Sunday, December 19, 2010

And we're off...

Happy holidays everyone.
We're away until the new year, and I love to say that I'll have something really exciting to share when we get back...but somehow, I doubt it.
I suppose it might be better that way. We all know the potential of what might happen when we're not around.
Enjoy! And lets look forward to a fresh new year!

Friday, December 10, 2010

There has to be an end to this, right?

If anyone is wondering what's been happening with the house these days....well,...nothing.
It is truly excruciating.
The molding for the exterior windows was supposed to come this week to kick off the siding going up, but no one will tell me if it's arrived, and the siding guy won't return my calls as to when he plans on starting.
The roofer who is supposed to return to finish the masonry is missing altogether and the contractors suspect that he is "out of the country".
We had a meeting scheduled for Wednesday morning with the floor guys and the GC to talk about correcting the puddle stains, and the areas where the sealer is missing. The floor guys showed up an hour and 1/2 late...and the GC showed up....never. Have I mentioned that the GC's work phone has been cancelled so there is no way to reach him? And that the floor-guys don't speak English--at all....
We ended up asking them to leave. And then waving "bye-bye" at them....and then holding the door open trying to motion them out. Lots of confusion.
And did I also mention that my contact at the office has either been out sick since Tuesday...or is just hiding somewhere not returning calls or emails?
Tell me. What's a girl to do?


On our drive up to Massachusetts for a job Todd found me a beautiful wood stove for sale on Craigslist, that just happened to be only about 3 miles off of our route in CT. It's only a year old, and very efficient...and everyone knows I like to be as warm as possible at all times. It'll be living here in the studio on a dolly for the time being, but is destined for the front room of the garden -level.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Ok, so this post is not actually about the house per's about what happened when we went to the house at 9 this morning for a meeting with the siding guy (who was supposed to show us trim samples) who didn't bother to show up.
We were out in Brooklyn anyway, so we decided to get an oil change and boy were we surprised when the mechanic showed us our air-filter basket under the hood.
Filled with acorns. Tons, and tons of acorns.
I'm feeling very very confused.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Creepy toy find of the day:

Did I say our digging was useless?

Name that Donut

Another contest here at "the Little House That Could", since Lucy won the "Name That Animal" being the only one who ventured a guess...(Possum??Really? C'mon...)
Help me out here people!
There is a big patch of cement in the middle of the backyard that's been on my mind. After 5 hours of random, useless, digging for no reason we decided to concentrate on the area revealing a giant...donut. We haven't been able to get leverage on it to get it up yet...but we're working on it.

Cap to a well, outhouse, or cistern? Base for some sort of post? Entrance to another dimension? Why the hole in the center?
I can just get my hand into it's middle, and from the chunks of dirt I pulled out a lovely little shard of transfer-ware china.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Window gates

Sooooo, remember these ugly things?And then this fencing which we got from a guy who got them out of a dumpster somewhere deep in Brooklyn?
Well, voila!

I hate having to have gates..but if I have to...these make me real happy.

Where oh where are the contractors?

Last week the roofer --who is supposed to finish the brick and masonry-- just never showed up.
So then he agreed to come out on Saturday to do the work...and...nope!
Finally he promised to show up today...but guess what...

Instead, we found that absolutely no one has been out there, and the plastic protecting the house is hanging by a thread and probably making the neighbors insane with the sound of wild flapping. (not to mention that we're expecting rain and at this point it's pretty much useless)
Another nice surprise was that the wood that held the bottom of the plastic to the building came loose and lodged itself in the window screen tearing a nice big hole.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Today was a day of many tasks.
First we met with the siding guy to discuss how the siding gets put up (with the help of the Hardi-Plank manual we printed out for him), chose molding for the windows, and got the general idea it won't be started until after Thanksgiving.

Then we met with the counter guys...apparently no one wants to take responsibility for having cut them...but at any rate it looks like it will be re-cut smoothly, and with all ends matching. Imagine?

And THEN we went to LIC to a great stone shop called Emtek to have some bluestone cut down for window sills. I like the dramatic fall sky...
Here is one piece which will replace the concrete that was put in--which has already cracked in half.
And here is a product they sell for coloring cement--not that we have any use for it, but I'd love to buy some just for the packaging.
We are dangerously close to Day 100, folks.
And I think the only prize I'll be winning is a big fat ulcer.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Name that animal:

The first night we left the siding out to dry we came back to find a ton of cat prints all over the planks.
The second night, we found THIS! And it's pretty darn big. Any ideas? Any trackers out there?


Taking a break from watching paint dry.

Everything hurts.

Good news...the correct siding showed up on Friday! Twice as thick, a few inches wider, smooth...just what we asked for. And did I mention heavier...and that it only comes primed? 800' sq needing 2 coats of paint.
It took us 3 days--we could only do about 40 boards at a time spread out in the inside...
And outside.
It really doesn't look like that much, does it?
But truly...we can barely move.

There's "rounded"...

and then there's just plain "round".

The kitchen countertops came on Friday--Pure White Caesar Stone. They had asked me If I wanted the edges flat or rounded...and I said rounded...thinking a nice beveled edge like the one below, straight from the CaesarStone website.
Here's what we got. Trust me--it looks worse in real life than in the photo. It looks like 70s laminate...and why one edge is flat I'm not sure. And of course, although it's already glued on, 2 sections angle upwards.
Ah. Yes. And the giant nick in the stone in the corner.

Monday, November 8, 2010

By my calculations...

we're at day 88.
We showed up a week ago to find the roofer (yes the same roofer. There's nothing like hiring back a guy who put on a leaky inadequate roof twice to do more work on the house) cementing up the brick on the front of the house.
Does this look like re-pointing??
After a lot of needless arguing, they finally started to do it right:

Daylight Savings

4 PM in the bedroom.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More backyard treasures

Two feet under. The lower we go, the weirder it gets.

Lost but found...

1.The good new is that The Stove Lady told me that she found replacement parts for those that were lost in the mail...amazing...and that they'll be re-chromed shortly!

2.I may have also failed to mention that the custom made shutters that I ordered for the bathrooms (that took 4 weeks to make) were ALSO lost in the mail. Turns out FedEx delivered them a block away and left them. The super of the building dropped by...after looking at the packages in the hall for the last week and a half he was about to throw them out.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010


Here's the new cedar fence in the backyard...after many many hours of our clearing and bagging debris. I'm hoping it will grey, in time. And with a little honeysuckle growing on it..I think it'll look much better.

Mistakes were made.

Oh, just look at this beauty. The sink I've always wanted! Blinded by it's beauty I never thought that just wouldn't fit.No one told me it's not deep enough for the cabinets. Arg. Four inches of weird empty space at the back.
This really really stinks.
Say goodbye to them, they have to be replaced.
As you can tell with my stove and appliances....not so good together.
PS Please ignore the horribly ugly cabinets, they'll get painted white and then you'll like them.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Just a little something we dug up in the backyard. Besides endless pairs of half deteriorated socks and shoe soles. (yes, just the soles)

The Cornice

Mostly up. So much better than in the hallway, and totally changes the look of the place (pardon the plastic).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bit by bit.

The cornice has come! Currently living (partly) in the hallway...and unfortunately ordered 3' too long. I am not looking forward to watching them trying to make a nice straight cut on this guy. The old backyard fence is down and post holes dug for the new one. I gained 3 extra feet at the back of the yard...and opposed to the cornice, these 3' I can actually use.
Annnnnd..most of the radiators are in. Not just IN, but working too, and very toasty.
The kitchen cabinets also came...and then went. Measurements, people! Measurements.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

An Open Letter to My Stove.

I am really so sorry.
We removed you from such a nice house in Massachusetts, and yes, they were going to give you up anyway, but who could have prepared you for this.
First the contractors dinged, dented, and chipped your enamel. A bit of white paint was dabbed on as camouflage.
Then they snapped your burner in half. We had it welded back together...and removed every other removable piece and hid them away.
The crazy Russian National Grid guy insulted you. Twice.
But who would have thought that the woman who came to clean the burners, make sure everything was working, and took all the tops, the griddle, and the broiler to have them re-chromed and stop them from corroding ...would lose them forever in the mail?
If I burn in hell one day, it might be in a O'Keefe and Merritt.

Time flies

Can it really be Day 67?
Well, not much has happened in the past few weeks. The floors have been sanded and sealed...two coats, but only in some places. The top floor looks the best where they started so it's apparent they started to run out of sealer about halfway down. But then, what did we really expect?

Today I took out all of the old mortise door locks, adjusted, and put them back in so that they actually work. I am the proud new owner of a chisel...where has this tool been all my life??

This week the kitchens will arrive and the cornice. A backyard fence on Tuesday. Maybe they'll put the radiators in?
And still no word on the (correct) siding.
So close...and still no end in sight.

You know who you are.

For those of you who have been trying to get me to wear a bike-helmet for the past however many years...this is for you. Are you happy? My head looks tremendous. I figure all the riding over of bridges warrants one.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Is there such a thing...

as too much white?
I don't think so.
Parlor stairs:

and basement:

Friday, October 1, 2010


They sanded it down a bit...but it still looks totally weird to me, and doesn't feel good under your hand. I just don't know what to do..the contractor seems to think it's great. Anybody???However the top is done and looks nice....

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stairs good and bad

(Day 50)
Two workers (hardly the giant team I was promised, but I guess it's better than nothing) have been working away on the stairs for the last couple of days.
Spindles look good....
Elbow at the top looks good...
But what the heck is THIS?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Stair Parts

Here is the new newel post sent up from TN and the start of the banister on the parlor floor.And the original Parlor parts recycled, and now moved to the basement level. It'll all look better when everything is painted to match.
And the new schmancy living room light on the parlor floor.