The Pantry

140404 Pantry

I finished building and painting the shelves for the pantry.  The painting was fine but the building was not without its cursing.  There is nothing like trying to fit something that’s square into somethings that’s not.

Sunday I moved a few things into it but will work on that in earnest this week.  There is still the pantry closet to build that will be going in on the end of this in what was once a shower stall.  The floor will then get another coat of paint.  That will have to wait for a few weeks since there is another room that needs finishing.

This is the perfect solution for the time being.  Eventually this room will be going away to make room for a kitchen expansion but for the time being a little paint and elbow grease has made it into something functional.  It’s kind of amazing how you can use a little imagination and come up with this.  Remember this is how it started out.

140308 Bathroom to Pantry (4)

One project down, thousands more to go.



There is a lot going on in the house at Fort Pelham Farm.  We decided to turn the old bathroom into a pantry for now and the library will become a bedroom for my Dad who will be moving home in about 6 weeks.  Yes, you guessed right, I will be in Rowe full-time starting in May.  Not exactly the circumstances I had always envisioned but right now it is what it is.

140308 Bathroom to Pantry (4)This is the lovely bathroom that we used for years and years.  It was time for it to go and boy was Bill excited about this project (not).

140308 Bathroom to Pantry (7)He pointed out that this is the glory part of home improvement – removing the toilet.  Chester is making sure he is doing it properly.

140309 Bathroom to Pantry (1)Okay, I primed everything – don’t judge, we still have a ways to go.

IMAG0577Initial painting is done – the shelving I will be building this week.  Another coat of paint still on tap but the project is moving along.

Did I tell you that I have dozens and dozens of jars of canned goods sitting on the floor in the living room right now with no home?  Yeah, nice decor.  That’s because they were stored in the library.  All of that shelving had to come down to make room for Dad on the first floor.

IMAG0580Hello old friends – haven’t seen you in quite some time.

IMAG0579Before.  These shelves were built in 1985 to replace the shelving that was there when we moved in.  I’m assuming that was done because the room had lathe and plaster and it was what was the back of the bookshelves.  Originally the shelves were on two walls in the room with a window seat under the north window.  IMG_0191

It took Mike and Bill all of about an hour to get this out of there. You will notice that Chester is always in the middle of things.  I personally think he just likes having his picture taken.

IMAG0585Another work in progress.  Mike will be repairing the walls and fixing the ceiling.  The floor will have to wait, it’s too big a job for our time constraints.

I have to say that I’m not fond of renovation projects with a specific time deadline.  Things are not done the way they should be, they are done in the quickest way possible.  The pantry started out as a project for me.  A temporary fix in a space that was not being used.  The eventual plan with that room is for the walls to come down and have it be part of a more open kitchen – that’s down the road a bit.  Kitchen remodeling is not for the faint of heart.

The other fact pushing this project along is we know spring will get here at some point and when it does we will not want to be spending any time indoors.  While the weather is still wintry we can at least feel like we are getting something done.

Homeowner’s ADD

130512 Heat Gun


I’m not fond of this time of the year.  I’ve come down with a bad case of homeowner’s ADD.  I have a theory that everyone has Attention Deficit Disorder but for me it’s really apparent at certain times of the year.

Part of the problem with the home owning part is the house in Rowe does not have heat upstairs (or power for that matter) so any projects that I want to do have to be done in spring, summer and early fall (or just bundle up while you’re doing it).  Last week I had a conversation with brothers-in-law Mike.  He’s working on a house just up the road from ours and swears that whoever built the one he’s in built ours.  There is the same intricate woodwork. We talked about stripping paint.  I have used all kinds of methods of stripping paint, all involving some rather harsh chemicals but he’s been using a heat gun.  Hmmmmm . . .

I had Bill get a heat gun because I have a small room that once had carpet glued to it.  The carpet was removed years ago but the mastic stayed.  This room is above the living room and I had visions of using a chemical remover and having it leak through the floor onto the new ceiling below – not good.  I tried using this head gun to get the mastic off and it was BRILLIANT.  You can only remove a little at a time but once you’re rolling it goes fairly quickly.  The disadvantage is that I have to sit on the floor in order to do it.  It’s hard on the back so I can only do it for an hour or two before I have to give it up.

The weather this past weekend was really not conducive to working outdoors.  When the sun came out I tried to pull weeds in some of my flower beds but the black flies were so thick that it wasn’t pleasant at all.  I would come in out of the clouds, both rain and flies, and run down my mental list of the wants and needs indoors.  Most of them run into the wants like the floor upstairs but then there is the matter of turning what was once a bathroom into a pantry.  This involves removing the toilet and sink and all respective piping (after removing all of the junk that’s accumulated in there for the past year).  That little project is rather pressing at the moment because we will soon be coming into preserving season and I want that finished before it starts.  I need an inventory of canning supplies as well as making sense of a large closet that’s been used for a pantry for a number of years. Making sense of it is being kind, I can’t find anything in it and every time I cook something I waste a lot of time digging around looking for that special something I KNOW is in there somewhere.

The wood shop has been cleaned up in the past week and I was thinking about that side table that I really need to make for the living room.  That sounded like more fun than stripping floors and moving toilets.  I restrained myself because I knew if I went out to the shop I would never come back in and those inside projects would be still calling my name.

The thing is that I also spent a good deal of time weaving and rug hooking this weekend – going from one to the other.  I think I need medication.

130512 Floor StrippingBut does this look like fun to you?  Good thing it’s a very small room.