1 House 100 Years

Preparing For The Centennial Of A Place That Matters

Month: May, 2013

One Last Bathroom “Before” Photograph

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I had known about the hole in the floor in front of the toilet that had been repaired with a piece of metal nailed to the floor. I hadn’t know how the plumbing underneath had been handcrafted out of lead sheeting that had been deformed into just a narrow opening.

I had known about the damage caused by someone with bad aim in the middle of the night. I hadn’t known about the hundreds of razor blades that had been deposited into the medicine cabinet’s “used blades” slot and had ended up in the wall cavity, overflowing beneath the house.

Be forewarned. There will be endless lists of “I had known’s” and “I hadn’t known’s” for any old house. It’s almost guaranteed that the latter will exceed the former. Old houses can woo you and seduce you. They will crave your attention and demand unlimited access to your bank accounts.

There are thousands of modest little old houses spread across the country. Dear reader, I that hope you will find yours. there is no other house like an old house that can give you such a grand feeling of accomplishment after you have worked to repair and dress it up.

This photograph was taken February 2007 on my first visit to my house.

Bathroom, Looking East

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Anniversaries are days that we create for ourselves to mark events that are important to us. Recently I celebrated my sixth anniversary of homeownership, and it has been a time to think back on exactly what I was doing six years ago. Those were very busy days for me then.

It is amazing how a toilet can work perfectly every time you flush it up through the final inspection walk-through, and then mysteriously pour water all over the floor once you have handed over your down payment check and signed all of the papers. It did gush out everywhere.

That first summer had three priorities. I had take out all of the knob and tube wiring so that the insurance company would insure my new home. I had to have new wiring for at least the overhead lights and outlets. I had to have bathroom plumbing that would work.

The insurance company dictated what needed to be done first. Nature dictated what needed to be done next. Without the help of a very good friend, I would not have made it through that first summer. The heat was tough. Running to Walmart to use the bathroom was even tougher.

This photograph was taken February 2007 before my house was purchased. This is how it looked before any work was done.

 

Quick Garden Photographs Before Traveling

These photographs allowed my to take my garden with me as I traveled this past weekend for my niece’s high school graduation. In previous springs when visiting the western part of the state, there had been strong thunderstorms that had damaged some plants completely. I wanted to remember a few special spots just in case that happened again.

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Gardener’s Delight tomatoes and Mesclun Blend lettuce in whiskey barrel planters…forsythia and Christmas fern border bed…

The whiskey barrel planters are a new experiment this year to try something different that will add more planting space and better define the first of two concrete slabs where metal sheds had been. This is the one closest to the back door and serves as a patio with a black metal table and chairs. This is where I like to drink a cup of coffee in the morning.

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Red Star tomatoes and Bloomsdale spinach in whiskey barrel planters…leftover lettuce seeds from last year in a shallow clay pot…French lavender and Giant Bugleweed border bed…

I have seen several birds perching on the rims of the barrels, searching for a meal. This method of growing vegetables has an extra bonus then since my winged garden buddies have a comfortable place to survey for their own dinner.

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Parsnip flowerhead with flower buds beginning to show some yellow (about up to my chin right now)…camellias with a variety of hostas underneath…

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Blueberry bed (several varieties to assure successful cross pollination for fruit development)…Honestly, the songbirds probably eat more of these than I do, but the color of the leaves in the autumn is awesome!

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Everbearing strawberries…Red Norland potatoes…Butterfly flower (perennial)…a few small “Immortality” bearded iris…

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Rose Campion (already blooming)…Becky Daisies (beginning to bud)…wandering Jew (just beginning to send up dark purple leaves and still somewhat hidden by the Giant Bugleweed ground cover)…The magenta-violet of the Rose Campion contrasts beautifully with the yellow ochre glaze on the birdbath.

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The concrete slab where one of the metal sheds had stood for many years beside my pecan tree…A severe spring storm knocked the pecan tree down and demolished the metal shed. I will build a replacement shed myself one day to my own specifications and needs…perhaps a drawing and writing cabin.