Fujin’s visit

We call them “pin oak” in the Carolinas, but technically they are “willow oaks”. They are, by far, the most common oak tree in the SC Piedmont. We have, and had, several in our yard. Two of our oaks are at least a couple of centuries old and big, big tall. The one outside the west bedroom has always protected the house from the heat of the summer sun and provided us opportunity to watch the arboreal wildlife.

Looking south out the west bedroom window

The last few years, that big old tree has, sadly, created some anxiety for us. Leaning ever so slightly towards the house, and prevailing summer storms from the southwest, it would easily slice 2 stories of the house in half given the right impetus.

Especially since DeShawn moved upstairs, we were often left to lay awake with worry to the sound of windy thunderstorms at night. We had never actually gone upstairs to get him, however, until the storm that came thru on the night of May10-11.

It began around midnight with low rumbles of thunder and faint lightning in the distance. By 12:30, the roar of the wind got me upstairs to fetch him into the relative safety of our bedroom. He remembers the pounding rain on his windows as I woke him up.

By 2:30ish, it had all past and I was able to get back to sleep on the couch.

When I took the dog out the next morning, to my surprise, we noticed this:

Something is amiss

Under most circumstances, our carport flattened and a huge tree on my truck would induce some consternation. In this case, though, I had to smile…

Good thing, based on what we saw that morning:

92 feet tall

The upper window is DeShawn’s bedroom

Rooted a couple of feet deep with only 2 “tap” roots

View from upstairs window

Turns out, the storm was one of the worst in a very long time.

So, here we are a month later, still working with our insurance and mortgage companies to release funds for the remediation.

3 weekends and some 3000 lbs. of wood later

A good bit better actually

Thanks for all your help

(Courtesy of Wikipedia)

The Delphi’s riddle

Very eventful, somewhat historic, weekend…

My sons, Ben and Will, came to town to help move DeShawn upstairs to the west bedroom. Also, DeShawn had his first swim meet with his new team.

We’re gonna skip all the sentimental “kids to adults” stuff (Ben is 27 and Will is 30), and get right to some photographic evidence of change.

Little boy afraid to move upstairs by himself

Fearless pre-teen slept thru the thunderstorm first night in his new bedroom

2006 and earlier

The kid wanted his computer and TV on the same screen

An old house story, Part 3

When the West Bedroom was originally completed and time to move DeShawn upstairs into his planned space, he was afraid to go. He didn’t like the idea of being alone on the second floor, and the way the closet doors opened into the attic stoked his fears. So we decorated the bedroom as a study and gave him time to grow up a little. During the interim, we built out the closet so it wasn’t so foreboding.

The scared little boy of 2006 has grown into the fearless “tweener” of 2010 and wants to take his anointed place in the “best” room of the house.

In the Zen physics of old house living, any move upstairs must also involve a corresponding move downstairs. Ergo, the current series of mini-projects.

With DeShawn’s leave of the Master Bedroom, Carole and I can move our bedroom into the final space. With our bedroom moved from the Front Study, all the computers/bookshelves/etcetera (some of which currently reside in the West Bedroom) can move into their final space.

As part of the downstairs part of the move, we decided to get Carole’s workspace out of the East Bedroom and into it’s final space. The East Bedroom is, at this point in our narrative, the most “undone” and primitive of all the rooms of the house. Right now, it’s mostly a storage area having had little but de-construction work done on it. Carole has a small, open floor area to do her projects and the whole room is really too dusty for any cloth or sewing.

Appending Carole’s work area move to the “Move DeShawn’s Bedroom” project adds the restoration of the kitchen back wall to the task list.

More or less, here is what needs to be done in each of the affected rooms:

West Bedroom (no big deal)

  1. Finish putting sash locks on the windows
  2. Make the cable TV jack live
  3. Install some window blinds

Front Study (couple of days under the house)

  1. Re-wire approx. 1/3 of the old knob & tube electrical circuits of the 1st floor
  2. Terminate wall jacks on the network lines ran with Howard’s help


Electrical circuit 2, to be more specific

Kitchen/Addition (opening the box on kitchen restoration)

  1. Restore the back kitchen wall
  2. Some electrical re-wiring for new fridge and dryer placement
  3. Rough out plumbing for the washer
  4. Rough out dryer vent
  5. Modify gas line to existing heat stove to target for cook stove


Image redux from Part 2

Master Bedroom (too much to do with this project)

  1. Way too much!
  2. Some cleaning

And, yes, in case you were wondering, we are doing all of this work ourselves.