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Memorial Day; Ribs & Construction

May 31, 2005 | Category: This Old House

I can't explain what it's like to have the construction started again on this old house. Even though he began the project in his usual impetuous way, it is so satisfying to look over and watch my husband measuring and hammering.

I flirted with the idea of not doing anything for Memorial Day, but I always do something for Memorial Day. We had three friends stopped by in addition to the four of us (my mom is visiting from out of town).

The parade in the morning was very sentimental. We stood for the flag, for veterans, for banners commemorating those who gave their lives in defense of America. Bear especially loved the bands and the muskets going off, but then he started to feel kind of puny. Once we got back home, we tucked him in on the couch with a nest of pillows and blankets and cartoons on the TV.

For the barbeque, I started cooking on Saturday. We had baby back ribs (dry rub overnight, baked, and then smoked with homemade sauce), my potato salad (which always comes out pretty good), mom's onion & roquefort salad, baked beans with sausage, sliced teriyaki steak, a roasted pepper and oil salad, grilled corn on the cob, sliced cherry tomatoes, and Dee brought cole slaw. We drank rum and punch, and had apple pie (store bought) and frosted brownies (Dee's) for dessert.

Afterwards, we did that thing I hate - split up in gender groups. The guys tucked pencils behind their ears and got to work on my office while I had the company (and help) of my girlfriend while gardening. But we came back together to drink and all push the new window into place before calling it a night.

Bear spent the afternoon cuddled with his Nana. Him not feeling well was the only dark cloud in a day of glorious, perfect weather and wonderful eats and fellowship. A great, great day. I wish it hadn't had to end.

In the extended entry, see the "before" and "during" pictures of my office!

This is what it looked like when we moved in 4 years ago:


Oh yes, yes they did TOO paint in dark stripes. You can see the neutral carpet we put down. Note the warped 100 year-old windows that don't actually open?

It took 4 coats of white paint to get ride of those stripes:


But even though it looked better, there was no air except the drafts from the warped windows and the walls, it turned out, were this thick posterboard with no insulation. So by 9/2001 it looked pretty but bugs, snow, rain - nothing was kept out!


(I cropped this picture out of a collage I put together for a virtual scrapbook)

So. For 4 years, I have supported my family from this room. It is a wonder I am not a loony toon. No, wait. Don't say it.

It's amazing how fast the walls came down. The plaster and lathe practically fell on the floor when CD gave it a dirty look.


The point of view moves to the outside as we see the hole in the house where my office used to be. The guys working away after we ate a Memorial Day barbeque that couldn't be beat.

The hole where my office used to be.JPG

After a few hours, all hands on deck to put the window in the hole in the house where my office used to be.


Success, Houston - we have a wondow! (This is how it looks now):

Inside the office windown in.JPG

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Tagged: Corporate, Mommy, Life


Woo hoo!! Those stripes were awful!!

Posted by: Crystal on June 2, 2005 12:43 AM


Posted by: Cursingmama on June 1, 2005 03:33 PM

Looks great!! How did you stand those stripes?? They would have driven me around the bend. You are indeed a strong woman!!What a feast you served!! Are you willing to share any of the recipes??

Posted by: azalea on June 1, 2005 02:20 PM

It looks wonderful! I have to say, to have lived with those stripes for four years makes you a strong, strong woman.

Posted by: karmajenn on June 1, 2005 12:38 PM

"Don't love cotton in my ears trying to ease the drafts that are hard enough to blow my papers off the desk."

You sleep with someone that snores, too? :)

Posted by: Helen on June 1, 2005 10:09 AM

Helen - you want them? I'll mail them to you.

Don't get me wrong, I love the architectural beauty. Don't love cotton in my ears trying to ease the drafts that are hard enough to blow my papers off the desk.

Posted by: Elizabeth on June 1, 2005 08:42 AM

It does look lovely, but I weep over the loss of the lovely 100 year old windows. I'm a sucker for sash windows!

Posted by: Helen on June 1, 2005 08:32 AM

Brings back memories of last fall when we reeplaced the windows in our dining room with one large window. The plaster is nearly finished on the inside and the outside ... well it looks like yourlast picture. No one has complained as of yet - and we don't expect them to since a few houses down they have no siding on their home at all.

We're still working on gearing up to finish the bathroom. When I say we I mean the husband ... I just supervise. ;)

Posted by: Michele on May 31, 2005 07:36 PM

You're very lucky to have a DIY guy. It took my husband three tries to patch the drywall in our basement. He got it in the end, but he was starting to remind me of Cap'n Ahab.

Posted by: notdonnareed on May 31, 2005 07:28 PM

Looks great! And the description of the feast has now made me hungry. Damn.

Posted by: RP on May 31, 2005 04:26 PM