Showing posts from December, 2011

Emergency Toilet/Floor Repair: Not for those with Delicate Sensibilities!

What happens when you have only one toilet in your house, and said toilet Christmastime? You make the repairs as quickly as your skill-level allows!
Allow me to preface this; I'm not going to go into all the gory details of what happens in the meantime, I'll leave that to your imagination.  Suffice it to say - thank God for nearby stores!
173 is an old house, and as an old house it has its quirks, foibles and age-related problems (sounds kinda like me!).  As an old house, it frequently dates itself, or rather - stands as a time capsule into how construction codes and/or methods have changed since 1928.  Here's the story...
It began one week ago today with a small water spot on the kitchen ceiling.  Water spots anywhere are a problem, spots on the kitchen ceiling call for immediate attention, especially in light of the fact that the spot was coming from under the toilet and directly over the stove.  IMMEDIATE attention.  On inspection, it was noted that th…

O tannen baum!!

Christmas is my favorite time of year!  I always feel like a little kid in the days leading up to the big day.  At 173, we've always had some disagreement about when the tree should go up...of course I'd put it up on Black Friday but...  So, a great compromise was that I would put a tree on the front porch, pretty much at my whim.  This year I bought an artificial tree for the front porch.  I'm not into fake trees, but at $50 a tree, I thought it was time.  I think it turned out pretty good, especially when you consider it's really only seen from the sidewalk or street.
And here's a view from outside...notice it's dark out.  Not only so the lights show up better, but also because I'm still not ready for the big front porch remodel reveal... Then, a week after the porch tree went up, the "main" tree was done.  THIS one's real!  Almost 9' of blue spruce (I think that's the variety): Then a few pictures from around the house.  I love our …

Shabby Chic Phone Stand - Made at 173

This post linked to Power Tool Link Party at First Home Dreams and A Home in College Hill.
In the last year or so, I've gotten  into this thing of making stuff from scrap wood left over from different projects around the house.  I've made tool boxes, a shoe stand, an umbrella stand and a potting bench.  For years I've wanted a phone stand for our entryway but I could never find one just the right size.  See, I wanted one just so tall and just so wide so that it fit in just the right place.  A couple weeks ago I decided it was time to build one out of scrap wood and make it to the exact size I wanted.  Here it is:

Ha!!  Just kiddin'!  I could only WISH to make one that nice!  But...this is the picture that inspired the phone stand I envisioned.  The truth is, I simply don't have the skills to make one that nice, but like I said - it was my inspiration.  So I started with a couple old 2x4s I had used on an outdoor project a million years ago.  
After initially starti…

The Houses of my Life!

173 is a simple house.  As a matter-of-fact, if you ask 10 five year olds to draw a house...9 of them will draw mine! Of course the 10th one will be a prodigy and will draw some Frank Lloyd Wright Craftsman bungalow with mission-style touches throughout.  Yep, mine is a simple house.  But I love it!  I drive a lot for my job, so I often have 2 to 4 hours to just think about stuff.  Today I thought about the houses in my life, and how they probably lead me to 173.
I have no idea how many places I've lived in my lifetime.  I know there were at least 4 or 5 apartments when I was too young to remember, and several apartments in the '80s when I was just learning how to scratch out a living.  But there has been three houses that were truly important to me.  The first one is my parent's house.  This is the house I really grew up in, from the age of 9 (ish) through high school.  And this is probably the most important house in my life, from reasons esoteric to practical!  When my…

The Front Porch - New Windows and Door

Before we bought 173, the front porch looked like this:
I loved the grill work in the door and the windows.  By-the-way, the lady in the picture is (along with her husband) the only owner of this house before us!  They owned the house since it was built in 1928!  The guy in the picture is the father of one of my best friends!   As a matter-of-fact, she's one of the kids in this picture:

A couple years after buying 173, we put a lot of work into the front porch.  At the time, we did the best we could with what we had, and it turned out pretty good.  The picture below shows the front porch after stripping the clapboard down to the bare wood, putting in a new ceiling, installing a ceiling fan, and a lot of painting.
Notice how the windows opened into the porch? Looks nice doesn't it?  Well, it wasn't. They were constantly in the way, and they weren't the least bit weatherproof...

The other thing about our original remodel was that there are 13 windows in the front porc…