Friday, February 27, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
How cute is he?
Ed has had some health troubles this year; he had a pretty crappy week last week, but now he's on some new meds and is feeling much better. He's been enjoying rolling in the snow and lots of petting. And stretching out in one of his many beds.
Next week we'll get a bit of a break from work and we're planning to start cleaning out & exploring what's under the paneling in the downstairs study. That should be interesting, to say the least...
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
This winter, we've had the cold water pipe freeze a few times. We haven't had real trouble because the pipe is PEX and because we can thaw it from the basement using my hairdryer. Problem #1 - the thawing procedure meant doing a very uncomfortable yoga pose perched on top of the dryer for about 20 minutes, trying to guide hot air through a teeny access crack. Problem #2 - my hairdryer got so tired it quit and we had to buy a new one. Grr.
The pipe only freezes when the outdoor temperature goes below -10 degrees (that's negative 10) - which has happened enough this year to make the frozen pipe a real nuisance. And yes, you can leave it dripping and it usually won't freeze, but one of us typically forgets, washes our hands, and shuts it off.
On the wall-ripping day, I had accidentally turned the water off (stupid compulsive hand-washer that I am) and it froze in about an hour flat. About 15 minutes into the uncomfortable basment yoga pose and many cuss words later, I decided enough was enough and broke into the wall. I was able to extricate half a panel right at a seam - using only a utility knife and prybar. Ken came home just when I needed more leverage, so he finished the last snap.
Last weekend, I finally got around to making a cute little frame and painting the new mini-access door. Oh, and repainting all the areas I totally wrecked in the process of yanking the panel. Ken rearranged the insulation inside the hole so it's less likely to freeze, and if it does, we can pop the door to warm the pipe. Since I tore the hole in the wall, it hasn't frozen again - knock on wood.
Monday, February 16, 2009
So - we put the windows back together, hung paintings, hauled up the furniture,
put the door back on, and installed the curtain rods and curtains I made on the cheap. The curtains are just a couple of yards of linen on sale from the fabric store, quick hems on the sides (the selvage had an awesome green thread double stripe and fring-y edge, so we left it), stencils, and brass rings on top).
This tiny little oil painting (unsigned) makes the room for me. I found it tucked in a corner of the antique shop, got it for $10, and didn't even think of putting it in this room at the time - but suddenly it seemed perfect.
We still have to clean up the cool desk (I picked it up on a trip in southern Maine, I need to do more research about it - it's got some neat English Arts & Crafts details).
And we have to properly clean the door, though it was mercifully unpainted, for a change. Also, spring will be the season of window sash repair and stripping. Ugh. Glad the groundhog saw his shadow, for once.
Interestingly, though these photos look sort of gauzy or hazy, that's what it actually feels like in the room - there's a great fuzzy light in there. The paint color is a bit richer than it looks, but the light quality - priceless. Oh, and the lack of orange plaid and animals - that's worth a million bucks (though this room cost about $125, excluding furniture).
It's so great to have one less eyesore - but we'll miss watching visitors' reactions to the Infamous Animal Room. Oh well, there's still the tacky paneling in the study to pick on...but not for long.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
First, I really liked getting a better understanding of the differences between preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, and reconstruction. Here's the main page for the Park Service's standards on those. Apparently we (like most other people who are living in older homes) are doing rehab.
Dig down a bit deeper and you get to some really great advice and technical info about old houses in the Preservation Briefs series - for example, the window repair page we've referred to before. It's like a manual for your old house!
These resources made me think of a couple of my favorites, on windows - the National Trust's wood window tip sheet (guess what - they're not suggesting vinyl replacement! :)
and Robert Schweitzer's paint color site (and his books are great too).
All in all, it was a lovely evening - complete with tea and cookies - and we're thrilled to live in such a great city. Bangor turns 175 tomorrow (the city is throwing a party with cake, even!), so Happy Birthday, Queen City!
Friday, February 6, 2009
The other day I finally got a plate hanger and hung up a favorite holiday gift in the favorite color - this gorgeous platter made by a local artist. It's low enough on the kitchen wall that I can reach it because I plan to use it as much as possible!
Thanks, Ken's fam - it is an awesome addition!