Happy Birthday to Us, Happy Birthday to Us, I Can't Believe it's Been Four Years...Happy Birthday to Us!

That's right, as of today Old Town Home is officially four years old. In internet blogging years, I think that's like 82. I know it's pretty cliche, but I really can't believe how time has flown. I can still vividly remember the night we were officially posting our first blog entry. We were sitting outside in our backyard enjoying the weather and a glass of wine. I clicked publish on our "How To Create Marbled Easter Eggs" post, looked at Wendy, then said "Okay, we're live, now how are people going to find this?"

In the four years that have followed we've shared successes, failures, progress, delays, good times, bad times, adventures, stories, advice, photos, and a whole lot of DIY and randomness, and we've watched as people have found us. Honestly, I can't think of a better place to have shared everything from our Buffet Turned Vanity Before & After, to the arrival of the Colombian Tall Ship Gloria in Old Town Alexandria.

Throughout our journey we've made so many friends and have made so many connections with people we never would have met if not for the (once again very modern day cliche) idea of, "Hey, maybe we should start a blog." Thank you, to everyone who's read and interacted over this journey.

Over the past few weeks I've been feeling a bit nostalgic and started looking back through and reading some of our older posts. One thing I've noticed is that the longer we've blogged, the more detailed and in-depth (and by that I mean long winded) our blog posts have gotten. While this can be good when we have a detailed guide or something that may benefit from a more verbose explanation, a lot of times something a bit lighter weight would do just as well. And at least for me, I find myself comparing blog posts today to blog posts before and constantly trying to make sure I "make it a good post." This ultimately delays the posts I'm writing and makes everything take way longer than it should. Sort of like this paragraph is doing right now.

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Comments 9

Our heads are spinning when we start to walk through our mental to do lists. 

While we've made substantial progress in the last week to work towards repairing the whole house plumbing and HVAC disaster, we don't want work at the new house to come to a complete standstill. We've been trying to tackle smaller projects each weekend, as well as make progress on the living room renovation. 

Some of the smaller projects have included a bit of a garden cleanup, painting the front door a pale sea glass color (Benjamin Moore's Wythe Blue), and starting the prep work on finishing our adirondack chairs. In addition to these ongoing items, we have another minor facelift in the works. While we realize there are a million other things we'd like to address, I couldn't help but (constantly) notice that the little shed next to our house has seen better days. 

In the grand scheme of priorities, this one would be pretty low. But there are three factors that encouraged us to start on it now. 

We're also trying to be realistic about this project. We're keeping in mind that it was installed completely out of level on a sloped piece of asphalt that was once a boat launch ramp right next to the house. We're ignoring the fact that some of the trim boards have never seen a coat of paint, or that the sheets of pressed board have long deteriorated and now resemble flaky, peeling skin after a major vacation sunburn. We're also not going to obsess that the person or company who installed the shed years ago didn't care much about lining up joints, caulking seams, or mitering corners. 

Did I mention that we're not even going to focus on the missing asphalt shingle? Well, for now anyway.

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Comments 17

So...what's new with you?

Us, well, now that the weather is a little nicer we've been shuttling back and forth between Old Town and our new house in an attempt to both get a handle on our heating and plumbing system woes, and also to move some of our little projects forward a bit.

I'm not sure what it is, perhaps it's the fact that the house has no functional heat or plumbing, but Wendy and I are somewhat to very overwhelmed by the whole situation at any given time. That being said, it's a pretty overwhelming situation, so I'm going to go ahead and give us a pass on feeling the way we do.

So the $64,000 question (oh man, hope it's not actually that expensive), what's the plan for the plumbing and heating situation?

Well, the short of it, we're not quite sure yet, but we're doing a TON of research.

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Comments 26

Hanging a mirror. A simple task that can drive even the most seasoned DIYers to wildly slinging uncontrolled obscenities.

I don't know what it is, but when it comes to hanging heavy mirrors in a centered and level manner, I often find myself melting down, frustrated, sweating profusely, usually on the wall on which I'm trying to hang the mirror. To this day Wendy tells stories of the saga she endured while attempting to hang the (now removed) living room mirror, and it usually starts with "Alex doesn't normally lose his cool, but when he does, oh boy, it's a sight to see."

That whole endeavor ended with so much sweat on the wall that we ended up having to repaint a portion due to my "head grease."

As entertaining as it may be for my better half to see me spewing venom at inanimate objects, especially those that so cruelly show my contoured and angered face looking right back at me, taunting me with my own personal torture, I always think the same thing when fighting with these giant glass objects. "There has to be a better way."

We've long had an overall concept for our bathroom that included a double vanity, two custom cabinets, and a large and beautiful mirror, seen here on this sophisticated rendering, completed on a bar's napkin over margaritas several years back.

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Comments 6

A little while ago we were weighing our options in restoring the uncovered plaster in the living room of our new house.

This all stemmed from the partial wall removal in that room where we realized the room's original plaster had been covered over by a layer of drywall. And when we removed the drywall, we learned that the vast majority of the plaster was completely intact.

The interesting thing about this plaster is a top or finish coat had never been applied. Old plaster is typically a three part system. You have the scratch coat, brown coat, and finally, a top coat to smooth everything out. But often, if the plan was to apply wallpaper to the wall rather than paint, the top coat was omitted and the paper was applied as a sort of top coat of its own.

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Comments 9
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