Oh…yay…

Sarcastically said of course.  It all started out with me wanting a new floor.  Yes, I talked the husband into that and we bought the floor which has sat in our hall for about 2 months or so.  Then it morphed into taking the cabinets down, then came the laundry room addition…which lead to us putting the butler’s pantry back in its spot….so…I guess this is all my fault 🙂

Kitchen gutted

But, things are looking up.  After a brief interlude to celebrate Turkey Day, I painted the laundry room purple (yes, purple, I don’t know why…ok?), and Steven framed up the laundry room and put down the floor.  He is currently, as I type, running the plumbing and electricity.  He told me that next time I ask for “just a floor”, he will have to think loooong and hard about it. Hahaha….

The same wall...cleaned and primed (Super duper KILZ!)

Painted and the floor down

The framing going up!

It is funny to me, when I transfer pictures to my computer, to find pictures Vivian took.  In fact, 62 of the 115 I transferred were hers.  Here is a random sampling from Vivian the Photographer.

Cheese!

Gee...this is scary!

This is cute...

Toes!

Hello toe!

Well, I better go check out the plumber/electrician to see if he needs any help. 

Andrea

Historic Natchez, Mississippi

This weekend Steven and I had the privilege of staying in Natchez Mississippi for a marriage retreat in the Natchez Grand Hotel.  I am so refreshed, renewed and invigorated from the beautiful architecture, lovely gardens, cool junk places to shop, the hip stores and coffee hangouts and also from the wonderful time spent amongst friends.  Here are a few snapshots from the weekend.

The only scary part was Snuggie. You would have had to have been there in order to understand this element of the weekend!  Ha!  I will post a pic and that is all I will say about the matter!

Andrea

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Some call me inhospitable

Or, maybe that is what the doctor whom I almost tossed off my front porch thought.

It started out as a pleasant day.  Lazy Saturday…sitting around the house.  I heard a knock on the front door and went to answer it.  Standing on my front porch, well dressed, was a man in his late 30s.  I took it in and thought, hmmm….this man is somebody, or THINKS he is somebody.  The first thing he said was “You may think I am crazy for knocking on your door, but do you want to sell your house”.  Immediately, I am intrigued.  This man appeared to be well dressed and his demeanor spoke of money….lots of money.  Even though I love my house, in the interest of historic preservation and if it would get “fixed up” quicker, I entertained the thought of selling it.  I was processing the thought and heard myself reply “We can talk about it”.  At that time, my husband moved out on the porch and my dogs went berserk.  Not a good sign.  So, I hushed my dogs and put them in their kennel and came back.  The man was gone.  I looked accusingly at my husband for an answer.  I was wondering what he said to the man that caused him leave.

My husband chuckled at the questions in my eyes and said only four words “He’s friends with Ratcliff“.  Immediately it dawned on me.  This dude wanted to buy my house, hack it up into pieces, and move it to a “good” neighborhood.  I became incensed and threw open the door to give him a piece of my mind and what I thought about people like him.  He was gone.  Darn.  Poor man.  He had no idea that being friends with you know who was a con as far as we are concerned.  He would have done better keeping that name to himself. 

My husband told him very kindly (he is the nice one) that he should not say that name so loud, that his wife (me) might overhear.  He warned him about my feelings on the matter and told him that we prefer to advocate for historic neighborhoods rather than to tear out the good pieces in them which leaves empty lots and only memories.  Pulling up a large house in this area would be like pulling out your front tooth.  He also informed him that we advocate for neighborhood revitalization, better preservation laws, better oversight from the Housing Authority, better code enforcement, landlords paying attention to their properties, pride of ownership, etc.  That what he proposed to do was not the answer.

So, I guess I am glad that I had to return inside the house.  Otherwise, they might have had a write up in the paper about some crazy blonde woman chasing a man down Monroe Street with a crowbar…..  🙂  Well, maybe not that drastic.  But, you get my point.

Andrea

Formerly Known as the Palmoire

View from the backyard

The house on Florence that was formerly a spa and Bed & Breakfast is for sale.  It has been foreclosed on by Capital One.  Steven and I went and viewed it yesterday with the realtor.  Here are a few pictures from that walkthrough.  It has repairs that need to be made due to its standing empty for almost two years now.  Despite that, it has a good yard and a nice open floor plan on the first floor.  The second floor is all bedrooms. 

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The asking price is $300k.  I was astounded.  Noles Frye is the listing agent and they have comparable houses on Jackson Street and in the Garden District that have sat on the market from two, all the way up to four years now.  I don’t think they are going to get that price.  One problem is the appraisal due to no comps being in the area, they will have a hard time putting a value on the house (I know this from experience times two).  Since it has several repairs that need to be made (I will not include a list or pictures), comes with no appliances, and is not located in a prime neighborhood, I don’t see anyone paying that price for this house.  Who knows though?  Maybe someone will.

Andrea

New-Old picture of my house

I just received this.  When I get more details, I will edit this post.  This is a picture of my house sometime in the early 1900’s.  Note the horse and buggy parked out front.  I am soooo thrilled to have this picture!  The turret (the cone) is long  gone and I have had an architect draw up some plans to restore it.  This picture is better than the other one I have.  I hear rumors that there are several pictures in existence, just tracking down who has them has been the hard thing.

Here is the only other picture I have of this house:  Click Here.

Hair Spray and Caulk…Can They Co-Exist?

Only in my bathroom!  I thought this looked funny.  We have so many remodeling projects going on that items like this caulk gun start blending in with regular household items.

Well, well, I guess since I am showing you this picture, I will have to let you know that we did start remodeling our bathroom.  It is not exactly what we wanted to do.  We really wanted to take a wall down and move the plumbing around.  However, due to my decision of going back to school next Fall, we have decided to save our money and just update the bathroom.  We are not finished.  We still need to put shoe around the baseboard and I need to sand and paint the doorway and window, but this will give you an idea of what it is starting to look like.

BEFORE bath area. Notice the awful surround.

The floor was horrendous. We pulled up several layers of old tile and plywood.

Pulling out all the old

AFTER old moldy sheetrock and surround gone, new shower surround put in!

AFTER new floor

BEFORE

AFTER not sure why my pictures are fuzzy.

Bye-bye ugly!

I pulled all the old flooring out, Steven tore out the shower surround and sheetrock and stuff and then he repaired the wall and we both liquid nailed the new surround in.  I then caulked and siliconed it (do NOT want a mildewed shower later!) very thoroughly and Steven laid the floor.  I am proud of it!  Not exactly what I want at the moment (this is what I really wanted), but it looks a WHOLE lot better than it did.  It started getting be very embarrasing to have guests over…especially overnight guests!

I am so busy with finishing up the school year, that I have not been able to do the finishing work.  When I do, I will post pictures of the end result.  Until then, my caulk gun and hairspray will need to learn how to get along….they may be there a while!

Andrea

Our Hall

While I am in a sharing mood, I will post pictures of our hall floor.  I do not have the time or money right now to sand down all of the floors in our house and refinish them, so I bought some Restor-a-finish from Lowes and followed it up with a nice beeswax.  You rub the restor-a-finish into an unpolyurethaned (not sure if that is a word) floor and it covers scratches and scrapes until you can completely have your floors redone.  It looks nice!  I only did half of the hall and you can tell where I stopped!

See the difference?

See the difference?

See, I do work sometimes...

See, I do work sometimes...

hall big house

hall dogtrot restor a finish

Andrea

Convinced There is Nothing Photoshop Can’t Fix

On Good Friday, I had a wonderful family ask if they could have their photos taken at my house.  SURE!  I said, flattered that my house was at the top of the list close to Hodges Gardens and other nice areas they were considering.  If ya haven’t seen my house in person, you would laugh that my house was anywhere on the list CLOSE to Hodges Gardens!  After the photographer crawled over every inch of my house taking photos (and a lot of it wasn’t pretty), I was still dubious as to how the photos would turn out but, seeing them today, I am surprised that they are actually pretty good (because of my house, not the photographer)!  I am convinced now that there is nothing in this world that photoshop can’t fix.  Flab, double chins, beer bellies?  No problem!  Rusty houses, poison ivy, dilpadated fence?  Got it covered….literally….and here is the proof:

IMG_4425

IMG_4434

This photographer is located in Leesville.

And, of couse, ole Viv was standing around posing, hoping the photographer would notice…she did.  Here is my favorite picture.

Vivian by Total Betty Inc.

Andrea

Q: What happens when you paint latex paint over oil base paint?

A: Simple.  This happens:

(This is the Craftsman style bungalow next door we purchased in January.  For other related posts, click on the tag Bungalow)

Door bungalow

Kitchen Door

And this:

Bedroom Door

Bedroom Door

 It appears that someone found a sale on green oil base paint and painted every door and baseboard in this house.  Then, later, a super smart person painted flat latex paint over the oil base paint.  Result?  A house full of peeling paint for me to scrape off and start over! 🙂  YAY!

Kitchen Wall

Kitchen Wall

Dining Room Arch

Dining Room Arch

Butler's Pantry

Butler's Pantry

I am scraping, sanding and peeling off the paint at present.  When I am finished, I will cover the lovely green with white oil base paint.

Yay for me!

Andrea

What Were They Thinking: really bad old house ideas

Courtesy of This Old House

Courtesy of This Old House

So…I get up early this morning, 7:00 a.m. to be exact, excited that the carpenter was able to come by today and give me an estimate on porch work that needs to be done.  Everything was going well.  I showed Mike (our carpenter and friend), the porch boards that need to be replaced and the rotted column base that needed to be repaired.  He pointed out that the left corner of the porch was slightly sagging and that the column base was at an angle.  That made me curious.  So, I hopped off the porch to investigate.  Sure enough the column base that was rotted was a replacement so that meant work was done on the front corner of the porch.  I decided to pull off the fascia board and guess what I found…

front porch

Why would you do this on a corner?  It needs major support here…not a rig job.  This corner has a heavy column resting on it and water drains here.  Why in the world would you think that three pieces of junk wood would hold up over time?  Argh!  Off with their head!!!!!!!!!

front corner seal

Let’s examine the problem, shall we?

what-is-wrong

For the life of me, I cannot understand someone skimping on the repair job of something as important as a porch foundation.  It appears that the original beam (technically called a seal) had rotted.  We have had experience with this problem.  We had another place where the seal had rotted.  We had to have the house jacked up and a replacement put in.  It is not that big a deal and not as expensive as you would think.  In fact, if you have a little know how, you could buy a jack for $100 and do it yourself.

Needless to say, I was not excited in the least to find this kind of junk.  We have to repair this mess first before I can have the carpenter come back and replace porch boards.  I was looking forward to spending my holiday off next week sanding the porch so, when Mike was finished, I could prime and repaint the porch.  Now my plans have been foiled by a rotted piece of timber and a nitwit of a PO. (For all you non old house folks, PO means Previous Owner.  They are the ghosts that we old house folks blame every knuckleheaded idea on).  Argh!  This is just a typical occurrence though, for old house owners.  I laughed this morning (I mean, ya have to!  If not, you might go a little crazy!  CRAZY! Who you callin’ crazy?) and told my husband that this was not something listed on our home inspection report.  Oh well…what can ya do but fix it?  I guess you could track down the nut who either did this, or authorized someone to do it, and give them a good kick in the pants (or skirt).  That would make me feel better but, it ultimately would not solve the problem.  I wonder if one of the PO’s might log in one day and find my blog…..hmmm….I have this peabrained idea narrowed down to a couple of possible PO’s.  If you haven’t caught on yet, I am not too happy about finding this.  Anytime I think I have it bad, I head over to This Old House and look at the home inspection nightmare pictures.  Here are a few of my favorites. 

At least we did not find this:

Courtesy of This Old House

Courtesy of This Old House

Or this:

Courtesy of This Old House

Courtesy of This Old House

Yes folks, that is duct tape holding together a cracked support beam.

I think that the same guy who “reworked” my porch so nicely also did this:

Courtesy of This Old House

Courtesy of This Old House

Courtesy of This Old House

Courtesy of This Old House

My absolute favorite picture is where someone put a suitcase under a major support beam to hold up the porch.  For the life of me, I could not find it.  It was previously featured on TOH.  If you find it, let me know.  For more ideas for your lovely home, you can click here.

And lastly, my second favorite photo so far.  I guess it is because I can relate!

Courtesy of This Old House

Courtesy of This Old House

 

Andrea