The Guest room Revamp

We have an embarrassing problem.  A few years ago we adopted this beautiful little snowshoe Siamese cat, Suzuki.  She wasn’t very cuddley and hid more then we liked, but she was lovely and needed a home.  They couldn’t keep her in foster care because the other cats would all attack her.  A few years in, she was getting to trust us, enjoyed being petted, love to scoot under the covers on a cool night and started peeing outside her cat box. We had her checked by vets (several) for urinary problems and all her tests came back fine.

Because of Suzuki’s new problem we’ve had to confine her to only one room in the house, the guest room.  We don’t want to but we can’t send her to another shelter and we can’t have her ruining the house.  Someone usually sleeps in there with her to keep her and we don’t, thank goodness, have overnight guests.

So we’ve decided (with four days of our vacation to go) to strip out the carpet and pad, seal the subfloor and baseboards, paint the walls and lay down a waterproof vinyl flooring.

Day 1 – Everything from the room was moved into the adjoining office space.

Day 2 – Carpet, pad and tack strips we’re removed and taken to the dump, baseboards were removed, and the subfloor was sealed.

Day 3 –  The hardware was removed and the walls painted with two coats. The first photo is after one coat.

Day 4 – We filled the nail holes in the floor and finished the flooring on day four.  I love this flooring.  It’s easy to cut, no messy adhesives, and should provide a nice water-proof  area for the problem kitty.



Lovin’ Craigslist

We also drove up to Orchards/Vancouver this afternoon to look at eight chairs that I found on Craigslist.

I’ve been looking for a set of Windsor chairs for several years and they usually have too tall of an arm to slide under our table.  These not only fit perfectly, but have a beautiful beeswax finish. The price was wonderful at less than $30.00 per chair.  There are 6 side chairs and 2 captain’s chairs.


Farmhouse Decor – Bathroom Cupboard

We found this old cupboard years ago at a barn sale in Oregon City, OR.  At the same sale, we found some towels from WWII (still in the brown paper wrapping) and a sealed case (24) of never used (I’m absolutely sure) urine specimen jars.  I used to teach science so all of these vintage medical finds are great!

We hung the cupboard in the bathroom and use it as a medicine chest over the toilet rather than having one above the sink.

The towels were wonderful in the kitchen (heavy and absorbent) and we use the urine specimen jars for juice glasses.  The boys loved this when they were younger and gave their friends apple juice in them.

Finally Back to “Normal”

We’ve finally finish most of the repairs to the house.  We just need to fix the apron on the master bath and pant the hall upstairs.



The pantry has bright new paneling and hooks for coats and hats.  This was pretty easy to install and the hooks are much more sturdy than they were when we had them installed into the sheetrock with wall anchors.

kitchenIn the kitchen and dining room, the wood floors are beautiful, even holding up well with a large, rambunctious yellow matador.  The new stove from the salvage yard is great many thanks to the man that was able to restore the propane orifices. We also installed new faucets for both of the kitchen sinks, painted and found a great hand-forged pot rack on Craigslist.  If you look carefully at the kitchen ceiling, you can see another project to finish – note the dangly light fixture that the sheet-rock guys lost the bracket for.

pantryThis is not the best picture of the pantry, but I do love this antique cupboard we found on Craigslist.  In this room, we also installed the board and batten paneling topped with a beautiful blue paint.  The little black hooks that we ran along the top rail of the paneling are great for everything from butter paddles to feather dusters.

bathI think the guest bathroom is my favorite.  We continued the white paneling from the entry into this room and topped it with the most beautiful blue-green paint.  It was al of the samples of greens and blues that we had tried, mixed together into one bucket.  We added more black hooks and used an antique iron sewing machine base with a vessel sink to replace the old, rickety, white pedestal sink.  We also continued the wood flooring through the entry and into the guest bath, changing the direction of the boards at the sliding barn door that separates the entry from the dining room.

This “forced remodel” as we called it was really stressful on everyone.  It took about 5 months to have everything torn out, mold removed, re-plumbed, rebuilt, repainted and spiffed up.  We lived with tents, blowers, dehumidifiers, dust, debris, furniture in piles and weeks without a kitchen.  We had truly fantastic men and women helping us every step along the way.  Kind and honest and caring people and without them, I think I may have gone mad.  In the end, with their help, we have beautiful new Oregon White Oak floors finished with hard wax-oil, all of the floors and seven rooms have been freshly painted (still have a few to go), we have the softest carpet imaginable in the living room – made from recycled soda bottles, board and batten panelling in the pantry, entry and guest bath, a new (used) stove that preheats every time and all of the burners light, new kitchen faucets that don’t leak and everything seems clean and shiny. Maybe the most important part is that we have wonderful, new PEC plumbing and don’t sit around wondering when the next pipe will burst.


Update – a long, dry, spell…….

I haven’t posted anything for a really long time.  Things around here have been in such an upheaval that everything else is just not happening.  I thought I’d post some photos now that the light is finally showing through then tunnel….

The hole in the bathroom
Tearing out the bathroom walls.
Tearing out the bathroom walls.
…holes in the ceilings…..
…holes in the ceilings…..
…and holes in the walls.
…and holes in the walls.
Patching began in the entry…...
Patching began in the entry……
then on to the laundry room, bathrooms and living room.
then on to the laundry room, bathrooms and living room.
Finally, the kitchen ceiling was skim coated and retextured.
Finally, the kitchen ceiling was skim coated and retextured.
We began adding board and batten panels to the entry, the powder room and pantry.
We began adding board and batten panels to the entry, the powder room and pantry.
The Oregon white oak arrived and had to be spread out all over the rooms to acclimate.
The Oregon white oak arrived and had to be spread out all over the rooms to acclimate.
In the mean time, we had to finish ripping out the flooring and sub flooring in the kitchen and have new plywood installed.
In the mean time, we had to finish ripping out the flooring and sub flooring in the kitchen and have new plywood installed.
So now the floors are down and being sanded and filled.  They look great in the dining room…...
So now the floors are down and being sanded and filled. They look great in the dining room……
….the powder room…….
….the powder room…….
…and the kitchen.
…and the kitchen.

Next Week – the adventure continues – – floor sanding and finishing, paneling in the pantry, toilet and new sink installed in the powder room, new faucets in the kitchen, paint touchups, appliances reinstalled, and furniture back in place.

Still to do casters for the piano, tile repair in the master bathroom, carpet installation, garage sale………….

Here we go…….. Again

On April 22 we discovered that, once again, we had a broken CPVC pipe.  This is our third pipe breaking resulting in damage to our home.  This time it was under the powder room on the main floor  – two 1″ hot water pipes and a 1/2″ pipe all had been leaking for months.

IMG_0361The insurance company is fantastic.  They came in and set up dryers, hepa-filters and air scrubbers and began to dry the place out. The process they thought would take 2 days ended up lasting 12 days.  The photo is from inside “the bubble” were it was about 96 degrees.  The moisture in the floor decking had to go from 65% down to below 12%.

IMG_0359 IMG_0360These pictures show the damage to the flooring in the powder room (at left) and the entry (at right).  All of the flooring in the entry, powder room, dining room and kitchen will have to be replaced and the sheet rock repaired.

We thought the worst was over when the plastic bubble came down and the blowers all left (it was crazy loud for days) but then I stepped on the edge of the bathroom floor and notice an odd crunching sound.  Not only did the water damage the floor and the subfloor, but the decking was rotting too.  To make matters worse, while checking our the rotting boards, they found another broken pipe.  TheIMG_0395

IMG_0394The picture on the right is the rotten floor decking and that on the left is the hole in the bathroom floor and the bucket we use to catch the water from the broken pipe.  We have come to the conclusion that the entire house must be repiped and that spending another few hundred dollars to fix another leak that will just get ripped out with the repipe. So we turn off the hot water when we aren’t using it and empty the bucket frequently.

Hopefully we will be able to get a plumbing company in for the repipe soon.  The estimates are 7 days of work and about $9,000.00 with another $3,000.00 in dry wall repair to the walls and ceilings.

The bad news is, this part is not covered by our insurance.

The good news is, the living room does not currently look like this……IMG_0346

                                  ………………….. but it will again soon

Hat Number Two – Feb Knit & Purl


After the striped stocking hat, I decided to try another hat to see if I could improve my technique. I love these circular hat because there is so much less counting than my scarf sampler. I used a teal wool (primary) that I purchased with a coupon and alternated it with apple green wool (secondary) from an unwound sweater.

I did tear out a bunch after my son tried it on and told me it needed to be longer and slouch some so I don’t have much of a pattern.

Cast 78 stitches of the primary color on to the circular needle. Making sure the stitches are all on the inside of the circular needle, join the stitches and mark the beginning of round.
Create 3.5″ of ribbing using knit 2, purl 2.

Knit a row using both colors combined. This gave the stripes a interesting random pattern and helped me avoid some of the loose holes I had in the previous hat.

Using just with the secondary color, create 5 rows of stockinette by knitting every round on the circular needles. Alternate colors every 5 rows, adding a combined row at each color transition.

When the hat is long enough for you taste, start reducing, alternating colors if you wish. I finished up with just the teal again.

Knit 2 together, knit 12 for one row (don’t worry if it’s not a complete set on the row)
Knit 2 together, knit 11 for one row
Knit 2 together, knit 10 for one row
Knit 2 together, knit 9 for one row
Knit 2 together, knit 8 for one row
Knit 2 together, knit 7 for one row
Knit 2 together, knit 6 for one row
Knit 2 together, knit 5 for one row
Knit 2 together, knit 4 for one row – Here I had to switch over to 4 double point needles
Knit 2 together, knit 3 for one row
Knit 2 together, knit 2 for one row
Knit 2 together, knit 1 for one row
Cast off, pulling the top of the hat closed.