Finishing Touches or “The Stucco on Your Baronial Castle is Scarcely Dry”
Welcome to the Book Nook Inn — Now open! (Well, pretty much open, two rooms are open, and the bathroom, which is pretty important; and an extra room if you don’t mind sleeping on an air mattress and a closet full of stuff.)
Whew! It’s been a whirlwind of activity for the last couple of weeks as we worked to get the rooms ready for our first guests, who arrived on June 28th to celebrate their one-year wedding anniversary. We made it, too — the Secret Garden Room looked fabulous, and smelled good too.
But, (don’t tell anyone) I still don’t have the new back door completely installed. It’s close, but not quite there. In fact, the whole door debacle has become a thorn in Cameron’s side, I do believe. But see, the thing is we were being thrifty and I got both doors from the Restore, one five five bucks; the doorknob and hinges cost more! And the other door cost $45, and it’s a good, solid exterior door, and did I mention heavy. No one will be breaking it down anytime soon.
But the thing about the doors was that they didn’t quite fit. Both of them were close, but the bottom had to be cut off the one, and they both needed to be subjected to a plane in order to make them fit, and true to form, I had a small hand plane, which was labor intensive so the whole thing took quite a lot of time, but between the plane and the sander, the boys got the door in at the bottom of the stairs, and the other is fitted, and just needs to have the hinges adjusted in order to work. By the end of the week though, all of the doors should be functional with working knobs and locks.
We also put the finishing touches on the murals (thank you to Maria who added detail to the cliffs), added a key, a clock, and a mirror to The Secret Garden Room, and included, you guessed it, a door. We also added a few more items to the Treasure Island Room including a picture of an old-fashioned map, complete with sea monsters and Latin lettering, a net hanging from the ceiling, an aquarium, and yet another door. This door covers the access to under the stairs from the closet, which is also the access to the water for the house. It’s been an open hole in the closet for the twenty-some years I’ve lived here, so I guess it’s about time it got its own door.
The other project that I poured sweat and a few frustrated tears into was the bathroom. Specifically, finishing up the trim work, the caulking/waterproofing; my nemesis proved to be removing the old caulk from around the edge of the tub. It took me approximately three hours! Three hours of scraping, cutting with a razor knife, and gripping with pliers to remove half inch bits and pieces; a tedious process indeed. But I prevailed, and now it has clean white silicone sealant all around. And bless his heart, Jason replaced the innards of the toilet, which now flushes (almost) like a regular toilet. Then as a final touch, we added butterflies. I rather like the butterflies.
The other thing that happened during the three days preceding the 28th was that Jaimie finished shading the books on the wall, lettering the book titles on the bottom set of stairs – of course Captain was “supervising” the project, and when Xander came to visit, in his haste, Captain stepped INTO the can of yellow paint Jaimie was using, and made deposits all the way up the stairs, across the front room floor, and onto the couch (which is the reason I was left waiting at the train station for a ride which never came); shall we just say Jaimie was not a happy camper. Jaimie and Dillan were able to get most of the paint off, before it dried, but I do believe Captain Underfoot still has some bits of yellow left on his tail.
Even with that delay, and working under a dose of self inflicted sleep deprivation, she finished all of the titles with the exception of “and the Half Blood Prince” next to the Harry Potter lettering; she will finish that when she comes for Cameron’s wedding in August — did I mention I have another wedding coming up? My youngest is getting married in about six weeks! In any case, I love how the titles turned out. It makes the perfect entryway into The Secret Garden Room. I was very pleased with how it looked when we had it all ready for our very first guests at The Book Nook Inn
Two days before my guests were to arrive, Troy came to put new tile in the entryway. I had some I had gotten from the Restore, but he decided I needed something better and gifted me brand new porcelain tile. What a generous thing to do. He finished the grouting the morning of the day my guests were to arrive, but it was finished in time. Thank you Troy! It looks marvelous as he is a very meticulous artisan, and I am thrilled with the result. It creates a very nice first impression.
So the details came together, and nearly everything was finished by the 28th when we welcomed our first guests! I guess you could call this endeavor the modern-day version of the widow’s boarding house. More about our first guest experiences in my next update.
PS: I also want to extend a huge thank you go everyone who believes in me and has helped to make this transformation possible. We are getting closer to being able to do the Three Musketeers Room, and eventually a kitchen. Please find and like us on Facebook.
PPS: Bonus points if you can name the source of the alternate title: “The Stucco on Your Baronial Castle is Scarcely Dry”