Friday, June 25, 2010

One more house project finally finished.

The latest nightmare, oops, I mean house project was to take the wall paper off the walls in my office. It was starting to come off the wall and looking a bit shabby so it needed to come down. Problem was, the people that owned the house had put wallpaper on the bottom of the wall and it was so very difficult to get off, besides the valuted ceilings being so darn high that it made it difficult to get it all down. I had to do a wall at a time so that I could move the furniture off the wall, strip, paint, and then replace the furniture. I ended up completely changing around the whole room and doing a lot of cleaning.

I had to stack my yarn stash drawers...but to the left of the drawer units is where the two colors I painted come together. The colors are pretty close so you can't really see the difference. I painted two walls with the darker and two with the lighter to try to do somewhat of a highlight.

What a totaly nightmare it was to move my desk. I had to take it all apart and I still have bins and bins of things to go through . It was worth it, though, I love the desk being over near the light of the window and now I can see what's going on out the door to the room and down the hall.
I had tons of photographs from the shelf on the stairway that ended up on shelves on the walls in the office. I staggered them so that the highest shelf was closer to where the cats can get on the high dresser. Belle is crazy and jumps onto things so I have to keep that in mind when I plan where to put things.

I made some half curtains to go over the window in front of the printer to keep a bit of the sunlight out of the room. It gets really hot in the mornings. The fabric was from my stash and I am pretty sure it was left over from Jenn's grandmother's home when she passed away. Sammy is sleeping on top of the printer. He looks so very uncomfortable but he still sleeps up there.

Two Historic Chicago Buildings

I attended United's Purser Recurring training last week in Chicago. Our hotel was the Historic Palmer house, always a pleasure to be there. It was built and opened just 13 days before the great chicago fire of 1871, and of course, burned in the fire. Parker Palmer built it as a wedding gift to his bride, and of course, rebuilt the hotel after the fire. This is the gilt medallion on the ceiling (one of two) in the Empire Ballroom, where most of our meetings and presentations were located. This hotel was the first building put on the historic preservation list, it was also the first hotel with electric lighting, running water, elevators, and was rebuilt to be fireproof!

This is a detail from the ornate ceiling in the main lobby on the second floor. The lobby is absolutely beautiful and people were snapping pictures of it from all angles. The Hilton's website featuring the Palmer house does not do this beautiful place justice. The rooms are small as was the fashion of the time, but they are very comfortable and not too small.
The lighting fixtures are all original and have obviously been wired for electricity, they add to the beautiful surroundings in this magnificent place.
This is just one of the sides of the room in the Empire Ballroom. The Columbia College Percussion Ensamble was there and did a drumming presentation using galley equipment that was really fun. The mirrors along with the ebony wood and gold leaf was quite striking.
This is the lobby bar. There are comfy chairs scattered all about the lobby for people to lounge in and they are set up for conversation.

I absolutely was taken by the clock at the end of the lobby at the ceiling. It's actually carved into the marble of the ceiling, and it is absolutely beautiful.
Here's a close up of the clock which also shows more of the domes of the ceiling. The plaster work is raised and painted to accentuate the difference in colors from the background. I love this place!
We went to the Willis (used to be the Sears) tower and these pictures were taken from the windows of the room that we had dinner in.
All in all it was a great two days, we were delayed 2 hours getting home so I didn't get home until Midnight after being in the conference all day, but it was worth it. :)

Thursday, June 03, 2010

The great closet adventure

Now before you get to thinking that's a strange title, you'd have to know that Tuesday morning, while my husband was packing for his business trip and I was actually taking a few things out of the closet to donate to charity, our closet imploded. No kidding. It looked like one of those buildings that the demolition team puts explosives in and makes fall into itself. It looked like the thing had already been detonated...

I hung up one hanger, and all of a sudden the wire shelves which held the hangers fell off the wall on the right side, taking with it the huge amount of boxes that were on the top and all of the hanging clothing. Most of the shelf supports ripped out of the drywall since very few were attached to studs in the walls, and everything bent and was a mess. Since the first falling shelf went around the corner, it bent the wire rack supports on the left side in the back so nothing was worth saving, it all had to be removed. I had a huge list of things I had to get done that day but having everything from the closet in the middle of the floor took priority. I was not in a good mood, I was hot, exhausted, and needing to do other things but now I had to deal with this mess while hubby drove away to be gone all week. Didn't the universe understand that this is not a good time for this?

I spent most of Tuesday emptying the closet, putting the clothing on the bed and pulling out all the boxes and such that were stored in there on the shelves. The bedroom had a tiny path through it to reach the outside world, and the cats were very disrupted. We have a very tiny house so space to pile things does not exist, you have to put things on top of other things. The closet is only 67x59 inches square. Prior to the implosion, we had taken the door off to give us added usable space and had baskets on the left side of the doorway, and baskets of stuff under the hanging clothes on the right side. Some of them bent and the frames that held them couldn't hold up under the weight of the clothing as well as everything falling onto them. I decided that they were going to probably be replaced with the racking but didn't know yet what I wanted to replace it with.

A trip to Home Depot was in order after measuring the now empty closet. I didn't even have the motivation to spackle or paint in there, it was all I could do just to get the tape measure from wall to wall. I decided to go with modular units that would sit on the floor and be attached to the walls for stability. I spent about an hour calculating what I was going to need and trying to design a plan right there in the storage section of the store. Those boxes of units were horribly heavy which didn't make my mood any brighter... I had help putting them into the car, and when at home, I brought them into the house one at a time, one step at a time and built each half of a unit in the living room. I dragged them up the stairs and got only the corner installed before I was too exhausted to do any more. They were heavy and hard to handle for one person but I managed, thank goodness for Ibuprofin.

I slept for a few hours in the small area on the far side of the bed that I'd been able to clear the clothing off. The cats were all freaked out about the disruption and slept nearly right on top of me because all of their usual sleeping places were now covered in closet debris and they were nervous. I got up very early and built more of the closet sections, installed them, and attached the bars to hang clothes on. I hung up what clothing was going to be in the closet but removed the hangers from many items and stored them in the new shelf units that are now in there. The basket contents were refolded and I went through my clothes and got out two hefty bags of things to donate to charity, with more to come. I got hubby's things incorporated into the closet as well.
I'm not finished though, I'm going to add shelves on the wall above the hanging clothes to put baskets with small items in them such as purses and scarves, and I still have piles of things to rehome and recycle as well as a pile of hangers on the floor to organize and dispose of. But I can sleep in my bed tonight! YEAH!

Memorial Day Weekend 2010

Our unit commander and his lovely wife welcomed our reenacting unit to their home for a Memorial Day cook out. The project that was planned was to make a false front of a building for the Battle of Hanover which is now held in August.
The historic battle preceeded the battle in Gettysburg and was actually a cavalry battle that was fought in the town. The reenactment is held in August to give a bit of time between the huge reenactment in Gettysburg on July 1-3ish every year and is held at a beautiful state park right outside of Hanover. The buildings are going to be as props for that battle.

Everyone got involved in doing something for the project, either working on it or supervising.
Just downhill from the barn yard where everyone was working is this beautiful field where Jim's two horses contentedly graze.
Pennsylvania is right over the ridge, their farm is just south of the Mason Dixon line.
The building was up and is just started to get painted here in this picture. It'll be taken apart for transport after it's finished and put back together on site. I believe there are a few other buildings in the planning stage as well.
Yup, there's Hanover right over the next hill and off just slightly to the Right.
The cookout was fantastic, great food, great turn out of about 25 people and great company. We stayed and enjoyed conversation for a long time and quite a few of our group camped out in their yard since the parade is so early in the morning the next morning.
The unit walked in the Hanover Memorial Day parade which is held in the morning so people can do both this one and the one in Gettysburg which is held in the afternoon. Gettysburg is about 30 minutes from Hanover. There were a great many veterans of various wars that were either walking (most in their old uniforms) or riding, and there was a huge motorcycle group of veterans. This gentleman had this trailer and I thought it was cute, it said "Polish Motorhome" on the back.
This Drum and Bugle/brass corp as well as the flag twirlers were all alumni and were from after high school age on up with many of them having served in many other Memorial Day parades.
This is the 16th PA marching in front of our small band of marchers. We host the Hanover Reenactment with them. They are a fairly new unit of just a few years.

We're a cavalry unit and our commander always says that he doesn't have to learn to march because he's normally riding his horse. Everyone is always trying to get pictures of him marching out of step and I noticed that he's actually in step in this picture.
And this one. You'll actually notice that pretty much everyone is out of step with each other in this picture.
There they go marching into the Cemetary where the parade ended and I finally got Jim being out of step with the rest of the unit. We'll let that go since it was such a great weekend and cookout.