For those of you who might be wondering if I'm still a resident of planet earth...I'm still here! But finding the time to blog lately has been a bigger effort than losing those few pounds I had hoped to lose before my youngest daughter's wedding in April. Ugh. Oh, well, no one will be looking at me...she's gonna be a stunner.
But I simply cannot complain. Being busy in life means something is going on...something is happening...something is clicking...things are getting done...things are moving forward! And for that, I am truly thankful. So many of the first weeks of 2018, I was feeling paralyzed so to speak...sort of stuck in an odd kind of limbo, not really going backwards but definitely not feeling like I was moving forward. But somehow, some way, if we are patient and bide our time or tread water -- or however you describe those times when things are slow -- life picks up once again to the pace to which you're accustomed. I mean, I'm in my sixties now (shhhh...) so I must make good use of the time, right?
As my oldest daughter has returned to work part-time, I am (part-time) helping with childcare for my two little cherubs. They are the sweetest, cutest little girls in the universe I know without a doubt, but they are CHILDREN! Which means...they have almost endless energy! Plus, the "tiny" one has taken up walking in the last couple of weeks, so chasing her around has served to remind me that my energy level could use a boost. This has been achieved by some 12-hour-long siestas, and I am not exaggerating (talk about a long winter's nap!). But in a lot of ways, her walking has made it easier because now if I find myself toting her and feeling tired, I can just plop her down and say "Let's walk!" and she most always obliges! She's such a big girl.
And finally...finally... FINALLY the renovation of our Circa 1892 Georgian cottage has picked up some speed. I am beginning to see some of the things implemented that I have been dreaming about for months. As I think I've mentioned before (I have, haven't I?), we have been approved by the local inspector on all systems of the house -- HVAC, the electrical, and the plumbing, and have now begun to move toward closing up walls and installing all the pretties. And even though it has not taken as long as it probably feels to bring all the "systems" to code, it feels like it has been forever. But nothing -- NOTHING -- is easy renovating a 125-year old house, even though you have people doing everything it takes to do the job well. And maybe that's why it's taken so long...we insist on doing everything right. That is top priority for us. But here is a (non-inclusive) list of things you deal with in renovating a house this old. If you think you might be up for an 1892 renovation of your own in the future...beware:
This particular house had nothing -- no HVAC, no plumbing, it had electrical but nothing updated since...I think electricity was invented!
Nothing is square...not the floors, not the walls, not the ceilings...nothing!
Those 125-year-old solid old-growth beams? They stick in sometimes; they stick out sometimes so...
...shimming becomes the norm
If you want to repurpose wood (we do!), there are countless hours of pulling nails and cleaning old boards and...
...squaring those old boards to make them usable in a 21st century kind of way
In this particular gem, everything -- and I mean every little thing -- is solid wood so...
"wood management" has become a real thing and a joke between me and the hubs as you know -- a job that could become full-time for someone...SO NOT KIDDING.
Sometimes I just stand back and look at the stacks and stacks of wood that are in the yard and in corners of the house and I simply find it hard to believe that all that wood came out of one little house! But it absolutely did! We have finally begun to take that repurposed wood and use it for the different applications we've planned: for new flooring (but old wood) on the back side of the house that has been rebuilt and had no flooring at all, and for various feature walls throughout. We decided early on to pull some wood down and drywall the bedrooms but now I'm wondering if I made the right decision on that one. It is taking twice the time to hang drywall in those rooms with the loosy goosy beams and shimming has become the hub's daily ritual to make those walls even enough for the end result of straight and smooth. And we WILL have straight and smooth. With a really old house, sometimes -- a lot of times -- what should be the easiest jobs become some of the hardest. I may never be willing to renovate a house this old again...but who really knows.
I have been known to eat quite a few words in my lifetime.
"Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come."
- Robert H. Schuller
Posted by CC
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