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Posts Tagged ‘brick ranch’

Good-bye Flocked Wallpaper, Part II

April 19th, 2015 Sears Homes 2 comments

Today, we moved the furniture back into the dining room! This project is officially finished!

And boy am I glad to have an entire dining room’s worth of furniture OUT of the living room.

Below are the final photos.

To read about the whole project, click here.

Interested in learning more about Sears Homes? Click here.

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house

The hardwood floors came out beautifully and really made all the difference. It really adds warmth and a nice color. Mr. Hubby is trying to talk me into removing the wall-to-wall carpet from the living room and hallways, but I'm not keen on that.

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Sfter

I also re-upholstered the dining room chairs in white, to complement the white walls. The material is called "Pleather" which just cracks me up. Does that mean it comes from plcows?

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ffefffe

A fun comparison of the before and after shots.

Good-bye Flocked Wallpaper

April 16th, 2015 Sears Homes 7 comments

Updated! See the latest photos in Part II!

When we first looked

When we first looked at our current home in Norfolk, we really liked the flocked wallpaper. It was very 1970s and we liked the 1970s, but as we started painting the other rooms, we realized the dining room was pretty "tired."The wallpaper had turned brown in some places. .

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Flock

One of the first things we did when moving in (four years ago) was to take down the sheers.

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chandelier

Last year, I was able to replace the chandelier, and that improved the room a lot.

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sconces

The matching sconces added some flair, too!

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house house

Best of all, this photo shows the detail on that 1970s wallpaper.

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pretty

When I started pulling down the old blue wallpaper, it went very quickly.

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came off in sheets

In fact, it came off in whole sheets. Easiest wallpaper removal I've ever done. And boy oh boy, was it dirty. I was surprised by how much fine dust was trapped in all that flocking.

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wallpaper glue

The walls in our 1962 ranch had never been painted (which was a surprise).

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house

But the bigger surprise was that the walls were covered in wallpaper glue. That had to be removed before we could start painting. And that turned into a horrible mess. I used a combination of hot water and vinegar, but that didn't do much to break down the glue. At one point, I was ready to drop my sponge into the bucket and give up on the whole project. Ultimately, I washed the walls, I scrubbed the walls, and I used a plastic putty knife to scrape all that mess off. Probably 30% of the time invested in this project went to cleaning that gooey mess off the walls.

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white

Once the wallpaper glue was gone, the project went much more quickly. And when the walls were primed, the room looked a whole lot better and brighter.

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I love this shot because it shows our two ladders in the two rooms.

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We painted from the ceiling down. I kept hoping we'd spill a gallon of paint on the tired blue carpet but no such luck. The cleaner the room looked, the worse the carpet looked.

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the next one

Wayne insisted on painting his part (ceiling and under chair rail) with a brush. It seems he's highly allergic to using paint rollers. That's the kind of thing a man should tell his wife BEFORE marriage.

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house house house

After sending this photo to a friend, I noticed how filthy the carpet was by the kitchen door (closed).

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dirty dirty

It was icky enough that I decided I could no longer stand it.

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house dirty

So I sliced it the 36-year-old carpet into bits and tore it up. And this is what I found under the carpet. The pad under the carpet had melded with the varnish in the floor, and left behind this awful mess.

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poor mr ringer

Wayne Ringer went to work, pulling out 3,482 staples in the floor, and then spent another couple hours scraping the black goo off our red oak hardwood floors. It was pretty nasty stuff.

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badly damaged

At the entrance to the kitchen, it looked really bad.

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house house

Two fellows from Kittrell Hardwood Floors (Portsmouth) showed up and once the big sander came in the house, things changed dramatically - in a hurry!

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house floor

Donnie from Kittrell Hardwood Floors told us that the average oak floor can be re-finished a dozen times.

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starting

After the first sanding, he patched a few holes.

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Done

The entrance by the kitchen door cleaned up beautifully with only a few black dots left behind (where several hundred staples once resided).

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comoparison

A fun comparison between the spot at the kitchen door (before and after).

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We had Kittrell come back three days later and put down a second coat of polyurethane.

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house stunning

When my eldest daughter heard that we'd done away with the blue flocked wallpaper, she was almost upset. But once she saw this photo, she said, "Okay, I have to say that looks pretty good." :)

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And the sconces look mighty nice with the blue paint!

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house house oouse

Still have a few spots to touch up here and there, but it's mostly done!

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Looks pretty snappy!

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dining room

Now we just need to put the furniture back.

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All in all, a rousing success!

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Kittrell

And Kittrell Floor Service (in Portsmouth) did a fine job!

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1959 Was a Very Good Year - For Kitchens!

May 9th, 2014 Sears Homes 14 comments

My friend Bill Inge knows that I am trying to finish a book on Penniman, Virginia and yet today, he threw a real monkey wrench into the works. He lent me a 54-year-old book titled, “Better Homes and Gardens; Kitchen Ideas.”

Turquoise refrigerators, canary yellow cabinets, stainless steel countertops, pink built-in ranges - who could possibly gaze upon these gorgeous mid-century miracles and then look away!

Not I!

So this afternoon, instead of reading dusty old newspaper articles or scholarly tomes on WW1 munitions plants, I sat down and read this 1959 publication cover to cover.

And my oh my, these were gorgeous kitchens.

Take a look for yourself!

And many thanks to Bill Inge for sharing this treasure with me (I think)!  :D

To read about my very own “Atomic Kitchen” click here!

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The publication Mr. Inge brought over is titled - innocuously enough - Kitchens

The publication Mr. Inge shared is titled - innocuously enough - "Kitchen Ideas." It should be titled, "How to spend 4.5 hours grinning from ear to ear whilst looking at pretty, pretty pictures of old kitchens."

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Wow

This is artwork in architecture. I have one word: Wow

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Wow

Dad eats potato chips while the children play with arsenic-laden Lincoln Logs on an asbestos floor. Their next stop was to go sample some of the lead paint on the home's exterior. And the coup de grace would be drinking water right out of the garden hose. The best part is, little Jimmy there probably washed his hands less than once a month, and played with sticks and dirt most of the time. And he'll probably live to be 117.

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WYlloe

In the 1950s, we gave ourselves permission to enjoy bold colors. I love the yellow and red. And notice the wallpaper - it's gold and black. Just stunning. I'm not sure what that appliance next to the sink is, but I really want one.

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Se

Yes, the original caption says all this magic was created with spray paint.

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Www

Check out the lighting over Betty Crocker's head. And again - look at these colors. Pink and deep green.

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Wow

Yellow and Robin's Egg Blue with pink accents (see the phone and curtains). So pretty. When did we decide that it was a good idea to have "industrial-looking kitchens" in our home? This kitchen exudes warmth, beauty and comfort.

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E

I'm not even a fan of green, but this kitchen is stunning. Stainless steel counters, and yet it has a copper pendant light fixture. And the wicker furniture is a nice touch too.

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Wow

A pink kitchen. And with red accents. Visual poetry. If I were a gazillionaire, I'd throw money at some smart contractor and have this kitchen re-created in my own home. And it has a built-in dishwasher, too.

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My favorite:

My #1 favorite: A purple kitchen. Words fail me.

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To read about my own “Atomic Kitchen,” click here.

To learn more about the book that I should be writing, click here.

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My Perfect Atomic Kitchen

January 29th, 2014 Sears Homes 23 comments

It started with an old dinner plate.

Sometime in the 1950s, my creative, colorful, California-loving mother purchased Gladding McBean Franciscan dinnerware with an “Atomic” starburst pattern. My brothers and I grew up eating breakfast, lunch and dinner off this dishware, and I always loved it.

In 2007, my new husband started systematically purchasing this “antique” dinnerware from eBay, until we had amassed a full 12-piece place setting. And then two years ago, we bought a 50+ year old house to match the plates.

Despite the passage of five decades, our brick ranch looks much like it did when built (which is part of the reason I found it so enchanting). Stepping into the kitchen was like walking through a portal back to 1962.

Unfortunately, my beautiful old kitchen had one glaring defect: Boring walls. Despite an intense search, I couldn’t find a wallpaper pattern that seemed “right” for the kitchen.

Whilst researching “Mid-Century Modern Homes,” I discovered a delightful website called “Retro Renovation,” and fell in love with the many well-written articles and dazzling photos posted there. And more recently, a guest writer at Retro Renovation wrote a piece about creating her own “Atomic” design for her kitchen walls, using the Gladding McBean dinnerware as a guide.

As soon as I laid eyes on the pictures of her newly painted walls, I was elated: I’d found my pattern, and better yet, re-creating that pattern would be a lot less expensive than the $100+ a roll wallpaper I’d been considering.

Two weeks ago, I started work on the project and I must say, it went more quickly than I’d anticipated, and I am tickled pink with the end result. It’s not a flawless duplication of the pattern on the plate, and it’s also not a perfect copy of the design featured at Retro Renovation, but I am DEE-lighted with the way it looks.

Every time I walk into the kitchen, I find myself staring at the walls and grinning from ear-to-ear. And that’s a mighty good feeling.

And as always, please leave a comment if you enjoy the pictures!

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Even as a child, I admired the unique pattern and colors on this Gladding McBean Franciscan Dinnerware. And best of all, its Oven Safe!

Even as a child, I admired the unique pattern and colors on this Gladding McBean Franciscan Dinnerware. Today, it's more commonly known as an "Atomic" starburst pattern, and can be purchased on eBay. According to Wikipedia, Gladding McBean created the Franciscan dishware line in 1934, and it was named in honor of the Franciscan friars who established California missions in the 1700s and 1800s.

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Wayne and I both loved the kitchen in our 50-year-old house, but the walls were rather drab. This photo shows the first dab of Sherwin Williams Duration Extra-White on the wall.

Wayne and I both loved the kitchen in our 50-year-old house, but the kitchen walls were drab and dull. This photo shows the first dab of Sherwin Williams "Duration Extra-White" on the wall.

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For a cleaner, non-textured look, I applied the paint with a brush. Much to my chagrin, the Duration paint did not cover the existing flesh-colored with a single coat.

For a cleaner, non-textured look, I applied the white "base coat" with a brush. Much to my chagrin, the Duration Extra White paint did not cover the existing flesh-colored paint with a single coat.

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dots

Following the suggestion at Retro Renovation, I created the dots by cutting out circular bits of sponge. After much consideration, I went with three sizes: 3", 2" and 1-1/2". I found that dampening the sponge and then wringing it out thoroughly made it *much* easier to work with (as opposed to using a dry sponge). I placed the round sponge on the wall and then gently rotated it 360 degrees.

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The end result was just what I'd hoped it would be! One of the reasons I love the "atomic starburst" design is because it's fun and fanciful, and almost child-like with its many imperfections. That's my kind of artwork!

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Figuring out the size of the dots needed for the large expanse of wall took some time, but in the end, I used three sizes of dots: 3, 2 and 1-1/2 dots.

Creating the templates for the starbursts proved quite difficult. After several hours of studying the patterns and trying to solve this puzzle, my buddy Milton helped me "see" the pattern on the plates in a different way. With that fresh insight, I was able to create a template, and drawing the starburst became quick work.

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We trekked up to the

We trekked up to the Sherwin Williams store in Ghent (on 21st Street in Norfolk) with a couple dinner plates in hand, and asked the clerk to create a paint color from the colors shown in the three starbursts. Unfortunately, the computer was not able to pick up the color from the plates, so we were forced to match the colors up the old-fashioned way - with our own eyeballs. The blue shown on the dishware is tad more gray than the blue we selected. As a fan of the 1950s, I had a decided prejudice toward turquoise. However the yellow ("Humble Gold") and green ("Baize Green") were a very good match. The blue/torquoise was "Aquaduct."

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dots

I was so pleased with the look of my polka-dotted wall that I almost stopped right there. It was such a joy to see the flesh-colored, food-stained wall transformed into something colorful and bright and clean. But once I finished my first "starburst," I was immediately in love.

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Looks snappy, doesnt it?

Looks snappy, doesn't it?

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rretro

By contrast, the "undone" dot (upper right) looks almost blasé!

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dots

Lots and lots of dots. As mentioned above, my hand-crafted starbursts are not a perfect match to the dinnerware starburst, but it captured the retro look that I had longed to find. I was quite pleased with the look.

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It did take a lot of pens

I did go through a lot of pens. For the lines within the starburst, I used the Sharpie Ultra-Fine point markers, and for the dots at the tips of the starburst, I used the Sharpie Fine-points. For drawing on painted walls, the "Industrial" sharpies were far superior to the regular markers. And it was wholly delightful to finally be able to DRAW ON THE WALLS without anyone yelling at me!

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These were the templates that I used for the starbursts. If anyone is interested in more information on how I used these to create the larger starburst pattern (blue), send me a note and I'll give you all the details. It involved some free-hand work, but it was darn fun - and easy - once I could "see" the pattern.

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The space above the cabinet was painted with the "Aquaduct," and the "Humble Gold" was used below the cabinet. The end result was really stunning, and most pleasing. Best of all, it looked "period appropriate."

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Kitchen

The turquoise color really highlighted the details around the window valance.

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dots

This angle shows off the "Humble Gold" above the back splash.

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dhica

This is a shot of the small space over the kitchen door and beside the refrigerator.

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end result

The only downside of our "old" (un-remodeled) kitchen is the limited space. This small pot-rack has been a huge help and freed up much needed storage under the cook-top. The cabinet next to the pot-rack was found at a salvage store (ReStore) in Newport News, and has also helped alleviate storage woes.

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drab

That formerly drab flesh-colored wall is looking pretty good! Unfortunately, the ceiling isn't quite finished yet. And I'd love to hear suggestions on the floor, as the existing floor has GOT TO GO!

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dots

Several times a day, I saunter into the kitchen and admire my pretty dots. They always make me smile.

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Finis!

Finis!

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To read the original post at Retro Renovation that captured my fancy, click here.

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It’s Official: I’m Now a Ham! (Part VI)

November 28th, 2012 Sears Homes No comments

Lookie who got their “Tech” license last weekend!  :)

Wayne Ringer, thats who!  :)  Hes now a licensed ham, or he will be as soon as his call sign shows up on the FCC database! Oh, FCC, dont keep us waiting!

Why it's Wayne Ringer, that's who! :) He's now a licensed ham, or he will be as soon as his call sign shows up on the FCC database! Oh, FCC, don't keep us waiting! Before long, he'll be joining me on two meters!

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And hell have the incredible opportunity to be one of the only licensed Amateur Radio operators to enjoy the hobby in a pink room adorned with Hello Kitty lights!

And he'll be one of two licensed Amateur Radio operators in the country to enjoy the hobby in a pink room adorned with Hello Kitty lights!

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To read more about my experiences with Ham Radio, check out Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV of this series.

To learn more about Sears Homes, click here.

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It’s Official: I’m Now a Ham (Part IV)

October 18th, 2012 Sears Homes 6 comments

About five weeks ago, I passed my “General” (Ham Radio) test which gave me operating privileges on the HF (High Frequency) bands.

VHF and UHF frequencies are principally line of sight, but on HF, short radio waves can skip thousands of miles, reflecting (and bouncing) between the mirror-like ionosphere and the earth’s surface. Radios producing as little as five watts (which is very, very low power) take advantage of this “propagation” (as it’s called) and can send signals from Norfolk to England, Australia (and more!).

Pretty exciting!

A few days after obtaining my General license, I purchased an HF radio (Yaesu 450D), and then last week, my Comet CHA-250BX antenna arrived.

And now, both antenna and radio are together.

Getting the antenna installed was a bit challenging - physically. It required snaking wires through the walls and climbing on the roof (over and over and over) and crawling around in the attic, out toward the eaves where there is very little headroom and no flooring. It was a real adventure!

According to the manufacturer, the 23-foot-tall Comet CHA-250BX needs to be at least 20′ off the ground. After much consideration, we decided to mount it on the chimney of our brick ranch.

To accomplish this, we had to buy a chimney mount.

When I was a kid growing up in the 1960s, most of the houses in our neighborhood had an antenna on the roof. With the advent of cable TV and satellite, it’s getting harder and harder to find the necessary hardware for mounting antennas outside.

Thanks to Amazon.com, I was able to find a chimney mount that was designed for extra chubby chimneys, like ours.

Scroll on down to see photos of the installation process.

To read more about my experiences with Ham Radio, check out Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, and Part V of this series.

Updated! I’m now an “Extra”!

To learn about the Sears Homes in Norfolk, click here.

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worst part was

The worst part of this project was the kneecap pain. I had to crawl out to the attic's hinterlands to drop the RG-8X down the wall (between the studs) with the hope that it would (eventually) end up near my sun porch. While standing upright in my spacious sunporch, "deciding" on the perfect spot for this coax, I neglected to factor in the low clearance between the roof and floor joists out at the edges of our attic.

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ouch

Saturday morning, I spent about 20 minutes with my knees precariously balanced on these joists, drilling holes in these plates, looking for the "sweet spot" where I could drop the coax cable down into the den/sunporch. Years ago, I purchased a set of fiberglass rods that are used for pulling wire through wall cavities. They worked like a charm.

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The sunporch was originally a screened-porch, so we had to penetrate a brick (exterior) wall to get the coax out there.

The sunporch was originally a screened-in porch, so I had to penetrate a brick (exterior) wall to get the coax out there. While hubby was away at work, I put a "smallish" hole through the 5/16" thick paneling in the den, and also through the exterior sheathing. I tried drilling through the brick with a $25 masonry bit but that went nowhere fast. That 1960s brick is tough stuff. My friend David Strickland came by and used his hammer-drill to get through the brick. He drilled from the sunporch side toward the den, because (as he explained) the hammer drill had a tendency to "explode" the back side of the brick. He was right.

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Fme

The hammer drill did create a messy exit wound on the back of the brick. I placed a small piece of plywood across the backside of the brick wall, so that the nylon washer and metal nut would have a good tight fit. The "through-the-wall" fitting is an 8-inch bulkhead connector, with a 90-degree elbow attached.

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other side

The other side came out real pretty.

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A three gang

A three-gang, no-device blank wall plate provided a nice and tidy cover-up on the den side of this wall. Plus, the connection points for the coax are still easily accessible. My husband suggested that I take a black magic marker and write "Ham Radio Antenna Access" on the plate. I was headed for the markers when he said, "No, don't do that. I'm only kidding."

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When the antenna arrived, Teddy the Wonder Dog had to give an inspection of the unit. The Comet CHA205BX did pass the sniff test.

When the antenna arrived, Teddy the Wonder Dog had to inspect the unit. The Comet CHA-205BX successfully passed "the sniff test."

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Mike Neal (President of RASON) and Jim Silverstorf (Treasurer of RASON) came by to help with the assembly of the new antenna.

Mike Neal and Jim Silverstorf (both members of RASON) came by to help with the assembly of the Comet CHA-250BX antenna. Jim brought an SWR meter to check the performance of the new antenna. By the way, I highly recommend that everyone in Hampton Roads join RASON (Radio Amateur Society of Norfolk). It's not the biggest group in the area, but the people are first-class and they are VERY kind to 53-year-old women who ask the really tough questions like, "Where's the volume button on this thing?"

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After

After it was assembled, we had to stand it up and give it a test run. Teddy is on guard, waiting for the radio waves that'll soon come charging into *her* yard.

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Maybe

Yes, that's a bungie cord and nylon ties holding it secure against the deck railing. Mike said that all we needed now was an old couch and a cooler of beer to complete the ambiance.

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The instructions that came with the chimney mounting kit were as clear as mud. We were not sure what they were trying to tell us.

The instructions that came with the chimney mounting kit were as clear as mud. We were not sure what they were trying to tell us. A few more words would have been helpful.

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Ultimately, we figured it out. Took some time though.

Ultimately, we figured it out. Took some time though.

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Roofie

We placed a brick at the bottom of the steel mast, because the chimney mounts aren't really intended to support weight, as much as prevent lateral movement of the mast. And the brick also protects the 17-year-old roofing shingles from additional damage. Unfortunately, I seem to have grabbed the most crooked brick in America.

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mast

Another view from the top. When it was time to heft that antenna up to the roof, another member of RASON (Milton Crum) graciously came by and offered to help. While Wayne and I had expended some mental energy in figuring out how to get this 23' whip antenna up to the roof, Milton had a better way. While I was verbally reviewing the different ways of getting the antenna to the roof, Milt took hold of the antenna and just walked right up the ladder with it. Unfortunately, I didn't get any photos of this part of our adventure.

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gloves

The antenna mount is a "Channel Master CM 9067," which cost about $30 (from Amazon). It took eight days to arrive, which seemed like a long time, but it does seem to be well made. The bands are 3/4" wide stainless steel and 18' long. The brackets seem sturdy and strong, and provide a 4" offset (which we needed, due to the flare in the brick courses).

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Getting from the roof to the attic took a little thought. I didnt want 50 feet of coax cable draped across my roof, and I also didnt want it coming over my new aluminum gutters.

Getting from the roof to the attic took a little thought. I didn't want 30+ feet of coax cable draped across my roof, and I also didn't want it cascading down over my new aluminum gutters. I also wasn't too fond of the idea of cutting holes in my soffit or facia. This pipe vent served as an ideal solution. It's 1-1/2" PVC pipe with a traditional pipe collar (where it enters the roof). To prevent rain intrusion, I put a 90-degree elbow on the top.

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Inside

Inside the 1-1/2" PVC pipe is a small stub of 3/4" pipe, with 1/2" round weather stripping wrapped around it. I visited four hardware stores, looking for a 1-1/2" to 3/4" reducer, but couldn't find such a thing, so this was the next best choice. Ultimately, I'll put a little more of that 1/2" round weather stripping in the 3/4" pipe to close up the hole.

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My Ham Radio friends tel me this iis the first time theyve seen such a conduit as this, but it realy worked out well.

My Ham Radio friends tel me this is the first time they've seen such a "conduit" as this, but it really worked out well. We spaced it out about two feet from the chimney so we'd stay far from the chimney flashing. From the ground, it looks like just another bathroom vent.

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The ground wire (10 gage stranded) is connected to

The ground wire (10 gage stranded) is connected to the fiberglass mast (at the roof's edge) and continues down the mast to connect to a grounding rod below. The fiberglass mast supports my Diamond X-200A (dual band) antenna.

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Back in the attic

Back in the attic, the PVC pipe provides a nice clean conduit for my RG-8X coax.

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end

And here's the other end of that coax, poking out through the brick wall. The whole affair (and a lot of wires) are well hidden by this antique oak table.

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Annd I bet Im the only Ham Radio operator in Tidewater with Hello Kitty decor!

And I bet I'm the only Ham Radio operator in Tidewater with a pink radio room with Hello Kitty decor!

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What radio room is complete without Hello Kitty lights?

What radio room is complete without Hello Kitty lights?

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The antenna

The Comet CHA-250BX is on the left, standing at about 45 feet at the tippy top.

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front

From the front of the house, it's really not *that* noticeable.

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What a thing of beauty!

What a thing of beauty!

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To learn about RASON, click here.

To learn how to identify Sears Homes, click here.

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Our “New” Home - a 1962 Brick Ranch - in Norfolk, VA

September 12th, 2011 Sears Homes 1 comment

The beautiful pink house on Gosnold is now a closed chapter in our lives, and we’re delighted to be settling into our new home in another section of Norfolk. The big pink house was fun, but we’re grateful to have handed over the reins to a delightful young couple that have an inherent understanding that they are not just “homeowners” but caretakers.

There are countless blogs at this site detailing the work we’ve done to our 1925 center-hallway, Colonial Revival, so this blog will be all about the new house!

The new house is ideal for us, at this time in our lives. It’s a smaller house and a simpler house, and it’s all on one level. The best part is, the beautiful back yard adjoins a small canal off of Lake Whitehurst. For most of my life, I’ve dreamt of living on the water, and that dream has now come true.

When I was a little girl, my mother would walk through the halls of our home saying, “I’m so blessed to live in such a beautiful place. Just so blessed.” Such things leave a deep impression on a little girl, and I’m sure that my mother’s enjoyment of that home is a big part of the reason that historic architecture became my career.

And now, walking through the splendid rooms of my recently purchased 1962 brick ranch and gazing out the many windows at the beautiful yard with its water views, I hear my mother’s words return to me.

I’m so blessed to live in such a beautiful place. Just so blessed.

To learn about the kit homes in Norfolk, click here.

To read more about our new house, click here.

Realtor Gary Crawford sits on the front steps of our new home. This photo was taken several days before we moved in, and we were there for the property inspection. Gary Crawford was incredibly professional and thoughtful, too. Notice that hes dressed to match the beautiful Ringer Ranch.

Realtor Gary Crawford sits on the front steps of our new home. This photo was taken several days before we moved in, and we were there for the property inspection. Gary Crawford was incredibly professional and thoughtful, too. It's clear that he loves being a Realtor, and that's reflected in his attitude and actions. Notice that he's dressed to match the beautiful "Ringer Ranch."

Close-up of Gary Crawford of ReMax Alliance (Virginia Beach).  Im a tough customer, but I was very impressed with Gary.

Close-up of Gary Crawford of ReMax Alliance (Virginia Beach). I'm a tough customer, but I was very impressed with Gary.

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Thanks to the many trees, the house is awash in dappled sunlight.

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The sunporch is 168 square feet of heaven on earth.

Another view of The River Room in the Ringer Ranch!

Since this photo was taken, we've painted the windows white and the walls are now soft pink.

And just off the sunporch is this delightful deck. Weve already found it be a favorite spot, where we can sit in the morning and evening, and watch the fishies jump in the lake.

And just off the sunporch is this delightful deck. We've already found it be a favorite spot, where we can sit in the morning and evening, and watch the fishies jump in the lake.

Front

The entry foyer has chair-rail and crown molding.

And shut the door!

Notice the COAT CLOSET! It's a closet that's just for coats! WOW!

When we started looking at houses several months ago, I told my husband that I knew exactly what I wanted, and I described it this way:  I want a custom-built brick ranch from the late 1950s or early 60s, that has had only one owner, and that one owner will have taken extraordinarily good care of his beloved home, and the house will have two baths and at least three bedrooms and a two-car garage. The house will be a step-back in time, and will have its original kitchens and baths, and while other people may say that the house needs updating, Ill be thrilled to find a house in such perfectly original condition.

Finding a 1960s brick ranch really was a dream come true, and this was a one-owner home, which made it ever more appealing. The house was in wonderfully original condition, as is evidenced by the kitchen!

J

Look at that Formica!

Another view of our wonderful kitchen!

The Formica counter tops - now almost 50 years old - are in flawless condition. For many years, I've told lecture attendees that while we may own our homes, we're really caretakers, and we have a duty to keep our homes in good condition. The previous owner of this house (Mr. and Mrs. Martin) lived this principle, and I am grateful.

And perhaps my favorite room is the spacious den, just off the kitchen.

And perhaps my favorite room is the spacious den, just off the kitchen. The den sits behind the two-car garage, and is isolated from the bedrooms - which is ideal. The masonry fireplace is in beautiful condition, and the bricks were salvaged from vintage buildings in downtown Norfolk.

But perhaps the very best feature of the den is

But perhaps the very best feature of the den is the entire wall of built-in bookcases. As my daughter pointed out, I have built and installed book-cases in every single home I have ever owned - no exceptions. It's nice to walk into a house with ready-made bookcases (which happen to be far nicer than anything I ever built).

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Another view of our den, with the matching Realtor!

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The long hallway back to the bedrooms has a lush, deep-pile blue carpet. I love the carpet. It makes the house incredibly quiet, and that's a big plus. Mr. Hubby has big, heavy feet!

And just down the hallway is the worlds most beautiful bathroom! Its PINK!  And like the kitchen, the formica countertops are in pristine condition. The tile floors and wall are also in beautiful shape. What could be better than a cast-iron, 1960s Kohler bathtub? Nothing! Unless its a PINK cast-iron, 1960s Kohler bathtub!

And just down the hallway is the world's most beautiful bathroom! It's PINK! And like the kitchen, the formica countertops are in pristine condition. The tile floors and wall are also in beautiful shape.

My pink bathtub!

What could be better than a cast-iron, 1960s Kohler bathtub? Nothing! Unless it's a PINK cast-iron, 1960s Kohler bathtub! And the tub - like everything else - is in excellent condition. Mr. Martin was a mechanical engineer and it's obvious that he took great pride in this fine old house.

The master bedroom has its own bathroom, and is also in wonderfully original condition.

The master bedroom has its own bathroom, and is also in wonderfully original condition. The vanity is not original (nor are the faucets), but everything else is much the same as it was in 1962 when the Ringer Ranch was first built.

I firmly believe the key to marital bliss is his and her bathrooms. This bathroom - with its tan and brown colors - is HIS bathroom. It also has an unusually spacious shower.

I firmly believe the key to marital bliss is "His and Her Bathrooms." This bathroom - with its tan and brown colors - is HIS bathroom. It also has an unusually spacious shower.

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I love a tiled shower enclosure. The walls, floor and even ceiling are fully tiled, and there's a handy dandy light in the ceiling! Incredibly, all the tile and grout is in beautiful condition.

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As much as I love the house, I may love the back yard even more. It's on a finger of Lake Whitehurst, and this is navigable water leading to the Lake (Norfolk's reservoir). In my heart of hearts, I really do believe that this house is a gift from God, an answer to many prayers.

Another view of our beautiful lake-front property!  :)

Another view of our beautiful lake-front property! :)

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Living with the fishies is pretty sweet.

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From the backyard, looking toward the house.

Down by the creek

Down by the creek

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Another view of the back yard.

The

The view from the master bedroom.

Ted

Our living room, furnished with a few of our favorite things!

My mothers china hutch looks right at home in the corner of our dining room.

My mother's china hutch looks right at home in the corner of our dining room.

Teddy the dog loves the new house and the front door, designed for easy Sheltie viewing.

Teddy the Dog loves the new house and she especially appreciates that the front door is designed for easy Sheltie viewing.

C. S. Lewis said, “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by an offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

For more than 10 years, I’ve pondered the spiritual meaning of that awe-inspiring quote. Now I’ve started to ponder its literal meaning as well, and that’s a very lovely thing. Maybe by experiencing the literal meaning of that quote, I can better understand its spiritual meaning.

Soli Deo Gloria.

:)

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