Sunday, March 08, 2009
How about those "Stars & Stripes" suspenders?
Much work has been done since the last blog update where we highlighted work on the house. Scraping, sanding, and painting don't sound too exciting in comparison to hosting guests, celebrating Christmas with family, and babysitting for your granddaughter each week. OSHA Babe has done a great job keeping you informed of the "people" highlights in our lives these days. I'll try to catch you up on the progress that continues to put the finishing touches on the place.
WARNING - You need a tetanus shot to even look at the picture of the small upstairs bathroom as we found it in September, 2006. The "Nasty Bathroom" we found in place -
Pictured below, that same bathroom as of February, 2009
Talk about an ugly mirror, light fixture, and electrical outlet-
Notice the custom made mirror that now covers that bathroom wall.
1. The small bathroom upstairs got some finishing touches recently. From the pictures above, you can see that we've come a long way from the "Nasty Bathroom" we found when we bought the place. (Just looking at the "before" picture nearly makes you want to get a tetanus shot.) Upgrading the mirror, scraping the window down to bare wood and painting it, adding the period specific trim over the top of the window, scraping and painting the closet doors, and cleaning up the messes that were made took over 2 weeks. Now, the OB has towel rods, a bathrobe hook, and no holes in the sheetrock around the electrical outlet and medicine cabinet. It's also nice that what OB calls my "private office" is well lit.
Don't the refinished floors look great in the downstairs Guest Bedroom?
The yellow walls in the distance in this picture are in the room where the computer is now located. .
2. The Back 2 Rooms have been completed and furnished and are being well used. You will notice the great job done on refinishing the floors. One of the two rooms is a guest bedroom. It is cozy and works out great for our guests who would rather not climb stairs.
The other room is now the computer room. We prewired both rooms for cable tv and internet access and finally got the computer moved from OB's upstairs office. (Virgie, you will be glad to know that we reset the door strike mechanism and now can lock that back door.) We are spending more time in this room than we imagined.
3. Windows and Doors continue to be necessary projects.
The neighborhood has changed since these burglar bars were common in the 80's.
Nasty screen and decades of dirt had to be dealt with
Much better, don't you think?
Shutters in the dining room give a finished look and privacy from nearby neighbor's house
We are really proud of how the Dining Room looks with the shutters installed on the bay windows. They were installed a couple of days before Christmas and really finish off the room in a classy way. We like them so much that we plan on getting shutters for the Butler's Pantry windows.
Plywood outside in January 2009 is testimony that the work continues
Once again, the finished product is worth the trouble described below. Thanks, dear husband/contractor/handyman.
The picture above that shows the plywood covering an exterior window chronicles about a 3 week period when the bottom sash of the window was being repaired. A corner of that sash, having caught full afternoon sun for over a century, finally decided that it had had enough. Again, something that appear relatively simple required scheduling with the shop to rebuild the corner, priming and painting the sash, replacing the glass, glazing the pane into the sash, replacing the ropes that held the sash weights, fastening the ropes to the sash, scraping, sanding, painting 3 coats on the inside window trim, and installing the trim. It doesn't look like much but it does take time.
Some would simply add one more layer of paint to existing surfaces, but Bo is patiently getting it all down to bare wood before painting with three layers of paint.
The most recent window adventure was in the TV Room upstairs. The three window frames had to be scraped, painted with three coats, have trim removed, scraped, sanded, painted (3 coats), installed, nail holes filled, shades installed, ..... You get the drift. It sure looks nice when it is done.
The overall count of scraping windows is -
Downstairs -- 21 done and 4 to go
Upstairs -- 8 done and 10 to go
Doors - This bead board center of closet door from upstairs bathroom had been covered with plywood.
Bead board door for upper area of pantry in kitchen-before (above) and after (below)
Since we last reported, 5 doors have been refinished. Three of them were relatively small. The small upstairs bathroom had two beautiful bead board door that someone had decided to cover over with plain plywood. One of the doors had be taken off (probably during the mid 1990's) and left under the carport. Amazingly, it was in good shape structurally and really turned out nice with sanding, scraping, and 3 coats of paint. In the Kitchen, the storage space above the pantry now has a finished door. It too was recovered from under the carport.
Two full size doors have been refinished since our last report but only one of them has been rehung. I can not find the hinges for the door between the Kitchen and the Mud Room. But it sure looks nice and is ready to go when I find hinges that work.
The overall count of scraping and refinishing doors is -
Downstairs -- 14 done and 1 (or possibly 2) to go
Upstairs -- 9 done and 1 to go.
I'm not sure if these numbers are a badge of honor or a symptom of lunacy. It might depend on who you ask.
(Note from OSHA Babe-I think it's love-see Days 1-40 of The Love Dare)
Even the palm trees have become better groomed since the first picture below (taken
The palm trees got a haircut in early 2009, not an easy job without special equipment.
The orange crop for 2009 was abundant. We have enjoyed sharing with neighbors and friends.
Our young friend Deborah, the orange picker
Dee and Diane, from My Home at Last, with some of the tools of their trade
OSHA Babe arranged for dear friends Dee and Diane to work with her and put some incredible decorating touches into the house. She caught me while I was out of town for 3 days and they worked long, hard hours rearranging furniture, hanging pictures, moving area rugs, dusting, taking things out of the house, and a lot more. The place looks fabulous and is professionally and tastefully decorated. By the way, Dee and Diane have been in the interior decoration business for several years. If you know of anyone in the San Antonio area in need of their services, they have added us on the list of those who give them highest recommendations. We will feature their work in a separate blog listing.
Brothers Byrl and Joe with Leo - on the porch in December, 2008
Our friend Anne's room is always ready whenever she comes to San Antonio. Her latest visit was early in January, 2009-Yes, the Christmas decorations are all down now.
We still love visitors. The nice, old house without friends is not nearly as valuable.
Monday is normally Lily's day to do "inner city mission work." She brightens up the place. We also enjoy Buck and Katy coming to pick her up.
Dennis and Vickie from Indianapolis surprised us with a visit in February. They were "in the neighborhood" (Dallas) for a business meeting and tacked on several days to cover I-35 from Oklahoma City to San Antonio visiting a son in college and friends. We were thrilled to come back from a morning coffee run and find them standing on our porch. We've known them from St. Louis church days in the 1980's and consider them to be dear, lifelong friends.
Speaking of lifelong friends, Loyd and Wilma came over from Houston and spent a couple of nights. They are also church friends from the 1970's in Houston. (There is a common theme, isn't there?) Loyd gets put to work when he is here. Every evening is "game time" that involves either cards or dominos. The girls won the card game on night 1 but the guys walloped them in dominos thereafter.
Bethany, Lupe, Deborah Artie and JR, Joseph, and Pedro
Guess the connection to the folks in the group picture? Yep, friends from church here in San Antonio. They are a special family that we have come to love. We had shared a meal with them to honor Pedro who left for his Navy Seal training. We wish him godspeed in this challenge and ask you to join us in praying for his safety and success in the coming months. This young man is special to us and God must have a very gracious hand on his shoulder. Hard to imagine he entered this world early as a barely two pound baby and now he is strong and courageous enough to attempt to join a very elite corps of brave individuals. It will be our privilege to keep you posted on his progress.
1. Finish doors and windows
2. Enclose a 20' x 16' section of the carport. This is planned for a storage area.
3. Begin constructing wooden window screens so we can lower the top sash and get some good ventilation through the house in the 6 weeks to 2 months before and after air conditioning season.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
In mid-November Buck and Katy participated in the Rock N' Roll San Antonio Marathon by running the half-marathon. We had fun moving to different places for Lily to cheer them on. We also enjoyed all the compliments about how cute she was.
Steven, GrandDad, and Uncle Joe
Shanna knew this special gift would fit right in this old house
Maddie opened baby sister-to-be's sweetie pie shirt. Next year this time there will be another new baby. YAY!Christmas dinner-how do you like our new shutters in the dining room? More gifts to open later on Christmas Day. Lily acted as big as her cousins.
Sean shared his new Viking helmet with Lily.Katy and Buck inspired us with their half marathon. Bo and I are working to participate in the Rock N'Roll half next April in Nashville.
The whole family got running shoes.
And now......let the Forty Two begin!
Family Picture with Byrl, Bo, Shanna, Steven, Michelle, Sean, and Maddie
A very special picture of Uncle Joe with great grandson Casey and Byrl