Saturday, November 8, 2008

I must be living right!

The mother lode for my house!

My cousins (who always treat me better than I deserve) generously donated this old screen door to the cause-it needs some help, but fits the front door like a glove! It was on their house in town (which my great Grandfather built) but it was not original to the house, and so they were kind enough to give it to me.

It has all sorts of fancy saw work and spindles, and looks like the screen doors on all of the old movies, and there's no way in hell I could afford a new one this nice.

The screen has been dogged, likewise the front corner, but that's all easy to fix. That and a little paint will make it an entry to be proud of!

True story: A friend that I cannot name here was at someone else's house and his dog tore the screen door all to hell. When the lady of the house confronted him with the details, he didn't offer a nickel to fix it-but did volunteer this comforting thought: " got off pretty lucky...he done tore the one to home apart lots worse than this!" The wooden bracing has a really nice fluted profile, and it looks like it grew up with the house. I even had six old white-painted screws on the porch that matched the hinges, and an old hook screwed into the jamb matched the eye on the door for height and location.

I also got another piece of good luck, in the form of this table, which is solid quarter-sawed oak, and forty-eight inches across the top. It has a rather ingenious, but simple little latch that holds the halves together, and they slide very easily apart to put the leaves in. One of the things I remember from my Grandmother's old house as a child was the big round oak table in their dining room. I have wanted one for a while, but they all seem to go for a fortune, so when this one was made available to me almost literally for the taking, I jumped on it. (Incidentally, they told me that it was forty-two inches across, which I measured and determined would fit into my car...turns out it is forty-eight inches, which meant some disassemble time required. Such fun. If I had a tail I would wag it, but I can truthfully say it got brought home in an Oldsmobile Cutlass. I am very happy with it though, and I'd do all of it over again to get it. The people from whom I got it thought it was from about 1920. It has modern casters on it, and at first I was going to remove them, but i like being able to move it with two fingers.

Last, but not least, a friend bought a house here in town, and I went to their sale, and got this desk. It is in sort of fixer-upper shape, but for what I paid for it I am not whinging any. It's one of those combination affairs, that have the desk and book case all in one. It is quarter-sawed oak veneer, and I think I may have some pieces to replace the missing. The mirror for the back is around somewhere, but the glass is broken, so I have that to do, and I plan on replacing the back with oak bead board or car siding.

I have been thinking about the heat situation, and remembered I have the one I bought for the farm, which I may use this year-it did all right...just look at how happy the hound was to have it!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fashionable freezing? Bah!

There is a furnace down there, but it is shot. It was probably decent at one time, but not running for eighteen years has done it in. Fortunately, I have a secret weapon, in the form of my dad, who has the knack of coming across the very thing I need, just when I need it. There'll soon be a furnace, of some sort. He found an electric one, which may just be put in for the winter and replaced next year.

The old damper flapper turned up in the kitchen porch, and it's too much fun not to put to use. It was on the hallway door trim, and I'll probably mount it back there. It would really be something to take and rig up a thermostat to it, so I can turn it and control heat with the thing.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Well, we'll see how long this lasts.

I suppose now that I recorded my deed and started tearing my house apart, it ain't going away anytime soon, so I may as well begin my own blog. Lookit, ma! I'm on the internet!

My house is not very big, and it certainly isn't very fancy, it's a very early bungalow mutt with some sort of early Craftsman influence. This picture was taken the day I signed the papers. Since then we cut the trees down around the house and the south side has been roofed.
My house was listed on the tax roles as being built in 1914. The last one to live here was Miss Andrea, who lived here from 1934 to 1990. After speaking with some of her family members, there appears to be some question of this house being moved in from their farm, which was somewhere nearby, and replacing a house that stood on the site.
At Miss Andrea's death in 1990, the house
was sold to a neighbor, who intended to use it as an antique shop. She never lived in it, but kept the lawn up and the house painted, and I bought it from her this summer. She likes old-fashioned things as much as I do, and kept it all original inside, and we've had lots of interesting conversations about fixing it up. She used to call it her "Doll House," and a friend of mine told me that it was a bumpy ride from the doll House to the Dog House, thus the name.

The house has 768 square feet; just right for a bachelor. There are two bedrooms, a walk-up attic, a large parlor/dining room, and kitchen.

The woodwork in most of the rooms isn't painted, and is very nice yet. All of the floors are fir, and are laid on a bias. The door in this picture is the front bedroom. All of them are like this, with the exception of the front door and dining room door, which have glass in them.

I had to put porcelain knobs on the doors because the dog can catch the oval ones with his mouth and open them, but he can't get a grip on the porcelain ones. Besides, I have been saving them since I was six, and it's a shame not to use them now that I can. (It's for that very reason that I am installing push-button switches on all of the lights-because I can!)

The kitchen has a built-in cupboard that takes up the whole north wall, and still has the old icebox and Tappan cook stove.
There is an awning on the windows, which opens and closes by a crank on the window trim just left of the cupboard.
You can see where the old wood stove was piped in, but that chimney is chopped off at floor level in the attic, and the rest will be shaking hands with eternity soon.

More to Follow!