Archive for September, 2010

We’ve been framed!

Posted: 09/26/2010 in EEEeeeeep!

The outside structure of the addition is now up. We can start to see what it will look like. Everything is under tarps because of the rain, but here’s a couple of shots.

This is the rough size of the kitchen part of the addition. To the left of this there will be a small porch.

Looking at the roofline of the addition and the new porch.

Now if the rain would just STOP, they’ll be able to do more work outside tomorrow! (I’d say “rain rain go away” but we need it!)

well, this is attractive

Posted: 09/20/2010 in dirt

Our County seems to have unusual rules now for “new” construction (even when it is added on to old). Not only did the county inspector check out the footers and the foundation of the addition, he also was insistent that the water drains be taken further down the hill from the house. So this has resulted in a lovely bit of “yard art”:

This trench starts behind the garage, goes under the fence, and down along 2/3 of the side of the driveway. It also means that we can’t get into our back yard because the trench is not filled in yet.

Tonight we worked on getting the laundry and storage area ready for plastic and other protections to be put in place for the duration of construction. The biggest problem is that once the dust containment walls are up, we can go into the construction area during nonworking hours, but run the risk of tracking dirt and dust into the rest of the house. So my main refrigerator and freezer, not to mention the washer, dryer and pantry, are all inside this containment. There’s no other place to put them though… so we’ll deal.

No choice. We have to!

A firm foundation…

Posted: 09/20/2010 in the crawl space

It’s been a LOT of digging to get to this point. But the outer foundation wall is built! ๐Ÿ™‚ This is a picture looking down from an upstairs bedroom window. Hard to see from this angle, but the size of the bump out (“addition”) is about four feet.

This is a wider view of the back yard from the same vantage point.

When I was leaving for a retreat on Friday, they were tarring the outer wall of the foundation. P. U. Glad that’s done.

We have footers…

Posted: 09/15/2010 in the crawl space

Pardon my excitement… but we have footers!!! Well, the start of them anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s embarrassing. I mean, really.

We have a house full of “STUFF” and just put about 1/3 of it in a storage unit. Other than minor inconveniences, I really haven’t missed what’s in storage. I could use some of the kitchen tools and so on that are boxed up and in the storage unit, but a lot of the things are truly not “essentials.”

I thought about some of the things as I packed them…

– extra crystal (in patterns that aren’t my favorite)
– promotional beer glasses
– silver what-nots, including a collection of random spoons that aren’t for my spoon rack
– THREE sets of china (OK 2 of them are for our daughters. but really)
– books, towels, knick-knacks and… yikes more STUFF

Some things I could easily toss into a recycling box, offer on Freecycle, or trash. Other things I gently re-packed and put away. The difference was my emotional attachment to them (either positive or guilty feelings) which allowed me to let them go or made me regretfully keep them. Similarly, items which belonged to others and were important to THEM I could quickly have tossed — but they are attached to them. So we kept them…

For instance — We have FOUR sugar/creamer sets in casual patterns (ceramic, stoneware, etc.) FOUR. That doesn’t include the ones which are in my crystal or china sets. I’m thinking that we should be able to let a couple of those go.

The question that keeps coming up is “what is ENOUGH” and “what is hoarding” — ??

I don’t have the answer. But I know we could live with less. And I sure don’t want to “rich” in the wrong “STUFF” and be poor towards God…

Luke 12

The Parable of the Rich Fool

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ‘
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
21 “This is how it will be with those who store up things for themselves but are not rich toward God.”

We found out today we have 3 more weeks until inside demo begins. We will have to vacate the current kitchen and move into our alternate space then. While I have pared things down a lot, I know that last hurdle will be a big one. Right now I’m trying to decide how to handle things like our pantry items. Do I store them? Sort and pitch? Stockpile some essentials? I’m guessing it will be a little bit of all three. The biggest challenges will center around doing the laundry. We have to walk through the construction zone to get to the basement (where the washer and dryer are located). The basement is also where we have our major chill time (TV, etc.)

It’s a small inconvenience towards a bigger goal.

Hmmmmm…. sounds a lot like life.

Playing catch-up

Posted: 09/11/2010 in real life

This weekend is more about playing catch-up than anything else. Specificially, I’m trying to get all of the laundry done. We have a mountain of sheets and towels (which always seem to get done last!) and a lot of ironing to do. However, there’s a football game on this afternoon (OHIO STATE vs. Miami) so I can tend the laundry during commercials.

I also have some random chores to do such as finishing the set up of our mini-kitchen in the College Girl’s bedroom, re-organizing the stacks of stuff in my office, and generally getting things picked up on the second floor. There’s a few piles of stuff that I am undecided how I should store/keep them because they are just odds and ends. I think I will end up dumping a bunch of miscellaneous stuff into a box and putting it in the storage unit.

On the plus side, since I can’t get in my back yard to weed, I will not worry about that. (I suppose I could if I carefully crossed the moat, but they really REALLY don’t want us near the area where they’ve been digging.) I’m just going to have to let that go.

Since I am always running behind, I wonder if I should start my Christmas cards! Since I never got them done last year, I am feeling a little guilty. But not so guilty as to start working on them. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ย Besides, that wouldn’t be playing “catch up” — that would be “getting ahead”! (Whew. Guilt trip over.)

Welcome to my castle…

Posted: 09/10/2010 in DEMO

We have a moat!

We came home yesterday to find the back door of the garage barricaded, and a four foot trench dug out to the side yard. The longer, narrower trench is part of the new required drainage system. We’re delighted that we can do this – it’s something we have wanted to do for a LONG time! Today a larger trench was added for the footers at the back of the house, and now the sliding glass door is barricaded as well.

Here’s what it looks like:

Directly under our bedroom, at the sliding door (watch that first step!)

Looking down to the left, behind the garage.

But all I can think of is this:

“You SWAM the Moat?”

Demo on the outside…

Posted: 09/08/2010 in DEMO

Day number two of construction!

I came home from work and found that the patio and arbor were demolished. Here’s what the back of the house looks like now:

This is view from behind the garage, looking towards the dining room.

This is a view that shows pretty much the area of the addition. It will begin where the house meets the garage on the right, and span the rear of the house to about the location of the present gas meter. (The gas meter will be moved.) The left side of the addition will have a small porch with a sliding door that will lead onto an L-shaped patio (that will wrap the addition.)

Good stuff!


We have 90% of the heavy lifting done. All but the two remaining pieces in the family room are moved, either to storage or to the living room (which has become furniture central!) I’m waiting to carefully cover the furniture until I am sure that (1) all of the cats are sequestered out of the storage and construction areas and (2) we have finished hauling in the last pieces (our present kitchen table and chairs.)

In the mean time, we took 4 car loads to the storage unit in the last two days. We boxed up everything except our “every day” dishes. We cleared a path in the garage for the work men to store/work. And we had plants moved which would be in the way of the construction. I have one more plant I need to move because it is a sentimental plant for me — it was in my grandmother’s garden.

I am half-past exhausted, but it feels good to be close to being done with this phase.


  1. start EARLIER. I mean it. Begin boxing up your kitchen a month ahead of time. Unless you are having formal dinners, you can get the china and crystal packed up first. (I know – DUH.)
  2. watch Freecycle or Craig’s List for boxes and begin storing them for future use WELL in advance. I have been on scrounging missions and it takes so much time! And buying them is very expensive.
  3. Most of the storage places have really good prices on plain newsprint, unless you want to buy it wholesale and pay shipping. I figured it out. it comes out about the same.
  4. Get help. We didn’t. And we’re sorry. (If you’re friends of ours, we’ll spring for pizza and beer if you’ll help with the move-in!)
  5. Storage places which are climate-controlled, have good security and have a ground-floor unit open for rent are worth their weight in gold. I’m glad we got one!
  6. Tape. Lots of it. And if you don’t have a “real” packing tape dispenser, get one. The cheap plastic jobs that come pre-loaded from Scotch brand tape are junk. You heard it here first.
  7. Markers. I’ve used up two. Because…. I…
  8. LABEL EVERY BOX with as specific a list as possible. The list is on the top and on one side. If I had to stop packing a box and finish it later, I made a quick list on an inside flap so that I would not forget what was neatly packed in the bottom of the box!
  9. NewsPAPER for crushing and creating a pad for the bottom of the box. NewsPRINT (plain) for the actual wrapping. That way I can tell what is a wrapped item, and what is just crumpled paper.
  10. Bubblewrap. I love it.
  11. You can take out the furnishings and boxes in dribs and drabs as you get it packed. But for move-in, we will be getting a truck, making one big hairy load and getting it over with.
  12. Medicinal pedicures can never be over-rated. I need one. It will happen tomorrow. The same can be said for a nice wine cooler (yes, I know, girlie drink) or a good IPA at the end of the day.
  13. We have way too much stuff. (Which is not meant to dissuade any of our friends from helping us move it all back! ๐Ÿ™‚ )