Friday, May 16, 2008

Rehabing a 160 year old farmhouse, just the beginning

The kitchen after the wall is down, all insulation gone.
I never want to see cellulose insulation again!

Air mattresses never felt so comfortable.

Alex in our new kitchen in the dining room
The cows, outside looking in.

We arrived in June 07 and immediately started ripping out walls. The kitchen was too small and the cabinets were inadequate to say the least. It's not like we were destroying something that was antique. These cabinets were recently made by a very incompetent carpenter. They were varying sizes and shapes, nothing we wanted to keep. They were taken out and placed into the dining room to serve as our temporary kitchen. Alex and I went to work on tearing the wall out between the kitchen and adjoining room. We could not find any reason for it to exist. The wall stood no chance against two women armed with a sawsall. It bowed with grace and dignity then fell like a mighty giant. Ok, now the wall was down, why is the ceiling sagging with sewing thread hanging down? Hmmm..... Ok, being the person that I am I had to find out why. So we began pulling on the thread. Remember when you were a kid and there was a thread hanging on your sweater and your mom said to leave it alone? Well, I never listened. So the thread pulled and pulled and all kinds of sewing notions came down upon our heads. We took a hammer and commenced to remove the ceiling. It was actually a false ceiling that had been installed for blown in insulation. Imagine us covered with sweat from the July heat and then heavily dusted with cellulose insulation. Tar and feather really comes to mind. The wall was down, the ceiling ripped out and cellulose everywhere. What to do with it? Stuff it into contractor bags of course and put it in the dumpster. When this day was over we were totally exhausted. No running water to shower. The hose outside was really looking attractive. The neighbors across the street came to our rescue. Kevin and Cheeta have turned out to be great neighbors. They had the wonderful idea of inviting us to a shower (in an actual working bathroom) the use of their laundry for clean clothes and a burger on the grill complete with cold beer. We were in heaven. It felt so wonderful to crawl clean into our air mattress beds and go comatose. In Maine the air cools off at sunset drastically. The next morning we were up early, hot coffee from our New Hampshire water that we brought with us, bacon, eggs all cooked on the two burner camping stove we brought with us. It tasted so good. As we are eating breakfast Alex and I look at the window in the dining room and there are 4-5 cows looking in at us. I could just imagine what was going through their minds. Kevin is a wonderful neighbor but not the best fence layer. As we found out later there were always escaping cows. Even with all the work facing us we could envision the beauty of the land and see it as a farm one day. There is so much satisfaction with hard work. This Post written by Kelly.

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