Thursday, November 14, 2013

Fall in Vermont & House Update

My first fall in Vermont has not disappointed. I had always want to see New England painted in her autumnal glory, and this year I got my wish.

Whether I was looking out the front window,

driving down our street,

looking at the mountains to the East,

or West, we were overwhelmed with the feeling that we live inside a postcard.

Additionally, our construction crew left us after 3 1/2 months with a much sturdier and more useful (and prettier) house. See the tabs under Kitchen, Living Room, Bathroom, and Back Porch for more on each of the rooms we've worked on.

Overall, the house looks cared for now. Our neighbors tell us how happy they are that we've saved the old girl every time they see us.

And yesterday, we got our stove so that we finally can have a fire in the lovely old fireplace.  All is well.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Summer by the Numbers

              Meg and Molly

We have been in Bennington for 4 months.

We have had 6 sets of visitors; 4 in the past 5 weeks.

We painted 3 rooms.

We have had between 1 and 4 men working on our house for 3 months:

  • repaired 3 of 4 entrances to the house: front porch, back porch, back deck. (Only the front breezeway remains untouched, and it needs work.)
  • added 7 overhead lights and replaced 3 fixtures. 
  • added 8 new electrical circuits.
  • replaced 7 sill plates due to rot. 1 remains to be fixed. 
  • rebuilt 1 entire wall and part of another.
  • removed 51 shutters for painting. They have not yet been replaced.
  • added 6 handrails at stairways.
  • painted 20 exterior walls on the first floor and 6 on the second.
  • added 1 hot water heater
  • repaired 2 sewer lines and 2 leaks
  • replaced 1 section of wood flooring
  • added 1 whole-house attic fan and 2 gable vents
  • relined 1 chimney, decommissioned 1, inspected 1
All together, we have dealt with 130 items.

And we are not finished yet.

But isn't it looking wonderful?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Heat Wave

It has been very hot here for the past 2 wks. Highs in upper 80s to mid 90s with high humidity. I know that sounds like a walk in the park in AR, but we have no central air. Bought 3 little room-sized window units, one for living room and 2 for bedrooms, so we are managing as long as we stay hunkered down. Supposed to break today with rain and front moving thru then 70s tomorrow. Wahoo!

We are still in construction hell. Just got the porch done but still have banisters to complete, attic fan to replace (1st one installed didn't work), chimney to patch, back porch to shore up, back steps to replace, and painting whole house, including lead paint removal, etc. plus repairing rotten sill plate in front room, and lots of other places. Oh, and trimming out now exposed beams in kitchen. We did find the leak that caused us to tear out the kitchen ceiling in the first place. Small victory.

But we really do love the house and neighborhood and town and setting.

The town is doing a lot to keep thriving--street fairs, free music every Friday night, Midnight Madness shopping, etc. and there is much to do in surrounding areas too. You would have to work at being bored.

Pat has been painting and I have been blogging at  I haven't had the leftover energy to find an agility training center yet. 

Tomorrow we are going to a herding demonstration by Jon Katz, a writer of dog stories who lives just over in New York. Check out his book, Bedlam Farm.  I think you would like it.

We are getting our weekly veggies from the CSA, Mighty Food Farm. It is in a beautiful spot in the valley about 8 miles from here.

To give an example of their offerings, we picked up our produce yesterday and got 2 kinds of lettuce, celery, tomatoes, green beans, wax beans, cucumbers, mixed squash, zucchini, onions, and passed on kale, chard, beets, radishes, garlic, scallions, napa cabbage, and pick your own herbs and cutting flowers. They also have eggs. And sell bread, meat, cheese, jellies and other locally grown or produced food.

Friday, July 5, 2013

New Porch Ornament

All work has stopped for the long holiday weekend. We get to enjoy a lovely porch ornament for the duration.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Demolition Begins

Today the Kabota tractor and its driver, Joe, began rebuilding our saggy, rotten front porch.

Here it is before the destruction crew arrived.

Here it is after the day's digging.  See the huge rock in the foreground? The Kabota dragged it out of the hole where the porch was.  We are going to find something special to do with it.

Monday, July 1, 2013

On the Way to Wonderful

The electricians were here all day, separating circuits, adding receptacles in the bedrooms, and hanging the light fixtures we bought Saturday. 

Now we have lots of light in the kitchen.

There is still work to do, trimming out the top of the walls, painting wires to hide them against the beams, etc. but we are liking it!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Case of the Disappearing Drip

So. Yesterday morning the plumber arrived bright and early, soon thoroughly impressed with the ceiling and how clean it was. He commented on the craftsmanship of the carpentry and the plumbing, and was nearly bowled over with the not galvanized, not copper, not PVC but ( drumroll, please) BRASS water lines feeding the fixtures in the bathroom.

Then he went to work, looking for the source of our leak in the now exposed pipes. He looked and looked and looked.

No leak!

We have now showered, flushed, and run water multiple times and still -- no leak!

Perhaps it was just a message from the benevolent house ghosts that we needed to remove that wavy plaster ceiling and get back to the bones of the house.

Or maybe it was a tricky little house elf chuckling at the gullibility of the humans who panic at a bit of mouse pee.

At any rate, we have bare beams, hanging light bulbs, and a carpentry challenge to turn this great potential into something wonderful.

Yesterday we bought pendant lights to hang above the counters and a chandelier for the breakfast room. Our biggest worry, among many, is that the dark ceiling will suck all the light out of the room.

On other fronts, the Volvo is fixed; the roof on the rental unit needs repair since it is leaking around the chimney which is falling down (it's a good thing we rerouted the exhaust of the boiler from that chimney to a direct vent or we might have carbon-monoxide poisoned our tenants!); and the main sill under part of the back porch is rotten. Oh, and the back steps need to be repaired or replaced. But like Scarlett, we will worry about that another day.