Submerged…

August 28, 2011

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Hurricane Irene has struck.  Our little stream has become a lake.  The ducks have been out swimming all morning.  We are not sure if the culvert is blocked or if the volume of the water is just overpowering it.

T’s nursery raised bed frame floated away.  He put cement blocks on the sandbox (mudbox!) to keep that from floating away.  Unfortunately the water is so high it is pouring through the garden and making a waterfall.  The tomatoes are floating away…  Someone is very unhappy.

Oh and we will not talk about the basement…


Of Mice and children…

August 21, 2011

So the boys came flying inside the other day, yelling for me and talking very fast. Once I got them to take a deep breath I got the following story out of them…

Apparently they were sitting on the swing when a mouse climbed up Jack’s back and hopped on Rory’s head.  What???!  Wait it gets better, the mouse had suckling babies attached to her.

I went outside to investigate.    What mouse climbs up people and runs around with nursing babies attached to her?  I walked over to the swing and sure enough found a tiny baby mouse with it’s eyes still closed in the cushion.  I had Jack pick it up and put it near the woodpile that the Mother disappeared into.

He was all set to start looking into raising a baby mouse.  I told him we have more than enough mice in the house.  Eventually a mouse came and got it.  We hope it was the Mother…

When T came home he solved the mystery.  Apparently the cushion the boys sat on contained a mouse nest and the frantic Mother was trying to save her babies.  T cut open the cushion and found yet another baby mouse.  We returned that one to the woodpile as well…  We then threw out the cushion.

The mouse looked like this one.


Making Progress…

August 21, 2011

Now that the basement projects are underway we also have started putting up blue board in the living room.  Now when I say “we” you know I mean the royal we — aka T and my Dad.  I told my Dad the other day that he is hands down the best contractor we have and believe me we have a few…

Anyway, I thought I would show you the ceiling – a real ceiling.  Walls to follow I am sure…

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Phase two and three…

August 21, 2011

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Phase two is complete.  The chimney is down!  There was a nice hole from the 2nd floor all the way down to the basement.  The kids tried to talk us into a laundry shoot.

T knocked down the stone tablet that was supporting the whole thing.  His theory is that originally that part of the basement was a crawl space.  They build the chimney on the rock then decided to dig out the basement and left the dirt under the tablet in a big clay pile.

Then the cursed stairs came down.  Boy will we miss them…


The blue thing…

August 8, 2011

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Also on Sunday me and boys decided to excavate the blue plastic thing that was showing through the lawn.  T had investigated it upon discovery and he thought it was a blue plastic barrel used to drain wastewater from the washing machine.

I decided to dig it up without telling him.  When he came down from the chimney work in the attic and saw what I was doing he was not pleased.  He basically threw a tantrum over me creating another project and more work for him that he wasn’t ready to handle.  I stomped off inside with a snide remark about control-freak husbands that need to manage all the projects and to let me know when he deemed it an okay time to dig it up.  He then yelled at me to get back out there and finish it as I couldn’t just “leave it like that”.

So being the happy yo-yo that I am went back to my digging.  Rory and Jack came out to get in on the action.  The barrel was much bigger than I thought.  We discovered a white plastic pipe running into the top of it.  I got a little concerned and called Dad who assured me that we were not going to run into any raw sewage (we would certain smell that – right?!).

T came outside to check on our progress.  He offered to sawsall the pipe (I think he LIKES doing that) and gave us his metal pipe “fire poker” to try and pry the barrel out of the ground.  He tried and said we needed to keep digging.  I tried on the other corner and got the thing out of the ground and he hauled it over to the rubble pile.

After four loads of dirt from the stream bed we filled in the hole.  He still thinks I should have left it alone.  We do plan to reseed in the fall and I told him it is much better to have it done and not have to disturb the seeded area (again).  So the blue thing is out of the front lawn and that task is done.

The moral is:  when a girl wants to dig you have to let her.  Of course if you make her mad she might dig harder…


Phase II half-way there…

August 8, 2011

Phase II of the half-bath project is underway.  T and I spent Sunday dismantling a defunct chimney.  He said this was “the worse job yet” and “can we buy a real house now?”  Granted it was a 90 degree full humidity day and he had his head stuck in the attic removing bricks one by one with a hammer and a crowbar.

I had the fun job of throwing bricks out the 2nd floor window and then schleping them all to the rubble pile.  It was very hot and dirty work but we got the chimney more than half way down.

The bricks have a wonderful smoky charred smell reminiscent of many chimney fires.

Here are some lovely photos:

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Phase I is complete!

August 8, 2011

It’s true!  Phase I of half-bath is complete.  Notice I did not tell you just how many phases there are…

Last week my Dad came down and we successfully removed the water heater from the kitchen and put it in the basement.  I know what a crazy thing to do – most people enjoy having a water heater in their living space…

The task went rather smoothly.  Our expectations around here are pretty low – pretty much you go into everything thinking that there will be some unexpected twist that will require a Plan B (or C) and an outlay of money.

Still, there were a few lessons learned…

1.  The water heater will not drain.  The bottom valve will not loosen.  We banged on it a bit but decided we were pressing our luck (and ensuring the purchase of a new one) so we moved it mostly full…

2.  When we shut off the hot water we found that the water lines seem to be crossed somewhere and at some point hot water is crossing into the cold?  Strange.

3.  We had a few extra wires when hooking it back up (it is electric and was connected to a timer that we dismantled).  Our electrician on call would not answer the phone so we did what any self-respecting do-it-yourselfer would do and winged it.  So far so good.  Hot showers have been had by all!  Thanks Dad!