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Post-weekend catching up

Various and miscellaneous.

First, if you snailed me a letter …

… via BHM’s office, it’s lost. Gone. And quite mysteriously so. I received an empty envelope in the snail with a BHM return address. It was stamped all over with bright red apologies about being received without contents. Lisa, BHM’s author liaison, said it had contained a letter from a reader.

Odd thing: The envelope had clearly not been accidentally damaged. It had been opened tidily, as if with a letter opener.


Here’s my Very Complicated Ceiling …

… on day two of the actual putting-up part of the work. Yes, before you say it, it looks like complete garbage at this point.


But once my Master Plan is complete, it’ll be grand. A little funky maybe. More than a little funky, actually. But a work of art and good salvaging/scrounging.

This is the ceiling under the portion of roof that collapsed last year. It used to be flat, seven-feet low, and covered with vintage beadboard. Then it had to be cut into and removed.

Now it’s sloped, hipped, and runs from a low of seven to a high of nine feet, which is much more attractive. But there wasn’t enough of the original beadboard to cover it. So materials are: as much of the old beadboard as could be salvaged, new tongue-&-grove pine 1×6, small segments of leftover drywall placed strategically here and there, and other (not-quite-compatible) beadboard I scrounged from the woods.

Trust me, with paint and trim it’ll look good.

At the moment I’m hating it, though. Not because it’s ugly in progress but because it’s gradually dawning on me that, between cleaning up the salvaged materials and measuring, cutting, and installing everything, it’s going to require about 100 hours of labor. To cover 200 square feet of ceiling.

Why, I ask myself, didn’t I just drywall it? Because I didn’t want that beadboard to go to waste. But Claire, you could have used the beadboard for a nice wainscotting someplace else in the house. Easy to measure. Close to the ground. Every board alike. Oh well. Hindsight.


Ankles and dragons

The four hours I put into the ceiling on Saturday was the first serious house-work I’ve done since breaking the &^%$#@! ankle last spring. After half an hour, the foot was yelling at me and for a while I thought I’d have to stop and go back to knitting dragons.

Speaking of which, here’s the latest (second) dragon I finished up while sitting around idly with my foot in a bucket of hot water.



I’m working on a third dragon now, but hopefully I won’t have to go back to sitting-work any time soon. On Saturday I ignored all the protests coming from my left foot and pretty soon I was feeling just fine.


  1. Pat
    Pat July 27, 2015 11:42 am

    Are “they” watching you, Claire? That letter-loss is suspicious, not just mysterious.

    The dragon is neat — good job. I like the tip of its tail, and it matches his/her eyes.

    Have you had a follow-up X-ray? I know it shouldn’t be necessary (and it costs money), but I think the ankle should be doing better. It’s not winter-cold, so there’s no good reason for it to act up so much (unless you’re doing jumping jacks on it, which I doubt).

  2. Joel
    Joel July 27, 2015 11:51 am

    That dragon is neat! And I’m looking forward to seeing where you’re going with the ceiling. Take it easy – which is really hard, I know, when you’re getting over an injury. But take it easy anyway.

  3. Claire
    Claire July 27, 2015 12:37 pm

    Thanks, guys. Pat, I haven’t had a follow-up x-ray. But really, I’m fine. It’s just that every time I get to thinking I’m 100% good, I do something stupid (and at this point, it doesn’t take much to qualify as stupidity). The pain in the bone is virtually gone; I just did such a number on the whole ankle and foot that lots of bits are still feeling fragile. But I’m getting there. Up-and-down on a ladder was just an extra stressor, but most of the time I don’t even notice any more.

  4. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty July 27, 2015 1:45 pm

    Hmmm, just curious… are you wearing the neoprene brace when you are doing the stu… I mean, strenuous stuff? 🙂 I think it would help. I had to wear one for a very long time when I was going to be standing or doing stuff.

  5. Claire
    Claire July 27, 2015 1:54 pm

    ML — I’m wearing your neoprene brace on that ankle at night. During the day I’m wearing a hard-shell brace (see link) on that foot and your neoprene brace on the other ankle just for security because I’m always on such uneven surfaces.

    And I’m fine, really, Just a little stupid now and then.

    Mueller Lite Ankle Brace Black-One Size Fits Most

  6. MJR
    MJR July 27, 2015 5:23 pm

    Hey Claire,

    The ceiling picture is but an interim photo, I’m sure that it will look amazing in a funky way and I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

    Ankles are finicky, I busted mine a long time ago and it still gives me issues so take it easy.

    The dragon is truly amazing. I know people who would go gaga over it.

    Over all I think you are doing a fantastic job under very trying circumstances.

  7. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty July 28, 2015 4:48 am

    OK, Claire. Sounds as if you are doing what you can to keep the ankle supported. 🙂 How long has it been since the injury? I can’t remember. If it is more than 8 weeks, you probably don’t need the brace at night anymore. If it still hurts too much that way, another Xray is indeed called for.

  8. Claire
    Claire July 28, 2015 7:05 am

    ML — Happened in mid-May, so I’m well past any real badness. It’s just a few twinges and tweaks now.

  9. Karen
    Karen July 28, 2015 7:26 am

    I can’t wait to see what marvels you do with the ceiling! And I love the dragon, very artistic and better with each iteration, although I still adore the first one.
    I’m guessing that at least a bit of the ankle’s continued soreness is mainly loss of muscle tone and flexibility from the period of enforced lack of movement. It amazes me how quickly we can lose muscle tone and how slowly it comes back.

  10. Claire
    Claire July 28, 2015 9:05 am

    Thanks, Karen. 🙂 It’s back to work on the ceiling today, saving dragons for a rainy afternoon.

    And I think you’re right about what’s going on with the ankle — just a combo of the original whack to the whole “foot system” plus lack of real use. The dogs and I are now working on putting our footies and paws to more use.

  11. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau July 29, 2015 6:28 pm

    Looks like some good work to save for a rainy day. 🙂

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