Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Kitchen

Were you expecting more pictures of decorations? Nope, this is more of a state-of-the-kitchen-at-Christmas update.

Troy has begun reinforcing/building up the support beam across the ceiling. It was mentioned in the very first kitchen post. Here is the best picture I could find of it:
It sagged a lot. And it had no support at all on the north end. And it wasn't strong enough.

Troy started by filling in all the openings between each of the wall studs from the second floor. That stopped a lot of cold drafts from falling into the kitchen. He also had to trim off all the studs that were sticking out the bottom and cut the bottom of the boards level.

Once that was done, he could begin to rebuild it. He has started to apply 2x6s to the bottom of the beam with glue and nails. After each layer, the beam is jacked up to a slight arch shape.
I am so glad Isaac is around to help Troy! It would be quite a chore to do this on his own, which of course would mean that I would be helping him (ever the reluctant helper). They have to wait 24 hours between layers so they are progressing at the rate of one board per day.
Having the jacks up where the old wall was has given an insight into just how small and narrow the kitchen was before the addition onto the porch. I actually wonder if the foyer was part of the kitchen at that time because it's hard to believe a farmhouse kitchen would be that small. I sure would be interested in knowing the history of additions and modifications to this house.

Although Troy had already seen that there had been a fire in the kitchen at some point, this work has revealed just how much damage had been done. He thinks they're lucky the whole house didn't go. And it's made him wonder if that was when they decided to build out onto the porch. (If you have to replace part of the wall anyway...)

Who knows!?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Has Come

Christmas has arrived!! Thanks again to Peggy who provided me with my first artificial tree. (My first tree in years.)

I managed to pick up Isaac from O'Hare today and Tom and Clures arrived yesterday.
And I have a five day weekend. (That's how to manage your work week!)
Remember the star I knit last year? It's found a place to "shine."
The tree is the most overloaded I've ever had. Tom thinks it needs a few more.
I had a lot of fun hanging each ornament with a comment starting with, "Remember this one..."

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Old house archeology

When working on an old house, it is not uncommon to find clues about how old it is.  Old house archeology if you will.  Based on the types and thicknesses of lumber, and the kind of nails and so on, we already know the house was built in several stages.

We think the most recent stage was the kitchen addition, where the kitchen swallowed the porch.  Since I ran across waferboard, that told me it had to be in the 70's or later.  I'm so old, I remember vividly when wafterboard (aspenite, chipboard, etc) came out.   

While tearing up the floor, I ran across two artifacts.  One was a religious tract dated in the early 70's, titled, "WILL MANKIND DESTROY ITSELF?"  This was a product of the Watchtower publishing house, an arm of the Jehovah's Witnesses.  This, together with the six-pack rings were used to shim up part of the floor.  I found the juxtaposition of a beer product and a cult religious pamphlet to be amusing.

As an interesting side note, the Witnesses have predicted several times about when the last great battle will occur (Armageddon), when Jesus will return, and the resurrection of the dead.  To date, they have been 100% wrong, which looks bad when you are a self proclaimed prophetic organization.  Like many cults, the followers do not seem to be overly alarmed by their abysmal batting average.  

Ultimately, they will probably get it "right" by accident.  If you predict the end of the world long enough...

I prefer my nice conservative orthodox Christian Reformed denomination. 

At any rate, we should all be ready to meet our maker, since we will all end up face to face as it were, in the next hundred years.

Finest regards,


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