Wilbert be Damned!

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Meet "Really-Big-Drill-That's-Still-In-Our-Attic" aka "Wilbert." This weapon of mass destruction was loaned to us for the explicit purpose of taking a total of 45 seconds to drill a hole through a brick chimney for stringing wires from the basement to the upper floors and again from attic to lower floors. It did it's job well. . . however, it seems to have deeply offended my husband. Why? Because it's still in the attic and his response as to why always has an edge of "I'm punishing it!"

Moving on from Wilbert. . . Josh managed to be an electrician for a few days.

During this time, we also removed a ceiling full of dead, dirty sheep. See:

Yes, we wore masks, goggles, long sleeves, had the windows open, and generally took every precaution. I STILL managed to get a nasty skin rash from it. Every where I scratched - a gazillion tiny red, itchy bumps took over. Mind you, I'm the kid that would roll in poison ivy and not think twice. . . how this happened - no idea. Regardless, one week full of oatmeal baths and Benadryl later, I was fine. We continued on and (thanks Iyz) put in the new insulation in our ceiling and exterior wall. Yes, it's just the normal pink rolls. We thought about all the fabulous other options - spray in insulation, spray foam, etc. but cost wise, there was no competition.

We're feeling warmer already.

Operation Spare Room - Demolition

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Well it’s time. It’s time to just do it. To get this project started… or as Josh would say… “Let’s kick this pig!” (Why that phrase? I have no idea).

Friday, January 30th we leave for Bloomington to pick up our fellow laborer, aka my brother. Thankfully we geared ourselves up by dining at a lovely restaurant in Bloomington called Casablanca. It’s a Moroccan restaurant along one of the many food-lined streets. I recommend the tea and honey lamb. Mmmm.

Friday night we didn’t end up doing much since we didn’t even arrive back home until well after 10pm. So Saturday begins our true work.
I actually had a bit of photo editing to finish up for a freelance project and was unable to partake in the initial demolition… however keeping the animals from flipping out was a chore in and of it’s self. I captured my working environment...

The guys did a pretty admirable job. Below is a collection of their handy work.

Triumphant poses. At this time, we were able to take a look at our present state of wiring.

Comforting, no? A $1200 quote for re-wiring later and we came to the conclusion that it was time to learn electrical. And by learn I mean cheer Josh on as he shadows his uncle. ;o)

Cheer with me now... Woo!!! Way to go!! Yeah!!!

Operation Spare Room

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What better to do in winter weather than completely overhaul your spare bedroom, right? Exactly, a perfect time... when you're reminded that your house has no insulation, it makes motivation to add insulation pretty noticeable. Mind you, initially I was simply thinking of painting the spare room... My husband had other plans. "Aw, why not just totally re-do the room?" I then thought he meant get new light fixtures. It wasn't until he was getting quotes for electricians and typing "insulation" into google that I became a little worried.

By the way, the image on the right is what the spare room looks like. We had previously determined that it
was certainly the most hideous room in the house.

So, moving on in the story. We're over-hauling the spare room. Our to-do list includes, but is not limited to: Taking the woodwork (except the doors) back to woodwork and stain a dark walnut - to match our other woodwork and bedframe. Remove all plaster, replace with drywall. Replace old knob and tube wiring with new, up to code wiring, insulation the exterior wall and ceiling, install new-energy efficient windows, install four recessed lights, a fan/light, paint, strip my childhood bedroom set and restain, create curtains (my first sewing maching project), and generally make the decor and accessories fluffy and lovely. Ideally, we can complete the majority by March 14th. [a side note, we actually begun this late January so it was more feesible than the current posting date].

Our inspiration:

As with any project, there will be challenges. A few of ours are...between us we have zero electrical experience, we know nothing of windows, haven't a clue which insulation to use, and lastly, we both work 40+ hours a week. Minor details...

We've thankfully been able to look pitiful enough for Josh's uncle to take pity on us and help us out. The man knows just enough about everything and an enormous amount about what we need. (Thank God). My gracious brother has kindly accepted a trade of manual labor for food, laundry and lodging.

Wish us luck.