Fix one problem — create three more

I guess it is just the Murphy’s Law of old houses, or any house for that matter, that when you fix one thing, you create three more different problems.  Case in point would be our back porch light.  I guess you really can’t call it a porch light.  It is (or should I say was) a light bulb hanging from a chain.  This light bulb has been an eyesore the two years we have lived here.  Why did we not get to it sooner?  If you are asking me this question, you do not own an old house!  🙂  I have a short “needs to be done NOW” list and a longer list named “Eyesores”.  Unfortunately, the light bulb was on the Eyesore list, so it did not get top priority.  Now that we have the HVAC unit replaced, almost the entire interior of the house de-wallpapered and painted, and other misc. items updated, this week we were able to concentrate on some of the lesser priorities like back porch lights and hanging curtain rods. 

Anyway, back to the problem.  We thought that this would be an easy job.  Just take down the old fixture and put up the new, right?  HAHAHAHAHA!  I am not sure of all of the specifics (I am definitely not the family electrician, Steven is and I was not asking questions!), but I was sent back to Lowes to get more supplies while Steven worked on the wiring.  We were only going to put up one light because we were not sure if the wiring in the other chain was working or not.  But, since I was back at Lowes, I decided to go ahead and buy the matching lantern.  Since we were going to have to rewire one, we (I guess I really mean “I”, because there really was no “we” to this decision when I made it standing in the aisle at Lowes) might as well do both.  As I was standing there, my cell phone rang, it was Steven, he said to go ahead and pick up the second light.  I told him I was looking at it in my buggy. Great minds think alike, huh?  So there is the “we” part. 

When I got home, I brought the lantern in the house.  My four year old must have overheard some fussing from Steven while I was gone because when I sat the light down on the table, she found it humorous.  She laughed all the way out the back door to inform her daddy that mama bought another light and he was going to have to put TWO of them up!  Little skunk! 😀

After it was all said and done, I have two nice lanterns lighting up  my back porch tonight.  In fact, I turned them on early tonight just so everyone can pass by and envy them!  Happy New Year!

Click here  to see the entire set.

PS: Since I don’t understand it all completely, I left all of the glorious rewiring details out.  Needless to say, it will be a long time before I add another project to the “Honey-Do-List”. 😀

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What’s Under There?

Since Viv and I got bored with pulling up plywood in the attic, we decided to play “What’s Under There?”  We could not see what was under the flooring between the roof rafters, so I pulled out my camera, stuck it in the hole and took a picture.  We would then pull the camera up, see if there was anything in the hole and then move on to the next hole.  I remember doing this as a kid on nature walks.  I would stick my camera in a place I did not want to go, make sure the flash was on and take a picture to see if there was anything lurking in there.  It is a wonder I did not have a run in with a snake or other animal.  This was basically the same principal and just as much fun!  Here are our pictures from our game “What’s Under There?”

WUT1

WUT2

WUT3

Yes, I did find two very old glass bottles.  Other than that, I can safely say that there is no hidden treasure in our attic!  I am not sure how old they are and if they date back to the building of our house (what other reason would you have bottles in the attic), but here they are all spiffed up.  They will go on the “Things we found in and around the house” shelf.

Found Bottles

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Andrea

Working on the Attic/Loft

Since we have five more days left of our vacation, Steven decided to continue working on the attic area.  He started pulling up plywood so he could get it ready to blow in some insulation.  We always thought that the plywood was sitting on rafters or beams, but when he started pulling up plywood, this is what he found:

upstairs floor

I was excited about it because it is grooved and fits together pretty well.  I started envisioning refinishing it for the loft area we are planning.  Steven was not too happy about it because it meant he would have to take it up (or at least some of it) to be able to blow in the insulation.  In fact, this discovery threw a huge kink in his plan and he was not happy about it at all.  He is green (anyone who who has taken the Colors Communication Assessment knows what I am talking about) and he does not like his carefully calculated plans to get kinked up.  We will probably take most of the plywood up to make sure all of the electrical is ran properly and up to code.  When this house was built, it did not have electricity.  We found gas lines, so the first owner must have had gas lamps.  You can see where the knob and pole wiring was retrofit in the ceiling.  It appears that our wiring has been updated and the knob and pole wiring is no longer used, but we just want to make 100% sure before moving on.  It would be awful if we had to go back and pull up flooring again in the future due to electrical issues.

The really funny part about pulling up the plywood was to find this:

underneath the floor upstairs

What were they thinking?  It appears that an attic fan was removed from this area and also that electrical wiring was retrofit.  Instead of sistering some beams (or some other proper and efficient method of leveling the floor), they decided to stack together pieces and parts of wood in order to make the floor semi level and then to nail a piece of plywood on top of it.  Sigh……

For some of the other “nice” jobs done to the attic, click here    Not only will you be able to see the lovely sheetrock job, but also a drop in ceiling which the PO must have installed blindfolded.  I laugh when I write anything about a PO…it makes me wonder if in 20 years or so, someone else will be writing a blog about me and all the horrible house blunders I made.  🙂  Anyway, we completely removed the drop in ceiling.  It is not a great improvement, but an improvement nonetheless.  This kind of thing makes me excited!  It means progress.  Steven is more of the demo man and I am the cleaner upper, detailer/finisher.  I usually let him do the demo and rough in work and I come back in, fill in holes, sand, scrape, paint, etc.

Here is the color scheme I would like to use for this space once we get it all done…you know, about five years from now!  I want this space to be sophisticated.  These are all Valspar Signature colors by Martha Stewart.  I picked them up at Lowes today.

paint scheme upstairs

I am thinking the lime green for the walls, maybe the dark slate blue for an accent wall.  Dark brown furniture. The throw pillows and accessories would be the middle three colors: red, light blue and gray.

Here are a few pictures my daughter took.  Here is the remodel of the upstairs through the eyes of a four year old:

Steven

me

Vivian 2

Happy Monday everyone!

Andrea

More Ideas for the Craft Room

I found some more spaces and ideas that I like.  Here are a few more pictures to add.  I am using this post as my inspiration board.  Tell me what you think:

Love the color

I love these colors!  I am looking for the right shade of lime green for the paint color.  I think the use of red here is very daring!

craft-room2

I like the use vintage objects in this one.  However, this one makes me feel cluttered.  I would like to have clean lines and simple storage.

shelves

 I love this open shelving unit.  You can find many options at IKEA.  I would love to make the trip to the IKEA in Texas (that’s where the closest store is to me) with a long list of items needed for the house.  IKEA is awesome!

Here are some more seating options I am contemplating.  My husband is not really sold on this style.  He is envisioning late night XBOX parties and movie nights, so he wants a nice big comfortable couch.  We are going to have to marry comfort and style.sofa-2

I would like to have 3-4 of these to pull up to a work table.  I envision hosting scrapbooking parties!

chair

Yee-ha Cowgirl!

There’s nothing more fun than to be awakened by a Spring hat wearing cowgirl who wants to lasso you into doing something!  Here is Vivian telling dad to get up, or gaddyap that is!  Ha!  Note the thrill on Steven’s face.

Vivian the cowgirl

Laughter is Good for the Soul

A few weeks ago, Rebecca and Doyle, good friends of ours, invited us to go hear the Transiberian Orchestra in Bossier City with them.  We accepted and, this afternoon, set out for our one and a half hour drive to Bossier.  Since the weather has been nice, around 75 degrees or so, I decided to dress light.  My husband decided to check the weather before we left and he noted that it was supposed to rain around 3 p.m….the very same time our show started.  So I packed a poncho and 4 umbrellas to take with us.  Boy, am I glad I did!  Right when we got in a mile long line, it started to rain horizontally and the wind was blowing cold.  It was miserable!  I am so glad I packed those umbrellas!  Many people stood out in the rain without any cover, or decided to leave altogether.  I found it poor planning for a convention center to not have a lobby.  We were not allowed to go inside until our tickets and purses had been checked.  That left all of us standing in long lines in the pouring down rain.  Even though this sounds terrible, we had a great time and laughed about it.  Here are a few pictures of us trying to ward off the cold and rain.  I think I laughed harder tonight than I have in months!  Laughter is good medicine.  It is good to laugh when things are good but better to laugh when things are bad.

doyle in the rain

steven in the rain

rebecca and i

doyle and rebecca

Ideas for a Craft Room

After making our annual trip to area stores to take advantage of after Christmas sales, Steven and I decided to finish cleaning the “attic” upstairs to get it ready for insulation.  I am not sure if this space was used as an attic, or if it is just unfinished.  There are so many bad PO jobs done to the poor space, that I can’t really tell.  We are planning on turning the space into: 1) spare bedroom, 2) bathroom, 3) home theater/man room, 4) craft area.  It is a huge space.  It feels more like a loft than an attic.  More about the loft thing later.  Anyway, we basically moved things from here:

left of loft

(This is going to be the spare bedroom and bathroom) To here:

right of loft

To the left will be the home theater projector and to the right will be my craft room area.  We had to clean up the area that we will put the bedroom so that we can pull up the half inch (yes, I said half inch) plywood that is on the floor, check to make sure the electrical has been ran properly, blow in some insulation and put down a sturdier plywood subfloor.  Right now, when you walk across the room, the boards bow and squeak.  One of the last PO’s decided to frame this space up for the master bedroom.  The hysterical frame up and drywall job pictures are here

Anyway, since this is a large open space, I wanted to decorate it loft style.  Here are a few of my ideas:

chalkboard-wallcraftroom1-793447bincraft-tablelamp
storage-2realllllly-coolorganization-ideachocolate-sofachocolate-chair

Most of the pictures pertain to my side of the room…the super craft area.  But, you get the idea.  When you first walk up the stairs, to the left will be a wall of built in shelving to house all of my books.  I was thinking about painting the wall behind the shelves with chalkboard paint and using white shelves.  Should make a nice black and white contrast.  The shelves will be tall so I can write on the chalkboard above the books.  For wall paint, I was thinking about a nice lime green with accents of turquoise and brown.  Maybe a splash of red accessories here and there.  You know me, gotta have red somewhere.

Unfortunately, the decorating part is WAAAAAAAY far down the line.  The first order of business is insulation.  The second order of business is installing a bathroom so we can demo the HORRIFIC one downstairs.  We only have one, yes, yes, yes, only ONE bathroom downstairs.  It is hard to imagine that we have 3200 sq feet and only one bathroom.  There is no other place to squeeze in another bathroom except upstairs.  So, unfortunately, we are working on the upstairs so we can work on the downstairs.  (Doesn’t make sense, does it?) We cannot remodel the bathroom downstairs until we have another one somewhere else.  We cannot remodel the kitchen (the kitchen is ALMOST as bad as the bathroom) without having somewhere to wash the dishes, etc. (a bathroom).  So, we had to sit down and figure out what needed to come first.  It completely galls me that we have to spend time and money on an upstairs space before we can work on OUR living space downstairs.  Oh well….  I guess it all comes down to: What comes first, the chicken or the egg? 

Steven and I both have one more week off, so we are trying to make the best use of our time.  We are going to try to blow in the insulation next week and, while we are at it, retrofit some insulation in the walls downstairs.  I sure am glad I caught that episode of This Old House two weeks ago showing exactly how it is supposed to be done! 🙂

Maybe, if all goes well, I will be able to post pictures of our framed up new bathroom next week.  It will still be a while before we get the flooring laid and have it replumbed, but I can hope for the best and dream about it anyway….right?

Andrea

PS I am enjoying our high of 75 degree weather!  You won’t catch this Southern Girl anywhere close to snow! 😀

***Update:  This never happened due to a lot of bad electrical wiring we found.  So, we held off on putting in the insulation until we could get the electrical updated.  Don’t want to start any fires!  Ya know?!