Friday, September 19, 2008

Errands, Exploration and Surprises

Today I went to Lowe's to buy 3" exterior grade screws to reattach my fallen fence, and 1/2" metal screws to rehang my back screen door, which is falling off its hinges.

I made another visit to Hamilton's Tools, for another nail puller-- the nasty 3" nails in some of the trim I'm taking down has proved impossible for me to get out with the nail puller and pliers I have.
And I stopped by the Home Depot, because for some reason Lowe's (nor WalMart, nor anyplace else I looked) doesn't carry #0 steel wool, which I need for use with the wood refinisher.

While there, I cruised their tile section, not expecting to find anything. I really want to replace the vinyl junk in my 1st floor stairhall with something on the lines of the old Medieval/19th century encaustic tile. It looks so good with dark woodwork and William Morris patterns. I have medievalist tendencies from way back, not to mention encaustic tile reminds me of north Oxford, which is another story. But it's brutally expensive, to the point you'd almost want to just use accent pieces set in metal inserts, so you could take them with you should you have to move.

But at the Home Depot today I found this:

Not the real thing, far from the real thing, but definitely working towards the effect of the real thing. And a dickens of a lot cheaper.

I'm glad I don't have to make a decision about my hallway floor for awhile. Because before I do, I'll have to fight the battle of You'll Never Be Able to Forget It's Not Real! vs. The Cost of the Real Stuff Is Way Out of Proportion for This Little House!

But it's nice to know this tile line exists, should Sense ultimately win out over Sensibility.

When I got home, I immediately set to work trying to fix the aluminum screen door, before I lost the daylight. I won't go into how that proceeded; it's done well enough to close properly again, even if it does need a stronger hand than mine to tighten the new screws in as well as they need to be. But I had the door propped open as I worked, and the dog and my eldest cat were in and out. After I got done, I went out in the back yard to make sure the kitty hadn't wandered into the neighbors' yard through the gap in the fence.

And then for the first time since I got home I noticed it: There is no longer a gap in the fence. Sometime this afternoon, my neighbor must've fixed it!

The panel is about an inch lower than it was, probably because the ends of the old 3" screws were in the way, and he didn't cut or remove them. Call the difference a souvenir of the Great Windstorm of 2008.

But I think I owe my neighbor a lawn mowing or two. Or something.

And does this mean I can take those long screws back to Lowe's?


Axxman said...

I was so tired of not having the right nail puller, I invented one! Now I sound like that vacuum cleaner guy. Check out the tool I'm bringing to everyone very soon...the Nail Jack. tell me what you think, and no, this isn't spam. My name is Mike Foley.

Gulf Coast Construction said...

Him I read your post about liking the old world encaustic tile. Don't know if it is in your budget or not, but I am importing encaustic cement tile made to my designs. The solids run about $6.50 a sq ft and the patterns are twice that, but way cool. I first saw this tile when I lived in central america and later tons of it in Barcelona. Mine is Villa Lagoon Tile, named after a hurricane proof dry stack block house I am building on the Gulf Coast. Anywa, good luck w/ your renovations and let me know if you can swing cement encaustic tile. Best wishes, Lundy
Villa Lagoon Cement Tile

Lundy said...

Opps, made a type, first word should be "Hi!"

Sandy said...

Those Villa Lagoon Tiles are gorgeous! The Nail Jack is a great idea! So glad the fence is fixed. You have great neighbors, Kate!

Kate H. said...

Sandy, you're right, the VL cement tiles are delightful, bright and fresh and lively. But not Medieval enough for what I want to do. I'm thinking north Oxford Gothic Revival, not Mediterranean beachside retreat.

I wonder if that nail puller can remove those stubborn soft nails in my window jambs. The new-used puller I got is brilliant on the long nails, but can't grab the ones that stick out only 1/16".

Axxman said...

It sure can! What makes the Nail Jack so different is that it DIGS and GRABS. There has never been a nail puller that does this, isn't that odd?