic tiles (pulled from the ceiling of the MB) to give him some soundproofing so we don't have to be super-quiet when he's asleep. They will also function as a bulletin board, where he can pin things up.

These are all shots of the part of the paintjob that had to be done before I could get back to cutting and screwing things up ... er ... together. There will be clouds painted on the walls, and the ceiling will be a deeper, more vibrant blue with stars and a moon on it. I'm debating painting in a wainscot strip with related, A&C type elements. That will probably depend on the time available before we move in.

And, I still need a radio. The talking to myself is really out of hand. I've been talking to my tools ... more than usual.