Doing some housecleaning today in the kitchen and the room next to it. The room next to our kitchen is kind of a warming room, at least that is how I look at it, but we also call it the library annex since it is next to the library and will, most likely, contain a number of bookshelves and lots of books.
The room’s most distinguishing feature is the mantle and fireplace. It is gorgeous. They literally do not make them like this anymore.
I can’t wait until the day I am able to make a small fire in there, and enjoy the space by sitting with Kelly while having a glass of port or Madeira and maybe some of the furkids warm themselves in front of it too.
As we had mentioned earlier, we had been looking for a house in Vermont for some time. We had been looking for months, and then a few days before Christmas last year, we put in an offer on this house. That offer was not accepted for a good while. That’s a long story.
Well. It has been a long, long time since either of us posted here. But to be honest, we really had a lot going on. After all, we packed up all our stuff, put it in storage, moved to a long-term hotel, found someone who could board both of our cats, cleaned out and fixed up the house in Winthrop, sold that house, looked endlessly for another house in Vermont, finally found it, put in an offer, waited for it to be accepted while we struggled to find others, got our offer accepted, then had to threaten to take the seller to court after he had signed the purchase and sale agreement and then changed his mind, moved to another hotel, finally closed on the house six months after our initial offer, found contractors, struggled to get them scheduled in a timely fashion, looked for new jobs, changed hotels again, found new jobs, started new jobs, moved into the basement of the house, got Vermont identification and car registration, and waited for all the contractors to finish their work so we could figure out when we could actually move into the actual house and not have to sleep on Army cots in the basement anymore.
And if you think that’s a lot, that’s really just the abridged version. We also lost our beloved Scratch Fury, who suddenly threw a clot, became paralyzed while boarding, and then rapidly deteriorated, so we had to quickly go see him while we still could.
Oh yeah, and I also had my left knee replaced, and had to undergo the surgery, recovery, and physical therapy while all this other crap was going on. Like I said, busy.
So anyway. We finally found the sort of house we wanted, in the village of Bellows Falls in the town of Rockingham in Windham County, nestled in the southeast corner of the state. This beautiful old Victorian was built in 1904, and came with a first-generation garage that was built sometime in the 1920’s. Both the house and the garage are part of the Bellows Falls Historic District.
So there have been a LOT of projects here since we closed on the house in June. The first was replacing the roof on both the house and the garage. We also repaired (inside) and replaced (above the roof) the chimney.
We also had the entire electrical system rewired, as it was largely still knob and tube, and while the electricians did that they also wired parts of the house for ethernet and for speakers. They even replaced some of the fixtures with pretty ones that Kelly and I had found on craigslist.org. Some were cheap, and some were free. Much shopping Kung fu on Kelly’s part.
Also also wik, we had all the wallpaper taken down and we picked some lovely (and historically appropriate) colors for the walls. They really turned out beautifully.
There were also some other improvements made to the house, such as improving the half bathroom next to the kitchen and making some other adjustments and improvements to the plumbing in the basement. We also got a brand-new dryer (the old one died a sudden death, after popping the breaker a few times) and as of this weekend, we will also have a new kitchen refrigerator. The old basement fridge died within 48 hours of the dryer dying, and so we had the contractors move the old kitchen fridge to the basement to take its place. We also added a security system, which is nice for seeing when packages get dropped off. Seriously, it works GREAT for that. And we had gutters added to the house, because it didn’t have any for some reason. We also had to make some adjustments to the fence in the back yard, after Nymeria proved she was more than a match for it on several occasions.
So I will make a point of doing some follow-up posts to show you our progress.
Yes, summer is really here, and today the temperature here in Winthrop by the Sea has reached 93 degrees, with a heat index of 100. So naturally, this is when our air conditioner decides to partially break down. We have AC in the basement (where it is least needed) and partially on the first floor, but it basically isn’t working at all on the second floor and so the temperature in our bedroom hit 85 degrees in the shade. We are temporarily sleeping in the basement on the sleeper sofa until the HVAC guys can come on Monday.
The only one of us who seems totally unaffected is Violet. She doesn’t seem to mind the heat at all. Scratch, on the other hand, has camped out in the basement with us and the dogs.
I normally don’t mind a little snow, as it is New England and we expect to get some (mostly) between November and March. But the two storms that we have had most recently have been a bit more problematic, mostly because of strong winds and heavy coastal flooding.
As we have been adjusting to the new place, arranging everything and getting things unpacked, so have the animals. And the adjustment is particularly eventful for Violet, who is also getting used to Kelly and me and the dogs. And of course, the dogs are still getting used to her. Especially Dash, who often seems quite obsessed with her.
In the time since our last posts, so much has happened in our lives, and in the greater world, and in the world of GoT, that it feels truly overwhelming. I can’t keep up with it all. If I was to try to describe everything in great detail, it would take multiple posts of extraordinary length. And right now I don’t have the time or the energy.
I am just going to try to summarize everything with just one one post. At least for now.
Our hot water heater has decided to give up the ghost. It has ceased to be. It is an ex-hot water heater. It is pushing up the daisies and gone to meet its maker, so to speak. As you can imagine, this does put a bit of a damper of any plans to take a warm shower, as anything that comes out of the shower head now feels like pure glacier runoff.
We don’t write about books around here as much as we probably should. Life, politics, history, current events, and other interesting stuff tends to get in the way. We’re OK with that, those things deserve our time and attention as well.
Not too long ago, Geoff wrote about some home reorganizing. That has been a part of a much larger multi-month cull and organize project. Part of that project has been BOOKS.
Here in Boston we had some scheduling insanity due to the weather predicted for today. Even though the big Boston Pops fireworks event was moved to Thursday the 3rd from Friday the 4th, the festivities still began early and then ended with a bit of chaos when the bad weather blew in shortly after the fireworks ended.