family home pragmatic historian projects tips work in progress

Breaking the Keys & Leaving the Mess

Removing the plaster and lath in our dining room continues. I’m doing most of the plaster removal and cleanup while Hubby removes the lath and some of the harder-to-remove plaster. Back in the early 2000s, when we were remodeling other rooms in the house and removing the plaster and lath, I learned one trick that could help remove the plaster more easily: Breaking the keys. That sounds mysterious, like snapping a bunch of skeleton keys…

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family history home pragmatic historian projects

Dining Room Renovation Surprise

Only two rooms in our 1894 house still have plaster and lath walls. Soon, only one room will have plaster and lath because we are renovating the dining room. The plaster in our dining room was cracked, buckled, and coming away from the walls in a couple different areas. As we ready the house for sale, this had to be fixed. Also, the room needs insulation and new wiring. We emptied the room of furniture…

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family history pragmatic historian

A Culmination of Ancestral Traits

Yesterday, Hubby and I hosted an informal Zoom event with the kids in celebration of a new grandchild soon to be entering the world. (Yay, another grandbaby!) Our first grandbaby was part of the event, periodically hamming it up for the benefit of those gathered. First Grandchild is very mobile now. There is no rest while keeping track of him. He will find the tiniest fleck of dirt and put it in his mouth. He…

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House Excavations: The Makings of Childhood

House Excavations: The Makings of Childhood The sorting continues …. The past number of weeks, I’ve been packing boxes with books and d├ęcor, trying to sort as I go. There’s no sense moving stuff we no longer want. And when you’ve lived in a house for close to 30 years, it’s amazing how much stuff accumulates that you no longer have a use for or, worse yet, never had a use for and can’t figure…

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family history observations pragmatic historian preservation

The Quirks of Our House

As I sift through and pack things in our home for our eventual move, I’m trying to look at the house from the perspective of new owners. We’ve made a great many improvements to the place since we moved in roughly 29 years ago. We gutted, insulated, rewired, and sheetrocked most of the old part of the house, which was built in 1894. We also removed the rotted front porch (trust me when I tell…

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