Friday I was home and kept a close watch on the Heatmor--as it gets that hot bed of coals established, you have to periodically rebuild the fire. It's a matter of tuning up the heat system and, at the same time, tuning myself up. Like learning to make a good pot of coffee, it takes some practice. I like going in the basement and putting my ear up to the radiant pump, which makes a very quiet swishing noise: the sound of a warm house.
Between heat checks, I buzzed around and did some insulating, priming of exterior trim, cleaning up, and my big project: putting the stair treads back on the attic steps. They'd come off when we put in our second beam. I cut a new notch in one tread to fit around the post, got them nailed down, and barreled on through to the trim.
When we'd taken off the trim here, I noticed that one little piece of quarter-round had a date written on it, presumably from when these stairs were put in: 4/21/200 (last digit missing). Well, at least we can narrow it down to the millennium. I put Friday's date on below that and glued the little piece back in.
Saturday morning, after we loaded the Heatmor and laid around on the grass for a while, our friend Rachael showed up! She had driven down from DC in a rental car, braving UVA football traffic and my sadly incorrect directions. We showed her around and she declared that we don't actually need to put in ceilings. Apparently the joist-and-insulation look is more appealing than we thought.
While John cleaned out the basement and took down lighting fixtures in the kitchen, Rachael and I scraped and painted the trim pieces I'd collected. All nice and white. Then we all made pizza and ate brownies and had a grand old time.