01 May 2009

May Day!

My 13 year old daughter, code named Ocelot, joined a Morris dance team, Banbury Cross Morris and Sword last fall. Since Morris dance traditionally welcomes summer, the big performance season is mid to late spring. May Day is traditionally the day Morris teams "dance up the dawn", dancing in downtown Cambridge, MA, USA, at ... yup, dawn.

Last week, Banbury Cross danced at NEFFA, and next weekend they have two gigs: Ginger Ale in downtown Boston and Lilac Sunday at the Arnold Arboretum. If you are in the Boston area, come watch!

Here are some videos of the team from this year's NEFFA.

My House is Coming Apart — and It's Good!

The remodeling saga continues ...

2 weeks ago, the plumber got started on replacing our boiler. We had been given bids from 3 plumbers, and 2 said they could do the job in one day. Hah! It took two plumbers 4 days to install the new boiler, make the plumbing connections, make the electrical connections, install the hot water storage tank, turn the whole thing on, then remove the old boiler. And they still have a full day left, to put in the new oil tank.

And Wednesday night, we got a call from the architect: "the framer wants to get started tomorrow." Tom (and his crew, dubbed the Merry Men, even though Framer is not named Robin) came at 7:30 Thursday and got busy.

And how! I left to walk Climber to school, when I got back at 8:45, they had moved the heavy junk out of the back work area, removed the ground-level deck, and had a fair number of the shingles stripped off. They discovered a concrete patio under the rotten ground-level deck. And by the time they broke for lunch at 10:45, they removed the rest of the shingles (where the addition will be) and the main level deck. An entire dumpster had come, been filled, and gone. The back yard was transformed.

[We were planning on removing the upper deck ourselves, and planned to have friends come and take an entire weekend. The Merry Men did the same work in about an hour. They are worth every penny of their wages.]

The rest of the day was spent in building a temporary wall in the basement (we get the relocated washer and dryer and a bit of storage space, they get the rest) removing back wall trim, and making the opened wall weather-proof.

Today they were back. They gutted their part of the basement, removed the bench seat from the kitchen, stood around while we watched a storage pod being delivered, and still were able to knock off early.

So, we have our assignment for the weekend. We have to pack up the kitchen, dining room and part of the living room, so the Merry Men, with the help of the plumber and electrician can move our stove and sink counter into the living room. At that time, they'll board up the living-dining room opening, and put a door on the front hall - kitchen opening, and take over the entire back half of the house.