Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Oh dear me...it's been forever since I've posted a pretty picture.
The weather has been absolutely beautiful here so I've pressed the "hold" button on the remodel to work outside...I've been weeding like a maniac, pruning roses, getting a few of the raised beds ready for spring veggie planting.
While I was weeding my little sedum bed I was reminded of this shot I took last year when The Husband and I went on a garden tour.
I love this!
I don't have an old urn lurking in the barn, but I do have a pretty terracotta pot that would work...and it's a great place to plunk some of the rocks I've collected on my adventures.

The weather report says rain for tomorrow...so I'll be back inside stirring up the dust and taking more photos of chaos.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

What's That Stuff?

The biggest challenge in the remod has been the kitchen floor...testing my patience I tell ya.
100+ years of flooring, one stacked on top of the other. I've had several people tell me it would be best if I just covered up the mess by adding another layer.
Uh uh.
The top layer was curling linoleum, and there were soft spots where the dishwasher and sink each had their little hissy fits over the years. There was no way I was going to stack my new cabinets over potential dry rot?
Dumb...approaching stupid.
So, we got busy. We're down to the original t&g fir flooring, lots of water damage but no rot. The base layer of linoleum was backed with tar paper that was stuck to the floor with some kind of adhesive - I was able to get that off with my favorite Jasco stripper. But the Jasco doesn't touch some kinda wierd gunk that was under the tar streaks..it looks like floor wax, or glue of some kind.
After a lot of internet research I thought a steaming process would take it off.
Mineral Spirits?
Paint thinner?
I talked to another know-it-all guy at another paint store and he asked me if I'd tried Denatured Alcohol...he was sure that would take it right off - so I bought it.
Then I remembered that a friend had told me her husband had the same problem with the floor in their bungalow. He'd tried absolutely everything and then someone told him to use boiling water. I tried it...scrubbing with steel wool right after pouring on the water - - - it worked! The boiling water/steel wool scrub turns that gunk to muddy water. It's a really slow process and the water has to be boiling or it's a no-go.
I talked to that friend this week and asked her who told her hubby about the boiling water trick...he told her it was me.
I hate middle-age brain fog...I seem to have lost a few chunks of really good data.
If you find my data would you please be so kind as to send it to me?
Oh ya...and if you have a really old house with strange gunk on the original wood floors...try srubbing with boiling water first before you buy buckets of chemicals.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

It's a Dirty Job

The dust is flying, landing, sifting, migrating.
Why does he have on a hood but no dust mask?
Oh honey, I guess I should ask you what you ask me all the time lately.
"Where's your mask?"

The Treasure Hunt

Oh. My. Goodnes.
I'm on a little remodeling break, this stuff isn't for sissies ...or for that matter fifty year old women with back issues. It's still fun, even through a haze of muscle relaxers and pain killers...better remodeling through chemistry.
I keep looking for treasures, for that wedding ring of Carolines that was lost more than forty years ago, anything! There was a newspaper from July 27,1961..it was stapled into the soffit in the kitchen - that was fun to look at...coffee was 69 cents a pound. It's obvious that every farm family that lived here over the last 110 years was on a shoestring budget, nothing was wasted, this old house was built sturdy but without any frills. The remodel from 1961 gutted the kitchen and changed the footprint from what I can tell. I was told that in the late sixties they blew in insulation...well...they did that on the north side of the house, but not a spec on the south wall...I guess insulation was considered a frill. Bare studs, not a spec of fuzzy stuff anywhere - unless you count spider webs...no wonder my heating bills cause choking and gasping every winter.
I've taken little snapshots of all of the different wallpaper samples...some are pretty...others...not so much.
But last night while we were peeling back layer after layer of linoleum, sub floor, plywood and tar paper...I found this flooring.
I like it!

I wish I knew the stories of the families that lived here before me...because I think I would like the lady that chose this flooring for the living area.
I can't help but wonder who she was and how she spent her days.
These are the things I think about while I'm crouched on the floor with my nail puller and pry bar.