The past week and half I've spent trying to catch up on everything that's slipped behind and through the cracks while I was sick and crazy busy prepping for Texas. I am happy to say that I can once again take more than the shallowest of breaths without a coughing 'til I see black or my lungs lungs feeling like they're on fire. The best part of being sick is that day when you realize you're feeling better, and can actually breathe and just how AMAZING that feels. Nothing like being really sick to make you appreciate basic health!
|pony wall, monster lag bolts and corner braces|
While I was recuperating, much madness was going on at our house. In my last post, I'd mentioned that we were prepping to have our house earthquake retrofit. They showed up last Monday around mid-afternoon and were here through Friday. It was good that they didn't show up first thing Monday, as I was still frantically moving things around.
did a fantastic job! I'd definitely recommend them. What is earthquake retrofitting, you might ask? The main gist of it is tieing your house properly to the foundation. In most house construction, there's this short wall, called a pony wall (why - I don't know, maybe because it's short and everything rides on it?) between your foundation and the first story of the house. You can see it behind Matt, the lead workman, in the photo above. That wall typically just rests on the foundation in older construction and is tied to the first story with a few nails.
|Retrofitting and painting in one of our basement storage areas|
What's holding it all together, you might ask? Gravity! Yep - that was pretty much it. Like a house of cards! Scary, huh? It was for me, living in Earthquake Land. The stuff of nightmares, literally. So this year we splurged and had it fixed.
First they tore all the facing boards off the pony wall so they could get to the framing. Then they installed these monster lag bolts through the wood sill down into the concete foundation every 18 inches. To top it off, before they installed each of these bolts they poured epoxy into the holes they'd drilled, so those puppies aren't going anywhere! In a couple of corners they added triangle braces as well, to help protect against sheering action.
And everywhere they added those bolts, they added new 2x4s along the bottom. Why, I asked? That was so they had something to anchor the plywood, which they nailed every eight inches or so. The plywood helps protect against sheering actions, helping to stiffen the pony wall. Oh, and they added monster brackets to the top of the pony wall, so it was firmly anchored to the first floor.
Matt, and the second workman Mike, were great. Really nice people, hard, hard workers. They were willing to answer all my questions, and even posed for a picture. Matt offered me a lag bolt as a souvenir, but having spent the past week clearing out a basement of souvenirs, I politely declined. Oh, and did I mention they did an incredible job of cleaning up after the end of work each day? I don't think my basement has ever been so shiny!
|Our newly reupholstered couch - Joe & Wormwood test it out.|
So, Friday they finished and I wandered down into my basement and saw all these easily accessible concrete walls. We've had some minor problems with seepage through the concrete during heavy rains, so a year or so ago I'd bought that special concrete paint that waterproofs the area. Wouldn't this be a great time, thought me, to seal a few more areas before I put everything back where it belonged? So I started painting. Oh, wait no - first I had to scrub the walls with a stiff brush and TSP to remove any loose particles and mold or mildew stains. Half way through this project I came to the conclusion that I likely was certifiable. But I persevered, as you can see in the above photo collage with its nifty before and after. Did you know you can have the special concrete paint tinted, just like any other paint?
While all of this was happening, our couch and side chair were also out being reupholstered. We'd received the couch as a wedding present from my mother-in-law nineteen plus years ago and we love it. It's soo comfy! And fits our house perfect. After all that time of loving abuse, the fabric had finally given up the ghost. Last Christmas, my wonderful mother-in-law had offered to pay to have it reupholstered as combined Christmas/birthday presents, but I had to make the arrangements. I'd let it slide, until mid-October when the fabric suddenly started splitting instead of just fraying and I remembered that we'd offered to host Thanksgiving.
So now it's done too!
This is all great, but what about beading, you ask? I've been working on that too. This month, I'll be participating in Jeannie Dukic's Echo Creative Club
- with a reveal date of November 25th.
And later today or tomorrow I'll be adding a number of items to my Etsy store - mostly holiday kits with a couple of extras. Nothing like just in time, huh?
Oh, and this weekend I'll be doing something fun, but I'll tell you more about that next week.
Time for me to get back to my to do list - you don't even want to see my living room right now! Stuff HAS to start going back down into the basement. :)
Glad you're feeling better, Karen - and the "new" couch is beautiful!! I hadn't realized that houses should be seismically retrofitted and appreciate your informative story on this. I've worked with commercial buildings and their retrofitting, but doing the houses just never even occurred to me!! Nice job with the painting too -- it looks great.ReplyDelete
Earthquake retrofitting is as important for personal homes as it is for commercial buildings. More in some ways, I think. Especially for older construction like ours. Glad you didn't mind the write up! :)Delete
SO glad you're feeling better! So much so that you're painting walls and hosting the holiday!! Don't you love that moment when the meal is finished and everyone is lingering around the table? We'll have to remember to pause and be thankful for our health!!ReplyDelete
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays - I love that its focus is entirely on family and being thankful for the little things. Like that time when everyone sites back from the table, happy and content.Delete
Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Karen, I'm so happy you can breathe again!ReplyDelete
Looking forward to hearing about this weekend's fun. Also, are you still doing NaNo? I'm skipping this year but cheering on everyone else. :)
Shhhh.... don't spoil it! :)Delete
Look at you, busy bee! Glad you're feeling better, but I had to chuckle that the first thing you did after starting to recuperate from the ickies was clean concrete walls and paint. Nothing can keep you down for long, eh?ReplyDelete