Saturday, November 18, 2017

Fenchurch Remembers Year One

One year ago I drove into downtown Bangor and signed a lot of papers in exchange for a set of keys to the oldest house on Thomas Hill.  I had a few moments of quiet at the house before the plumbers arrived to jack hammer a decayed cast iron waste pipe out of the basement floor.  It seems like there's been banging and cutting and a great deal of crashing around ever since. (Some of it, but not all of it, intentional.)

I think I can safely say that I am still on the steep part of the home renovation learning curve. And the safe use of power tools learning curve.  Also the how to be a good business partner and how to peacefully coexist with others curves.

I spend a lot of time just being tired.

But a lot has been accomplished in this year, due mostly to Zaphod's hard work (and perseverance in the face of suffering).

  • Rotten cast iron waste pipe replaced.
  • Laundry / half bath upgraded.
  • New wood stove and back chimney lined.
  • Structural repairs have progressed.
  • Front chimney has been rebuilt and relined.
  • Rotten exterior stairs removed, damaged roof repaired, new balcony added.
  • Electrical service upgraded.
  • Corner of foundation dug out and mortared inside and out with drainage added.
  • Family room demoed.  Bathroom demoed.
  • Lightbulbs replaced.
  • Leaves raked and wood cut.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed though encouragement, cleaning, scraping paint, swinging a hammer, pulling the trigger on a power tool, or bringing us vodka. (It's a muscle relaxant, Fenchurch-Mom!) 

We are grateful for your support as we make plans for another busy year.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Zaphod's Best Weekend (Ever!!)

It is a well known fact at Highlands Bangor, that Zaphod loves to dig.  His love for digging is second only to his love for moving things.  So this was pretty much the best weekend that Zaphod can imagine.  (If anyone knows a good libel lawyer, Zaphod is taking names....)

On Saturday, while Trillian kept the little people occupied, in an attempt to prevent the entry of water into the basement, Zaphod and Fenchurch dug their trench a little deeper and then started throwing mortar at the wall, literally.  Fenchurch found that her instinct to "color inside the lines" did not really lend itself to throwing mortar at a wall, so Zaphod threw and Fenchurch mixed...because mixing mortar is kind of like mixing "just add water" cake mix.  Except you wouldn't want to eat it.  And it's a looooooooot heavier.

Four bags of mortar later and Zaphod and Fenchurch were both done for the day.  And only about 1/4 of the way around the wall.  Thank goodness next weekend should be sunny...

On Sunday, to rest from throwing mortar, Zaphod and Fenchurch moved things around.  There seems to be an unwritten rule at Highlands Bangor - if you're going to move something, the place you put it must be as inconvenient as possible for whatever job needs to be done next, thus forcing you to move the thing again.  The heavier the thing, the truer this is.

But rules are meant to be broken - so Zaphod and Fenchurch moved slate (for the keep-water-out-of-the-attic project) and wood (for the let's-not-freeze-to-death-over-the-winter project) to places which should hopefully be relatively permanent until the slate goes on the roof and the wood goes in the fire.

And Zaphod is looking forward to doing it all again next weekend!