Thursday, February 26, 2009


I submit my nomination for the nicest neighbors.  

We received about 6" of snow today. It hit just in time to have it's full impact at rush hour. Most companies let their employees out early. Combine this with a few accidents on the freeways and you have traffic at a standstill everywhere.  

A few of my neighbors made it home and before ya knew it, they had both sides of the entire block plowed out for everyone. Warm fuzzies all around :-

Read more about the MN snow hysteria on Twitter at #snowmageddon

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Painting the Walls

This past weekend, I worked on painting my upstairs walls. I say worked on because I started this a while ago and didn't finish.

The old walls were sponge painted two shades of yellow. This was a clever way to cover an iffy drywall job. So, I've been busy patching nail pop holes, cracks and trying to paint mucked up corners. Yellow paint is also awful to paint over. I'm on my third coat of high quality "one coat" paint. I suspect the drywall was not primed, because the paint just sinks into it.

The new color is a light periwinkle color. I painted and stenciled the two end walls a couple of years ago (white). I'm painting the rest of the walls/ceiling in the new color. I like the look, it's much more mellow than the old paint job. I've done plenty of painting in my lifetime, and I can confidently say that painting a sloped ceiling is by far the most painful.

Sunday evening I ran out of paint. I was going to run over to the paint store for and other gallon, but discovered that in an over optimistic phase a few months ago, I toss the cover with the color formula on it in the trash. For the life of me I can't find the original paint chip either. I know it is here somewhere. I so want to avoid the expense of paying them to computer match the color...especially when it is one of theirs. I'll find the paint chip eventually.

Anyway, here's where we stand now.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Kitchen Progress

Here's the sad, little, empty corner of my kitchen....and here's the cabinet that is being built to fit in there.   I met with the cabinet maker today, went over final details and gave him my down payment.

You'll have to imagine the restored Tappan Deluxe replacing the current stove.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mystery Of The Missing Snow

Here's the thing.  I have lived in my house for 6 years now. That's 6 full winters.

I have a back alley.  Today I was driving my car down it to park in my garage (snow emergency declared in Minneapolis so I had to pull my car off the street) and it dawned on me.  I have no idea how that back alley gets plowed.  I have never once seen nor heard a plow drive down it removing snow.

I wake up from REM sleep in the wee hours when the garbage truck goes through once a week.  How is it that a snow plow gets through there without me even noticing?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Kitchen Cliff Notes

I feel like I left you hanging with my last post.  So, in short, here's whats going on behind the scenes on the kitchen.  You will hear more about all of this in excruciating detail soon, but here are the Cliff Notes.

I'm talking to a cabinet guy about having a custom cabinet made for that corner. It's progressing well.  There are lines on the wall indicating that there once was a cabinet there (not the ones over the stove).  I'm in the process of hunting down vintage hardware to match my existing cabinets.  More about all this shortly.

You can see that the wall is in bad shape.  This is mostly because the chimney for the house runs behind that wall. Originally the kitchen stove vent pipe ran through a hole in the wall and into the chimney.  When the stove went, the hole was patched (very poorly) with some hardware cloth and joint compound.  What I need to do is pull of the bad patch, have the hole in the brick chimney closed and the wall replastered.  I need to get bids from a mason on the chimney repair, and the thought of this sucks the life out of me.

The outlet that you can see to the left of the toaster needs to be moved over to the right and down.

The ishy acoustic tile ceiling needs to come down (well, the rest of it - as I've got half of it down already).  Then a new ceiling need to go up.

I'm going to add a pot-filler faucet above the stove.  I've found the one I want and need to order it.  More on this shortly.

Wallpaper has been chosen.  Lighting has been chosen.

And the Tappan Deluxe still needs some work before it can replace the stove you see in the photo.

I was bored the other day and added Twitter to cover the minute details & pissy rants that don't warrant a full blog post. Same name as the blog.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Teaser

Here is the corner of my kitchen that I have not yet posted.  You will be hearing a whole lot more about this little corner in the coming months.  Let's consider this the "before."

Monday, February 09, 2009

Back on It's Hinges

I'm not always entirely sure what gets into me sometimes.  Last night at 11:30pm I decided that I needed to reinstall the second door in my kitchen.  It has been sitting in my basement since the day I bought my house.  One of the POs had removed it.  Presumably to improve the "flow" of the room.

So, last night I hauled that solid pine door up my basement stairs, dusted it off, balanced it on my toe & got it back into its hinges.  Reinstalled in it's proper place.  I love it.

Back when my house was built, oak was considered a "formal" higher quality wood and frequently was used in the living room & dining room.  Maple (and birch) was considered less formal and used in kitchens, bedrooms and other areas not often visited by the public.

The "oak" door on the right is my swing door that leads to the dining room and the "formal" living area.  The "maple" door on the left leads back to the "private" area where the bath and bedrooms are located.  So, if at any given point in my house... you forget if you are in a formal or private area all you need to do is look at the hardwood floor or the doorway trim.  It couldn't be more clear.

There are two more doors in my basement itching to be reinstalled, but we will leave that for another post on another day.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Filling the Freezer

One of the benefits of living in a rather large city is that over time immigrants have arrived and settled in little pockets throughout.  In most cases, where they landed they built a church.  Wherever there is a church, there is a fundraiser.  Happily, this often includes making & selling ethnic foods to those of us less talented or less ambitious.

This Saturday, I went over to the local United Methodist church to pick up the pasty meat pies I had order from them last week.  The Methodist ladies were busy at work baking & packaging when I arrive. I picked up my bag of 10 (ok, 9 - I had to taste one to write this post. Quit looking at me like that) to put in my freezer.  Pasties are quite popular to anyone in Minnesota with roots in the Iron Range.  Traditionally, miners carried them as a typical lunch meal.  My family is perpetually on the hunt for the best pasty.

This really is the season for hunting down the church meals.  This is not the watered-down,  namby-pamby ethnic food you find at most restaurants.  This is the stuff made from recipes handed down for generations.  You need to keep a close eye on the local neighborhood newspapers for announcements.  Here are the ones I know of.  The Catholics seam to have a bit of a corner on the market (?)  I plan on dragging my friends & family to as many as I can and filling up my freezer.

The French ladies at Our Lady of Lourdes in NE Minneapolis sold their meat pies this past Sunday.  These pies are to die for. To die for.  And I'm not being melodramatic.  They melt in your mouth.  Sadly I missed the sale, but I have heard word that they may take orders. 

St. Albert the Great in the Seward neighborhood of S Minneapolis has award winning fish frys every Friday during lent.  I am told the wise person arrives early because lines can stretch a long ways.

The Ukrainian ladies (there may be men involved, but I usually see the ladies at work) at St. Constantine's in NE Minneapolis serve pyrohy (perogies) every Friday at lunch all Fall, Winter and Spring.  You get a choice of sauerkraut, potato, date ( and I think there is one other, but I can't remember it).  They also sell them to go.  This one is very impressive as the ladies are sitting at tables making the pyrohy from large mounds of dough.  They are very good and it gets crowded.

Holy Family Maronite Church in W. St. Paul puts a Lebanese spin on the Friday fish fry during Lent.  They also have take out.  Arrive between 5:30 - 7:00.

Enchiladas make the menu at Our Lady of Guadalupe on Concord St. in St. Paul.  They serve lunch & dinner every Friday during Lent.  Take out also available.

I'm not sure I have the stomach for this one, but plenty of Scandinavians do. St. Peder's Lutheran Church on 46th Ave S. in SE Minneapolis advertises a lutefisk & meatball meal, but for the life of me I can't remember when it is. I think right before Christmas.

The Polish folks (I see a lot of men working at this one) at Holy Cross in NE Minneapolis throw their annual sauerkraut & sausage meal on Fat Tuesday, February 24th.  This one draws a  huge crowd too.  It comes complete with polka music :-)

If you know of any I am missing, be sure to post info. in the comments.  I am seriously on a hunt to find real, freshly made lefse.

Friday, February 06, 2009

My (Former) Vintage Bathroom

Moving more photos from my website to the blog.  This time my former vintage bathroom from the condo I lived in before purchasing StuccoHouse.  The pink tile is Rookwood.  Surprisingly, the sconces on either side of the sink can be found at any ACE hardware store :-)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Postcards Home

I have a collection of vintage postcards.  I started collecting them when I lived at my old condo near one of the local lakes.  Now I live on the other side of town near a river and a very cool waterfall.  Both of these parts of the city have been tourist destinations forever, so there are some great postcards to be found.

I get my postcards framed as I have funds and time available.  Eventually, all of the framed postcards will cover a wall going up my stairs.  I recently added a few more to my collection.  All of these new additions date from the very early 1900's.  Sometimes the back of the cards is as entertaining as the front.

Trivia - For any of you that followed the I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis back in the summer of 2007, the bridges that appear in these postcards are just south of that bridge.

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