Richard Petty, Nascar in Bristol

August 25, 2007



Whenever I am out of town and people ask me where I live, and I say Bristol, TN… if they know of Bristol at all, it is usually because of Nascar. Yes folks, Liza and I live in the town known for “the fastest half mile in the world.”

Since 160,000 folks have come to town to watch car racing this week, we are taking a few days off from the renovating of our project house to take in the festival feeling of one of the biggest car racing events in the world.

Now, I am technically a native but really not much of a “gear head”, as car racing fans are referred to. But it is hard to deny that when all these auto racing fans come to town it is quite an event! Pictured here is Richard Petty, one of Nascar’s racing legends. Liza got this photo during “Food City Family Fun Race Night”, a fan appreciation event held on Thurs. night before the week-end races.

On this night, many of the racers and their race cars, sponsors and crews set up in downtown Bristol and offer autographs, photo ops, and free stuff. Although Liza wondered through the crowds (60,000 they say) several times on Thursday, I only made it twice. What a scene! Thousands of race fans standing in lines for things like: Nascar Burgers, official Nascar apparel like a $35 tee shirt, sponsor give-a-ways, or a moment with one of the drivers. Rhonda Vincent sang on a stage at one end of the street (Bristol can’t have any event with out music!!!)

One of the racing teams had a mock pit where ordinary people could try changing a tire to a timed challenge. Changing a tire is apparently not as easy as those guys make it look in the pits on race day! TODAY: the Sharpie 500!!!


The Ups and Downs of Wallpaper Removal

August 13, 2007



Apparently the wallpaper in bedroom #3 was a single ply paper that came of easily. Different situation in bedroom #2! This shiny embossed paper is two ply!

I found that I could scrape off the first layer easily, but under neath I found a thick backing that required a repeat of the entire process. Ole well… it got done!

And as it came off I uncovered the lively avocado green that was original to this 60’s rancher. I kind of like it!


The Wallpaper has to Go!

August 13, 2007



This is a close up of the “lovely” wallpaper in bedroom #2.


Wallpaper Removal Tools!

August 13, 2007



At our local Lowes, we found this product for wallpaper removal from the Zinsser people. Actually, it is a multi-step process after you remove window coverings, switch plate covers and picture hangers, etc.:
1. Use the special wallpaper scoring tool. This tool is rubbed over the wallpaper to make tiny perforations in it that will allow the liquid goop to seep under the wallpaper and loosen it.
2. Roll on, sponge on, or spray on the removal goop.
3. Wait a few minutes.
4. Start scraping!

This process worked well for me on bedroom #3, so now I will see how it does in this room. Wish me luck!


Wallpaper Removal Day!

August 13, 2007




OK. Today is wallpaper removal day! Here is the “before” shot of bedroom # 2 in our rehab house project.

I am having flashbacks to the old Victorian house I grew up in on Olive Street. My amazing mother scraped wallpaper from 10′ walls in room after room, replacing the tired coverings with fresh peach paint in my bedroom. I remember the tall ladder she bravely mounted and the labor required to remove layer after layer of the hideous stuff.

I am lucky. I beleive there is only one layer in this room with standard 8′ ceilings. Still… seems daunting… but here we go!


dark kitchen

August 3, 2007



Our “before” kitchen was quite the 60’s/70’s charmer. The avocado green built in can opener was our favorite feature!

Seriously, the room is a good size and the basic layout of the appliances is the perfect triangle. But the room still seems dark since the only natural light source is through a cut-out over the sink adjacent to den’s glass doors.

The first day I stood in this room I could see the difference opening up this room would make.  I envisioned the cut-out expanded and the entire left wall above the bottom cabinetry removed. I could imagine slicing cucmbers at my sunny kitchen counter while bird watching through to the lush, rear courtyard.

Within the first few days of ownership we knew we would be spending half of our renovation budget on the 600 sf. kitchen and den areas. It is the heart of the home and the area in most need of updating.

Here’s what needs to be done in these rooms:

1. Demolition of kitchen cabinets, old flooring, paneled walls.  This involves calling the plumber and electrician to disconnect what ever we can not unhook!

2. Build new staircase to lower level and remove impractical and unnecessary spiral.

3. Prepare floors to receive 3/4″ hardwood flooring.

4. Install support header beams where needed.

5. Have plumber Chris and electrician Jamie come back in to update, reconnect, run new lines, etc.

6. Sheetrock on walls and over popcorn ceilings. Sand and paint.

7.  Order and install cabinetry from Kitchen Floyd.

8.  New appliances, countertop, backslash, and fixtures.

9.  Hardwood flooring.

Not particularly in that order… but you get the idea. Total overhaul. It’s OK. I can see the results, smell the food cooking, feel the revived energy of the home’s spirit.

Our project kitchen will be “starting over” too.


demo day one

August 3, 2007



Here is a picture looking into the kitchen from the den. Our rehabbing always gets scary after demo day one. You think…”I just spent a pile of money to purchase this home and now we have torn it apart.” Something about it must get worse before it can get better!