Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas in New York

Some friends and I went to New York to see the Rockettes.  Can you believe I couldn't remember if I'd seen them before?  Seems to me I went with my cousin in the late '80's for the Easter show.  Anyway, New York is always an adventure, what with the subway deaths and all.  A country girl like myself finds it a challenge to drive to New Haven, hop a train, then a subway, to see Rockefeller Center and the gorgeous storefronts and architecture.  The churches are magnificent.  St. Patrick's had scaffolding all around so I didn't take a picture.
Saks Fifth Avenue
Grand Central Station's main concourse.

Lobby of Radio City Music Hall.

Chandelier in lobby.

Stage.  There are organs on both sides.

Shoe Department at Saks.

Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.

Trump Tower.  Gorgeous.

Tree with ice rink below.

Happy New Year!

Carly wishes everyone a very happy New Year.  She's loving the radiator cover even more with the Christmas material on top.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas 2012

Here are some Christmas decoration shots.  I removed garlands from the tree since it seems that that is no longer in style.


The parlor is so small I can't keep the television out of the shot.

 I finally hung curtains in the living room.  I love them!  I had bought the insulated tab top curtains from Country Curtains when there was curtain hardware on the window frame, so they fell just above the sill.  I decided I wanted floor-length curtains like I put in the kitchen.  Then Ikea stopped selling that length, so my brilliant mother suggested that I add fabric to the bottoms.

 I think the new fabric looks kind of like Sarah Richardson's beautiful headboard in her farmhouse.  It's kind of a gray-blue with taupe and gold flowers which goes well with the sage sofa.  The Edgecomb Gray I plan to paint should really complement everything.

I bought curtain rods from Home Depot with pretty finials but the rod would move when I closed the curtains.  I initially bought these tab tops to help with the chill of winter so they needed to be functional.  I decided to go with the simple metal return rods that I used in the kitchen.

The other dilemma was how to install the rods.  I made a big hole in the wall because I think my drill bits are too dull.  Finally, they went in smoothly in those nasty plaster walls.  I also didn't know where to hang the rods.  Everyone says high and wide but I don't like the look of curtain rods to the ceiling, plus they're already almost nine feet high so I don't need to fake height.  I'm basically satisfied with where they are.  The rods above the radiator are wider to accommodate its width.  The other window is close to the door so I needed to leave some space.  Did you notice that the windows are different heights?  The window in the second picture is lower to the floor.  It looks out onto the porch.  Nothing is easy, is it?

Of course now I can't stand that yellow paint.  I just may have to bump up this room on the painting schedule.  I also have to move those oval pictures and the clock.  Yeah, just add it to my list.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is my favorite holiday.  What could be better than thanking God for all our blessings?  And we have many.  There are people all over the world without the simple things we take for granted.  Victims of disasters on the eastern seaboard, in Haiti, Japan, Israel, Afghanistan, Africa.  So many sad things.

This past spring, I believe, we were discussing the dire financial straits in which we find ourselves in this country.  Our Bible study teacher is brilliant.  He has a Ph.D in classical languages, I believe.  He is the head of the history department at a local state university.  He said his contacts tell him we are in even worse shape than anyone can imagine.  We were depressed, but he offered his favorite verses, from Habbakuk, Chapter 3, Verses 17 and 18:

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
May we focus on what we have and not what we lack.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

See the difference?

My co-workers thought it would be a good idea if I painted above the porch before the new roof goes on Wednesday.  So I've been working like a dog trying to git 'her done  I don't usually work more than two days in a row due to my carpal tunnel syndrome, and exhaustion.  It took 4 1/2 hours to prime, twice as long as I predicted.  The eaves are very difficult due to the placement of the gutters.  I removed the downspout but am hoping it won't rain and ruin my paint job.  But look at the before, during and after!

I'd like to rid the world of asbestos shingles.
With shingles removed last weekend.

I had to drag my six-foot stepladder up here because I couldn't reach this corner.  the cinderblock wasn't enough due to my being vertically challenged.

Fall has arrived and is particularly beautiful this year.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

The Last Little Bit

I finished  removing shingles, aluminum trim and nails on the west side.  Below are shots of the kinds of things that are underneath.  I think it's some kind of insect nesting material.

 Can you see the shutter ghosts below?  That's the kitchen window through the forsythia.  The lower window is in the walk-out portion of the basement, above the dryer.
This is above the porch.  I had to remove these shingles because the roof is being replaced this week.

I was scared to climb onto the roof so my sister and nephew stayed with me.  But it was a cinch because the roof is quite flat.  It was hard getting into the corner that meets the higher roof, though.  It was one of those times that a few more inches in height would have come in handy.
 This is the only spot on the whole house where I've found rot.  I'll have to replace the side and bottom trim pieces.

I washed this side down with a hose.  Can you tell the difference?  It was filthy.

The view to my neighbor's beautiful burning bush.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Back to the Ladder Ballet

I am desperately trying to finish painting once and for all this year.  I'm just about finished priming the east side (about nine hours so far).  I had removed shingles and nails from this side last year.

 It's difficult working here, which doesn't really translate to these pictures.  There are steps down a fairly steep slope.  Thank goodness I bought an adjustable leg ladder.  I'm also more comfortable working near the electric line this year.  But not comfortable enough to be careless.

While the paint's drying, or when it's too humid I'm working on the west side, where I've run into my first badly rotted out wood.  I'll have to replace part of a corner board and starter strip.

Monday, September 10, 2012

9/11 - Always Remember

Below is an excerpt from my other blog from last year:

I hope people always remember and understand this vicious act of war and the loss of 2819 innocent lives.

Here are the stats:

9/11 by the Numbers
Death, destruction, charity, salvation, war, money, real estate, spouses, babies, and other September 11 statistics.

The initial numbers are indelible: 8:46 a.m. and 9:02 a.m. Time the burning towers stood: 56 minutes and 102 minutes. Time they took to fall: 12 seconds. From there, they ripple out.

* Total number killed in attacks (official figure as of 9/5/02): 2,819

* Number of firefighters and paramedics killed: 343

* Number of NYPD officers: 23

* Number of Port Authority police officers: 37

* Number of WTC companies that lost people: 60

* Number of employees who died in Tower One: 1,402

* Number of employees who died in Tower Two: 614

* Number of employees lost at Cantor Fitzgerald: 658

* Number of U.S. troops killed in Operation Enduring Freedom: 22

* Number of nations whose citizens were killed in attacks: 115

* Ratio of men to women who died: 3:1

* Age of the greatest number who died: between 35 and 39

* Bodies found "intact": 289

* Body parts found: 19,858

* Number of families who got no remains: 1,717

* Estimated units of blood donated to the New York Blood Center: 36,000

* Total units of donated blood actually used: 258

* Number of people who lost a spouse or partner in the attacks: 1,609

* Estimated number of children who lost a parent: 3,051

* Percentage of Americans who knew someone hurt or killed in the attacks: 20

* FDNY retirements, January–July 2001: 274

* FDNY retirements, January–July 2002: 661

* Number of firefighters on leave for respiratory problems by January 2002: 300

* Number of funerals attended by Rudy Giuliani in 2001: 200

* Number of FDNY vehicles destroyed: 98

* Tons of debris removed from site: 1,506,124

* Days fires continued to burn after the attack: 99

* Jobs lost in New York owing to the attacks: 146,100

* Days the New York Stock Exchange was closed: 6

* Point drop in the Dow Jones industrial average when the NYSE reopened: 684.81

* Days after 9/11 that the U.S. began bombing Afghanistan: 26

* Total number of hate crimes reported to the Council on American-Islamic Relations nationwide since 9/11: 1,714

* Economic loss to New York in month following the attacks: $105 billion

* Estimated cost of cleanup: $600 million

* Total FEMA money spent on the emergency: $970 million

* Estimated amount donated to 9/11 charities: $1.4 billion

* Estimated amount of insurance paid worldwide related to 9/11: $40.2 billion

* Estimated amount of money needed to overhaul lower-Manhattan subways: $7.5 billion

* Amount of money recently granted by U.S. government to overhaul lower-Manhattan subways: $4.55 billion

* Estimated amount of money raised for funds dedicated to NYPD and FDNY families: $500 million

* Percentage of total charity money raised going to FDNY and NYPD families: 25

* Average benefit already received by each FDNY and NYPD widow: $1 million

* Percentage increase in law-school applications from 2001 to 2002: 17.9

* Percentage increase in Peace Corps applications from 2001 to 2002: 40

* Percentage increase in CIA applications from 2001 to 2002: 50

* Number of songs Clear Channel Radio considered "inappropriate" to play after 9/11: 150

* Number of mentions of 9/11 at the Oscars: 26

* Apartments in lower Manhattan eligible for asbestos cleanup: 30,000

* Number of apartments whose residents have requested cleanup and testing: 4,110

* Number of Americans who changed their 2001 holiday-travel plans from plane to train or car: 1.4 million

* Estimated number of New Yorkers suffering from post-traumatic-stress disorder as a result of 9/11: 422,000

Copyright © 2011, New York Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Banish the Blue!

Yes, it's finally gone!  It was hard to look at that blue.  I had seen it in Better Homes and Gardens on a little Victorian cottage and it was so beautiful.  So I had my paint man match the color.  He said "You want to go that bright?"  Oh, yes, Booma, I sure do.  Well . . . it looked good in the spring, and summer, and fall.  But come winter . . . yikes!  The brightness!  The coldness!  My family tried to warn me.  My sister tells me not to copy magazines.  It had to go.  I had to suck it up and admit my mistake, which I basically made with all the colors here.  And it's doubly painful to fix mistakes.

So then what?  I wanted to be historically accurate and paint it in Victorian colors.  I was all set to paint it Georgian Green.  But I finally talked to a Benjamin Moore in-house color consultant who said my house looked like a farmhouse, not a classic Victorian.  Typical farmhouse colors are white, red and yellow.  I just can't do white anywhere and red is not a favorite (too bold), so I went with yellow.  I've always loved yellow houses.  My paternal grandparents' house was yellow.  So I chose Weston Flax, a pale, soft buttery yellow.  It's perfect for the cottagey style I love.  I can never get over what a difference paint can make!
The big behemoth, the back of my house.


I still love the color blue but next time I will stick to the Benjamin Moore Historical Colors palette and go with Buxton Blue, or Copley Gray, or Sandy Hook Gray, or . . .  So many colors, so little time!

P.S.  That is a bear of an area to paint.  There are two stone walls off the back right corner.  Just another reason why I put off re-painting for four years.