Thursday, July 14, 2016

#700 The Kitchen Sink - Again

If Kelly has replaced one sink, he's replaced a thousand.

Well, maybe not quite a thousand.  But he does know his way around a sink installation.  And this time, I had the nerve to ask him to install the exact same sink and faucet he installed for me in Virginia.  

Probably because of my birthday month, he moved the sink project to the top of the renovation list.  (We aren't even working on the kitchen!)

We currently have a white cast-iron sink with brass faucet and separate handles for hot and cold.  The white sprayer that is nearly impossible to pull out may have been the proverbial straw. 

We replaced it with an appliance-matching black composite sink with a black faucet and a single handle for both hot and cold.  The sprayer pulls out of the faucet as easy as you please and I love it.

Yours in sink heaven,
Mary

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

#699 Sharing the Bachman-Wilson House

The Bachman-Wilson house opened to the public on 11/11/2015 and Kelly has been giving tours ever since.


 As a volunteer house guide, he donates much time and energy to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR, about 1.5 hours south of our home.  The benefits are many:
  • EDUCATION.  Kelly has been studying Frank Lloyd Wright and his designs for decades. To learn all about the Wright house that was moved from New Jersey to Bentonville, Kelly was required to pass an intensive 5-month training program, complete with lectures, readings, writing assignments.  He loved it.  
  • INSPIRATION.  We are often inside this Usonian home and enjoy the designs that make it so special.  We especially like built-in light fixtures and built-in furniture, open floor plans, and common motifs that tie rooms together such as consistent lighting or continuous flooring.  We are inspired in the renovation of our own home.
  • SHARING WITH FRIENDS. The biggest benefit of all is that the Bachman-Wilson house is a draw to  friends.  Of the 49,000 people who have visited the house since opening day, .05% are our friends who have come from afar to go on one of Kelly's tours.  And if we are really lucky, they come back home with us for a longer visit. 
We don't have a photo of everyone who made the trip, but the flags on the map below represent the home towns of those who joined us in Bentonville.  (Unfortunately, Brooklyn, NY had to be omitted from the map for purposes of scale.)   


 









Yours in sharing the Bachman-Wilson house with friends,
Mary

Monday, July 11, 2016

#698 National Register Nomination

For decades, we have admired our Ozarks Bungalow and are now taking that admiration to the next level.  We have nominated our 102-year-old home for the National Register of Historic Places. 


After months of fun research reminiscent of thesis-writing days, we drafted our 30-page national register nomination based on Criterion C: Architecture. 
We included as much of the home's historic background as we could uncover.   And we described the many architectural details exemplifying the Craftsman Bungalow including exposed rafters in open eaves,  low-pitched gable roofs with wide overhangs, and prominent front porch with tapered stone columns.

The Missouri State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) feels the nomination makes a good case for our home's architectural significance and has scheduled our nomination to be presented to the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (MOACHP) at their August 19 meeting in Jefferson City. Kelly will be making the presentation about why our unique 1914 home is worthy.  The MOACHP will then vote yea or nay on sending our application on to the Department of Interior for the final decision.

If approved, ours would be the first building in Aurora and the first private residence in our county to be listed.  Three commercial buildings in Lawrence County are already listed. The national register is an honorary designation and we hope we will be approved to move forward at the August 19 meeting.  But if we aren't, we like the idea of creating documentation for this home that means so much to us and we like the idea of raising historic preservation awareness.

Yours in historic preservation,
Mary

Friday, July 08, 2016

#697 A Century of Dirt?

Dirt and grime have been collecting on the outside of our home for quite a long time.

We don't know exactly how long but we know for sure WE haven't cleaned it.

We experiment with a borrowed power washer on the driveway and we're quick to spot a difference! 
Kelly finishes off a section of the driveway and moves on to continue his experiments.
He creates his very first power washer graffiti. 
We're eager to test the washer on the concrete top of our brick wall and guess what - we can spot a difference here too.
We discover the concrete top is not the typical gray concrete but is instead a fancy tan concrete.  The color is not that different from the yellow color we've painted our house trim.  We love the fancy tan concrete!
 And what about that green lichen at the top of the bricks just under the concrete top?
Yup, the green vanishes too!
Finally, here are the before/after photos of the east wall:
 
Yours in cleaning up outside,
Mary

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

#696 Moving Rocks

Sometimes a friend stops by just when you want to move a pile of rocks.

That's what happened to us.  This haphazard pile of rocks has been sitting for years in front of the small studio building.  Since the rocks border the driveway, I am a little nervous about getting too close to the rocks when backing out. Plus, it just looks sloppy.


So with a spare afternoon during Randall's visit, we decide to turn the rock pile into a rock patio.

Randall is an expert rock selector and leveler, so the project is quickly underway and all of our rock tools are brought to bear. 
 The project takes a few hours and is finished at nightfall.
 The completed project is appreciated again the next day
and the day after that.

Yours in taking advantage of friends,
Mary