Our New Old House

1918 Bungalow


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Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls

Just stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to.

Funny how this song was going through my head all night…

Here’s some video from last night’s first serious spring storm. Keep in mind, our house is on one of the high points of our neighborhood.

VE.1334454828588.mp4 from Kelli Griffis on Vimeo.

A Spa for Window Sashes?

In my last post (Are your sashes slotted?) I mentioned that I had Shull’s strip the paint off my window sashes in their dunk tank. They did a great job but as with any paint removal project, I had some sanding to do. Here’s how they looked when I got them back:


I sanded them….


And they looked brand new!



It was time to start staining them. With the collection of substances I had to wipe on and wipe off I felt like I was running some kind of window sash spa. Cleaners, moisturizers, colors… maybe I was just wishing I could be at a spa myself. Anyway, I first wiped the sashes down with mineral spirits, then used Pre-Stain wood conditioner. The Pre-Stain is optional, but recommended for softer woods. My windows are some kind of fir or pine, so definitely a soft wood. Then I used the Red Oak color of Minwax wood stain to match my existing woodwork.


Here they are with the Pre-Stain:


Here’s what it looked like mid-staining:



I laid them out on plastic while I waited the 15 minutes for the stain to soak in.


Here are the first sashes stained:


Here are some stained and some not yet stained:


And all six sashes stained:


Next up: Replacing the glass! Check back soon and we’ll get to glazing!

Surprise! Lilacs!

The trees in my back yard are surrounded by a lot of really random brush. One of them sort of looked like it might be a lilac bush that had grown beyond being productive. Sure enough, this spring my suspicion was confirmed and way up high there are a few lilac blossoms. I’m going to trim this bush all the way down this fall and hopefully train it back into being a nice looking lilac for next year.



[tags]yardwork, photos, lilac, bushes[/tags]

Mrs. Griffis goes to Washington

Well, really Washington came to us. Being in Des Moines, these past two months leading up to the caucus have been exciting. I was stranded in Detroit on New Years Day and got to spend some time talking to journalists from all over the world who were on their way to cover the caucus. Since I was an Iowa caucus goer, I seemed to be rather interesting to them.

The caucus itself was mind-blowing. Nobody expected the huge number of people who showed up, but everybody was super calm and polite. Here I am in line to check in:


And here’s one side of the room voting on something:


It was fun negotiating and cajoling people to come join our group. Counting the number of votes for each candidate was tense, but I was super happy with the results. It was also a great opportunity to meet some people from my neighborhood. A few people in my precinct had been at the first Des Moines Rehabbers Club meeting that we hosted at our house back in November, so it was nice to catch up with them. They all asked how my house was coming along. I was thrilled to meet the lady who lives in a house across the street from mine. My grandparents lived in that house for 15 years or so before they bought a bigger house across the street and that’s where my mom and all her brothers and sisters grew up. The lady who lives there now is excited to show it to me and wants to know about my house too, so it’ll be nice to have another friendly neighbor on this street.

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