Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A brief respite

Hello. Sorry for the lack of something new. It has been a time of much activity, much inactivity (as far as working on the house), and a tightening of the purse strings.

Alicia has lots of new developments: she's having a solo show at G.A.S., a Poughkeepsie gallery, in February (soon!!) and has a fantastic new website! Go to NOW! She designed the site herself and it looks great. Now you can check in on the newest developments in her art. We've been writing press releases, designing postcards and posters 

 and will be driving around EVERYWHERE on her birthday (this Saturday) to post them for her show.

I have started working as a life model for a couple of drawing classes at the local community college. IT IS INTENSE! Basically, I get paid for four-hour blocks of excruciating yoga of sorts. Of course, I love it. I work two days a week and am sending my resume to many other colleges in the area.

That is all for now. More on our creative capital pursuits next time...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Drumroll Please...



Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Pour

As promised, here are some photos of our new concrete slab in progress. We were very excited and a little worried to see wheelbarrows rolling over our radiant tubing, but all went well. No damage and Monday or Tuesday the system will be hooked up to the boiler and our new floor will start cookin'. Anthony (our concrete guy) will be back later tonight to polish the slab and then all that's left will be for Jodi and I to seal it.  We plan on setting up my drum set as soon as we can walk on it and I keep finding Jodi searching the web for pool tables :)

Hallway where our stairway once 
was and our new one will soon be.

The final preparations

Just a few last photos of our day's labor from yesterday.
The concrete will pour this morning!!!

Sea of wire grid.

Tying down the radiant tubing with perfect ball body form... OUCH!
(after five days of working in this position).

Bad plaid.

Ready to pour!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Countdown to concrete!!

The high point of our new year thus far (post eve celebration) is the impending realization of a new heated concrete slab in the basement. It's been a long time coming! Our favorite concrete man Anthony is coming to pour on Thursday, so we've been REALLY busy getting everything ready.

We spent the entire weekend tuckpointing the last bits. Alicia became a pro instantly, and it looks gorgeous. Oh, so tiring a "weekend", though. Monday was spent -- oh, yeah, forgot a story:

Saturday night -- so very tired from hunching in the basement all day. Hot bath, delicious salad awaiting us... Fwap, fwap, fwap. What IS that??!!! Flying about in our bedroom and hallway -- is it a bird??? Is it a BAT???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dogs join in the chase, creature lands for an instant... 

EEEWWW!!! It IS A BAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jodi shrieks, squeals, hides. Alicia informs (while laughing at Jodi) that bats BITE and carry rabies. Hide dogs downstairs. What to use to catch the bat??? A fitted jersey sheet will make a fine net, no?? Fwap, fwap, fwap. The bat urgently circles the room. Swoop! Missed. Swoop! Missed. The bat is wise to us and changes direction, circling maniacally now. What to use?

Alicia wants to bonk the bat. Jodi fetches a tennis racquet (Alicia's, of course) in an inspired moment. Swoop. A nick. Swoop. Miss. Miss. Miss. Miss. Nick. Alicia urges me to swing harder. Wham!!! Sadly, the bat was dead. We felt bad. Alicia, "hoping to revive the bat", throws it in the snow outside.

Filled with indigestion and adrenalin, I face my wilted salad. Sigh. Obsessed by the idea that bats bite you and make you rabid, I take to the internet for a crash course. Bats DO bite you AND give you rabies!!!!!!!!!! They even bite you in your sleep and you don't even know because you don't feel it. Horrifying! I go out in the snow in long underwear and snow boots to retrieve the bat. We must have it tested for rabies. It is put in a cardboard Christmas box, sealed shut with packing tape, and tied in a black plastic bag to sit out in the cold until Monday.

SO, Monday starts with errands, including a trip to the Health Department to test the bat. (As of today, no news is good news). Back to the house to finally face the attic, where -- we have both imagined hundreds of bats nesting -- there is nothing. It took the rest of the day to empty the basement of ladders, planks, tools, garbage, bricks, tuckpointing tools, sand buckets, etc. Much less eventful.

Now today, we could finally begin the steps toward slab-ready.
First, you lay plastic vapor barrier,  (Black, of course.)

then you lay blueboard (2" thick styrofoam) insulation,
 Does it float??
then you lay down on the job...
(Alicia, that is.)

 The blue room.

Tomorrow will be wire mesh and tying down radiant tubing, then another layer of wire mesh. Thursday morning we will be removing a section of fence for the cement truck, readying planks for wheelbarrows and doing the pressure test on the radiant system before they pour. Phew. Well, very exciting (and busy) for us.

It hit 66 degrees today, melting most of the snow. Spring is in the air! (prematurely). I can't believe how much more bearable winter is here versus Seattle. The shortest day has come and gone painlessly. I never even noticed how early it got dark. And I can only recall TWO really dark days in months. The sun shines often. Happy.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Now that the holidays are over and we're ready to go back to work on this house, I wanted to share some photos. 
We had Jordan, Hilary and Chris here for a wonderful (wish it were longer) week. We built a puzzle, ate amazing food, saw two movies, shopped in NYC and spent the night in a Chelsea hotel that's run by nuns, literally. It's a great find passed on to me several years ago by a good friend. Affordable lodging in the city if you don't mind a cross above your bed.         

Sorry we have no pictures to share of our New Year's celebration in Maine with our friends Mary and Dorn. It went something like this...several days of pajama wearing while we were deciphering, cutting, folding, pasting and squinting to build a paper model of Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House. We will have to finish the construction on our next visit as Jodi was the most devoted worker and ended up sick on the first with a migraine or hangover? from an evening of lobster, artichokes, chocolate lava cakes and champagne. While the first wasn't so good for Ms. Jaecks, the rest of our trip was filled with laughter, a warm fire and a lovely foot of snow falling outside. 

Hope you all enjoyed the holidays. Time to get back to it. I'm anxious to start this year. Lots up our collective sleeves!