Beebe -- our 1935 Bungalow on Baker Street.

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Manalto
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Re: Beebe -- our 1935 Bungalow on Baker Street.

Postby Manalto » Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:06 pm

Nicholas, I join Bonnie in hoping your house will be unharmed.


James




It is difficult to find happiness within oneself, but it is impossible to find it anywhere else.
- Arthur Shopenhauer

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Lily left the valley
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Re: Beebe -- our 1935 Bungalow on Baker Street.

Postby Lily left the valley » Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:15 pm

Nicholas wrote:Well I am facing the idea that I may actually lose this house. I will probably lose the barn and back porch at least, if what they are predicting holds true. All it will take is a major breach of some sort, and I could be facing a condemning instead of a rebuilding.

People say not to worry, that it has been through many storms, including Charlie, but this one is a bit nastier and it looks like the eye will pass close to if not over this area. I have the precut and predrilled plywood ready to go up.

Expecting the worse, hoping for anything better.
We saw the new path projection today, and my heart sank a bit, thinking of you. I hope your Bumblebee weathers whatever is ahead well, and you, yourself, will be safe.
--Proud member of the Industrious Cheapskate Club
--Currently pondering ways to encourage thoughtful restovation and discourage mindless renovation.

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Lily left the valley
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Re: Beebe -- our 1935 Bungalow on Baker Street.

Postby Lily left the valley » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:18 pm

My near annual summer cold was born late and nursed along with our cool snap, and I'm finally getting over the worst of it. If I don't baby myself when I have them, they easily turn to bronchitis or worse.

So since I've mostly been slumming of late, only doing what had to be done, very little is worthy of report, sadly. This has been driving me crazy, and one of the reasons why I'm still sick, as one day I just started doing some yard work to ease my mind, and the very next day was back to a body of aches and chills. :doh:

I did catch up on some library reading on gardening of various sorts. I've been looking into water feature building, cottage gardens, various methods of kitchen gardens (one book of which I need to go back for, as I was at my lending limit with this latest batch), one just for MA gardeners, and one about habitat gardens.

My fever is finally gone, so I'm hoping I can ease back into where I left off on the yardwork by the end of the week. We've almost (so close!) managed to clear out the parlor of any boxes that needed to be sorted and removed. I'm thinking it best to keep with the boxes at first, as it's less physical so I don't overdo it like last time. :whistle:
--Proud member of the Industrious Cheapskate Club
--Currently pondering ways to encourage thoughtful restovation and discourage mindless renovation.

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Lily left the valley
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Re: Beebe -- our 1935 Bungalow on Baker Street.

Postby Lily left the valley » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:07 pm

So I got Sean sick, and this week has been not a lot of anything happening. Small bits.

I am getting a bit anxious about how long we've been here, and how little I feel I've accomplished. I know it's barely been six months, but I did think we'd be further along. Yet thanks to many folks here, I know we're doing just fine. I still want to get a move on with some yard stuff before the fall rolls into winter, but we'll see how that goes when the time comes. There's also some of the "couldn't have noticed this at viewings" sorts of things that all take as much time as they take to fix.

One thing that has been irritating me is that we're not unpacked. I'm not surprised, though, given all the moves we've been through in now 16 years of marriage. We also have some cases where we keep putting off unpacking X because we hope to clean/change/fix whatever related. (Kitchen especially.)

I knew things had been jumbled over the many moves over the years, but holy moly, what a mess. I didn't realize how bad some of it really is until I actually started sorting through the mixed boxes. Time consuming, and all I keep thinking is "How did we let it get this bad?" Still, I know. I know how many smaller places we rented, where a lot of our stuff went into storage. Cardboard boxes only last so long, and Sean is notorious for not marking boxes on the easiest of moves, and when you stuff things from one falling apart box into a few others that had some space, who thinks to grab a sharpie and take note?

We both have a lot of hobbies. Some of them shared, some not. That's part of why there is just so much stuff. We have been talking about some of the hobbies we don't do so much anymore, and how to get rid of the related stuff.

We have culled some overall stuff out that we have set aside in the parlor on a table and nearby for selling. Stuff we bought again because we couldn't find the box the other one was in, or something we used to use at a certain place, but know we won't anymore. We did agree to a deadline of so many months where if the stuff doesn't sell, then we'll donate it or just freecycle it.

Still, it's one of those embarrassing but true situations. We're dealing with it, and I will be so glad when we finish.
--Proud member of the Industrious Cheapskate Club
--Currently pondering ways to encourage thoughtful restovation and discourage mindless renovation.

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Lily left the valley
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Re: Beebe -- our 1935 Bungalow on Baker Street.

Postby Lily left the valley » Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:10 pm

Good grief, time has been passing by and I feel like a lazy oaf this month.

We may have found a buyer for the chifforobe. We will miss it, but we realized we don't need it, and that was the deciding factor.

I got a phone call last weekend from my friend at PYCA, and she had finally heard back from the fellow who might be interested. He came over with his daughter and we met at a good price. I should be hearing back from him either this weekend, or the week after when he makes arrangements for the pick up. Unfortunately, he did not want the vanity. I hated to break up the set, but I didn't want to wait to try to sell them together either. We're getting a bit nervous since the temperature shift towards fall, and insulating the attic is a high priority. I am nervous in that the sale isn't complete, but it's nice to know it could be.

The good news about him coming over that day, is it got my butt in gear to get the parlor a bit more "company ready", which turned out to be an even better thing when we found out a few days later that Sean's folks will be coming up for a visit the last weekend of the month.

I'm trying really hard not to panic. Fortunately, they are not the types to judge how far or not we are with the house, so that's helping loads.

They won't be staying here, as she wants to use some of her credits for a hotel chain, so that was also one bit of relief because we hadn't bought a bed for the guest room yet.

I was planning to make dinner the first day they visit, but we just found out that the local Fall Festival is the same day, so we'll likely go downtown for that instead.

We've been trying to spend what time we've had not sick tending to the yard as much as we can. I'll post about that more later in my Park Ave. thread.

Progress is happening, and for that, I am grateful.

Oh, and we did finally find some other spare disks for the good camera. :dance:
--Proud member of the Industrious Cheapskate Club
--Currently pondering ways to encourage thoughtful restovation and discourage mindless renovation.

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awomanwithahammer
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Re: Beebe -- our 1935 Bungalow on Baker Street.

Postby awomanwithahammer » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:14 pm

Nothing like a little company to motivate you to clean house! If I need a good cleanup, I just schedule a party. :chores-vacuum:
Bonnie

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Lily left the valley
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Re: Beebe -- our 1935 Bungalow on Baker Street.

Postby Lily left the valley » Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:31 am

So I am a bit tuckered out right now, having spent almost two full days with the inlaws. What a WONDERFUL visit.

The nicest compliment for any particular bit of Beebe? Unprompted, my FiL saying how much he liked our dining room chairs. Even though I love their look and find them comfy myself, knowing they are comfortable and worth such a mention to others is a HUGE PLUS in my mind. So any worries I had about them have flown out the window, and will never return. He is a tinker like me, so when he notices something like that enough to say something, that's a big deal.

I will write more later, as there is some really neat history I learned about that side of my family this weekend. We also received a very welcome and unexpected present! More about it all when I can.

A lovely visit, which also reminded me why I am so very glad I lucked out in the in-law department.
--Proud member of the Industrious Cheapskate Club
--Currently pondering ways to encourage thoughtful restovation and discourage mindless renovation.

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Lily left the valley
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Re: Beebe -- our 1935 Bungalow on Baker Street.

Postby Lily left the valley » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:27 pm

Time is flying by, but we have not been idle.

First, I want to make good on what I said I would do last post. Our visit with my in-laws.

Sean's Mom was born in nearby Fitchburg, though her family soon moved back to Florida after she was born. She knew the address of the maternity hospital where she was born, their house, and the church where she was baptized. So we mapped them all and visited them, some with more success than others.

Their family had moved up there for work. At one point while living there, his grandfather had been offered an opportunity to move to Argentina to run a related mill there, but his Nana said "No." So he kept on at the mill there for a while longer. They had originally lived closer to Boston, I can't remember the exact town, but the owner of the mill in Fitchburg was the same as the one nearer to Boston. I can't recall the name of the mill to save my life, but I believe there is still a company there of the same name, but I'm not sure if it's the still with the same family or not.

The first place we stopped was actually where the maternity hospital she was born at used to be. The Lucy Helen Hospital. (Here's an article in a pdf about it, it's on page 6.)
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Here's a blurb from the article:
If you were born in Fitchburg between 1922-1954, more than likely, you came into the world at the Lucy Helen Hospital. The three-story brick mansion at 879 Main Street was originally built about 1870 by a wool manufacturer named Abial Towne. His daughter, Sarah Towne married Charles Billings, treasurer of Fitchburg Savings Bank, and they made their home there for many years. The Billings would eventually sell it to John Sherriff, owner of Sherriff Woolen Mills. In 1921, Sherriff sold it to Mrs. Fay Crocker for a sum of $12,550.00.

A year later, in 1922, Mrs. Crocker opened the home as a private maternity hospital. She named it after her mother, Lucy Bigelow and her husband Charles T. Crocker’s mother, Helen. The Lucy Helen Hospital operated privately and successfully for five years until Mrs. Crocker generously donated its buildings and grounds to Burbank Hospital under the conditions that it would only be used as a hospital and it would serve the women of Fitchburg.

It later closed as technology changed, and was even later razed in 1968. In its place now is a federal building which houses the same Post Office Sean works at most Sundays doing Amazon deliveries. All this time, he'd been working there, he had no idea of the family history that spot held.

His mom had trouble finding the street she grew up on via her phone map, so while we were in the back area of the Post Office (the front was closed, it being Sunday), we asked them to help. Fitchburg and Leominster are called the "Twins" around here, as when the two cities grew in size, they sort of merged at certain points, and it's confusing about which streets are in which town. Certain postal routes are equally confusing because of this because both cities carry mail for the other when it makes more sense for routes. I do want to note that the only reason we were allowed in the back area is because the parcels were already out in the trucks. If they were still sorting and loading, only Sean would have been allowed in there.

Her street wasn't on their list, which we all thought meant it was actually now considered in the Leominster delivery area. One of the fellows there checked on google maps, and found it (listed as within Fitchburg via google), giving us rough directions. (We didn't know this right then, but the reason she couldn't find it, but he could is the street isn't really there anymore. You'll see what I mean after the next paragraph.) So after taking some pictures of the park across the street and ourselves, off we went to the next stop.
Image Image Image Image

I do want to note that as we wended our way towards this supposed street, which now seemed to have vanished, we passed by some sort of support event for Puerto Rico at a nearby business. You could see pallets of water and food supplies, and there was lively music playing. Several of the homes we passed on our search had Puerto Rico flags hanging from their porches. It was nice to see, but seemed a private event, so we didn't stop.

The house she was born in, which was barracks that had been converted to housing, was gone. The lot had some remnants of torn down buildings, but was all fenced off and we could only see most of it by going across the street where the commercial property was higher and getting a view that way. She took some pictures, but it's, well, a lot that's overgrown with building debris. At one point, the VA center was there, but later was moved. To the Federal Building I mentioned above that also houses the Main Street Post Office. Here's pictures we took, plus some images from street view. You'll note there were still some buildings standing as late as 2007. The satellite image (I think from 2012) shows that Kilroy Street didn't go all the way through then either. Not sure why.
Image Image Image


The church where she was baptized was still there--St. Anthony of Padua. I don't know why we didn't take a picture of the entire church, but we didn't.
Image Image

So that was our trip down history lane, since Mom actually moved from that area when she was an infant, so she doen't remember any of it, though some of her siblings do.

The other thing I wanted to mention is the completely unexpected gift from them. A Home Depot card that covered what we were short for insulating at least the attic floor in case we don't get the discount. (We worried the product is too new, and so they won't allow it, and I've not been able to get an answer from their site.) If we do get the discount, we'll just use it to buy more insulation for the attic overall. I've been looking into how best to insulate that sort of space where the roof slopes down into the 1/2 floor. So it will be well spent. Even one layer of Rocksul will save us about a $1000 in oil per winter from what the free estimate guy told me from our local oil provider.

We have our MASS Save assessment tomorrow, so I'll see what they have to say. I did warn them about our narrow hatch to the attic. Not sure if they will do more than poke a head in or not. :lol:

Speaking of....I still have some uncluttering to do where we threw stuff last minute so we'd have some sitting space in the parlor. The inspectors need to be able to get around more than they can right now.

I'll report back either tomorrow or soon after with what we find out from them.
--Proud member of the Industrious Cheapskate Club
--Currently pondering ways to encourage thoughtful restovation and discourage mindless renovation.

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Lily left the valley
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Re: Beebe -- our 1935 Bungalow on Baker Street.

Postby Lily left the valley » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:23 pm

And now our energy assessment has ended.

Unfortunately, I knew a bit more on some things that he did. Fortunately, he knew a bit more on some things than I did. So it sort of balanced out. He did tip me off to an antique place not far from here that has both reproductions as well as actual antiques. He told me they have drawers and drawers there of old hardware. So perhaps we'll make a special trip this fall to try to match some bits that disappeared after final walk through. ;-)

As expected, Roxsul is not one of the products they cover with their post assessment finance plan help. Same with interior storms. So now I am doubly glad my in-laws gave us the unexpected gift during their visit.

We might pursue one avenue, in regards to a special chamber for our boiler's hot water, since Gardner's water does make mincemeat out of the coils no matter what metal they are made from it turns out. Even with the discount, the work that would need to be done is in the thousands. I already sorta know Sean's going to say, "If we're spending that much, we might as well go for solar hot water heating."

Still, I have some reading up to do on the paperwork he left me; I did learn more than a few things today; and we got a slew of new LED bulbs and two smart power strips for free. Some of the LEDs are a globe style, and actually look pretty nice in some of our vintage fixtures. He even noticed my project fixture still in its shipping box and gave us bulbs for that. The globes will look great in that when it's finished.

Totally unrelated, when he was walking around to get a bulb count, Kira had been stashed in the office because they ask that you keep pets secure during the assessment. Turns out he has a Tortie too.

He was very apologetic that their program wouldn't help us more since we are looking a bit ahead of where the program is now. (I almost fell down when he told me he'd never heard of Roxsul.)

I was grateful that he put up with my sleep deprived chatter, and he was very understanding of our desire to keep certain features that are normally advised to be replaced with plastics/composites and didn't press on those at all.

It went much better overall than I feared, and I hope he enjoyed the visit as much as I did. I know sometimes particular folks can be a chore (not sure if he gets a commission off any of the loan programs they offer either), but he was much more receptive to what I taught him and we discussed overall than I feared. I asked some questions he told me normally don't come up about options/solutions to certain situations we have (and he has seen elsewhere), and we brainstormed a few things through which was great.

It was totally worth getting the free assessment.

Who knows? Maybe a year from now, he'll be happy to tell folks about how Roxsul and interior storms are indeed products that are included in their program.

Off to sleep. I was afraid I'd sleep through my alarm and he'd show up early, so I didn't go to bed last night. The assessor did show up early, but at least he called first asking if it was ok. I was actually glad he was early, because now I get to sleep a bit earlier than expected.

Speaking of... :sleeping-sleeping:
--Proud member of the Industrious Cheapskate Club
--Currently pondering ways to encourage thoughtful restovation and discourage mindless renovation.

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Lily left the valley
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Re: Beebe -- our 1935 Bungalow on Baker Street.

Postby Lily left the valley » Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:52 am

Time has been flying by. Between Sean's work schedule, crazy up and down weather and getting to a point where we are starting to really get down to sorting what's left of the boxes, but aren't sure yet (or don't have) an exact spot, just a "room" to move them to, it's been busy.

Also of note is another burner on our stove has decided to give up this mortal coil (forgive me, low hanging fruit, but there it is.) My usual go to shop for electronic bits didn't have it, and I have not yet had a chance to call the appliance shop in town to see if they do. It seem it's the coil itself, as it was already heating unevenly, so unlike the other two burners I've been wanting to fix for ages now, it's not the connectors disintegrating. So we are now down to one working burner and a toaster oven for cooking. He made the mistake of complaining about having only one burner to work with. :problem:

It has been hard, with his schedule, to plan anything. Some days he just doesn't want to do anything that seems difficult. Ok, pretty much any day. :lol: So I've had to pick and choose out of my long list, and then let him choose. The stove, being cast iron, and with the kitchen floor being in its current condition (uneven because of the broken up lino) is a bear to move. It has to be moved so I can get to certain bits to do needed repairs. Now that we're nearing November and being another burner down as of last week, I am getting a bit testy with all the times he immediately strikes off the stove as a possible for that day/week. This week he is full up schedule wise and only had today off. So of course, not today either. I guess this is a mini vent about that. ;-) I admit I started designing caster feet for the stove. I've gotten that desperate. :wtf:

Speaking of lists...out of the six items we originally had prioritized, we are down to three, and of those three, two are nearing completion. So that's something, I think.

I did finally take apart the..bin for lack of a better word that was taking up copious amounts of room in the garage. It was made up of four old bedposts, some lumber, plywood, and an ungodly amount of overly long roofing nails that did not want to come out. Still..I did it! My car may yet get into the garage this winter if I can keep up the overall pace of clearing things out of the garage.

That's been tricky, as most things in there are being stored "for now", like the not-wood windows we got, as well as several metal storage cabinets that all need sanding and painting. A few other bits too, but I am getting it tidied up in there, bit by bit.

Speaking of bits. We did go through most of the wall art we have, and started picking which walls they would go on eventually. We "tacked" up some pieces in the bedroom, and then decided NOT to do that because push pins in plaster was...hilarious and hurtful at the same time, and I already regret putting even the tiny nails I put in for now. However, it did firm our resolve to install picture rails in pretty much all the rooms, rather than have lots of walls to patch. I know we'll need to do some finishing in all the rooms anyway because the previous painter/fixer did a horrid job overall, but I just don't want to deal with patching any more plaster holes or worse than we already will need to down the line.

I have managed to get some semblance of order back to the parlor as to having stuff in there to Craig's List. I also took some things in to PYCA which I managed to trade for some needed things (and one not so needed, but he'd been eyeing it for a while). Oh, one bit of bad news. When we moved one of the older furniture pieces on wheels, we did not notice until it was too late that one of the wheels was locked (rusted), and dug into the floors as we pushed it into the parlor. Thank goodness we hadn't refinished the floor in there yet! I'd be crying a river. Also glad I hadn't ripped up the cheap vinyl in the dining room, as it might have marred the lino below if in fact the lino is still ok. I admit I twice have almost ripped it up in there, but have been good about tamping down that desire, since the uneveness in the kitchen has been a stark lesson.

The one good thing about what he has mostly been doing is sorting the crafting room, which had a lot of the mixed-like-you-wouldn't-believe boxes. So we have found quite a few things I'd fretted were long since gone. Again, as mentioned above, some don't exactly have homes yet, just got moved to whatever room they will eventually be put away in so we could get some reasonable working space in the crafting room again.

When we moved stuff out of the first floor when the in-laws were here, a lot of it ended up in the crafting room, so all the projects I have been working on in there came to a grinding halt as I couldn't even get to my workspaces. (He is notorious for only stacking boxes one or two high, so there's no way to walk anywhere.) I hope by the end of this week I may be able to get back to working on a few things and finishing up at least two.

Halloween is also close at hand, and we are way behind where I had hoped to be decorating wise, BUT...I am ok with that. I knew going into it that we'd be lucky to get even two major props done in our chosen theme, and I did find some more lights and such to help give some ambiance at least.

I really am trying to acknowledge that we are still in our first year here, and nothing is a rush except for the insulation (working on that), and now the new plumbing issues (trying to get that taken care of, and it's not been easy).

There are other bits that I'm wanting to write about, but ... later. I'm way behind in reading here, and also trying to get a few more things done tonight for my own sanity's sake. Doing dishes right now is a very interesting enterprise thanks to a new leak that developed off the domestic hot water line. Hopefully that will be fixed soon! I am still waiting on a call back for a scheduling for that. Turns out it's included with one of the programs we belong to, so I don't have to do it myself, but we're in a queue. So...waiting. :D
--Proud member of the Industrious Cheapskate Club
--Currently pondering ways to encourage thoughtful restovation and discourage mindless renovation.


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