Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Red Letter Day!!

As of last night -- October 27th -- my house is moving box free!!


Are there a few random things I haven't found? Yes.

Is everything in it's final resting place? Ohhhh, no.

Have I painted even ONE WALL a color other than white? No.

But -- I don't have any more boxes! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray!

One more bulk pick up trash day and I will be doing QUITE the little dance.

Wait for it -- !

Okay, I am losing my mind -- I swear I took photos this morning with the closet doors OPEN as well, but now I can't find them. I will have to add those later.

At any rate, WA-LAH!! This is my new IKEA wardrobe closet! Talk about room changing... wow. And remember I said how easy it is to find all your clothes when they are right out in front of you? Wrong. Once I started organizing, I found things I had forgotten I had... and sorted through everything and have a huge Goodwill pile. Hurrah!

It's hard to tell in the photos -- I couldn't get a wide enough view to show the glorious TEN FEET OF CLOSET -- but there are two big sliding doors in the middle, and then on each end is a smaller cabinet with a hinged door. The hinged door on the right is a full length mirror. Inside are double hanging rods, pull out drawers, pull out baskets, shelves and a jewelry organizer.

And remember the original closet that is inset into the wall? The third section of the closet has a "pass through" back into that closet! We took out the one clothes rod and added a couple of huge shelves, so now I have storage for things like guest bedding comforters, rugs, huge stuff like that that I don't need to get to very often. Perfect! (We joked about making that my "secret panic room" for storms etc. Especially handy since it backs up to the wine rack on the kitchen wall on the other side... LOL but elected to keep it for storage.)

I had Blue Box Home Services through IKEA deliver (the boxes were unreasonably heavy) and install the closet. Turned out to be money well spent: It took 2 guys who install this stuff for a LIVING from 9:30 to 1:15 on a Saturday to do it. Tom and I would still be trying to figure it out, I am certain, and probably wouldn't be any too happy about it. There was lots of "shimming" going on underneath, because surprise of surprises, my floors aren't totally level! NO! Say it isn't so! LOL

So, now I feel like a big girl with a new closet. Ahhh. I'll post interior photos soon. And soon I'll be picking out paint colors and window coverings. YES! I'm very excited.

UPDATE: 10/29 -- here are new photos! One is blurry. Sorry.

Master Bedroom Closet, continued

Yes, this is really how I have been living in my master bedroom since June... eeeka. But I will say, it's easy to find your clothes when they are all visible and in front of you... The "dressers" that are painted (a final desperate act towards civility) are pieces of the livingroom entertainment center that was chopped out of the livingroom. The black plastic shelving unit is from work -- it's one of the units that I stack boxes on during discovery... (SO peaceful in the bedroom: WORK STUFF - NOT!)

So... you see why I haven't shared bedroom photos before?

Master Bedroom Closet - (we use that term loosely.)

This is what the inside of the master bedroom "closet" looked like when I bought the house. Actually this is an improvement -- before I started taking down the wallpaper, I had to remove I don't know HOW many sets of those white wire shelving units. They were covering every square inch (which admittedly is not very many inches) of this closet, including the inside of the narrow closet door. I gave away most of the shelving on Craig's List -- undoubtedly it made someone very organized -- but kept one wall unit to use in my workshop. The closet was 37 inches wide at it's widest part. T I N Y.

Tom and I lined the closet with cedar, and put in one clothes rod at the top for me to hang long dresses, robes and coats. In this photo, we had removed the very cute door with the crystal door knob in preparation for the closet addition.

As a side note, see the wood behind the wall paper? That's what's behind all of the sheetrock in my house! It feels really solid and it's awesome for hanging things on the wall -- you don't have to find studs!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Pecans are In!

My elderly neighbor Chubby told that our neighborhood used to be a pecan orchard. She said house 2 doors down from me (and next door to her) was the original farmhouse for the orchard -- cool! It used to have wood siding and in later years it was bricked over. Christy and Carlos live there now -- (remember the snake wrangling story? That was their 6 year old daughter who is the snake wrangler!)

Anyway, I am new to having pecan trees IN my yard. They are old (presumably 80+ years) and beautiful. They are a constant source of sticks for me to throw for Greta, and their very abundant leaves are great for my compost barrel and for mulch for the lawn. And that's not even talking about the pecans they are dropping everywhere! Note to self: If you are walking in the grass without shoes, beware! It's like walking on marbles! And backing out of the driveway, the pecans under the car tires sound like a gun fight...

Anyway, my neighbors in the know tell me that the pecans are "in" e.g. they are down on the ground and ready for pick up and eating. I'm told this will continue for quite some time. Awesome! (I think...ask me again after pecan season is over.) I see lots of folks walking dogs with plastic grocery bags to put pecans in, and lots of folks in the park picking them up.

Sunday I took care of the front lawn and Tom came over before the Cowboys game and decided to try out my Nut Wizard ( for picking up the pecans. Sort of like vacuuming... Deluxe! He got nearly a 5 gallon bucket full of pecans! Then he took them indoors and cracked the exterior shell off of them, and here's the beautiful result. (Thanks for the great bowl, Kelly!)

It appears I will need to procure and nut cracker and a set of picks. I think my dad will love to sit on my porch and crack pecans! I am not a fan of pecan pie... or of pralines, so I am not exactly sure what I am going to do with them all. Do you want any?

As a side note, my neighbor Lynne has found a chestnut tree by the park! She showed me some chestnuts she picked up -- they looked perfectly polished and just beautiful! Maybe we'll try roasting some at Christmas... [sing it with me...]

Chimney Sweep

It's been a while since I've posted... My OCD requires that a project be totally done before I will post it -- and I have a few projects that have just a little thing left, and so while they are "almost" done I don't let myself post. I've been churning away on things though!

So my fireplace -- ! When I bought the house it was connected to a gas line with fake logs. So not my style; I like the real wood fires -- they smell good, they make fun crackling noises and of course I love messing with me a pyro (but tell me you don't think that's fun too!)

When I had a plumber out to remove the little gas line stub ups in the floor from the old furnace, I had him disconnect and remove the gas line in the fireplace. But I wasn't confident that it would be safe to have a real fire in it, so I called a chimney sweep to come out.

Enter -- Doug of Black Hat Chimney Sweep. Once again, found him on Angie's List (which reminds me, I need to write up a favorable review for him...)

Doug added a damper -- how in 80 years nobody thought to add a damper is beyond me! (Hel-lo, there goes my air conditioning and my heat, up up and away through my chimney!) It looked enormous for the size of my fireplace, but apparently once you get past the firebox, the opening is 3+ feet wide.

He also confirmed that the brick is fire brick, e.g. it will withstand heat from a fire. Incidentally he said the fireplace has barely been used in 80 years -- the brick isn't even discolored! Amazing.

He also added a steel plate to block the opening between the two walls of brick: from my understanding, the exterior wall of brick that I can see in my livingroom below my mantle, and the wall inside the chimney. Apparently there was an opening between the two and flames could like their way up in between... could lead to a house fire. Good catch, Doug! Yikes.

He also climbed up on the roof and put new screen over the top of my two little chimney pots. He said the wire mesh that as up there was too fine of a weave for smoke to pass through. I do not understand how that could be, but then again I am not a chimney sweep either.

While he was up there he replaced a brick that had fallen off the tippy top of the chimney. (I was able to find a matching brick in the shed --- let's think about how long that had been there... again, amazing to me.)

Doug was awesome. He teased with Greta the whole time he was in the house (she was quite interested in all the aromas) and he even replaced a non-chimney chimney cap that had sailed off of my roof (frankly nearly hit me in the head like a frisbee) a few weeks ago. It covered up a furnace vent or someting -- not exactly sure -- but I figured it was serving some purpose and should go back up there.

Tom and I had gone to pick up some firewood the week before, so now I am ready! I figure the first fire will be Halloween weekend when my sister Janice arrives for her 2nd Annual Halloween Getaway. We'll see if the weather is chilly enough!

Anyway, for your viewing pleasure, here is a photo of Doug the chimney sweep. I warned him he would end up on my blog -- he was as good sport about it all. (That's the damper he's placing. It was wrought iron and weighed a ton!)