What’s Happening Today 16 July 2013

Hi All,

Most of my previous posts have been about cooking or my 1900 house rehab. But today I just want to catch you all up and tell you why I haven’t posted any more on those topics. And I just feel like talking. Yes, I went to work today and talked alot – about business and a bit about how co-workers backstab, management stinks and – you know – normal office stuff. Although I did find out one of my coworkers had been a aviation navigator – I thought there was something ultra cool about him – besides him being pretty hot. Hey – I’m a grandma, not dead LOL. Sat beside another cutie on a recent air plane ride. I’ll remember those blue eyes for a while. We had a nice conversation over a couple of Jim and Cokes.

Annywhoo  – I haven’t posted any more cooking articles because 1) I went out of town for July 4th and didn’t cook (cocktails don’t count) 2) I’ve had a bad cold (finally going to doctor tomorrow) 3) My kitchen is now super hot.

I did try another variation on the Onion Dill Rye bread using 2 cups rye flour and 1 cup white flour. It was horrible. I’m not sure what caused the trouble — but I threw it away. I also made my famous potato, onion and chicken sausage dish. It was great as usual but I forgot to take the pics for the blog post. I’m blaming both failures on my cold.

My kitchen — whole house really — is super hot. I currently rent a huge pile of bricks that was built in 1954. The air conditioner doesn’t cut it in the middle of the summer – and with it being 95ish out now, well, the kitchen is a torture chamber. I may not cook much at all until September. We’ll see.

My 1900 rehab house – the drywall is done, the front porch foundation is patched but the boys left a hole in the basement foundation. Argh. So some rain got in the basement — not terrible but with the drywall done, I certainly am worried about my investment being ruined due to mold. I’m not pleased about that. They want to put in a sump pump because the basement is wet. Hmmm. And there is still a cat in there somewhere — I saw its paw prints in the drywall dust. Not pleased with that either. The boys say they’ll take a trap over to try to catch it (humanely of course!).

I just received a new assignment at work (after being passed over for a promotion – but I’m not bitter). I actually get to do both jobs for a while until a new person can take over my current duties. So – the new job will be much better I think. I’ve also applied for another job that just might (fingers crossed) move me closer to my 1900 house. Wouldn’t that be awesome? I just keep saying to myself – sometimes you don’t get what you want, you get what you need.

Humph right – why is it that what I need is never what I want? Weird.

One last thing – I’ve been waiting seven months for my divorce to be final — will it never end? Lawyers Argh

My first divorce took 6 weeks – this one — seven months  — seriously? Both no-fault, different states. Ridiculous

Thanks for listening!

Mechanicals Happening

The rehab on the house continues and is coming together. The focus during the last two weeks was on the mechanicals and upstairs bath. The items to be completed are being whittled away. Kudos to my contractors – they have day jobs and their own homes to work – but still they are making great progress on my house – thanks guys!

One setback occurred: the water company came to turn on the water and we discovered we’d failed to plumb in for a water meter – doh! We need the water to do the drywall next week. It’ll be tight to get it all done – may have to put off the drywall. Rats

The mechanicals included putting in a new electric box, a new water heater and finishing the water lines. Of course all the copper had been pulled out before I bought it. new_elec_box Strange thing, the electric had been turned on but I haven’t received a bill. hmmm – I better call them before I get a huge bill.


new_water_heater  new_water_piping


The upstairs bathroom was completely stripped when I bought it and the laundry hookups were down in the basement. I wanted the laundry facility upstairs. So the guys ran pipes up and are framing in a laundry ‘closet’. wash_dry_closet_frame

Although I would have preferred a cast iron tub, I didn’t want to put that weight on the 2nd floor. So, we went with an acrylic tub with a surround. The guys had to frame it in. new_bath_enclosure I think the shower head is a bit too high but we can fix that later.

Coming up: plumb a water meter, replace downstairs shower stall and drywall.

New Windows Installed

My contractor just let me know that the windows are installed. They still have to waterproof around the frame but at least they are in the house. Here’s a shot of the rear:


They are Anderson windows – energy efficient.

Dry wall is coming up soon — that’s big money.

The Windows

When I bought the house, the previous owner had tried to rehab it. Among the interesting choices that owner had made were the use of replacement windows vs new construction windows for the lower level. This 1900 house originally had large windows; the replacement windows didn’t fit so some edits were made. Here is a photo of one of them:


Obviously this resulted in water leaks and etc.

The upper level windows weren’t ‘fixed’ when I bought it. Here’s a pic of one of them:


A trip to Lowes bought $2000.00 worth of new construction windows. My contractors installed them in one weekend plus a couple of days. Those guys are great!

I’m not posting the finished product until its all done.

About that Foundation

As I purchased the house in winter there was little danger of the foundation completely caving in for a couple of months. However, it was imperative the work be done prior to the spring rains.

My contractors began by excavating along the problem wall:Image

As the wall was bowed in about a foot, they installed four steel beams, two in and two outside, with threaded pipes through them and the block. Then, using nuts, they slowly pulled the blocks straight.


The original estimate was $11K; my guys did it for $4K (including re mortaring the blocks and replacing the small windows).

There were a couple of other places that required block work as well —


The cats weren’t happy!

The House

I bought it for $7,000.00. It was a foreclosure – the popular term is ‘distressed’. I’ll say its distressed. Check it out– Here’s the front view:

_DSC0970  and here’s the rear view when I brought it:


What you can’t see in the pictures is the foundation – falling in on one side and a basement full of feral cats.

Why would anyone take on this rehab project? Because I’ve been away from my hometown for 30+ years. I’ve been carrying this town around in my heart all this time. Life is short – its time to start building my future!

Scary huh? Exciting huh?