Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sleeping porches

Since we got the house painted the kids have been allowed to go on the upstairs porch (I wouldn't let them go out before because the paint was peeling so badly!). They asked (begged) me to let them sleep out there, so we got the air mattress and sleeping bags out and let them have a "porch camp-out". It was cooler last night thanks to a small storm that passed through so it was great weather for sleeping (we were able to turn off the a/c in the house too.). I'm not sure if the original owners slept on cots or just took their mattresses outside but I'm sure they didn't have blow up mattresses and Ipods for comfort! We've come a long way, baby!!!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Painting complete (for now)

The painters are finally done and gone - yea! I'm not going to put any of the furniture on the porch for a couple of days (I want to make sure that it is dry!) and besides Louisa wants a new cast iron table and chairs!!! Here are couple a of before and afters....

Downstairs porch before.

Downstairs porch after.

Double porches after

Back wall before

Back wall after

Back porch ceiling before

Back porch after.
If you have 4 porch ceilings and three are painted light green, what color would you paint the fourth???? I guess we weren't specific enough when we said "Paint all the ceilings green". Oh, well... at least it has paint on it. As you can see they did scrape the paint off the door windows (not the best job in the world). I'm thinking this fall I'm going to take the door off and strip it so I'm not too worried about it. The best news is the city said we are off the hook for the peeling paint!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Painting 101

In case you didn't know.... you should tape the windows before you paint! I'm hoping I'm happy with the end result.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Scrape, scrape, scrape, Primer!!!

The painters have been hard at work scraping paint. Today we got some primer up! It looks a lot better with just the primer (can't wait until it's finished). I have been sick for the last 4 days so I haven't gotten any pictures. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to get outside before they descend upon us. Remember that scene in The Money Pitt when Shelly Long is in the bathroom and opens the medicine cabinet to get something and there inside the cabinet is the guy working on the house looking in at her? Well that's the way I feel, need to get a shower before guys are climbing ladders to the 2nd floor!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

We have a painter!

I am totally stealing this joke from "This Decrepit Victorian's" blog (because I laughed out loud when I read it!!!):

A guy meets a hooker in a bar. She says, “This is your lucky night. I’ve got a special game for you. I’ll do absolutely anything you want for $300, as long as you can say it in three words.” The guy replies, “Hey, why not?” He pull his wallet out of his pocket, and one at a time lays three hundred-dollar bills on the bar, and says, slowly: “Paint…my…house.”

We just hired someone to paint the double porches, side and back of the house! Yea!!!! He will start in the morning. He was painting the house 2 doors down and I stopped and asked for a quote. It's nice to be able to see someones work before you hire them. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they do a good job and it doesn't take too long (we won't be able to use the pool for a few days).

Back of the house looking into the kitchen. I'll have to take pictures of the porches before he starts. Wish us luck :-)

Monday, July 6, 2009

A look back

Walter L. and Lillian Bilisoly were the original owners of our house, which was listed as 732 Park Avenue. We are not positive of the exact date it was built but it was sometime between 1900 and 1905 (this was the first time it was listed in the Portsmouth City Directory). The Bilisoly family was well known in Portsmouth, from my research most of them were doctors or druggist. Herman and Lydia Aspegren immigrated from Sweden and lived in our house from 1911 to 1923, they had 5 daughters when they moved to Norfolk. Herman Aspegren was the president of Portsmouth Cotton Oil Refinery. Their granddaughter, Karin Eckelmeyer, was gracious enough to talk to me and send me these pictures (how I found her is a story for another day!).

The Aspegren family on the side porch.

Lydia Aspegren (center) and relatives from Sweden - sometime in the 1920's.

Lydia Aspegren (far left) riding with her daughters. The brick pillars behind them are still in front of our house but strangely they are much shorter!

The girls on the roof of our shed. We still have the shed (which is filled with 100 years of wood) but it looked much better when it was new - I'm not sure I would stand on the roof today!!

After the Aspegren's moved out, our house had many owners. It was once used as a Parsonage for the Methodist Church and was eventually turned into apartments sometime during WWII (as most houses in this area were).

Matt and I are trying to update the house as best we can without altering the historic integrity. The changes that were made to the house before we got here probably will not be corrected while we live here but by in large the house is as it was originally planned.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Wow, I have a Blog!

So after some pondering, I decided to create a blog so that I could post some of the craziness that goes on here! The four of us live in a 1900's American Foursquare. Although it's not perfect, it's our home and we love it.

This weekend was the Fourth of July holiday. We decided to stay home and enjoy the new pool, cookout on the grill and watch the Norfolk fireworks from our front porch (did I tell you I loved living here????). Here are a few pictures from this weekend....
My niece, Ashley, came over to watch the kids. It's great to have a 15 year old that likes kids.

The city of Norfolk had fireworks this year on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night! Lucky for us we can watch them from our house and miss all the traffic. My kids decided to dress up for the Saturday night show.

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