Monday, May 5, 2008

Does It Ever End???

Since my mind is occupied with nothing but the most mundane of house projects these days I guess that's what will flow from my fingers this morning. We got a huge amount of work done this weekend. Steve's drywall and painting project continues, and the biggest and worst part of that job was started Saturday. When we extended our bathroom upstairs in 1990, we installed six skylights. The skylights were purchased toward the end of that project, when we were low on money, so we scrimped and bought acrylic ones. Over the years, they broke down (oh, just say rotted) in the sun, causing, in turn, half of the roof to rot. We had the roof replaced and decided, at $350 a pop, to forgo replacing the skylights. That left six recessed holes in the ceiling where the skylights used to be. Steve finished the process of framing the holes and putting a piece of drywall in each one this weekend. Next will come spackling that drywall, and then the painting can begin, but that will be a slow process. This "bathroom" is acutally two rooms, the original space, with the vanity and toilet, and then a new space which contains a jacuzzi and walk-in glass block shower. Both of the rooms have wallpaper and that paper is deeply textured; there is no way it can be painted over. So that wallpaper will have to come off, and then what's left on the walls will have to be spackled before it can be painted. Since we're gone every other weekend, this will probably take the better part of the summer.

Are you tired yet? I haven't even told you what I'm doing. I'll spare you the details except for the photo above, which is part of what used to be a garden, now completely shaded, and which we will seed with grass. Today, I will level that area, shaving off a hump in the middle of the space and using the dirt I remove to fill a depression that has formed along the wooden fence, where the raspberries used to be. Then I'll dig a trench and install that plastic border I have laying out in the sun to straighten. The bird feeder will be moved to the right, out of frame.

All of this is in preparation for a house sale that may or may not take place a year from now. But at least the work will be behind us whenever the house does go on the market. And just to save us all from unrelieved drudgery, here's a picture of the front, which proves it's all worth it. I need to look at that just to remind myself there is a purpose to all this!

(The woodwork on the porch--each one of those balustrades--will have to be painted, but that's a winter project for Steve, and actually fairly easy. He sets up a lathe-like jig in the basement and just holds a paint brush on the wood as it turns. He can do that while he's watching his CSI on TV.)

Soon I'll have another picture of irises--the next crop is just about to pop. And that peony bush there at the end of the driveway will be worth a look, too. Always something to look forward to!


Anonymous said...

Hi Ralph,

Whewee... I am exhausted after reading your post. So much work! Yet, reading between the lines, I sense the love and pride that you (&Steve) have for your home. Such caring hearts and hands.

Thank you for sharing and please keep in mind what was discussed way back when about the stripping of wall paper.

Almost forgot - thank you for the info on the skylights. A few of the places I considered as a new home had them and now I know that there may be a cautionary to have some knowledge on.


Ralph said...

Linda, how are you? You're right, the work has a definite end to it and it's positive. But it is tiring! On those skylights: you can't even get those acrylic ones anymore, as far as I know. Skylights these days are now more like actual windows in the roof, solidly built, etc., so you just need to make sure they're installed properly. We have the good, modern ones in our den, and they're fine.

Eclecticity said...

Turning Two! Old Navy saying about getting off our asses and getteing to work. Origin unknown, but probably came from the lips of John Paul Jones.

Lovely home Ralph!

Ralph said...

Thanks for the compliment, Eclec. Steve's an old Navy man (Enterprise, Viet Nam). I'll ask him about "turning two."

Cuidado said...

Lovely home. The red flowers at the front.... are those the peonies?

Loved that version of How High the Moon.

Kat said...

I'm tired and all I did was read a list of all the work you and Steve have been doing and still need to finish. I polished and cleaned the top of my desk today, and I thought I did well!

Nan said...

I don't think the housework ever ends -- inside or out. Take a break now and then, and blog, and then you will see all that hard work paying off before your very eyes. Looks/ sounds lovely.

Ralph said...

Thanks, Cuidado. Those pink flowers along the front are azaleas. The peony bush is at the end of the driveway, not yet in bloom, just big round buds at this point. It's an incredible plant. I'll post a picture when it's in fill bloom.

Ralph said...

Kat, LOL! I long for such work hard work!

Ralph said...

Excellent advice, Nan. I must maintain perspective!

Zoey & Me said...

Nice. Very nice. Looks like mainstreet. You guys got a Sheriff? Ralph. OK if I sit on the porch? Love it.

Ralph said...

Come on up, Z&M! That porch has seen many and many a raucous happy hour.