Saturday, January 30, 2010

Flooring update

We poured the self-leveler (which was fun to watch, by the way!) and checked for drips in the basement. So glad we did, because the concrete was dripping around the toilet flange...

On Sunday we took a mini-break to visit 3 home improvement retailers and validate our VCT purchase. I was having second thoughts about the tile, but for us (cost, ease of installation merged with a minimal + modern look) it really is the best solution. Did I mention the tiles are around .50/sq ft?

We went without water for a day so that we could pour the leveler and then drill a hole for the shut off valves. We're focusing on cutting tiles right now (the bathroom is tiny). Fun progress!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The "interview"

We are blessed to have neighbors who have lived here for 4o+ years. After some discussion with our neighbor across the street I found that she is still in touch with the original owner/builder of our house, Lois.

A few days ago we spoke on the phone. She and her husband Ed raised 3 children in our home, and lived here for 40 years (she sold the home in 1997). It was so clear that they had a great love for the home, the neighbors, and the nearby park. The more I think about it, the more I realize that it still seems fresh after 50 years. I'm sure their care had a lot to do with that.

In selecting the lot Ed put a bid for $2500 for the lot to St. Paul and they accepted. They picked a floorplan from Villaume Box and Lumber where she worked in the summer while on sabbatical from teaching. They hired Pete Peterson, a semi-retired contractor, with the agreement that he could go fishing when he wanted a day off. (I had hoped to get a copy of the blueprints but they seem to be long gone. I do hope to get in touch with the previous owner as I believe she has a copy.)

Lois shared that her husband wanted to paint the front door turquoise but settled for turquoise flower pots on the 2nd level. She spoke a lot about her flowers and I realize how important the yard was to them. She loved her kitchen and it was always painted blue. The phrase "give us this day our daily bread" is in raised lettering and was painted over--I don't think we would have ever noticed it if I hadn't talked to her. Her husband designed the patio and it originally had a water feature in it, maybe something we can recreate.

They raised their three children in this home, and at one point also housed her mother. With current architecture trends focusing on "bigger is better", it gave me a fresh perspective on how families can thrive in small homes. What a gift to be able to talk with her!