Friday, 10/28 – Fire Safety, Stinky Floors, and Home

“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” – Robert Frost

On Friday, our electricians arrived bright and early, even before Jamie, our builder. The town’s fire chief wasn’t happy that our fire and carbon monoxide monitors on the main floor and basement level weren’t hard-wired into the rest of the system. On the upper level, if one alarm goes off, they all do, but that wasn’t the case on the other levels. The town inspector didn’t want to do a full sign off on occupancy unless the fire chief was happy. Chris looked into doing a wireless approach, but that wasn’t going to do it. Jamie offered to share a bit of the cost (he wants that sign off!) and we decided to have it done.

I’m not even sure where the wires went through, but it’s all set now. If one fire or carbon monoxide monitor in the house goes off, they all will, complete with an odd “ship’s computer” type voice stating the type of problem. The fire chief should be very happy now!

Meanwhile, Jamie arrived and started to rip up the carpet in the old portion of the family room. It was kind of gross to see the dirt that had sifted down through the carpet and padding. We only have a little bit of wall-to-wall carpet left in the house (the guest room, upstairs landing, and the stairs) but seeing what’s underneath one makes me want to get rid of all of the rest! Maybe that will be another project.

The floor people came to sand down the floors and put on the first coat of polyurethane. They used a “dustless” system which involved a big metal unit resembling a fridge. Plastic was put up between the family room and the kitchen and over the current built-ins in the family room. I’m happy to say that, unlike when the plasterers came, we didn’t end up with dust everywhere, so the combination of plastic and the dustless system worked! The smell of the process was also a concern; the doors to all the unaffected rooms were kept shut to keep the smell from them.

We had stayed up rather late on Thursday night getting things cleared out of the current family room; sadly, I only got a couple of hours of sleep! Chris moved the computer into the living room so it was usable; it will stay there until the new built-ins go into the family room. The TV and the wii went into the current dining room (where I’m typing; this will be a dedicated office in the future) so we are able to at least see some TV, play wii, and watch Netflix. The floors will have three coats of polyurethane; we’ll be in this odd interim state for about a week and a half. I’m happy to say that everyone is handling it all really well.

Because of my sleep-deprived nature, I felt like I had to get a nap before leaving the house! I took my pillow into my daughter’s room and was able to nap for a few hours despite the noise of sanding. I inherited crazy napping genes from my dad. I woke up in time to grab a frozen dinner and take it to a friend’s house to heat up for a late lunch and a nice chat. At this point, the family room had been sanded and they were about to start on the sewing room.

When it was time, I picked my youngest up from school. We came home to make sure everything was locked up and to check out the smell. It wasn’t terrible, but after about 10 minutes it was as if I could taste it. Survivable, but not a state I’d like to be in for long! I picked the other kids up from school (they’d been on a field trip) and then took one to a practice and the others to the library while we waited for practice to be over. Once all afternoon activities were complete, we headed up to my brother and sister-in-law’s house 45 minutes away. We had packed clothes to spend Friday and Saturday nights with them to get away from the “new floor” smell.

And this is where the Robert Frost quote comes in. On very short notice (Wednesday afternoon), my brother and sister-in-law took in our little family of five for two days. We have two people with celiac disease (no wheat, rye, barley, or most oats) and one very picky eater, so we’re not the easiest of guests! We were welcomed, well-fed, and well-housed. I had a lot of fun working on puzzles; I’m so happy we’ll have room for a puzzle table in the new family room. The kids did Dance Dance Revolution and saw some movies, including Singin’ in the Rain for the first time and That’s Entertainment!, which I knew was a hit when my youngest wanted it paused so he could use the bathroom. It wasn’t even at a dance number; Gene Kelly was just talking. My boys helped make rolls from scratch and my older son did a fancy craft with his aunt. We are so thankful for our weekend home away from home.

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