Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Kitchen dreaming

I photoshopped a mock-up of how I'd ultimately like the kitchen to look. It's based on the fabulous work of Bungalow Revival here in Houston, which does a tremendous job of remodeling kitchens in historic homes.

I plan to close up the doorway into the hallway, build kitchen cabinets along that wall and install my new Viking stove over there too with a nice range hood. I'll also be adding a dishwasher and moving the laundry into the back corner. Let's not forget my little screamer, Hanai, who is always in the middle of the floor for you to trip over.

But, reality check.
Right now it looks like a bomb went off in my kitchen:

Friday, January 20, 2017

In a Jamb

That moment

when you realize,
after finally getting a door
positioned just right in the jamb,

you cannot open it.

Bathroom privacy

You've Got Mail!

The original mailbox was in the way of where a landscape drain needs to go. It had a pink post--much like the rest of the house--that I repainted green. It's placement was practical but not aesthetically pleasing.

IMO, mailboxes distract the eye away from the house and rarely function as a decorative attribute.

But they are a necessity--no one wants their mail fluttering down the street in the wind

Stumbled across this townhome mailbox at a Sears Hardware store closing sale for $8. Now the mailbox is 'hidden' behind a column and the old one removed, whixh was in the way of a much-needed landscape drain. So....progress.

Master architects

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Closing the loop-de-loop

My hallway has 5 doors, 3 of which I roam around in circles. 
I often find myself split between which route to take.

A few times, I walked straight into it, 
having failed to decide which path to take.

At least one of the doorways needed to go.
But which one?

It depended on what the ultimate layout plan would be.

Now it is two years into reno—

countless days of pondering,
architectural drafting.

The doorway to the kitchen will be filled,
making room for counter space
and a wall mount oven.

Hardwoods to patch the kitchen floor were sparse
so I scavenged some from where the cabinets will go.

They won't do the house any justice there anyway.

Wood dilemma solved. 
Loop-de-loop dilemma solved. 
Oven dilemma solved.

WWII newspaper

Found this wadded up newspaper that someone used to plug a hole in the (now) kitchen subfloor. It's in pretty rough shape, but I was able to unfold this headline: Women among Jap Okinawa Troops

Hardwoods. Again.

Just got this section of kitchen floor pulled up that was patched with mismatched wood. The blue floor must have been a porch floor before. Think I'll just leave that as the subfloor. The joist at one end is compromised by old termite damage. So I have the option of pulling these up, sistering the joist, and relaying. Or going under the house to do it. Or just skipping it altogether.

Decisions. Decisions.

Looks like they're all face nailed. That's good. That means only a few would have to come up.

The joist already has been sistered, it's just the nails aren't grabbing. That means none have to come up so long as its not going to be walked on.

I'll just facenail it and build a kitchen penninsula over it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


That moment when you realize...
I'm gonna need a lot more clamps for this

Friday, November 18, 2016

Saturday, November 5, 2016


Remember the baby rats I found in the woodshed?

Today I was cleaning out the woodshed:

and I found Mama rat:

Guess she decided to be a mummy for halloween.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

and we have DIRT!

Ok...so maybe its not the best dirt in the world, but it was free and will suffice for grading around the house. Where do you find 4 dump truck loads of free fill dirt, you ask? Well, where you find everything amazing. Craigslist. I posted a wanted ad Sunday evening (which took all of 2 minutes), and at 7am Wednesday morning received a call from an eager driver who was transporting dirt from the Montrose area. He dropped off 2 loads in my driveway and 2 loads for my neighbor Alex.

Then came the issue of 'What the hell do I do with all this??? 

Dayworkers came to mind.
Shovels and wheelbarrows too.

Dad suggested buckets. 
That sounded good until I realized that 30 square yards of dirt = 1,250 5-gallon buckets.
Clearly, that wasn't going to work either.
So I walked over to my neighbor Alex's house, perplexed—a little desperate
Though—no match for his desperation.

We'd instructed the delivery driver to drop it in his driveway,
but a 10 foot trailer was parked in it.
So Alex's 2 mountains of dirt were dropped in the middle of the street, blocking all traffic from getting through.

We scratched our chins and stared at them, 
chatted about everything but them.
They were the pink elephants in the middle of the street.

Alex had a brilliant idea to rent a dingo at the amazing rate of $125 +tax for a 24 hour rental.

This is a dingo:

This is a dingo eating lamb chops:

Maybe I'll take him out for lamp chops as a way of saying thank you for solving this puzzle.

The following night we had the dingo. Alex moved the dirt on his property then dropped it off to me.

I finished at 9pm.

Mischief managed.