Tuesday, February 17, 2009

in brief

Hey there. Really quickly while I have a few moments - a brief update. My dog is still cute. Business is very good, especially this week, with school vacation. Not getting to snowboard as much as I'd like. But that's what Montana is for, I suppose. We are going on this Montana vacation in two weeks. Doesn't seem possible because I am so focused on what needs to happen right now. We keep hearing great things about Bozeman. I know it'll be awesome.

Dennis is still at his job, still not liking it. But, he's been more on the ball about looking for a boat. In fact, we drove up to Addison, Maine last Friday to look at a boat in progress. It is far away from being a boat, but it has frames and planking has begun. You can get a sense of her size and her size is good for running a windjammer business. It's just such a huge, expensive proposition and the seller is asking too much for it as she is. I don't care if we don't find the right boat right away. I'm just grateful that Dennis is making these motions. At least I know he really is thinking about his/our future and being ambitious.

My granddad is turning 90 this month. My sister's baby is the size of an avocado. That's about all the time I have folks. Sorry for the abruptness. As always, I'll post more ... uh, later.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

destruction & construction in NJ

I've just gotten home from a long weekend at Sis's house in NJ. It was my working vacation - my RENOVA-CATION, if you will.
I'll explain, but first, we need to take a few steps back.

My sister and her husband are pregnant! I have not been holding out on you. I was held to secrecy against my will until just recently. She is in her second trimester and baby is doing great. So is Mama. Lucky woman did not get morning sickness. We are affectionately calling the baby "tadpole", still, even though he/she is now much bigger than a lime. It's just kinda stuck. Dunno why.

So, that said, Mel and Sean are doing some home renovating to make room for tadpole. They had this sunroom that was a 3-season porch at best. It was their intent to make that into a true living space and move the office. Then the office could be the guest bedroom, and the guest bedroom upstairs would become the baby's room.

So, Dennis packed up the Mazda with tools, vacuum, and guitar and we drove down to NJ last Friday night together. We arrived at 11:30pm. Started in on destroying the room the next day. It went well except for the rotten wall we discovered from water and termite damage. There were plants thriving in the disintegrated wood dust of timbers that were no more. Nonetheless, we felt accomplished and sore by the end of the day.

Sunday, we rebuilt that rotten wall and installed one of the four windows. It took all friggin' day. That was a bit disheartening and just like that we were off our schedule. But that was the worst wall and perhaps we could make up time on Monday.

Melanie was home with us Monday and Tuesday. The news got worse on Monday when we moved around the corner and discovered more rot and that the windows were all a bit too big. They were special orders and we HAD to make them work. Another day, another window.

Tuesday was my last day there and I only had unit 1pm. I had to catch a flight out of JFK for Portland at 3:50. Good news was that each successive wall was less rotten and less of it needed replacing. Bad news was that we were hoping to not touch the exterior shingles and it looks like they will be replacing all of them. By the time we removed shingles to fix rot and to fit the big windows, most of them were off anyway. Oh, and it was snowing on Tuesday. But, whatever, Dennis and I put all our windows in on cold, snowy days.

Miraculously, we put in the remaining two windows before 1, just barely. Melanie made us all sandwiches and we had a nice picnic in the car as we drove through the city.

Dennis is still in NJ plugging away at this renovation. He is way behind schedule and will likely be there into next week. It's a much bigger project than any of us imagined, but it will be a bright, cheery, toasty room when it is complete. Most importantly, it won't be rotten and falling down. At this point, it is sturdier and more water tight than it has ever been in it's lifetime. Dennis said that an actual contractor would have advised them to tear it all down and start the room over.

So, I'm batching it this week. Just me and the dog. I'll like it tonight, but I'm sure I'll miss him by tomorrow.