Sunday, May 17, 2015

Miscellaneous projects at home
... and a (very) quick look at Modoc, Ind.

I've rarely devoted a full post to more than one subject or topic, but the next couple of posts will reflect images taken with my iPhone from various shoots in recent months. It's classic miscellaneous, or a photo potpourri, as it were. (I wondered long ago if some day I'd smile about the decision to name this blog. Today is that day.)

Today's post shows pictures taken during some of the house projects I mentioned I've been immersed in since last fall. Leading off the post is a silhouette taken of the mason who dismantled and rebuilt the top portion of the porous chimney on my house. That photo and the on on the right, a perspective shot (he also tuck-pointed the midsection you see there), were taken not long after he finished the job, which was about a month or so ago.

Finishing the chimney enabled me to bring in a plaster repair and patch tradesman, who did a nice job patching quite a few ceiling and wall stress cracks. That, in turn, enabled the living room walls and ceiling to be painted.

Well before any of that happened, I replaced the carpeting in my house. The three images below show the old carpet -- a view from the dining room toward the French front doors -- and the installers beginning to remove it. The carpet's once rich brown hue had faded over the years (so much so that it looked olive green in places). If I didn't have feet sensitive to hard floors, I would have considered simply restoring the wood and forgoing the carpet. Alas, I needed the cushion, so maybe the next owners will go that route.

Below those pictures are two shots taken after the new lighter, and better padded carpet was installed.



Even before recarpeting -- in fact, way back in late August of last year -- I took a huge step in hopefully securing the stability of my house's foundation. I had a trench and sump pump waterproofing system installed. It took four days for the contractors to create the trenches, which line the perimeter of the basement and crawl space interior; install the sump pump, dig outside trenches to lay PVC pipe to draw water away from my three downspouts safely away from the foundation; then chemically treat my full basement for mold.

Below are three "before" and two "after" pictures of the basement. You can see the mold and mildew near the floor in the "before" photos. Again, the contractors treated the entire basement for mold at the end of their work. I've not had a drop of water in there since.

It's difficult to illustrate the job "after" it was completed; the "after" photos reflect the sump pump station and a closeup cross section of the cemented-over trenches along one of the floors.



A month and a half after the waterproofing work, Matt and Mindy -- the couple whose wedding I photographed at Indiana Dunes last August -- came over and, as partial compensation for my photography work, installed a ceramic tile floor in my kitchen. Matt is a general contractor, and his wife did as much of the work on the floor job as he did.

One of the most recent projects was to install a privacy fence in my back yard where there was none yet. I had a fence along the north and south borders, but that was installed by those neighbors. I closed the remaining sides on the east and west. You can see the result in the pictures below. In the first image, you can see where my new fence (featuring a gate) meets a neighbor's older fence). The second photo is the west fence along the alley. In the foreground is my circular garden, where my tulips were in full bloom, and buds were just sprouting on the red bud tree.

The final images in this potpourri post is a sort of inside joke with a few former colleagues at The Indianapolis Star. If they see this, hopefully they'll get a charge out of it. One of the former colleagues told some of us quite a few years ago that where he grew up (which was in Anderson, Ind.), the term "modoc" was street slang for moving quickly, much like the colloquial verb "book," as in, "We booked it before the cops arrived!"

Well, last September, I had occasion to drive through the Randolph County town of Modoc, and I stopped to grab a few pictures, hoping some day I'd be able to show them to my colleagues, perhaps over a few beers and have a few laughs. Here are those photos. The first two are shots of the Modoc United Methodist church exterior and service/event times; the third is the sign above the Modoc Food Market.

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