Half a Deck

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Slowly, I am at last making progress on painting our deck. I stained it (blue) years ago, after we bought the house. Last summer, the ACORN staff offered to paint it, so I bought a bunch of paint and they stripped it with a pressure washer. But then ACORN moved on to another house leaving […]

One Thing I Learned This Weekend

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

Unless I have a clear plan and a grim determination, I won’t get any work done on the house.


Friday, July 25th, 2008

Rainwater collects in little puddles on several of the steps leading up to our front porch. Ideally these old worn treads should be replaced, but that’s a lot of work. As an interim measure, before I put down the second coat of paint, I was thinking to drill a few small holes to allow drainage. […]

Scope of Services

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

ACORN just finished up the job at our house around noon today. It’s been three weeks since they started — instead of four days, which in retrospect seems like a silly estimate. The work was done by a mix of volunteers and employees. We had Unitarians from Ohio, evangelical teenagers from all over, and a […]

Violent Disturbances on a Delicate Grid

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

We’ve got some lattice panels that enclose the space beneath our porch. (Our porch is about ten feet off the ground, so the space beneath it is substantial.) One of these lattice panels was mostly gone, disintegrated over the years, with just a little corner remnant remaining. I figured since we were having the exterior […]


Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Today is Midsummer. It’s just about the biggest holiday of the year in Sweden and Finland and I’m assuming the rest of the Nordic countries too. It should be a big holiday here too, but alas, it isn’t. Nevertheless I shared some pickled herring with Thomas and Ben from ACORN. Then a huge crew of […]


Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

Don’t tell Xy, but I’ve got a surprise in store for her when she returns from Indiana. I spent the day installing fourteen aluminum mini blinds throughout the lower level of the house. Dull avocado blinds in the green room, metallic silver blinds in the blue room, and metallic gold blinds in the orange room. […]

Scraped & Primed

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

I bought 20 gallons of primer and packed the wife and daughter off to Indiana, but somehow the prospect was still so unreal to me. I felt certain something was going to go wrong. Work was supposed to start on Tuesday, but I didn’t hear from them. My contact person didn’t return my call. But […]


Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

Maybe one reason New Orleans seems to have so many problems is chemical. Specifically I’m thinking about lead. There’s a lot of lead in this old city, and it gets in your system and slows down your development. It’s been linked to poor performance in school and higher rates of crime. Naturally with an infant […]

Shelf Mania

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

Over the last few weeks, building on the brackets my father helped me install, I’ve put up approximately 64 linear feet of shelving in the lower floor of our house. It’s nice to have shelves to put things on. This way, stuff can sit on the shelf instead of on the floor where you trip […]

It’s Like

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

We’ve been slowly re-occupying our full house. We’ve been living all cramped up in half of it for two and a half years. The other half, the lower floor, was under renovation for waaay longer than I’d expected. But the flood that caused our renovation also disrupted the lives of everyone we knew, including my […]

Story #29

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

So you thought Story #28 was the final chapter in our renovation saga? Not quite. Check today’s Times-Picayune for installment #29, the final final chapter. Check the online version for cute pix by Kathy Anderson.

Further Adventures

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Today her umbilical stump fell off. To celebrate, we made a pilgrimage to Bayou St. John. She’s definitely growing. Her loose folds of skin are filling in with baby fat. Xy has been breastfeeding, and the results can be seen daily. Funny, by sheer coincidence we watched The Life of Mammals just before the birth. […]


Thursday, February 14th, 2008

I finally got the set of old Bakelite push-button switchplates I ordered from eBay.

Story #28

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

Wow. Check out the cover of the today’s Inside Out, the Times-Picayune’s weekly home and garden supplement. There’s a picture of Kilowatt Rising rocking our house party, and sure enough there’s Michael Homan (with unbroken clavicle) continuing his sinister project of confusing himself with me. Open it up and we’re in the center spread with […]


Sunday, January 27th, 2008

This story in the paper made me feel ever-so-slightly vindicated about our decision to renovate. A new study of home prices around the New Orleans area shows that buyers rewarded sellers who gambled and rebuilt in devastated areas like Lakeview, eastern New Orleans and Chalmette. Renovated homes in those areas recovered much of their pre-storm […]


Monday, January 21st, 2008

I rented a buffing machine to clean our tile floor. It cleaned up OK, I guess, except for a powdery white residue everywhere. I thought this might be efflorescence, but upon further investigation I decided it’s probably just dirt, specifically drywall dust. As I was carrying the buffing machine back out to the car, I […]

Our Poor Floor

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

One feature that attracted us to buy our house was the beautiful terra cotta tile on the floor downstairs. People often ask if we installed it ourselves, but the previous owners get the credit for that. Alas, the old floor ain’t what it used to be. It sat under brackish water for a couple of […]

Painting the Year Out

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

What have I been doing over the holiday break? Painting. Every day. Yes, even on Christmas. I’ve finished painting the walls of our living room. I painted the balusters (banisters if you prefer) which took three days, because I did three coats of two different colors. I’ve been painting the wall above the mantel gold, […]

Story #27

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

I almost forgot — the 27th story on our renovation appeared in today’s paper, with a cool picture of yours truly working on the staircase. It’s nice to have a picture of me actually working for a change instead of just standing in front of someone else’s work with a cheesy grin.