Friday, March 26, 2010

What can be wrong now?

So I had begun noticing the past few weeks that whenever I would turn on the water in the bathtub, there would be a few constant drips coming from the spout where it connects to the wall...to make matters worse, when I would pull the lever to turn on the shower, the drips would turn to a constant stream.

I feared the worse, that the water was running down the inside of the wall...causing rot and decay. So, my Dad came over to take a look as I don't pretend to know the first thing about plumbing. He brought an entire bucket of tools just in case.

He unscrewed the spout with ease and checked everything over...there wasn't a piece of Teflon Tape to be found anywhere on either of the two connections. I'm not a plumbing expert; but I thought it was common sense that whenever pipes are involved, teflon tape is always needed.

Okay, now I could have just re-used the spout that we took off; but it bothered the hell out of me that I couldn't get it clean and let's be honest it was old. Since we live but a few minutes from a hardware store...I coughed up the $13 for a new shiny one. Dad installed it, teflon tape and all...not a drip to be found anywhere.

What the hell PO? Teflon tape cost $1.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What's Up There

I haven't made even the tiniest dent in all the projects/renovations that will need to be done on my house and I'm okay with that, because there's no need to rush. But ever so often, I wonder what could be behind a certain piece of wallpaper or under the carpet. Nevertheless, I don't want to dive into something I'm not ready for...so I pull the carpet up in a corner, or rip down a small piece of wallpaper just to see. We've all done this.

I had one of those moments a few days ago and if you were an outsider looking in, you would have thought I was mad. Let me paint the picture for you, I'm standing in the middle of my bathroom with a flashlight (the same flashlight I bought and mentioned in my previous post) pointed up towards the ceiling. There is a huge smile on my face and there probably was some joyous clapping involved.

Okay, now let me backtrack. You see, my mudroom and bathroom is located on what was the backporch of my 1880s farmhouse. I imagine many of you have the same situation. Well somewhere in the history of the house, probably when then enclosed the porch...they decided to install a drop ceiling. When my Dad installed the vent in the bathroom years ago, he had mentioned that there were feet of difference between the dropped ceiling and the roof. This of course made me curious and I filed his comment away in the "House To-Do List" part of my brain.

So, a few days ago with brand-new super-powered flashlight in hand, I went into the bathroom to see if I could see up into the hole that was cut for the vent. About 30 seconds later, I saw it.

I don't know how far it went up, how complete it is, or know anything about it except the little piece I was able to see. The flashlight had found blue-painted beadboard on the ceiling.
Monday, March 22, 2010

Flashlights & Finds

So I bought this flashlight over the weekend for $6. While most people would buy one of these as part of an emergency kit, or maybe to keep in their garage...I plan on using it next weekend to hunt out Easter Eggs.


A few weeks back, I found out that St. Louis County was hosting an Adult Easter Egg Hunt in Jefferson Barracks. For those of you not familiar with Jefferson Barracks, it is 426 acres established in the early 19th century. The park holds many architectural and historical treasures and is a great place to spend a sunny afternoon.

I hope that it holds other kinds of treasures too, as I'll be joining in the search for thousands of Eggs scattered across 250 acres. Why do I need the flashlight you ask...well, the hunt starts at 9pm and goes to 11pm.
Thursday, March 18, 2010

This is my driveway, not yours...

So I don't have any photos to illustrate, so you'll have to use your imagination. Hopefully someone out there has had a similiar problem and you can offer some suggestions on how to remedy the situation.

First, I must say that I haven't taken any action of any sort, so far.

So my driveway is gravel, living in a century-old farm house...it's kind of expected. It gradually widens where it connects to the main road. There is presently no edging so it's just gravel butted up against grass. I have plans of creating a nice well-groomed area on either side of the driveway; but that's low on my list right now. The first year I moved into the home, two years ago, I paid for a dumptruck load of gravel so I could resurface what was thinning areas and dust.

Now that you have a picture in your head, let me tell you the problem at hand. The neighbor across the street from me insist on pulling partially into my driveway and then backing into his asphalt/concrete driveway...so he doesn't have to back out into the main street. The street isn't some main drag, it's empty most of the time and he has a much better view down the road then I do, to see oncoming traffic.

Here is my beef.
1. It's my driveway and while people using others driveways as turnarounds is nothing new, this happens each and everytime he comes home for the day.

2. There is a dip forming in my driveway, due to the constant pulling-in and backing-out. I've filled it twice now with more rock. Now, I realize me pulling-into my own driveway will do the same thing; but not this fast.

3. There is no regard to the fact that me or my sister's cars are stopped at the end of our driveway when getting mail. If he is coming home at the same time, he just pulls in and cranks it around. He's caught my sister off guard twice now and scared the sh*t out of her.

---------

Now I don't know if this is laziness or one of those "I lived on this street first" deals. Did it only start when the house was vacant for a year, while on the market (before I bought it)...or has this been happening forever.

My initial solution is to move up the fixing of said driveway and add the brick/timber edging and some plantings...not only will it make things look pretty; but it might give the hints needed.

Should I also sent the family a letter? Maybe a simple please don't do this might work too.

Any ideas??
Monday, March 15, 2010

Antique Treasure Hunt

Please tell me I'm not the only one whose heart breaks just a little bit when seeing antique furniture beaten and broken down? I'm not talking the 15th century chair of blah-blah (which is cool in it's own right); but instead simple things that the everyday person might have used.

I wanted to share some photos of the treasure hunting I've been doing lately.

First up is this solid wood chair I found for $6. As you can probably see from the photo, the seat is split; but we are in the process of repairing that with some good ol' wood glue. What you can't see is that one of the back supports is cracked. We have glued and clamped that too, and hopefully it will work...otherwise we will just cut a new one. I don't really have a purpose for this one, I just like old chairs.




Next up is this old fashioned end table or parlor table I picked up for $10. The top wood inlay was pretty messed up due to major water damage, so I'm in the process of removing what I can and I think we are going to belt-sand the rest away. Once I'm done it will make a great little table.



Third is a late 19th century arrow-back rocking chair; which as you can see is missing one of the back supports. This beauty cost me $40 and is in perfect condition aside from the previously mentioned problem. We have plans to replicate the missing piece and bring it back to life. I've always wanted a rocking chair and certainly couldn't pass this one up.




Finally is what I picked up this past Saturday from a seller I found on Craigslist. It's an old fashioned wardrobe or chifferobe. While I did not include a photo of the inside, half of it has shelving while the other offers hanging room. It has a lot of beautiful handcrafted decoration and really only needs to be cleaned and tightened up. This one was a steal at $50.



If you happen to know anything about any of these pieces, their style, age, etc...leave a comment.
I'm always wanting to learn more about what I find.
Monday, March 8, 2010

The Census is Coming...get your pens ready

I got a letter today from the United States Department of Commerce saying that the 2010 Census form will be arriving in about a week. Is it just me or is anyone else out there excited to get this form?

It's stupid I know; but I'm kind of excited...it's like I'm all grown up or something because I get to fill out this form. My first Census as an adult, a homeowner and working professional. You see, I've used censuses of the past to help fill in the blanks of my family's history, my house's history, etc.

Just imagine 100 years from now when they look back at the 2010 Census. What information will they find?
Sunday, March 7, 2010

PillowCase Challenge

I spent a little more then an hour on Sunday sewing up a few pillowcases for the American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine "1 Million Pillowcase Challenge"; which challenged it's readers to collectively make and donate 1 million new pillowcases to charities throughout the country.

It was quite simple actually, as they provided a free and simple pattern...all you had to do was spend the 20 min. or so making one. I went through my fabric stash and realized that I had quite a few yards of fabric that would be perfect.


If you'd like to be a part of this challenge, seek out the link above and get started.