Friday, December 30, 2011

While I originally had all these plans for how productive I was going to be during my 2-week break, sadly, I did not meet anywhere close to what I had originally hoped to accomplish - due in no small part to my laziness and desire to catch up on video games I had neglected instead of work on the house.

That isn't to say, however, that things were not accomplished around the house. With New Year's Eve weekend bearing down on me, I have considerable doubts that I will get anything else done. With that in mind, I did amount to a bit of productivity over the last week.
  • Sheet rock in the bathroom closet is not hung, with open spaces to support access to bath shut-off valves
  • Sheet rock in the hallway linen closet about 2/3 complete. I ran out of substantially sized pieces of sheetrock and will need to get more in order to complete that portion of the closet
  • Firewood with carpenter ants chilling out in it have been exposed to the elements and hosed down with a ton of ant killer. I will likely give those pieces of wood another glazing before I am willing to add them to the stack
Beyond those three things, I do have one thing that I need to undo. I did not do the greatest job in applying the sealant around the edge of the tub. Additionally, in my wisdom, I primed after adding the sealant, which makes the sealant look like even more garbage. Next week, I will be taking a knife to the sealant to get it removed, properly painted and then reapply.

I have also been thinking about the next steps for finishing off the bathroom. One of the nice things about this house is the abundance of bathrooms, so having portions of any one bath out of commission is not a deal breaker. I think I will, over the course of the next month or so, do the following (in order):
  • Remove old toilet, vanity and mirror. Wasn't planning on reusing any of those and they are just making having multiple people in that room difficult.
  • Proceed with the demolition of the bathroom walls. Get the remainder of the exterior-facing wall re-insulated/vapor barriered. Hang new drywall where needed - leaving the sink-wall untouched so that wires can be run for new outlets.
  • With old fixtures removed, tear up the tile/concrete mess that is the floor and replace it with plywood and some finished flooring treatment (large tiles, perhaps). 
  • Once the flooring is done, I can install the new toilet - this way the bathroom is at least a bit more functional.
  • Install electrical outlets and get a vent fan set up in the ceiling. The bathroom currently has two lights that run off one switch (ceiling and vanity) - may break the ceiling off on to its own switch and keep the vanity fixture where it is (but replace it with new hardware - not a huge fan of the tulip lights...)
  • Once electrical is done, finish hanging sheetrock, paint and install sink/vanity.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ever since moving in, I have been pretty slow to complete the various projects I have going around the house. I keep three excuses for my procrastination handy - either I have other things to do outside of work/house, other more important house-related issues pop up or I am just too tired/lazy after getting home from work.

As I usually do around Christmas time, I've taken an extended vacation to get my PTO balance down. The goal of these two weeks is to get little projects handled and prepare the house for the winter that has not yet happened.

Thanks to the distraction of Christmas shopping, I haven't really gotten around to many of the little projects yet. I have, however, accomplished a couple of small feats around the house and hope to wrap up a couple more before I go north for a few days for Christmas.
  • The new bathroom closet and enlarged linen closet have been framed. Between my own inexperience doing such things and a couple of the 2x4's being warped, I can't claim it to be the best job of framing ever but it doesn't look completely horrible. Also, as a side effect of framing the closets, the hole in the wall in the soon-to-be office is also framed.
  • The corner beading by the tub and sheetrock about the bathroom closet have been hit with two coats of joint compound. They are now ready to be sanded, cleaned and primed/painted.
  • The wall in the soon-to-be office is now filled with a panel of sheetrock. The aforementioned warped 2x4s mean that things don't like up exactly in the middle (but top and bottom is good). I am going to need to tear out the base boards in order to be able to really finish the sheetrock. I was not pleased to discover that the floors appear to have been installed after the base boards and which resulted in me accidentally destroying a good portion of one wall's worth. Guess I'll just have to redo the base boards when it comes time to renovate that room.
  • And lastly, I finally got around to finishing off the wood pile. Everything that I could split with an axe is now cut and stacked (since it was a nice 60 degrees outside, I opted to do this over handing more sheet rock or painting). I have two small piles of wood that remain - one that is split but had carpenter ants in it (which I will be bug bombing and leaving to exposure tomorrow) and one that I may have to rent a splitter for (they are all either awkward shapes or have massive knots in them that my axe won't split through). When all the wood is handled, I will have about a cord's worth that will sit and dry for next fall.
So, yeah. Not the busiest I could be on the house but I've been getting small projects out of the way. My primary goal for tomorrow is to get the sheetrock in the bathroom sanded, cleaned up and hit with a coat of primer at least. If I get going early enough, I may be able to do a second coat of primer. At that point, the bathroom will be a top coat away and seal pass away from being usable as a shower (that is, until the rest of the bathroom goes under the scalpel).

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I've been slacking the past couple of weeks, ever since Thanksgiving weekend - so here are a few updates!

Inside the house, I am slowly working on the bathroom. It only took me a couple of weeks but I have finally gotten around to getting the beading in place and finishing up putting the joint compound around the shower. It's not the greatest job joint compound job ever but it is at a point now where I can sand it up and start priming right around the shower/tub. I also need to get things in the closet spaces framed in - depending on how far along I get with the fire wood (and how tired I am after the fire wood) I will try to get at least the measurements done today.

Outside of the house has also seen little progress. The weather here after Thanksgiving and up until this past weekend has been oddly unseasonal. This meant that it was plenty warm enough out to get all the leaves taken care of. After piling up a dozen bags at the curb, I decided I would rather just rake them all onto a tarp and drag them out to the back of the property and begin a mulch pile. This made dealing with the leaves much easier.

The wood pile is still there and slowly getting split and stacked. In fact, after I finish writing this, I will be spending my afternoon outside working on that pile. Once the pile is done, I can then finish taking care of the rest of the leaves beside the driveway and in the lower half of the backyard.

It only took about a month, but I was finally able to get a pair of estimates from two different contractors for the repairs needed on the chimney that was hit by the tree. I was also able to get the ball rolling with the insurance company (which was a pain in the ass...). As it stands now, I am waiting for the Adjuster to have his chimney contractor contact me to schedule a time to come and evaluate the chimney (because of how much both places estimated). My worry is that by the time insurance is able to confirm and pay out, the winter weather will have set in and I won't be able to get it fixed until spring. With their estimates being as high as they were, I can't float the fix on my own and really would like the insurance company to pick up the pace.

I did end up having one of the contractors I contacted for estimates come out and fix up the other chimney. Their work was good but more expensive that I think it should have been. They were also considerably pushy about getting started on the other chimney. As this is the first time I've ever had to deal with the contractors or the insurance company, I didn't need them laying on the pressure - so I will not be using those contractors again for the repairs on the other chimney.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Project # 4 - The Partial Death of Teal

While most of the rest of the country was celebrating Thanksgiving, my parents and I were knee deep in bathroom demolition. The house has two full baths in it but unfortunately, only one of them can really be used as a full bath (the master). The other bath, while having operation sink and toilet, the tub itself could not be used due to tile and subsequent water damage to the room.

As the family had celebrating Thanksgiving yesterday (due to the random and crazy schedule that some of the family members have), Mom and Dad came down to Franklin to check out the house and help with some demolition.

Day # 1

The primary goal for the weekend is to remove the tub and replace it with a new tub/surround as well as remove the closet from the bedroom next door and give the bathroom it's own little closet. As the bedroom next door is going to be an office space, I figured it lacking a closet would not hurt it. Including a small closet in the bathroom also means that access to the tub's pipes will now be more convenient through the bathroom itself instead of through the closet in the bedroom/office. As part of all this, the linen closet in the hallway is getting a little bit bigger as well, which is good because as it is currently it is barely deep enough to hold comforters and other large linens and towels.

Mom and Dad arrived in the early afternoon and after a tour, we set ourselves towards the demolition of the tub tile and drywall and closet framing.After a good 4 or 5 hours of demolition work, everything that we wanted torn was torn down. All that remains is a big pile of garbage that needs to be bagged up and moved into shed for storage until such a time that I have enough renovation garbage to call in a dumpster.

Once the demo was done, we called it a night. Tomorrow morning, I'll be bundling up the garbage to take to the shed. I have to stay at the house and wait for a Chimney Repair company to arrive to do an estimate for me. During that time, Mom and Dad will likely be out and about, braving the Black Friday Madness, trying to get to Home Depot and pick up a few supplies (and possibly the tub and surround, if Home Depot has it in stock).

(To Be Continued...)

Monday, November 21, 2011

After a week and change of radio silence, I am now back online and officially living in the new house. On the 12th, with help from friends, I moved nearly all of my stuff from Walpole to Franklin. There's a lot of unpacking left to do but I am generally situated now. Jay's got all his stuff here and his room set up as well (for family members that don't know - Jay is a buddy of mine who's taking one of the spare rooms).

The day of the move also saw a set of four pallets dropped off thanks to Marc and Pat. They've been set up and soon enough I'll be splitting and stacking firewood.

The house itself is slowly coming together. I had a sense of it before but now I am even more aware of how many items that are generally necessary or useful in the owning/maintaining of a house that I just don't have. I bought a toaster today - along with a bunch of towels.

This last weekend was spent between closing up the apartment in Walpole (still had the treadmill and a few other assorted items there) and trying to get some motion on yard work. This is the second time that I'll have raked up the yard and I expect I'll fill even more leaf bags than I did after the first. At least the leaves are dry this time around. I did get a chance to meet more neighbors over the weekend while working in the yard. The couple across the street came over to introduce themselves, welcome me to the neighborhood and express how sorry they were to see the tree had hit the roof.

As for what is coming up - Thanksgiving is early this year (Wednesday instead of Thursday due to the collective crazy schedules of my family). This means that I will, hopefully, have Thursday through Sunday to invest in house and yard work. There is a company coming out Friday to give me an estimate on chimney repairs from the storm. Mom and Dad might be coming down for the weekend as well - and if they do, I'd like to have them help me on the partial demolition of the non-master full bath and get, at the very least, a functional shower in place. Once the shower in that bathroom is in, I can renovate the rest of the space at my leisure.

Nothing really exciting or new for photos recently. If the bathroom project gets started, it will have its own blog entry and a number of photos to go along with it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Project # 3 - Painter's Anxiety

One would think that, having roots as an artist, I would be more comfortable with the prospect of painting the rooms in the house than I am. When asked what I was going to do for colors, my response was "off white". Some of it was that I didn't really want to invest too heavily into thinking about colors for each room when I know that I want to tear down the walls and hang new insulation and drywall on them (the current drywall is ancient and should be replaced). Luckily, the decision to make the Living Room a project room means that I don't have to care about it for the time being. But... I do have to think about the other living spaces.

The Dining Room
Originally, I was going to just leave it "primer white" with the green trim. But as I got further along in the priming, the more stark the space looked. And, since I would need another coat of primer to even out the white on the walls anyway, I just decided to paint them a color.

Jay had suggested something along the lines of an orange/brick color. I spent some time playing around in Photoshop and came up with a mockup that looked decent. Off to the paint store! While there, I got some suggestions from the woman running the register and went with a color called Audobon Russet.

I was very nervous about this color. Seeing it (approximated) in Photoshop is one thing, seeing it on the wall was another. By the time the first section of wall was done, I was pretty anxious about the color. The white walls of the primer, the pink of the cabinets and window dressings and the blue from the tape all make it look terrifying. But I had to press on - get to a point of no return that way I wouldn't have any choice but to finish painting.

Compared to the primer, this paint went on like butter. Nice smooth application and no question about whether or not you actually painted a spot (putting primer on yellow cream walls makes it hard to really see what you've covered and what you haven't). Because it went on so smoothly and because I had the benefit of experience from priming, painting the whole room went much faster than I thought it would.

Now all that is left is to check the walls today to see if they need another coat and see about getting rid of the pink paint in the corner units. Also - tear down the pink window dressing. And for a bonus task, see about replacing the illuminated jelly fish and updating the outlets to something modern.

The End Bedrooms
These two bedrooms got a start today as well. Primer went on the walls of one of them while the other looks like it is just primer white to begin with. Annoyingly, that primer white room also has white trim and windows, which is going to be an annoyance. It can be done but I would have preferred to just do the walls and be done with it.

For colors in these rooms, I am going with what I am comfortable with - a simple neutral cream/off-white color. Down the road, I might decide to get ambitious with their colors but for the time being, I am going simple. A gallon should handle both rooms easily.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

This week is going to be all about preparing the house to be moved into. Well.. as much about that as I can spare the time for.

Since work has let me loose into the wild on some projects, I've decided to change up my schedule a bit. I am trying out an 8 to 4 schedule so that I have a little bit of daylight to work at the house before needing to break out the work lights.

Jay's trying out a cured steak recipe and since my boiler room is so dry, there is now a clothes-line worth of meat hanging between the furnace and the wall. It smells like... what I am told is coriander.

Today's task was taping up the first floor in preparation for some painting. I've got the primer in the basement and everything but the fridge nook taped (I was lazy and didn't want to drag the fridge out just to add some tape). Originally, I was planning on only doing the dining room/den and the kitchen but the entryway seemed small enough that I could do that too and be done at a reasonable time. The entryway is a rats nest of woodworking...

While I thought I had bought too much tape, I ended up running out just as I finished taping the stairs up to the second floor. I'll need to buy more for the bedrooms and hallway but shouldn't need as much as those rooms don't have as much detail in them compared to the dining room.

Tomorrow, I am hoping to start getting the primer on the walls in the dining room. If I can get that one room done by the time I call it a night, I'll be happy (the dining room is going to act as the living room for the time being while renovation happens in the living room proper).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

This weekend has been tiring. Very little has been accomplished within the house but a lot has happened outside.

The logs were split with Jay's help. A quick trip to the local hardware store yielded an axe, a sledge and a wedge - which means some splitting is in the future (which should make for some good stress release). Saturday was a tiring day because of all the cutting that was happening.

Adding on to Saturday was Sunday. Not only did Day Lights Savings ending throw me off (as it does every year), the day itself was spent clearing the front yard of leaves and sticks. The front lawn took a good four hours to rake and bag. The end result is 13 bags of leaves and twigs which I'll be slowly bringing up to the road for garbage/recycling over the next few weeks.

Amusingly/Frustratingly, the woman next door came outside just as I was about to finish bagging up the last of my leaves and managed to get her front yard cleared (with a leaf blower) and bagged in no time. Granted, she has less to worry about in the front yard than I do (a single tree compared to 3 trees and the refuse of two downed trees) but still...

This week is all going to be prep work from moving in this weekend. My primary goals this week are to get the dining room and bedrooms primed (possibly the kitchen as well). I've decided the living room will be one of the first overhaul rooms - paneling removed, sheetrock and insultation installed and floor refinished. Still debating between getting the bathroom situated and the living room updated.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lots of little things have been going on at the house. Sadly, the trees on the roof and yard and the lack of electricity put my plans back by a few days. This means that I probably won't have all the time I need to get what I wanted accomplished before moving into the house.

The one benefit of the trees was I got the opportunity to meet a few of my new neighbors. The woman (who, I can't remember the name of right now) along with Charlie (who lives at the top of the hill on the corner) and Fred (I think) who lives right next door. I also learned a little bit about the Schaffers (the previous owners) - the husband loved Halloween and used to scary the crap out of the neighborhood kids.

Wednesday evening was an interesting night full of "WTF" moments and Ben, Jay and I started tearing out the old alarm system that was installed in the house. Amusingly, it was tied to its own breaker which really makes me wonder just how much of a security system it was anyway (Burglar breaks in and sets off the alarm? No problem, just go downstairs and flip #17). We also started tearing out old phone lines that weren't attached to anything (my guess is they were cut outside at some point when the lines were updated and the Schaffers used VOIP for the remainder of the time in the house).

I spent this evening finishing up a few of the remaining wires. I crawled into the attic and found the wires for the alarm system leading to the second floor, as well as another alarm horn. The basement has a couple of phone lines as well as the last line of the alarm system. I suspect all three of those lines actually run outside of the house under the back porch and then back into the house for the living room. I will also have to check outside to see if there are any more alarm horns.

Once I got that done, I started in with the spackle on the walls of the first floor. There are a few places that might need some extra work done on them (like the entryway closet where the alarm system was mounted) and some figures that I couldn't get off the walls (there are a couple of pressure screw casings of some sort in the first floor bathroom).

I have been thinking some about the order of operations I want to tackle the house in. There is a lot of work to be done and there are a small handful of tasks that are fighting for the "biggest project" title.
  • 2nd Floor Bathroom - Really, the biggest thing I want to do in this room and get rid of the tub and put in the shower. The rest of it can wait for a little bit. Eventually, I'd like to tear down the wall between the two second floor bathrooms and make a single larger room.
  • The Floors - The floors where there was no carpeting have maintained pretty well. But the living room, stairs and second floor hallway are all screaming for attention. Putty needs to get put into the varies holes and bits of damage, all of it needs to be sanded down and get fresh coats of polyurethane applied. I had really wanted to do all the floors before moving in - but that is a lot of work and there is very little time to do it all. I will likely end up taking the room-by-room approach and have some sort of woodworking done in the door frames between rooms to easy any inconsistency if it is present.
  • The Living Room - My biggest interest in this space is dealing with the flimsy wood paneling. But, tearing that down means sheet rock needs to go up (and perhaps insulation depending what's on the other side of the paneling). Its a case of something simple spiraling out into a multitude of tasks. Sheet rock, primer, paint, new casing for the heating system, new shelving for the walls. My bank account weeps.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bonus Project # 1 - Log Rolling

Day #1
The fact that random projects popping amidst home ownership was something I was prepared for. Sometimes, things just come up that need to be addressed. I was not, however, prepared to have one of those projects crop up ON THE SECOND DAY.

While not unheard of in these parts, New England is in the midst of a fairly early Nor'Easter (I'm calling it Wintober and hoping it catches on). By itself, this wasn't a bad storm as far as New England is concerned but it was early which meant a fair amount of chaos.

I weathered part of the storm with Jay, his son Luke and Marc in the house, pulling up staples and nails from the floor. Marc had gone for the night and Jay, Luke and I had gotten back from dinner and were continuing out work. Then, I hear a rumbling. At first, I thought "Snow! Sheeting off the roof!" and then realized that there wasn't enough snow for that. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I see motion and a loud, dull thump on the front yard. Next, I immediately think "CLOVERFIELD!" (not sure why...).

Turns out, one of the trees in the yard broke off maybe 15-20 feet up from the base and toppled over into the front yard. Happily, away from the house. I wasn't looking forward to filing an insurance claim two days into owning the house.

Day #2
Sometime over the course of the night, the weather decided to get a bit more aggressive around the house. On the drive to the house, I kept seeing more and more trees down. I actually had to detour twice to get to the house because of full on trees down across lines.

I arrive at the house and decide to walk the perimeter just to make sure nothing else happened. Turns out, something did. On the back corner of the house, another tree had snapped and fallen on the roof. The damage didn't look too severe. It's a good thing there were staples to be pulled, otherwise I probably would have had a very bad, very cold and very angry day.

After calling around to a few places, I managed to get someone with enough of an open schedule to stop by the house and estimate on the removal of the downed trees. I took a number of photos (and will be taking more tomorrow) and got a hold of the insurance company to let them know about the incoming claim. They are supposed to be getting back to me by Tuesday or Wednesday.

Day # 3
With the power still out at the house, doing anything that requires an outlet (such as power sanding) wasn't going to happen. So, instead I spent the day outside clearing falling branches and cutting up what I could using a hand saw. This is was all done in preparation for the tree removal service coming tomorrow. They have to bring in their truck to manage the tree on the roof and I am not really interested in giving them more of an excuse to stay longer and charge me more money.

I will say that the tree that fell down in the yard looks significantly less intimidating now than it did with all it's foliage and smaller branches. This was pretty much the majority of my day. There was a hand saw available in the basement and the day was nice enough. I didn't want to go out and rent a chainsaw and manually sawing the branches was another good distraction from the whole "You've owned this house for 3 days and already a tree has fallen on it" thing. There is now a decent pile of wood next to the shed that will eventually be turned into small starter logs and kindling. I need to see about getting some palettes to stack and dry the timber on.

Today was kind of funny for me. I have spent more than a decade trying to avoid helping my parents stack fire wood at their place in New Hampshire. And now, I am wondering what their reaction would be if I asked them to come down here to help me stack these two trees.

Day #4
I think, technically, this is more Day 5 or 6. Either way, this was the first day since Monday that I was able to have some progress made on the trees. The Landscaping Crew I had hired to come in to clean up the trees arrived bright and early in the morning. I'm very happy that I picked up some thermal long johns the night before because it was cold outside! It eventually warmed up big a cold clear night makes for a very cold morning.

The electricity was back on in the house when I arrived, which mean I could go about turning back on the water while the crew set up.

As I mentioned before, trees look a lot less intimidating when their foliage is lopped off. The crew and I worked from 8 until 2. Their chipper made short work of the brush and at the end of it all (once split) I should have about a cords worth of wood to stack and dry.

Now all that remains is getting a mason to come take a look at the damage to the chimney and hope I can get as much of the repairs covered as possible by the insurance company.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Project # 2 - Floors

Day # 1

When I first looked at the house, one of the aspects that immediately stood out to me as something I needed to change was the carpet. The living room, stairs to the second floor and second floor hallway were covered in ugly red carpet. I am not a fan of carpet so this had to change.

As can be seen in the pictures, ugly.

The original plan was to pull up the carpets, the tack strips and staples and just sand and refinish the spaces that had the carpet. However, after some advising, that plan has changed a bit. The carpets, tack strips and staples are still on tap for removal but all other floors are now going to be getting the sanding and sealing finish. It makes sense to try to give the house a uniform consistency in the floors. It might require more time, money and sweat than I had originally planned but it will result in a nicer overall finish to the house.

With a bit of light left in the day, I set to work tearing up the living room carpets. Happily, they weren't too difficult to get off the floor. The only remnants of the carpet in that room now is a lot of staples with tufts of carpet padding attached to them. While pulling up the padding, I noticed that there were even more staples in the floor. Guess this is the second time carpet was laid out on this floor.

Day # 2
Spent the morning tearing up the carpet in the second floor hallway and stairs. This carpet appears to be older than the carpet in the living room considering how aggressively stapled to the floor it was and how hazardous just handling the carpet was (nails and staples everywhere in it). Plus the padding was different and looked like it fell out of the 60s.

While the living room had more carpet to contend with, the hallway and stairs were more difficult. The above mentioned aggressive stapling being the chief difficulty but the variety of awkward shapes and frequent endings of lengths of carpet made it more challenging as well. That said, I needed only about an hour or so to get it and the padding underneath torn up. I can't wait to get those tacks and staples out and see what the floor looks like when it gets refinished.

Day #3
After a long day on Saturday plucking nails and staples, today seemed like a breeze. Its a good thing too - with the trees falling on the property I don't think I could have really managed dealing with that and stubborn staples. They were a great distraction while I waited for a Tree Removal service to arrive for an estimate.

As I was taking the final staples out of the living room, Pat and Marc showed up to lend a hand on the stairs and 2nd floor hall. Happily, even though the carpet was older, the staples and tack strips came up much more easily. Some of that I am sure is due to the better hammer Jay picked up the night before but I think some of it was also due to the lower traffic those areas of the house saw compared to the living room (which, aside from being a living room is also the primary access to the backyard and pool).

Within a couple of hours, the hall and stairs were done and we moved on to pulling ancient drape/blind hardware. The floors already look significantly better, both without the carpet and without the tufts of old carpet padding dotting them. After this, the plan is to get any holes filled, the floors sanded and a fresh new coat of sealant on them. That is a project for another time and will likely happen on a room-by-room basis.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Project #1 - Crash Pad

A little over a month ago, I had to put one of my ferrets, Crash, to sleep. I had him for nearly 5 years  and he was one of the best pets I had ever owned. Unfortunately, as is common with ferrets, he developed cancer.

This was fairly stressful for me, as I was in the midst of my house hunt. As much as I wanted to be able to take him to the vet and have them put him on some sort of treatment, I couldn't afford what would be needed for those treatments and afford the house at the same time (little known fact - houses are expensive). I wasn't completely sure I was going to get the house and because of that I was torn between burying him at my apartment in Walpole, getting him cremated or having the vet freeze him until such a time that I knew I would be moving. Ultimately, I decided I would bury him in Walpole and move him to the new house once I had gotten it.

After the closing today, I decided that the first project I had to undertake was seeing Crash to his new resting place. I was worried that the weather would force me to delay this. Yesterday was near-winter outside and the rest of the week before was miserable rain storms. Thankfully, today was nice and clear. Unfortunately, the rainy weather we've had all this fall resulted in the box I buried him in not holding together at all but the felt basket he was wrapped in had.

After I loaded up my car with the first boxes of the move, I brought Crash into the car as well (wrapped in a trash bag) and headed south. When I arrived in Franklin, I picked a good location where the property sloped up and dug his new resting place. Re-reading this post, it sounds a bit morbid. But this was a promise I made to myself when I had him put to sleep a month ago. He meant a lot to me and I didn't like the thought of leaving him behind.

RIP Crash
On October 28, 2011, I did something that was, perhaps, foolish. I bought a home in Franklin, MA. I went in knowing there would be work to be done (and boy is there) and a lot of furnishing needed (its so much bigger when the previous owners stuff isn't in there) considering its size. This blog is the documentation of my efforts for friends and family to look at and comment on.

One of the things I realized recently when I had to put one of my ferrets to sleep. I don't take nearly enough photos and I don't document enough of the important events in my life. I only have a small hand-full of pictures to remember Crash by. With this house, I want to turn that around. I want to show my friends and family what I am doing, what I am working on and what is still to come for me with this house.

Soon, hopefully, I will have the first set of photos of the house available for people to look at. This is the house as it is when I bought it. Then, I'm going to put together a master project list and follow each of those projects on this blog (with before and after photos). Since my family is mostly up north and rarely get a chance to come down here to visit (and some of them are Facebook-o-phobes), I figured that this would be a great way for them to keep up to date.