Sunday, May 16, 2010

Done with Splinters!

Splinters: Beware!

You may wonder what in the world this picture has to do with splinters. So I'll tell you. This was the beginning of the end for the splinters. But to tell this tale, I must start at the very beginning. You didn't know there could be more than one beginning, did you?

As we began our renovations, one of the first things we did was to pull up the old flooring. When we bought our house, the downstairs was an interesting patchwork of industrial carpeting and shag carpeting that was early 80's vintage. It was all stained, stinky, and very, very ugly. So, we pulled it all up. That was a fairly easy job, except for the kitchen which had quite a few layers of linoleum and even a very primitive type of oil cloth linoleum, which I never even knew existed before. My wonderful children helped us pull literally more than a thousand nails and staples out of the floor, because each layer of previous flooring had been very liberally nailed and stapled. All that to get to the original oak wood floors. Well, we had done this months ago, not thinking ahead to what lay in store - the dreadful, dastardly SPLINTERS!!! I won't show any photos, but my children suffered frequent attacks by these evil splinters. So, when it is time to get rid of such horrors, who you gonna call? No, not the Ghostbusters. Your resident Amish man. And that was the beginning of the end. Now, for the rest of the story.

We called on our Amish friend to replace the planks that needed to be replaced so that we could go about refinishing the floor. I tried to sneak a picture of him working, but none of them worked out, and after seeing how Amish act in the movies, I was afraid to ask him if I could take his picture. =-) So, I took a picture of his Amish hat and his lunch cooler where he was working on the porch. I waited until he was in the house putting down a plank to swoop in for that picture. Anyway, onto the floor.

So, after he replaced the planks, then Benn used hickory sticks to fill in where knot holes had fallen through, and it was time to sand. You can see in these pictures the condition of the floor at this point. In every room, at one point, the wood floors had been painted, but only around the rugs that obviously had once been in the middle of each room. What a lovely thing to do! What you can't see in the pictures is how rough the wood was and how many splinters were secretly waiting to attack.

So, our mission was clear. We rented a sander and began sanding on Saturday morning, hoping to put the first layer of finish on the floor on Saturday night. Here you can see my sweetie sanding the floors on Saturday.

And here you can see him sanding the floors on Sunday.

And here you can see him sand the floors on Monday.

Maybe it took so long to get it done because he is always sanding the same spot? Really, I probably sanded as much as he did, and it really did take three days, almost the whole of each day, to get those floors sanded. The lovely paint around the perimeter of the room was truly villainous. We spent hours trying to sand it down. Then we pulled out stripper, and did several layers of that. Then we pulled out a power scraper and I sat and scooted around the floor, trying to scrape the paint off the floor. Finally, we called it good and decided we were finished sanding. This whole sanding fiasco was like a wake-up call that I am no spring chicken! I am sure the fact that I just had a C-section 3 months ago played into it, but I was barely walking when it was all over. I have since recovered, thank the Lord! So, finally on Monday evening, I began to apply the first coat of finish.

We decided to use a product called Waterlox on the floors. Janice, from Canadian Cottage, had a post on her blog about her beautiful kitchen. You can see that post here, and while you are there, you should check out the rest of her house. I love her style, and I especially love that she does it all on a budget! When I saw the rich color and finish of her floors, I had to email her to see how she had finished her floors. She was so kind to respond so quickly with the information, and when she said that she used Waterlox on her floors and that she had lived with it for more than two years and was still very pleased with that finish, I decided that was what I wanted to use on mine.

Here you can see me in my really cute super-renovator rags. =-)

You can see here what the floor looked like as I was applying the finish. It was really easy to apply, pretty much like mopping, which I discovered is a difficult motion post- C-section.

So, once again, the splinters threatened to defeat us. When I looked on the Waterlox website to find where to buy it, there were two places about 45 min. away from us, but in opposite directions. So, early Saturday morning, when I left to pick it up, I decided to go to the store to the south. When I got there, I found out that the store had recently been bought out and no longer carried Waterlox. So, then I had to drive home, then 45 min. to the north to the second store. By the way, I did call first this time to be sure they had some. When I got there, I found out that because of VOC laws, they no longer carried the gallon size, only quarts. And, they only had 5 quarts in stock - which was only enough for about the first coat. So, I bought all they had and headed home, thinking that at least we could get a first coat on, and then drive to Rochester, about 2 hours away, to get some more. Unfortunately, because the wood had been untreated for so long, the first coat ended up requiring 7 quarts. You can do the math. So, on Wednesday, we headed to Rochester, where we purchased plenty to finish the floors. You can't keep a good man down.

So, after 5 coats of finish, this is what we ended up with:

Here you can see one of the knot hole replacements:

Even now, the splinters threaten. lol I had taken several pictures of the finished floor, but can only get these two to upload from my camera.

So, be gone, you pesky splinters! Wherever evil lurks, never fear, the super-renovators of 126 North East Street are here!

Why does this post read like a comic book?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Double Feature

Mom, You are so lucky! You get a double feature this week! I had too many things to show you to put it all in one post, so you get two! First of all, look at these lovely wild flowers Rachel picked for me. If you look closely, you will see that the leaves on the plant are shaped like hearts! Kind of a love note from God, reminding us through His creation that He loves us. Hidden and waiting for us to find it, a little surprise message for us.

And a few pictures of Annesley, so you can see how she is growing and changing. Here is a picture with Elijah Grant holding her.

Here is one by herself. Isn't she pretty?

And these are the new chickies we got this week. Unfortunately, three of them haven't made it, which brought some tears, especially as one of them had been the "favorite" that they named Peeper. But you can see how cute they are! Hard not to become attached.

And no, I don't hold them. Still don't care much for touching animals. But I do enjoy watching them.

And here are a few pictures of the flower bed I put in around the bay window. They are blooming now - I have managed not to kill them!

And since it is so nice outside, I have really enjoyed opening the windows and having that wonderful aroma fill the house. I have daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths (which are the ones that smell best). It is nice to have that smell to cover over the smell of the manure the farmer keeps spreading in his field out back. =-(

Benn took the kids camping in the backyard on Friday night. It was such nice weather for it, but you can imagine Daddy really enjoyed sleeping in his bed the next night!

And, isn't this attractive?

Benn decided he had finally had enough of looking at this ugly thing and it was time to go. Yea for me!

So, he enlisted Josiah and Grey to help him. Look at my boys working hard together!

Grey helping with his strong muscles.

Wish I'd gotten a better picture of Josiah, but had to include a picture of him doing hard "man's work" with his daddy.

And . . .

It's outta here. . . (cheers, applause, clapping, yahooing)

We hung a picture over the hole from the chimney pipe, which we stuffed over first, to cover up the ugly hole until we replace that wall.

And, when we went upstairs to go to bed last night, this is what we found:

He was really sleeping there like this!

Isn't he cute? Just glad he didn't get hurt. Oh for the days when I could sleep just anywhere. . . Did those days ever exist for me?

You want a GREY cabinet?!?!?

All right Mom, time to show you another project that I have done. This is a small buffet that I have painted in preparation for this to become the sink cabinet for our downstairs bathroom. It is looking much better than when I started!

OK, so here are a few pics of where we started. I found this small buffet in the barn across the street. I DID ask permission to have it before I just took it. Actually, I asked if I could buy it for $20, but John said I could just have it. So yippee! free cabinet!!! Anyway, you can see it was in pretty rough shape, but it wasn't wobbly or anything, just some of the veneer was coming off, some of the decorative parts chipped off, and REALLY dirty. Sounds perfect to me!

I thought I had taken some pictures in the middle of the process, but now I can't seem to find them. Anyway, I began with a coat of primer. Rachel and Elisabeth couldn't believe that I wouldn't leave it white. They were incredulous that I would really want to paint this cabinet grey. I just figured that at their ages of 10 and 9, they really didn't know yet what was good style, and stuck with the grey. So, this picture is of the cabinet painted with the grey paint. I put the grey paint on it after the kids went to bed, and when Elisabeth woke up the next morning and saw the cabinet, she decided the grey wasn't so bad after all. But I wasn't finished yet! I still wanted to antique it and give it several really good coats of polycrylic to protect it from the water when it becomes a sink cabinet.

So, this is how it turned out. The trash can in the background is so lovely. (sigh) I still need to get knobs for it, but that will have to wait until I pick them out. Well, Elisabeth decided it was OK with the antiquing, but it made it look OLD, and she wasn't sure why I would want that! She preferred the solid grey, but it's mama's cabinet, so it is antiqued.

Here are a few close-up pictures, so you can see the pretty details of the cabinet. Some people might not like the imperfections in this cabinet, but those tend to be my favorite parts, especially the one above with the chipped decorative molding and the rough wood on the side of it.

So this my cabinet!

Here is a fun picture of the kids from this week:

The kids were playing in the sandbox while I was reading to them for school, and they made a mound of sand and then picked tons of dandelions and stuck them into the sand, making a lovely yellow mountain. Really, when you get that many dandelions right next to each other, it is truly a brilliant, golden yellow. What a lovely color God has made! I love times like these when the kids are all playing together so happily, and to enjoy a good story - The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom - makes it all the better! I should have gotten a picture of Annesley laying on the blanket beside me while I was reading - maybe I will think of that next time.

This was a picture from Charis's birthday - she got a bike! Thought you'd really appreciate that, Mom.

Brotherly love!

What a cutie pie! Makes me smile. =-)

I am linking this post to the blog Beneath My Heart, if I can figure out how to do it. ;-)

I am also linking this post to Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday.

I am also linking this to Frugal & Fabulous: