Sunday, December 18, 2011

We almost made it!

One of my goals has been to move into the Two Sisters house by Christmas. We might have made it. We were THIS close. Then, this morning when I was pulling some weeds out in the garden, I bent over and smelled gas.... Oh dear, that's not what I meant! LOL. The gas wasn't coming from ME, it was coming from the house. Specifically, it was coming from an 80-year old galvanized iron pipe that rose out of the ground right outside our bathroom window.

I happen to be a chemically sensitive person, and can smell the tiniest thing that others can't. When I told Rudy I smelled gas, he trusted me enough to believe that there was a problem. We put in an emergency call to Atmos Energy and they quickly sent out a technician who, with the aid of a very handy little hand-held gizmo that clicked like a geiger counter, detected a major leak. I knew it wasn't good news when the thing clicked so fast it sounded like one continuous shriek. He shut the gas off pronto, also shutting down our heating system in the house. Luckily, it's a warm day.

So, we had to put in an emergency call to the plumber, who was supposed to show up on Wednesday anyway to finish the bathroom work. He has to get another permit from the city peeps (who are on holiday this week), dig up the yard, take out the old pipe, replace it then get it inspected AGAIN. Then we have to call the gas company back out to turn the gas back on. Ay yi yi.

Meanwhile, other work continues. Rudy spent the last week working on the bathroom tile floor and the shower stall, and is grouting today.

We ALMOST forgot to insulate the outside wall behind the pipes. Whew. Luckily, Rudy remembered and spent quite some time stuffing the wall full of the Johns Manville insulation without formaldehyde.

I finally decided to leave the bathroom walls as they were, with four heavy coats of primer, then paint, to cover up the old mastic. In a crazy sort of way, I liked the pattern that the installers made while smearing it on. We can add something else in the future if we want---tile or beadboard. For now, it's a two-tone sage green and tan (matching the living room), and will have some nice chair railing molding separating the two halves.

The shower has been a big job. First, Rudy had to cover up the existing plank walls that were behind the old sheetrock. I really wanted to leave some of them exposed at the top, but since we had to add backerboard for the shower, it didn't work out.

The left-hand side of the shower shows the little bench that we're building in--a place to sit and soak my feet or for shaving.

The bottom will be filled with a 4 x 4' shower pan made of fiberglass, and the inside of the shower walls and bench will be tiled. Note to self: Pick some tile for the shower! LOL

I've moved a few odds and ends into the kitchen and an old shelf into the pantry.

I love that I can see the remaining shiplap siding that used to be the outside wall of the house. It seems that the back porch was enclosed at some time. To me, it's like those "truth windows" that people build into their straw bale homes. I can envision shelves of bright red jellies and jams and stewed tomatoes at some future date, lining the shelves.

And the shelves of my custom spice shelf will be filled with homegrown dried herbal blends.

I was a bit leery that the bright orange background I used in the kitchen might not work until I brought in one of my Italian chicken pitchers and a handmade ceramic bowl---the colors are PERFECT! I know the orange and the lime green on the walls will look great with the rest of my small collection.

The kitchen is 99% finished---I think. I keep finding things that haven't been finished, like the backsplash. We do have the tile, just haven't installed it yet. It's a small glass mosaic subway tile design in a dark amber reddish brown--gorgeous stuff. In this photo, you can see the new appliances.

And in this one, you see the view from the dining room, through the kitchen into the living room. I cannot wait to get the antique french doors re-installed there.

The right hand side of the kitchen features the original cabinets, with a little tweaking at the bottom to fit in a small (18") dishwasher. The doors on the uppers have been removed and the shelves used for my collection of pitchers and doo-dads.

We are having a few issues with the old drawers. Once I painted them, they got wider, and now they stick. We'll have to "fiddle" with them, sand them a bit, wax them and hope that does the trick. At a future date (on our Eventual List), we'll figure out how to put them on drawer slides.

A cool pull-out wire shelf holds cleaning supplies, and lifts out so I can carry it to other parts of the house.

Pull-outs on the left hand side hold pots and pans.

And no, it doesn't bother me in the least that the cabinets on the left don't match the ones on the right. They are the same color, and that's good enough for me. I am trying to find matching hardware to add to the new ones to match the 1950's pulls that were there when we bought the house. A little island, probably 4-feet by 18-inch wide or so, will sit in between the two sides to make the kitchen complete.

And with Mamaw's bowl perched up on one of the built-in shelves, it's starting to feel a little bit like home.

Happy trails, and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

bobbi c.


  1. Wow! Good thing you caught that leak - good nose! I love seeing your photos and reading about the process. It almost makes me want to renovate our house. The exterior, whole house shot is wonderful; it has such a good feel to it. The whole property is going to be fabulous when finished.

  2. Thanks, Mary! Hey, go for the renovation! LOL.

    I wanted to work on the garden this month, but we've had pouring rain for weeks off and on. Not complaining, of course, but the snails sure are getting big...LOL.


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