Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Daffodil Thief....

Well I consider myself a rescuer of Daffodil's :P 

 

Well I had to do something creative, it seems like all we've been doing is burning crap and demo'ing crap. Trying to lesson our piles, and show what I eventually hope to create here...I built our first raise planter! With all this rubble, that I just can't toss in a trash can and extra dirt. This is the best solution! You can see behind, I still had a TON of rubble, some dirt and well there is always more! But I really need a wheel barrow to help build another one..


I had some pots of plants, that I had brought with me that I really needed to get into the ground and then the abandon house in front of me had a whole array of bulbs coming up. I first planted all that I had to plant, and then I was like....I am going to go grab some stuff across the street, on a just total whim and I took my shovel...went on over! I did it just in time, because here comes the mowers! And over everything they went...

There are HUGE patches of bulbs across the street, I thought most were Daffodils but none of the patches bloomed. I then assumed it was because they were cut down before the foliage could replenish the bulbs and I was right on a few as the bulbs were oh so tiny....but the majority of the daffodils had huge bulbs and leaves! To the point I was thinking they were Amaryllis, after I dug up a clump...I could clearly tell they were Daffodils of some sort??? The bulbs were literally ontop of one another, I imagine they haven't been divided since being planted many many moons ago and maybe this is what kept them from flowering?? It is just very odd! I quickly ran out of room and will save the rest for summer digging after the foliage has died back, I just can't leave them over there to die off...I will leave a few but there is soooo many bulbs that I need to make a huge patch of them....Maybe in a few years, I will get blooms? Hard to say... 

So in the planter so far, I have a rose, a baby pine tree, daffodils, grape hyacinths, hyacinths, peony, iris, aster, shasta daisy, mum, gladiola, amaryllis, and azalea. I will dig for my annual seeds that are somewhere and add some more later on.


Oh our list of Church inhabitants, I can now add a Luna Moth to it! We were getting ready to go take a shower and I seen a shadow on the blind, my your a big thing! I turned it around to see this! I kept hearing something tapping on the glass at night, and I had no idea what it was. I know bet it was this gal. We took him/her outside and place em on the blue spruce....When it got night, it was gone! I am hoping that its lifespan wasn't up. It only lives for about a week, doesn't feed and simply mates....lays eggs and then dies...They say they are pretty common but not often seen. It was a gorgeous find!

 
Oh the demo'ing side, we got the pit of doom cleared out finally! Still need to get in and level it....then dig into the crawl space. I also got the clapper installed back into the Blymyer Bell. I scared a few kids with it, when I opted to ring it...Oh how fun and annoying this will be! 


Right now, I've been ripping more siding off the church, and I don't really want to do it. I really want to save this place, but it needs a roof like now and we don't have the monies. We had hoped to have Lowe's install the roof but were informed today, that they don't do structure and simply shingles....Well that blows! and how do they know no structure will need to be touched? I imagine many things can't be known until you rip off the old roof but oh well...Our only other hope, is to get a mortgage/loan and we will see about that shortly I am sure. For now I wanted to rip off the vinyl, Styrofoam, clapboard and water table trim on an attempt to allow the sills/walls to dry out. The sills aren't as bad as the house, thank god! but they still need patching and there is still termites floating around...I really hope as the wood drys, they just go away...there are plenty of more houses, rotting around us that they can go eat on...Oh you can also see, there is some shaved trim on the church too...I doubt I will ever figure out what the trim looked like, that ran along the water table but maybe I can just replace it with a generic something or another but when I ever reach a point that I can start trim replacement and painting....is anyone's guess...I actually considering in the back of my head, well maybe I should just salvage the church and use the funds to rebuild the home...A thought...but one that can be considered if we can't find the funds to restore the roof before it collapses in on itself...



Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Off with the Siding.....




Well this is another "needs to be done" project but I wanted to wait for a few years....but....I couldn't...I am trying to register the home and put it on the Historic Registry. But before they can even be eligible both the parsonage and church needs to lose some of its siding to give them an understanding of the architecture.


It appears that this siding has been up since 1932! Most people look at this, as a sign of destruction and I even had a lady stop by who complained that I ripped the porch of....But you can't have rebirth with out destruction. I try to "explain" that this is the first time the actually front of the home has been seen in over 80 years! But that doesn't matter...


As you can see though, when the fiberboard siding was installed, the home lost all its detail and I am finding it extremely hard to find any photos of the home or church. One good thing is, that there is enough of a paint profile left to trace out what the moldings originally looked like! It appears there may have been a domed porch on here, which I find interesting! 


This is the best photo, I could get of the original color of the parsonage. Yesterday Bill Hart from the Preservation Society came by and I asked him what style to home may have been? He says it looks very "shotgun" to him and then it popped into my head! Ah New Orleans! He said it is very true to African American Style of homes of that era and this would explain the bright color, odd shaped porch and moldings. It really has no style, it is what they liked and preferred. Which is amazing to have something designed by African Americans and not copied from the generic at the time Architecture styles. When restored, I will have something very unique and one of a kind. I do hope some sort of photo appears of the property pre siding.



I just started last night, pulling some vinyl off the church and this is the worst corner. It is bad, as I thought and I hate to take more off but they need at least a window uncovered to show the detail. In this corner I can stick a screw driver threw the wall! One of the worse things about fake siding...well...two...Is that the bugs will find their way in and here we have hundreds of Lady Bugs that opted to hibernate under the styrofoam. The second thing, mainly with Vinyl Siding is that between the original siding and vinyl...you get a green house effect if any moister finds its way in.....The heat, just bakes the moister inside and not escaping...wood not drying out...It leads to mold, rot, and termites...If one opts for new siding, they need to do it right....and take all the old off and replace it.....not cover it up....

Well I am off to go dig in the pit for a few more hours, and before I can do more siding removal I need a ladder....and it seems this paycheck...a ladder will be bought....maybe in four weeks, I can buy the jacks to start lifting up the front of the parsonage and maybe get some new wood under it....Getting a roof on the church, electric in the house and plumbing...are on the top of the list...

Friday, March 18, 2016

There goes the porch.....


Now this leads me to my worst problem and I mean WORST....Remember I mentioned, about the crooked casings? And rotted beams...and well those are all small compared to this....When we took the porch down, we noticed a ton of termites...Which isn't good and so, even though I didn't want to start this until we were in out of the church and the roof over there repaired...We'll I started....


I got a new toy, a sledge hammer and so we went to work...Figuring worse case, we'll use the rear door if we move in.....At first I seen this...


I was all like...WOW there is a brick patio under here....Oh I wish I was that lucky...


These photos are what scared me! You see, that is dirt under the floor...This is the dividing wall and wall between the two front doors. Putting a rod down there, hit no foundation! That is scary! But why?? If you look at the first photo, you will see how oddly the concrete comes up under the sill...

  

Here after the concrete is removed and door sill, you can see how far the dirt is up! Scary!! And still no sign of a foundation!


 

Here you can see I found the foundation....but it ended, where I put the rubble pier support and I found a sandstone block...I assumed that meant the original sandstone foundation would follow. The next day I discovered the foundation didn't stop and that I had found the original crawl space entrance...WOW...This means I don't have to cut a new one...

So here is the jest of what happened, it appears, that this side of the house has been sagging for quite some time....and that someone opted to build up the porch wall and infill with TONS of rubble, apply dirt and push this all over the foundation wall BUT after they crawled under and supported the rotted joist and beams with rubbish.....They then opted to pour concrete over this and above the foundation...This "mixture" add with moister from rain and a leaking roof created the perfect environment for termites....plus....rot...They then took over, destroying the wall, beams, joist and what ever else tasted good....Now I have to "fix" all this mess!!

We still have a quarter of the concrete to remove, then we have to start a rubble pile, then we have to finish digging out the pit and then we have to regrade the front of the house. Then I can support the header(if solid)...Then I can rebuild the sill....hmm this sounds like I won't have time for other projects this summer...UGH....Oh I forgot, I still have to dig out the crawl space...

One odd thing, the universe likes to throw at me....Is when I scream out, I wish I could find something...even a marble besides all this rubble! She answers back...Yesterday, while digging....I found a green marble! Though it is cracked it is green! and we all know yesterday was St Patrick's Day....


Before and Afters!


Well I will start my upload of weekly updates now!! I first want to start with the before and afters of cleaning! We finally got all the trash out of the Home. And more cleaning unveils more horrors! Many many many more...


Here we have what we have called the living room, all cleaned out!


The bathroom, just got the carpet out too...

 

The Kitchen 


Spare Bedroom


Main Bedroom..


 I also got the stage area, back to what it was originally and more burnt orange 70's carpet out of the church, I found a 1972 penny under the carpet...It may be right on, with the remodel...

Now the horrors...I had big hopes, of moving into the parsonage/home in a few months. My plan was to get the electric re ran and added shut offs to all the bare pipes...Well I opted to do some looking in the crawl space, it appears the sewer is disconnected and there is server termite damage from improper porch installation. Here are some photos. There is also a large lead pipe under the home, that I have no idea if it is old sewer or still connected. Until I crawl under there I have no idea...


 That day, I also discovered another surprise! My partner, had left the lights on....As we were next door working and when I went to the basement of the church to wash my hands....I spied something odd, sitting on the foundation wall....I was like, I didn't leave anything there....and then I was like, is that a purse? How did I miss that...Closer I got...I went EEEEEKKKK Its a snake! I have no idea about snakes but couldn't leave him there, so I go thte trash can, and the broom, knocked him in the can....then into a bucket and we ran him to the nature preserve....Didn't want to let him ago, to close to home and find his way back....I "think" he was a rat snake but I can't be positive.


Oh and we stopped by the library to see if they had anything on the church, no go but they did have a book from their centennial and a snippet about the history of the St Luke Church....but it doesn't make since to me...As the history is all over the place...


Next post, we will look at why the window and door casings so slopped...