A cast-iron mantel we picked up for the kitchen project. This will…if it fits as I hope, be the “vent-a-hood” enclosure in our gothic stove/kitchen implementation. If not, there’s always the upstairs fireplace…for the price, its arrival was inevitable.
Deceptive packaging. Taken to the extreme. I won’t be buying this stuff again.
Twenty mile an hour sustained winds…blasting us out of the northwest.
Cold…and depressing. Nearly a 50 degree drop over the weather a couple days ago.
The winds are gusting to over 45 mph. You can hear them coming…roaring through the trees long before they rattle the windows and shake the house. Small town living.
You can’t hear the wind in the big cities. The roar of the traffic, jets, and the sea of humanity drowns them out. I’d forgotten how loud the wind really is as it tears its way though the trees. It is the sound of a predator.
The Old Vic was built with little regard for weather stripping, insulation, and the like. It was designed for our southern hot climate 40 years before air-conditioning became common. Move the air through the home. High ceilings let the heat rise above the occupants. More than 40 windows, all either double hung or casements can be arranged to evacuate the heat and catch the slightest breeze. Transom windows over every door allow ventilation even when privacy is needed.
Winters here can be cold, but they are short. Coal fired stoves or fireplaces in every room got them through the season. Weather stripping wasn’t desired as fresh air had to enter the home to fuel the stoves. Insulation was an expensive and not really proven concept, viewed with suspicion and not widely applied to southern homes. Coal was cheap anyway.
There’s not a stitch of weather stripping or insulation here that I didn’t install…and I’m a long way from done. So far from done that I really haven’t gotten started.
When the wind gusts I can hear it whistle *through* the house. Curtains wave. Doors rattle. Cold drafts tangibly move through the living area. To the utter fascination of the cats…even the ghost in the tower drifts down to hang out in front of the heater.
The “whumph” as a heater kicks its natural gas powered flame to high reminds me there is a price to pay for all this.
That price has me reevaluating my priorities. Maybe insulation should move up the list…but then…well…that other thing is in the way…and I really *should* finish the wiring before I insulate an area. Weatherstrip that whistling window? Well, perhaps after I get it painted and re-glazed. And let’s not forget the budget…a flagging economy, taxes, health insurance, and a stagnant career have decimated the poor thing.
Yeah, I’ve got lots to do before insulation can be completed to a meaningful level.
Yep, I really should set my priorities and get started.
But I think today I’ll just pull the covers up over my chin…and take a nap.
Perhaps my priorities are okay after all.
The sound of a gimpy Geronimo the big orange cat wandering around the house. He got into a fight with a foreign (not ours) cat. He was apparently bitten into the joint. Vet had to open it up, clean it, and flush it out with antibiotics.
“toc toc tic thump, toc toc tic thump”
This morning he is putting some weight on it, walking more normally, and is obviously feeling better.
Antibiotics for a week, bandage off in 5 days. Visit the vet again next Saturday. Vet said the joint damage will probably effect him as he ages, but he should mostly fully recover.
Sadly, there is no cure for the 1970′s floral print couch in the picture.
Well, Geronimo the big orange cat is feeling well enough that he crashes all about the house at very high speed in order to avoid taking his medicine…
We decided to wait to see his overall personality.
Well, last night, as we watched him tossing his big pillow up in the air for about the tenth time, running underneath it, and skidding to a halt down on his belly so that the pillow “plops” into the correct position on top of him (and his collection of torn up tennis balls and rawhides), we decided that “Shorty” is just fine with his name.
Even though he *would* look absolutely awesome in a top-hat, it turns out he’s just not that dignified of a dog.
He’ll fit right in with the rest of us, who, it turns out, also look absolutely killer in top-hats but are not that terribly dignified either.
Pulling out a chimney today…over the kitchen. Long ago it was taken down to the roofline. The mortar they used then was just lime and sand…it tends to lose the lime over the years and just turn to powder.
About 8 feet of this in the attic…I’ve pulled down about 6 feet of it so far.
The brick itself appears handmade and is not in great condition. Some of it is very crumbly. It’s time for this mess to go, as it makes more room in the kitchen and it structurally questionable.
After I finish I can do the long awaited kitchen wiring and ceiling insulation. Being on the north side, and with beadboard walls and ceiling, the kitchen is the coldest room in the house in the winter, and definitely the warmest room in the house in the summer.
There was no real point in insulating it until I got this done or I would have a mess to clean up, and it would have been much more difficult to climb around the insulation.
Since I want to salvage some of the brick to patch the old vents in The Cupola building (another story) and possibly to line a garden or a path or such, I can’t just toss them out a window or they would break.
Sooo…the hard part of the project. All the brick in the attic will have to be carried down the stairs, down the hall, out the door, and across the deck.
I’ve been getting ahead of the brick carriers…all three of them!
Yeah. That would be me, myself, and I.
I can carry 12 bricks at a time down the stairs (2 buckets, 6 bricks in each). I could probably take more weight, but don’t want to break a bucket and dump a load of bricks down my pretty staircase…
Of course, once I get below the kitchen ceiling I don’t have to carry them down the stairs anymore…just out the kitchen door!
Oh, and apparently slinging a sledge hammer and hefting bricks in the confined spaces of an attic is good for you…carrying bricks and buckets up and down stairs too…ya know…exercise!
*makes manly grunting noises*
He’s five years old and comes with some ingrained habits from his previous home where we are sure he was spoiled rotten…in a good way anyway.
One is that he LOVES to go walking on a leash…wants to follow the sidewalks all over the neighborhood.
Another is he wants to go with us whenever we go anywhere. He is very familiar with riding in a car and will follow us out and hop in.
He is “Shorty” after all.
A couple days back I headed out to pick up a pizza from the local take-and-bake place.
Shorty wanted to come with me.
He wanders out with me but the wife’s car is gone (she wasn’t home yet).
I stick the key in the door of “Big Iron”…my Texan’s requisite big-ass powerful pick-em-up truck, and open the door.
Shorty looks up…and up. Corgi’s are stout but very low-slung. There was no way he was going to make a leap into that truck. Even Corgi’s have to obey the laws of physics.
He looked at me, then at the truck, then back at me with a bemused expression on his face that clearly said, “Dude. Really? Compensating for something are we?”
This…from a short dog. Sigh.
Of course, once he went for a ride he fell in love with it, his looks clearly saying, “Best. Idea. Ever!”
Daniel Meyer (head Shorty chauffeur and lift engine)
A corgi rescue doggy!
Joining the Meyer Casa next week. He’s off getting neutered, vaccinated, and chipped. He’s a present for the wife from my Mom and should join the household next week.