Friday, November 30, 2012

"Back to the Studs......"

As you may have guessed, the condition of the walls behind the paneling were in such sad shape that Rob thought it best to take all of the old plaster and drywall off and hang new drywall.  So after a fairly quick demo and great clean up (remember the photo of all the black garbage bags in the side yard?), the wall was ready for new insulation to be installed Thursday morning.

Here is what it looked like at the end of the day Wednesday.

During the wall demo, Rob found an old wasps nest in-between the drywall and the outside wall.  When I was readying the room for Rob and Franklin, I took off the electrical wall plates.  One was a blank wall plate that I "assumed" covered some old wiring.  When I removed it, I found a hole about the size of a half dollar stuffed with paper instead.  Whomever lived in the house at the time of the wasps must have heard them buzzing in the wall, drilled the hole, and squirted foam insulation into the wall, hoping to fill the area of intrusion.  It must have worked.   :)  My thanks to Rob for this photo.

Before demoing the wall, Franklin wrapped the cooking section of the kitchen in plastic to make sure none of the dust from the drywall/plaster removal would settle in it.  I took this photo Thursday morning before the installation of new insulation.

Franklin did a terrific job enclosing everything, including the new countertop sections, in plastic.

The insulation from the back addition was in fine condition so it did not need replacing.  Here is Franklin putting in the finishing pieces of the new insulation.

I'll post more of the progress my next post.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Unplanned Route to Perfection......"

As I mentioned yesterday, neighbor Rob, owner of Spruce Painting (, along with sidekick, Franklin, were coming over to take the old dark paneling down from one wall in the kitchen.  In preparation for that to happen, I moved our antique freestanding kitchen cabinet and our liquor cabinet from the room, plus took apart our tall metal shelving unit and stored that in the basement.  The 2 wooden cabinets were moved to the front fiber room.  Yes, the footprint of my fiber room is getting a bit smaller all the time, since its become our choice for storage, too.  I was able to move the pieces easily with a small 2 wheel cart and place them front to back to save floor space.  We had previously moved from along the wall next to the sunroom, a tall metal filing cabinet (to the basement), but my desk and short, wooden filing cabinet got moved into the front room, too.  You've heard of "organized chaos", right?   ;)

Here is another view of the front fiber room.  As you can see, I still have my weaving area.

Here is the wall that had to be accessible.  Prior to this updating process, it had along it the metal shelving, our kitchen table, and the liquor cabinet against the far wall with the TV on it.  The TV was moved to a rolling TV stand so it could be easily moved as needed for the remodeling process.

Here is what the lower "L" section of the kitchen looks like.  Not only did the paneled wall need to be accessible, but the other walls needed to have their baseboards removed, too, in preparation for the flooring to be installed.  The antique kitchen cabinet stood against the blank wall on the right.  After the baseboard was removed, the countertop in the doorway was brought in and stored against the sink countertop on the left.  By the way, this area was also added onto the original house......prior to Don buying it.  Don added the sunroom a number of years ago.  Before the doorway, it was just a blank wall.  Neither of us understand what the point of this small addition was.  All we can figure out was that it was a very dark, dead end space.  Evidentially, our vision is not "creative" enough.   ;)  

Rob and Franklin pose for me in front of the last piece of paneling that needs to be taken down.  Notice the black glue squiggles, etc?  As the paneling came down, it uncovered the signs of previous remodeling.  We'd known that a door to the outside was across from the basement door and that was made evident when the paneling was removed.  We also saw that the original kitchen window had been larger, too, as you can see in this photo.  Quite a few changes throughout the life of this house......

Remember when wallpaper was very popular?  Through the years, our kitchen had at least 4 different wall coverings.  This one showed up surrounding the basement door and on the back wall around the sliding door.

These were behind the paneled wall and were revealed by its removal.

All the paneling has been removed and now came the discussion of the best way to go forward.

This photo, and the title of today's post, may give you a clue as to what decision was made.......

More tomorrow with the "adventures of remodeling".   ;)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The kitchen remodel begins......"

Monday began the work in the kitchen.  The first thing we had done was to replace our old dishwasher.

Here is a photo of the old one.

And here is the new one.  As you can see from this photo (front of oven), I definitely need to spend more time with the stainless steel cleaner in hand.....

I will be posting the progress of the kitchen as it moves along.  Unfortunately, I was supposed to have photos of the new countertops, too, but there was a "slight " problem with that installation.  When the pieces were delivered on Monday (scheduled to be installed early Tuesday morning), I noticed that the 3rd and last piece brought in didn't look big enough for the counter it was to replace.  So I immediately made a call and sure enough, the order had not been sent in correctly.  That piece is now on the "fast track" to being redone and we're scheduled for installation next Monday.  Unfortunately that means we have to navigate around the new countertop for a week while we wait.  The 3 pieces lean against the backside of the oven peninsula, but the sink section is longer and sticks out over a foot from the end.

Having to wait for the countertop installation does not mean we are at a stand still.  Our neighbor, Rob, owner of "Spruce Painting" (, will be here today to begin taking off the old, dark paneling that runs along one wall.  It used to run from the front of the house to the back but several years ago we had Rob come in and redo the front room (my fiber room).  He took the paneling down, fixed and prepped the wall (the paneling had been glued to the wall) and painted.

Here is a photo of that process being done.  On the left, you can see a small edge of the dark paneling that continued into the kitchen.

Although we had a small disappointment yesterday by not having the countertop installed, we are still excited about the whole process and that little setback is a small price to pay for all that will, in the end, be beautiful.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

"This Years Christmas Tree......"

We have a different Christmas tree this year.  We're doing some updating in our kitchen and figured we'd not put up the 9' tree because of the "organized chaos" associated with the updating process.  So when we were out at our local Ace Hardware, we saw this little guy and bought it.

It is a far cry from last years, but it has a few of our special ornaments and we enjoy the lights.  Here is a photo of last years for comparison.   ;)

This years tree may be smaller in size but our Christmas spirit hasn't changed.  Ho Ho Ho!   :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

"Claire's Thanksgiving Visit...."

Since Claire moved to Chicago in July, she has been been able to visit us more often.  It was especially nice to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving together, the first in many, many years.

It was also a time to go through the many boxes of family memorabilia (and assorted "stuff") that I brought with me to Madison.

Thankfully, in moving to Chicago, Claire was also able to move into a larger apartment than what she had in buy a car, which allowed us to "gift" her with many, many items.   ;)

One of the many things she had packed in her car was an early Christmas gift that I wove for her.  The rug was woven using Pendleton Wool Blanket selvages.  Washing it in cold water and drying it on the "low heat" dryer setting, the wool slightly "felts" and the piece becomes even more plush and cushy.  Miss Lil checked it out right away and gave it her approval.   ;)

I thought I should include a photo of what the Pendleton Wool Blanket selvage looks like prior to weaving/felting.  My last order included the black/gold for Claire's rug and another selvage which has red as the main color, with smaller amounts of other colors as accents.

Monday, November 19, 2012

"Henry's Monster Truck....."

Jonathan has been at it again.  This time his woodworking talents took a different route and he made Henry a "Monster Truck".   :)

It it a beautiful piece of workmanship from every angle.......

Here is a close up of the tire so you can see the precision cuts of the tire tread.

And just the right size for Henry's Lego figures, too.

I'm sure Henry was MUCH more excited than he looks posing for yet "another photo".  ;)  May he have many years of enjoyment with his Monster Truck, which will be an eventual family heirloom.

Friday, November 16, 2012

"Just Found This...."

I just found another photo of Rob's leaf pile on the camera.  This is before he moved all of the leaves to the edge of the street in the front yard.

Monday, November 5, 2012

"Leaves......and MORE Leaves....."

Saturday was Don's day up on the roof cleaning gutters.  I was the "man on the ground" handing up blower and/or hose at the appropriate time.  I'd cleaned the yard twice so far and now with the gutters cleaned, a final sweep of the yard should be my last one for the season.

Our neighbor, Rob, on the other hand, hadn't done any blowing or raking until this past Saturday and the pile of leaves out front is a WHOPPER!  Let's hope we continue to have calm wind conditions!.   ;)

Friday, November 2, 2012

"Halloween 2012"

As usual, Don and I hosted a gathering on our deck for Halloween "Trick or Treating".  We had a group of about 6 neighboring houses who brought their bowls of candy over to make the night quite social and fun.

I took one and only ONE photo the entire night!  Unbelievable.......I should be, and am, ashamed!  At least the photo turned out good.   ;)  Here are Lonny, Griffin, and Charlie after they dropped off their bowl of candy and before they left to take Griffin Trick or Treating.  And yes, Griffin The Lion did ROAR!  :)