A shift in the weather

No pictures today, just chronicling the sudden swing in temperatures.  When I left the house last night for my trek to the barn, it was still balmy, having soared into the mid-50s during the day.  The side yard was muddy and rutted where some lost souls (?) decided to pull in and play Chinese fire drill?  I don’t really know, but I would like to thank them for the ruts in my lawn now.  I just came back in from sweeping the side porch, steps, and car, and fetching the mail, and everything is once again covered in white.  My little weather bug tells me we could dip below zero tonight.  So something like a 50 degree swing in about 36 hours.  Yikes!

In other news, finally got the upstairs over the kitchen swept and vacuumed, ready to get scrubbing once the hot water flows throughout the house.  Optimistic that will be before this time next week.  Stay tuned!


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Death of a pumpkin

Alas, while the on-demand hot water heater is now mounted on a wall in the basement and it appears most if not all of the plumbing is in place, the propane won’t be connected until next Monday and then there’s more hurry up and wait until the contractor’s crew can come, pressurize and test the system .  In the meantime, I have these:

Fortunately, this is all in the butler’s pantry, where it is sheetrock and should be fairly easy to replace and repair.  In fact, the longer ceiling opening had been opened before and already had an obvious repair panel.  There’s another, similar hole in the wall in the above bathroom behind the tub enclosure, again, easily repaired and out of sight.  All in, if it means running water throughout the house and I can move up from sleeping in the barn, (as Martha would say), it’s a good thing!

After a holiday break I did come back to some sadness though.


Arrivederci, mio amico, you will make excellent compost.


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Et voila

I’ll need finer brushes for the second pass, but for now, voila!

DSCN0335This is likely my last post until after the holiday break, so a little something festive to celebrate the season!



My mother’s childhood rocker and a bear she had after she retired.  He’s trying to sort the lights… 


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A touch sore…

Woke up to a gleaming horizon, everything covered in white, around six inches or so.  Took off to the hardware store across the border in Massachusetts, then back to scrubbing.  Didn’t get much done, though, as I started late and my arms are tired and sore from the scrubbing.  Excuses, excuses, I know!

Progress so far:


Hoping I can finish this first pass tomorrow.

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First snow!

The view from my kitchen this afternoon:


Up early to tackle the wrapped fireplace, so here are some progress shots:


Plastic removed, paint scraped off (messy, sloppy, sticky mess, but paint came off nicely)

And then after several hours of scrubbing; already worn down the small brush I bought yesterday, so looks like I’ll be procuring a few more of them on my next trip to the hardware store.



First pass, it will definitely need another to get the last bits of white paint off.



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That’s a wrap…


Not as in it’s done, more as in it’s wrapped?  Sad pun?  Sorry (not sorry).

Removed the doors of the fireplace to get at all the bricks, taped the floor and fireplace surround, and draped the fire dogs (note to self: add all of the grating and andirons to the cleaning list).  Slapped on a coat of CitriStrip then wrapped it in plastic wrap.  A little something to keep me busy tomorrow.

Once the fireplace was wrapped, I spent some more time working on the bricks to the left, building muscles.  This is going to take time, and the lower bricks are going to be tough to get at, but it’s going to be awesome once it’s done.  It’s fun watching it emerge, too.  The best part is the vents?  Turns out they are brass after all!!!



Getting the paint off’s a chore, but once the brass is clean and polished, this will look classic.


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With the contractor here, progress is being made on the plumbing, so that’s a YAY!  Over the Thanksgiving weekend, my DH invested in a few of those remote control switches for, among other things, holiday lighting, so I’ve now decked the mantle in the kitchen with lights.  After a judicious scrubbing of the roadside windows in the kitchen, those also now have lights, both areas controlled by remote.  Makes me happy.  It’s the little things, you know?


And tonight, these will glow as well.


Probably won’t be doing much more holiday decorating this year, but by this time next year, I’m hoping to have this finished, with a working chimney and stockings hung so carefully.  For now, it’s great to see I’m going to be able to get back to the original brick!


Treated with CitriStrip in the evening and wrapped in plastic to keep it moist

To this:


Lots of work ahead to reveal this lovely brick, but it will totally be worth it

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