you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.
If by omelette we mean "installing French drains in our cellar," and by eggs we mean ... well, pictures can tell that story better than I.
Our parlor on this lovely sunny Monday morning:
Our dining room, full of stuff from the parlor:
Our front hall full of cellar dwellers:
Even our front porch!
But our kitchen -- no, that's too awful. I can't submit you to that horror. It is packed with things brought up from downstairs, including a mystery food processor (where did it come from?), an extra microwave, daughter Anne's slushie maker, the Farberware rotisserie (we still had that?) and boxes of everything.
Downstairs today, workmen are jack-hammering through the cement floor of the cellar.
This is more than a little unnerving when you are sitting in a room above the jackhammering.
Remember those Magic Fingers beds in the old Howard Johnson's motels?
Yeah, only louder.
I've been staying in the sunroom, which is built on a nice sturdy flat cement slab.
But I can't blog from there, so I'm braving the noise and the jiggling to whack out this post.
Right now, our cellar is the tidiest place at That Old House.
Just a few pictures, from the boiler room at the foot of the kitchen stairs,
|Anyone with an old steam heat system will know why we have a pail next to the boiler.|
We leave the boiler room, thru the little hallway and go from the new part of the cellar -- 1880s -- to the old part -- 1832.
Watch that step down,
and pay no attention to the scratched-in word Hunger near the light switch.
In the middle of the cellar, our washer, dryer, extra fridge,
some tools and a few other things, well covered with plastic.
Here in the old part of the cellar, the foundation walls are local stone.
At one end of the original cellar, my laundry room (appliances moved for jack-hammering):
Yes, I do laundry in a dungeon.
Those of you with those pretty laundry rooms? I hate you. No, not really.
I just hate that I do laundry in a dungeon.
At the other end of the cellar, there is a door. . . an escape hatch!
A flight of stone stone steps to the Great Outdoors.
|More slabs o' granite steps -- they are everywhere around here!|
Climb these and be rewarded -- sunshine, grass, trees, fresh air! -- our side yard.
French drain-type systems have been used for hundreds of years, but it was a Mr. French of Concord, Massachusetts, who figured out that they were needed in many buildings for the health of the occupants and promoted their use. So French drains are actually American.
When we bought our house we did not have water or dampness issues, but as these few years have gone by, new construction around us has sent water wiggling through new pathways... right into our basement. We are hospitable people, Howard and I, but we have our limits.
Uninvited water is not welcome.
Now you may be wondering:
Why is the parlor floor covered with drop cloths?
Because that room is the only room still with no subfloor. In the olden days, the floor in a room served as the ceiling of the room below it. Thrifty, no? But on this day, with the jack hammering going on downstairs, we hope to stop cement dust from wafting up from the cellar thru cracks between the old boards, borne like a vapor on the summer air . . . and making a great big stinkin' mess in the house.
Even bigger than the one we made ourselves.
You may also be wondering:
What about the birthdays in the post title?
Well, the really important one is mine.
Or, was mine, I guess.
Because it was yesterday.
And I am now (drum roll please) 59 years old.
59 years old.
How silly is that?
My parents told me that you reach a certain age -- about the time you feel you are pretty much grown up --
and that while the outside of you gets older, the inside never really gets past that age.
You go through life still feeling young.
My Mom said for her it was around 21.
My Dad never specified a year, but we suspect it might have been around 13.
Yes, Pop was probably the oldest kid ever.
Anyway, I think my parents were right.
I'm continually surprised by the age on my driver's license.
And that, my friends, is A Good Thing!
On my birthday, I saw Ocean In A Teacup in New York, a play costumed by Anne.
It was lovely! Wonderful music, I've been humming all day.
Then we went out to dinner, and home,
where instead of a birthday cake I had an ice cream Sundae.
Way better than cake any day!
Daughter Anne has a birthday coming up, on Friday.
She will be 24. Also ridiculous.
How did my baby get to be that old?
Yes, this is the most rambling and disjointed blog post ever.
I keep getting interrupted by the guys working downstairs.
So to wrap things up, I'm resurrecting the obligatory wedding picture.
Only this one is weeks before the wedding, at the seamstress' with a tired, makeup-less bride and her
costume designer sister who is checking the seamstress' work very carefully around that bustle!
My two girls.
We have heard several times from the newlyweds; they are in their last week
of their 3-week honeymoon in China. And having a blast.
Let's see . . . what else for today?
Oh! I have to say Hello to my sister-in-law Doris' cousin Betty!
Hello, Betty! It was lovely to see you on Saturday, and I'm glad you get a kick out of That Old House!
P. S. Hi to Matt, too. Doris is a great press agent. :-)
Now Mr. Dion gets a chance to chime in today; he wants to know
what the heck is going on in this house??? He is not thrilled by the noise!
Have a great Monday -- I'm going to go brush my dog
and the trauma will make him forget the jackhammering! -- Cass
Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday. Click here!
Susan at Between Naps On The Porch for Metamorphosis Monday. Click here!
Cielo at The House In The Roses for Show Off Your Cottage Monday. Click here!