It’s been a year since I’ve scrounged anything good from the woods. Then it was the foundling end table (which got improved and which Commentariat member Pat eventually dubbed “Doorway to the Sun”).
This afternoon I brought home a small heap of equally unprepossessing but potentially useful stuff I found in a newly dumped trash heap. To wit:
This is tongue-and-groove beadboard from somebody’s old house. Depression-era, I’m guessing. Probably wainscotting from a kitchen or bathroom judging by the bits of ancient wallpaper clinging to it. This small amount isn’t enough for anything by itself, but I’ve got this ceiling project …
Last summer (you may recall all too personally, given that y’all were so involved), part of my roof collapsed. The fix involved cutting away large chunks of a beadboard ceiling. Which was bad because it was a lovely old ceiling. But which was good because working from inside made the roof fix relatively inexpensive. And which was also good because it gave me the opportunity to convert a formerly flat ceiling to a vaulted (well, slightly vaulted) one.
I just didn’t have enough interesting material to cover it. Could have drywalled it. But meh. And there was still a lot of beadboard left after the teardown, even if not enough beadboard.
Right now that ceiling is just bare rafters with insulation. Eventually I’ll turn it into a patchwork of the old beadboard, modern tongue-and-groove 1x6s, trim, and whatever the heck else might fit up there. The beadboard I picked up this afternoon is a different design than what I’ve already got and will enhance the patchwork effect. Remarkably, the tongues and grooves of all the different materials I’ve assembled fit together, too. Well, mostly. They will fit whether they want to or not. :-)
There’s probably more beadboard in the heap of construction rubble. I’ll go back and look later.
It infuriates that people dump construction leftovers in the woods. Aside from the blight on the landscape, the heaps are always full of rusty nails, sharp metal edges, and broken glass. I wonder if the creeps who use the forest as their personal landfill ever give a second’s thought to the excruciating death some animal might suffer, getting an infected wound from all those spiky protrusions.
The rubble heap this beadboard came from could have been left at the real landfill for about $7.50. But noooooo. Some cretin couldn’t be bothered.
If I ran the world, people who dumped dangerous junk in the woods would have to pick it up with their teeth. Serve ‘em right. Still, for scroungers, there’s occasional gold in the rubble.
I was very lucky in one feature of the old wreck of a house I bought back in ought-13. It has enormous, good-quality, double-pane windows, all installed within the last five or six years (PUD-subsidized specials, I’m sure; I’ve often had reason to believe those good windows are the only thing holding the entire structure together). And it has this one room whose sole purpose seems to be to enjoy those windows to the max.
It’s actually a dining room. It opens onto the kitchen and it had pantry shelves when I bought the place. But to me, it is a totally amazing sunroom. In this part of the country, having a sun room is a remarkable thing. We love sun! ‘Cause it’s so rare. Like diamonds, rubies, and honest politicians. So even if the temperature inside occasionally gets up to 90+ in the summer, I’m gloriously cheered because — Oh, look, for a change it’s TOO HOT!!! Isn’t that JUST AWESOME???
Alrighty, then. Rain has now grabbed me by the scruff and tossed me and my projects firmly back into the house. So here I am, at the computer, and will try to catch up on blogitude in the next few days.
Actually, “rain” came Monday night in the form of one of those fogs so heavy it drips. The fog melted some of the outside work I’d done. Cedar boards are textury. They hold wet paint a long time in their woody little crannies. Even though I’d painted many hour earlier while the day was still sunny … eeew. Oh well.
I’ve been outside the last few days. In the sunshine. Sweating. Sweating. In March. The world has turned upside-down, but by golly you will not catch me complaining. (Still sorry, you east coasters. I know that your ghastly winter has been All Our Fault.)
Been painting skirting on the house (no more piece-o-crap black plastic sheeting nailed around the foundation; the neighbors should love me!) and putting on the belly band between the skirting and the upper house. I’m hardly alone. The neighborhood is roaring with lawn mowers and at the lumberyard I’m in line with every contractor and handyman I know, all busy, months ahead of schedule.
So I’m a little slow on posting, but I haven’t forgotten you! We’re gradually moving back toward rain and that’ll bring me indoors to the computer soon enough.
Meantime I did manage to post a little something over at The Zelman Partisans. Nothing earth shattering, but there it is.
Also found this great Kevin Williamson article about that Great American Slime Mold, the Clinton family. Or, as Williamson puts it, “the penicillin-resistant syphilis of American politics.” Hey, whatever else they are, the Clintons are entertaining.
When I moved into this house, nearly 18 months ago now, I didn’t have time to do it right. So many urgent things had to be done — and I’m talking bleach-the-mold-off-the-walls urgent, rip-entire-walls-out urgent, tear-off-rotted-rooms urgent — that many niceties got neglected. Boxes went unpacked. Stuff got stuffed … wherever.
Besides, after having lived small for 10 years (between Cabin Sweet Cabin and that crumbling fifth-wheel in the desert), I had just spent the previous three years in house with an attic, a basement, and a garage. This house … not so much.
Then there was the teeny, tiny problem of closets. This place had not a single one. Not. One. Closet.
Nooz you can use (if you’re really into alternative housing): grain-bin homes. (I love the stuccoed one, but I’d like to know how you keep these things from getting hotter than the hinges of heck, long about August.) Tip o’ hat, MJR.
You forgot to add how useful those bags are for picking up dog poop. I live in a blue state and the closer you go to civilization, the more likely it is that you’ll have to bring your own cloth shopping bags. Misguided political correctness.
I’m grateful to have a solid roof over my head (and Ava, Robbie, and Kitsu the cat would say the same if they could speak) as the rain pours down all week and the season’s first high-wind warnings go up.
This sense of security I owe to you.
I owe C-B, S.H., M.K., L.P., and especially Anonymous and the Mysterious Rockefeller for the latest round of help, which repaired the section of roof that collapsed while the rest of the roof was being refurbished. I also owe many of you, especially Paul Bonneau, for construction advice.
Or so the envelope said. The return address (I looked it up) was the HQ of the Council on Foreign Relations.
My correspondent has a sense of humor.
Based on what was in the envelope, my correspondent can call him or herself Rockefeller, Gates, Buffett, Rothschild, Medici, Windsor or anything else great heart desires. It would fit!
In their own world, they must have Rockefeller-level pull. They somehow talked their local post office into sending the priority envelope without either a postmark or the required tracking sticker. (Hilariously, this put my postmaster into a high huff. She was ready to write a nastygram to the postmaster of “New York 10065,” informing them that they’d broken the law!)
So, with no means to identify Mr. or Ms Rockefeller, or even have a clue as to where in this vast land their secret Lair of Largess might be, I can only say an inadequate wow. An inadequate doublewow. And an inadequate thank you.
Up goes that last remaining, recalcitrant section of roof. And off my heart and shoulders comes that rather heavy burden.
Not long ago, I rolled my eyes and said the tiny-house movement had jumped the shark. Then this morning, friend G. sent me to this site. And this 192-square-foot house, the Axia.
While there’s a suspicious dearth of info (the link to TechDwell’s pdf brochure is 404), it’s a for-real thing. Portland, Oregon, is building a village of these for the homeless.
If they’re as easy to build (and unbuild) as they say … well, that’s remarkable. On price, on tech, on a number of measures, they’d beat the usual overpriced tiny house hands down. (That is, if somebody doesn’t get carried away and order all their yuppified options.)
Yes, yes, go ahead and tell me you can build something like this yourself out of old pallets, cardboard boxes, and strapping tape for much less than TechDwell’s basic price. That’s true. Joel’s Secret Lair is similar and cost less. But the tech on this is intriguing, as is the ability to tear it down and move it. Also, you can add your own options (solar, rainwater catchment, etc.) for less than they cost from TechDwell.
The look reminds me a bit of the UnitOne cabin. But if the TechDwell Axia is all it appears to be, I’d rather have an Axia.
Gads, what a great artist’s studio. Or guest house. Or pool house. Or vacation cabin.
Gads, it was 80 degrees yesterday. Eighty in October in the Great NorthWET. There are entire summers when we don’t see 80. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it this warm this late in this corner of the world.
Supposed to be “only” in the 70s for the rest of this week. Oh, poor us.
With construction catastrophes keeping the house in chaos, I’ve been trying to de-clutter to help deal with the fact that every time I organize stuff in one area, it immediately has to be moved back out because … oh, the roof falls in or somesuch.
So I’m whipping myself into a crusade to de-stuff.