May 20, 2018:


Yesterday Prince Harry married American Meghan Markle and I couldn't get enough of the royal wedding. What a gorgeous dress, the bride was radiantly beautiful and the church at Windsor - oh my goodness, the flowers alone were soooo beautiful. There's nothing like a good love story to make one appreciate how precious we can be (and should be) to each other.

I'm glad the weather was perfect yesterday for the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding. I can't say the same for around here. Spring keeps teasing and then going away. This morning I woke up to a "balmy" 47 degrees F outside, rain, damp, and I turned the heat back on! It's May 20th, the heat. should. not. be. on. Period.

Last Thursday, however, was beautiful. I was able to get a goodly amount of yard and garden clean-up done over several days last week. I also took some photos of my flowering tree anchoring the north corner of my house and made the current collage. I think it's an ornamental cherry, and on the the other end of the house, I think that's called a purple sand cherry? I'll have to check that. The blossoms on the tree do not have a distinct fragrance, but the purple shrub that wants to be a tree (despite my hacking it back, back and back yearly - I'm losing, by the way) has myriad blossoms with a distinct fragrance. I can't decide if the scent is too beautiful to bear or too awful to smell, it certainly can be overpowering!

This coming week will be the third cut of the grass this season. We had rain late Friday night and then for several hours earlier this morning. This rain, on top of the rain we had over four days the prior weekend, and the grass is growing like nobody's business! I don't mind doing the grass, though, as long as it's not too hot, too cold, not raining, and not too windy. I'm not picky at all, am I...

I still have a lot of raking out of areas that suffered from snow mold over the winter, and have not yet really tackled cleaning out the north flower bed in the backyard. That will be a chore!

But Memorial Day weekend is coming. This coming Saturday I will be out with a friend (who has a nice large van - goody!) stocking up on potting soil, top soil to fill in never-ending low spots in the yard, grass seed, and lots of plants! For some reason, this spring seems busier than those in prior years. I can't figure out why that is...


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Removing Carpet from My Stairs

Hola, darlings!

This afternoon, about 3 p.m., I started removing the carpeting from my stairs.

For background, please visit my prior post:

June 9, 2013: Am I Really Thinking About Tearing Off the Carpeting on the Stairs...

I realized a few weeeks ago after having lived here nearly 23 years and going up and down the basement stairs all the time, that those stairs are perfectly fine stairs that could be painted or stained; I shortly concluded, after this stunning realization, that if the builder bothered to put such "good" stairs down to the basement, chances are, he did the same with the stairs going from the first floor up to the second floor.

In a further fit of inspiration, I pulled out my copy of the builder's specs. And there it was in writing - the stairs/treads were made out of pine and birch. But despite plenty of testimony from visiting online blogs of people who has discovered that their carpeted stairs were good enough to re-finish without having to be replaced, I was too scared (paralyzed, is more like it), to do anything to even try and check if my suppositions about the first to second floor stairs were correct.

I didn't include photographs of my basement stairs in my prior post - it didn't occur to me until today to take a couple and post them here - duh.  Here are the basement steps going down from the hallway (between the front room and the kitchen/dinette) to the basement landing:

And here is a photo of the second set of steps from the landing down to the basement:

Not bad, heh?  They've got a bullnose edge and they're made (according to the builder's specs) out of pine and birch.

I cannot believe I'm doing this.  Have I gone totally insane?  Hmmm...

After spending the entire morning (since 6:35 a.m.) watching online videos of last season's HGTV Star in-between bouts of doing loads of laundry and house-cleaning, and since it was horrible outside (hot and icky humid and it rained for nearly 12 hours, since about 9 p.m. last night until about 9 a.m. this morning, it's too wet to cut the grass), I decided to tackle the carpeting that has been driving me nuts for the past several years. 

Blame it on HGTV!  I pulled out a screwdriver and a putty knife and gently pried up a corner of the carpeting at the end of the lowest step in the hallway, just to see what kind of wood was underneath.  I was surprised by how easily it came up.  Now I realize that it was a trick played upon me all those years ago by whoever installed the carpeting...  I was able to pull the carpeting up and -- sure enough -- there was the nice pine tread with a bullnosed edge, just like the basement stairs!

And so, I kept going...

Yucky stuff, but less that I would have suspected after all these years, came out of the carpeting, but it came up easily enough, for awhile...

I pulled out an assortment of different tools.  Unfortunately, I do not own a wrench, highly recommended by Thirfty Decor Chick for aiding in carpeting removal -- I learned how right she was! 

Working off and on for several hours, I finally quit about 7:20 p.m. when I basically collapsed in an exhausted heap and decided to cook myself a fancy steak dinner instead of trying to remove even one more damn carpet staple.  Ironically, although I started at the bottom of the stairs, that step has yet to be stripped of its carpeting.  Instead, I cut the carpeting underneath the bullnose on the landing and worked my way down the stairs, figuring that it would be easier to pull the carpeting DOWN toward me than to pull it UPWARD. 

I was wrong.  Either way is equally hard.

I am very disappointed to have discovered that I am much weaker than I thought I was.  Damn! 

I am still not done removing the carpeting from the first seven stairs leading up to the landing.  From what seemed like hardly any staples at all holding the carpeting on the stairs to what seem like thousands, my poor arms just do not have enough strength to pull the carpeting up. Well, at least, not any more tonight!

I still have two treads and three risers at the bottom of the staircase to remove the carpeting from.  But right now, I'm going to go take a long hot bath in the hope of heading off what I suspect could be a bad case of aches and pains tomorrow, and then go to bed!

I also have several scratches to treat with tea tree oil. I had gloves on to protect my hands and eye protection, but only a tee shirt on working inside the house.  Should have been wearing a heavy sweatshirt to protect my arms.  The scratches are inadvertent, from brushing up against the carpet staples as I worked to remove the carpet from the stairs.

One good thing I discovered -- there are NO carpet tack strips!  Nope!  My carpeting was stapled into the treads and risers near the seam between tread and riser and underneath the bullnose on the tread, so I will not have to remove tack strips.

Another thing I discovered -- how chintzy my carpet padding was.  Geez! 

And, fortunately, many of the staples are coming up with the carpeting instead of tearing through and staying embedded on the treads and risers, because I'm tugging the carpeting out so slowly (because I haven't eaten my spinach and do not have arms like Popeye, alas).  And so, while there will be staples to be removed after the carpeting is all gone, there won't be near as many as I feared.

And, at least eyeballing it while tugging this way and that trying to get the carpeting off the stairs, there do not seem to be as many holes that will need to be filled and sanded as I saw in the accounts posted online by many other people who have gone through this process. 

So, my sore muscles are counting their blesings right now.  Good night.

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