07/29/2011

Current Projects

 Well, the blog has received more than 5,000 views since I started in 6 months ago! That is about 4,990 more than I thought it would when I start writing about the renovation. Thanks for viewing, and hopefully, I can keep you all interested.

I posted pictures of some of the projects going on at the house, but I thought a list may be more helpful. So, what to expect in the next few weeks?

remove the old siding from the house

sheath the entire house

re-frame all windows and doors

close up two doorways

replace all windows and doors

wrap the house

repair all the structural damage

fix the front porch

build the closet addition

build the sunporch

put in french doors

put windows in the additions

put up new trim

wrap trim boards and soffit with aluminum

put up fishscales in eaves

replace the vents

replace the basement windows

put up horizontal lap siding

The items that are crossed out are the things that were completed just this week. Pretty amazing, right?

07/26/2011

Photo Update: Progress!

So much is happening!

07/23/2011

Keeping Calm

They say patience is a virtue. I’ve posted before about my difficulties with maintaining my patience during the renovation. The whole process is just stressful. However, now I have a whole new series of events that is trying my patience. This is the delivery process.

As I said in this previous post, I’ve been purchasing and organizing the materials for my contractor to begin extensive work on the house. When I finally got all my estimates and numbers straight, I purchased the materials. Lots of materials. So many materials that picking them up and hauling them was not even an option for me, so they had to be delivered. This brings about a whole new set of issues to try my patience.

 The first load of materials from supplier #1 was set to be delivered Saturday afternoon. I wait all day Saturday on them to bring these materials. I could have been doing many things on this beautiful Saturday, reading the Dark Tower series, playing playstation, visiting friends, working on the house, etc.  I called the supplier that morning to make sure they were delivering them and received a confirmation. Then I called back when they had not been delivered by 4:30. supplier #1 told me to call back at 5:30, so I did. Which began an elaborate game of phone tag lasting nearly half an hour, where I was passed off to nearly every employee in the store. I also believe I was hung up on twice! Finally, after I start ranting, they play hot potato with the phone a couple more times until I find out that the delivery guy didn’t show up for work that day. Now, I try to be a reasonable person. If the delivery looks like it is going to be late, such as when the guy that was supposed to start deliveries at 8am does not show up for work,  just give me a call and reschedule. It is not that difficult!

Check my ruthless ability to keep my cool after this renovation

This begins my saga with supplier #2. While this process was not nearly as painful as with supplier #1, my irritation scale was already elevated. At 8:00 am, when the wood was to be delivered, I had already laid out 4x4s to place the wood on. I was all ready to go. Then, he dumps the wood, the straps break…and my pile of OSB and plywood looks like a half shuffled deck of cards in my front yard. Essentially, half of my wood is on the ground, and I can’t move it, because it is too heavy. The delivery guy blamed it on incorrectly packaging the wood. I’m not so sure it wasn’t just  a weird occurrence. I just hope none of it is too damaged to use!

Tolstoy wrote that, “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” With all the exercise and practice  my patience is getting during this renovation, it will be a ninja by the time we have finished.

*Images via google image search

07/20/2011

A Renovation Education

Renovating this house has been an educational experience of sorts. I learned to properly use dust masks by pinching the metal part to fit your face. I have discovered signs indicating a termite infestation. I have seen the usefulness of putty knives, and I have a whole new set of vocabulary words – utility bar, squares, caps, sistering, blocking, etc.

A possible result of my ongoing renovation education, I have been become a much better bargain hunter. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been fond of sales and saving money, it’s just that I don’t usually go out and hunt these things down. It all started when I hired a new contractor. He is my uncle’s good friend, but lives out-of-state. So, I am in charge of getting materials for the upcoming jobs. Armed with my list, I have contacted every hardware store, lumber supplier, and siding manufacturer that I could find within 45 miles. I looked for the best prices, made comparisons, called for estimates, and wrote everything down in handy lists. I even learned how to make double-sided copies on the machine at work to run the lists off! I checked for deals, I found coupons. Basically, I did everything I could to save money, and more importantly, I think it worked out. Lowes was having a sale on windows, so every one of them was 15% off. I signed up for moving coupons. I found french doors on clearance. I received discounts from sales people trying to beat my other estimates. Ultimately, I think we manages to save quite a bit, even though the front door was a bit of a splurge. I saved some money, I learned some new skills. Both pretty valuable to this renovation…although, finding a bag of gold under the floorboards would probably be more helpful.

07/17/2011

Decorating…Wizard Style

I didn’t update this week, mostly because I’ve been geeking out over Harry Potter. I could go on and on about why I love those books and movies, but since this blog is supposed to be primarily about my home, I decided to celebrate (mourn) the end of the series by posting some of my Potteresque home decor and discussing how I plan to decorate with it. After I have walls. Just so you know, I did try using Reparo and Accio, Drywall…but it didn’t really work. Anyway,  I know it may not be considered sophisticated to have Harry Potter stuff throughout the home, but I wholeheartedly believe that your house should reflect who you are and the  things that you love. 

Print made by Pink Caffeination

The first thing that will be incorporated is Godric Gryffindor’s sword. My sister likes weaponry, and I got her this replica for Christmas a few years ago. I see it hanging in the library/dining room, shining in the candlelight, looking pretty awesome. When we bought the home, one of the first things I purchased for it was this print from Pink Caffeination on Etsy.com. I had the seller remake it for me in greens, blues, teals, grays, and black, our house colors. If you are a Harry Potter geek like me, you will also recognize this is a mixture of Ravenclaw and Slytherin house colors. This is kind of perfect, as I am a self-proclaimed Ravenclaw, while my sister is a Slytherin.

Over Christmas break, my sister and I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where besides having a fabulous time, we purchased a bunch of stuff. In case you didn’t know, Besides having character wands, the theme park has wands specific to certain months, so that you can pick one to represent a particular date. We both purchased wands representing our birth dates. When we go back, I want to get one to for February 10th, the day we purchased the house. I want to frame the wands in a shadow box to hang on the wall or display in the bookshelf. We also purchased some of the candy sold at Honeydukes in glass apothecary jars. I kept the jars to use around the house, for cotton balls in the bathroom, as a candy dish in the kitchen, etc. That way there will be little reminders of these things everywhere. I want to get more of them, so if any of you guys are planning a trip, let me know!

It might seem strange to incorporate this sort of merchandise into your decor, but it makes me smile, and brings a dose of whimsy and nostalgia to everyday life. It makes my house a home. If you agree, come on by for some cauldron cakes and pumpkin juice…just wait until I get appliances first.

07/08/2011

The Trimble Family History, Part II

A history recap: The previous post ended with the death of James Trimble’s wife, Bettie Luella Huddleston. They had four children, Etta, Betty, Samuel, and Mayme. Betty died in infancy, and James was working as a mason and contractor.

Nannie's Death Certificate

James Trimble married for a second time around 1893, about 12 years after the death of his first wife. He married Nannie Belle Miller. Nannie was born on September 23, 1866 in Kanawha County, WV. In some of the census records, Nannie’s maiden name is Morris, but  her birth and death records list it as Miller, so I believe it was just recorded incorrectly in the old census records.  Her parents were Archibald Miller and Margaret Ann Wiseman.  James was about 42, and she was 27 years old when they married. They had six children:  Arch (May 7, 1894 – 1981 ), Mary (June 13, 1896 – 1974), Corrine (Cora) (Abt 1899 -?), Osman (January 30, 1901 – 1988), Margaret (May 22, 1903 – 1987), and Jeanetta (March 27, 1909 – 1987). According to the census records, they had another child that did not survive. I don’t have any more information than that they had 7 children, 6 living.

James Trimble died on August 22, 1918, at the age of 67. He died of some sort of hemmorage. The death certificate is illegiable beyond that. Nannie died on August 16, 1947 from congestive heart failure. Both are buried in the Pratt Cemetery.

Not as much is known about Nannie and James. It seems like census data was even more difficult to find on than James and his first wife. Many of the names of Nannie and the children were recorded incorrectly, so I’m not positive about the names and dates here. I do have an interesting story, though.

Another historical home in the town is connected to my house. This house, known as the Shields’ Cottage, was built in 1880 and originally owned by Mrs. Morris. It was originally located across the street from the Trimble farmlands. Well, my house is pretty small, so when James married Nannie, he decided to buy this home for his children with Luella, and move Nannie in my house. His children were not that young at the time. Henrietta was his oldest child and I do not have a birthdate for her, though it had to be prior to 1875, so she was over 18. Anyway, James purchased the house and had it moved diagonally, across the road, and onto his property for his children. The cottage is still in the town, with the original front door.

07/02/2011

Vintage Kitchen Decor

Vintage glass cake plate with a light blue edge

I haven’t been working on the house as much, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been shopping for it! I always intended to post some of the things I purchased for the house, so I guess I’ll get to it. Everyone likes looking at pretty things rather than crumbling walls! I do have a confession to make…I love vintage kitchen stuff. Colorful glassware, interesting plates, weird baking stuff; if it’s old and shiny, I’m there.  I love the novelty of these old items, like the vintage eggbeater, as well as the usefulness of them. These things aren’t purely knickknacks. I find that old sifters are my favorite to use, and the kettle, while not old, will be used and add a nice pop of color to the kitchen. So on my recent journeys, I’ve been shopping.

As I said in this post, I want the kitchen to be primarily white and black. These items are the jewels, the interesting pieces that add color and personality. Not all of them were purchased. My Aunt gave me the Fiesta pitcher, which is awesome. She gave me quite a few other nice pieces as well. A few days ago when I was taking all the stuff to where I store it, I stopped by the house with the stuff and my camera to take some pictures of my recent purchases in the house.

 Anyway, here is a look at some of the things that I have collected for the kitchen over the past few months.

                       

06/29/2011

The House So Far…and Photo Update, May/June 2011

Ok, so I know I said I was going to try to update soon in my last post, but I didn’t and I’m sorry. I guess I’m terrible at keeping my word. I did have to go out of town again, this time for a high school graduation (congratulations, T!). That’s not really the reason I haven’t updated, though. The truth is, I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed with the house again, and the sheer amount of work to be done. It’s just all the decisions, and planning, and doing, and ordering things.  I’ve been waiting for my contractor to finish for four months now. All of it together, is just a lot of stress. Luckily, things are beginning to look up again. I have a renewed interest, mostly bolstered by the exciting things to come. More on those things later…

For now, let’s discuss what I have actually finished. I tool up the baseboards in the dining room, and all the moldings around the doors. I left the window moldings for now, due to thekunfortunate incident where I tried to remove the molding, and pulled the whole window out. Oops. I really have to watch those rotten sills! We also cleaned up a lot of the plaster. The most important thing I have completed recently is a plan. The plan is to get the house buttoned up before winter. Everything else can wait until next year. I also have come to terms with the fact that I am basically building the house from scratch. I tried to fight this for a long time, after my uncle pointed it out. It is true. It may be the same frame and blueprint, but I have to put in new windows, a new roof, new sheathing, new siding, drywall, insulation, plumbing, and wiring. Sure, it’ll have old doors and moldings, but the house is just too far deteriorated to pretend it can all be saved.

Ok, enough rambling and apologizing. Here are the pictures!

05/30/2011

About Wolves, and the Lack of Updates

I know there has been a distinctive lack of updates recently. It has been a busy month full of family gatherings, graduations,  and a wedding (Congrats to N & B!).  So we have been having a little mini break away from the house, where we have been helping my dad build and decorate a chicken coop and attending these functions. Not a lot of progress has been made since the termite treatment was completed earlier this month. I promise  a photo update soon, but since I have a virus of some sort, it is going to have to wait.

Meanwhile, here is something to read from the former owner of the house, a clipping about wolf hybrids in WV. After all, he did have a wolf hybrid. It has some random numbers scribbled on it, as most things from the house.  I blurred out anything that resembled phone numbers, just to be safe!

Article about Wolf Hybrids Found in the House

05/21/2011

Rumor Has It

If you happen to live in a small town, then you are probably used to the camaraderie and the sense of community. Since the purchase of the house, many of our neighbors have come by to introduce themselves, and been pleasant and well, neighborly. They seem so interested in the renovation!  This was most evident last week when the house was being treated for termites. While I was waiting for them to finish, I chatted about the house with two neighbors, and gave house tours to four more! I am glad the community is so interested in the progress on the house.

Vintage Circus Poster, from google images

One of the ladies that stopped by was married to a distant descendent of the family. She told me a really interesting story about the last Trimble that lived in the house. Now, we know that he had a half-wolf/half-dog in the house, as well as a second really large dog. From his possessions and notes about the dogs, it was pretty obvious he was very proud of them. According to this source, both of these dogs were quite well-behaved, because the this man was a former animal trainer in the circus! Now, here’s the fly in this ointment. We have heard this guy was a violinist-pianist-alcoholic-mentally ill-artist-painter-writer. Was he really all these things and an animal trainer, too? I’m all for being a complex person with varied interests, but how many professions can one person have? Who was he really? It makes me wonder if he was all these things, or if he was just a mysterious figure in the community that people heard gossip about. I mean, growing up, to me he was “the guy with the wolves”.

I think part of the search for a description for him is because we purchased the house with all of this man’s earthly belongings still in it. It leaves me with a touch of sympathy and sadness, I suppose. I went through his things, I feel like I should know him on some level. On a deeper level, it makes me question all sorts of things. What does ones life amount to in the end? How would this community remember me?  Would I be that grad student-psychologist-renovator-decorator that likes loud punk rock and has an affinity for the color teal? What sort of rumors and gossip would be added to my story? I guess time will tell. As for the former owner, I may never know the truth. At least in his belongings, I found some printouts from a circus messageboard and some information on old circuses, so there is at least some evidence to support that rumor.