Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Have you ever felt compelled to do something? And you can sort of explain why you are compelled, but not entirely - you just know its what you have to do?  I can't say that that has happened to me often; but it has happened to me this year.

I'm finally telling everyone in my life about my big plans -- I'm over hauling my life!

I have been in an intense career transition workshop since April.  Lots of hard work, but I have learned so much about myself, and about what makes me happy.  It's been an amazing journey, but its one that is just beginning.

I'm selling my house....

I'm selling pretty much everything I own (except my tools, a few dishes and my dog.... )

I'm going to build and live in a Tumbleweed Tiny House.  In wheels.  Off the grid.

House showings start this week....

My big sale will be November 3rd.

I hope to have a much lighter load in every sense of the word by the time I travel to my parents' in Minnesota for Christmas.

I may post a few more times here, but I've started a new blog, documenting my transition.  If you'd like to follow my journey, post in the comments, and I'll send you an invitation for the new blog.  (I haven't published it to internet browsers yet.) I think several of my readers have already made the jump, and frankly I have no idea how many people have been reading this blog!  : ) 

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I'll be away for a while - I'm orchestrating huge changes.  Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Bedroom Wall & Baseboards

Here's a project update on the wooden wall in my bedroom...

Going WAY back, when I moved in, I re-did all my baseboards to get rid of all the yucky paint and just have clean, stained wood baseboards.  In pretty much the entire house, when the baseboards were removed, we found that the sheet rock didn't extend all the way to the floor.  To remedy that, we "scabbed in" some supporting wood along the floor, and added about 6 inches of sheet rock, and then installed the new baseboards.

You can read about that project here:

Fast forwarding to this current project, I removed all the sheet rock off one wall in my bedroom to reveal beautiful nail ridden original planks.  Love.

If you missed that post, it's here:

But now, of course, I have to remove the new baseboards and remove the sheet rock we added!  Awww, isn't renovating fun?

Last weekend I removed the baseboards, and pulled off the remaining strips of sheet rock.  It's just as lovely behind them as I recalled!  Because I knew I wouldn't be working on the project again for a week, I taped paper over the openings, to discourage anything from under the house paying me a visit.

I've pulled it back for your viewing pleasure.  

Here's to the left of the baseboard vent:

(Ouch, must replace that white outlet cover!) Similar to what I found on the vertical door frames, it looks like a hatchet was used to rip the bottom plank... When you add the scraps of wood along the floor, not only do the widths of the pieces have to be really random to fit, but often there isn't anything behind them to nail them to...

Here's to the right of the baseboard vent:

The next step in this project is to sand off that white stripe that is parallel to the floor.  I'm not exactly sure what it is -- glue, or sheet rock mud, or....?  And some of it still has the linen vapor barrier fabric stuck in it.  Unfortunately, the line falls about a half an inch above the baseboard, so it shows, and it must go!

I've been sanding by hand, but hoo-whee it is slow going.  I plan to try a Dremel with a sanding wheel next.  I have an electric sander, but I am wary of sanding too much and changing the wood color just in that area.  I do not want to end up having to sand the entire wall to make it all match...

When that is done, and I'll scrub down the whole wall with warm water and a stiff bristle brush.  I did that on the narrow wall by my shoes, (see this week's earlier post) and while the wall didn't really look much different after it dried, the water in the bucket got VERY dirty.... 

Next, also before the baseboards go in, I need to figure out if I am going to oil the wall, and if so, what in the heck type of oil should I use?  The wood is very, very dry.  It doesn't need a stain - the color is gorgeous - but I feel like it needs some type of love.  I don't really want to put on any polyurethane either, but maybe that is what it needs. I hate being the first person to put an unnatural coating on natural wood!  I sent an email inquiry to a local renovation company, but so far I haven't gotten a reply.  I've also surfed around on some wood working forums online, and done a bit of online research, but at this point I don't have any firm ideas of what's needed.  If you have any ideas, please, share.

At that point I'll be forced to address the  HVAC wall vent issue.  The duct material at the opening is very old - probably original - not 1929 original because they didn't have central air back then - but original whenever it was added! -- and it doesn't exactly accept any of today's vents.  As with many things in this house when I bought it, the vents were attached with caulk.  Caulk with about 17 layers of paint over it.  Gross!  I sanded all the paint of the vents, but that doesn't make them straight (they are so warped!) and then - no way to attach them.  And this is a problem in nearly every room of my house... I may have to go under the house and re-do the last bit of duct work coming up to the vent, and the end of the duct work that peeps up into the baseboards to accept the vent.  May I just say there that I am trying to avoid all of that...?  I'm also contemplating fabricating my own vents out of some time of screening and wooden frames.  I don't need them to be louvered and adjustable like the metal ones are... Frankly, that is become a more and more appealing route to go.

And then, finally, (are you still with me??) the new baseboards will go in.  I'll be making new ones, because without the sheet rock the baseboards will be just a hair too short  to meet properly in the corner.  I already have the lumber, but I still need to stain and seal it.  

I'll install the quarter round vertically up the wall in the other corner where the wood wall adjoins the sheet rocked wall, and then crown moulding at the ceiling. I haven't stained and cut the new baseboards yet, nor have I purchased and stained the crown moulding yet.  But I did bring a sample home, and I liked it, so I at least know what kind I am getting... I'll need to do the whole room... so I'll need to calculate that cost first and see if that is going to happen now or later.   I need a money tree, even though it's too hot to be landscaping...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bedroom Door Frame - finally some progress

Red and I spent a fair amount of time this weekend inside (outside it was 107!) working on the beleaguered door frame project. 

How did we get here?

The bedroom side of the bedroom door frame was done, except for missing plinth blocks at the bottom.  The hallway side of the bedroom door frame needed sheet rock and trim.  We made great progress -- in fact, pretty much all that remains on the actual door frame is the polyurethane coat alternated with a bit of sanding.  (Considering that I started this project in August of last year...it's about time it neared completion...)
I'm out of practice on documenting the project steps as they happen, so all I can give you today are end product photos.  Before photos were taken we cut and patched sheet rock around the door frame.  We taped, bedded, (I may have Miss Collins, my junior high home ec teacher, to thank for my wrist action/cake frosting lesson...) textured (go ahead, as me about a rubber glove and a dinner plate covered in foil,) painted the sheet rock.  (FUN - No, really, it was fun!  I'm serious!)  Then the wood trim went up.

Need to touch up paint above door with flat, not eggshell...
Inside this door to the right is the short part of the now exposed wood wall.  There we got corner trim installed, and pulled off the baseboard to remove the sheetrock that was behind that.  With the sheetrock gone, the baseboards were too short to meet properly in the corner, so we re-did those as well as the quarter-round that trims them out.

Isn't that wood beautiful?
And then I finally got my "rigged" shoe shelves painted silver to match the closet doors:
I'm still working out this portion of my "closet."  My winter coats and sweatshirts hang above the shoes. At the time that I installed the IKEA closet system to the left, I couldn't extend the closet here because of the swing of the bedroom door.  Now that I have decided to put in a sliding barn door on a rail, this corner could become an enclosed portion of the closet.  Work in progress...
Here's the plinth block at the bottom of the door frame:

I intended to use the old ones that were original.  I removed them with care, and sanded them down (81 years of paint, people!) only to discover when I was done (with two) that they were too small for the new trim!  I considered not using any at all, but I do like the look.  I researched them - styles and periods - and ultimately just bought some at Home Depot.  Boring.  But they work... I also had to look at many photos about placement and size - and best I can tell this is indeed how they should be placed.  So.  There it is:  the new plinth block.  If I have counted right, ultimately I will need 28 more of those...

Next up?  The removal of the sheet rock from behind the bedroom baseboards along the wall on the other side of the door, addressing the bane-of-my-existance HVAC vent, and possibly oiling the wood wall.  Stay tuned.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Kitchen Whitewash

One afternoon last week I had finally had enough* of the awful putty colored kitchen cabinets that remained on the fridge side of my kitchen. 

Here's the before:

And here's the after:

Are they REALLY white?  Yes.  Maybe too white?  Perhaps.  Did I mistakenly grab the interior "flat" bucket rather than the interior "eggshell" off the shop shelf?  Yes.  Do I care?  Not really - it's still a major improvement in my eye.

Bottom line is, it's brighter, cleaner, and it's a great base if I decide to do something else in there...

* Were you worried about where this sentence might end up?  I was.  But relax, it's only painting.