April 2018

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Baby it's cold inside...

Our furnace went out last week, and it was cold in here. Just before the furnace died, we had it cleaned, so it's probably gone to furance heaven and is sitting at the right hand of God, since cleanliness is next to godliness. We spent a cold five days, but now we have a new furnace.

Last month we had electrical work done, sealing off the gas pipes that were used for lighting earlier in the last century. Then we had insulation put in, apparently not something that was done in 1895 and hadn't been done since. This summer, it's time (past time) to have the house painted. We're thinking yellow with white trim.


We've also made other changes to the house. We made the dowstairs bathroom disability-friendly and had a bathroom put in upstairs (that makes it middle-of-the-night friendly, as there was no bathroom on the floor where the bedrooms are). We put an electric door opener on our second garage just before reducing from two cars to one. We removed the upstairs carpet and had the floors refinished. We rebuilt the front steps and replaced the wraught iron grating on the top and bottom porches with period-appropriate columns (especially appropriate if we were living in ancient Greece.)

We put gas logs in the fireplace, which before was covered with a large sheet of plastic and the chimney opened on top to the crows, who made regular chicken-bone offerings. We had french drains dug around the garage, so that the water would not come in. We had the backyard bulldozed and replanted, with a nice level path so that I can walk without falling and we can still grow tomotoes in the summer. We had the deck rebuilt.

Actually, we paid others to do most of these things, but we've done some things ourselves. We replaced the ugly boards and boxes that framed the windows with trim. We did a pretty good job of it. The new trim is gingerly nailed into lathe and plaster, so it looks good but don't swing on the trim unless you want to pull the whole wall down. We also painted the inside of the house. (You should see what a fine job I did on the texturing. The plaster swoops look a lot like frosting on a cake.) Previously, the kitchen was brown, then smoot-covered after I set a plastic tray on the pilot light. Now the kitchen's a lively pink, blue, yellow and grey: no threat of falling asleep while you cook (I say "you" because I do nothing around open flames since I've lost depth perception.) One of our first home projects was to dig a french drain in the front yard. Ann brought home a bunch of pcp pipe one afternoon and started digging. A french drain seemed to her an afternoon's work. We dug that french drain all summer and finally finished that french drain several months later.
As we finished the insullation (or as Wayne and his guys finished it while we ate bon-bons), Ann told our friend Pea that she couldn't think of another thing we needed to do to upgrade the house. I counted aloud, "One. Two. Three," marking the seconds until she thought of another thing. She obliged, "Oh. Except for build a little garage in front for our recycling bins. And re-doing the terracing in the front while we're at it. After that, I can't think of anything."
Give her time.


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