Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Sewing Again

I decided I wanted to make new cushions for the cool morris chair we bought five years ago. Yeah, it's been sitting around in our living room for five years in an unusable condition.
The disaster that confronted me 
Anyway, late last week I went into my sewing room to sew and it was such a huge mess I couldn't do anything in there. Everything was covered in a thick layer of grime, there were probably four projects piled on top of each other, and there was so much junk stashed in there it was hard to even get around. I had to spend an entire day just cleaning up the room.

Once I organized my in-progress projects into tubs, evicted the non-sewing room junk, and wiped down the grime, the room was much better.

I finally repainted the damaged frieze. The plaster popped out a piece when the bathroom was demo'd and then we asked our plaster guy to patch it when he came out to surface the bathroom walls, but I had never gotten around to touching up the paint.

And I've also been meaning to show a photo of the floor mat. When I wrote about it before, it was still curled from shipping. It flattened out nicely and I've been really happy with it.
This view never gets old
Starting to get organized again
Quilt wall hanging
Tidier, but still needs some work
It took me about four days to finish cutting the foam and sewing the cushion covers, but I did finish them. It was not the most fun sewing project I've done because it was a struggle sewing so many layers of bulky velvet, but I'm glad to be finished. I will show photos of the finished chair maybe tomorrow when I have a chance to take a photo during the day.

And, since I had a few hours to spare this evening, I pulled out the curtain project again. Yeah, another project I abandoned unfinished for way too long. I was wondering why I abandoned it back in April and then I remembered that my sewing machine had died and I needed to take it in for service and by the time I got it back I had basically lost interest in working on it.

Hopefully, when I get burned out on writing in November, I'll go work on piecing squares for my curtains for a few hours. And, now that it's November, Jeff and I will be turning our attention to participating in NaNoWriMo. Wish us luck! 😈

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Scattershot Progress

I have been randomly jumping around from project to project the last couple of weeks, in an attempt to get some overdue projects done before we shut down all the house projects to focus exclusively on writing in November.

We did get back to the brackets in the bathroom, but it was delayed because I decided I wanted to paint them a different color. I had painted them the fake-chrome I used in the basement, but it looked really stupid next to the real chrome. So, I went and bought heritage white spray paint that was a close match to the tile and recoated them.

They went up pretty well, though there are a couple of scratches I need to touch up before I declare it done.
The brackets painted fake-chrome
Painting all the pieces
Heritage white paint color
Jeff is struggling to get the chrome hooks hung because the screws they came with suck. They keep stripping, no matter what prep he does. Yes, we can replace them, but there is at least one stuck in the wood that we haven't been able to remove. Jeff's talking about grinding it down with a dremel tool.

Since he gets way too much anxiety from these kinds of frustrating projects, I'm considering finding a handyman who can spend a few hours installing hardware throughout the two bathrooms we never entirely finished.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Avoid TN Wholesale Nursery

I am posting this entry mainly to catch google searches to warn off potential buyers from any of their websites I have found. I don't expect any of you guys to actually read this. Some of you may recall a post I made in spring about a large bulk order from Wholesale Nursery. As expected, my dispute was reversed and I ended up paying $200 for dead twigs. I was obviously angry.

(And actually, since I've had a couple of these stupid reversals from criminal companies by Discover card, I'm going to stop using it as my primary credit card. I'm guessing the credit card companies have bribed Congress to allow them to change the dispute rules in the last few years. I seem to remember that once upon a time you could dispute a charge successfully if a company failed to deliver on their promises. Apparently, that is no longer a thing. Now it seems all they have to do is show that you authorized the charge, regardless of whether they held up their end of the bargain.)

Anyway, I was pretty angry and I did a bunch more research about this company and I want to post more info about the many URLs this company has so that if potential buyers are clever enough to do a google search on them, they may find my post.

If you have already been scammed by this company, you have my apologies. I know how it feels. I spoke to my friend who is a commercial attorney, about filing a class action suit. She suggested that I should file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) under the Online Shopping category. Hopefully, if enough of us complain, they'll pursue action against this group.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

I 💜 Craigslist

I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again: Craigslist rocks! I had big plans to finish the garden shed this month, but I got on a serious—but really overdue—tangent. I've been sifting our massive piles of packed boxes in our basement.

It's been a bit of a horrendous project so far, but it's getting easier. Originally, I was hoping to sell a lot of the stuff, but I've realized that the difference between selling something for a dollar versus giving it away is often days, or weeks, if you can sell it at all.  So, unless something is really valuable, I'm just listing it for free on craigslist. I spent six months trying to sell boxes of virtually brand new clothes and never had one person come take a look. Instead, I had Jeff deliver the six boxes to a homeless shelter and now we can feel good about helping.

I should have had a garage sale this summer, but I never got motivated to get ready for one. Now that I'm inspired to work on this sifting project, I'm just trying to keep my momentum going. I've already used the excuse of waiting for a buyer too many times in years past. Some of these boxes have not been unpacked since 2006, when we originally moved to California. It's past time just to get this stuff gone. This big house has way too much junk in it and I'm ready to clear it out.

I have a few embarrassing photos, but I don't want to post them until we're finished and can post side-by-side with the after photos. Hopefully sometime next week the basement will be more picture-worthy.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

1966: How Mansions Turned into Church and School

As you may recall, the center of Laurelhurst was originally composed of three houses. Since it was reportedly the most "sightly" part of the development, the plan was to have four oversize grand houses with huge yards in that block.
The above design for laying out a block for residence sites at Laurelhurst and drawn by Thomas Hawkes, landscape architect. The idea of C.K. Henry, O.W. Taylor, C.V. Cooper and Dr. H.I. Keeney, owners of the block, was to have the block laid out on a consistent plan and to place the residences and arrange the grounds so as to preserve the beauty of the site. Instead of having unsightly garages on the sidewalks, as is seen in Irvington and other fine residence districts, the owners have decided upon a community garage in the center of the block. The numbers indicate where the residences will be built, as follows: No. 1, C.K. Henry's residence; No. 2, O.W. Taylor's residence; No. 3, C.V. Cooper's residence; No. 4, Dr. H.I. Keeney's residence; No. 5, general garage.

In May, 1910, it looks like they were all in:
Charles K. Henry is having plans prepared for a $15,000 home on Laurelhurst Avenue and Dr. Homer I. Keeney will start in the immediate future to build a $7000 home on this same avenue. Among other residences planned to be erected this Summer are those for Francis Dubois Jr., to cost $5000; W.S. Hurst, a $5000 home; A.E. Kern, $5000; Grant Foster, between $4000 and $5000; H.C. Gresel, $5000; Charles V. Cooper, $10,000; C.S. Russell, $7000; and O.W. Taylor, $10,000

In Jun 1911, apparently he was still planning to build:

The Oregonian 25 Jun 1911 
O.W. Taylor to Build 
O.W. Taylor has had plans made for a fine residence in Laurelhurst. The house will contain seven rooms and a sleeping porch and will be two stories high. H.P. Barnhart prepared the plans and has been given the contract to build the house. The building will cost $5,000.
However, in 1917, I find he has sold a residence at 1035 Davis Street.
The Oregonian, 29 Jul 1917
The home of O.W. Taylor, of the Gearhart Park Land Company, located at 1035 East Davis street, corner of Floral avenue, was sold to J.E. Ellison, manager of the Ellison-White Chautauqua Company, at a reported consideration of $16,000. O.V. Badley acted as the agent in the transaction.
This residence was built a few years ago by Dr. W.A. Wise on two large lots of 250-foot frontage and commanding a pretty view. It contains 12 rooms and is supplemented with a large double garage. The yard has an abundance of flowers and choice foliage.
I'm not really sure what made him back out of building the other house. Perhaps it's because he found another he liked more, or maybe it was a better deal? We'll never know.

In any case, that fourth lot stayed vacant in the center of the development. C.K. Henry sold his house to Mrs. Scott in 1913 and retired to Pasadena, California.
Apparently, in Jun 1914, Laurelhurst company sold the lot to All Saint's Church to build a church.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Unpacking Again

I am finally trying to deal with some ancient unpacked boxes. Nearly four months ago, when we were setting up those shelves in the storage area of the basement, Jeff hauled up quite a few boxes into the living room for us to sift. Sadly, they have sat there ever since. I opened one of them once before and took one look at the scary stuff in it then promptly made a beeline in the other direction. But now I'm trying to get that library area space cleared out so we can spend November hanging out in there writing for National Novel Writing Month. So, I am sifting.

We are finding all kinds of "treasures" from my Grandmother's house.

I'm guessing these are candleholders, but they're really large. They'd probably hold some pretty wide candles. The glass is pretty though. I'm not sure what I would do with them. I have no idea how old they are. I may have to try selling these on eBay.

Rooster napkin holder and spoon rests, I believe. My brother actually wants these.
A new-in-box fondue set. Probably from the 1970s. LOL

Another, smaller candle holder glass set.

The container on the right was sort of an interesting oil and balsamic vinegar dispenser. It came from the store filled, but it's probably 30 years old by now. Not sure how I would clean it.

I cannot blame these on my grandmother. At some point I obviously decided I needed a set of Kooshlings. Unfortunately, I didn't need them enough to actually play with them. :(

There's more stuff, but it's not particularly picture worthy. I'm trying to figure out the best way to find a new home for this stuff and it's not fun.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Aug 1963: Opposition Successful

The Oregonian, 7 Aug 1963
Editorial: Two-For-One Freeway
Two freeways for the price of one, with the federal government picking up 92% of the tab for both of them, is one obvious advantage of the proposal revealed at Gresham Monday by Victor D. Wolfe, administrative assistant of the State Highway Commission.

Originally the commission planned a freeway that would take off from the Baldock (Salem) freeway near Tualatin, cross the Willamette River near Oswego, pass through the Milwaukie area and run north through east Portland in the vicinity of 39th Avenue, finally crossing the Columbia River on a new bridge. This route was labeled the Laurelhurst Freeway. As might have been expected, many people of Laurelhurst and other east side residential districts objected strenuously to it. The commission subsequently moved the proposed route east to 111th Avenue.

Equally vociferous in opposition have been many residents of Lake Oswego and Milwaukie. They didn't want a freeway, either.

[The rest of the article omitted because it was about another freeway.]

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Mar 1962: Freeway Opposition

The Oregonian, 12 March 1962
Storm Clouds Gather Over Proposed Laurelhurst Freeway
by Herman Edwards

This is the second in the series of three articles discussing the interstate freeway system of the Portland metropolitan area.

“It is realized the location of this (Laurelhurst) freeway bisects the Hollywood business district. If the cost of the right-of-way is too great and the objections too many, investigations will be made of alternate locations.”

That prophetic statement was made in the Oregon State Highway Department’s Technical Report No. 55-5, published in June 1955. The report was a comprehensive discussion of 14 freeways, 14 expressways and 24 major streets studied in connection with a freeway and expressway system for the Portland metropolitan area.

Some of the freeways have been constructed and are in use (Banfield and Baldock). Some were dropped from consideration after the Federal Highway Act of 1956 made more money available and imposed new construction standards. The East Bank is under construction.

Some are still on the planning boards for the future, among them the Laurelhurst over which the storm clouds of objection apparently anticipated seven years ago are gathering. Also surviving for future consideration and also certain to encounter stormy weather are the proposed Mount Hood and Fremont freeways.

For public relations purposes the name Laurelhurst was an unfortunate choice. It has fixed, in the minds of most interested persons, the route of the proposed freeway along the line of 39th Avenue through one of the city’s most distinctive residential sections.

The Highway Department has long felt “Central Eastside Freeway” would be better suited for a route which has not been adopted and which may vary, as the 1955 report suggested, some distance either west or east of 39th Avenue.

The general route of the Laurelhurst freeway studies remains much as it was in the beginning for the simple reason that it is a “desire line” originating at a point where traffic wants to move and continuing to a point where traffic wants to go.

Route Not Selected
Another reason it has not been changed is that the route has not been selected and will not be selected until after public hearings have been held as required by both state and federal laws.

The general route of Laurelhurst would leave Interstate 5 (the Baldock Freeway) somewhere in the Tualatin area, pass to the north or the south of Lake Oswego, cross the Willamette River, make a connection with US 99E (McLoughlin Boulevard) somewhere in the Oak Grove community, then continue northward through the east park of Portland.

It would cross the Columbia River on a bridge which probably would be constructed jointly by Oregon and Washington and continue northward to rejoin Interstate 5 north of Vancouver.

Laurelhurst Freeway would quality for federal interstate aid funds (92.32% federal, 7.68% state) because it would be an alternate route of Interstate 5 and part of the Portland Interstate Freeway System.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Jan 1962: Freeway Meeting

The Oregonian, 19 Jan 1962
Laurelhurst, Shattuck Citizens Weigh Proposed Freeway Effects
Two groups of Portlanders turned out Thursday night for meetings called to ponder the futures of their respective areas.

In the Laurelhurst district, some 250 persons agreed to petition the City Council and other public bodies not to locate the proposed Central East Side Freeway through their district. They also formed a Laurelhurst Community Council.

At Shattuck School on the city’s near southwest side, Asst. School Supt. Amo DeBernardis said the school faced no immediate threat of closure despite dwindling enrollments. More than 100 persons also heard from other officials about urban renewal, freeway construction, Portland State College expansion and population shifts in the school’s attendance area.

The Laurelhurst group, meeting in the auditorium of Laurelhurst school, adopted a motion opposing a freeway within the district bound by 32nd and 33rd Avenues on the west, SE Stark Street on the south, 47th Avenue on the east and NE Halsey Street on the north.

Complaints Listed
They said such a freeway would (1) disrupt the district’s character and aesthetic values, (2) disrupt church and school boundaries, (3) remove valuable property from the tax rolls, (4) cause the development of low-rent and multiple-family dwelling developments and (5) restrict use of Laurelhurst Park.

Robert Frisch, chairman of the Freeway Fact-Finding Committee, reported the city planning staff favored a route bypassing the district on the east. This route would run between 50th and 52nd Avenues as far north as Halsey Street and then swing over to just east of 47th avenue.

A route running between 39th and 41st Avenues through the Laurelhurst district has been under discussion but according to Frisch no route has been selected yet even tentatively. City Hall will have the final word.

The proposed freeway, referred to on some past occasions as the Laurelhurst Freeway, would be part of the Federal interstate highway system. It would run north through Portland’s central east side from a Freeway link crossing the Willamette River between Lake Oswego and Milwaukie, and could cross the Columbia River near Portland International Airport.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Master Bath Shelf

It's embarrassing that we've taken more than two years to finish our master bathroom remodel. But I finally, this week, managed to sand and stain the wood for the master bathroom shelf. Jeff hung the board for me earlier in the week and I varnished it. I used an old can of varnish, so it took quite a long time to dry.
Today we finally attempted to install the shelf, but it turns out we didn't get screws for them. Jeff used ugly sheetrock screws to hang the brackets up, with the plan to replace them when we got the replacement chrome-plated screws.
But then when he went to install the hooks, the pilot hole wasn't big enough and the screws were binding and he thought they might strip. He needed to drill larger pilot holes, but he didn't have a bigger drill bit because it had broken, so we decided to get him some replacement drill bits. So, needing screws and drill bits, we got quickly derailed.
Yes, we could run to the hardware store and buy drill bits and screws, but in my experience trips to Lowe's or Home Depot cost us way more than the original items we went for. Instead, I just ordered some online and we'll get them in about a week. Hopefully, we'll get this project finished next weekend.