Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What we have accomplished so far... Year 5 (well... almost)

The other day, Pete and I discovered the house projects list that we made when we first moved in. Of the 145 projects that are on this list, in ~5 years we have accomplished 85 of these projects. Some big (ex. new floors for the living room and dining room) and some small (ex. curtains for the living room). Some projects I have blogged about in the past, and some were quietly accomplished. Since acquiring the place, we have figured out that 7 projects either will never be done (ex. general landscaping) or are impossible to accomplish (ex. change laws of physics to suit Heidi).

The original project list for our home
So ~ 65% of our desired projects have been done or will never be done -- a considerable improvement to the home's condition in when we chose to become this home's temporary caretakers. There's still room for the improvement before we make another list of things to do, but I am proud of all that has been accomplished to date. I am getting the feeling that we will never be quite "done" with this place.

A home that's 184 years old is never 100% yours... you get to inhabit and care for it for a little while. It belongs not only to you, but to the generations of families that came before... and will (hopefully) come after you.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Current Home Projects

Although we no longer are at the house as much, we continue to work on projects for the one day when we may return again permanently. We have been hiring out some projects recently -- which is kind of bittersweet. I used to really like to do house projects -- there is a sense of accomplishment when something gets done and knowing that you figured out how to do it. But then again... a project completed is another project off of the list, and right now with school and other responsibilities... these things have been harder to get done.

Some of the more recent projects that we are working on/are completed:
Installing granite stone tile in front of the fireplace. For a long time this was a broken marble slab, and after we put in the new floors... there was nothing there.  Its nice to have this finished off and that this matches other stone detailing throughout the house. We wanted natural stone as it seems out of place somehow to have synthetic details in a house 184 years old.
Finishing up wiring work and installing overhead light in the guest bedroom. Once Pete and his grandpa got through with wiring the 2nd floor, the finishing touches were never completed (i.e. rehanging the trim, grouting the walls, and installing the overhead light). The painter people were there today grouting this room. I am glad that this is getting finished off... It really is a nice room ~ I like the view from these windows. So, it feels good to have this room usable again. One more project off of the list.
Installing an electric heater on the 3rd floor. Previously this was heated by gravity heat through a large grate in the floor. And while this works -- about 18 decades worth of families have found this sufficient in the winter -- it will be nice to have real heat on this floor. This makes the 3 bedrooms on the top floor more usable, especially right now when it gets used only occasionally for guests/others. The gravity heat takes too long to heat up this floor when its not used all the time (the 3rd floor is usually closed off to save on heating costs).

What prompted my run home today, was not to look at these projects or monitor the progress of these (and other) things... but a dog that needed the vet. Hondo ruptured a cervical disk (presumably -- we didn't get an X-Ray), and was in a lot of pain this morning... He kept hiding from the light (and maybe from me?) -- finding a spot in the back corner of the closet. His occasional cries and shrieks of pain were enough to keep me from studying. He is sitting a lot more comfortably after an injection at the vet, and some pain medicine. He will be on steroids and pain medicine for the next 2 weeks. We will be keeping him from jumping on/off the bed for a while ~ its probably how the disk got put out of place.
Our "Harry Potter"dog. He used to live under the stairs in a closet... today he was wanting the peace, quiet, and relative darkness of the shoe closet, seemingly trying to hide from the pain. I tried to make where he was sitting more comfortable by bringing in a pillow and towels. However, he was not even up to moving the pillow and towels around to make it more comfortable or use what I had brought him for a head rest. Poor puppy! :(
 Now to resume studying for my pulmonary exam...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pandora... one of the many things I am thankful for

I study to Pandora -- a station I have made up myself (Copperhead Road/Steve Earle; Sometime Around Midnight/Airborne Toxic Event; Amanda/Don Williams). It's kind of a mellow, even-paced mix that works well for studying. I have stations for other things (like clean the house) -- but these get significantly less playing time.

So, I listen to a lot of music I would never have found myself. Most of it I like. One of these new-to-me artists is Ferron (like the songs: Love Loves Me and A Girl on a Road -- after you get past the first 2 paragraphs). Its slightly old school country, kind of cajun, pretty interesting. However, I am always on the look out for new stuff to add to this station.

What's your favorite thing to do to Pandora? What's on your station?