The Campsie Project

An account of the renovation of The Neglected House on the Wonderful Street in Wonderful Downtown Lexington, Kentucky.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Jamb on It.

The Smasher (Portrait Tuesday)
Originally uploaded by mrtoastey.
A picture I posted for Self-Portrait Tuesday on Click it to read an extended caption..

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Closet Concept

I don't really like that Closet Maid wire stuff, nor does Lucy but we're still happy to have a his and hers type bedroom closet full of it! The project was intricate and rewarding. Oh—at one point I had a question and I called the help number: India.

All the help calls for just about anything go to India these days, if you hadn't noticed. And a very genial Indian man very efficiently and articulately answered my question. This is the way of the modern world, folks!

It's Gonna Take Some Time

"It's gonna take some time" seems to be the principal lesson on this home renovation thing. We've gotten used to it. It really all goes back to the time honored equation that I learned while working in TV production: "You can have it good, cheap or fast. Pick TWO." I guess for the most part, The Campsie Project has chosen "good" and "cheap" and we're stickin' by that. Here are some neat things of late:

  1. With the tutelage of Tim "the floorman" Taylor, I removed the old bathroom floor to make room for the new laundry room floor. This was the grand prix of patient prying. The qualifying rounds included household-wide episodes of taking up baseboard and quarter-round and removing door trim. Having honed my skills on these tasks I was ready for the gently prying, yanking, coaxing, cursing and begging over a hundred nails out of a couple of dozen tongue-and-groove floorboards.
  2. Lucy has painted most of the upstairs! I helped out early on, but since then it's been Lucy-tron all the way, painting, painting. I've had some fears that things like painting trim will get lost in the mix and never get done (fingers crossed) but that's not so, with the paintsmanship of Points.
  3. Speaking of Points, Father Phil has been our yard genius. Thanks to him, we don't step outside into a scrub jungle and promptly onto a rusty nail. Lockjaw would almost certainly set us back. Or maybe not...
  4. Friendly Phil S., master electrician, has set us on the golden road to a wired kitchen. He came over, listened, commented, drew up some plans, and helped us understand the things that we could do ourselves. Approval pending, but since Samaritan Laura was actually bossing during some of it, I'm sure it's going to be fine. Wire is pulled, outlet boxes are mounted. Still some demolition to do in the kitchen area. And I could have sworn we'd already torn it all down. Huh.
  5. We have got us a kitchen. A temporary kitchen, I'm reminded to say. Lucy thinks we'll end up cooking there for eternity. which just goes to show how decent it tis. the improvised kitchen includes a toaster oven, microwave, fridge and assorted food items, condiments, cutlery, and dishware. And this just in, today from da Gootwill: a hotplate. Some sample entrees and sidedishes, you say? Poached salmon, baked tilapia, brussels spouts, lots of salad, plenty of eggs.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The (lack of) Kitchen

I've been meaning to share this collage of the Space Formerly Known As Kitchen. Gutting it was kind of a surprise and largely happened the same weekend that Lucy moved (mostly) to the house. So Friday and Saturday, me and brother chris moved Lucy. Then on Sunday, Lucy and Laura basically tore out the kitchen. Just like that, kids! Who knew? By the way, I made that pile of rubble on the blue tarp, ripping out the ceiling as an after-measure.

Since this shot, I've assisted Patron Interior Designer Laura with "pulling wire" and other rough electrical. One day, it will be a kitchen again, right?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Ritmo Latino

Lately, all kinds of work at The Campsie Project fueled by the Micronesian fury of Ritmo Latino, easily the most fantabulous latin music podcast on the Internet. Here's to all the other good-looking listeners!

People live here.

The tool for me and for the Campsie Project? Ladies and Gentlemen, I again give you the Nippers. Without them so much would not have gotten done around here.. At the very least it's how you get the unpullable nail out…so far anyway.

By the way, we really kind of live here. Lucy really does live here. I kind of live here. I don't know how I'm going to get out of Bassett. That's another blog probably. Saturday we had a liquidation yard sale at my Bassett house that was fairly successful, if under pubicized. There's something so very American about sitting out in your yard and making a nice chunk of change selling off the stuff you don't need. Scratch need—want is really the operative word. Sure—people all over the world sell stuff in front of their houses. But I would venture that such transactions are frequently an important part of their livelihood. Most yard sales I visit (and host) are really just about getting rid of excess (what an understatement) stuff and making money just sitting there.

Anyway, back downtown to Campsie—Lucy and I did some bike riding this weekend. I'm happy to say that she has a new birthday bike and that we're attempting to stave off the pumps by leaving the cars parked. One of the nice things about living downtown, right? And some work was accomplished, too. Lucy, she's the paint maven. I'm not so hot for painting myself. I'm impatient and somehow painting exacerbates that. I like destruction, though; today it occurred to me, as I ripped up the former bathroom/future laundry room floor that I spend a lot of my time working very hard to undo other people's very hard work.

Take this floor (please): Some unknown number of years ago, a former resident had the gumption to have red pine floors installed in the bathroom. Nice. Except, now, years later—when so much of the hardwood in the world is just gone, we need to salvage that red pine to fix the floors downstairs. So after days (no—weeks) of pondering and consulting, I finally got busy today and took up the floor in this 10' x 8' room.

Wow, did it seem bigger than that, based on the effort exerted? aw, yeah. In fact, this was one of the hardest jobs I've done since scraping up the linoleum downstairs with the linoleum spade or even digging out the basement. Damn, it was hard. But as usual, disassembly is my specialty. Seems like we frequently leave assembly to others, but tearing stuff down? Hell, we're all about that.

And the floor is now up. The wood be salvaged. Which means we can get Tim "the floorman" Taylor back in to magic up the hacked apart downstairs. AND we can move forward with outfitting the soon-to-be laundry room. THEN we can move the washer and drier out of the common area upstairs. Seeing the sort of domino thing here? I've been seeing it lately.

Oh, something else—Magic Digging Meridith was teasing me about our temporary kitchen (lucy insists that 'temporary' always be included, lest we fall into sloth and never get the 'real' kitchen done). She said we should publish a cookbook of recipes, which is actually a great idea. We just need a publisher. We'd call it "The Improvised Kitchen" and it would be full of delicious recipes that are limited to the toaster oven, microwave, and fridge, with dishes being all done in the bathtub.

The Crawlspace...

The Crawlspace...
Originally uploaded by mrtoastey.