March 13, 2012

Four out of Five ain't bad

At all of the famous and not so famous places in the world a miracle has occurred, the sun came up an hour later. Which of course means that the sun will now...

You guessed it folks!

set an hour later. This event is a huge reprieve from the darkness of winter as we continue our daily work on 227 North Street.

Not quite the picturesque view, but it someday soon it will be.

The past weeks have been spent in the drudgeries of more dry wall (veneer board) in preparation of plastering the second floor, base boards, painting of the second staircase and yet another bathroom. Bathroom number four out of five. At least we can say we only have one more to go. Tweaking the plumbing to fit perfectly, installing the veneer board on the ceiling, adding a gazillion support blocks, insulation, preparing the doorjambs and the doors, and finally we began to lay the floor.

White marble like all of the bathroom floors in house

This time I am using QEP Lash leveling system This spacer system keeps all of the tiles level to each other, which means no lippage, or tiles that are higher than others. A great invention, and the tiles are incredibly level to each other, but I will say that the creators idea of a 1/16th inch grout line, and my idea of a 1/16th inch grout line are very, very different.

The floor is finished, grouted in bright white, and unfortunately covered in paper before I got a picture.
We then moved onto the walls. We had this brilliant idea (yes JT I used the word "brilliant"). Lets mix it up and put narrow, floor to ceiling beadboard on the walls. It will be fast and pain free and would mean... no plaster! Sounds great right? Wrong! We both now have a new appreciation for solid wood walls. Not only because of the ka-ching factor, way, way more than we could have imagined, but it was also incredibly fussy, and painstaking to install. Four full days of cutting and fitting, tweaking and adjusting, leveling and nailing. Followed by baseboards, baseboard cap, and crown molding, and we are ready to add two coats of primer and two coats of high gloss, white, oil base paint..... ARG! and we still have to plaster the ceiling! what were we thinking?

A view through the door. Just add paint, a vintage claw foot tub, a pedestal sink, and commode.

As the sun sets an hour later here... I will repeat my earlier feeling about this... "Yeah!"
I want to tell you about one of those interesting moments that happen around this place we call home.
I received an email from a man who was doing some research and came across my blog. He had been reading my entry entitled "When Queens come calling" The entry involves a photograph of the 1896 Healdsburg Floral Festival Queen in a carriage, in front of what is now our home. The queens name was Alice Haigh Dixon.

Alice Haigh Dixon, surrounded by her court, May 1896

The Queen in front of our home

The email was from a gentleman by the name of Brian Dixon. Brian had an old painting in his garage and wanted to know if we would like to have it. It was painted by Alice Haigh Dixon. Of course I said yes and we were thrilled when the painting arrived in the mail. The Queens painting is back in Healdsburg. Perhaps when she stopped by the house in 1896 she meant to bring the painting to the then Mistress of our house, Mrs. Marshall. Perhaps Alice accidentally left the painting at home, and promised to bring it at a later date. Perhaps it only took one hundred and sixteen years for the painting to make its way here. Perhaps the painting is here now resting above our fireplace.

Perhaps someday I will consent to nails being driven into our new plaster walls, and the painting can hang a bit higher.... Probably not!