My wonderful mother recently pointed out that my blog has been... well... "boring" lately. Yes, yes it has. I haven't had many interesting things to report or any fun projects to share. It's been very boring out here on the farm this winter. For reals. But since I'm getting quite twitchy, it's time to start thinking seriously about working on the Beacon Hill. And perhaps leaving the house once in a while. And stopping being sick all the time. And stuff.
I did a "soft open" launch of working on the BH again by cleaning the mini room, which was a disaster zone. In between hacking my lungs out and long, restless naps, I moved small miniatures from disorganized piles into organized piles. Now that the room has been cleaned and moved around and labeled and put away, the goddess is perched and ready for proper attention:
Before I cleaned that room, there were a whole bunch of things piled on the Beacon Hill box and under the table, so I tripped whenever I went near the house -- or in the room at all, really. It's so clean and purty in there that I *almost* don't want to mess it up. But I will!
One thing I noticed right away when I moved into Briarpatch was that there was a distinct temperature difference between the mini room and the rest of the house. When I was little, my grandparents used that room as "The TV Room," and my cousins and I would all pile in there (SO many of us in there all at the same time!! How did we fit??) and watch TV. I don't remember it ever being hot or cold in that room. However, the door was always OPEN.
Now? It's either really hot or really cold in there. Sweaty or freezing. Pick one. And when the heat or air conditioning is on, there is a REALLY loud noise that comes from that one tiny vent under the dollhouse table. See it? Just to the left of the box on the floor? That b*tch is LOUD. Actually, the whole floor itself is loud when air is attempting to move right underneath it. Solution? Open the door! Let the kitchen send its heat/AC into the mini room! However, we all know what Gretchen does with miniatures.
[One time, I accidentally shut her in the mini room overnight. She was meowing like a frantic psycho in the morning, and I couldn't figure out where she was. Luckily, the miniatures survived.]
So anyway, leaving the door open all the time isn't an option. Plus, the mini room was super handy over Christmas when I needed a place to shove everything into when my relatives were coming over to hang out.
So what's a girl to do?
Enter Super Pa.
At the beginning of this winter season, I confessed to Pa that part of the reason I don't work on the Beacon Hill -- along with intimidation and fear and general procrastination -- is because it's f*cking COLD in that room all winter and then HOT in the summer. Even with the door open, it takes a lot of time to even out the feel of the room, and I get frustrated and just leave. Being a mechanical engineer, I knew Pa could figure out this problem. The man built his own corn boiler for his house. Actually, he built his entire own house. Wonk HVAC? NO PROBLEM FOR PA!
He began his investigation by noting that there is no cold air return in the room. There's your problem! Considering the fact that Grandpa built on this part of the house as an addition, one would think that Grandpa would have added a cold air return. Alas, I can't ask him why this was never a feature of The TV Room. In fact, now that I think about it, there aren't any cold air returns in the entire "new" part of this house. There are nice, big ones in all of the rooms in the "old part" -- directly across from the HVAC vents in whichever room you're in.
Pa must have been at college when the addition was built or something.
So then Pa investigated the basement. It turns out there is a fan inside the duct down there that is THE LOUD THING. It's an old, beat up fan. Time for a new one! Pa ordered all of the parts for the fan, and then we waited, and then every part of the order decided to ship separately, and then finally the very last part of the contraption showed up from Home Depot squashed completely FLAT. Old road kill flat. It was a piece of round, metal duct stuff. Thanks, Home Depot.
In the meantime, I started to fester about the other part of Pa's plan. He wanted to put a vent in the door itself as a cold air return. Hmmmm.... I had googled such a thing and found some very unattractive examples. Visions of catastrophe struck! I started to get nervous about my pretty door that is right there in the kitchen where everyone can see it -- the very pretty kitchen that Pa lovingly painted a beautiful, buttery yellow for me when I moved in. The really NICE part of the house. Oh good LAWD, what was going to happen to my door in my ONE REALLY PRETTY ROOM????!!!! So I bit the hand that fixes me and told Pa I was worried about his decorative taste and asked him to NOT go get vents without me.
Yep, I think that falls into the Bad Daughter category of things to say, right?
BUT Pa will be the first to confess that he's an engineer, and he makes things that work and are correct and functional, but that doesn't mean they're always going to be "pretty." If I want "pretty," I do have to be specific about what "pretty" means.
So we went together to Menard's and bought the grates. They are coppery looking (which doesn't photograph well) and have a "rubbed oil" finish to them. Pa brought over a jigsaw and cut a perfectly beautiful, straight, just-big-enough hole right through the hollow door.
And from the inside -- just as PRETTY:
The results were immediate. I left the house for a few hours, came back, went in the room, and was NOT FREEZING. I shut the door, stood on the kitchen side, cranked the heat, and could feel the air flowing out of the room.
It's still LOUD. Pa hasn't arrived to swap out the motorized vent fan thing in the basement yet, but it's sitting in a box in the entryway all ready to go. And I'm SO GRATEFUL THANK YOU SUPER PA YOU'RE THE BEST AND YOUR YOUNGEST DAUGHTER IS AN A$$HAT TO EVER DOUBT YOU.
Well, for now.
While we were at it, we got new vents for the
Thank you soooo much, Pa. You're the best!!!!
*shoves both feet and all eight of my cats' paws in mouth and swallows*
Meanwhile, HUGE congrats to two of my friends who placed in the 2016 Creatin' Contest this year: Keli's Tropical Beach House won Grand Prize, and Brae's Otter Cove won Second Prize. I'm so proud of my friends!!!! CONGRATS!!!!!