Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Still alive and kickin'!

Yes, it's been almost a year. I am SO SORRY! It has been an interesting (well, not really) few months. We've had a job situation change that halted almost all work on the house except for little jobs we could do ourselves, our niece has moved in with us, we've been poking at the Guest House, we've still got the two houses up for sale, and no end in sight with those. We've had a snow storm, and ice storm, and an earthquake. It's been a very hectic few months! Three yards to take care of, three houses to upkeep, plus the job change...and not for the better. However, we will persevere!

On New Year Day, I decided that my goal would be that we would begin work on the Guest House. So, on that day, I drove the Ranger out there and started cleaning out all the junk left from previous owners. It was full of random trash, old carpet bits, and old furniture. In the end, I believe we hauled off 3 truckloads of trash from this little place. There was actually a garbage can full of who knows what in the living room! Beer bottles, cans, just random trash! Even an old TV dumped on the floor.

The furniture was very 1960's and not my style at all! Let me introduce you to the world's ugliest couch cushion....

Old (UGLY) yellow 1960's carpet pulled back to reveal original heart of pine wood floors.

Once the carpet was completely ripped out and the floor swept, this is what that floor looked like...

Stunning, isn't it?? Once I've removed the eleventy billion little carpet staples and it's been sanded and lacquered, it'll shine so beautifully! You can see the hideous carpet and padding back there in the corner. Vince had to help me haul it out! Yes, the walls really are that hideous green. There was apparently a sale on this particular color of AWFUL and lots of home owners in the area bought it...at least that's what I've heard!

The original woodwork is still there...covered in lead-based awful....

Once I can pull it down (probably when we rip out the drywall), it'll get a well deserved sanding and maybe a light stain....or maybe just lacquered to blend with the floor.

After the first week, I was so proud of my progress!!! This is the parlor/living room...

Yes, I will discuss that bricked up fireplace....just not right now. I'm still angry about it. What I love about this little house is that in my mind, I can already see it done. Bright white walls in the room with a built-in bookcase beside the fireplace, a bow-front buffet there were that one is currently sitting. Maybe a painting hanging over it. White lace curtains on these tall windows this little place is blessed with. The fireplace open...not for a functioning fireplace, but enough to place a few candles in. A flat screen TV mounted over the mantle. Yep, it's ALLLL planned out on Pinterest! HAHAHA!

My supervisor while I work....

Yes, Hobbes is "helping"...in that way that Hobbes helps!

Well, that will give you just a little taste of what's been happening! I have lots more posts planned, so stay tuned! 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What we do when we're not...well, doing anything else!

If it seems like we're sort of sporadic with our house work it's because we both work a second job in our spare time. What do we do? Well, we restore old cars! No, really! We film a series for YouTube called AutoRestoMod.


This video series shows how to restore old cars. My cousin Jeff Ford is a host, along with Vince. If Jeff looks familiar, you may have seen him on a show called "Overhaulin'" with Chip Foose. He's also frequently seen around Aiken and the environs drooling over and talking about old cars!

They prefer that you believe that they look like this. However, they generally look more like this...

We are a "How To" show that actually shows you "How To"! Where a lot of shows say they are going to show you how to do something, then show you a few seconds, then suddenly the thing is done, we actually walk you step-by-step through the entire process. We film in a real garage and use real tools that almost anyone would have at their disposal. We run a very small crew with three cameras. There is Jeff and Vince as hosts of course, I run cameras with our Jib Crane Guru, Dustin. My buddy from Nebraska Carra McClelland handles our voice-over work and runs a camera when she's in town. 

Dustin and Carra goofing off!

Another good friend Kim Abbott from Georgia help us run camera when she's up visiting.
Kim helps Jeff assemble the mount for our tailgate camera.

We occasionally have friends and relatives drop by to help us film and they are usually drafted to be on the show! Here's my niece Sydney at the wheel of my 1965 Night Mist blue Mustang hardtop while Jeff sets up a shot.

It's fun working with teenagers!

So, that's it! When we're not restoring an old house, we're restoring old cars! If you'd like to check us out, the link to the YouTube channel is


If you have questions about anything in the videos, feel free to ask in the comments section for that particular video! We're pretty good about getting back to you. 

How bored can a teenager look while driving a classic Mustang? Allow Sydney to demonstrate!

So, now that you know what we're doing when we're not working on the house, hopefully some of my absences from the blog will make more sense! Until next time, have a good week! 

Monday, September 30, 2013

We're still here!

I apologize for my total lack of posts recently. I have no real excuse other than we've been busy with projects but nothing incredibly noteworthy. We finally got the garage door finished! YAY! This is a shot during the project. It really did not take all that long once we really got rolling...

The most interesting part of the installation for me was figuring out how we were going to attach those big old springs that allow the door to roll up! Vince's solution involved some ratchet straps and some praying on my part!! Once the door was on, we started shifting stuff around so that Vince could actually use it as a place to work on our cars and we also needed a place to store at least one of our classic Mustangs. In this case, our beloved 1973 Mustang Mach 1 "Jaws".

After moving some stuff around and throwing some stuff away, we managed to make room for some of our cabinets and started organizing tools. We still need to rearrange the left side of the garage and move things around so that the refrigerator sits flush against the wall rather than hogging up space in front of our chest freezer. Here's a photo after some cleaning....
Pardon Hobbes. He decided he needed to supervise!

Wow! The Mach 1 fits right in! Now to make some room so that we can easily walk around the car while we work!

A cleaned up cement pad and a view of the new door. Now to work on the siding back here that needs to be replaced and those walk-through doors that need to be replaced, and the pressboard there that needs replacing and oh! Did I mention that sway up there on the roof that needs attending to? 

Our current issue is building another two "cat pens" so that a few of our resident felines can comfortably hang out outside without dangers from dogs or cars...or just plain getting lost! Once construction starts on those, I'll post photos to show how we do it! 

Until next time from "The Ridge"! 
Jade says "Later!!"

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

It's been a furniture kind of week....

My husband was able to score the white dresser for me from the store downtown! YAY!

Here's an up-close view of that paint. When I say it was sticky, flies were landing on it and getting stuck to the surface. It smelled horrible too. Kind of smoky and disused. Sooo......
I busted out the orange smelling paint stripper and got to work on it!

Underneath the paint, lovely wood! The paint just lifted right off.

I've managed to partially strip one drawer and I have lots more to go. I've mentioned my lack of time issue before right??
In other exciting news, a friend of mine said she had an entire antique bedroom suite that I could have...for free!! WOOHOO! That's my kind of price! Of course, she mentioned it needed work and may just need to be thrown away. Well, not before I give it my all! So Vince and I ran over to her house on Saturday on our way to our weekend job (oh yes, we work two jobs!) and picked up the furniture. I love it! Yes, it is damaged but I'm going to try to either restore it or paint it up lovely! Pardon the dirt. These photos are before I lay hands on them even to just clean the dust off!

The headboard and foot board. Definitely a twin sized set. You can see some of the damage there where the veneer has pulled off.

The foot board has such a lovely curve to it. Just very elegant.

The chifforobe. Pardon the lighting! This piece is about 5 feet high.

This is the inside. Definitely needs a good cleaning and then we'll see to the condition. All of these pieces have little wooden wheels on the feet. I'm guessing they date from the 1910's-1930's.

This vanity is probably my favorite piece. It has it's original triple mirror (not pictured). I have all the drawers (sitting to the left there) and the little piece of wood from the front leg is laying on top. I even have all of the original hardware!

This is after my initial cleaning. I re-glued the veneer there in the middle (no, this isn't an Anne Sloan ad...although it could be!) and re-glued the little wood piece on the leg plus cleaned the first four layers of dust and dirt off. I'll give it at least two more baths then start to recondition the wood.
Yes, I've got a ton of work ahead of me...oh, did I mention that the room these pieces are stored in is the main parlor of my house and they have to be moved out ASAP so I can put down new carpet before Thanksgiving? Yeah, well, I think I need another week of vacation! I need to locate my wood glue...and the clamps...and ask Vince in my sweetest voice to help me cut 2x4's to size to hold peeling veneer on....
Is it the weekend yet?
Happy Tuesday from Ridge Spring!



Thursday, August 1, 2013

And now for something completely different....

I think I've mentioned before that I wanted to try my hand at refinishing furniture. Here's my first project...

I spotted it at "Stuff and Things" in downtown Ridge Spring yesterday on our way back from lunch. The store isn't open on Wednesdays so I sent my husband hurrying down there this morning to buy it before it slipped away! It has a lovely shape! My initial plan is to strip the white paint off of it. The current paint is very sticky. I'm not sure why. I'll take some in progress photos as I go! A very dear friend offered me an antique bedroom suite and I said I'd pick it up this weekend. I have absolutely no place to put it but off I go! I'll show some photos of it also. I may end up painting it with chalk paint! I look forward to trying that for the first time.

In other news, the SC Department of Transportation surprised us and removed one of the dying trees from the edge of the property for us. We were figuring we were going to be out of pocket at least $500.00 to get this dying Live Oak down. They saved us the trouble!

Now we just need to have the stump ground down. It will be nice to finally not have to worry about the limbs falling out of this tree during a storm. It's been a worry since we bought the place!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Just a short update today. Our one really bad chimney was finished up yesterday and the cap was put into place!

Isn't it pretty??

And look! A proper cap!
The masons were nice enough to place the cap and seal with tar. We will be able to remove it in the future should we decide to open the fireplaces. Now to wait for another two or three good rain storms to ensure we've actually fixed all the issues. Then we'll be tearing out carpet, replacing all damaged flooring, and deciding whether to put in carpet or try for hardwood flooring. We were going to have the other chimney repaired next, but the masons decided that they had underbid the project and wanted double for the other chimney. It's not currently leaking so we're going to give it a month or two before we call in other masons to bid the job. If we decide to stick with these guys, we'll order another cap and have them cap it too. We're hoping to be able to sell at least one of the two homes we currently have on the market before we do any other major renovations.

The last three Wednesdays we've been unable to do any research for various reasons, but we hope to be able to continue that soon. I'd love to make a trip to Columbia to go through their files too! So, until next time....

Chief says hello to the Yon cows...

Friday, July 12, 2013

Time to build an Ark....

South Carolina is flooded. OK, not New Orleans flooded but we're up to our figurative knee caps in water here. It has rained seemingly non-stop since.....well, as long as I can remember! June was a record month for rain here. Part of the Augusta Riverwalk is currently underwater.

This isn't actually a river. It's a full to overflowing retention pond.

That's a peach orchard there on the left and a wooded area on the right...and that's water flowing freely in front of my F150.
Needless to say, with all the rain, our chimney repairmen have not been able to get back out to finish up the chimney we've been having issues with. They did pull out what some idiot had fashioned as a chimney cap....
This piece of board, covered with a tiny bit of cement....

and a few of these does NOT a chimney cap make!!!
It was unbelievable. That piece of board was not much thicker than the cardboard backing that Wal-Mart supplies with their bookcases. This is why the floor is rotted out in the parlor. Either some former homeowner was just too cheap to pay someone to properly cap the chimney, thereby compromising the original hardwood floors in the house, they paid someone to do it and got taken, or they were just too ignorant to know that this was not right. I don't know. Now, this....
...is a properly capped chimney. This is the third chimney that goes into the wall in the library....that apparently used to be the kitchen in the house. We look forward to pulling that wall down and either repairing an old fireplace or installing a new stove!
The entire time we've been in the house and dealing with the chimney leak, our parlor hearth has looked like this...
We are coming in to the deal too late to save the floor unfortunately. It was leaking long before we purchased the house. If you look in the lower left hand corner beside the red towel, you can see the wet moldy carpet. As soon as the leak is stopped, this carpet and padding will be removed and replaced. The flooring underneath will need to be removed and a new sub floor installed. "The cheap becomes expensive." Yes, I'm angry. Angry that someone did not take care of the problem correctly the first time and then did not do a proper repair when the original fix failed which allowed the damage to get this far. We have ordered a proper cap for this chimney and another cap for the other chimney will follow.
Yes, that's Vince on the roof with a storm coming. He's attempting to place a tarp over the open chimney to try to stop further water intrusion. It worked.


Another day...and a much safer way! Tarping an area of the chimney the workers have not yet repointed. The pointing was very weak here and this area may have been allowing water in also.
As soon as the cap arrives, I'll post some photos of it close up and the installation! I am happy to know that the repairs that this home has needed for years are finally getting done. I know my neighbors think I'm crazy! Have a great weekend!
Tiger says, "YAY! It's Friday!!!"