Wednesday, November 30, 2011


It's been raining, so the guys can't paint outside. And the basement is stalled until the engineer gets things squared away with the city.

Rather than do nothing, the guys started stripping the interior woodwork around the windows. The half-bared wood reminds me of old buildings in Europe.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Window Report

We have two different kind of windows in the basement: casement and double hung. Rob isn't convinced yet that the double hung were worth the extra expense, but I love them.

We're missing one window for the basement because -- what a shock! -- the engineer had the wrong window measurements on the plans, so one of the windows was ordered incorrectly.

Seriously, can that guy use a tape measure?!?

Monday, November 28, 2011


Most of the new windows are in.

Progress on the outside, though, has come screeching to a halt. The engineer -- yes, him AGAIN! -- didn't put the chimney on the plans so that throws off the square footage of the shear wall. The inspector won't sign off until the plans are refiled with the city with the correct shear wall information.

Sigh. Just when things were really moving along.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Something Is Finished!

The eaves under the porch roof have been painted. Hurray!!! Something is finally done.

I can't believe it was May when we picked out our colors and ordered our siding. I wonder if it will be done this year?!?!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


The posts on our porch seemed too big for the beams topping them, so our contractor popped the side off one to see if a bigger post had been built around a smaller one.

They're hollow inside, and judging by the condition of the wood, they're probably original. I guess the original builder just had a weird sense of proportion...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Raising the Roof

The porch ceiling has been pulled down. What you're seeing in this photo is the underside of the roof. It adds, at the peak, almost two feet of headroom. We plan to keep it that way.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Soft Focus

All of our windows have been sealed off with plastic to keep the lead paint dust out of the house. It's like living in a 70's movie.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


We've been arguing with our contractor about how poorly he's been containing the lead paint chips from the house because we didn't want them getting into the soil. Finally, he did this.

I joke sometimes that we are camping in our house, but I never thought we'd actually live in our house in a tent.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

We Have A Lawn! (Kind of.)

The blue grama grass we planted last March has gone to seed. If you look closely, you can see little flags on the top of the mounds of grass in the front. Rob likes to roll the flags between his fingers to spread the seeds around.

Blue grama is a pretty slow growing, drought-tolerant, native grass. With a little luck, the parkway will fill in with it next year and we won't have to keep digging out that awful Bermuda grass.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Remember the Phoenix Rose?

Phoenix is thriving. I think we might actually get blooms next year.

The poppies are also going gang-busters. Kind of weird since it's November and they normally grow in the spring...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I Know We Killed This

This used to be one of the lavender bushes on the parkway. I think the dogs peed on it one too many times.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Think We Killed It

This is what our sycamore looks like these days.

It developed a fungus on some of the leaves that I tried to treat with neem oil. When that didn't help, and most of the leaves had fallen off, I did some research. We may have overwatered it, we may have planted the rootball too low.

Or maybe, this is just part of the normal cycle -- it is a deciduous tree after all. To be continued in the spring.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Seeing Things From A Different Perspective

With the old siding off the house, we can see the built-in in our dining room from the outside of the house.

The second shot is a view from the attic, with all the debris that have fallen on it as various things have been demolished.

I think it's pretty funny that I have pictures of this built-in from every angle except the one we look at every day!

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Light At The End of the Tunnel

We went up into the attic with our designer to start thinking about putting bedrooms up there.

This shot is from the attic, through where the fireplace used to be down to the new basement.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Our New Shower

Our kitchen sink sprays out the front of the faucet. Redoing the kitchen is not on the immediate -- or even far -- horizon, so we've been trying to make do.

We had plumber's tape on it, which worked for a while. When that stopped working, I traded up to some saran wrap and a rubber band. Classy!

The saran wrap is starting to fail, so it's time to think of what to try next. Condom, anyone?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bare Bones

It seems like every day I come home to a little less house. It's getting to be unnerving. Hope there's no rain in the forecast!

A couple of neighbors have commented the house is looking good. I think what they really mean is that they can now see we actually have a plan and they aren't going to live next to an eyesore for the rest of their lives.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Our house gets more deconstructed every day!

Now that most of the siding is off, you can see under the roof of the front porch and of what used to be the back porch (now our ghetto laundry room).

Rob took both of these from the scaffolding.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Unseasonably Large

We've had a heat spell which has resulted in our watermelon and volunteer cantaloupe fruiting again. I'm taking bets on whether the baby watermelon at the left can grow to be as big as the 45 pounder Rob is holding.

We get A LOT of comments from the neighbors on the watermelon and we've been sharing as much as possible. Still, trying to unload over 120 pounds of watermelon is a bit of a chore, and I've eaten more than I care to think about...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


They've put a scaffolding around the entire house so they don't have to lean ladders up against the new siding as they hang it.

The scaff
olding is pretty shaky, but Rob braved it to take a few pictures.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Most of the siding has been taken off the house. You can see where the plaster seeped through the lathe 100 years ago when the house was built.

Sadly, we are discovering that some of our plaster and lathe walls have been replaced with drywall. The framer suspects the previous owner did it when he replaced the old windows -- that he replaced the old windows because of leaks.