Saturday, May 25, 2019

Downtown House - Part 3

Our backyard is a small square lot and I don't think it's been domesticated in many years, there was a path but it had overgrown so badly it needs reset in most places.  While digging up the mess of weeds that served as grass we found a toilet brush, bricks, glass, rebar, and tons of small bits of trash.  These photos are after a few weeks of clean up, I look forward to sharing photos after the grass comes in, fence rebuilt, and plants have grown more.

Our canoe is in the process of being patched, this area still has some home improvement supplies that need to be brought into the house, there is a dog house and a board covering holes in fence.  Once this area is cleaned up, husband plans to put in a shed in this back corner.


In this area, we've added 4 tomato plants along the fence, lettuce next to the gnome and there are ferns behind the mushroom ready to come up.  I'm not fond of the tire with pot in the middle so this will be removed soon.  


This area is our stairs to the basement so we need to get this cleaned up so we can actually use the stairs, but there is no shed to put the lawn equipment, and basement is full so hard to imagine putting things down there.  Most of this will go into the shed once it's built.


This is the area in front of the porch, we put stumps from mom's house to serve as shelves for my amaryllises.  We plan to plant grass in the dirt area. 


Saturday, May 18, 2019

Downtown House - Remodel Post 2

Our front door is a mess.  The only logical solution would be to replace the door and framework to match the rest of the house, but we've already used up our house improvement budget for this month, and the backyard fence is more urgent due to holes and that it's a big summer job, so I decided to patch and paint.  Some holes can be filled with wood putty, small nail holes with spackle - I'm so confused at the number of nail holes in this door.  There have been several different locks installed over the years, each with a different hole made.  There is some serious wood damage in some areas but the overall door is solid and secure, so here goes my attempt to make it better for the interim.  


This small wedge was placed here when the wall next to it was fixed.  I used putty to smooth the two pieces of wood together.


For this hole, I couldn't think of a way to fit putty into it as there was no base, so I elected to just paint over it.


The large hole at the top of this photo was filled with putty, each nail hole filled with spackle and additional hardware removed.

Extra nail removed, nail holes filled and extra hardware removed.


This is where you can see prior lock systems and severely damaged wood, I can't fill all of this in, but I'll do my best to make it look better.


Extra hardware.

 

This is the entire door which taken in normal lighting doesn't show all the damage seen in close up photos.


Here is the door after I've painted the trim with three coats of white and filled the hole at the top window, painted the door one coat and added a curtain.  


There is a 1" hole where I removed some old hardware, we plan to fill it with a cut dial rod.  The hole below the handle is filled with putty and will take a week to dry then I can paint it.  The door needs about 2 more coats of paint and I plan to remove it from the hinges and paint it really well.  I hope when I'm done it looks nice enough to not see the damaged parts easily.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

What will my final words be?

Recent deaths in my orbit have shocked me.

A blogger who I've followed since 2008 lost her husband to cancer, he was a dad to three teenage daughters.  Having lost my dad at 32, I feel even more sad and devastated for this family because at least I had mine until my early 30's.  I can't stop thinking about them. 

A co-worker lost her dad to a fast moving cancer recently.  They had only 2 or 3 weeks with him before he passed away suddenly.  I was able to use my personal experience from losing my dad 15 years ago to help my co-worker by encouraging her when he was alive and then suggesting she stay an extra week after he passed away.  She was set to come back to work right after the funeral, I know people don't think clearly when they are grieving, so I gently suggested it would be perfectly fine if she stayed an extra week, I'm glad I could be helpful in her time of need. 

Our neighbor passed away last Friday.  A few days before dying, she was screaming profane language at her grand kids.  Her voice carried across the street and into my yard when I was hard at work in the garden, making it hard to enjoy the spring weather.  Usually I would head back into the house when she'd start screaming as it had become a regular occurrence.  Then suddenly on Friday the street was filled with ambulances and fire trucks as her son and family sat outside crying.  All the little kids she had screamed at were outside playing, all under 5 and oblivious to what was going on.  I should also say at this point she was wheel chair bound, and being home alone with that many little kids who don't listen well would be incredibly stressful.  I deeply regret not going over and offering to help.  I didn't expect her to die suddenly.  It is shockingly sad.

The next day Rachel Held Evans died.  I have no connection to her other than we shared the same first name.  When she first came on the Christian scene I took interest in her writing until she pivoted so far left that I had difficulty relating but I always admired her ability to ask tough questions even when I didn't agree with her theology.  I'm completely devastated that she left this world at 37 with two small children left behind. 

Tomorrow will be 15 years since my dad took his last breath.  Being surrounded by death and coming up on this anniversary has not made me melancholy, I've just been feeling a more urgent need to do more for people. 

I don't know how much time I have left, but I'd like to use it for good.  I'm trying to send out encouraging messages to those in my orbit and I hope to be remembered as someone who reached out when people needed encouragement. 

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Downtown House - Remodel Post 1

After writing my very grumpy post about our downtown house in spring, I felt galvanized to do something about it.  First we dug up the back yard weeds, then reorganized the stone pathway on a 50 degree day, which was fortunate timing because it was hard work resetting the pathway.  Next we planted grass seed; directions suggest 45-60 degree weather is best so I guess our timing is spot on.

Indoors, I began repainting the banisters and entry to front room.  Our predecessors had left the house I would say 90% re-modeled but there are many small tasks that need done.  The sell price was adjusted accordingly so it's fine.  I just needed to get myself from winter hibernation to spring over-achiever mode. 

I started by painting the banisters at the bottom of the stairs - one area that's hard to pick up from is another persons vision for the house.  So we have conversations like - what do you think he had in mind for this area with a bunch of over spray on old wood?  Our conclusion - he had planned to paint over everything.  So I began the thriftiest way possible - using up paint left in the basement.  First baseboards around the entrance, that was an easy choice.  Next banisters in Cyberpunk to match other parts of the house.  I like it, but the kids hate it.  Who knew kids could be so opinionated.

I moved onto the wooden entrance to the front room that had a hurried white coat of paint applied.  Husband suggested gray for the center and white on top and bottom.  I'm still not sure I like the white on top but I'll leave it for a few weeks to see if it still bothers me later. 

I forgot to take before photos so here's the after: