Monthly Archives: June 2012



So I was posting about the backyard for awhile but haven’t update anyone on it lately. Basically by the time I got a decent chunk cleared out the sections I had already did had grown back up. This completely killed my motivation to continue so I left it alone for a few weeks. Ultimately we decided that the little saplings were stronger then we were. Our new plan is to cover the entire backyard with a tarp and cook everything living for the summer. Then in the fall we’ll rake everything up and put down sod, which will hopefully choke out everything that survives. I used 2000 sq. ft of tarp and missed 3/4 of the perimeter so I’ll have to buy more tarp and return tomorrow. I’m not 100% confident this will work but we’re going to give it the old college try.




I blame my lack of posts lately on a combination of working too much and just desperately holding on for something that looks like progress. This is what I have:


That’s right, more pieces of the house are missing! It’s critical and we’ll be so glad we had all this foundation stuff done, but it’s really not glamorous at all, and I’m impatient for something that looks like the pictures I see on Pinterest. (So far to go!)



Something that will look like a progress very soon though, we have windows again! No they’re not installed yet, but they very soon will be! Image

You can also definitely tell that work is being done on the lead based paint, but it kind of has the effect of making the house look splotchy. All in the name of keeping our children’s IQ where God intended it to be! Also, the very dark paint on the window sills is just primer. I have confirmed this multiple times with the general contractor and the painter and it still stresses me out to see that color on our house. It is true that we’ll be going darker: navy blue with white trim and a bright yellow door. Not sold on that combo? Check out Image

Air purification systems


I got Chris two little presents this week to help liven-up his office. I googled some of the best indoor plants and this little jade came up as #1, however I apparently used the wrong list. This is what I should have been using: NASA’s top picks for air-filtering plants. It’s pretty interesting and most of them are from the rain forest floor so will do just fine with indoor light. Their recommendation that is making me think is that an average 1800 sq ft house should have 15-18 good sized houseplants (We have 3000 sq ft!) These 2 wouldn’t count because they’re tiny and I’m not sure where I would possibly put 15+ of them! I’m going to have to think about it though, because clean air is definitely a strong motivator.



There are lots of times during renovation projects when you feel like you’re moving backwards. I imagine new builds are really exciting since you never have this stage. The latest moving-backwards feeling is motivated by the disappearance of our windows. They’re taking them off-site to restore them.

The weights are significantly bigger then I was imagining, but the windows are heavy so I guess they have to be big.

This one is my favorite:


I think this was my favorite part of the work right-up. Mainly because I definitely wanted to get it done but probably wouldn’t have gotten to it very quickly if we didn’t have to.



Here’s a house in worse shape then ours. Chris was pleased as punch. I woke up on the way back from VA beach to Chris doing a U-turn so we could take a picture.


What our house does have is masonry piers! You can see in the second picture that the house isn’t actually supported by them yet, and I’m not 100% sure how they’ll connect in the end. I am sure that I’ll feel better about the house’s supports once they’re connected though. I think there are 12 in all.



Here’s a picture of the couch where you can actually see it, since I was not attached by ghosts while taking it. I’m so excited about it because we’ve lived without a couch for the past year. Even though we affectionately referred to our camping chairs propped up in front of the tv as “our couch,” it’s so nice to have somewhere to lounge. I did break it in with a nap the other day and it did quite well! 🙂

Chris’s June Picture Backlog


A preview of what our dining room may look like down the road.

The hole dug for the foundation footing.

One of several holes dug for the drop girder piers.

Here’s me in the drop girder pier hole to give a sense of proportion.

This is the furthest back pier on the left hand side after the cement was poured into the hole and the masons installed the cinder blocks.

A small rainbow I caught a picture of while heading South on N Elizabeth St at the intersection with East Main Street where Elizabeth turns into Fayetteville Rd.

I took this picture looking northeast onto the intersection of S Mangum St and E Chapel Hill St from the roof of the parking garage.



We found the perfect buffet for the dining room at this great antique/everything store here in Durham. “Everything but Granny’s Panties” it’s called and it’s stuffed to the brim with this and that. Definitely a horder’s heaven. You’ll see the top needs some love and I’ll probably refinish the entire thing since it’d be hard to just do the top. I think I’ve read enough how-tos online to give it a good shot.