Why I haven't been making much art...

This past Friday, Vicki and I became homeowners!

We bought half of a twin on Allengrove Street, built circa 1920, in the Northwood section of Philadelphia (just northeast of Friends Hospital, off of Roosevelt Blvd.). We bought it from some good friends of ours from our church, Oxford Circle Mennonite Church, one of whom, interestingly enough, is a fairly close relation of mine, whom I'd not known before we began attending church there...don't ask; it's an Ethnonite* thing.)

It's a great house, and really, thoroughly ready to move into; but for slightly picayune and particular people such as ourselves, we decided to embark immediately on a renovation project (the day of closing!)

Following is a mini-pictorial of the process, which is still in progress. The floor was covered with three decades of linoleum and vinyl (1930/40's, 1970's, and 1990's, according to our guesses). We tore all this up, mostly on Friday, and were left with an old paper underlayment layer. This we spritzed with a pump sprayer, and proceeded to scrape up...this made a surface covered with water-soluble glue, akin to a thin layer of mud on the floor.

I spent most of Saturday on my knees, picking minute staples out of the floor. Sunday came, and the floor had dried; so I began sanding the floor to a paintable surface with a rented orbital floor sander from Home Depot. It came up pretty well; we now have a paintable surface (Vicki will finally have her black & white checkerboard floor!).

The washroom (immediately off of the kitchen) has proved to be more of a problem...termite and carpenter ant damage was found, after I cut out the floor, to the back joist, in order to replace water-damaged floor boards. So, luckily we'd gotten treatment for both ants and termites, so they came and reapplied ant treatment in that area. Washer and dryer (brand-new) are being delivered next week regardless of the floor getting ready or not!

Contrary to the sense you may get from viewing the following, this was NOT my own personal little project; Vicki and her family helped out a BUNCH. Here are the pictures:

(four layers of ugliness...1930/40's "paint splatter" pattern being the best)

(prying up top vinyl layers, to remove shoe molding)

(aww, yeah! tearing it up...)

(scraping up old paper layer)

(floor after sanding, up to 80 grit)

(wash room floor, showing insect damage...and my stylish army greens.)

*Wow, you are a curious person...this is my coined word, being a combination of "ethnic" and "Mennonite". This term is necessary for a community like mine, where most of the members have little knowledge of eastern PA Mennonite culture and oddities - often to their benefit - but are Mennonites, nonetheless.

alicia –   – (Tuesday, 22 August, 2006)  

Ethnonite...I like it.

That splatter-pattern linoleum looks frighteningly familiar. Sometimes I wish I had it back, instead of the blue-and-white linoleum, which features a big trip-over-it seam right in the middle of the floor.

Jim Erikson  – (Wednesday, 23 August, 2006)  

Wow Tim, I had no idea you were moving to Northwood. I was going to suggest it as a great place but thought you were thinking of further south, like Fishtown or Kensington. Northwood is a largely unknown area to people not already in the Northeast. We're on Harrison and Large Sts. possibly just a block or so away. Well I guess we'll be seeing each other now.
There's another Messiah grad maybe you already know him, Chris, who lives with his family up the road. I don't know his last name but our connection is to Frankford Friends School. Wow, welcome.

GIERSCHICK  – (Thursday, 24 August, 2006)  

Hi Jim! Hey, what a neat thing that you live literally around the corner...stop by and visit sometime; 1213 Allengrove Street. In fact, if you feel like helping to lift some furniture stop by Friday afternoon the 25th, or Saturday morning the 26th! Hope to see you around.

Jim Erikson  – (Friday, 25 August, 2006)  

I will stop by with the family, but I'll be away this weekend. Good luck moving in.

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