I know you’ve been wondering where I’ve been. While I’d like to offer some excuse, I’d rather brag blog about our latest home improvement project!
[Insert loud applause]
Thank you, thank you. Now. To recap. My husband & I bought ye olde village manse 10 months ago. Maaaaaaany people had looked at this house before us, but turned tail & fled when they realized the amount of work it would require to maintain, let alone restore. My husband & I (dreamers through & through) saw a shining gem of a colonial that with much polishing & SWEAT EQUITY could be Home (capital H).
When we moved in 10 months ago – and that alone is hard to believe, this was our office.
Sorry for the lack of posting, my husband & I have been chained out in the garden. HHAHAHAH – no I am serious.
This is what our side garden looked like when we moved in. It’s a little hard to see, but there are flower beds and a brick path under there.
Ask any parent. Once you have a baby, your life is not your own. As a mother, I understand this. And as a homeowner, I understand it all the more.
Five months ago, my husband & I adopted a baby. His name is The Dole House. And although 250 years old, he is every bit a clapboard clad toddler w/a perpetually leaky diaper. He whines, he cries. He begs to be changed. And much like our other babies, he has taken everything we’ve had to give and more. When we first moved in, I felt as if I’d been swallowed whole, and now, five months later, I am still being digested. Like parenthood, the process of restoring and updating such an old house is time intensive, financially draining, emotionally wrenching and physically demanding. It has consumed us completely, often to the point of near exhaustion. But, on occasion, much like parenthood, the moments of gut-busting angst give way to feelings of great accomplishment. Like now. As I present our new Dining Room.
I’d planned on discussing more chimney stuff today, but I got too involved w/ work, it’s now 8pm and time for wine. So I’ll just show you what I found in the wall.
BACKGROUND: A major reason John & I were able to buy this house is b/c two rooms on the first floor need to be restored. One room is more complete than the other, but basically both need floors. and either partial or full reconstruction of the walls. We have sketched out a plan for the first of these two rooms – which just happens to be the one needing more work. Of course. I spent the bulk of today working on Room #1. This will be our dining room, once it’s restored.
One of the most striking things about our new (olde) house is its original heating system. Not oil, not gas, but CHIMNEYS! Downstairs in the basement you can see the bottom arches of these massive brick structures, rising from the ground like roman aqueducts. Impressive in scale and beautiful in form and function. This Book speaks at length about colonial chimneys and is a great read for anyone interested in the subject.