Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mosaic Glass Windows (04-07-10)

I went all the way to Houlton Bakery in St Helens where some mosaic windows made by Jennifer Hanson, the same artist who did the three windows I bought at Portico were on display. I bought two of the windows on display, one of a cherry tree in bloom, and one of a sun. I think this type of windows is just what I was looking for to bring some color to the house.
I am pretty excited that the artist is coming by on Saturday, to look at the bedroom upstairs, to get an idea of the colors of the exiting stained glass casement windows, to match then, -if not in style-, at least, in colors.

Contractors (04-07-10)

I got a call from the weatherization contractor, who told me that when his assistant went under the house, he distinctively smelled an odor of gas. He said it would be a good idea for me to call the gas company. So I called them, and a truck was in a driveway within five minutes of my call. I swear, the guy had to be parked down the street waiting for the call!

The guy from the gas company was a tall old guy with a German accent. No matter how I mentioned growing up a mere 20 miles from the nearest German border, and how much I love German food, he just acted gruff and unfriendly.
When he entered the house, he gave me a weird look and said that he’d been here before. When I pressed him for details, he was vague, though…just like the guy who came to install the phone line who, once he volunteered that he had been here before, refused to say anything else… I am starting to feel that I bought the (cursed) house of a sorceress.

In any case, this big guy claimed there was a possible gas leak at the furnace to floor junction, but since he didn’t anymore than waive his wand over the furnace pipes, I don't know what to think. He didn't go under the house either. I knew he wouldn’t the minute I saw him: he was, ahem, lumbering and pot-bellied; I couldn’t imagine him fitting in the crawlspace without getting stuck. He just gave me a card with the gas company logo on which he had checked a box saying that “the problem needs to be addressed,” to call the number printed on the card to get a referral for a contractor who would fix the leak.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Weatherization underway (04-06-10)

The Energy Trust-approved contractor’s assistant came by today. He checked the insulation in the attic, and then he went under the house. I could picture it like a horror show down there, with bunches of spider nests loaded with eggs ready to hatch right over his head...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Weatherization Problems (04-05-10)

Today the Energy Trust-approved contractor came to conduct a test on the house. He installed large fan over the front door frame and sucked air out of the house. The results now point to a new series of problems: the house apparently failed the test and leaks like a sieve. The guy told Gary that this is pretty much the worst test results he's ever had. Gary asked him what would be worse, and he answered being in a tent outside!
The furnace is set over a huge opening over the crawlspace and recirculates cold air from under the house; this explains why the furnace is on all the time and why it feels ice cold inside. It also appears that the air ducts for the heating system are not operational…

Sunday, April 4, 2010

"Mondo" Spider Sighting (04-04-10)

While I was explaining something to Valérie and her friend Meghan, Meghan started pointing at something behind me: there was a giant spider on the kitchen door frame. I ran out of the house screaming. Meghan apparently caught the spider because she walked out of the house carefully holding a paper towel. From my safe spot behind my car, I ordered her to KILL IT!, but she shook her head and walked to the edge of the property. She came back assuring me that she had made sure that the spider took off in the direction away from our house.

Gary and I went to Ikea to buy furniture for his office. I settled on a red bookcase with glass doors and a three-drawer dresser for my closet. I still wonder if that’s not a bit extreme, but I can still think it over until the boxes get opened.