Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Striped Awnings

The condo I lived in before I bought this house was built in 1928. In my storage room in the basement, I discovered the vintage, canvas awnings that once fit on the outside of the building.

They were green and white striped and matched the green frame of the old wood window screens (which were long gone by the time I lived there). There was a also an old canvas shade for my front storm door. The storm door frame had these neat little metal hooks where the shade could be latched down on windy days.

Last summer I replaced the aluminum storm door on StuccoHouse with a restored, vintage, wood storm door. I have been missing having a canvas shade that allows you to keep the main door open, but prevents the world from being able to see into your house. Right now there is a set of metal mini blinds mounted on the interior of the main front door. I want to remove those and put a shade on the storm door.

So, this afternoon I drove over to a shade store that I've driven by a bajillion times before. Established in 1921, I figured they would know what I wanted.

I brought my little colors-of-my-house board and looked through their canvas awning swatches. I was able to find a vintage striped canvas with pale yellow and a pale gold that almost matches my paint exactly.

In 3-4 weeks I should have a striped, canvas shade with a scalloped edge (to mirror the overhang above the front steps) for my front storm door.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Proof

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how Google street view cameras caught an interesting senario at my house. Here are the photos.

Money well spent, no? ;-)

Monday, April 21, 2008

About Face

Last week winter storm warnings and three inches of snow. This week suddenly flowers.

On Sunday, I planted my peas, spinach, radishes and lettuce.

I also dug up a bunch of hostas along the side of my house. One of the POs really, really loved hostas. Me, not so much. Lest you worry, this still leaves me with some 30 or so hostas in my backyard. The plan is to plant some real flowers on the side of my house instead.

It looks like Spring might actually be here to stay.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

While Procrastinating

Like every other responsible citizen who has taxes due and has waited until the last minute.....tonight I'm browsing through the Friends School Plant Sale catalog. Do I need some blackberry plants?

The sale this year is May 9, 10 & 11.

I've written about my adventures at this sale in past years.

And I've said it once and I'll say it again.....their catalog is like a guidebook on plants for northern climates......and it can be downloaded.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


People tell me I have an odd sense of humor. I think I have a normal sense of humor, it's just that odd things happen to me and they are funny. Here's an example:

Last summer I removed the aluminum soffits & trim from my house. I did most of the work myself, but hired a handyman to finish up the highest points on the sides of my house. It was the one time where I've hired someone and haven't been able to be home to observe the work. Well, the bill came and he charged me double what I expected and about three times more hours than it would have taken me to do the work myself. Bitter lesson learned as I wrote out his check.

So, fast forward to tonight. I was watching the evening news and they did a segment on Google and how they are invading every one's privacy by posting street level photos of every one's house online in their Maps search. I got bored, so I looked up my address to see what Google had on StuccoHouse.

There was a photo of my handyman's unused ladder propped against the house....and my handyman lounging legs crossed in my side yard.

You can only laugh.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Fear and The Steep Stairs

Over the years, house building codes have changed dramatically. Maybe none more so than the allowable vertical angle of stairways. Anyone that lives in an old house with a grandfathered stairway to an expansion attic or vintage basement knows what I'm talking about.

I don't know an old house owner that doesn't have a realistic and healthy fear of at least one set of stairs in their house. And a story of how they got that fear.

So, last weekend I was at a friend's vintage house and we had a conversation that only two old house owners could have....

I noticed a pile of papers laying in disarray at the bottom of the stairway going up to his expansion. He kind of chuckled and said they were remnants of an ugly, face first slide down the stairs. Top to bottom. In the dark. Of course, I first confirmed that he was ok and then proceeded to laugh until I had tears rolling down my cheeks as he described the fall in America's Funniest Home Video terms.

I continued laughing hysterically as I told my story of a nasty spill I took a few years ago down my basement stairs. I fell down the stairs in what seemed like slow motion. I remember thinking disappointedly as I tumbled downward.....that this was how it was all going to end for me......discovered weeks later in a lump at the bottom of my steps. Killed by Stuccohouse. How unglamorous.

I laugh, but now I also hold on to the stair handrail. Tightly. And I'm pretty sure my friend does too.

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