Stairwell Repairs

Easter’s been here and gone, and it was a wonderful holiday. We had Good Friday off so Andy took me to a very rare dinner. We only have time and money to go out a couple times a year. He spent a good bit of the weekend with Lucy’s hockey, then on Sunday we and the girls all went to church together, and spent the day with his extended family. We had started shopping for Easter basket goodies about a month ago and probably had more fun stuffing and hiding them, than the girls did finding them! One of the places we thought to hide a basket was in the ceiling joists, as part of his drywall has been ripped down due to a second-floor tub leak. We didn’t hide anything there but if I can get him to guest write a blog, you may hear more about his drywall work. It was a great holiday.

20150403_11112120150404_155123I removed the extra handrails. Then I finished scraping the wallpaper and had two small DIY projects: drywall patching and stucco repair. You can see from the photo on the left, how horrid the wall was behind the paper. I remembered a trick from my days of actually building rooms from scratch. Smooth on a light coat of spackle to fill nail holes and other imperfections. When it is dry but not cured, run a damp sponge over it to wipe off excess paste and to get rid of the spackle edges. When it’s cured just a swipe of the sandpaper will do this way. Less dust, less work. I used a double-sided scrubby sponge for this task.

20150403_133552When I was removing the wallpaper, some of the DYI spray ran down to the first-floor ceiling, creating water marks. When I tried to wipe them off, the stucco itself came off! You can see the photos in this post. 20150404_173523To patch quickly and easily, I just took the scraper I was using to spread spackle, loaded it up with the spackling paste, and dabbed it overhead onto the ceiling to blend in. Since the ceiling was white, there was no need to paint. Another way of doing this is mixing the spackle compound with water until milkshake consistency and dab with a large-holed sponge. Unfortunately I didn’t have that type of sponge and had to make do!

I also deglossed all the doorway and baseboard moulding this weekend. The products from our stores that made this weekend easier were the ever-famous rubber gloves for the deglosser, and glasses and a half-mask respirator for the drywall. Even tho the sanding was minimal, there is dust all over the area. And you know if it’s on the wood, it would be in my lungs if not for the respirator!

Next weekend is yet another busy one. I sit for my graduate exam and Grace has a PMEA music concert. But I hope to start painting the walls.

Good Gloves Make a Good Investment

By Kristi Ries

Chances are, you’ve been paying close attention to the weather lately—and it’s not just for your kids’ school closings. January has ushered in a new year, but the New Year has also brought with it an unusual cold snap to the entire U.S. Stretching from coast to coast—and from the Great Plains to as far south as the Florida Keys—this extreme weather gripping the nation has snow shovels and snow blowers flying off of store shelves.

Ironclad Tuff-Chix GlovesMany folks who live in the Deep South or areas that traditionally experience mild winters may not own heavy-duty gloves for working outdoors. Don’t be caught unprepared, ladies! Before you break out the shovel and begin to toss rock salt all over your porch and steps, take stock of what’s protecting your digits.

That’s right—your hands will definitely take a beating as you endeavor to clear out that snowed-in driveway and icy sidewalk. So it’s critical to invest in high quality; choose long-lasting, durable gloves that will protect you while you’re out doing what needs to be done. Ironclad’s Tuff-Chix Gloves provide rugged protection while allowing for top performance. They’re made with women in mind; who else thought to build a glove with reinforced fingernail guards? Order a pair today, and do read the following helpful tips on snow shoveling.

How to prevent injury this winter:

  • Warm up before shoveling snow. Start by warming up your muscles for 10 minutes with light exercise. Do include your leg muscles—heart attacks and similar injuries are sometimes the result of working the smaller muscles of your arms and back while not using the large muscle groups of the legs.
  • Use a shovel that is comfortable for your height and strength. Do not use a shovel that is too heavy or too long for you. Space your hands on the tool grip to increase your leverage.
  • Pace yourself. Take frequent breaks and be sure to drink enough water so as to prevent dehydration. If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath or other signs of a heart attack, seek emergency care immediately.
  • Push the snow instead of lifting it. If you must lift, take small amounts and lift it with your legs: squat with your legs apart, knees bent and back straight. Lift by straightening your legs—avoid bending at the waist.

Repurposing a Lamp

This weekend I had to wrap up the library to a point, in order to make room for the sofa delivery today. I was able to put enough paint on the general vicinity of the walls in the evenings last week that one final coat and some touch ups Saturday in broad daylight was good. Our 12-pk of polyurethane gloves and disposable coveralls have suited me well on this room, where I could put on a glove and smock, paint a bit, and save it all to pick up where I left off the next night.

20150108_19235120150108_193246The hanging lamp my mother wanted and traded me for the horrible plastic green one left in her apartment, I decided to use the leaded glass shade my dad had on a lamp that was throwing sparks. I had thrown the lamp away but saved the shade, evidently just for this purpose. I broke off the plastic green shade and simply slid the antique shade over the chain and cord, with nice results. For working with the glass and plastic, I used our more durable Tough Chix gloves. I really do love these gloves. They fit well, look great, allow my hands to breathe, and protect like nothing else. Priced less than $20, it’s no wonder they have a five-star rating!

You can see how the walls are shaping up in the background of these photos.

20150111_095900Saturday I dropped my car off at the local shop for its biannual oil change (!) and while I was waiting, I went shopping in the plaza. I found this great wall decal for a buck. I couldn’t pass it up.

I placed my furniture about where it will go, leaving the space for my new loveseat. I also have a rug and TV stand on order. All of that should arrive this week. In my free time I will work on polishing the floors; I am not sure of the best way to clean and shine them yet. I’ll report on that next week.

My new furniture was my splurge for these two rooms, the living room and the library. Aside from those, my total cost was $80 for these twin rooms. With those, I have about $800 in them. Higher than my budget but the only new furniture I am purchasing so I am just grinning and bearing the credit card bill.

 

Wallpaper short

20141206_181614I’m starting to strip the wallpaper in the “twin” room to the living room – the library. And since everything I do in this room is similar to the last, I won’t bore you with the details. I will, however, give  a nod to the disposable gloves that make stripping the wall paper so much cleaner.

This weekend, after heading to the city for window shopping with Andy and Gracie, I stripped wallpaper when I could, and got most of the room done. The reality of Christmas came down hard this morning, with a huge list of things left to accomplish and so very few days! I hope everyone is having a joyous season!

Wallpaper memories

Thanksgiving is almost here, and I am glad this is a quick room! I have used orange oil on all of the wood so it is rich and smells wonderful. As I had stripped the wallpaper, I watched the years roll in reverse.

Friday night I visited my mom and helped her with a couple things, then hit the grocery store. This weekend Andy was – you guessed it – away for more hockey. I have noticed the weekends he’s gone, I pack a lot of social stuff in that I normally can’t, because of his erratic schedule. And for him being away, I am busier than ever!

Saturday morning I got up early and patched the nailholes, and cleaned and deglossed all areas I was repainting, using a scrubby and Construction Gear’s disposable gloves. I love the deglosser because it’s like liquid sandpaper – you get the results fresh paint will stick to, without all the elbow grease. I painted everything, using our Purdy paint rollers and paint brushes. I also wore the disposable smocks, to which I have become addicted! I had brought home 3 choices of steely green and creamy white, and the pair Grace chose was the same one I liked, and I am glad. Doesn’t this look great?After

In the evening, my friend Gale came over and we practiced the Christmas music we will take to local nursing homes next month. ‘Tis the season! When all was said and done, I worked 15 hours.

Sunday after church, I put the house on hold and went over to Andy’s, since he was home. We enjoyed some time in the kitchen – I baked some of our English Tea Store scones for our Monday meeting, plus I wanted to have a meal ready to help smooth the transition from traveling to work week. I made him and the girls a tortellini casserole. I love the smells of cooking during the winter.

This week in the evenings I will paint the trim by taping it off, and then put the insulating glass back in the windows.