Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Game Continues

Dear Jacinda Again - 
These entries are going to be pretty light on words and heavy on images...or at least for now they will be. We're gonna do it like I just opened an envelope from FotoMat. Remember them? 
So much has happened since last time. I finished the bathroom. We had a hole in that wall under the window, and no art up. So now there's art and the hole is fixed and the towel bar is up. Tell Greg not to look too close. It's up. That's what matters. 
So. Electricians. Yeah. I called a plumber to fix a couple of small things - run a line for the ice maker that Lowe's generously gave me for free with my fridge purchase, and while he was here maybe move the washer fill hoses up from floor level (as in on the floor, no kidding) to a more normal three or four feet up the wall. While he was doing that there was a zzzaaap and some swearing. And then a second ZAAAAP and a lot of swearing. Louder, and with sparks inside and out. He hadn't hit anything; just leaned on a wall, and he got hit pretty good. I asked if my bill would go up - and said I'd provide the electrocution for free if he wanted. So I called electricians. Many, many dollars and many, many days later, I have a new panels inside and out and everything beyond that (super pretty, right? Just what I wanted. Everyone will notice it, I know), and some extra things just for kicks - like ceiling fixtures and outlets that aren't all (yes, all) tied to a wall switch. I am also mostly rewired. The thing that bit the plumber was the 220 to the cooktop. It broke and shorted. But the breaker didn't trip until he hit it a second time, and the old panel was proved to be some older model known for not tripping and causing house fires. A lot of the breakers were melted, there was a ton of corrosion. I won't bore you with the details, but it ate the whole kitchen budget, or enough of it that everything came to a grinding halt. Except that I don't do "halt" well at all as you'll see below.
Violet really loved getting into the cabinets. It was driving me really crazy. Couldn't keep her out. And really I was so sick of looking at my stuff. I like things put away. Between the stuff on the counters from the electricians and plumber needing to get in everything and the darn cat climbing up there it was getting annoying.
Oh! We went for tacos on my birthday! I found this place called Burrito Loco. So, so good. I had these - gringa tacos with pork (because one cannot be a vegetarian when there are these kind of tacos. Just cannot) and fresh lime and cilantro and tomatillo...sigh. SO good. Gene had shrimp tacos which were also AMAZING. Love it there. Remind me to take you.
Gene hung out with the boys which made them very, very happy. I don't play ball right. I don't rough house right. They miss him a lot. And I really enjoyed not walking them for potty time ONCE for DAYS!
I got a birthday present from you - and it totally made me day. So excited about the syrup, the seeds and the picture. The seeds are started along with my cherry tomato seeds from farmer's market cherry tomatoes I got back in Greenfield. Don't know who sold them to me, don't know what they are, just know Gene loves them. Started tomatoes. Before my birthday. Love it here. Except...no April. Sad Omie face.
Gene hung the Algot shelving from Ikea in the craft room/office closet. Now we both have room for all the stuff we think we need but totally don't. It's come together. I could work in there if I wasn't all over the rest of the house.
 Dad had a birthday, too, or would have. We celebrated with KFC, just like we did last year with him. We sat and ate in the restaurant and I remembered how he would take me to the one in Keene on the way back to Dublin and we would talk. It was a right thing to do.
And Rusty Nails, because he would want me to. Then I watched the Dayton 500, because he would also approve of that. Since then I have watched three other races. It's not a bad way to pass a few hours; watching cars or trucks turn left while knitting with dogs on my feet.
We went to this place on our last night before Gene left - Lancaster's. It's ... well. I don't need to go again. Tacos, I need. I don't need this. It wasn't bad. But it just wasn't for me.
 Or for Gene...
Love this fixture in the dining room. Love it. So do the neighbors, who all complimented me on it after I left the shades up the first night it was hanging. In case you wondered if the neighbors are in your business, they most certainly are. And it's ok with me. If something is out of place, off, strange, they will be the first to know, and will have no problem asking about it. Feels very safe.
We started getting the cabinet doors on and finished them just before Gene left. Again, Greg should not look. They are up and that's all that matters. I need to sand in spots, do some touch ups, and hang the last few handles. I sort of lost interest in this after Gene left. I got kind of mopey. Kind of.
He will be back in March. But it is hard to do all this separation stuff. It's not who we are. I am sure some shrink would tell me how healthy it is - look, I can live alone, and isn't that great. Well, I already knew I could. And I chose not to, until now. I will be happy when it is May.
The electricians took away all the baseboard heaters that weren't functioning, and I started scraping the mess left behind. Since this they've been tapped and patched where needed and skim coated with joint compound and sanded once. I need to do a couple more coats, and then I can paint and put up baseboard. They left the wiring for the heaters in boxes at the floor. I can cover them with white plates after I put up the baseboard around them, and they will sort of blend in since the baseboard will be white. It's better than blank white plates on the walls, I think. Pulling it all out is complicated because the crawl space under the house is insulated and they all come from down there. This is the best fix for now.
These two guys came and cut a hole for a proper range after the glass cooktop electrocution incident. I really needed an oven that could hold a sheet pan. The wall oven I had is a 24 inch model. Nothing fits in it. Teeny thing. The cooktop had been dead since the plumber got hit. Now there can be cooking. They bartered me the cooktop for half of the work, which worked out well for everyone.
I wanted the ceiling fan in the bathroom replaced, and got one with a light so that you get light in the shower and a new, modern fan that vents to the soffit vent instead of the old one which was venting to....the attic insulation. Tipped right over, face down in the insulation. Because one wants one's shower steam to go into insulation. But I could not find a fan that would fit the old space, so I had to fix the ceiling. 
 See. No fit. Very sad. But that fix Greg can look at, because so far it's going brilliantly.
We lost power. We had tornado warnings and such while the guys were making the space for the range. We never would have known if Neighbor Troy hadn't wandered over and come along to tell me. I battened down, closed the garage, and the storm passed by pretty quickly. The guys finished and left, and about an hour or so later the power went out, and stayed out until after dark. We had some intense wind for about 16 hours.
The power was off long enough that I decided to cast on a sweater (because that's what you do when you have no lights...). It came on later that night, but the wind howled away until morning.
I got miserably bored with the black front door and decided it was time for a change. This is not the change...it's the pre-change!
I fried eggs. Repeatedly. It is true that 'you don't know what you've got till it's gone'. I was SO happy to have a stove again; I could eat fried eggs every day just so I can use the stove.
More ceiling patching...it's actually almost done now. I will be glad when there's a light and a cover there. But this fan? Wow. Before it was like there was no fan, just a ceiling based noise-maker, and now the mirror doesn't even get the slightest bit wet, and I take insane long hot showers. Very happy I made this choice, even though it requires more work.
Red door - it's really orange, like a bittersweet crayon (or like the berry). I am debating bringing that color on to the storm door too. Today when I came home from shopping it really felt like I need to bring it out all the way. More will be revealed.
I bought this fabric to cover this chair. The chair was Aunt Blanche's. I need to refinish it and then make covers for the cushions. I had been using it as my porch chair in Plymouth, but now I am undecided. It's feeling heirloom-y now. Maybe it deserves to be inside. It is a perfect sewing and knitting chair in height. My feet actually touch the floor. Unheard of!
 Violet. Found. Yarn. And she loves it. A lot.
Today I was bored and really actually... ok look. I wasn't bored. I was heartbroken. Sad. Crying a lot. Dad's dead. Gene's gone back north. I'm alone. Not alone-alone, but alone. I had a pity party and decided that I needed to DO something about it, so I did. I did something. I grabbed my maul and a wrecking bar and a hammer and a broom and a box of black trash bags.
I stopped here. I said that wall was coming out. I meant it. I only stopped because when you do demo alone you realize that there's clean up. And dogs to walk. And maybe lunch to make. And there isn't anyone to pick up the slack when I decide to remember I am not 25.
I need someone to come and tell me for sure that I am right about what's structural and what's not, and then this puppy is coming DOWN. Down and out. Until the sun went down I could not stop looking over there at the sun pouring in the front window. This is going to be amazing.
And then next week I can make a few trips to the dump and get rid of all this... which down here is pennies a pound. It's crazy. 800 lbs of carpet and padding for al of about $16? Sign me up! If the quantities were smaller, they'd come and get it at the curb. Actually, they may do that now based on some of the piles I've seen outside of people's homes, but it's easier to just load it up and get rid of it rather than carrying it all up to the curb.
That's it for now...more later when there's more to see!