Thursday, May 31, 2007

We have a nonpaying tennant. Really. There is a raccoon that lives between our parlour ceiling and upstairs floor. There must be alot of room there? Well for the last 4 years he has only once in awhile been noisy but either he is now too fat to get out and is stuck OR he has decided to expand his space but he is being really noisy and it is driving me nuts. I KNOW we need him out of there, btw, so just don't say it. :P

Monday, May 28, 2007

It is on the holidays that I appreciate owning an old house the most. I sit and wonder at how many other people celebrated a holiday and how they did it..what were they eatng did they feel?
Because my huband and I are both vets, both the children of vets and have one son (so far) in the active military, we are what you would call patriotic. Memorial Day has come to mean little more than a three day weekend and the scent of grilled burgers to many people...but to people who lived when this house was new, and even for years thereafter, memorial Day was a day to contemplate, to remember and to appreciate....and to mourn.
Memorial Day was first established in 1868 to remember the soldiers that had falled during hte Civil War. It was then called Decoration Day. My house was not built then but the original site where it was located had been platted for a year.
In 1910 it was popular to send postcards in memory of the day...My house was being built when this was mailed:

And this company of vets stood in formation in rememberance:

By 1920 my house was built and had been lived in long enough to see one of the builder's children go off to fight WW1 and not return.

With one son in the military I wanted something to let everyone know..and so I bought an antique WW1 star flag with one star..signifying one son serving:

And here are assorted pictures of people taking a moment to remember...over the past 90 years since my house was built...

This is what my house looked like about the time of WW1:

and during the next years I know many prayers went out for loved ones....
Men being buried at sea during ww2


Thank you so much...all of you. You have given much and will not be forgotten. As prayers have gone up from this home in the past they will continue in the future...Semper Fi.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Not a whole lot of time right now..big surprise?
I have decided to do the trim in a creamy white..The room is narrow, altho large for a bathroom, and I do not want to introduce too many colors..This particular bathroom is the nicest and the one that company woudl most often use.
I got brass switch covers yesterday, and we will be switching to brass faucets when we replace the sink.
The thing is that I really think I want to do the ceiling in a dark green. It is 10 ft so it can take the color without making hte bathroom appear hobbit-hole like..I just wish I had thought of it BEFORE I did the walls. :/

Thursday, May 24, 2007 I paint the trim in the hall bathroom off white, a darker shade of the wall color, a lighter shade of the wall color, a contrasting color OR faux wood grain?
PLEASE leave an opinion in the comment box? I am frozen with indecisive nerve synapses.

I am editing because I cant get my own comment box to work...
The bathroom I am talkign about is the hall bathroom that I just finished venetian plastering...You can see it here:hall bathroom

It is kind of a grayed down robin's egg blue, with a mottled effect...which sounds much worse than it actually is. It looks good. The colors int he border are the same blue, a brownish purple, a mustard/gold, forest green and white...the vanity is currently white as is the tile in the shower. I am planning on putting on a tile counter with aqua inset tiles.Maybe.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I have had a couple of great ideas in the past 24 hours. First I was sort of thinking about wanting a garden, saving money, being more *green* and such..and I realized that we could build a slightly raised garden at the back of the house by the laundry room, and run the grey water from the laundry to it...But wait! There's more! I also figured that we could lay in pvc pipe with holes drilled in it through the garden and have a pretty nifty irrigation system. Then I realized that, with the bed ebing raised , it had a base and we could add a green house frame, so that in the winter we could cover it with plastic and have vegetables all winter. It is south facing..
I was kicking around all of that and spoke to Marc about it and he suggested that in the winter we could pipe in the heat from the drier as well to help it stay above freezing. WIth 6 kids here and all the dirt we do alot of laundry..I am excited.

The bit that sticks out is the laundry room..We have an area for quite a large garden.

The other thing is that I need to solve a fly problem at the milking barn. We built the barn with 3 stalls and a plain milking area, and 2 doors, one on each end. In the middle of the barn is a sliding panel that seperates the barn into 2 areas with small grazing area on both sides. The does have favored one side and has several layers of mulch/hay/manure...and maggots. Ew.
So I am going ot get some diatimacious earth, turn it into the area, close the area off from the does and then plant my garden there for this year...In the fall the does can eat what is left off the plants and I have an awesome fertile area that I dont have to till....
In theory.
I will take pictures and let you know..of course.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I think we have decided that Maine is not going to happen for us, at least not for awhile (goodby snowy winters, goodby 125 acre field, sniff) and so we are moving ahead and planning on doing as much on this 2 acres as we can. We will continue the restoration of the house, but add into our work more research on solar panels (they have cool presss and stick solar panels now!) and other things to bring us more and more off grid, less and less dependent on what we must buy rather than procure for ourselves. In this is the restoration of the upstairs fireplace...and the installation of a (hopefully) field stone fireplace in the sun room area. That room, which has windows on the south, north and west, gets COLD in the winter...and a full fledged fireplace suits me better than a wood stove. With a fireplace in the den, and one in the kitchen/dining area (both areas can be closed off from the rest of the house) we can concentrate most of our living in those areas in the winter.
Marc hopes to get the office bathroom walls ready to be painted this next weekend and once the downstairs is done we can regroup as to what we want to do next.
Ethan harvested soem fresh cilantro out of his garden yesterday, and Shiloh's cukes seemt o be doing well. I told the kids this morning that for the summer we were going to concentrate on homesteading activities (plus math) rather than normal school days...
they were ecstatic. :)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I finished the glazing! I dont have much time right now but I really love the effect. The bathroom is somewhat a slightly greyed down robin's egg blue, with a lovely mottled effect. I really really like it...Did I say I liked it?
This weekend is a bust. I have an appointment to have some medical testing done on monday a.m. and I have to spend Sunday preparing for it physically. (Don't ask). So I am hoping that Marc willt ake pity on me in my weakened Camille like state and offer to patch up the holes in the wall in hte office bathroom so I can get started painting on it.
I have almost decided to throw caution to the wind and go with wooden counters in the kitchen. I know they will wear, I know that waater will warp them..I know..I know..but I love them so much. If you happen to be reading and you have gone with wooden counters, not butcherblock but wooden counters...would you leave me a comment and a link to your site and promise to tell me everythign i need to do to find the right kind of wood and install them? Please?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Blog Challenge!

I am going to send out a challenge of sorts. If you are blogging about the restoration of an old house, then do a before and after of the biggest/most intense/best job you have finished. Link to it in the comment section here...and also link to this post on your blog..Let me know that you are doing it. Next Thursday, 5/24, if anyone participates, I will post all of the links to all of the pictures and stories of the *Big One*.
In your blog let us know what you did, how you did it, why you are proud of it..whatever information you want us to know.

Mine is the front parlor. When we moved into this house the walls were multi colored. They had been painted yellow and then someone had gone back and used texture to fix holes. Only they didnt bother to paint over it. There was an off off off white carpet throughout and the entire house smelled of rodents. ew.Any way...I stenciled the design on the parlor walls and faux finished the woodwork. I stained and shellacked the oircutre ral trim and Marc installed it. I still need to make curtains to finishe hte room but I am happy with the results so far.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I have been thinking about where we were and where we are and decided to encourage myself, and impress you with soem pictures of the actual progress...

The reception parlour then (2003)

and now (2007)

The downstairs hall then:

and now

And the front parlour then:

and now..

See, when it is all laid out like that it seems like we have atually accomplished something..It is just that in the every day, dealignw ith cracks, holes int he floor, countertops that are ugly..and seeing the new corian counters and shiny floors in other homes..well you is tough..I want it to be done..yesterday.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I haven't said much on this particular blog about our lives outside of restoration hell. We do have them, sorta.
Marc actually has a paid position at a respectable company and wears suits to work. He cleans up good and people never suspect his *other* life.
People know I a weird from the gitgo. It's o.k. I don't clean up quite so well. But outside of public stuff we have our farm. Well, can you call 2.some odd acres of mostly floodland a farm? I hope so, because we do. We did actually have chickens, sheep and goats as well as horses at one point..The sheep produced enough wool to keep me spinning until I am 90,provided I actually had time to spin, and so I gave them away. Yes gave. I gave them to an unsuspecting family at our church..They still do talk to us but I am surprised.
The chickens died last summer in the heat. I am suposed to be replacing them even as we speak but I am having an adhd moment and cannot decide..Golden laced wyandottes? Barred Rocks? New Hampshire Reds? Too many choices...I hate making decidions.
We have the goats, which we milk...and the horses, which we don't. We did try to sell the horses because a flood a few years ago took out our pasture and the horses are costing us enough every month to provide rice for the entire country of Bangladesh..but horses don't sell for much in a drought and Marc and I do not want to see them go to Alpo.
Normally we have a vegetable garden, altho I haven't put one in in the past two years. Last year my back was out and I was flat on the floor for 6 weeks...This year the tiller wont run. I plan on getting in some tomato plants at least. ANd I better do that soon!
SO I guess, besides having a house to restore we are trying to homestead a little. One of these days I am going to commit and really do it but for now, I am just nibbling at the edges of the idea, not really totally committed to it but really wanting to be.
SO that is our life outside of the house. HEre are some pictures that I have taken over the time we have lived here.

You get a feel for the size of the house here, even though it looks small from the road because of the design it is huge.The house was moved 30 miles in 1950..and cut in 4 pieces to move it...At that point I think it lost the original roof line..Here is a picture of hte house at it's origianl site in 1914..and let me tellyou it took alot of research to fined that!

Here is a picture from a series I did on my other blog, Road Not Taken. You can find it on my profile. It is called, A Day in the Life, and I did a photo journal of milking for my grandkids...Anyway, this is our best milker, Grin, waiting to be let out after milking...

and the horses, Candy, Hope, and Buddy.

This is the BRANCH of a tree that came off during recent high winds.In our area of Texas there are not many big trees like on the east coast and such but we have alot of them here..mostly walnut and pecan..which would be awesome if they weren't native and so wormy that you couldnt do anything with them

SO that is a little background on my life outside of just fixing..Hope you enjoyed the tour. I am going to glaze the venetian plaster today and hopefully get some things cleaned up.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

And the border is UP!
I dont know why I put it off for this week but I did. It just seems like such an overwhelming hting until I get started..then it only took about 30 minutes.
Of course I waited until afternoon and so up at the top of the ladder, in a small room with 10 ft ceilings it was hot. Very hot...But I like the results...and I am getting quite good at borders I think.

The first picture is as close as I could get of the border itself...aqua, plum, gold and cream with some forest green...

Here is another picture of the corner. The hardest thing about doing borders in this house is the age of the house means that the ceiling lines are not perfectly level and I am not good about being able to adjust a mass of wet, sticky, slimy border...

ANd finally, here is a picture from the hall. Now to decide what fabric to go with for curtians..and then do I crackle paint the trim??

but it looks SO much better than before.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The last coat of venetian plaster is curing...about this time tomorrow, maybe thursday, I will put the glaze over the whole thing. It should be ready for hte border htis weekend..and hten I plan on deciding what happens next...I am leanign toward a tiled counter with inset tiles in aqua but I am not sure...yet. I want to wait until I see it with the border up before I decide...The colors seem to be heading toward aqua, green, plum and gold. I really like the mottled effect that happens. I think that if I do it again in another room I may try to base coat it with a contrasting color and then do glazes...Wow the possibilities!
You can see that I left room for the border at the very top of the wall...The light fixtures look awesoem with this color.
a closeup of the color/texture