Monday, April 27, 2009

I vant to suck your blood...

This is not an actual bat from our house, but I think the ones we have are going to look like this, based on sound it made banging into the window screens last night.

If I were to list our house for sale tomorrow, the listing would be featured on the blog Its lovely, I'll take it.

The description would read:
Lovely in-town Victorian with many years of termite damage, possible infestation of carpenter bees. Master Bat Room has plenty of space for your colony of nocturnal bats.

Yes. Bats. We now have bats. In our bedroom. Flying around while we peacefully slept. We are not sleeping there now! We have a Bat Man coming over this afternoon to try to find the little guy who is hiding and to tell us how he managed to get into the house in the first place.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Queen is dead

While digging a ditch this past weekend (more on that later), the bigger Beechnut found this bug in the dirt.

We think its the Queen Termite. We're going to impale it on a toothpick and put her in the garden as a warning to all the other termites.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sanborn Maps

I just heard about these Sanborn maps from Jayne at The Kelly House. Founded in 1867 by D. A. Sanborn, the Sanborn Map Company was the primary American publisher of fire insurance maps for nearly 100 years. You can see if your house is listed by going to Sanborn Maps. (After you click on the Browse Maps button, you'll need to type in Sanborn for the Username and Welcome for the password.)

I found our house on the 1894 map but missing from the 1888, which makes the house a little younger than I originally thought. We were told when we bought the house that it was built in the 1870's.

The interesting thing was seeing the current footprint of the house on the map. The back "wing" of the house feels like an addition although the basement wall layout supports the idea it was an original section. Seeing this "wing" on the 1894 maps confirms it was original to the house.

I think the "1 1/2" marks on the middle and back wing mean it was a 1 story with a crawl space. They are both 2 stories now, but it feels very cobbed together. Also, it looks like there might have been a front porch in the middle-section of the house. Which is something I wish we still had.

These maps are interesting to look at since you can see the businesses that were operating at that time as well as the fact that there used to be several schools on School Street. There was a cabinet maker, a shoe repair and even the "Home for Old Ladies" within a few blocks of our house.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What's worse than termites?

I was sitting quietly on the couch when I heard a buzzing. I thought it was a large horsefly. I heard it BANG into one of the french doors in the dining room before it found a path straight for my head.

I thought "Wow! That's a huge bumble bee" and I managed to trap it.

Here it is in a little container before Jeff released it back outside. Its a little blurry, but you can see how big it is compared to his hands. Its almost as long as the top section of his thumb.

Later we wondered what it was doing in our house and some google searching led us to believe that its something called a Carpenter Bee and that it was in our house because it likes to eat wood.
If I see another one of these any time soon, we might be selling the house in short order.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

2009 New Years Resolution - Add-Ons

My goals are a little different the then ones previously stated, more project based. Yes, I know II've lost 4 months from the timeline.
  • Convert "Cold Room" to a Mudroom
    We have coats, shoes, boots, gloves, etc strewn about a small area at the top of the basement stairs that is driving me nuts. We insulated the "Cold Room", that's how it is labeled on the fuse box. All future home buyers check the fuse box names. That may warn you about what you are getting into. Without insulation, the room is now a steady 60 degrees; before it was a crisp 48. I think some lockers would do the trick to organize the previously mentioned coats, shoes, boots, gloves, etc, as well as control the recycle center in the basement that has a tendency to claim extra turf.
  • Build Beechnut #2 a bookcase
    The amount of supplies needed to take a child from 6 month to potty trained age is amazing. We'll design this bookcase to hold actual books for that glorious day when there are no diapers in the house.
  • Patch floor between DR and LR where the Termites ate.
    Those wood chomping bugs decided that eating 4 feet of support wasn't enough and managed to get some of the floor above it. The repair job in the basement made the floor less squishy, but it needs help.
  • Covert odd DR closet to (wet)Bar / Crystal cabinet.
  • If we win a big scratch-off lottery: Open up the wall between the LR and the Front stairs. Our front hall could be amazing if we did this. The front hall is currently the coldest part of the house, so any chance to insulate something, I'm in.
Happy (belated) New Year!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Home Cure Sneak-peeks

Posting has been a little light as we are recovering from a vacation in LA that included a visit with these wonderful women. One of the highlights of the trip was a Star Tour of celebrity homes, well really- celebrity front gates.

I have made some small progress on filling the cabinets in the kitchen, killing 2 birds with 1 stone. Now the cabinets have stuff in them and we're closer to being totally unpacked after 4.5 years in this house. Anyone who says you should just throw out boxes you haven't opened in a year is just being a fool. I found all kinds of good things!

A blue opaque compote and lots of transferware.

This is a out of print (is that the right phrase?) pattern from the 1800's by Villeroy and Boch.
Inside of the teacup so you can see the pattern:
Dark blue water glasses that were a Christmas gift years ago:

I also tried to organize the buffet in the Dining Room in a manner that Eddie Ross would be pleased with. Obviously, I need to add fresh flowers to the vase on the right and the silver needs to be polished. Those decanters were found in box that hadn't been opened in 4 years.
This weekend is back to the Book, getting back on schedule with the home cure.


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