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Category: Home improvement

We are messing with forces we do not understand

Sorry. That probably sounds like an uber-dramatic headline that ought to be over some long article about the Deep State and dark conspiracies within government. Maybe another day. Today it refers to nothing more than the Great Foundation and Screen Porch Project, where strange things have begun to happen as we jack up the rear wall. That all the drywall seams in the bathroom have popped I don’t mind. No surprise there. We were jacking right under the bathroom and such is to be expected. That’s why smart people (i.e. people not me) fix the foundation first. But the troublesome…

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The foundation project lurches along

Yesterday we entered the trickiest part of the Great Foundation and Screen Porch Project. It went … about as you’d expect. From the pictures and the headline, you might have thought the first portion we took on was the tricky one. That part certainly made us think. And rethink. And think some more. But we got that solved. We have that side, the bedroom/screenporch side, on jacks and partly leveled. Now we move along the same back (north) wall to where the rot is only slightly less bad, the ground clearance considerably less, and plumbing is in the way of…

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Beat (and a Survival Mom book deal)

Yesterday was the trip to the Actual Big City. It was long, tense, exhausting, but ultimately productive. I’ll write more about that later. For now I can only say I was literally staggering with both mental and physical tiredness when I got home and this morning I feel as if I could sleep all day. Sleeping all day isn’t in the cards, however, as the trickiest part of the Great Foundation and Screen Porch Project begins today and I will be on minion duty. In this phase of the project I might not be contributing much labor, but the Monk…

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A room with a view

I didn’t figure the Monk would be up for resuming the Great Foundation and Screen Porch Project until later this week. But when he texted this morning to say he’d be here, all was good. It’s the most gorgeous day of the year so far. If he’s up for it, I’m up for it. We’ve certainly had the best day’s progress. First, the Monk tore out the most rotted corner. This corner was already well-supported by temporary posts and jacks. Once the corner was off, we placed the first permanent support. Well, not quite permanent because when the floor beams…

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Aaaaaand then the departure of the Monk

The Wandering Monk wandered in about 9:30. Limping, but not quite as much as I’d expected. He showed me pictures: three-inch gash; bone gleaming in the depths, but very little bleeding thanks to him having the good sense to avoid major veins and arteries while chopping himself with a machete. Good tool sharpening, too. The wound was as clean-edged as a paper cut. A very, very large papercut. But as straight as if drawn with a ruler. He offered to show me the real, live injury (which he has bandaged under tension but not stitched). I declined. Though he offered…

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Return of the Monk

Got a text from The Wandering Monk yesterday afternoon. He swears he’ll be here bright and early this morning. And that he’ll be “80%” okay to work despite having chopped his leg with a machete on Saturday. We shall see. If he’s able to pull this off, I expect I’ll be called upon to do more minioning than usual. But the cold rain has finally abated and we have clear days ahead. I’m ready to get back to the Great Foundation and Screen Porch project. If 80% turns out to be overly optimistic, I may just call a halt to…

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Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day

Entering the third — increasingly theoretical — week of the Great Foundation and Screen Porch Project. First week, the Wandering Monk put in two days on the project, much of it spent discussing how to handle the “surprises” we found. After that, it was time to retreat until I could redraw the plans. The Monk went on to other clients and fill-in projects. Second week, the Monk put in two solid work days, after which we were rained out. A cold, driven, nasty rain it was. And is. And will be. The final round is due in tonight, after which…

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Oy, I might need a new fundraiser.

By now I thought I’d have nice, dramatic pictures for you of the back wall coming down. That was supposed to be first thing on today’s Great Foundation and Screen Porch Project agenda. The wall’s still sitting there boringly in place. Not that we ran into more disasters or anything. On the contrary. The Wandering Monk simply decided it would be a good idea to get the entire west wall up on a permanent new beam before he started teardown. He not only did that but also managed to do some serious, if only partial, house leveling. So it was…

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And the walls’ll come a’tumblin’ down

Later today, that is. Yesterday construction work paused again. Not due to oncoming trains at the end of the tunnel this time. Merely because The Wandering Monk had other commitments. Though unhappy to lose momentum, I found it glorious to bask in the sun of one of our rare, nearly perfect spring days. The Monk returns today, with minion, and the first order of business is taking a saw to the back end of what was once meant to be the bedroom. The minion he’s bringing is not the neighbor he felt so sorry for. Said desperate neighbor declined to…

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Distractions and constructions

Last week’s foundation work turned largely into discussions about how to proceed (after discovering that the light at the end of the construction tunnel was an onrushing train). Today the Wandering Monk arrived bright and early to get down to real, physical work again. That is, he arrived 20 minutes past our agreed-upon bright-and-early start time, desperately clutching a cup of coffee. But we (mostly he) got right down to it and so far, so good. The NW corner of the house is now supported by nothing. Or rather, the nothing that was previously supporting it has been removed, waterlogged…

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