This Old House  --  10/27/05

Yes, the title of this entry meant to evoke thoughts of This Old House, the long-running television program.

A few entries back I mentioned that Nancy had gone up to Boston to attend a 10th anniversary celebration for CREA (Center for Reflection, Education and Action), a Catholic social justice organization that (among other things) pushes corporations to adopt policies promoting safe working conditions and sustainable living wages.as well as responsible environmental policies. CREA is headquartered in Hartford, CT, in a house that is within a year or so of being one hundred years old. Sister Kathryn Wrinn (Sisters of Mercy) is the Associate Director of CREA.

Sr. Kathryn also happens to be Nancy's aunt. Nancy's sister Clara decided to organize a family project to do some renovating of the CREA building. The project was to renovate two rooms and a small hallway -- removing the old plaster on the walls and ceilings, insulating the exterior walls, and putting up new sheetrock on the walls and ceilings. (This coming weekend will be the painting party.)

Karen removing old doorway molding. Tom sweeping up some of the debris.
Nephew James taking down plaster from the ceiling. Clara scooping up the broken pieces of plaster.
Karen and James putting the insulation in place. Walter is into the ceiling.
If you are wondering about the floating dots in some of those pictures -- that's due to dust particles reflecting the camera's flash. Ripping down old plaster is a very, very dust-producing task. The air is fairly clear in all of these pictures -- sometimes it was so dusty it was like being in a heavy snowstorm. That's why we were all wearing dust masks on Saturday.

Above -- Karen and Clara .
Right -- Karen and Tom

Fortunately two of the gang -- Paul and Jeff -- actually do this kind of thing for a living, so they could show the rest of us what to do.
Captured! Sr.Kathryn carrying their curious cat who had climbed into the walls through a hole in the lathing. Sr. Ruth (who has two master's degrees and a Ph.D. and who testifies before Congress and regularly lobbies CEOs and political leaders worldwide) had to lie on the floor and reach into the wall and persuade the feckless feline to come out.

Paul getting help from daughter Kate. Jeff taping the seams.

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