we're back at it again, encouraged by the progress that we've made so far. the whole downstairs, as well as the attic storage is ripped out, and now we're ready to put it back together. we've lots of drywall, and lots of (mostly) willing boys to help, and i go up several days in January and February, and we work together, making a good dent in what we have to do. Dave has gone ahead of me, and replaced all the outdated and dangerous wiring, as well as installing some of the hot water baseboard heat. so now we can just roll right along. (theoretically) sometimes we "roll" smoothly, and other times it's bumpy and tedious. in the master bedroom and front living room we've decided to leave the beam ceiling exposed. the original hand hewn beams are a marvel- over 30' long, and 200 years old! we don't want to cover them, and leaving them exposed will add more character to the house, as well as being a conversation starter. however, with this decision comes the fact that we need to top off the drywall on the walls in these rooms with a "j" channel, which can be frustrating and definitely slows us down a bit. but the extra work is worth it, as the walls look nice, and it's a great finishing touch.
Dave has also been busy working on the new bathroom. we've taken one of the downstairs rooms, and divided it in 2- one family bathroom, and one for the master bedroom. he's been working on this steadily, and has installed the shower, drywall and first coat of mud, (including the closet), all the plumbing and laid the concrete board, as well as the tiles. it's starting to look like a bathroom in there! this is of course one of the necessities for us to move in, so this project has priority.
it is during one of these visits to work on the house that i begin to see light at the end of the tunnel. (relatively speaking, of course- and keeping in mind that I'm the eternal optimist!) we've managed to clean up, and it's finally starting to look better. perhaps we can really move in and live here in the spring! we have progressed in our cleaning from using rakes, shovels and tubs, to a broom, to a shop vac. one of these days we might acutally get to use water, cleaning fluids and a mop!