Saturday, November 18, 2006

Another lumber/ millwork find!

Not that I need to do any shopping, mind you...
with the holidays approaching and some MAJOR car repairs just taking place, I should stay HOME! There's plenty to do there, already anyway.
But, in the spirit of sharing the best places for salvage goodies in the Twin Cities- here's another gem: Family owner- a real old-fashioned lumber yard with TONS and TONS of wood pieces of all kinds.

Siwek's Lumber and Millwork
Located in Northeast Minneapolis at 2536 Marshall St. NE
Minneapolis, MN 612-781-3333

Take a look!!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Cleaning House

Anyone else have trouble keeping track of what used to be the "usual" household chores?
You know- cleaning.
No, not the kind of cleaning that involves the shop-vac and another pile to haul to the dump... I mean we cleaning.
Like, scrubbing bathtubs and toilets and kitchen sinks.

Somehow, those chores seem like small potatoes when you are sheetrocking your dining room ceiling (or something like that).
This weekend, we cleaned. Yes, cleaned.
I'm embarrassed to say that I'm not even sure how long it had been since the toilets had a good scrubbing. We swept the floors and under the beds and into corners and swept up the equivalent of a 3rd dog... it was WAY out of "dust-bunny" league. (It could have eaten our German Shepherd/Lab mix if it would have come to life.)
We cleared off countertops and tables and dusted.
Yes, with a rag and an old-fashioned can of pledge. Even the bottoms and legs of furniture (not just the "uh-oh-we're-having-company" quick swipe!)
This kind of cleaning used to be the weekend ritual. Now, it seems like it all fades into the background, and we reason, "If we can only get (insert project A, B, or C here) done, THEN we can really clean!"
And the projects keep coming.
At some point, I suppose we will learn a better balance. Until then, don't be surprised if a monster-sized dust furball creeps out from under the couch the next time you're over.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

At war with Jack Frost

Yes, it's that time of year again. The 3M window kits are out and ready. Thousands of homeowners are hopeful that one tiny film of plastic will keep out the frigid drafts of Jack Frost. They are wrestling with hairdryers and double-sided tape as we speak.
I am one of them.
Keep in mind, we live in sunny Minnesota, where, although the temperature was freakishly high today (nearly a balmy 70!), it may be -20 tomorrow and stay there until next July.
And, extreme weather calls for extreme measures. At least in the window department.
Before we bought the house, I lived in a 1 bdrm condo with 5 windows. The first year I lived there, I did nothing to the windows. And I froze. Ice-cold floors, drafts that literally moved my mini-blinds inches away from the windows... one winter of that was enough to hook me on window plastic.
At the condo, I could plastic over those five windows in an afternoon with time to spare, easily. And it helped. In fact, I dare say I noticed a radical difference.
So, as a window-plastic convert, there is naturally a big job to be done here at the house. We are at war with Jack Frost. With these 22 bad boys we have here, the 3M plastic party is a ritual that has extended over several lovely, exciting, plastic-film filled weekends.
And we're not just plastic-ing, mind you. Oh no. We've got thick clear vinyl sheets for the laundry room and basement windows... not to mention the upstairs veranda door. (Doesn't all this just make you want to come over and party with us?!)

And don't forget- those four brand new windows that need no plastic-ing what-so-ever! They have newly insulated weight pockets and low E glass.
(as you can see!)

So, if you want to know what I am doing for the next few more weekend or so, it will almost certainly involve those red plaid window kits, and perhaps a hairdryer (although I've mostly given up on that part of it...I've done enough already that if the film isn't tight enough when I'm finished with it, it's not gettin' much better.). But at this point, I would say we have evened the score, Mr. Jack Frost. Bring it on... we'll be ready.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Another "must visit" in Mpls./St. Paul

Wow- two weeks since the last post. Sorry, guys. You know, life and stuff has been happening...
I have one quick item to add to the "must visit" in Mpls/St. Paul list:

Frank Plumbing Sales Co

721 SE 2nd St Minneapolis MN 55414-2202 (612) 338-7609

Apparently, Frank's used to be on Washington Ave. near the warehouse district before they decided to renovate the area into $million$ condos and lofts... it is still alive and well in the new location, although not a lot of press went out about where they moved to. It's a virtual museum for antique plumbing, but also a good resource for replicas too. And they have an assortment of other salvage for rooms besides the bath.
Worth a look!

We finally got a surround for our clawfoot tub there. $40. Not the hundreds we've been seeing. They had the cadillac versions too- the $900 shower riser, faucet, and surround set... but we settled for the budget item this time.
Maybe we'll get more fancy when we actually re-do the bathroom!
I'll get a pic up when we get it hung!