Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tis also the season for demolition

Last year on the day after Christmas we tore up the kitchen floor. Unlike the last kitchen floor we demolished, we only had to go down to the bare dirt in half the room. But also unlike the last kitchen floor, it was winter this time rather than the height of summer and we never had to pull out the old sill plate and prop the house up with a car jack. Ah, the memories. Asbestos dust, respirators, dust masks. Dry rot. Boring beetles as big around as my pinky finger ...

[Photo: This was our door to the kitchen and the outside world. Stella, our wood cookstove, turned out to be fully up to task of keeping us warm as long as the temperature didn't go below 25 degrees F. The kitchen's wall-mounted cupboard sat on two potting tables in the dining room. The refrigerator was at the other end of the dining room table. The chest freezer spent most of 2010 in the front hallway.]

It seemed to me that 2010 had been a slow year -- after the kitchen achieved a usuable state (NOT a finished state, that still hasn't happened), at the end of January. It took nine months to finish fencing the front acre and half for goat pasture. But we did tear the carpet out of the new 10' x 12' pantry (previously Peach's transition aviary and before that a bedroom) all in one morning. The shelves went up in the afternoon. All of this came much to the surprise of the teenagers who slept through the pounding and cling to the mistaken notion that people are supposed to relax on their birthdays, holidays, and weekends.

This Christmas break Matthew finished the goat fence and put up two trims boards in the kitchen. But all in all its been too much of a holiday. All this sleeping in until 7:30 is getting me down, although Matt seems none the worse for making it to almost ten o'clock once or twice. The dogs fill the house with narcoleptoids (drowse-inducing pheromones) and try to inspire us to lay around sleeping like they do, but how can we do that when every time we want to sit for a moment by the fire we have to shove, pry, drag, and otherwise forcibly evict from the couch or the chair a previously happy dog.

The house meanwhile, has achieved a state of maximum clutter (even for us) because we are preparing to expand the teens' room out into another section of the house and all that stuff had to go somewhere. This made now as good a time as any to implement another plan I have, which is to install floor to ceiling bookshelves in the sitting room and thereby get a look at what really is under all the Pink Chablis carpeting (ack!) in preparation for tearing it out some other Christmas holiday.

We started by taking down our fabulous tree. Then we shoved all the other junk lying around into other corners of the house and tore into it. And lo! Below the carpet lay an oak floor. One that previous owner of this house used as a dropcloth. I say, we may be uncivilized and gauche but using a hardwood floor as a plasterers' and painters' tarp definitely the wins the Yobbo Prize in my book. Which also makes yobbo the word of the day. It's Brit-speak for lout, yokel, hooligan, idjit. "Yob" for short.
But that's just my opinion. I am sure that, should this house survive us living in it, the next inhabitants of the Fujiko Farm manor will also spend a lot of time on many projects shaking their heads and wondering: why on earth did those yobs we bought this pit from do this that way???

No comments:

Post a Comment