Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all of ya'll from all of us! Grendal doesn't get real excited about these things unless food is involved. I'm trying to get back to blogging about the house. We have done some exciting work and orders for things are starting to come in. I'll show ya'll soon. I (and my big mouth) got myself roped into writing an article for Alabama Heritage magazine on the restoration we are doing on the Big House so that's one reason that I have not been around much lately. I'm very excited about it though and hope that it comes out well. It was due today so I've been burning the midnight oil to get it done, as I always wait until the last minute. I used to do the same thing in my college art classes. Nothing like desperation to inspire you to great thoughts. The article will be published in the summer and if any of ya'll are so inclined you can finally see in greater detail what we've been doing all this time. Anyway, I was sick, again, last week for Christmas so that delayed things and was a great bummer but things are hopefully getting back on track now. I'm going home now to eat a bunch of crap that I shouldn't and try to find some interesting way to welcome in the new year.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Too Close For Comfort

I don't have anything worked up on my house right now so I thought I'd post a little about the Big House that we are still working on. The restoration is nearing completion but we will still be there through January probably. This photo is from when they were putting down the new flat roofing. It is big sheets of rubbery, tar-like stuff that is kind of melted down with torches. There is always a slight chance of something going wrong when you have an open flame on a really old structure so we were on fire watch the whole time. This means you sit up on the roof for hours in the freezing cold (or blazing heat, it's always one or the other, never a nice, mild day) and watch these guys work and make sure nothing catches on fire. Not very exciting but I did see our resident hawks cruising around. There is a pair of mated hawks that live somewhere nearby and they like to come out and just hang over us when we are on the roof as if to scrutinze what we are doing. I have no idea what species of hawk they are or anything but everyone loves to watch them when they are out riding the currents.
Those of you that read my blog often know that I have posted several things about the bizarre history and goings on at this house and have expressed alot of interest so I have another story for you. This happened just the other day and the guys at work said I really needed to post about this. We have been working on the window hardware lately, cleaning and polishing it etc, getting it all in working order and so this means going inside the house alot. There are 255 windows in this house I believe, so that is alot of hardware to work on! Anyway, I just happened to be working on the windows in the room that the woman was murdered in and had gone in and out several times and the other carpenters were in and out too. Now, in most of the rooms there are those monstrous, velvety drapes that you typically see in monstrous, ominous houses in the movies, you know. Scarlet could whip any numbers of outfits out of these drapes, tassels and all! And they are all held up by these monstrously heavy, iron curtain rods which, of course, hang over the windows we are working on. Being typical construction workers, we like to play a few jokes on each other and we'll try to scare the crap out of any unsuspecting person that is in the house because most everybody knows about all the stuff that has happened in this place. So, we were joking around about working in this particular room and nobody wanted to be in there by themselves etc. and then I walked back into the room and proceeded towards the window. I got about 1 step from the window when the curtain rod and curtains just dropped off the wall and plummeted towards my head. It came so close to me that I felt the wind of it on my face and had to jump back to keep it from hitting my feet. We are required to always wear a hard hat on the job and I do but even with that protection if this thing had hit me it would have done some serious damage. When we put it back up (very securely I might add) it took me and another carpenter to lift the rod and curtains together so it is pretty hefty. Now, all the guys are saying that the ghost has it out for me since I have been the one to hear all the other bizarre stuff too. The next day when we were talking about it and laughing, all the lights in the house started flickering on and off. What really scared me about the whole thing is when I realized that the room where this happened is now the kid's bedroom and where they play alot. If one of those kids had pulled on those curtains, as kids often do, and it had fallen on them, it could have killed them. I think I'll be glad when this job is over.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I have been so bad about posting lately or not posting I should say. What's been going on lately just has not seemed that interesting so I haven't been excited about putting much up. I mean, it's very exciting to me but I think would not be that thrilling to other people. Anyway, we got the power actually ran to the house!! After all this riggamaroll (?) about finding an 18' pole for our temporary, Allen came to me the other day and said he thought that the pole he had all this time was 18'. He thought previously it was 16' but didn't check it. I know everyone out there has felt that desire (that I felt then) to choke the crap out of someone at some time in their life. But, it was okay. We now have plenty of 18' pressure treated timbers. Should we ever need one again.
And when you put all those wires together, you get this!! Yea!! I couldn't help but have my feelings of joy dampened just a little by what we had to pay for 200 amp service wire though. All wiring has gone up tremendously lately. They tell me it's China's fault. Concrete has skyrocketed too. I finally got quotes from 2 different places on my windows too. Another sobering reality. I really wish I could have salvaged some windows from somewhere but that just didn't happen so they are going to be one of my bigger expenses. But I really can't complain because of all of the stuff I have gotten for free. And once again, Lowe's and Home Depot have been beaten out by the little local building supply. Do not ever assume, as alot of people do, that those big stores are the best deal. A building supply in a nearby town beat Lowe's quote by a considerable amount and I just can't see how that is possible IF Lowe's was really trying to give me the best price. Anyway, I'll try to post more soon.