Being busy -- 10/19/09

Hi, remember me?

It's been less than two weeks since my last entry. A mere twelve days...

Life has been hectic... and busy...

This is what our house has looked like in various photographs that I have posted here in the past. (Well, except for the new walkways we had put in this summer, replacing the blacktop walkway that had gone from the driveway to the front porch and adding a new walkway from the sidewalk up to our front porch. It really looks great and I'll post some photographs of it here soon.)
But today I just wanted to show you what is posted on our front door....

Yes, we are having enough work done that we have had to get a building permit from the town.

We are having the siding on the front of the house replaced plus we are having all of our windows replaced.
Our house is in a traditional New England style -- shingles on three sides and clapboard on the front. (Apparently, back in the 1700s paint was very expensive, so you used shingles on the sides and back of your house and clapboard on the front, which you then painted to show off that you were well-off enough to be able to afford paint, yet sparing you the high expense of having to paint the other three sides.) The problem is, the siding on our house was a relatively new "wood product" -- that is, wood particles being combined in a factory to make something that looked like wood but was supposed to be better. Our problem is that some of those planks were deteriorating. (Yes, I know the house was only built in 1995, but... it is what it is...) We have also had a problem with the bottom sills on many (most) of our windows. They are also deteriorating... and, in the front of the house, the deterioration is worse (much worse) in the siding under the triple windows on my home office and under Jill's triple windows.
So our contractors removed the siding from the front of our garage...
And removed the siding from the front of the house. And then (after this photo was taken) they had to remove the insulation and most of the vertical and horizontal framing that you see under the window.

They also removed Jill's windows... and then my office windows. For a few days, this is what the front of our house looked like. They were able to replace Jill's windows the same day they took the old ones out, but we had some very nasty windy and rainy weather and that plus the extensive replacement of the structure below my windows, meant that it took most of last week to finish the job on my office. During that time I could not use my office because I had to move my furniture away from the window so that they could build a plastic tent around the window side of the room to keep dirt and plaster dust, etc. from spreading. So, last week I had to turn our dining room table into my temporary office. (Thank goodness for having a wireless LAN.) However, I only had my work computers in there. My personal computer (the one I use to post journal updates) stayed in the office, unplugged and disconnected.

So that was a lot of what has kept me from posting last week... And, I seem to have a propensity for getting involved in various activities... each of which may not take a large amount of time... but which, added together, manage to fill a lot of hours... For example, my employer has a e-mail newsletter for employees in the New England region and, earlier this year, I became the Rhode Island correspondent. And, partly as a result of that, I was offered a seat on the company's Rhode Island leadership council. Two years ago a group of us from my company took part in a charity fund-raising walk. This was not repeated last year (I think everyone was waiting for someone else to organize it) so I volunteered to set up a team for this year's walk. Oh, and this is also the time that my company has its annual charitable drive and somehow I became assigned to canvas thirty-five colleagues (except these days many of us no longer work in corporate office complexes -- so these thirty-five people are scattered from here to California and that means e-mail and phone calls rather than simply stopping by an office or talking to people by in the coffee break area).

Oh, and there is going to be another "friends of the library" book sale in a few weeks so I spent Saturday morning in another book sorting session in the basement of the library.

Uh... and I also bought new florescent ceiling lights for our kitchen, took down the two sets of tracklinghting that was there, and installed the new ones...

And had two cords of firewood delivered a week ago Friday and much of my spare time was used to move the wood from where it had been dumped in the front and stacking it in the back. (Yes, I also still go out back from time-to-time to split and stack wood from the trees I had taken down earlier this year, but that wood is for next winter, it needs to be seasoned to be really good burning.) There have been some chilly nights lately and we have been enjoying fires in the fireplace insert that we had installed back in the spring.

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