With the old program, I was imagining the length of time that transpired between when it was lost in the house and when we discovered it. With the coin… I was awed at both the time and distance it must have traveled, before we encountered it.
Bob arrived at the house early today, and had all the concrete for the water heater pretty much poured in place by the time I arrived. As we were waiting around for the concrete to dry a bit more, we decided to tackle an area/opening for some future ductwork. Here he is, using a sawzall to clear out some additional room.
On Sunday, Bob and Julie both came by the house and offered more of their time and assistance. While Julie and Liz worked on stripping the paint from the windows and doors… Bob and I focused on the concrete. I say Bob and I, but again… this was another task where I helped where I could, and mostly stood on the sidelines.
I helped hold onto the rebar as it was cut, but this process was all Bob. Closeup of the process, as I found it pretty fascinating. I asked him “Does it hurt,” and he said “Not at all.” Me, I was acting like a kid seeing sparklers for the first time – and afraid to get too close.
Prior to today, we’ve been running individual heaters in the kitchen and bathrooms. With the temperatures sometimes dipping into the single digits and no heat, we needed these in place to prevent our pipes from freezing. We even went so far as to throw in some antifreeze, anticipating some really cold days ahead.
A pipe vice, which holds pipe in place. The chain loops over each piece, and you tighten it down with the crank. It holds pipe remarkably well which, I guess, is to be expected… but it was super sturdy. There’s a small bit of metal that connected this to the joists above, so the entire thing wasn’t moving anywhere anytime soon.
Bob, working on spraying the wood and floorboards. We’re holding off on the walls and floor, since we want to clean things with a power sprayer. But we’re going to have a plumber come in and install some floor drains, and then we can really give the place a proper cleaning.
A clean basement! The eventual goal is to relocate the furnace over in the corner, and open up the basement a lot more.
Stripping paint has its dangers – the primary one being splinters that find their way through latex gloves. Here Liz is receiving some emergency surgery from Bob (aka Dr. Robuston Bean).
I cannot emphasize how dirty and disgusting the attic was. Liz and Julie braved the upstairs using Tyvek suits and masks, but from what they reported – the floor was littered with mouse pee and poop. There was a ton of junk up in the attic, and the mice/squirrels just had a field day with it all.
I arrived at the house a little after 7AM, and the next thing I knew… it was close to 1PM. I don’t know how, but we had spent around 6 hours just talking, walking room to room, making notes and discussing various options. We kind of visually deconstructed several aspects of the house, and I started to see more things I hadn’t noticed before – finding myself able to spot things that were original to the house, to things that were added at a later time.
Overall, the exhibit was surprisingly small. But at nearly ever display, there were tons of folks crowded around (cameras and cellphones in hand), absolutely mesmerized. Calling these guys hypnotic is an understatement, and I found myself often transfixed in place – unwilling to move.
On Saturday, I headed over to Aunt Cathy’s house in Lemont, to help Bob with installing a furnace. Bob was working with a longtime friend of his (Bob Seymour), and I swung by to help lend a hand where I could. On arriving, I saw Bob setting up a new sheet metal brake that he had purchased. This thing was incredibly heavy, but Bob had a system set up where he could mostly maneuver the thing on/off his truck solo.
We moved a lot of things around, threw out a ton, and also got some heavier items shifted up to the attic and down to the basement. All in all, a pretty productive day. Though the garage is still full with things, it’s markedly more organized and you can walk through it and access more than before.
From time to time, Julie and Bob will come into the city and spend the evening with us. We’ve gone and hit up a few bars/restaurants in our neighborhood, and it’s always a fun time. Over the weekend, they came in and we tried (unsucessfully) to get in to Longman & Eagle. So far, it’s the one neighborhood spot that has always filled up before we can get there in time.