Monday, July 23, 2012

Where We Are

Gosh, it's been awhile since I've posted.  I wish I could say that's because I've been so busy working on the house that I haven't had time to post, but the truth is that the heat has really slowed us down.  In summers past, I can remember having a Heat Advisory now and again but this is the first summer I can remember in which the National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for several days at a time.  We might get a day or two in there of reasonable weather, and then it's back to blazing hot again.  (Note to the WeatherBug app on my phone:  I could do without the cactus-next-to-the-sun logo you've been using.  I get that it's very hot.  That just makes it seem worse.)  We're averaging about 3 hours of work on the house on our days off.  
So here's where we are now:

We finished two of the three sections of the bay window in the dining room.  You might notice that the windows aren't painted.  That's because we've been considering whether or not to take them out of the frames, strip them, and then put them back in.  I think we've decided against that for now and we're leaning towards painting them in place, taking care not to paint them shut again.

We also finished the west side of the "new" part of the house.  This is the back porch area that was closed in sometime around the 1940s, and then re-done (because of the poorly-planned bathroom remodel) in the 1970s.  The window frames have some wood rot on them, so part of them will have to be replaced.  On the back of the house (the left of the photo) you can see where I painted on test colors.  Best decision I've made in awhile.  Also, my yard looks really junky in this photo...

All that's left to do on this side of the house is this:

The kitchen section, the last of the three bays on the dining room window, and the terrifying part of the house  above the dining room bay.  I say terrifying because one of us Charlie will have to stand on that little tiny patch of roof in order to scrape paint.  Oh, and pry off those pieces of curved trim like the ones I showed you last time.  

Listen to me, saying "all that's left to do" like it's just a little bit and then we'll be done.  (Insert hysterical laughter here.)  It's taken us two months to get this far.  Don't tell Charlie I said that.  He has a much better attitude about this project than I do.  I am famous for taking on a huge project, declaring a deadline that's unrealistic, and then feeling defeated when I don't make that deadline.  Charlie has no deadline.  "It takes as long as it takes," he says.  That makes allowances for bad weather, unpredictable real-job schedules, lack of motivation, and the occasional day off for fun.  That's a million times better than my way of looking at it, which is something like, "OhmyGodthisistheendofJulyandwe'reonlythisfar", said while chewing on what's left of my nails and checking the long-range weather forecast.  That takes some conscious effort for me to let go of my old way of thinking and just, as he says, "chill out about the house".  So, secretly, I will say that by winter I'd like to be completely finished with the west side of the house and the back of the "new" part, which is about a third of the back wall.  That's dependent on several things--like weather, good health, and Charlie not going to jail--none of which I have any control over at all.  That last thing is particularly worrisome.  His case has been transferred to another division and a different judge (I don't know why) and he'll go to court again at the end of this month for what I expect will be another continuance.  If he does go to jail, expect the slow progress to get even slower, because we figured out Saturday that he can scrape 4 or 5 clapboards in the time it takes me to do just one.  Also, expect a dramatic post from me detailing my bravery in climbing up on the bay roof--or a post written from the ER after I fall off.

So that's where we are now.  I'll keep you posted on where we're going.


  1. Good for you for sticking with it. It's a tough job to scrape paint, especially when it's too hot.

  2. Kudos to you for trudging along! This has been, weatherwise, the weirdest summer I can remember. The good news on your house tho is it’s lookin’ good. (Not that it didn’t before but it’s fun to watch your plans take shape.)

    I did a major LOL with your OhmyGodthisistheendofJulyandwe'reonlythisfar. (It sounds like the mother who has been sick and subsequently in a funk because of all the work that hasn’t been done this summer.)

    The good news is that progress is progress. And while it’s hard, that whole letting go of what you can’t control is definitely the best road to go down for everything else.

  3. Can you do something like rent scaffolding for a day for the above the dining room bay? I did some heart in the mouth areas of my old house and in retrospect I think I was very lucky.