>More Hallway Demo…

February 27, 2011

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Stairs behind new wall…

 Here are more pics of the hallway progress. 

The mess has been cleaned up (except for the dust traces that linger on) and the old insulation and mouse mess is gone.  Tristan cut new insulation bats.  They won’t be fully tacked down until the electrician comes, but we are making progress!

We still have one wall to rebuild in the living room and under the stairs to gut for the half bath…

View from upstairs landing

Upstairs landing and what remains of the wallpaper…

 Oh and he said he only hates the house 95% (not 100%) so his hatred index has decreased by 5%.  I am not sure what that really means, but I assume it is a good thing and will take it! 

Front hall
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>Hallway demo update…

February 25, 2011

>The hallway walls have come down!  We did find a few surprises:

  1. The metal beam (aka trestle) had a pencil scrawled note letting us know that Jim and crew with beam and all had installed that monstrosity in 1969.
  2. There was insulation in the hallway walls!
  3. It looks like they blew insulation into the eaves, unfortunately they left about an 18 inch gap on top where you could see outside and feel the cold air rushing in…

Pictures of the demo fun (below).  The walls are actually freshly insulated, eaves boarded up, mouse poop cleaned up.  We are getting closer to having the electrician come in….!

Another big mess…

Scott likes wrecking things!                                    

>How to electrocute your husband…

February 23, 2011

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Not my actual husband – from Mike Kemp/Rubberball Productions/Getty Images

Step 1.  blow a fuse in your home
Step 2.  decide to fix it yourself
Step 3.  go in basement and switch all the off fuses to on.
Step 4.  test – fuse still blown
Step 5. go upstairs to sub-panel and switch all the off fuses to on.
Step 6.  test – fuse still blown
Step 7.  report problem to husband who explains that when a fuse is blown it does not go to “off” but rather to the middle and you need to click it to off then on to reset (oh!)
Step 8.  Reset tripped fuse by following step 7.
Step 9.  test – all power is restored
Step 10.  Don’t reset all the others back to “off”
Step 11.  Forget to mention that you switch everything to “on”
Step 12.  Wait for yelling when wiring projects commence…

Disclaimer: No husbands were actually hurt in the writing of this blog.  Slightly shocked and stunned maybe, but not actually electrocuted.


>Dreaming of…mice??!!

February 11, 2011

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Mouse in the House…

As you know we seem to have solved our big rodent problem (the squirrel), but we are left with lots of smaller ones.  Lots.  For awhile hubby was trapping them (he bought one trap?) about one a night and then setting them free.  I caught him releasing one on the deck and I said “just where do you think that is going to go?”  Yes, right back into the house my friend.  So he got the great idea to mark the mice with food coloring so he would know if they were repeat customers…only there are so many mice and one trap it might be awhile before he sees the same one twice!

In the meantime, the cats have figured out about the trap.  They sit very still and wait for a mouse to come eat the bait.  Then they bat the trap all over the house and scare the poor thing to death.  Or they set the trap off themselves (it shuts and doesn’t catch a thing)… 

I suggested maybe he should buy more than one trap…and release them further away…  He’s been talking about actually getting some killing (snap!) traps.  The problem is keeping the cats away…and the kids.

The other night my daughter woke up to cat puke on her pillow (yup right next to her head).  Only it wasn’t.  It was a very slick mouse head with entrails attached.  So gross.  I paid my oldest son to pick it up with paper towels and put it in the trash.  If he only realized what I would have paid for that he would have made much more than $1!  The bedding cleaned up, but she is a little traumatized… 

The other night she came downstairs and told us there was a dead mouse on her floor and she had stepped on it with her bare feet.  It turned out to by my gray fuzzy slipper that I had left in her room.  Now that would have been some mouse!  Two nights ago she came in bed with us due to nightmares.  In the morning we found out they were mice-mares…


>Half of a wall…

February 11, 2011

>Yup it’s true – we have half a wall framed, blue board and all…  There will be pocket doors in the opening when we finish the back of it…  And the opening is actually about a foot bigger – this picture was taken before the board was trimmed.

Don’t get too attached to that beautiful wallpaper in the background.  It will be coming down…tomorrow night!  Stay tuned for demo night #2 as the hallway is ripped apart and more exterior walls begin the insulation process.  Who knows what interesting things we shall find…

In the meantime, here is the latest from the wall that was, that wasn’t and that lives again.  Mind you this is being built under the railroad trestle.

Back of wall – waiting for electrician…

Pocket Doors coming soon…

>Winter

February 4, 2011

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Icicles January 2010

More icicles – January 2010

Even More Icicles…
View through the trees

Snow banks

>The thing in the walls…

February 4, 2011

>This is an amusing story with a somewhat disturbing ending…

It goes back a few blog posts to when we last heard about the adventures of Insulation Man and that non-window in the basement.  Well the following day I got another “Honey, you have to see this” and went tromping back down into my least favorite place — the basement.  You know that phrase is never going to be followed by good news…

Anyway, my husband showed me how his latest insulation patch was chewed up by something trying to get OUT of the basement:

Styrofoam Insulation on basement floor

Something chewing it’s way out

The next thing I knew he had removed the insulation and nailed a thick board in front of the opening.  I asked him how he knew the “thing” was outside and not trapped “inside”.  He just smiled and said he didn’t have any idea…

The next day was a snow day and I promised the children that if they cleaned up we could sit and watch a movie after lunch.  We all sat down to watch “Enchanted” which just so happens to have a very active chipmunk as one of it’s main characters and lots of rodents.  As we were watching the kids said “Mommy!” and pointed to the corner of the room where I saw a blur of gray scampering up the wall.  No one saw what it was.  My son thought it had flown up there (bat?).

So we decided to ignore it and continue watching the movie.  A few minutes later I heard “Mom….” and looked over to the stairs banister where a squirrel was walking down staring right at us.  My daughter screamed and ran out of the room.  My three year old climbed as high as he could on the couch.  I think I shut my eyes.  Thankfully my son watched it as it hopped down from the banister and disappeared down the wall (the walls have no sheet rock and it stuffed itself down where the insulation meets the floor).

I called my husband at work to tell him we were under siege and needed reinforcements.  He said he was bringing the have-a-heart trap back home and that he had received thorough instructions on how to use it.  We did not see or hear from the squirrel the rest of that night.  My husband set the trap in the basement.  Unfortunately the mice were sneaking in and out and eating the bait (peanut butter)…

The next day the kids came home starving from school as usual.  I sent my son to the cupboard to get a snack.  He yelled “Mom!”  and I looked over in time to see the squirrel dart out from under the cupboard and jump in the lazy susan.  We quick shut the door to the lazy susan and grabbed the brooms.  I opened the outside door and gave my son a broom.  We were going to try and hockey the thing out the door.  He opened the cubboard, but there was no sign of the squirrel… 

My husband came home a few minutes later and we told him the story.  He opened the cupboard and moved the dishes around.   He saw a small hole by a pipe in the back and figured he must have somehow gone down there.  He reset the trap in the basement. Then we went away for the weekend.  On Monday we noticed a funny smell coming from that area of the kitchen.  The smell seemed to be getting worse…

He pulled the stove out from the wall with no luck.  Then he cut a hole in the cabinet under the kitchen sink and found a body.  It was the squirrel.  It must have gotten stuck or injured itself when it climbed under the sink.  My husband said that maybe it had a heart attack from everyone screaming at it.  I guess it starved to death.  We only seem to have the one (we have not heard any more wall noises) and I guess we should be glad that it is no longer in our house, but I can’t help feeling a little sad.  I told him yesterday that I actually sort of miss that thing.  It was not the ending I would have liked for our little guest.  Our house is now squirrel-free.