Wednesday, October 21, 2009

architectural/cultural extinction??

got a little troublesome news today, not about the house for once. at least there is a little distance between myself and this... Here's a blog post to read. If you are interested in historic preservation, architecture, music and history you should read it:

hopefully they can save this one.

Friday, July 31, 2009

my word

As promised here is a pic of the back yard. A year ago this was a muddy pile of dead shrubs. After regrading the yard, ripping up 5 inches of gravel with plastic under it (no wonder all the shrubs died, they had no water!) adding a rain swayle that runs into a dry pond with native plants.... *deep breath* a series of rainbarrels and two raised veggie gardens made with lumber reclaimed from behind all the neighbors garages... here is it! happily producing tomatoes, basil, ground cherries, squash and about a billion big chili peppers.

The brick edging is actually made of old St. Paul city street pavers. They weigh about 15 lbs each, so when the dog zooms around the yard they will stay put!

More to come soon! Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

upstairs, downstairs

I know it's been a while... again. I've got that same awful feeling about this blog that I get when I forget to write to elderly relatives; the ones that don't do e-mail.

There's been a lot going on. I guess I would rather be too busy with house projects than have all the time in world to blog, but that doesn't make for interesting reading.

I recently traded an old dresser for a new-ish 10" Jet Table saw. I'd call it a good trade!

Problem is that this is one of those Norm Abram heavy heavy cabinet saws. The thing took 3 strong guys to get out of the back of a big pickup. (one of these guys could probably have picked me up and thrown me over the fence with one hand) The thing weighs about 600-700 lbs... I need it in the basement. God bless our narrow staircase, but it's just a little too narrow, which means that I need to take the table off of the table saw and carry them down separately.

While on the subject of power tools, here's my new favorite site:
I have a couple of things to make from this site.

There's also a new firepit in the back yard, some old street-paver garden edging and about 1000lbs of flagstone for a patio. But not for this weekend... nooooo, this weekend I start the DRYWALL!! I'll be finishing up the holes made by the new addition, framing a ceiling and insulating while simultaneously stipping the paint and wall paper from the 1st and 2nd story hallways.

Oh for the endless weekend of house work :) Pictures will follow shortly, I just can't justify using my lunchbreak for both blogging AND uploading.

take care all

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Who wouldn't want Less for More...? Huh?

So, ever have this happen:

Grilling away, in the backyard or where ever and 'poof', out of gas. Kinda sucks. Well get used to it, because the Home Depot (and others) has decided to put LESS GAS in their tanks WITHOUT TELLING ANYONE! (this links to the Star Trib/Associate Press article) So be prepared to pay more for less... 'There have been no customer complaints, spokeswoman Jean Niemi said.'

Well, I filed one. And if this sort of ticks you off, you can too:

Consider this the first complaint regarding the reduction in fuel in
the Home Depot propane tanks. It's hard for consumers to file
complaints when they are not informed of changes to products that can
not be easily identified. I'll be giving my propane business to
retailers who are more transparent about their products and services
and changes made to them.



Well, maybe this is all a product of too much sun today and not enough sleep, but whatever.... oooh, now I feel better :)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Photo Tour

Well, The house is starting to shape up, though you'd never know it looking at it. The gardens are going (pics tonight) and the reseeding of the back lawn that the contractors mushed is almost done.

But I wanted to post links to the reno/resto photos. I'm working today so what I can do with galleries is limited, but I'll see what I can do. In the mean time here:

I'll put some more up here soo (like in the next day or two)

A quick history of the house: built in 1928 just before the market really crashed. A couple of months ago a kind realtor sent me the house abstract... and it appears that there have been a number of foreclosures on this poor house, in 1929 and recently (Not us!! Don't worry). It's interesting to see how little times have changed.

The place is a little atypical for Minneapolis. 3 Bedrooms (2 big ones upstairs) with 8 foot ceilings. Double lot to fill with gardens, and a very pointy roof. So much so that I have decided that we're really got a cottage (when compared with actual bungalow) BUT the name stays... I figure in this part of the city, it's a lifestyle rather than a type :)

Discovered soon after buying the place that all the woodwork on the 1st floor is Oak, which the previous house flipper/moron painted white... Using no less than 3 coats of exterior enamel. I've only begun the removal process.

The addition that went up, which I designed, filled out an existing space to create room for a bathroom (upstairs! Yah!). The work also allwed us to pull off the aluminum siding (Death by Alumicide as Stucco House would say!) and restore the bargeboards and ORIGINAL PATTERN cedar shingles all around the house.

Next on the list: Old fashioned gutters on the way (literally in the mail now!) to put together with Rain Barrels from Metro Blooms. Rip out nasty vinyl wall paper on first floor and get back to plaster and paint. Heat gun the whole dang place!! At least on the first floor where it's oak. Frame out and insulate the addition BEFORE NOVEMBER!!!

That's a big nutshell for the story, but there you go...

Here are a few more Local House Blogs to check out:

A little house that needs a lot of work

eMpTy Bungalow

Bungalow 23

Stucco House

Hope you enjoy the tour!

Sunday, April 26, 2009



I took another look and see now that the official time for the neighborhood garage sale is SATURDAY: 8AM-2PM Just saturday... which works just fine for me. I guess I will get up early and open up at 8 :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bring the Wagon!

My blogging has been truncated as of late... but I do have an announcement in between all this work.

There will be a massive Neighborhood Garage Sale next weekend, May 2nd and 3rd. It will be in Northrop Neighborhood, in the area of 46th and Cedar Avenue. (sounds like much of the activity will be to the North West of that intersection)

I've been cleaning, cleaning CLEANING trying to get as much stuff together as possible. As it stands I have a substantial pile of clothing and stuff. I will be adding a Gas Burning Fireplace insert, a couple of maple cabinet doors that have been stripped down (see a previous post) and STORM WINDOWS... since the PO's of my home decided to rip out all the hardware. A twin bed (two of them)/dresser set (from the 1930's) and a set of chairs that came from my great grandmothers beauty parlor in the St Paul Hotel from 1940. We'll see what else we can dig up... There may be a cat added to the pile if she doesn't stop waking me up at 4am to eat.

I would imagine that there will be a few people looking for deals EARLY in the am next weekend... but I will open the garage at 9am...

If you're into the garage/yard sale thing it's probably going to be a big deal.. there are SEVERAL homes within a couple blocks that are going to participate. I think that some of them are pretty serious about this stuff :) Probably a number of plants.. so bring your cash, a good eye and your wagon (warm it up for the Friend School Plant Sale)