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Got Me A New Love Thing

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Recently decided it is time to get back on a road bike. The commuter bike is bomber. The cruiser is great for tooling around the neighborhoods. But I need to push some gears!

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Many Miles

Old Guitar Case

20+ years. Thousands of Miles. Countless Memories.

The guitar lives on but there isn’t enough duct tape in Louisiana to keep this case on the road.

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Kitchen Cabinets

I realized as I was about to write this that last night and tonight I have started writing after midnight so the date of the posts is technically wrong. Not a big deal but in the interest of Truth in Advertising . . .

K & I returned to our day gigs so we didn’t do any renovating today. And much of what the guys did doesn’t make for a good photo opp: third coat of mud on the sheet rock, more rock in the downstairs bathroom, etc.

The only real visual change was the installation of a couple low-end kitchen cabinets. Since we didn’t plan to demo the kitchen, we didn’t budget to install a kitchen. But given the fact that we did rip out the old kitchen, we have to recreate some level of functionality.

A trick we learned at The Marigny St. house is that while countertops are expensive, doors are cheap. And once installed as counter tops, doors look and function remarkably well. Many people who shared meals with us at Marigny St. were surprised to learn that our counters were actually doors.

So we decided to finish off our low-end cabinets with a low-end door. So low-end, in fact, that this particular door was salvaged from our neighbor’s house. I wonder if they will recognize the door they threw out when they come for dinner?

K & I spent the lion’s share of our evening back at Marigny St. cleaning and touching up the paint. Everything should be ready for the new tenants by Saturday — probably earlier but given that we still don’t have a shower here it is nice to have access to our old one. What? Your shower isn’t 2.2 miles from your house?

After painting at Marigny street, I wanted to try out the new music room here. Certainly not 100% but even jammed full of boxes and sans AC it felt right.

I think we are going to be ok.

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Pipe

Not much happened on the renovation today. Carpenters are on hold until the shoring company comes to level the house — scheduled for next Wednesday. And the electricians appear to be off on another job.

K & I decided to invite a few folks over for a beer in honor of Saint Arnold’s Day. Any excuse to sit on the porch and drink a beer. The evening was going swimmingly until Stanley (our slightly crazy dog) decided to engage in a stand-off with an equally crazy cat under the house. At first I thought Stanley had trapped the cat and attempted — while crawling under the house in the dark — to provide cover for the cat to escape. Then I determined that the cat was holding Stanley hostage and attempted to toss various pieces of detritus at the cat to distract him so Stanley could make his escape. Turns out Stanley and the Cat were two crazy souls who had found each other and neither had any interest in escaping. They were locked in some weird under-the-house cage match and were determined to take each other down. K later referred to them as Sid and Nancy — which I think is the best description.

Finally, with the help of Rob, Ben, and Susan, we were able to coax Stanley away from the cat and out from under the house — where he proceeded to act as if nothing had happened.

While not much happened today, it appears that tomorrow could be a big day for the old house.

Plumbing Pipe waiting to be installed

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Mouse Shit by the Pound

First off, I realize that I have a category for posts called ‘kitchen sink’ — but this post is literally about the kitchen sink. In this case, the demolition of the wall surrounding the kitchen sink.

Yes, this past weekend contained Independence Day. And while this is traditionally a time of relaxing around a grill with a cold beer in one’s hand, K and I decided that we would work on the renovation. Actually, that isn’t quite true. We decided that we would work a bit and then relax a bit — perhaps take a day off and go float in a river on the North Shore — but we started working and we never quite got around to the relaxing on the river part of the plan.

For those of you who read the title of this post and are thinking, “Mouse shit by the pound?  Get to the point,” I will keep you guessing no longer: This is not a rhetorical flourish. Just a statement of fact.

Mouse Shit in the wall

One of our tasks for the weekend was to prepare the kitchen walls for painting. If you have read earlier posts on the renovation, you know that I have been fighting with the kitchen floor for several weeks to remove the old sticky tile, luan sub-flooring, and tar paper.  (Side Note: I discovered this week that if you need to remove stubborn tar paper from an old wood floor, soak the tar paper with a 1:3 solution of vinegar and water. I wasn’t sure why this was working until I mentioned it to my friend Rob who pointed out that Vinegar is a mild acid —  so that is probably what is loosening the bond of the tar paper to the floor. However, I don’t believe I have mentioned that the walls were in pretty bad shape from the removal of the cabinets and suffered from the same general coating of yuckiness as the cabinets themselves. So we determined that the best solution was to rip out the sheet rock, install new rock, and float the walls.

When we began ripping out the old sheet rock, we discovered the treasure trove of mouse shit and dead cockroaches pictured above. I had a similar discovery in the last house I renovated but still, it is pretty nasty to see up close and personal — the pictures don’t seem to capture the revulsion you feel at thinking, “what if I hadn’t opened that wall and had just moved in here. I’d be eating my wheaties  right next to that and not know it.” Yuck.

The other discovery we made was more fun: some old wallpaper on the plaster that was covered up by sheet rock at some point.

Old Wallpaper in Kitchen

In the end, we did get the old sheet rock down and the walls opened up and cleared of debris.

Wall of kitchen with sheet rock removed

Before hanging the new sheet rock, I decided to leave a note on the old plaster wall for the next renovators of the house.

Note to future renovators

After that we installed the new sheet rock! This was the first additive thing we have done to the house. Everything up to this point has been removal or demolition. It felt great to take that first small step of rebuilding.

Installation of new sheet rock

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