Wednesday, October 22, 2008


In that I was very happy to have my delightful family in town, and happy that they were willing to get dirty and help us do several gigantic projects. Sad that they had to leave. :( Pixie and Yogi are sad, too. They were a little suspicious of Big Maddie when she first arrived, and didn't quite know what to think of their grandparents and Auntie Abby and Uncle John, but they ended up loving everybody, and they have been wandering around the house looking for everybody. I got them some rawhide bones to take their minds off it.

We did have just a wonderful weekend. Got SO much done. On Saturday, the guys built the remainder of the fence between us and our crazy-lady neighbor, and it's awesome. I feel almost as if she's not even there anymore. Eric talked to her on Saturday morning while dad and I were out buying a fence post digger. He asked her if it would be okay to remove the 50+ year old chain link fence that separated our yards. She said yes. So he took out about 3 of her posts, when she came out yelling at him and asking what he was doing. He put them back in and we just put our fence up right next to the old fence. Now the dogs can roam around the yard on their own. We're all happy about that.

We painted the front door, which turned into a project far exceeding what I had anticipated. Our storm door is likely either original to the house, or at least really really old. For years, then, the former owners had been taking down the window in the summer and putting in a screen. However, the screen didn't have a frame. Instead, they stapled or nailed the screen up every year. There are approximately 225,000 itty bitty nails in that door. We also took out the doorknob, which I may or may not be able to replace. During a recent powerwash, something must've slipped, because it was growing increasingly difficult to open the door. I guess I'll try to put it back in tonight.

The boys ripped the ceiling out of the finished attic. This, I suppose, needed to be done for a couple reasons: 1) the drywall was gross, 2) we needed to install vent stuff up there, and 3) Eric was not going to shut up about it till it happened. I just wish we could've waited on that till we finished up a 2nd floor shower so I didn't have to walk up there when it's all insulation-y. We're going to put some beadboard up there instead of drywall, which will be a much easier solution (one we can do without killing ourselves or lugging about a ton of drywall up 3 flights of stairs). I think that will look nice.

Dad and Eric installed a really cool vanity in the guest bathroom, and it works! So now people can use the bathroom AND wash their hands. Fancy, I know.

Abby is a cleaning machine, so while my mom and Aunt Ro and I were out looking at tile, she scoured the house. It looks awesome. I can't find anything in the kitchen, but I don't mind so much because it looks so nice.

The tile-looking expedition was a load of fun, but totally fried my brain. WAY too many things to think about and decide on. Despite that, I do think I found what I want, which is a just slightly shiny, rustic-looking baked tile. We may do a fancy inset or something. This will be a good fall/winter project for me. Now I just have to find the tile I want cheaper somewhere else.

While we were out for lunch, though, at Maggiano's, I was in the bathroom being totally innocuous, and a huge chunk of a filling fell out. What??! This was the tooth that needed the root canal several months ago, and the same tooth that needed a crown in 2002. So, all told, I've invested probably $3,000 in a single tooth. I just want to rip it out of my head. Stupid tooth.

Dad also did some great work in insulating our windows. We had the weighted windows in the dining room, and since the trim was off, we could see all the way through to the exterior wall, and in some cases, through the wall. So we sealed that up and took out the weights (since we rarely open those windows anyway because they look directly into our neighbor's kitchen...) and stuffed the spaces with insulation. This came at exactly the right time because it's getting cold! We learned this weekend that indeed, we have a gas furnace. So dumb--I've been thinking this whole time that we had electric heat. It was totally fun when I went to turn on the heater and cold air blew out. The gas people are coming this evening to check things out. We will likely just hold out and not actually turn the heat on for quite some time (or until we have visitors and are embarassed that they're cold). Last year in Boston (granted, we were in an itty bitty apartment with upstairs neighbors), we didn't turn the heat on till December. I shudder to think at what it's going to cost to heat that house.... Ugh.

Meanwhile, the house is being caulked and primed and should be ready for real paint quite soon. I can't wait till this is all done. Several times this weekend mom and dad told me not to get frustrated. All I need is for a project to be DONE. We have about 27 projects that are 90% done, and triple that that are just started. We've actually finished next to nothing. I just want to look at something and say, Okay, that's it. I have nothing to add.

We played 3 games of Trivial Pursuit. The boys won first, the girls won the second night, and while I'm sure there are some who will disagree, I say the last game was pretty much a tie.

I was going to post pictures last night, but the camera is out of batteries. Will do that tonight. Mom, Dad, Abs, John--Had a GREAT time. THANK YOU!

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