Blueberry Fields Forever

More buried treasure!

Posted by in Alameda, History, The House

As promised, here’s the second installment of the treasures. There will be a third, perhaps more. Lots of nooks and crannies yet to be dug through! Can’t wait. These are by far the most historically intriguing finds. Like I’ve told you before, the house was built in 1908. The city was formed in the late 1800’s, before that, it was ranchland, and three little towns. Our house would have been located in the town on Encinal, had it been built earlier. \ I was surprised, looks to me, that most…read more


Spit and glue

Posted by in Uncategorized

The poor, old garage door had seen better days. On the inside, in the dark, it didn’t look SO bad. With this picture, I realized it probably wasn’t going to be something we could keep forever.     The bank had bolted the door with plywood. The construction crew kept driving the bolts through the door, twice a day, every day. The problem? The insurance company inspectors had driven by, and they didn’t like the plywood. Bad timing, because that’s just when the roof was just OSB sheathing… so looked…read more


Buried treasure!

Posted by in Alameda, History

I just KNEW there were some treasures to be found! Behind the drywall, there were old newspapers that had been used when the house was remodeled the 1920’s. They were Oakland Tribunes. September 26, 1920, Sunday issue. These were mostly too far gone to read. There was something about Lenin financing worker’s strikes in the USA. Interesting. The main story was of a murder. Of course… if it bleeds, it leads! Murder Victim:  Jacob C. Denton was a millionaire oil magnate who was murdered by his mistress, Louise. Louise Peete, is…read more



Posted by in Renovations

First there were walls. Then there weren’t! The entire basement was demo’d out. Before that, I went through everything with color-coded stickers. “Keep”, “toss”, and “recycle”. Some stuff went to Urban Ore (, which is a nonprofit reuse & salvage store in Berkeley. We shop there a lot, made sense to donate the stuff we wouldn’t use there as well. They also got our other vintage stove. The third clawfoot tub we had went to Tom, the skilled craftsman of the crew, with whom I’ve had many long conversations around…read more



Posted by in The House

The basement had half of it as a mostly unfinished space, with the garage, and the laundry machines, toilet and shower (not to forget the weird padded room). The other side had an unpermitted split-level apartment. It had a small kitchen, hall closet, and a bathroom on the side that had somewhat low ceilings. Really pretty basic, 80’s feel, including an avocado green sink. It had a set of wood cabinets in the kitchen that seemed to be of the same era as the house. And the exact same metal…read more

And off we go! Let there be no more rain in the living room…

Posted by in Renovations

So first things first. The roof had to get fixed. It was BAD, and was leaking so much, the carpet inside was soaked. Yuck. Funny thing is, we started the roof fix-ups a few days before the title got transferred (it was SUPPOSED to be officially ours days earlier, so we had scheduled the roofers already, and decided to go ahead, even if we didn’t have official official ownership yet! We DID however, get approval from the sellers to do this.) It was unbelievably quick. Just a few days. They…read more