Frozen in Time

Thanks for hanging in there! It has indeed been a busy couple of months since my last post.  We moved for a third time this year, to a house next to the church so that we can keep an eye on it and stay warm through the winter.  We were in a single vehicle accident and Dreamgirl has been ordered to stay off work. I like having her around but I hate seeing her in pain. On the upside, I was hired full-time by a progressive organization and I am exhilarated by the challenges of the position.

We did remove all of the insulation from the attic using a vacuum duct cleaning truck.  Fortunately there were no surprises in the attic.  We posted our demolition permit, allowing us to continue removing the lathe and plaster and do some explorative demolition.  The local building inspector seemed to have a lot of interest in our project, visiting frequently for the last week of October until hunting season started.  The man we met with to draw up plans became too busy but really, we needed an engineer anyway.  I was told that the level of expertise goes from the bottom up: designer, architect, engineer.  We are working with an engineer to determine how far we can go with this church remodel.

Hearns Sand and Gravel has done a great job reducing the grade of our driveway. Eventually the lawn will be graded to help keep the cars on the driveway.  Our first snowfall taught me a little about physics when I had to get our car pulled off the front lawn. We had the snow plowed until the middle of December.  img_5099

I soon discovered that sheets of snow come crashing off the roof landing 6 feet from the side of the church.  Ice dams will have to be installed (in the warmer weather) before we install eaves troughs. After the first snow fall we decided our days of working were numbered.  We had been working on removing insulation making the building very expensive to heat. We did manage to remove more than 90% of the plaster and barn board.  The barn board was deemed impractical to plane because of all the nails used to install the lathe. Nails really mess up planer blades in a hurry.  The barn board had some dry rot on the side facing the wall.  I’ll probably use some to make a shed but that decision will wait until the project is completeimg_5125

It was dirty work removing the insulation.  Fortunately by this time I was working a fair bit so had an excuse for not sticking around.  The workers became covered in fine black dust as did everything in the church.img_5170

The walls around the two front rooms were removed so the men did what men do: they made a fort.  Using scaffold and some camouflage tarps, they built a small area they could use to warm up on the cooler days. The fort can be seen above to the right near the electric panel.


I took great pride in finally climbing to the top of the tower. Dreamgirl decided she would wait until we have installed safer stairways leading up the tower.  That will be stage 17  I think. Our son McManager also accepted the challenge as did our fearless daughter Princess. I’m not sure if she threw her beautiful long locks over the side but I’m sure she will in time. It was quite a view.

We got quotes for the windows.  They are going to blow the budget.  The rounded tops are called “Gothic” and increase the cost considerably.  We can cap them off and just have rectangular windows but neither Dreamgirl or I like that option. We have to constantly tie ourselves back to our original vision of a cool, economical place to live. We do want to remain true to this beautiful building.

In mid December we faced minus 10 degree Celsius temps, helping us make the decision to end work for the season. The church still calls me up to visit almost daily. I need to run up to grab a few boards, a bucket or take one more measurement. We sent the construction toilet back and cancelled any further snow plowing. Dreamgirl continues to have headaches after our accident, bigger than the ones I give to her.  She is a tough cookie and it breaks my heart to see her in pain.  I’ve started helping out more: make her hot chocolate while she shovels snow, carrying the laundry downstairs for her, warming the car up so it is easier for her to scrape off.  It is the little things that help.  I kid of course;


she makes her own hot chocolate.


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