Monday, May 31, 2010

The first find.

Doing more "nothing" involved serious weeding--those beautiful wild violets gave way to giant weeds with thick trunks pretty much obscuring the back of the yard. I thought if it was bare it might discourage the workmen from throwing their lunch garbage back there and help with "the smell". During the raking I found a couple of little things...a button, an old shard of plate...and there's lots of coal chunks. I know the house used to be coal heated but I didn't expect to find any on the surface after all of these years. I know it ain't much, but just wait until the real dig begins! I also found lots of tiny plastic baggies,...a few pairs of socks,...
There's something a little gross about picking up garbage that did not belong to you--that even the wearing of thick gloves doesn't really relieve.

Long time, no blog.

I know. But really--and disappointingly--nothing is happening. Waiting on materials, waiting on a plumbing inspection. We were there this weekend doing small things. That's me...painting the tub. Red with gold feet..not really my style. Of course it would have been SO much easier if I had done it before it was hooked up and crammed into a corner.

Monday, May 24, 2010

It's just draining.

Ok, ok, sorry about the puns, just trying to stay laughing because otherwise I'd be crying.
The little drain problem from last week that the DOB caught has been mostly corrected....BUT they can not come back to re-inspect for another 2 weeks. That means that during that period, pretty much everything on the garden level is at a complete stop...waiting...They can't close up the floors, or walls...So now finishing in June is looking more like July. So depressing.
On a high-note, now if we have a storm, I won't have to canoe to the back bedroom.


Maybe good for the environment, but mostly good for nuthin.
Two overnight coats, and still struggling.

Don't be too impressed--the ones below were mostly clean already.

Somehow...I always thought stripping would be a lot more fun.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I love that the contractors think I'm crazy when I tell them that I think stray cats are hanging out in the house at night (since they have left the back of the place completely wide open to all of the elements).
Evidence on the side of the parlor floor bath tub:
It's the small things, you know. Total vindication.

What I want:

There is an abandoned house a block or 2 away that has the most beautiful red roses climbing up the banister of the stoop. Unfed, unwatered, uncared for in any way--and seemingly growing out of the tiniest patch of earth where the cement has divided. HOW is this possible?

And we all know that my attempt to re-create this in front of my own place will most likely look nothing like this whatsoever.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Here's the dirt...

What's that you say? Didn't I already have a basement sub-floor...complete with termite treatment, and sealed over with concrete? Why, yes. Yes, I did.
But now they've decided (courtesy of the DOB inspectors and their fine codes) to do the plumbing for real this time.
What will this mistake cost me? Ahhhh....THAT is a good question.

At least now the plumbing might end up working right.
Love you, DOB!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Just imagine the shock and horror...

...when I opened up my new con-ed bills for the new house (one for me, and one for the tenant ap't).
Just in case you can't read those numbers...that's 3,876 AND 9,045. Ha!
Apparently the electric has been on since 2007 with no one paying the bill--and they threatened me with shut off.
I think it's all straightened out...but with utility companies? Who really knows.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Right now there's a bit of a lull in the construction with the exception of the fireplaces. The originals were very narrow--maybe used for coal--so they have to build them out to be able to burn wood, and lined with fire-brick (plus have new liners put in, and get cleaned, and ....)

Don't ask me what he's doing. I don't want to know....

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Little Bit of History

According to the Brooklyn Eagle Archives from 1841-1902 here are some people who lived at 25 Wolcott:

1885 Ella and John Munn (Ella died that year at 43 yrs old)
1887 James Flannigan
1890 John Bicken who "had the toes of his right foot crushed in the Erie Basin Iron Works" that year.
1894 Nelson Stillwell, 1901 William Stillwell with his parents Jacques and Harriet(see articles below!)

and then:

Now, my house was supposedly built circa 1890's, so either the records don't go as far back as they should, or there was another house on the same lot where some of these people lived. I get the feeling my building is a little older than they estimate, but more research will follow! And if I see a ghost with a limp I will know to call him "John".

And the walls go up...

Top floor...Parlor Floor...

and basement hall...

Things that make me happy...

My tub on the parlor floor is in it's place--smack dab in front of a giant window.
and I realized, that if I get in it and lay down....
This is the view...complete with seagulls.
I can also hear a rooster from a neighboring I can close my eyes and pretend I'm in the country.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Visit From Tennessee

This photo was taken of us on the roof by Steve from Historic Flooring. He was up for a couple of days from TN, and arrived with a pick-up truck's bed full of amazing wood and tin samples--they demo old barns and other structures. We're getting reclaimed oak flooring from him for the whole house, and hopefully the siding as well if we can get it fire-rated. He was nice enough to come by the place and brainstorm with us...full of enthusiasm and good ideas.

More Doors

And a super pretty set of doors donated by Lynda (from basement hall into guest-room/office)
Thanks Lynda!

Yes, It's Insulation-Sunday.

We were worried about the amount of insulation the contractors put in, so we decided to double up in some of the trouble areas over the weekend....