Monday, September 26, 2016

Packing a large set of dishes

I have been packing items almost non stop for the last two weeks but there is one group of items that I have not been looking forward to packing.  The time came when I could no longer ignore it.  What was I dreading?  A 12 place setting of china and each setting consisted of a dinner plate, luncheon plate, dessert plate, soup bowl, sherbert bowl, cup, saucer, and extras such as two platters, two serving bowls, gravy boat and saucer, sugar bowl, and creamer.
My past experience with moving dishes is that they rub against each other and cause damage OR they slide into one another when stacked. I didn't know if I was packing to just move to my house or if they will be staying boxed for several years.  So I packed like the dishes were going to stay that way for awhile.

To keep the dishes from rubbing against one another I used coffee filters.  The most difficult part is separating each individual filter.  I found if I turned the stack inside out it made the filters slightly fan out on the edge.  
Most pieces only needed one filter but the large dinner plates needed three filters or one sheet of paper towel.  I ran out of filters so I went with the paper towel method for half of the large dinner plates.
After the pieces were stacked I wrapped each stake in brown paper and wrapped packing tape around the stack.  I wrapped all the pieces before placing any in a heavy duty box so I could fit the different shapes and sizes to equalize the weight between the two boxes.
I must have been tired because when I looked at the stacks of dishes, all I could think about was 'The Bard'.
Once all the pieces were in the two boxes I used wads of brown paper and newspaper to fill any voids and to separate the stacks of wrapped dishes.  

Finally, I marked each box with it's contents.

I have no idea when I will unpack this set because this is the third set of china that I have inherited, plus I have a 12 place setting of Christmas dishes, and I just started a collection of Johnson Bros Friendly Village dishes.  I am going to need a Martha Stewart sized dish closet to hold all these dishes. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The reason that I have been MIA

My sister and I have been busy at my mom's condo because the closing is this Wednesday.  We were at the condo until 1am last night and spent 8 hours there again today.  I have never in my life vacuumed so much carpet.

This past Thursday we replaced the carpet in her garage.  Yes, carpet.  People ask me all the time, "why did she put carpet in her garage?"  First of all, the carpet is a commercial grade carpet made for indoor or outdoor purposes.  This carpet is made for heavy foot traffic so as long as you don't spin your tires on the carpet it will last.

Here in the north, slip and falls are a major concern for the elderly.  A wet snowy garage floor is an accident waiting to happen for an older person.  Most garage floors are troweled quite smooth unlike driveways that are usually broomed just as the concrete is starting to set up.  The steps are also carpeted which is more slip resistant than a bare step.
Carpet in a garage that also doubles as a workshop is not going to work well.  My parents were pass the age of needing a place to cut boards or generally making a mess.  Keeping the garage clean was also easier for my mother because she could just haul out her garage vacuum cleaner and vacuum her garage.  This carpet can also be steam cleaned when vacuuming no longer gets all the dirt. 

Her plan was to replace the carpet this summer so we did that for the buyers.  My mother had a dark grey carpet but I chose a two tone grey and black carpet that I realized after they unrolled it, that my doctor has the same carpet in his office except in tan and brown.
  When the carpet layers pulled up the old carpet we were shocked at the amount of salt that we found under the carpet. I know winter is just around the corner and just the thought of it make me panic because we have a long list of stuff that needs to get done before it snows.

We have one more day of moving stuff and cleaning.  We started at the bottom of her condo and are working our way to the door going to her garage.  We ran out of steam today and got as far as the laundry room which is the last room before the garage.  Unfortunately, we have boxes of stuff for Goodwill, my house, her house, and about 10 bags of trash that goes to the curb on Wednesday all stacked in the garage.

The urn with my parents ashes is still sitting on the mantle.  Today my sister said, "don't forget about mom and dad.  It would be embarrassing if we had to knock on the new owners door and say, excuse me but I forget my mom and dad on the mantle."  Kinda like elf on a shelf without the red suit and posing.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Another Window Installed

Another rotted non original window bites the dust.  This window was rotted on the bottom and the sill was like Styrofoam.  I'm always amazed that the original windows in the house are just fine except for the million layers of paint BUT yet these 1960/1970's windows are completely destroyed and no longer have any life left in them.

Here is the before window in all it's ugliness.
Even the gaping hole looks better than the old window.
And here is the new 'old style' window.
I purchased this wood trash bin at a consignment shop for 8 bucks.
A little sanding and grey paint and I will have a place to stash my outdoor furniture covers.
 In painting news....I was finally able to get the corner shingles primed now that there is only one window left to install.  We also have a change of plans with the windows.  We decided to install this last window in the wall that it is leaning against and then order one additional window to go where the last ugly casement window is located on the east wall of the gameroom. You can see that last window in the photo of the empty window opening.
It will take R several days to move the vintage door collection and his 5 upright video games.  Those are pain to move but it will be worth it.  This is the south side of the house so a window should let in a lot of sunlight.  Plus it feeds my need to make everything symmetrical and balanced.  A window on this wall will mean that there will be the same size window on each side of the french doors.  
 The pond was busy today with the migrating birds flocking and gathering and readying themselves for departure in the next month or so.  Some birds will stay until the water is frozen over, while others get out of Dodge at the first cold breeze.

My sister and I have been busy moving stuff out of my mother's condo.  It's crunch time with just 11 days to go.  I see some late nights in my future.

 Reuse Repurpose Recycle

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

On to the next wall and window

The new windows are installed in the kitchen.  The cedar shingles are also installed and painted except for the very corner.  That space is too small for my taller ladder to fit next to the two 'as yet to be installed' windows and the wall.  
I still have a little bit of fussy painting to do with my flat artist brush.  That should only take an hour or so.  It is so much easier to paint the edge of the window trim grey using the flat artist brush.  The brush gives a nice crisp edge.  I will try and take photos when I finish with the fussy painting.
We removed the next window.  It is located in the future game room and current workshop/disaster area.  This window had extensive rot.  I do not know why a window from the 1960-1970 era would completely rot but yet the original windows elsewhere in the house are just fine.
The time it takes to remove a window is getting less and less.  The first window took us two days.  The second window took us a day and this one took two hours.

I forgot to take a photo of the big gaping hole in the wall where the window was located.  We sold my mother's condo and I needed to get over there to pack up some stuff.

Tomorrow we hope to have the new window installed.  Then next on the to do list is to rewire for a light on each side of the patio door instead of the current set up of one light over the top of the door.  I purchased the new lights at the same time that I bought the light for the front door which was many moons ago.

Reuse Repurpose Recycle

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A lot of little projects

What happened?  I thought cooler temps were on the way. Somebody didn't get the memo because 'oh my gosh' it was hot today.  I had to wait until the exterior kitchen wall was in the shade before I could paint again.

When it is this hot, I look for small chores that are in the shade.  One of those was to cut up the windows frames of the casement windows that were removed.  They just needed to be cut in half so I could put them in a trash can and take them to the curb.

We then re installed the post under the deck that we removed so we could pour a new footing and piling.  We used an additional bottle jack and was able to lift the corner of the house (very early addition) about 1 additional inch.  The post looks great (forgot to photograph). It is straight now and not in peril of slipping off of the piling like it was before we started.

While we were under the deck we decided that we needed to add more deck joists.  We took some quick measurements and made a lumber list. The span between joists are more than 16 inches because they used 2X10's.  I have found that it is always best to over build a deck.  We did not build this deck.  Instead we have added missing elements such as joist hangers and rebuilt the steps and railing as both were ugly and not to code.  The deck is huge and elevated 6 feet off the ground.  By adding the extra joists, the vibration from walking should be lessen or go away.

Two days ago I mowed and then raked up the cuttings in the areas where the lawn was extra long.  We picked up the cuttings today and noticed that the lawn needed cutting again.  I will never finish my painting if I have to mow every three days.
Finally around 5PM I was able to paint again.  I painted with just grey today.  I cannot get a ladder into the corner to finish painting until we install the two window units that are leaning up against the house.
Tomorrow is suppose to be hot but cloudy so I am hoping that I can paint the white trim.  We have three days of rain coming so I need to get as much done as I can by mid afternoon.

R pulled off more old shingles today in preparation to install the next window.  I told R that you know your shingles are bad when tar paper looks better than the shingles.  I'm really getting antsy to show you the before photos.  If you thought the before photos of the garden shed were tear down worthy wait until you see the mess we started with on this side of the house.
I was asked to pass along this casting call for a new DIY show.  It doesn't apply to us but maybe you are moving into your childhood home and are getting ready to make it your own.  Well then this is a perfect chance to share that experience with the rest of us.  I'm nosy....I mean.....I'm interested in seeing how you pull that off.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Laboring Away on the House on Labor Day

While priming and painting the kitchen exterior walls I had an epiphany.  It was about the game room which is next in line for shingles and window replacement.  We already have the two window units to replace the last of the two large mid century casement windows in the game room.  

We already removed one large casement window on the north side of the game room several years ago.  I like to keep windows on the north side at a minimum because of the cold winter winds that can come from the north.  Plus, that area is perfect for a large screen TV.   This room at one time had 4 doors and 4 large windows.  We have already closed off two doors and removed one large window and have another large window in our crosshairs. 

But on the south side of the game room we have a large blank wall to one side of the patio doors and a large window unit will be installed on the other side.  I have a real problem with things being unbalanced and not symmetrical when it comes to design. 

We already know that at one time there was a small window on that wall. We uncovered the small window when we did some game room demo years ago.  The small window is out of scale with the other windows so we will relocate that small window to the basement.   And in it's place we will install another window unit exactly like the kitchen windows and the window on the other side of the patio doors.  This should give us a lot of light in the game room in the summer, much wanted solar gain in the winter, and remedy my disdain with unbalanced design elements.  

I wasn't sure how R was going to feel about buying another large window unit. But as soon as I mentioned it, he was on board.  Whew.....that was a relief.  R has a hard time with change so if he thought it was a good idea, it must be......right?
I actually was able to get some grey paint on the shingles today.  R was using the ladder that I needed to use to finish the priming at the very top, so I started at the bottom and painted upwards until I got to the unprimed area.  By the time that R was finished and the ladder was available, it was after 6PM so we called it a day.
 The area of the blue tarp is the location of where we will add an additional window unit like the large window above and below.  This will also help to repeat that same design element so it looks more cohesive and not a willy nilly arrangement of various sizes of windows.  
I am so looking forward to comparing the before and after  photos of this part of the house.

I hope everyone is enjoying their Labor Day holiday.

Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Home Inspectors, Priming, Cove Moulding

Today was a perfect day to work outside.  It was sunny but with just a slight breeze.  You can feel that fall is just around the corner.  On one hand I love fall but then on the other hand it is just the prelude to winter which I don't care for at all.

I primed shingles today while R finished installing the last of the shingles at the very top.  We then cut the small cove moulding for under the windows.  This is an original detail that was found on some of the windows.  We decided to use the cove moulding under the windows that do not have window boxes.
The ends are cut at a 45 degree angle than the very tip is cut off on a 90 degree angle.  This give the end the appearance of a return cut.
The reason for the trim is too hide the nail heads on the top row of shingles

Tomorrow is a caulk and trim painting day.  I have just a little more priming to do but I will need to haul out a taller ladder to finish up.  It will probably take me longer to get out the ladder than to prime the remaining shingles.
My entire Thursday was spent dealing with the inspection on my mother's condo.  The inspector was very rough on the windows.  He knocked down one curtain rod in the sitting room and left another curtain all out of whack.  It was one of those inspections where he couldn't find anything wrong so he either made up stuff or in the case of two faucets....he made them leak.  

Single lever faucets should never be forced or pushed/pulled violently.  This inspector manhandled the lever like he was shifting a race car. He also held it forward until it leaked,

I've never had good luck with inspectors.  I find they want to nitpick little stuff which just falls under basic maintenance and overlook large flaws.  This inspector said my mother's top of the line Andersen windows were marginal because they were over 10 years old by 1 year.  Basically the inspector was saying that a house over 10 years old was marginal and it contents were marginal.  Just what this world needs is landfills full of 10 year old windows or worse yet....filled with houses.

Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle