Saturday, January 24, 2009

House update

House update
Originally uploaded by turbofan
and another photo, showing the front (still in progress). The eyebrow will get a bit of cedar, and paint. New screen this summer and (fingers crossed) installing a bit of trellis over the dining room windows... just maybe.

This is going to look great when the hollyhocks start to come up!

House update

House update
Originally uploaded by turbofan
Well, here's the first 'reveal'. really just a partial reveal, the painting still needs to be done... and I have to add the corbels. But damn! I'm liking this restored look.

more to come

Friday, January 23, 2009

Another full cord of wood

Another full cord of wood
Originally uploaded by turbofan
Well, consider the woodstove a success. SO BIG of a success that we decided to purchase another full cord of wood, and not a minute too soon. The last of the first load had just burned out in the fireplace when the guy pulled up.

I have to say what a huge fan I am of the Jotul 3CB! it's easy to clean, throws a LOT of heat (cut the bills in HALF!) and looks damn cute.

I only wish that it had a blower. Right now we use a 2 fan system to distribute the air around the house. Since the thing is recessed slightly into the original fire box we use a small fan to blow the heat from behind the unit and out into the room. Then we use a larger fan to blow the hot air over the (or under really) the arched opening and upstairs in the evening.

so the deal for next year:

Try out a new fan system. A while back I thought up this plan to install a small fan, maybe a bathroom vent fan (?), into the ash drop space in the basement. The idea would be to blow the cooler air from the basement up and through the trap at the back of the firebox and push the nice hot air out into the house. We'll see how it goes.

I COMPLETELY underestimated the importance of kindling. if you are thinking of doing the heat-with-wood thing start chopping up kindling now. Especially when you burn White Oak like us you NEED to get something going first. It's pathetic, I can be walking to work and find myself picking up sticks to take home! sick... This made my new years resolution 'chop more kindling'.

Vacuum more... this is a dusty affair this heating with wood. We finally got a shop vac, but I dread the spring clean. I'm going to look like a chimney sweep from Mary Poppins. In fact I'm going to start growing the silly mustache right now!

So the whole time we were hauling and stacking this cord of wood the contractors were nailing away at the North gable end. IT LOOKS AWESOME. I plan to post the pic tomorrow when I can see it DONE in full light of day.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Just a wee entry...

Well, it's a slow time on the house-front. This is mainly because everything I really want to do, (actually the only things I can currently AFFORD to do) like paint removal and scraping off popcorn ceiling, all involve opening windows. So, while I wait inside for the contractors to finally start again I got to baking.

My friends know I'm a binge baker. When the moon is in the right house I will fill the kitchen with bread, cookies, brioche... but today was a pastry day. I tried a variation on a family recipe. My new version involves making lemon curd and vanilla pastry cream. And that didn't seem like enough to work with (silly me) so I also made Grapefruit curd (very tasty) and Almond pastry cream.

Soooo, all together I used 15 cups of flour, 5 sticks of butter, 3 lemons, 2 oranges, 1 grapefruit, 1/2 bottle of almond extract, 6 sticks of butter... etc. So, while I sit here and listen to my arteries plug up I figured I would post about why I haven't posted

anyone hungry?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Pardon the vacuous blog, I'm just happy to be distracted from the contractor issue:

I just found the most perfect TV show (gasp) of all time: : It's not on cable (I don't roll like that) it's on PBS Create. Stuccohouse wrote about the Create Channel a little while back (you are SOO right about Rick Steves!)

So, I think I may be watching the premier, but here's what has happened so far:
When I turned on the tube they were talking with an artist that uses a woodworking lathe to make a moving sculpture of a 3D matrix that makes a wave... all by hand. they moved on to:
how to make a lawn chair out of a shopping cart using everyday tools then talked about a musician who plugs his Goodwill finds into amplifiers and they are currently making a Trebuchet out of PVC. I can see all sorts of ways that these projects would come in useful for ANYONE working on a home. I guess it just depends on how much faith you put into your re-sale value.

That's all. It's worth a look.

Sign of the Times.. the crappy, crappy times...

Well, here is a wake-up call.

Today I got a call from the contractor. I was at work so I thought that it would be: 'we need to leave the back gate open for tomorrow morning' or something like that...
Instead what I got was:
'We had to lay off the people working on your project, so it might be a while before there are enough people to start working again'
well, damn. I can't say anything bad about this company. They do great work. They are generally on time. did I say they do great work (so far). I'm lucky they hadn't torn off the back roof yet!
I guess this is just a sign of the times. Poor guys; I hope they can find a place worthy of their skills!
Oh, and I would have new pics up here now that the scaffolding is off the front, but I haven't been home in the daylight since this whole thing started!!
Stay tuned... more news in home re-newery to follow...