Saturday, June 7

Progress on the Apartment and an Award

It's Saturday morning and today hubby and I are catching up on household chores instead of working on the apartment. It is exhausting and with his bad heart and my bad legs and back, we need a break.

On Friday, Jack, Melissa and Griffyn came. When they arrived Dwight had already ripped the bathroom vanity out and was starting on the walls. They got the sink disconnected and then they tore out the wall that has to be removed to get the tub out of the bathroom.

Let me tell you that the vanity was pieced together. It has been there since we moved here 15 years ago and when Dwight pulled the doors, the whole front fell off of it. LOL Whoever put it in there pieced it together. I'd never really looked at it closely before. So it needed to be replaced. I don't expect my tenants to live in anything less than I would want for myself. I don't need fancy things, but do want them to be stable. I'm surprised it lasted this long.

So now the bathroom is down to the joyces, except right behind the tub and it is down to the lath. The bathroom has been there many years, as it is horsehair plaster in there. That was the old fashioned type of plaster and I would think it's been there since the house was built in the mid 1800s. I was hoping to find some old newspapers, but not so far.

I would like to present all my readers, visitors and those on my blogroll with the award below. I treasure your friendship. Please feel free to take a copy.

Thanks to all of you for your encouragement and support as we are taking on this project. This is huge for us for two reasons. One, we both have issues - Dwight's being his heart and mine being my back and legs. Two, it is something we've never done before. We've painted, put up wallboard, but have never done much plumbing. So far, so good. We are going to learn a lot with this project but it is going to look super when it's all done.

I will post pictures while some of the work is in progress, but once we start putting it all together, I will wait until it is done to show you the new look.

Take care and have a wonderful and safe weekend. Be sure to take some time to spend with family. Go to the park, the zoo or take the kids out for a bike ride. Enjoy those around you and have a good time. Laughter is the best medicine there is. ~Blessings, Mary~

Friday, June 6

Before Photos of the Bathroom and Entrance Hall

Today we looked for carpet. We went to the Restore, which is run by Habitat for Humanity. They sell all types of supplies and materials at a good price. We found nothing there so then we ran around looking at various places. By mid-afternoon we were tired and came home. I phoned more places for estimates on the carpet and we've found it at a reasonable price. I just have to go and choose the color and have someone come out for an estimate. I already have one estimate but it is far too high.

Here are some photos of the bathroom the way it looks now. Keep in mind that this was all clean when the tenant moved in. What happened! The tub and sink weren't new but they were in good condition.

Here is a photo from the hallway. The wainscoting was put on by a previous tenant and was white when this tenant moved in. His girlfriend painted it this dark brown color. Not something I would do in such a small room. And it is damaged in places.
The tub surround was ivory. I'm not sure what happened to it but it didn't look near this bad.
Tenant's girlfriend sure did like to paint. I'm not sure where the green color came from on the vanity doors. And the sink has a big chunk out of it. How in the world did that happen?
The tub is a mess and is also damaged. All of the grout and caulking is missing from behind it. It's a wonder that the water didn't leak down into our place. I don't think it's been cleaned since the tenant moved in last September.

There is major work to be done here. We have a new bathtub that we are going to put in here, a sink and vanity and toilet that the neighbor gave us when she renovated her bathroom. They are used but in pretty good shape.

I am almost ashamed to show these photos. I would never live like this and can't really figure out how this could happen in such a short time frame. Tenant moved in here in September 2007. My, oh my! I'm glad he didn't stay longer. Who knows what damage would have been done.

Now for a glimpse at the front entrance hall. Remember, this was tenant's private entrance. I did go out there once in a while to get the mail if it was raining or snowing.

The fire department would have freaked to have seen all of these fliers piled high on tenant's bookcase. And take note of the W*endy's drink cup on the floor and also a paper roll on the cold air register.
And the floor wasn't much better. This is actually tidy compared to sometimes. He just threw the fliers wherever.

It doesn't look quite as bad from this angle but if there'd been a fire and we would have had to get out this way in the dark, we would have broken our necks.This is the inside of the door that goes to the upper apartment. This was sanded and painted before the tenant moved in. The door knob is broken off and the door is a mess. I'm hoping when I sand and paint it that it will look okay.

When I took this photo above, I was somewhat relieved. This is the front entrance hall behind tenant's door to the upper apartment. The TV and microwave are there. This is about a week before he moved. I thought this was a good sign.

This is the front hall as it is now. Yes, it needs washing and painting, but at least all the clutter is gone. The tile on the floor are coming up and I'm not sure about that wallpaper. It is in good condition and needs to be washed. What do you think? Should I leave it or change it? Hubby and I can't agree on that one.

Take care and have a great Friday. ~Blessings, Mary~

Thursday, June 5

A Hectic Day

Good Thursday morning.

Wednesday was a hectic day. Hubby and I both had errands to do in the afternoon. I got home first so I phoned for prices on carpet etc. Then we had to go and do some business and it took longer than we thought. By the time it was done, it was time to get something to eat. By this time we were both exhausted. Guess we are getting old. We can't do all the things in one day that we used to. So no physical work got done in the apartment today. However, we do know where we can get the best deals on some of the materials that we need.

Hope everyone has a good day. I will try to post a little update when I can.

In other news, they have called a halt to Aunt May's therapy for the time being. She went Tuesday to be marked for radiation on her spine. There is a lump of cancer there as big as a baseball. They feel it is more urgent to take care of that at the present time instead of chemo. Please continue to pray for her. She is in good spirits and is taking all of this in stride. She is a remarkable woman.

My blessings for this week:

1. May's positive attitude and inspiring motivation.

2. My MIL, who gave us an awesome gift to help with the renovations.

3. For Jack (and Melissa and Griffyn) who are lending us a hand with the renovations.

4. For all my wonderful blogging friends who prayed the tenant would move out without problems and who are still praying for us.

5. For songbirds that sing me awake in the morning.

6. For all of the blessings too numerous to mention here such as food on the table, a roof over our heads and all the other common things we often take for granted.

7. For the Power of Prayer.

Take care and have a wonderful day. ~Blessings, Mary~

Tuesday, June 3

What's New with Me

This is just a quick post to let everyone know that I am fine, just busy. I usually post everyday, so wanted to let you know what is happening here.

The tenant moved out on Saturday, as promised. He left the apartment fairly clean and vacuumed and swept before he left. I was glad when he handed in the keys about 4 pm. Then we went to take a look and there is a lot of work to be done. We have to paint every room plus the downstairs entrance. The bathroom is pretty much totalled. We haven't done anything to it since we moved in 15 years ago, so it's time to spruce it up a little. I am going to take some photos and after it is all done, I will take more. Then I will post before and after photos. I'm not sure how long this is all going to take. Neither hubby or I am up to doing a lot of heavy redecorating or renovating. I'm hoping it won't be too long. We need to get the apartment finished and rented out. Though I dread renting it out again, it is a necessity.

Today Melissa, Jack and Griffyn came. Jack pulled up all of the carpet upstairs. It was a mess and has to be replaced. He will be back on Thursday to give us a hand again.

If I don't get to visit you as regularly as I have been, I apologize, but there is much to do and I will keep you all updated on our progress. ~Blessings, Mary~

Monday, June 2

I am from Aprons

I am from aprons, from Blueing

and woodstoves and hanging

clothes on the clothes line.

I am from rolling farmland

where I ran through the fields,

played in the hay mow

and waded in the creek.

I am from the Earth.
I am from lilacs,

dried hay and beefsteak tomatoes.

I am from maple trees and snow apples.

I am from maple syrup

the sweet taste of spring.

I am from family Christmases,

Thanksgivings, pioneer thriftiness

and chasing fireflies on a summer night.

I am from Bert and Candace,

William and Maude,

Fred and Margaret.

I am from family bonding and love.

I am from working hard and being honest.

I am from sobriety and abstinence

and money is precious, as is water.

I am from God,

standing beside Grandma in church

and hymns that have been familiar

since infancy.

I am from homemade soap and

ice cream, gardening

and a one-room schoolhouse.

I am from Ireland and Ontario,

potatoes and strawberry shortcake

with a woodbox behind the woodstove

where piglets were kept in a box

to keep them from freezing to death.

I am from tea, homemade soup,

made from scratch bread

and cinnamon rolls,

rabbit and squirrel stew,

venison and moose meat.

From the soldier

who landed on the beach at Dieppe,

far from home and loved ones.

He was just a boy

but became a man on that beach

When he was wounded

and held his dying friend in his arms

as his life blood seeped into the sand.

I am from the grandmother

who birthed six children at home,

the mother who gave birth to me

after 30 hours of intense labor

and my twin

who didn't survive.

I am from a shoebox

in the sideboard,

a purple heart

and strong independent women.

From black and white

and faded color photos

of days of long ago

that will never be forgotten.

by Mary M. Alward

I saw this over at Paula's On A Rainy Night and thought it would be fun to do. It is all about our roots. If you would like to participate, check HERE for the template.

Sunday, June 1

Green Thumb Sunday

It's Green Thumb Sunday, hosted by Tricia at As the Garden Grows. If you'd like to participate, just click on the link to find out how.

I have some beauties growing in my garden and this week I'm going to show a few of them this week. I can't believe its June 1st already.

A week or so ago, I posted a photo of my balloon flower, which I purchased new this year. I had never seen this flower before and thought it was beautiful. Back then it was in bud but now it is flowering. If it quits raining long enough, I will get it in the ground. This is a perennial and will come back year after year. I don't have a lot of space so only bought one. I would love to have dozens of them.

Above, you can see my purple columbine fighting its way out of the lavender, which is trying to take over the entire flowerbed. I am going to take the pruning shears out and cut away a lot of it. Each year it spreads and each year I cut it back completely. You can also see the leaves of my clematis on the right side of the photo. It has lots of buds and should be blooming soon.
I have mentioned my brown iris in other postings and here it is. The original toe is almost a hundred years old. I got a toe from my mother who got it from her mother. The original plant was one that my paternal great-grandmother grew. It's nice to have a plant that has been handed down for generations.
My red peony is huge. It has lots of buds on it and should be blooming within the next few days. I'm hoping its in all of its glory for next week's post.
Ah! Can you see him? He is right there on top of the peony bud. Yes, a bee. It is gathering pollen and working its little heart out. Bees are such amazing creatures, especially the workers. I often watch them as they busy themselves at the buds and blooms in my garden.

I hope you've enjoyed a glimpse of my garden this week. I'm enjoying the beauty of spring and all my favorite flowers that I've had for years. What is your favorite flower? Isn't it hard to chose as they are all so beautiful.

Take care and enjoy a quiet Sunday with your family. ~Blessings, Mary~