Archive | January 2014

More work on preparing old house

Back from another week in Roanoke, by myself, to work on the house. I washed and pressed all the window panels. I even had to go out to purchase a new iron, as the old one would not stay at temperature long enough. It was very frustrating just waiting for the heat. I had not realized how many I had, 25. I have generally taken them out of the dryer a little damp and hung them up right away. A few wrinkles did not bother me, but I want it looking the best for staging. I did replace the sets in the dining room with a nice light aqua with an embroidered pattern, floor length. All in all, this took more time than I expected. I also have 4 full length panels to press back here in the cottage, eventually.

new dining room curtains

new dining room curtains without creases – in real life, they don’t look like shower curtains

I also started washing windows, which includes the sills and frames, inside and out. It surprises me how fast a dark film shows up on the outside. I have washed it every few years, and want to have it bright white for showing. I had the outside frame clad in aluminum about 12 years ago – still happy with that idea, as it is a no-paint (maintenance free) surface. I did a lot of improvements then, like replacement windows that tilt in for cleaning, making exterior work a minimum.

I took my steam mop to work on the hardwood floors, and am very happy with the results. It took off any built-up film from old cleaners, left the floors looking very good. With repainting almost all rooms, there is little left to scrub on ceilings and walls. Doorframes and wide baseboards do need sprucing up – and I am using straight ammonia to remove any discoloration on those. It works well.

Beyond this, unfortunately, I only got 2/3 of the living room ready for staging, and very little sorting and tossing in basement and attic, but with the curtains all done, I expect to make better progress – if warm enough I will complete window washing next trip. too.

Kinsey in staged living room

Kinsey in staged living room

The place is looking good, but it no longer feels like my home. I took my female cat with me, even though it is a long drive. She does not get along well with the 2 boys, as they stalk and tease her. She seemed quite happy to be home without them, nice vacation for her. Now they are still re-adapting to each other, and she still has no patience with their playing. And I’m losing my patience with all the fighting.



Wow it is so blustery and cold today! Temperature is 37, with wind chill to about 27 and gusts up to 40 mph. That wouldn’t be so bad, but I had to run outside to catch my porch – it is only a metal framework with a nylon canopy – I took the screening down earlier this fall. The wind has been pretty high in the past, but today even the heavy concrete blocks on the feet did not hold it down. I was lucky I was home and sitting just inside the back door when it started to move. I was freezing before I could anchor it briefly and go back inside for additional clothing, especially gloves. Very difficult with one person when the wind is trying to rip the fabric away, but I was able to get it off and inside the house. The framework I was able to walk back to the porch (it had blown about 8 feet before I caught it), and it should be okay to leave in place. The wind must be from a different direction, or a lot stronger, as I hear the flap on the bathroom fan rattling, a new sound.

Porch framework without canopy - rockers down from wind.  Cold but gorgeous sky.

Porch framework without canopy – rockers down from wind. Cold but gorgeous sky.

I put up insulated draperies this week, over both doors. The heater seemed to be running all the time, and I felt it needed a little help keeping the cold out. It does make the inside feel a bit smaller, but they will come down once the weather warms up. I’ll see with the next electric bill if they are helping.

The crew was out just before the holidays to take care of installing Sharon’s gas heater – which we LOVE – and to change the outdoor faucets on the line to my cottage to field faucets, which allow the water to drain back underground when shut off, preventing freezing. I am so glad we got that done before this weather change, I sure don’t want any more water pipe breaks.

Soup weather – I have been working on quite a few crock pot recipes, and actually enjoying the cooking. I expect to have a full freezer before long, as I don’t want to get tired of a recipe, so I portion and freeze it after a couple of meals. I hope won’t have to go out in the bad weather as often. I am not a fan of winter, but am making do – snuggling under a soft and warm throw with a book is good.

I hope everyone is staying warm during this freezing spell.