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Living Freedom by Claire Wolfe. Musings about personal freedom and finding it within ourselves.

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.



Archive for the ‘Home improvement’ Category

Claire Wolfe

Thursday links

Thursday, April 30th, 2015
Claire Wolfe

Further adventures in scrounging

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

It was free spring-cleaning day at the landfill and furrydoc guessed that I might have construction rubble to add to her truckload. (Gee, wonder what made her think a thing like that?)

So she came over, we loaded my demolition leftovers on top of hers, and off we went to the dump.

And there it was, right on the nearest heap:

Door-Scrounged_042515

The center pane had a crack across it that someone had patched with blue masking tape and cardboard from a Cheerios box. The wood has a few dings. But nothing a little Bondo or wood filler can’t handle. Rick at the local hardware store cuts glass and I even have glazing points hidden in some drawer or another. A little sanding and a coat of paint — and it’s done.

A cheerful young man who helped us unload said we were welcome to it. So I smashed out the broken pane and this cool old door followed me home.

Not sure where I’ll use it yet, but I’ll figure something out.

Just what I need: another project!

Claire Wolfe

Oh, you old house, you.

Monday, April 20th, 2015

House, you’re always providing me with lots of surprises dismay consternation cuss words entertainment.

Yesterday I moved left-over construction materials that had leaned against a “naked” corner of the house all winter. Once I got everything shifted away, I got distracted by the corner itself.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Beadboard scrounge

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

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:

BeadboardScrounge_040715

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.

Claire Wolfe

Joel’s siding bleg

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

He’s asking for less, but can we make it $1,500 for Joel’s siding bleg?

You know how construction projects go. You think you’re looking at $700 and the next thing you know …

But anyhow, he’s also had some good news, with neighbors coming across with part of the supplies.

Claire Wolfe

Impressions

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

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???

Sunroom-FinishedWalls-Ceiling_031515

I was unlucky with this room in another way.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Rainy day musings

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

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.

Anyhow …

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Outside

Monday, March 9th, 2015

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.

Claire Wolfe

Cleaning out the closets of the mind

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

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.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Monday links

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Okay, not hermitting yet. So here are some newslinks.

  • Just vaporware so far, but Forbes thinks cops might soon add ‘Net-connected guns to their growing arsenal of monitoring gear.
  • Nastiest political tactic of the year: siccing SWAT teams on your opponents and critics.
  • A southerner apologizes for bigotry. But with the southerner being Fred Reed, things don’t quite come out the way northern liberals might wish.
  • 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.
  • More nooz to use: how successful people handle toxic people.
  • Mike V. on blood dancers and 4th-gen. warfare.
  • 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.
Claire Wolfe

Gratitude and solitude (and also construction)

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

I am so grateful today.

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.

In case you’re wondering, I ended up not having the “Full Joe” repair.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

The name’s Rockefeller.

Friday, October 17th, 2014

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.

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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