Sunday, January 29, 2012

Farewell to the Dodge Dakota?

The bright metallic blue, shiny, can't miss it in a crowd, should be driven by a teenage boy, truck is exhibiting a death rattle.  T is in a state of denial, but admits that when the oil light comes on (and you have oil) and the bomb-like ticking sound is a very bad sign.

[caption id="attachment_641" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Shiny metallic blue bomber"][/caption]

I have been researching the price of a new (or slightly used truck) and basically the upshot is... T will be driving around in our new kitchen.  Yup.  They cost an awfully similar amount of money...    Sigh.  Maybe we can put a table in the back and eat it in.

A shocking new find...

I mean that title literally.

[caption id="attachment_627" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Seemingly innocuous wire sticking out of wall..."][/caption]

Apparently there is this wire that sticks out of the wall, up by the ceiling, over the cabinets in the kitchen.  We've never really paid any attention to it before.  It's white, the walls are white.  We have no idea where it goes or why it is there.

Just for fun the other day T got out his wire tester and what do you's live.  Not really too surprising (except to anyone who touched it), but it is sitting next to a metal canning pot.

Yes, I realize that you do not mess with electricity and even the AC current in a wall outlet can be fatal.  I guess I am glad it is up at the ceiling and that no one has apparently touched it.  One more item for the to-do list...  Maybe also time to brush up on:  Avoiding Electrical Shocks for Dummies

Also a reminder of why we don't play with electricity...

[caption id="attachment_92" align="alignnone" width="300" caption=""I guess it was live""][/caption]

I love this photo.  Credit due to Mike Kemp/Rubberball Productions/Getty Images

The wall comes down...

...and the wall goes back up...

T has been busy taking down walls and re-framing them, correctly in the office.  It has been a few weeks now and this is the status...

  1. Our awesome plumber took some pity on us and came up and fixed the leaky pipe.  Turns out the pipe wasn't even soldered together originally and it is a miracle it stayed together this long...

    [caption id="attachment_619" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="The no longer leaking pipe"][/caption]

  2. T took out all the scraps of wood, reinforced the wall studs and rebuilt the door frame and header.  He turned the door around so that it opens into the step-up playroom.  It is a very wide (36") door so when it opened into the room it took up a lot of space.

    [caption id="attachment_621" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="The wall comes down"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_620" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="The wall goes back up"][/caption]

We are making progress, slowly.  I recently had a conversation with my friend who is living in his own "entire house renovation project".  I asked him what his strategy was for keeping sane.  Did he focus on what had been done?  What happened when he started to think about the huge list of things remaining to be done and then calculate that to-do list in years (or worse, dollars)...?

He just smiled and told me that this was a "lifestyle".  I had to get over the mind-set that it was something that would ever be "done".  I am still digesting that one.  I guess in a sense he is right, things are never done, even in a new house there is maintenance and things that break or things that you want to change...  But still,  a "lifestyle"...  I had no idea.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Winter is here

After a surprise late October nor-easter, the weather here in New England has been downright spring like.  It was our first green Christmas in a while (and we mean green, the grass hadn't even turned brown yet).

Alas, on Thursday January 12th we woke to our first snowfall since winter officially began back in December.

School did not get canceled, but the kids ran down, geared up, and went outside to play before the bus came.  They built our first snow duck.  They also came running in to report that the ducks had turned yellow (the snow being whiter than they are)...

[caption id="attachment_592" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Snow Duck "][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_593" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="White (yellow? cream? ecru?) ducks on white snow"][/caption]

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

The motto for 2012 around here is:  no new demolition until we finish something! We have learned that it takes much less time to destroy things than to put them back...

T is busy rebuilding the walls of the office.  It looks like two of the original windows have been removed and filled in with scraps.  He has the outer wall insulated and is working on the back wall which a carpenter's nightmare and requires a lot of new framing.  We are going to insulate the back wall as well (originally it was the end of the house).  The room beyond it was an old porch and has very little insulation and is always cold.  We usually shut that room off in the winter, but right now it has no door.

Fantastic new years discoveries:

  1. While ripping out the back wall framing, T managed to put a hole in the baseboard pipe.  So now we have to empty a drip pan every day. He tried clamping it, but it still leaks.  In fact I think his fix made it leak more.  It looks like he may need to shut down the furnace and drain the lines to repair it.  What a great time of year for no heat...

    [caption id="attachment_598" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Leaking Pipe"][/caption]

  2. During a particularly heavy sideways driving rain storm we discovered that we have a leak.  Because the back wall is torn apart we could see the rain dripping down the inside of the wall.  This means yet another delay as he has to fix the flashing where the old porch (aka playroom) attaches to the main house.  There is no end to the fun.

  3. We ripped out all the old wiring and many, many junction boxes buried in the ceiling and walls, not to mention a live wire that disappeared into the dining room ceiling and didn't go to anything.  So while the new wiring is roughed in and inspected we have to wait until the wall board is up to connect it.  Basically we now have no power in that room.  Not sure when we will be back on the grid (see #1 and #2)...and yes Virginia, this is affecting progress on the bathroom.

    [caption id="attachment_601" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="The current state of the bathroom"][/caption]

Here are some quotes for you...

T:  "So, what do you want for Christmas this year?"

Me:  "A floor in the bathroom"

T:  "No...really."

I did not get one.

Me: "I need to take down the Christmas tree soon."

R: "If you leave it up the mice won't chew it."

After getting pulled over for speeding...and finding out my license had expired (another reason I hate January birthdays - don't worry he did let me go straight to the registry to get it renewed):

R:  "Mom, can we go slow this time?"

Jack bought Rory a Christmas present this year with his own money.  Rory was dying to know what it was, but Jack would not tell him anything because he wanted it to be a surprise.  Rory was trying to wheedle some clues out of him and finally came up with this:

R: This isn't a question about the present.

J: Okay.

R: Where did you buy the present?

J: ???!!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

2011 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 25 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.