So much for being done by Christmas...!

But at least 1 step is completely finished: the wallpaper in the living room is gone. We now have large expanses of concrete-colored plaster just waiting to be skimcoated and painted. We just need to get our schedule in sync with Shayne's friend the skimcoater, and maybe we'll have some paint on the walls by Easter.

The ceiling is also ready for the next step. All of the furring strips are gone, and the ceiling actually stayed up without them (I had my doubts). There are only 3 or 4 places that can be considered bad. the rest is just little cracks. The plaster washers arrived in the mail weeks ago, but we're waiting on the expert opinion of the skimcoater before we touch anything.

We did put a Christmas tree up, which I think is kind of funny considering how bad the room looks overall. My friend AJ described it as "a train wreck", but after living with it for a few months, it actually seems somewhat cozy. I guess when you compare it to having carpet halfway removed, wallpaper falling off the walls, and ceiling tiles stacked everywhere having a "naked" (but clean!!) room is wonderful.

The next step is to remove the wallpaper going up the stairs and into the upstairs hallway and start stripping the trim. The trim will most likely wait on some slightly warmer weather, though, since it's about 4°F right now. Not the kind of weather I want to be out in the garage in.

We realized with the cold weather that the back porch is a major source of coldness. The bathroom out there is absoloutely frigid, but the metal door doesn't help. As a temporary solution, I put a curtain up in the doorway between the kitchen and the porch. Not the classiest solution, but it definitely works. There's about a 15° temperature difference between the porch and the house now. The bathroom is even colder, but we never use it, so it's not a huge deal.

All is going well with the rest of the house. No major disasters happened as a result of winter, which made me happy. The heat bill wasn't even as high as I'd feared. The washing machine did break today, though, so Shayne will have to take a look at it tonight or tomorrow. Honestly, though, I wouldn't mind an excuse to get a new one...


Real-life home restoration

I'd like to say that I haven't been writing because I've been so busy working on the house that I just didn't have time. Unfortunately, that's not true. Our life has been so busy that housework is still on hold. You gotta love shows like "trading Spaces" where they bring in an armada of people and completely transform 3 rooms of your house in 6.35 hours, but real house work just isn't like that. First of all, there's only 2 of us. Second, we don't have a clue what we're doing!! Third, we have lives. Busy ones. I had to work 16 hours on Thanksgiving, and Shayne's been working side jobs. Plus, I have DRT (Detention Response Team. Basically the jail's version of a SWAT team, only non-lethal. Here's a brocure of the latest class our team attended down in Hamilton County. The guys with "DRT" on their shirts are us. You can also see them in the group picture [2nd and 3rd row, starting with the guy in the boonie hat and over to the dude in the baseball cap]. I'll be going to SERT class in the spring, along with the other newer folks on the team.) Being on DRT means that I'm on-call 24/7, and one of my days off last week got eaten up by a team activation. We also have training every other week, in addition to my regular work schedule.

When you thnk about it, it's amazing we're getting anything done.

I'm off for the next 3 days (plus today), so I'll definitely be working on stuff around here. I also have training for work for the next 2 weeks (starting Monday), and I'll be on a regular 8-to-5 schedule, which will give me evenings to work on the house. I'll probably run out of wallpaper before then and start working on stripping the trim.