Sunday, May 1, 2011


I know!  We really should have taken the lath down first, but we didn't!  We went ahead and sanded and it was good!! 

We used an orbital sander.  It allowed us to get right up to the floor trim.  I sanded, and sanded, and sanded!  In the evening of the first day of sanding, I completed the upstairs and made it into the kitchen. 

While working in the kitchen I started to feel very excited about our kitchen plans and began wondering how it was all going to look when all was said and done!  It was a good feeling to complete the job!

The pantry got even more cute when the sanding was completed!

(looking through the back porch door)

Even though everything turned out so well, I did end up injuring my wrists.  They are healing very well now, but it did become quite a challenge over this weekend to do much of anything at all!

(soaking hands and wrists in cold water)

Bottom Dwellers

As you can see, if you drove by our house in the quiet little village of Brock, it would appear that much has been happening in the inside!

But at some point in this crazy endeaver, we have to face the music in the basement! 
Its not pretty there!
The only pretty is the scary!
Pretty DARN sacry in fact!

 Knowing where to start was the hardest part! 
Tim has done some work in this room already.  I was hoping to clear out a spot to place tools and supplies so that we weren't tripping all over them all day long upstairs!

So I chose this room.  It was the least yucky so I dug in and got to work!  Before long I found the floor!  Once it was cleaned, we were able to eliminate a big mess upstairs!

Apparently, someone was an avid gardener.  While cleaning I found some jars of saved seeds with little notes in them.  I think we might try to see of the ones I saved will germinate.

This note says round black seeded yellow meated watermelon 1969

It might be a fun experiment!

I'd really like to complete the clean up in the basement during our next week stay!
... to be continued ;)

Still in Demolition Mode!

This last week there was still loads of demolition work to do!

Except, if you look closely you will notice that the child on the right hand side of the photo is not necessarily working... He is reading old 1940's newspapers that are under the multiple layers of linoleum.  In fact, if you look a little closer, he will notice he is reading the comics.

Not to fault him or anything, Tim and I were reading the other parts of the papers!  I had NO idea that there were senate hearings being held regarding FDR having received warning in 1936 about an attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.  We also were interested in reading that a man was arrested and thrown into jail in Omaha for dressing like a woman.  When the police questioned why he dressed like a woman he replied that he "liked to."  So they kept him in jail.  Jobs in the classifieds were advertised with wages listed at $15.00 a week.  Seven piece, brand new bedroom sets were sold for $129.00.  A 384 acre farm with 100 acres of producing pecan trees was selling for $10,000. 

Nothing like history lessons while you work!

Still so much work to do!

The Problem in the Privy

As you can see in this photo we are back in Brock and working hard as ever this last week.  Nearing the point of sanding floors, we needed to get to the bottom of why the bathroom floor had so much movement in it.  So out came the tools.

 And up came the wooden planks.  And before we knew it, it was very obvious why our floor was having problems. 

There were several obvious toilet repairs that don't appear to have been properly completed, hence all of the water damage.

The toilet was also mounted on a flange rigged from wood.  No waterproof seal going into the black hole, just a seal on top of this clever rigging.

Here is why our floor wiggles so much.  The floor joist was cut to install the cast iron pipe that the upstairs and downstairs toilet drains into.  A tie was made to the neighboring joists, however it hasn't been enough to keep this 2x8 from succumbing to the forces of gravity and the heavy load of a house it bears! 
Tim was able to build up the floor to about level, and he also put an extension on the shortened floor joist and ran it to where it is supposed to be.

Ewwww!  But I adore the joys of modern plumbing at the same time!!

Hole closed up and plan B is put into play.  We opted out salvaging the wood floor and are preparing to put down a substrate over the newly repaired sub floor.  We are looking at flooring options to put down, maybe some linoleum since I don't trust tiles on this not-quite-level-old-house floor.

The time has also come to get creative with this exterior wall through which the "black hole" reaches to the upstairs bathroom.  The pipe sticks out too far and I hate the thought of having to change the trim out on the old window to accommodate a thicker wall...