Sunday, February 3, 2013

BTC Upgrade, baby steps on the house, and some much needed family time...

Four days were lost to a severe cold/flu type thing the week before last.  Alexe lost a day, the kids two, and me and this little kitty were laid up from Tuesday to Friday.  I was bored out of my mind, and my darling bride, after her four hours of caregiving that is granted for any sick-event, was testy for most of my down time.

It turned out the little cat was allergic to the stitches from her spaying, and after ripping most of them out, had an infection.  Saturday morning I was back on my feet, and we took her to the vet for a steroid shot and antibiotics.  By Sunday she was back to her happy self.

Friday night, though I wasn't all that solid on my feet, there were so many things that hadn't been moving, and I did a few small things. Kitchen faucet installed:

The radiant floor heat system is slowly coming together.  One of our many trips to the Other Other place, the local junk yard / hardware store.  This place has a huge inventory, spread around the inside of an old school, and all around the front and back lots.  You have to look, and often a flashlight helps in the rooms that don't have great lighting, but almost anything I can't find elsewhere is in there, if we have time to look.  

The kids are very comfortable with Ralph, the owner.  We needed four feet of 1" copper on this trip.

The weather has been an odd mix, from lovely warm days, with nights in the 20s, to cold dark days of spitting ice.  Sundays are our only reliable family day, when Alexe isn't consumed by the store, and I force myself to stop fiddling with the house.  We were lucky to have one of the nice weather days last Sunday, and walked to church.

The walk there took a while, the walk home was even longer.  Caspian had to sample all the viable resting spots...

Annaliese decided to copy him...

Alexe pulling a Vana White at the wilderness sign, with the kids practicing their letters.

Look at how long the legs on that little girl have gotten!

Caspian has been reveling in three year old behavior, with 80% of his words coming out in a grating whine, but his charm breaks through often enough to keep us attached.

Monday through Wed. of last week Alexe and I closed the BTC and made some changes/upgrades.  We built a lunch counter, installed an ice maker and walk in cooler in the kitchen, put a new door between the kitchen and the restrooms, reorganized and cleaned and added display units for new products Alexe has tracked down...  (There aren't many pictures of the process, we were busy.)

Making this possible was the support of our community, in the form of Jackie and Cassie, who took the kids from 11 to 5 for three days in a row.  

Annaliese and Caspian had an awesome time.  

On Tuesday evening we all walked to town for ice cream after wrapping up for the day.

On Wednesday, as if hosting our kids every day wasn't enough, Jackie had us over for dinner so we could relax after our break-neck three days of renovations. Dinner was delicious, and going home and putting the kids straight to bed, without worrying about food or dishes, was excellent.

Alexe headed back to the store to make her final tweaks before opening on Thursday morning, and I didn't see her until after 10.  She loves her store. 

After three days of no progress on the house, I didn't have much time to visit the store on Thursday and see how it went, but on my quick trip to grab the kids at noon, it was very satisfying to see the new lunch counter lined with folks.

On the house front, there's an annoying order of events that I have to follow.  The radiant floor heat can't be fixed below this floor until the new floor is nailed down, and the bathroom plumbing has been put in.  (The last thing you want is a nail to puncture your water lines after you've installed them.)  So after looking at many options of flooring that I couldn't get excited about having in my bedroom and bathroom, I found a nice stack of 1x8 pine planks at the Yalobusha Lumber Company in Coffeeville.  (I'd never been there before, nice people.)  

I'm putting this down with cut nails, straight nailed.  These nails are really large, and made for hammering into masonry, so it's been a workout driving them into the floor.  After a dark stain, and a couple coats of urethane, I think this is going to look great.  (I'll have to run the floor sander over it first, but all that will follow the upstairs painting and french door installation.)

With the floor nailed down, the radiant system can start going up.  This is most of the manifold setup, waiting for the piping to be tied in.

The water lines, for the second floor, starting to be run.  The insulation had to come down, then lots of holes had to be cut to run the lines, next will be stapling up the aluminum flashing that attaches the tubing to the subfloor, the a reflective barrier, then the insulation goes back up, then the wiring for the lighting gets moved around, and then I can put the bead board ceiling up.  oh, before all that I need to finalize the plumbing for the bathroom.  

After the long week, Alexe took Saturday and Sunday off for some much needed family time, and on Saturday we suited up on a cold, rainy day, and headed to Ripley, MS for the monthly flea market.  

The market is huge, and even though only 30% of the vendors were set up, there was lots to see.

Alexe wanted chickens.  There were plenty of chickens, though it looked like most of the business was targeted at fighting cocks.  We think, no way for us to know for sure.

The livestock markets are about as rough on the animals as I've seen anywhere in the states.  Cages of puppies stacked five high, full sized dogs crammed into small cages, goats and ponies and miniature pigs shivering in the cold.  And yet, a brisk business of buying and selling was going on.  

We took a hot dog break:

The kids had a pony ride at some point, and then we stopped for more snacks at a flea-market diner.  Hot cocoa and biscuits with fried apples.  

A potty break.  Takes a special girl to make a fairground restroom, and waiting to wipe a three year old's butt, look good. 

Kid with a snake.   I'm not a fan of snakes, but seeing as it was 37 degrees, I felt for the snake.

We ended up with four hens and a rooster for $51, 25 fruit trees for $90, and headed home.  We stopped at Sugaree's bakery in New Albany and wandered the antique shops there, hit up a playground somewhere along the way, and did a little supply shopping at Lowes.  I usually avoid spending money with the big chain stores, but none of the local folks carry any 1" pex to copper fittings, and I needed four.  That, and a piece of flexible material for the stairwell arch, also unavailable from the local options. 

A dinner of crawfish and homemade guacamole, and we wrapped our Saturday with the last 30 Rock episode.

This morning we've had waffles, the kids have washed the resulting stickiness off in a bath, and relaxed playing is ensuing with loud wilco-ish music pouring out of pandora.

I get a kick out of the kids refusing to wear clothes, and bringing their toys over to the heater instead.  We're all looking forward to the new heating system.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And just look at all those SHOES!!! Saddleshoes for Caspian too--ah, the fruit does not fall far from the tree----when I was little, I had saddleshoes (and hated them ) and Alexe too ( and hated them)--what is Caspian's take???
Like the look of the pine floor.