Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Little things

We continue to do small jobs right now: planning for our last few big projects, loose ends of past projects, etc. It feels good. Thursday night we got the Heatmor fired up again, which was good timing since that gave us the whole weekend to keep an eye on it. John also started re-routing the kitchen wiring, which has been turned off since we put in our first beam (we do have a light on our stove plus a few live outlets), and I started collecting and marking trim pieces for our bathroom windows. We've saved all the trim as we've taken it off, but it needs to be altered in some cases and was also scattered all over the house from months of absentminded pawing-through. Our tool room, where we keep all this kind of stuff, is a complete disaster.

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.

- Erika

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