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Easter Weekend Projects

April 8, 2012

Alex and I spent most of Easter weekend wrapping up small projects that we never seem to get around to.

The items that we managed to check off our list include: installing moulding around the dishwasher, lowering the oven into its final resting place (we had to wait for the counters to cure fully first), painting and installing exterior trim around the back door, and painting the side door.

Below is the painted, almost finished back door trim.  Remember, there wasn’t a door here at all when we bought the house!

I also painted and attempted to “antique” a pine headboard that I found in the trash at school.  It turned out alright, and it is definitely a step up from no headboard at all.


The front porch has also been a major focus for us lately.  You can see below how far the porch column base has leaned in the past 90 years.  Clearly, we need a new concrete base and we need to restore the wood column.  This project, more than any other that we’ve tackled so far, requires us to work with Pasadena’s Permit Office.  There are three reasons for this: 1) Our house is a Mill’s Act house, meaning we signed a contract with the city to complete specific work  on the house (the columns are specified in the agreement), in return for reduced property taxes.  2) This is a structural project that could make the entire front of the house collapse if done incorrectly.  3) We’re in a historic district, so the city is concerned with any potential aesthetic changes made to the front of the house.

To get a permit from the city, we needed to show a detailed drawing of the wooden columns, among other things.  This required tearing one of the columns apart….  and we were pretty surprised at what we saw inside.  It turns out, as you can see below, the only thing structurally supporting each side of the porch roof is a single, slightly rotted, drunkenly tilted,  pine 2×4.   Suddenly we are very motivated to get these replaced ASAP – these are not going to survive an earthquake.

In addition to those little projects, Alex thought it would be fun to try making gyros from scratch using a 1950’s Sunbeam Rotisserie thing that we found in the shed when we tore it down…  suffice it to say, I was skeptical.

Amazingly, the rotisserie thing cleaned up well and actually worked when we plugged it in.  So today, Alex bought lamb and beef from the local Hispanic grocery store, ground the meat using a kitchen-aid attachment, and then proceeded to make hummus and tzatziki sauce from scratch too.  After a lot of trial and error, we succeeded in using the rotisserie to cook our homemade gyro meat to a perfect crisp, resulting in a delicious meal!

Happy Easter everyone!


One Comment leave one →
  1. Spencer permalink
    April 9, 2012 6:28 AM

    Awesome! Now I really need to plan a trip down there.

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