Thursday, December 23, 2010

Living in Chaos


This week, Dean asked me if I knew where his Carhart overalls were.  Now I distinctly remember finding them sometime back in October and saying to Dean - "Oh you'll be needing these soon, so let's put them somewhere that they will be easily accessible."  Well, that time has come, and guess what?  We searched the entire house, basement, three storage containers, car trunks, EVERYWHERE and still have not found them.  I have spent days rummaging around in my brain trying to remember where we put them!

Yes - we are living in chaos!

When we moved out of our house in Townsend, I was pretty organized, and had at least a general sense of where I had stored things, or what kind of box things were in...

But now, between our moves from Townsend, Pepperell, the storage units, the on site storage containers, and the house - some of our stuff has been moved up to 5 times.  I just cannot keep track anymore, and generally have stopped trying, but every once in a while, we find ourselves wanting or needing a particular item.

Most of our stuff is at least now on the property at 388.  Matt is still storing some of Dean's big metal things out in his yard, and Ted is still storing Dean's toolbox, and Negarre and Murv have just maybe 3 -4 boxes in their basement, and we still have one rented storage unit that has Dean's big workshop tools - welders and machining tools and such.

The one storage container that we have on the property that was dedicated to mainly household things, is still about 1/4 full of boxes holding who knows what.  I still have not found the blender or the crockpot...  It had been my goal to get that unit emptied out before the snow came, but as I sit here pecking away at the keyboard this morning, I can look out the window and watch the snow falling and blowing around.  I guess this project will wait until spring...

So here is a look at the chaos.


The living room.  We did manage to get Maman's Persian rug cleaned and in place.





















But immediately covered it with a drop cloth...




The dining room table has not seen the light of day in weeks!























The kitchen is at least functional.




The entryway.  Right now the closet is non-functional, so coats and boots and such pile up here.  An upside down milk crate functions as a shoe changing bench.



The master bedroom.  Need I say more??


The upstairs bathroom.  It will be a long time before we can use this bathtub.  This room is pretty low on the priority list right now.


Cathy's dance room:  It is entirely possible that I will no longer be dancing by the time this room gets finished...  Right now, this is where I put all of the boxes that come out of the storage container, and try to figure out what to do with the various contents of said boxes.  It is also storing a lot of the lumber and trim stock for the house.




The laundry room:  Again, I think this speaks for itself.

The added layer of hectic-ness brought on by the holidays means that we are spending still less time working on the house.  I guess we have plenty of projects for practical New Year's resolutions...

We did take a little time out to get a holiday picture of our project supervisor.





I'll be dropping our Christmas cards in the mail today - so they are coming, but later this year than I usually get to them.

Oh well...

Merry Christmas!  Happy (belated) Hanukkah!  Welcome Yule and the return of the light so that hopefully we can find those darned coveralls!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

We're legal


What do you do at 3 AM when you cannot sleep??  Why blog, of course...  So here goes.


Keeping it legal

After living in the house since the end of September, we finally got our Occupancy Permit!




Working on the trim

During these last few days of rainy weather, we have been focusing on some indoor projects. 

Here we are trimming out a corner of the living room.

After we moved some furniture out of the way, Dean prepared the work area.




Since we put in the woodstove, it has been toasty in the house, and when we are working, it is down right hot - hence the shirtless man. 

 Dean is working on another section of baseboard heat enclosure.



Prepping the window frame.



Loading up the nailgun.
















Hanging the trim.









The supervisor keeps an eye on the progress...


And here is one corner of the room with the window trim in place.  A couple of coats of paint, and its done!




Cathy's floor to ceiling cook book shelves

I have finally started work on getting the shelves in...  Here I am installing some small L brackets that will hold the shelves in place.




More on this as the project progresses...


A visitor

While looking out the living room window on Sunday, Dean spotted this owl sitting on a branch!  This was the best photo I could get with my little "point & shoot" camera, and it does not do justice.  It was really cool watching him  (her?) swivel his head around... 

Although smaller than described in the reference, we are pretty sure it is a Barred Owl.


That's it for now.  I think I will go back to bed and see if I can sleep now. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Home Fires are Burning!



We finally got the woodstove installed and fired up!  And not a moment too soon as night time temperatures dip into the 20's this week!

So here is the pictorial essay on installing the woodstove, a project which was done in a few stages, and spanned a couple of weeks.

First, we had to get the stove from the basement (where it's been patiently waiting all this time) up to the first floor of the house.

We (Dean) decided to use the backhoe to carry the stove from the basement to the front porch.  Here we position the backhoe and set up a ramp.


Here is the stove securely strapped to a hand truck as Dean wheels it out the door.


As you can see, our ramp cracked under the weight of the 440 pound stove.



Crrraackkkkk!
But we did get it onto the Hoe, and here Dean heads out...


And we made it to the porch.




Next step is to get it in the house...  Another ramp system is configured.




And we're in!



At this point, the stove lived in the entryway for a week or so, while we ordered and waited for the interior connection pipe.  You will recall that we had erected the exterior chimney during the summer.






So our next step was to move the stove into it's position on the hearth. 

I had yet another instance of being impressed by Dean's knowledge of mechanical advantage and use of simple machines like levers.

Using wood blocks and levers we incrementally raised the stove off the floor.











Then we were able to attach the legs.





Then reverse the process with lifting the stove, and incrementally removing the blocks.

My job was placing and removing the blocks (and taking the photos), while Dean did the lifting...


Once the legs were on, we used a longer lever to shimmy the stove into position on the hearth sliding the stove on pieces of cardboard to protect from scratching the tile.



Dean checks the alignment.





Now we are ready to install the pipe.


First we had to remove this section of the old pipe.  It was slightly corroded and rusted in place, so it required some elbow grease and gripping tools.


Here Dean drills out holes to attach the new pipe.





And then he begins fitting the pipe...








And then he connects the pipe segments with screws.






At this point, on a Friday at 4 PM, we realized that we needed one more piece to connect between the indoor pipe and the "through the wall" segment, but the company was closed for the weekend, and so we had to wait until Monday to order the part....

And then...


The last connecting piece for the pipe arrived on Tuesday, and we were able to complete the installation.



Double checking the distance.








Making the final attachments.



Installing the heat shield.


Starting a fire!  Yippee!



Nothing says Home Sweet Home like a cozy fire in the woodstove!