Thursday, December 1, 2011

November blows by... with lots of photos



Early November this year started on a very sad note... two sad notes actually.  My aunt Maureen Killion passed away, and so did my ex-sister-in-law Dana Ahner.  
Maureen Killion                                                                                        Dana Ahner

Their services were one right after the other.  My aunt Maureen was 80 years old and she was ready to leave us.  Maureen was married to my 'Uncle Brother'. Alan Duane "Buck" Killion. He was my mother's brother and the family knickname of 'Uncle Brother' summed up what he was to all of us... except of course for those who called him Dad and husband.  Maureen taught my sister Beth how to knit, something which Beth enjoys immensely and has always given her great pleasure.  Dana was 38 years old and had been ill as well but her death was certainly not expected.  She also had a spitfire sense of humor and was constantly reinventing herself.  She was not afraid to jump in and try something new.  I remember so clearly going to the airport near Seattle to pick her up after she got out of boot camp.  She was deployed as an airman to the Naval Air Station on Whidbey Island in Washington.  I was so proud of her when I saw her come off that plane in her Naval uniform.  I first met her when she was 9 or 10 years old, and I see her face in the two young sons she left behind.  Both women leave behind families who grieve deeply.  They were sisters, mothers, daughters, aunties, friends, and in Maureen's case a grandmother and great-grandmother. They will be sorely missed.

As for David and I, we have been chipping away at the house... literally.  We finished the sheetrock in the bedroom and painted... this is a terrible picture as the lighting does not show the colors well at all.  I blame the photographer completely.

The ceiling is white (really it is), the now non-existent trim will be white, and the walls are a soft Wickham Grey from Benjamin Moore paints.  Here is the inspiration... you have to imagine our room trimmed and the floors done etc.  It will get there but maybe not quite with those exact built ins, but I got ideas.  Quick! To the Pinterest boards Batman! 
We also worked more on the side fence in the yard which added a ton of privacy to the yard.  There was just a chain link before between our house and the neighbor's back deck... and on the other side of the neighbor's yard was another chain link and a small apartment complex of what looks like maybe 8-10 units.  We could see from our yard right onto the deck next door and then into the laundry room of the apartments.  The fence changed that completely.

At the risk of sounding very Eddard Stark-ish 'Winter is coming' and that assisted greatly in the decision to get our heating situation under control.

We picked out a nice little woodstove to replace the old oil burning stove that was here and it was installed a few days after Thanksgiving.  Just in time we are thinking as it is a bit chilly in this mostly un-insulated little house.  Not Michigan chilly by any means, but California coast foggy chilly.  However... since the stove was coming in we had to change our focus quickly from the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen and instead sheetrock the area above and behind the stove and build a hearth.  So we put the brakes on the jobs we had started elsewhere and quickly switched gears to the hearth area. 
First the old weird painted brick face had to come off the wall behind the stove, then the old painted brick hearth itself needed to be chiseled off, then the wall paneling, then the fancy wallpaper, then a couple boards of the side solid paneling, so that we could insulate.  The wall boards were replaced, and then back to sheetrocking or drywall.... I have always called it sheetrock which might very well be incorrect but it is just a habit. 

Oh yeah... and David finally had to build the hearth.

If you have followed the blog for awhile you might recognize that hearth tile as the same from our Michigan house. Look here and here and scroll around a bit for a quick reference.  It is the same... the very same actually we have been dragging around a couple of boxes through our travels.

Once that section was done we moved on to a different jobs.  My parents came over to the coast for a couple days and after a quick inspection my Dad jumped in and helped David tear out a couple walls.

We waited to do this to hear from him which walls were load bearing or not.  We were pleased to learn those weird old partial walls were not load bearing so out they came and all of a sudden the house is opened up! 

Here is a shot of the old wallpaper found under the walls in the old dining room... it was different from the paper in the front room. Must have been pretty lively looking in this small house back in the day with all that colorful vine-y ribbon-y swag-y wallpaper.
Just this one act of tearing down walls and faux walls seems to have made a significant difference in being able to visualize the house completed.  Of course I think I thought that when we took that ramshackle weird tiny bedroom wall in the middle of the house too.

Once the walls were down, and the hearth was finished and ready for the stove we turned our attention back to the job we had put on hold.   

The bathroom... good grief. That weird overhead box tile thing, the 5 layers of Amityville Horror house paint over redwood tongue and groove, the HUGE redwood plank trim that covers up the old window which hid lead weights, and the blue painter tape that they decided to leave up after they painted.

I forgot to mention the "medicine cabinet".... wow.  You can kind of see it in the left picture there where it would be behind you when you stood at the sink facing the window brushing your teeth. Here it is below in all it's glory.

The thing is... the sink is centered on the edge of the window, so one can not really hang a mirror directly over the sink necessarily.  We are looking into a hanging mirror off the trim or an arm mirror that attaches next to the window that can be adjusted to where it is needed over the sink.  In these older houses sometimes you have to make do with some little quirks unless you feel like dropping big cash to redo things.  We don't so we adapt, overcome or just deal with it as is.

Well... that catches you up a little bit.  We remodel in a scattershot fashion so these posts will kinda be all over the place.  Once we are done I hope to do a final posting with simple before and after photos. 

There is one thing I would like to show you we 'found' in our backyard though before I close this post out that I just love to share with everyone.  Take a look at what we can see over our back fence... a little black skunk making it's daily trek!

Heh heh... I guess I should say The Skunk and along behind the engine are the viewing platform of happy tourists, and passenger cars... all the folks out for a view of the northcoast redwood and pine forests as well as a taste of a historical trip out to one of the old logging camps where they disembark and have lunch etc.   Kinda fun!

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