Tuesday, November 18, 2014

An Adventure in Bluestone

This weekend was filled with house projects. Projects that had been in the making for months or longer. With the "polar vortex" that hit New England this weekend, we donned hats, hand warmers, and hot coffee to power through these "to dos" of the weekend.

First up was finishing the diy trash bin. It all started after too many mornings of this…

...We decided it was time to outsmart the raccoons and build a trash bin that would fit 2 circular trash containers with a solid lid. I managed to build the bin (with Andrew's help of course) out of 2x4s, galvanized nails & screws, 1/2" plywood and lots of swearing.  One day of building, one afternoon of shingling. It's nothing fancy, but it gets the job done - the trash is now intact & in the bin each morning. Gone are the mornings of picking up soggy containers, old meat remnants and God knows what else...

We also spent the weekend sanding and mudding the upstairs & entryway hallways. This project began LAST March with the removal of 1/2 the ceiling and installation of can lights.  Sheetrock was put up a couple sheets at a time, followed by months with gapping holes. After a while I forgot that part of the ceiling was missing, that sheetrock nails were on every surface and that I still did not have a linen closet that I had dreamt of months earlier.  All in due time, my friend.

And so we made it a few more steps closer to putting paint up on the walls. I for one will be psyched when house days no longer involve dust masks or the "nails on a chalkboard" also known as scraping mud on walls.  Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

And then the BIG, gigantic adventure in bluestone that was Friday. The first few weeks of living in the house, we realized that the chimney leaked each and every time it rained. Turns out there was no proper piece of bluestone or chimney cap on top of the chimney. There was a cement "cap" that had a large crack in the center, not so successfully covering the opening in the chimney.

Last year we asked our Portuguese mason to fix it. Apparently climbing up on the roof or getting in a crane and then putting a bit piece of bluestone on the chimney was not gonna happen.  Once we asked him, he suddenly forgot any part of English that we'd heard before and stopped returning our phone calls.

And this is how I learned to brick...

Andrew used his engineering, spacial genius to almost give me a heart attack and get that piece of 250 lb bluestone from the driveway, up the side of the house, and onto the top of 4 stacks of bricks. Nothing was broken. No mishaps happened. It was a surprisingly easy ordeal.  To which Andrew likes to remind me - he should not be doubted, it all works out.

It was literally the ballsiest and most brilliant operation and adventure that 82 Middle Ave has ever seen. And there has been a lot to be seen….

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