Monday, January 12, 2009

Still the same

It was another weekend of working on the house as we furiously try to get things done to start marketing the place next month. As hard as Steve is working and as industrious as he is, February may be pushing it a bit. He finished painting the upstairs hall and the stairwell this weekend. Sounds simple, but it's time consuming to put up painter's tape, then paint the ceilings, walls, and trim. Unbelievably, all that got done this weekend. There's still cleanup work to do, which will keep me busy this week, and he wants to put a new coat of polyurethane on the hardwood stairs to make them look better. It needs to be done, but that adds time before he can start on the basement. The basement is a relatively small paint job, but it involves taking down wall paper, a time-consuming step. Then will come the kitchen. Mostly trim to paint there, but there will also be substantial drywall work. The kitchen will be the last indoor job. Then will come the front porch, which needs a major re-do. I'm thinking maybe March, if I think of it at all. I've come to the realization that the less I think about the meaning of "days of transiton," the more sanity I can maintain.

We're headed for another big cold snap here, but at least there's no snow in the picture as there is for our brethren further north. I'm wearing several layers of clothes to stay warm, even with the thermostat turned up to 70. I don't remember the house I grew up in being as cold inside as this one is. Maybe because the old family house (actually younger than the one I'm living in now) had radiant heat instead of forced air? A fall ritual, one of the fun things my father and I did together, was bleeding the radiators. There was a special key that turned a valve on each radiator. Opening the valve would release air pockets that had formed in the pipes over the summer. You let the air out until dirty black water appeared, then closed the valve, knowing that the radiator was full of only water. Each year, the first time you turned on the heat, the radiator pipes would protest with clanks as they expanded from the unaccustomed heat of the water inside. The noise stayed around just long enough to reassure us that the whole thing was working. I loved that sound. It guaranteed a cozy winter.


Linda - SE PA said...

Hi Ralph,

The only words of wisdom that came to mind (re-the house project) is keep putting one foot in front of the other. It will all get taken care or when tired enough, the list will get shortened.

I admit to being a bit envious that you & Steve undertook this project. My best efforts would have been a few coats of paint... alas, not a fan of wallpaper because of the upkeep and replacement work. I'm a "paint only".

Cold here in SE PA - no snow, but we did have a dusting which froze. Our winter to date has been freezing rain or sleet with snow flurries mixed in.

Good time to be indoors with projects.

Ralph said...

Linda, you'd be surprised at the ambition created by nightmares consisting of dollar sighs.

Wallpaper: remember the early '08 posts on that subject? Steve's developed a fast and non-messy way to do it now.

Anonymous said...

I was on our fencing team in high school and in the winter we always heated our epee's in those old radiators. Go into the match room and a hundred of them were jammed into all the radiators lining the outside walls. What a memory. Thanks.

Cuidado said...

I'm thinking of pulling the paint cans out too.

Ralph said...

Cuidado, have fun!