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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Onwards with the Home Improvements!

Yes folks, here we go with more stuff getting done over the weekend.   I know I have been lax in blogging.  We are working working working on projects to get the house ready for the market.

The carpeting is finished on the main floor- (livingroom, stairs/landing, and changing room)  They did a great job and we are very happy with results.   In reply to my last blog,  a comment by Avril Copperfield:  yes, we did the tear out and prep work and moved the furniture out... but the local carpet store did the actual installation.   Then we have to move all the furniture back again.

We did do all of the original carpet and ceramic tile installation 15 years ago ourselves.  But for only a $550 fee, the local guy and his worker are taking care of installing all this carpet for us this time.  Steve said he needs to save his knees for retirement.  LOL

Here is Steve relaxing in his chair near the tv, and Duchess thinks the carpeting is just fine too.   Over by my side, I have the fireplace by my chair.  I took the wreath down over the fireplace, and re-stained the wall to cover up the light spot from where a special print hung for the last 15 years.  The pine wood all around the print had darkened and mellowed with age and UV exposure, but not underneath the framed print.  We had the frame rebuilt and hung it in our motorhome instead.  Here is the blog post of that project: Robert Duncan print

On to the next step... the loft!

Steve and I cleared out everything from the loft and stacked it down in the livingroom.  It was kinda disappointing to pile all that stuff up in my nice neat livingroom. ARGGHH   We even horsed down the bulky awkward huge king sized mattress and box springs by ourselves....   now THAT was a job!

Keep in mind that our loft is HUGE... it's 24 feet wide by 19 feet long!  That is even bigger than our livingroom.  The carpet will be seamed down the middle of two 12 foot wide rolls.  That is what we had before too.  My brother took one side of the old carpet out already, but they had four guys to haul that piece out.   Steve and I rolled up the other half last night and got it down the steps ourselves.   Here we stopped halfway for a break.  That is a 19 ft long roll hanging there like a limp sausage over the railing. 

From that spot, we hauled it out the door on the right... around through the yard, under the pine tree, down the slope to the lower level patio doors... and brought it into the lower level.  IN THE DARK!   It's laying in the middle of my loom room studio.  Later this week or maybe into the weekend, we will lay that piece in the extra bedroom by ourselves.  It's the easy cheaper carpet with the foam backing, not the good stuff to be tacked and stretched.  

So here is our loft with BARE NAKED FLOORS!!!!

They should be here tomorrow to finish the loft installation.  I said we were flexible and he could fit it into his schedule this week any time.  We have the extra bedroom to sleep in downstairs, which is fine with us.

Altogether we are having 92 new square yards installed.  We are re-installing 25 yards in the bedroom downstairs from the leftover piece from the loft.

I snapped this shot from below in the livingroom with all the glowing gleaming pine woodwork.  I am gathering the good shots for our data sheet when we start to market the house.  My new camera makes "glare" circles, so I will have to a little photoshopping on them before adding to a data sheet.

Another project I did this weekend was to paint over our 15 year old pitted brass icky looking wall sconces with some textured brown speckled paint in two tones.  I had to do 3 coats, and one can of spray was just enough.  Came out pretty nice!   We had first looked at replacing all four of the lights, but at about $25-35 a fixture, times four fixtures....  ahhh this works out just as nice and keeps the rustic feeling. $6.99 a can. 

Over each of the windows, I have these cool vines with tiny deep burgundy berries.  Passing years has the dust collecting on them and it won't vacuum off.  (top vine)   
So I took them outside and dragged them through some of the last remaining snow, which scrubbed them free of the dust and cobwebs!  (bottom vine)  I hung them back up over the windows and patio doors.

We got a lot of other smaller projects done too.  We put up a handrail to the basement (after I stained it in the garage)  The house has to meet code on all aspects before we put it on the market, and the handrail is something we just never did before.  Now it's done.    We will also get the well water test and septic/mound system inspections done on our own dime, so they are on record.  That is one less step for a buyer to wait for during a closing process (I sold real estate for 9 years, so I know how this stuff works) 

Another project I did this weekend was a favorite of mine.  I love staining new wood!  We bought some new bifold wooden closet doors for the lower level bedroom.   I did the staining out in the garage.  It has been unseasonably warm this week in Wisconsin, so the doors dried nicely in the fresh air of the garage.  

There had been sliding mirrored doors in that room, which cracked over time from teenagers banging them open and shut  (and too thick carpeting underneath them).  So when we go down to put in the new carpet, we will haul out the old doors and install these at the same time.  

Also, we distributed some heirlooms to the kids... 

Erin is the recipient of my "fine china"  heh heh   I was collecting my china dishes as a new bride.  I bought one little stamp at a time for 99cents to collect each piece if you spent $25 on groceries back in the early 1990's from Super Ron's grocery store.  I collected 8 place settings over the year long promotion and had them proudly displayed in a china hutch in our house in Green Bay.  Since we moved up to the woods, they have been sitting in a cupboard, unused.   Now Erin can have them when her illuminated china nook gets finished in her dining room in the future.   

Erin, being the oldest daughter, also gets my grandmother's cedar chest.  It was bought for my Grandma Kafehl (Beatrice)  by my grandfather (Harvey) in the 1920's. We even have the card from when he gave it to her, along with a card from some roses he gave her on their wedding day.

Also there is a little pink slip of paper which says: "cedar chest key".  There is a story to that key.  See, when we were clearing out Grandma's little apartment after she passed away, and I was getting the chest.  But we could not find the key. Anywhere.  Later as we went through one of the last dresser drawers, we found a jar of pennies, buttons and paperclips.  Inside, tucked on top was this little pink piece of paper with a bread twistie tie around it, attached to the key! It said: "cedar chest key" in Grandma's handwriting.  I cried.  Oh Gram!   

The cedar chest was made in Sheboygan, WI at the famous Lakeside Craft Shops and was done as a quality piece.  I am pleased to pass it along to my oldest daughter... as she knew and loved her GREAT grandmother as a child.  She was 13 when Great Gram Kafehl died.  And someday Chelsea will get it...  it will be from her GREAT GREAT Grandmother.  Hope it keeps being passed on for years and years and years...  We hauled it over to Erin's house and we carried it in for the very pregnant Erin on Saturday.

Speaking of chests....  here is the steamer trunk I mentioned in my other blog post.  I found this trunk on the side of the road, destined for garbage pickup.  I snatched it up (along with a wooden wine rack) and took it home to refurbish it.   Inside, I have been carefully putting all kinds of treasured items that will be stored away for us in our son's attic.   Each item will be double sealed in zip lock bags, and will have a few space bags double layered too for some textiles I am going to store.  (wedding dress and woven coverlets)

Once it is filled, I will seal the edge of the opening preventing an intrusion of dampness or bugs, 
and hope the items will last safely inside until we are tired of travelling 
and want to settle down into one last house. 

Each step is one step closer to getting this house sold 
and us getting on the road! 

Anyone wanna buy a house? 



  1. Yours is a beautiful house, and I hope the future buyer can sense all the love that has been put into it. The color of the pine is gorgeous; and what a great idea to drag something through the snow to clean it. You'd make a great pioneer woman!

  2. Gypsy, a time-honored method of cleaning rugs is to lay them face down on clean white snow... shovel more snow over the top and let them freeze that way. Then take them out, shake them off good or sweep them clean, and bring inside. They almost are completely dry from the snow being shaken off, carrying the dirt along with it.

  3. Different subject: About the spots in your picture. Even though you may have looked at the camera lens or filter you cannot see that you have dried water spots on your lens they are there. Compound those with existing lights or flash and they appear as the spots in your picture. At some time you used that camera where water was being splashed or sprayed, or the wind carried some rain and those spots prove it. You have no choice but to clean it.

    It's about time.

  4. Thanks for the help! I had a lens cleaning kit with the camera and just did it, and I think I got it. Yes, last week I did take some shots outside when it was misty.....

  5. You moved the TV to the other side of the room. LOL. It sure looks good.

  6. Yup Dee... when we built the house, we wired in antenna lead connections from each of the corners and the middle between the two patio doors. For all possible room arrangements. It was fun to plan the house when we built, doing all the things like planning outlets and switches etc in places exactly where we wanted them. We even pre-wired for another ceiling fan over the bed, but I didn't want to lay in bed looking at a fan, so we just kept the wires in there and will notify the new owners of their presence if they want one there. Fishing them in later is NOT fun !

  7. Sounds like the two (four) of us are marching to the same beat! We are close enough to the end that I can smell it!

  8. Am so enjoying renovating (from my chair) along with you folks...this time last year we were doing the same thing, not to sell but to renovate and downsize...you are sure working hard the two of you...love your wall scone lights..when you described them to me on chat I was trying to picture them..now I got to see them..they look great..I love to recycle items like that...take care can't wait to see the next steps and get some rest..

  9. Hope you get your house sold as easily & quickly as our son did. It hadn't even officially gone on the market yet. They close on the 24th.

    The old trunk looks quite familiar. I have one a lot like it except for the green paint. Mine was refinished to a natural wood.

  10. Just came across your blog and I really enjoyed reading it. I am new to blogging and we too hope to retire next year and travel.

  11. Beautiful! I am wondering how could these ideas strike your mind. Brick pavers would have been added followed with strippers.


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