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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

the guest bedroom will be prettier soon

Remember this shot of the back half of the house?

Here's what it looked like Saturday evening, after Don and I finished moving every last little thing over to the front half, including the Anapurna tables downstairs and the tools upstairs.

And here's what it looks like now:

That's right, progress! Don's dad came over early Sunday morning and the two of them removed the walls separating the eaves from the bedroom - the closet and the bathroom, just like in the master suite. Then Don's dad left, and Don spent the rest of the day pulling out the flooring all the way back to the chimney, as that's the first section they're going to work on. Leaving the floor in on the other section gives them a place to put debris and lets them keep up a wall that's holding the air conditioner up in the attic. When he was finished, Don installed the giant railing to keep me from falling to my death, because he's just a nice guy.

Soon, he'll start cutting out the joists and the old bathroom pipes (the plumber's going to be replacing them anyway) and there'll be a vast open space to be filled in with new joists and subfloor next time his dad comes over. Which, hopefully, will be soon. Scheduling these days is a nightmare.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

movers and shakers

Well, we've moved. Or at least, we've moved enough to get going this weekend. Our bedroom is now in the master suite. There aren't any walls dividing the suite into its three parts yet, so right now we're luxuriating in a huge bedroom that basically takes up the entire front half of the house. It's very nice, but I'm trying not to get used to it. Once the bathroom and closet are in, the bedroom won't be nearly so big. But the four inches we added by scooting the wall between it and the office backwards a big are going to make a big difference. The cat is probably the happiest one about the new room; our bed is just below the big bay window, and the sunlight streams in just as I thought it would. She spends the mornings perched in the window staring out at the birds -- it's warm enough outside that I've been opening the windows -- and her afternoons sprawled in the sunlight on the bed, sleeping. I have to admit I've taken a few sunlit naps myself. She's got the right idea.

Our desks have been moved into the living room, but the two large tables which hold all of the Anapurna supplies haven't yet -- we'll probably move them this evening. Then Don will put tarp up between the living room and dining room and we'll be ready to go. Provided nobody's school schedule interferes, Don and his dad will be doing some demolition this weekend and taking out the eave walls on either side of the guest bedroom. Once that's done, Don will rip up the flooring in his spare time and then they'll get started on the new joists.

In the meantime, I'll be sitting here enjoying the sunlight with the cat.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

bare minimum

We did manage to do one or two things that needed to get done this weekend, although far too much of it was spent playing World of Warcraft and vegging out in front of our computers (on the plus side, I hit level 80!). After brunch on Sunday, while I did food-related things, Don replaced a ceiling joist and tore down the old header from the previous master bedroom wall. I joined him upstairs to help clean up and we were able to get the upstairs finally cleared of sawdust (the cat will no longer be able to roll around in it and then jump on our bed, to her disappointment). This week is Don's spring break, so we'll be trying to get our things moved after work all week. Nothing is happening this upcoming weekend, as we have external commitments which will keep us out of the house all weekend, but we're trying our damnedest to be able to start ripping up the last of the floors up there the weekend following. Fingers crossed.

As usual, if you want up-to-the-minute info on what's going on, feel free to follow me on Twitter, if you use it. I'm a pretty regular updater, although I warn you that you may find out more about what I'm having for dinner and how the Anapurna stuff is going than about the house just now.

Monday, March 09, 2009


We didn't do any work on the house this weekend. We did, however, buy a sausage stuffer attachment for our KitchenAid mixer -- Don's decided he wants to make his own bratwurst -- and go on an exploratory expedition to a butcher shop. Plus our weekly Sunday brunch with friends and a nice evening with Don's family to celebrate his sister's 21st birthday.

We're stuck until we can find the time to move all of our stuff over to the front side of the house, and with Don trying to (finally) graduate relatively soon (he predicts December, you may open a betting pool if you like), plus work and Anapurna tasks ramping up, time's at a premium. We'll get there eventually, though.

In the meantime, the weather has been mind-blowingly gorgeous for the last couple of days, so this morning I decided to walk up to Northeast Highlands Park, which is just up the street. I'd never been there before, but having a park within easy walking distance is something I don't think I should take for granted. I asked Don about it at one point and he told me there wasn't much there, just a baseball diamond and a little grassy area. He's wrong! The Department of Natural Resources' "open spaces" program has paid for a nice little play area (future Brinkley babies, take note!), and behind the baseball diamond and grassy area is actually a startlingly large wooded area, with a really nice trail running through it. I walked to the very end and back, and I plan to do it again as often as I can, and maybe take my camera. For a suburban area, it's very undisturbed. I saw a spiderweb that was eight feet tall sparkling in the sunlight. Doggy pawprints indicate that at least some of the neighbors are taking advantage of the nature in their midst -- on the way back I waved to a lady walking two large dogs as she was heading in to the area I was just leaving. The natural area actually wends its way back pretty far, significantly farther than the map indicates the park goes, and it swings its way along behind and above the industrial buildings along Patapsco Avenue (Baltimore Highlands is perched on top of a cute little cliff, so the park stays above the buildings). There's a secondary trail along the top of the little cliff overlooking the buildings, and I elected to take that back. It's not nearly so well used as the main trail, and I had to climb over some fallen trees and things, but it was fun! On the way in and the way out, I paused to admire the English Consul mansion, which is right next door to the park. All in all, a pleasant morning interlude and a nice neighborhood exploration.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

still here, plus one wall

Uh, did I forget to post here for almost two weeks? Whoops. My bad, internet. I've been really busy with the new Anapurna advertising campaign, designing and placing ads and monitoring progress with my new favorite thing, Google Analytics. (PS, if you want to see one of our ads in action, check out TheTorchOnline, a fantasy website that's gaining popularity. Then go buy some jewelry.)

In any case, a significant step has actually been made in the house progress, and it was made almost two weeks ago, so I should probably post about it before Don's head explodes. We built a wall!

Don and I actually built this wall ourselves, just the two of us. I used a miter saw and everything. And yes, I still have all my fingers. This wall is actually the wall that separates the master bedroom (and master closet) from the middle bedroom. It stops where the entrance to the master suite will be; on the other side of the entrance will be the shower in the master bath, approximately where the two-by-four on the ground and circular saw are sitting.

The next step is to clean up from the construction and move our stuff over into the master bedroom. We can't build the other walls yet because they're too long -- they cross over into the area of the subfloor that isn't finished yet. So we'll make do with this one, move our stuff over both upstairs and downstairs (the office will go back into the living room), and make a push to get the rest of the upstairs subfloor done. Both Don and his dad have had a lot of exams for school for the last week and a half, so we've been waiting for a free moment to get the moving done. I'm not actually sure if any work will be done this weekend or not -- if it is, you can be sure I'll probably forget to write about it.