Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Disaster Waiting to Happen?

So Saturday afternoon, after working for several hours on a school assignment, I finally started stripping paint off of one of the bathroom doors (1 of 3 - yes, that's right, our crazy house has a bathroom with 3 doors... well, we took the door to the back closet room off years ago - but still the house is definitely crazy)

Here's the door dragged down to the basement, with the hardware taken off, getting ready for some therapeutic stripping...

And then here's me, a few hours later, after Jim had come home, working away with the Silent Paint Remover...

Now, let's take a closer look at that picture... as Jim continued to walk around the basement taking pictures, he found something... Notice now the giant cast iron pipe behind me, circled in yellow. This is the pipe coming down from the 1/2 bath.

And here is a closer look at it:

Is that a little bit frightening? Well, here's another view:

Yikes! That's right - there is a HOLE in our sewage waste pipe (according to Jim, also known as a "stink pipe")

The amazing thing is that so far, there is no sign of ... um... spills. We're not entirely sure what to do yet...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

One Day Dreams

Jim and I have talked quite a bit about what we'd like to change with the house. He (obvious to those who know him)wants a bigger garage - a wider & deeper double-storied carriage house type garage. I would like a mud room with a stone floor so people don't walk directly into the kitchen from outside. Then we get really going, and it becomes a bigger addition with a new kitchen and a master suite upstairs.

Of course, at this point, it's all just a dream because there's a roof to pay for and money to save before it could ever happen. Oh yeah, and the economy is in the dumps right now too. But, it's fun to dream.

Jim drew this pencil sketch of what he thinks the ultimate addition should be (apologies for the horrible scan):

Ah - how nice would it be to not have to go outside in the winter to get to the car!

Then the other day I was driving to the grocery store and saw this work being done:

The house is fairly similar in size & scale to ours - here's a view of it from the other side:

I sent these pictures to Jim, and I think he's been drooling at them ever since.

In other news, I started the comforter cover. But I didn't get very far, as I was easily distracted this weekend.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hot Soup on a Cold Day 2008

Well, maybe it was more of an "unseasonably warm day" - but we still enjoyed celebrating our end of the (exterior) working season with friends.

This was the largest gathering we've had at the house since I moved in. It was also many people's first chance to see the house, so there were lots of tours and pulling out of the "before" photo book. My friends Tom & Jen even drove up from Long Island and stayed the weekend - it was so nice to have them here!

This year's soup party was a potluck, with prizes going to the crowd-voted "Most Delicious Soup" - and there were 13 incredibly delicious soups! Our honorable mentions were Candice's fresh pumpkin soup and Andrew's (Ancient Chinese Secret) hot and sour soup. Yummy! Here are the winners...

This was first place - Steve & Katherine's Mexican taco soup - with all the fixin's:

This was second place - Kate's gourmet tomato, basil, and pancetta soup:

This was third place - Jen's carrot ginger soup - her mother's recipe:

And the winners - Jen, Steve, and Kate with their prize loot:

We're definitely doing this again!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I See Copper

So we got the roofers back to put copper in the valleys. It was a little more money, but we decided since this was a once in a "lifetime" roof, we should go ahead and get what we really wanted.

I feel a little bit guilty not doing anything the whole time they were working. Well... ok... so I wasn't "not doing anything" - but I wasn't working on the outside. We were busy cleaning up the inside - leather cleaning & polishing, slipcover washing, mopping, dusting... It's amazing how filthy dirty the place gets on the inside when you're focused on the outside.

While cleaning the house, we had HGTV on pretty much non-stop. It's a bit of a love-hate relationship. Especially the "My Big Amazing Renovation" - or whatever it's called. We have absolutely no sympathy. And we're not sure we believe the "What's My House Worth", where a homeowner has spent lots of money on a renovation and want to know if they've increased the equity in their house so that they can do more renovating. Of course, I haven't seen an episode yet where they didn't increase their equity... And then, there was a show where they took a perfectly quaint bungalow and turned it into a modern decorating monstrosity - complete with an "art piece" of copper tubing and glass knobs screwed to a painted board.

But there's also a Love part of the relationship - and we just can't stop watching it. Like right now. We're watching the 25 Biggest Decorating Mistakes and of course, comparing our own decorating... we just... can't... stop... watching!

So we are pretty much at the end of the outdoors season. With the cleaning and all the HGTV watching, we've been thinking about all the different things to do inside over the winter. Like
-Stripping the interior doors with a million layers of paint on them.
-And I bought some fabric to make a new comforter cover.
-And I need to put new baseboards in a few of the rooms.
-And the kitchen radiators could use some covers
-Oh - and I'd love to have a dishwasher.

And then we start thinking about bigger things... like the dream addition. I'll post some drawings that Jim put together.

And then that brings us back to "not until the roof is paid for"
But, what a pretty roof.