the trip to the desert

beetle in roswell

i ran across this image today. given that there’s a denny’s it might have been taken in roswell itself. i don’t have enough resolution on the image to tell.

the beetle, the denny’s, the glowering desert sky… these images, especially when seen together, are iconographic for me. entering the desert has special meaning for me now. i remember that first year and how incredible it all seemed that we were actually doing this. the astounding experience of traveling in a caravan of 50 beetles through the desert, of entering roswell for the first time…

ok, ok. i know what i sound like to other people when i talk about it. it’s not a cult. really 🙂

anyway, i’m not going this year, but seeing that picture makes me long.

not quite finished

the guys definitely didn’t finish today. the new a/c compressor isn’t there– and the old one still is.

a lot of cleanup occured in the basement and back yard. there’s also a lot of mud and standing water. the standing water is interesting. this is kind of new. this might require professional intervention.

it looks as if they installed the humidifier on the furnace today. i see no evidence of a humidistat however.

the entryway to the crawlspace from the basement is now almost completely occupied by two enormous trunk lines– a supply, and the giant return. both fully insulated. i’m not too sad about this although it’ll make it trickier to get that damn scrap lumber out of the crawlspace.

the other giant supply trunk hangs low in front of the staircase to the basement. this is kind of a bummer but you know, its a basement. it’s use is utility, not living area.

what i am bummed about is that they didn’t use the outside wall vent for my bedroom, and the old outside wall vent– which was a return in the old system– is still there, does not appear to be sealed off, and is mysteriously blowing warm air. now, i have to say that my bedroom was the warmest it has ever been last night. but that’s something that i want to get straight. if it’s now a supply, it should at least be insulated, and i wanna know why new ductwork wasn’t installed.

the house is overall feeling very comfortable and i think the general comfort level is a lot better– cold spots have disappeared. the notion of putting the supply vents on the outside wall and installing a central return was absolutely the right way to go.

they did a nice job of finishing off the holes they had to cut for the central return and i’m very pleased with the position of the grate and its appearance. it is high up on a wall in the hallway, a very typical location and well away from the debris that settles on the floor. the install looks clean and professional.

so i guess i won’t sleep in tomorrow morning as i’d hoped, since they obviously need to spend another day on this job. nevertheless, since i no longer feel the need to work at home, and since the house is super cozy, i feel a lot less discombobulated and headed back to being, you know, my usual happy go lucky self. ha.

d. told me today that i handled all of this pretty well, but i sound like i need a vacation. he’s not wrong. i so wish i could go camping in the westy! but not until she is roadworthy again.

the rumors are true…

my nose is no longer blue

my house is no longer cool

it’s a fucking mess, but it’s warm. the walking barefoot part might not happen for a day or two, as i clear the mud, gypsum dust, and other forgein substances from the floorboards, but at least maybe i can sleep tonight.

i’m torn between opening the doors and windows to allow the fumes (from pvc pipe cement) to clear, and getting the house up to 70 as fast as possible.

i can see that i need to do some rearranging of furniture and clutter in a few places so as to allow the air out of the vents as much as possible.

tomorrow they come back to put in the a/c compressor and clean up.

the house is helping us

i’m at work now, it’s nice to sit in a warm place. my throat doesn’t feel quite so sore and scratchy and i’m not too tired right now.

so before i left the guy who is putting in the central return said that the stud that runs through the opening to the return is not load bearing, and there are no beams or joists in the way of the holes he needs to cut to run it down through the closet. which is a like a little miracle. the ceiling he’s cutting is sheetrock, too, so we’re basically sitting very pretty.

that means his job is faster– no framing out of anything. the other guy is finishing up the ductwork in the basement. i’m not sure if the gas line has been run out to the furnace and actually, i’m also not sure where they’re going to vent it. at this point, i pretty much trust them and definitely want some heat. if the location of the flue is unacceptable then i can get them to come back– when it’s warm– and re-run it.

and today’s interesting house discovery is….

that there probably was no entrance to the basement from the living area, originally. my dark little hallway? built in the 70’s to enclose a stairway to the basement. the hall wall that they are cutting is sheetrock, not plaster and wood sheathing. which is great, actually, because it’s a hell of a lot easier and more stable to cut than plaster would be. this explains the small attic entryway over the basement stairs. the stairs make it inaccessible. ergo, the stairs probably weren’t there when that entryway was installed.

i wonder what was there before the stairs? a really wide hallway? or maybe the kitchen was wider.


soon i will walk through the house with bare feet

soon i will hug moses on the bed and not have to close the door after me

soon i can go to the basement and do laundry and not worry about dragging it through mud

soon i can walk into the kitchen without a shock of cold air

soon my bathroom floor will be clean

soon my hall floor will be clean



jason came over after dinner at federal and he said, you know, i don’t know how you’ve done it.

got to federal and immediately started yelling at people. seriously, i never do that kind of thing. i had no idea i was so fucking cranky and felt so crappy until i sat down at the table. i think i was really, really hungry and didn’t realize it somehow. there was lots of geeky talk about star trek which i found immensely cheering. it was helpful that a particular member of the wxdu staff who is both supremely geeky and supremely funny was on hand to chill the shit out.

i don’t know, i didn’t feel like apologizing. usually i apologize when i lose my shit

i’ve gotta get the dirty cold hallway ready tonight so they can come saw a hole in the lath and plaster and jesus, i hope i made the right decision to let them cut holes in the house. i guess anything that goes wrong can be repaired.

the things you learn

the contractors just told me that my bathroom was apparently remodeled at some point to include a very small linen closet. the wall was moved forward and a new toilet pipe was installed. the old pipe is still there. so they came upstairs asking where the second bathroom was, thinking there were two back-to-back. that explains the odd little extra space on the back bedroom closet– that space used to be part of the bathroom! this is all over the crawlspace which is one reason i never noticed it, i never go into the crawlspace.

not sure how i feel about this. the closet is nice and i make very good use of it, but the bathroom is insanely small. it was a good quality remodel, though, so i feel pretty good about it. when i put a pedestal sink in, the bathroom is going to feel a lot larger.