Saturday, March 31, 2007

They say it gets worse before it gets better

No windows. No doors.
The next thing to go is the roof.

Beneath the vinyl siding we discovered tongue and groove number one pine boards. The ceiling of the carport was built from the same stuff. Number one pine is not even manufactured any more. The best you can buy is number two pine. What makes it number one? No knots. Apparently it's too expensive to go through all the pine trees and pine boards cut from them to find pieces that are not knotted and put them in a separate pile marked number one. The boards will be salvaged, somebody has to pull all the nails out, then put them through a planer, then stack them somewhere safe until the house is ready to be finished inside. They'll go on an accent wall somewhere.

You have to admit, even without the windows, the view is outstanding.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A few signs of spring

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth, our resident Mallards.

It might be hot, but it still looks like spring.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hardwood floors

The heat index says summer already. At 5:30, it's still 83 degrees and hot if you're pulling weeds. Every flat surface in sight is covered with a yellow layer of dust. If the wind blows, yellow smoke gets in your eyes and nose and makes you sneeze. My deck is ankle deep in pine pollen sacks and their little wings. Trying to sweep it off only adds more yellow dust to the air. Pray for rain!

Today my dad ripped the rest of the hardwood floors out of the house next door. Give him a mallet and a crowbar, and the man is happy.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


I'm still trying to figure out all these new commands. Besides trying to figure out the new system on my computer at the same time. And apparently the new keyboard is just different enough fro the old one that I keep mispelling words. Bear with me. Apparently to get a smaller image on the profile, you have to have one published somewhere one line. So now I'm published. Self-published, I suppose.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The House Next Door

Last year, we bought the house next door. After sitting empty for over a year, it was in sad shape. The basement was flooded, due to poor lot grading and lack of drainage, and reeked of mildew. The foundation was questionable in spots. The lovely vinyl siding on the eves offered cosmetics for the damaged wood underneath. The kitchen floor was rotted. A limb came through the roof several decades ago, and it was roofed over it and left it in the attic.

After months of piddling with small demolition projects:

Major work has finally begun.

Our Mexican brick mason took one look at the outside walls and said, "No good. No ties. Wall fall down." In other words, the bricks weren't tied to the construction. If we take the roof off to add a second story, which is in the plan, the existing walls will tumble without the benefit of silent marches or blowing trumpets. So, now the house next door looks like this:

Isn't this going to be fun?!