The Cross House

When Normal Nuts Just Ain’t Enough Nuts

There is nuts.

And there is nuts.

The fact that I purchased the Cross House — a huge old pile with its every inch needing work — would confirm that I am, ok, nuts.

But…there is nuts. And THIS nuts is a quantum other level of nuttiness.

I am kinda embarrased to post this thread because it offers proof that I am, yes, not just nuts but stunningly nutty. A lock-me-away kind of nutty.

You will see what I mean below.

Sigh.

Even worse? I must admit that I like doing what you see below.

 

This is the Cross house, just after completion, 1894. Note the round tower.
This is the Cross House, just after completion, 1894. Note the round tower.

 

This is the top of the round tower. Note the window in the center.
This is the top of the round tower. Note the window in the center.

 

This is the top of the center window in 2014. It looks kinda cruddy, right? But, it is THREE STORIES UP IN THE AIR and nobody can see crudiness THREE STORIES UP IN THE AIR.
This is the top of the center window in August, 2014. It looks really cruddy, right? But, it is THREE STORIES UP IN THE AIR and nobody can see crudiness THREE STORIES UP IN THE AIR. As such, the easy, not nutty thing to do would be to slather pretty new paint colors over the crudiness.

 

Yet, even though nobody can see crudiness THREE STORIES UP IN THE AIR, and even though I know this, I still could not restrain myself from making this trim...right. For, no matter that NOBODY can see that this small section of trim in 2014 has been restored to its 1894 appearance, I will know. I will know. And this matters to me. Sometimes I wish such stuff did not matter, and my life would be a whole lot easier. Still, I smile looking at these before/after images. And I am satisfied.
This is the top of the center window in September, 2014. Did I slather? Ahhhhhh………no. I know, I am sorry. But…but…even though nobody can see crudiness THREE STORIES UP IN THE AIR, and even though I know this, I could not restrain myself from making this trim…right. For, no matter that NOBODY can see that this small section of trim has been restored to its 1894 appearance, I will know. I will know. And this matters to me. Sometimes I wish such stuff did not matter (and my life would be a whole lot easier). Still, I smile looking at these before/after images. And I am satisfied. The world may be totally screwed up, and with daily horrors splashed across the media, but in a really tiny tiny tiny way, something is better. Am I just a romantic or does this microscopic betterment somehow matter?

 

NOTE: In the close-up of the center window, it looks really cruddy. Luckily, most of the exterior does NOT look as bad. This is really really lucky as the exterior is really big. I mean, there is a lot of it. If I could unfold the house and lay it flat, it would, I suspect, reach New York City. Anyway, the previous owner, Bob Rodak, laboriously and expensively stripped off 120 years of mostly lead-based paint. The east and south facades are still bare wood. The west facade, which I am working on now, is like, essentially, repainting a ten-year-old house. Not too bad. The problem is that the higher one gets off the ground, and the more difficult it is to reach things, the more and more old paint still clings to the walls and trim like barnacles. But, the amount of old barnacles clinging to the house is minuscule as compared to what Bob inherited in 1999. So, while I am nuts, I am not so nuts as to buy a house this large caked, caked with 120 years of lead-based paint. And I am pleased that my nuttiness does, whew, have limits.

 

11 Responses to When Normal Nuts Just Ain’t Enough Nuts

  1. Call it nuttiness if you want to, but believe me Ross I COMPLETELY understand you. I would do the exact same thing, because if I didn’t do the project correctly, whether anyone could tell or not, I would feel like I was lying to myself and the beauty I was restoring. Thanks for making it right and when I come to visit the Cross house, I’ll make sure I zoom in on that trim work. LOL

  2. Wow, it’s great to finally see the progress you’re making! This house is really looking wonderful and I love the colors. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to more pics as things progress. And….if being nutty is wrong, who wants to be right?

    • Barbara! it has been too long since we have seen each other! PLEASE let me know next time you are in town from Malibu, and let’s have lunch! Is Ken still with you?

  3. I just discovered your blog and am loving every bit of it. I’m impressed and jealous of the challenge you’ve undertaken. I dream one day of doing a high Victoroan home, but for now am content carefully restoring our simple (relatively speaking) Foursquare.

    I’m also glad I’m not the only one who’s anal about the little details. I can’t bring myself to spend any less time sanding or cutting in paint lines 20′ up as I do at eye level.

  4. Ross,

    I found your blog through OHD and am enthralled and slightly jealous of the work you get to do on the Cross House.

    It’s not nuttiness. I would have to do the same thing. If one is to restore something you must do it fully, otherwise it’s just not finished and it would drive me a little batty. Keep up the wonderful work.

  5. Dearest Ross,

    I have so totally fallen in love with you through your blog as well as reading your wonderful, amusing comments on OHD. I, too, am ‘over the top’ nuts. I’m a 1957 product myself and currently restoring a 4000+ sf 1916 Prairie Style home in Miles City Montana. My reasoning on my nuttiness (and total fixation on attention to detail) is by using moist swabs and holding my tongue a certain way when I paint (not to mention a .5″ Purdy) the finished job will, without a doubt, be done to the very best of my ability. Period. And that’s all one can really expect from one’s self. Right? Each and every job I undertake is very time consuming due to my perfectionism. But as you’ve said, there’s nothing quite like sitting back with a glass of vino and enjoying your accomplishments. So keep up your phenomenal work and know you’re amongst friends! Warmest Regards ~ Julie

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