Back in November we shared or progress on our Window Restoration project, and then we got distracted by other projects.

This is the way of our home blogging and DIYing since the beginning. We start projects and then other projects take priority, so we stop projects. And sometimes we stop them for a long time. A really long time. And it makes Wendy angry with me. She doesn't understand why I stop them for so long, even though she does understand, but it doesn't mean she has to like it. 

Our entire lives as DIYers has been a series of overlapping projects and priorities. Some projects are really important, until another one is more important. In the case of our windows, I started them and then we started our dining room, and then we started stripping a bathroom closet door, and then I started cleaning the basement, and then we started our foursquare's dining room, and then I started working on some clocks. SO MANY PROJECTS! 

But before we get too derailed, let's circle back on that project that has been put off for so long that even once it's in progress, it gets put off again...the restoration of our original double hung windows. We left off in November by describing how we'd been able to successfully deglaze, strip, reinforce, and repair the first of five sash. 


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Even if you know of Old Town's famous "Spite House" on Queen Street, did you know that it's not the only one in town?

Though Old Town Alexandria is full of stately historic homes that leave many visitors impressed, one of the most famous, or perhaps infamous home's in Old Town's historic district is well known for its demure size. At just over seven feet wide, Old Town's "Spite House" has been featured in magazines, books, newspapers, and on TV shows as the "narrowest home in America."

As well known as this home is, even by Oprah, would it shock you to learn that it's really not that uncommon in Old Town Alexandria?

Yes, it's true. While most assume there's just a single "Spite House," in reality there are at least four historic houses in Old Town that fit the bill as a spite house, or alley house. The story behind these homes may actually be far more related to practical usage of space than they are centered around an owner's spite. You just have to remember that old alleys of Alexandria often looked like the few originals that remain.


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Meet Yogi. He's an adorable goofball and he is in need of a forever or foster home!

Today Yogi is with Lost Dog animal rescue and they are working to find him his new family. While that's Yogi's story today, we want to share with you how Yogi's story crossed paths with our story, why we think he's pretty special, and why he might be the perfect addition to your family.

Yogi's story in our lives started on a Saturday back in October when we were on the way to our Foursquare. Driving along a well trafficked two lane country road on a cool and overcast fall afternoon, we saw a little brown dot moving around on the side of the busy road off in the distance.

As frequent travelers of this road we've seen it all. From foxes to deer to possums to skunk, it's a great part of the area to see wildlife but we're always concerned about them getting hit by passing cars. Not knowing what the creature was we slowed as we approached, both interested to see what sort of animal was ambling along the road, and also wanting to be sure we didn't have an animal meets car encounter. But when we got close enough to see who it was, we were shocked to see that the animal we'd been approaching was a very cute dog jogging along the side of the road, apparently looking for food.


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When it comes to historic plaster repair and restoration, there's definitely something to the old adage that "practice makes perfect!"

After all, this is why a professional plasterer has to apprentice for years before they're formally allowed to work on anything that anyone is even allowed to see. Thankfully for us as DIYers, we don't have any such rules, and we're able to put our learning curve and imperfections on full display for all of you.

At this point we have over 15 years of amateur plastering experience in repairing anything from small sections of cracked or missing plaster, to complete room overhauls. My teenage self of the early '90s just read that statement and cringed at what his life has become. Don't worry 13 year old Alex, you're even more lame at 13 than 40 year old you, you just don't know it yet. Go ahead and play another game of Joe Montana Football on your Sega Genesis and call me when you're less obsessed with Andre Agassi.

In our 15 years we've learned more about plaster than we ever expected when we first bought our historic home. Along the way we've picked up tips and tricks, we've made plenty of mistakes, and we finally feel like we're starting to get the hang of this whole plastering thing...until we learn more that makes us second guess what we've done in the past and we begin to think we're actually just total crap at plastering. 

Oh, and we've even been featured in a published guide on how to attempt some DIY plaster repair (that makes some in the historic plaster repair community cringe because it used joint compound as an ingredient)! See '90s Alex, all that time spent memorizing the lyrics to Rapper's Delight and figuring out how to dance like MC Hammer have paid off, now you're a pseudo plaster expert and can grow a semi respectable yet unreasonably creepy looking mustache. Dreams do come true.


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Online scams are running rampant lately, so it's no surprise that we seem to have been caught up in a very strange Amazon reseller scam.

This story may sound a little bit incongruous with what you'd expect when it comes to online scams, but we want to make you aware of it as it could very easily happen to you. And like us, might leave you scratching your head a little bit in an attempt to determine if you were victim of a scam, or if someone might have somehow ended up thinking you're scamming them.

There's been a story lately about a practice called "Brushing" where random people are getting Amazon products they didn't order shipped to their home. The purpose of the scam is for the Amazon seller to garner fraudulent highly rated product reviews from overseas people that didn't actually order the products, instead just shipping the actual product to a random address. But the scam we seem to be wrapped up in is entirely different.

Back in early December Wendy and I arrived home to find a soft Amazon package sitting in our vestibule. Being a modern pair of Xennials (it's a thing), we have fully embraced the luxury of clicking a virtual button and having something magically arrive in our home days or even hours later, while simultaneously possessing vivid memories of a dark and horrible time where mail order meant you picked items from a catalog and called a human that would take your order, which you then expected to receive at some point in the hopefully not-too-distant future. Therefore, the sight of a package in an Amazon branded container was not a surprise for us, though it did garner some excitement as to what it might contain.

Upon opening this item my excitement turned to puzzlement. It was a Pittsburgh Steelers Antonio Brown XXL NFL football jersey. As a native Clevelander and diehard fan of the Browns, the Steelers are an arch rival due primarily to geography (though decidedly not competitive ability...because, since 1999, the Browns are quite shit), so the receipt of this particular jersey struck us as strange. 


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