Sunday, December 16, 2007

Gardening program

I was up before the newspaper arrived this morning, so I flipped on the TV and came across this great show: Garden Smart on PBS.

The web site has short video clips of gardening tips, like a 4-minute clip on how to prune roses.

Just what I needed after shoveling out yesterday from our fourth round of snow this season.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Seeing green

For some reason, I went into a full-scale panic when I saw my sage-green kitchen tile against the countertops.

Would a buyer think it's an avocado-green albatross?

I got the most of the tile at a great price at Habitat for Humanity's ReStore and snagged an extra box through the manufacturer.

Had I shaped the whole kitchen around something I should have never chosen?

I walked the beige aisles at Lowe's and decided to stick to my plan and hope for the best.

Not bad at all.

Completely unplanned:

The upper cabinets are a larger-than-average 42 inches because the kitchen ceiling is 9 feet tall.

By coincidence, the 6x6-inch tile and an oversized copper faucet ended up being a nice balance out the large cabinets.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Now that the electrician is done in the kitchen, I finally could set the countertops in place to see if the size worked. Not bad.

You can see the odd cuts that had to be made to make this work.

Primed wainscoting

Man, this wainscoting is going to look sharp. This is with a coat of primer.
This is in the upstairs master bedroom. A classy way to conceal plaster that had many holes from a previous rewiring project.


Last weekend, with a hand from Brit, we finished the last of the main floor priming. The mint green walls are gone!

Here you can also see the newly painted front door and new oiled-rubbed bronze and speckled glass ceiling light.

We're getting there.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Knob and tube wiring

I had been told that the house's wiring had been updated by an electrician in Aunt June's family.

Well, not entirely.

I have found a few spots with old "knob and tube" wiring. This freaks some people out.

My understanding is, as long as the black material that insulates the wire is in good condition and the area isn't packed with insulation, it's just fine.

More info:

Knob and tube wiring (includes pictures of dangerous wiring)

More K&T

History of knob and tube

Electrical systems in old houses

Wall bump explanation

Two kitchen walls had an odd raise in them, like a vertical speedbump.
Last weekend the plaster came down, this weekend the lathe, revealing the explanation.
In the center of the wall where the speedbump was, the lathe was attached to a vertical piece of wood -- that was not attached to anything. ???

Loose wood that held lathe

There are good solid studs on the wall. Yet the lathe was hanging on this unanchored board.

Go figure. It'll be smooth drywall soon.