At some point in the summer, after redoing the den floor, the upstairs bath, the furnace, the insulation, I decided on a new strategy to keep us moving forward on the house: eliminating some small irritant every day. We haven’t been very faithful, but Robert especially has gotten a lot done. Robert put down up molding in the den, missing, we guess, since the carpet was put down decades ago, and needed since we took the carpet up. We used a flat strip of pine to match the paneling, rather than shoe molding, and were delighted to find copper finishing nails for it, to match the decorative large-headed nails in the paneling. He replaced the rusted and ripped screen in the door from the den to the patio.
We finally, using Clarksburg Freecycle, got the blue area rug we inherited with the house, and the moving boxes, carried away, although giving things away directly turned out to be almost as much trouble as hauling them off to Goodwill. Robert and Hilde, who had asked for work to do while she was here, moved the extremely sturdy, and heavy, workbench from the dungeon to the finished area of the basement, so Robert now has a place to work comfortably. At some point I tested a dozen more solvents on the remaining glue from the awful wallpaper border I removed in the living room, and found that fabric softener actually worked well enough to be able scrape it off – with a metal scraper. During that, I tried a bit of cleaner on the dining room wallpaper, and discovered it wasn’t stained, just filthy. We have replaced the rusted, broken, nearly non-existent drain covers in the garage, the driveway, and the basement. We gathered up the flat stone pavers and made a landing for the west side of the front steps. One afternoon we devoted to removing all the remaining nails and picture hangers (more than a dozen, in odd places, in the den paneling alone.)
There is still much to do, large projects as well as small, but more and more we are restoring the house and making it ours. We still haven’t gotten the T-shirts that say “What were they thinking?” so almost every time we get into a project and discover some oddity, we still have to say it.