Friday, October 17, 2014

Big House Project!!

   We lost a beloved member of our household last winter. Our 20+ year old pellet stove, that we'd been using for 20+ months finally died. Its burn pot cracked beyond repair. After much weeping and introspection, I hauled it out to the garage, and started to look for a replacement.

When you walked into our house, there was kind of this shrine to the ancient pellet stove. As it should be.

   The Wife really wanted a gas fireplace instead of another pellet stove. The Man Of The House wanted more of that hot, dry heat that the wood burning stove provided. After a long, thorough, spirited discussion, The Wife won. So not only did I have to get a new fireplace, I had a project to do.

   I've done little projects around the house. Flooring in the kitchen and bathrooms, building planter boxes in the yard, mounting a TV and hiding the cords in the wall, and helping Wyatt draw on the walls. These are all pretty simple and just require following some basic instructions. The project I had before me was a whole new beast. Luckily, it required cutting lots and lots of wood with fun saws.

He really wanted to play in the sawdust. For some reason, he really wanted his shirt off, too.

Mission Accomplished.

Now let's see how this sawdust tastes!

Ahh!!! Dad's running a saw!! I need to shut my eyes to completely keep the sound out!!

Oh good, dad's done. Dad's the best.

   The above pictures remind me of one of my favorite Wyatt moments ever. Whenever I was about to run a saw, I'd let him know and he'd try to hide from the noise. A couple times, as I was ready to turn the loud suckers on, I'd warn him and he'd run to a box of pellets and bury his head in them. He'd hide his head in the pellets until I was done cutting, then go about playing. This happened three times. I never got a picture of him ostriching, but sheesh it was cute.

   Speaking of "Sheesh that's cute," here's some videos of Wyatt helping us build, starting with his paint job:

   Here he does some critical measurements, and you get a good look at daddy's tramp-stamp (which - I'm pretty sure that's why you are here in the first place). Hurry! Watch it before my wife makes me take it down!

   Wyatt measuring things is really no surprise. This was taken back when he was just learning to walk (so, I don't know, he was maybe 9 days old?). It's from an early blog post, but I've gained like 8 new readers since then (up to 15!), so I'll share it again:

What a stud. Also, this picture was taken with what appears to be one of those cameras you make in a high school Intro To Photography class.

   And here's Wyatt working with Papa G.

   With all the construction and finish work done, it looks like this:

This isn't a DIY blog, so don't expect a bunch of perfect pictures of clean houses, okay. We still need to paint it, and by "we" I of course mean "not me." Painting is hard.
   If you look closely, you can see that the inner, decorative walls are falling over. We can't get them to stay up. I've tried Silly Putty and gum and even a whole roll of Scotch tape, but nothing works!! You'll notice we wasted absolutely no time cluttering that mantle shelf. And we still need to find the right picture to place in the white space above,. Probably an oil painting of me with my chin resting on my fist. That I'll paint myself. I'll be looking right at you as you come in to my house. Saying "I'm here and this is kind of creepy, so check yourself."

   I couldn't have done this project without my dad doing some last-minute electrical and wood cutting heroics, Cara's dad helping with all sorts of little things, and all the tools that both of those men have given me over the years or loaned me for this project. Thanks so much. I also couldn't have done it without Cara screaming at me "If you don't get this done I will throw all of your Nintendoses in the lake!" It was too bad that her pronunciation of "Nintendos" as "Nintendozzes" kind of ruined her moment, but she had a point. Although, in my defense, summers are for napping or playing and nothing more.

My mood: proud and relieved and also kinda gassy
Wyatt's mood: wanting me to play with him ALL THE TIME
Cara's mood: got bit by a spider, so, she's about ready to call the National Guard on our drive to the hospital.
Listening to: Sam Cooke

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