Carrie Z
  • 44, Female
  • Aurora, IL
  • United States
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Carrie Z's Discussions

Mucho confused about Mucha

Started Oct 1, 2016

Door hinge the previous owners screwed up
9 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by James Olson Sep 30, 2014.

Knob and tube wiring and insurance...uh oh
14 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Lair Tienter Feb 26, 2014.


Carrie Z's Page

Profile Information

Tell us about yourself:
My profile photo is a piece of wallpaper (?) attached to a chunk of plaster salvaged from remodeling the front bathroom. Our house is a 1900 Victorian/Colonial revival. My husband and I are biology professors in Aurora, IL, and we have 2 - 4 children đŸ˜„. I love being able to walk to work and although our two younger children (the microfauna) are in middle school, the first two years we lived here, we could walk our children to elementary school, too.
Tell us about your old-house experiences and dreams:
Our first home was the "Red Queen", which we named after Lewis Carroll's Through The Looking Glass character, who exclaims, "It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place." I spent eight years restoring our 1870's Victorian to its original grandeur, and then moved 35 miles away to a 1900 Victorian / Classical Revival. Our current home had major renovations (floors, electric, plaster walls) by the former owners after it suffered a fire in approximately 2005. Sadly, most of the original windows are gone, but it does have a beautifully preserved sleeping porch with built in cabinets and original accordion-sliding windows (and some intriguing hardware for cranking out an awning) on the second floor. Would love to get it all working again someday.

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Carrie Z's Blog

Red Queen is up for sale. We will miss her!

Hi Everyone,

It's been a while since I've posted in my blog.  We had been very busy finishing the details for our Red Queen's 3rd floor, adding a bedroom, bathroom, and family room (affectionately called the ManCave) to accommodate our blended family.  And now we have very suddenly had the opportunity to relocate.  There are so many wonderful things to list about our home that I can hardly begin, but here goes:

The Red Queen is the belle of Malta, IL: 5 min. W of DeKalb, IL and…


Posted on October 29, 2013 at 11:31am

Windows - a pane in the glass

Setting panes in the basement last fall during freezing weather must have had its hidden merits. I think that darn glazing putty was just way more willing to cooperate. I think today holds the record for frustration level. How in the world do people put that little 1/8" bead of window glazing on that tiny 1/4" ledge around the sash before placing the pane of glass?

A "before"…

Posted on July 28, 2010 at 11:03pm — 2 Comments

Finishing the attic

There is a staircase in the closet of the main bedroom that goes up to a very large, open attic. I've had a reliable contractor that has done various work on my house, and I asked him to make an estimate for finishing our attic. The estimate hasn't arrived yet, but in the meantime he brought up a few things that could be even more headache and expense than I had anticipated [and I should be getting used to this by now with an old house, shouldn't I? ;) ]. For one thing, I'm concerned about… Continue

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 11:30pm — 3 Comments

Foundation and basement

I'm scratching my head wondering even how to get started. Thankfully there are many posts on this site about restoration masonry. I'm not even sure what type of stone(s) our basement is made seems like there are at least two kinds, a blue-ish slate looking stone on the top half and some limestone blocks on the bottom half of some of the walls, and there is even a closet with a foundation made of random rubble that seems like it had just happened to be on hand at the time it was built.… Continue

Posted on November 29, 2009 at 6:20pm — 3 Comments

You know you own an Old House when...

While I passed by some tossed out screens on my evening run I came up with the following, nearly all of them completely true and most through personal experience! Feel free to add your own experiences...

You know you own an Old House when...

1. you memorized your window frame dimensions in case you come across an old wood screen at the curb on garbage day.

2. you leave your door unlocked so contractors can come and go as they please.

3. you open your… Continue

Posted on July 28, 2009 at 11:00pm — 95 Comments

Comment Wall (11 comments)

At 9:21pm on June 21, 2009, Donald Mitchell said…
Beautiful home, Looks like your doing a great job! 200 spindles, Whew!
At 12:32pm on July 13, 2009, Brandy Colmer said…
Amazing. I cant wait to come back and read more. I swear this website is going to be the death of my productivity for the next year or so.
At 4:11pm on July 14, 2009, Denise Parks said…
Those are some large roots. How are you going to get them out? I like the name red quuen because I am from 4 lines of Royal and have red hair. I like the dining room. It has an old look.
At 4:53pm on July 14, 2009, Denise Parks said…
I didn't see the pictures of the root, but I am going to try to find them.
At 12:42am on July 17, 2009, Raul Colon said…
Thank you for your warm welcome and good wishes. We are just beginning so we don't have war stories yet. I'm sure we'll have plenty once the restoration begins. We will post pictures as we go to keep everyone entertained and share how we solved any problems that occur along the way. We love your pictures and your home. It truly is a fairy tale home. Gob bless and the very best to you on your continued work or art.
At 6:33pm on August 4, 2009, Nancy said…
re chandelier (I don't really know how to use all the bells and whistles here yet) -- thanks! it was my husband's choice! he assembled it himself too (took over 10 hours)!
hope to be able to look through your photos (and everyone else's) soon too!
At 10:44pm on August 8, 2009, ruth miller said…
Hi redqueen ! Let's be friends ! I love your stories. Your list is so funny ! You have a great sense of humor. I love the one about "shingles". I've told that one to several people, and they laughed as loud as I did !
At 7:57am on August 14, 2009, Julia Steed Mawson said…
Hello Red Queen,
Thank you so much for your reply. Well ... you did give me pause with choosing that foam insulation route ... have you (or anyone else) heard of blown in fiberglass instead? I am new to the site, so perhaps I should post that question. If this is your blog others might not see it, correct?
I did get to look at your photos. What an incredible job you have done on your house. It is fabulous and what a grand house. Do you know it's history?
And re biology ... aren't we lucky to have the best careers in the world!!! I run a teaching garden and environmental ed programs for inner city kids via 4-H. Every day is a challenge, with new things, not to mention great people and fun! Where do you teach?
At 9:42am on September 27, 2009, Michael Cunningham said…
You're right - Great Lakes geology is very distinctive. Thanks for noticing.

You did a great job on your porch restoration, and I can totally identify with your comment about fear of collapse when the movers were on the porch. Keep up the great work.
At 4:04pm on October 11, 2009, Phil said…
I am in a total scramble to finish a portion of my summer list. My front porch painting is almost done, but the last part was the floor to be repainted with oil paint. Unless we get a major Indian summer, then I won't be able to put that on until next May, since I would need 24-48 hours of dry over 50 degree weather.

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