Monday, January 26, 2009

In the Back in the Saddle

Well it’s been 2 months since I wrote. Most of you already know that Bruce and I have parted ways and it has taken me a while to recover from this ending. Now we are into the new year and I am looking forward and calling upon my closest friends to lend a hand when necessary and getting things done.

This weekend we tackled a huge portion of the on-going kitchen reno. A big thanks to Nicola, Gord, John, Charlie, Dad and Christine for all their labour.

Nicola and I started on Thursday night by clearing out a couple of free standing cupboards, moving them out into their new homes in the pantry and the living room and vacuuming up an astonishing collection of dust bunnies.

Saturday morning dawned crisp (-20 deg C) and clear. I whipped together a chili and started some broccoli soup. I am a firm believer that if you are going to wear out your friends, you’d better be able to feed them too. Dad and Christine arrived in time for coffee and we cleared out the table and chairs, shoved things to the perimiter of the play room (to bring in the cupboards from the barn) and shovelled a clear path for bringing them in. We also had to use the hairdryer to get one of the barn door locks off.

Gord and John arrived and they and Dad started to tackle the remaining demolishion on one cupboard. (When Nicola and I tore out the big pantry cupboard in October or November, it took us 2 solid hours of female angst to tear it out. The guys had their cupboard off the wall in 20 minutes. Lesson learned: men do demolishion better.)

(This was really hard work, and this is how happy I was to have the new cupboard in.)First we had to rip out the cupboard that was where the paint changes to the colour I like to call "Rock of Ages" and then the buttler sink had to go. Anyone want to buy an awesome old sink?Then we took the heat vent that had a remarkable U (see where the paint looks different along the waste stack, that's where it used to live) in it and turned it into the Leaning Tower of Heat.
They ripped out the sink and started putting up cupboards with lots of shims. This portion of the house is newer (circa 1900) and the plaster walls are a bit off plumb (just the way I likes it). But shims a plenty to go around.

There is always a joker in the crowd, isn't there.
Charlie had arrived to do the plumbing by this time. Once the uppers were level in all directions, they started on the lowers while Charlie was banished to the basement for his work with the blow torch.
With a minimum of cuts and some rerouting of a heat vent, the cupboards went in and Gord and John, flagging at this time from 5 hours of hard labour, took leave of us. Charlie stayed until the pluming for the sink was roughed in and the valves were in place (and the water was turned back on).

A bit more work and we had the countertops chopped up and in place. (The kitchen I got the units from was configured differently). It doesn’t look perfect, but it is a temporary measure until the electrical is done and I can contract someone to replace the counters.

Sunday morning, Dad hooked up the sink and faucet. I have a functioning kitchen.
Everything goes in steps. This was a big one and I couldn’t have done it without the help of so many friends. Oh and Duane, sorry you couldn’t make it. We missed you. We’ll catch you next time. Like maybe when we drywall the ceiling…

Now, every time I do a reno in this great old house, I always come across something interesting that hasn't seen the light of day in God knows how long. This is the gem this time.

Is it a top? Is it the top of something? maybe a toy? What I do know is that it is porcelin, hand painted, likely c. 1910 and extremely funny looking. It has a chinaman hat (as my grandmother would have called it) and exquisite lips that I will refrain from describing in print, but I bet his name is Toby. If anyone knows what this thing might be, let me know.

More posts soon. There's been knitting going on and other news with the band and a new addition to the family. How's that for teasing!


=Tamar said...

Lid to a candy jar?
Fabulous, anyway! Almost as fabulous as your new kitchen!

splendid said...
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