Rurally Reading - 5 Books for End of Summer

Rurally Reading - 5 Books for End of Summer

Maybe this is a summer reading list holdover, but I always want to spend August buried in books. I've also got a thing about place; I love reading about a place where I am, whether that means reading The House of Mirth on the subway, or more generally, books that touch on some facet of rural life while bouncing around the Catskills. 

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Renovation Diary: Living Room Update

During the last several weekends, we've focused the majority of our time on updating the living room. As a reminder, here's where we started:

We removed the carpet right away.

Since January, we've replaced the propane heater, removed the defunct fireplace, painted, and installed the floating cork floors. Here's where we are now:

The click-together, supposedly-very-easy floors were a bit tricky for a few reasons. The first, and most important, being that nothing in this house is square. We discovered that was a problem when we first began installing these, and realized that without flat walls the brace against, the puzzle piece-like sections would just fall away from each other. I'll post a full tutorial on how to install floating floors when this is an issue in the coming weeks.

All work was completed under Pancho's strict supervision.

All work was completed under Pancho's strict supervision.

Up next for the living room: attempting to paint the top half of the 20 foot cathedral wall, putting in the baseboards, installing the new sconces (that I got for $5!), assembling the couch, and all the other decorating-y things. Onward!

Renovation Diary: Thwarted

I guess it was inevitable, after last week's successful destruction. The grand plans we had for this weekend — finish painting the first floor, have the junk hauler pull the 200 plus pound fireplace out, demolish the hearth, makeover some sconces that were offending Matt’s aesthetic sensibilities, get our couch delivered, and maybe start laying some of the flooring in the living room — were mostly unaccomplished come Monday.

This weekend brought a mass of polar air, and brought the temperature down (and down) to the negatives. Meaning, the pipes were frozen on and off all weekend, and we were running in and out all weekend to get water, and more water, and a new space heater.

The extreme cold meant the junk hauler rescheduled, and without the fireplace gone we couldn't remove the hearth, or really start the flooring.

No problem, I thought. I’ll used this time to work on those sconces, the style of which Matt describes as a mashup of old lady and the old west (the old western lady look?).

I removed the glass shades and detached the electrics easily enough, but that marked the end of my success. These things were built to last. No amount of smashing or sawing or pliers-ing would remove those thin seeming arms meant to hold the glass shades.

Sconces 1, Emily 0.

We did do a lot of painting, and the couch arrived, so it wasn’t a total wash. I think this is the nature of renovation. It’s the thing that I learn over and over: everything takes longer than you think it will. Double or triple that if you're relying on anyone else to play a part too. It’s a lesson not just for houses, but of course, for life.

1 star. I've learned enough life lessons for now.