Monthly Archives: September 2008

The Basement: Officially Official

This morning, the Danvers building inspector stopped by and gave us the seal (or signature, rather) of approval!

building permit

The assessor stopped by shortly thereafter, which means that our tax bill will be going up (not so good) but also that our house will officially be more valuable (good for when we sell it).

So now we can officially move in! Hopefully we’ll work on that this Saturday. Other than that, there are a few minor things to touch up, like adding some handles to the doors and putting a top piece on the half wall, but that won’t stop us from moving things in!

We’ve come a long way since we started working on the basement. To show just how far, here’s a pic from before:

building permit

And here’s after:

building permit

See more before pics and after pics.

First Winter Preparation…

Have you heard that the Old Farmers Almanac is predicting a particularly cold winter this year? OFA forecasts are prepared two years in advance, which leaves a lot of room for error. In our neck of the woods, however, winter can usually be counted on to be cold.

With the cost of heating the way it is, we’re already planning for the chilly weather. I finished up a little project this weekend to help keep Catherine toasty at night: flannel sheets! Flannel sheets are always a little nicer to climb into on frosty winter nights.

I’ve mentioned before that I like to find a second hand source for the things I need/want whenever possible. This project was no different, so I paid a visit to a new store in my grocery plaza- Savers. I’ve heard tell of Savers from friends in other parts of the country, but this is the first one around here. It is sort of a nicer, more organized Thrift Shop.

I quickly came across what I needed, a queen sized flannel sheet for the low, low price of $3.99. I snatched it up and ran it through the wash. Then, using this tutorial, and some too-wide (but all I had) elastic, I set to work. I was able to get on crib sized fitted sheet and an average sized pillowcase out of the one sheet. Had I planned better and wasn’t so set on reusing the manufacturer’s hems I might have been able to get a second sheet. Next time around I think I could make due with just a full sized sheet to start out with.


All told, the cutting and sewing probably took me 2 hours. The sheets fit her little bed perfectly and I can’t wait for her to snuggle in this winter.

Modern Archaeology

I was bushwacking and cutting some brush on the far side of our driveway today. As I kicked around some branches on the ground I dislodged an historic artifact. Brushing off the dirt with my shirt I discovered it to be a Motorola i1000plus cellular phone; circa 2001.

open phone

It’s huge, doesn’t turn on, has moisture in the screen and has become Catherine’s favorite plaything. She’s been calling all her friends on it for the past several hours!


The Curious Incident with the Tree in the Night-Time

Peter and I both woke up around 7:15 this morning. He went downstairs for something and I went to the bathroom and back to bed. A minute or two later I heard the baby gate swing closed and moments after that Peter came into our room and said, “You need to go look outside!”

Still groggy from waking up, and a little bothered that I wasn’t still in bed, I stumbled out to the front door, stepped outside and saw this:

tree vs. car

We knew that a big storm had blown through, but had no idea it was causing this kind of damage! Peter and I quickly assessed the cars and much to our surprise there seemed to be no damage at all! What a blessing and a miracle! I’d imagine that had the cars been smashed, the following activities would not have been as much fun as they were!


Surveying the tree


Trimming the branches


Accepting help from a neighbor with a chainsaw


Thanking the Lord for two undamaged cars!

By 8:15 the tree had been totally cleared from the yard by Peter, neighbor, Catherine and myself. Not bad for an hours worth of work! All the pics from our adventure can be found in their gallery album here.

Let There Be Light!

View looking from the laundry area into the living room
Into the living room

And there was light! And, more importantly, electricity. Yes, our electrician came back today to do his finish electrical work in the basement. He has a few small things to finish up tomorrow, but for the most part everything electrical is finished. We’ve got six recessed lights in the living room, wrap lights in the laundry area and storage room, and working receptacles and switches all over the place. He also took care of a few non-basement items upstairs, like installing a new light in the ceiling above the kitchen sink, installing a larger GFCI receptacle in the bathroom, and fixing/updating a receptacle in the kitchen that wasn’t grounded properly (!).

Having electricity and working lights downstairs really goes a long way to making the basement look almost finished. The bright lighting also helps to point out all of the little imperfections in our painting and drywalling, most of which we’ll probably let slide, but some of which we’ll want to fix. More importantly, it will make it much easier to get our work finished, since we won’t have to rely solely on the one portable work light we had been using.

Earlier this week, I worked on getting the French doors painted. We have a bit of clean-up work to do on that, removing the remaining bits of plastic sheet covering the glass, and scraping off the paint that managed to get through and around the plastic. I also got things all cleaned up and rearranged the storage room so that the electrician could have access to the electrical panel. And I did a bit of touch up gooping and painting on a few other areas around the basement.

What’s left? We still need to do a bit more touch-up gooping and painting, lay down the flooring, install the baseboard moulding around the living room and laundry area, install the casing around the French doors and the door to outside, raise the cabinets over the washer/dryer, install a door in front of the washer/dryer, install latches and handles on the French doors, and get the final electrical and building inspections. After that, we can move in! We still have a way to go, but it feels so close!

Here are some photos I took tonight, showing what it looks like with most of the painting done and the lights on!