I never thought the guest room in my little house would turn out to be such a project, but my friend Daniel said to me yesterday, “As a friend, I have to tell you that when you start one thing, it always leads to another project.” He was so right. To recap, this is the room that had paneling on the walls that had been covered with wallpaper and then painted over (lazy jerks). I went to town on that biznass and tore it all down, which resulted in ugly naked drywall that looked like it had been in a shootout.
Mom and dad came to visit for two weeks and dad, being the handy sort of guy that he is, took on the job of getting the room ready. One of the things I wanted to do was tear down a wall that was jutting out into the room for no apparent reason. Remember this?
I mean honestly, what the heck?! So I wanted to tear that wall down and open it up to the tiny 6’x7′ room on the other side of that. However, we hit a snag when dad discovered it was a load-bearing wall. To be clear, load-bearing walls are not to be messed with or you screw with the structural integrity of your home. I was ticked! So dad decided to take the drywall off anyway and see what was underneath. BEHOLD, a doorway!
AHA!!! So that’s why the wall jutted out! Apparently, that little space was the original closet for the second bedroom. I still have no idea what the previous owners were thinking by opening up the wall behind it, but they made a big mistake by doing that because that wall was also a load-bearing wall that would need to be restructured and rebuilt. After some keen disappointment on not being able to open up the two rooms, I made the decision to close the far wall back up and keep this little doorway so the room would have a closet. After some cross-armed consideration by the men, here’s what happened.
New drywall was put in place, and the existing drywall was spackled to death to prepare it for paint. You can see below, dad is preparing the larger opening to be re-studded and ready for a new wall.
The little room had some wallpaper that mom steamed off the walls. If that isn’t motherly love, I don’t know what is. In the end, the project resulted in a tiny room that will someday be a half bathroom!!! I am most excited by this since there is currently only one bath in the house. When people come to visit, it will be nice for them to have their own space. The guest room saga will remain in a state of “to be continued” and I’ll be sure to update on the progress!
Outside in the backyard, I wanted to plant a kitchen garden, but the cedar planters I had my eye on were very expensive. I discovered that Home Depot sells whiskey barrels from the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee, and what better way to add some local flavor than to have some local whiskey-fied herbs on the patio?
To see how these barrels are crafted, here’s an interesting little short video on the birth of a barrel:
I lined the planters with some heavy gauge plastic and filled them with fertilized potting soil from Lowes. The bags were so large, I only needed one per barrel.
With it being a little late in the growing season here, I was thrilled to find beautiful established herbs at Whole Foods. For $2.49 each, I got some basil, thyme, oregano, and rosemary. I also picked up a Rutgers heirloom tomato and some purple coneflower (Echinacea) at Home Depot.
While mom and dad were here, the temperature was brutal. The day they left it was 108 degrees. The sun was taking a toll on the plants with the basil leaves and thyme beginning to burn. Since I didn’t want my herbs to go all Jersey Shore on me and bake like Snooki, something had to be done. We bought some soft plastic screen in a roll and dad chopped down some bamboo to make this awesome little shelter. So far, the plants are thriving and haven’t burned at all. I am so excited to make Caprese salad and pesto!
The little house finches in my hanging basket left the nest yesterday. It was so heartwarming to look out the front door and see four little finches sitting all over the basket. They flew back and forth from the plum tree to the basket, and by the time I got home from work they were gone. I am so happy they all made it and can’t wait to see if any of the little ones return to build their own precarious little nest.