Monday, February 11, 2008

So much for birding, building

UPDATED--with pics. BTW we're having a big snowstorm today, and I'm hoping my calculus class gets CANCELLED. Keep your fingers crossed!
UPDATED AGAIN!--Class was cancelled! And I took a personal day today! I'll go out in a while and get some snow pix!

This weekend, I was supposed to go birding with my pal Roana, her parents, and some other bird clubbers, but we had a little problem with the weather:
Okay, okay, that's just a stock photo of a New York blizzard. Here's how it really looked:

All right, you caught me again--that's another photo taken in New York in 1888. Truth: I was so freaked out by the horizontal-blowing snow that I just didn't even think to take a picture.

Back to the point, however, I did not get to go birding. We were supposed to make a trip over to see a Bullock's Oriole that's been wintering near here, and then we were going to go OWLING! I really wanted to go, because the Bullock's and the anticipated Short-Eared Owl would've been lifers, and I haven't had a lifer in a while. But the snow was pretty heavy on Saturday, and on Sunday we had downright blizzard-like conditions. It was snow like I'd never seen before, and I basically stood at the kitchen window for about two hours watching it and hoping we didn't lose our electricity.

The other thing I didn't get to do was go to Lowe's during said blizzard to buy some drywall. See, we're re-doing the kitchen, and I had to tear down a section of the drywall after we ripped out a cabinet that was held in place by about three thousand nails:

That's six nails (each two inches long) in a space of about nine inches.

This -er- construction technique is typical of the Marsh House; whoever built this place believed in nails--lots of nails--as the solution to any and all carpentry projects. They also loved staples, those u-shaped brads that hold cords and stuff, and did I mention staples and nails? When we first moved in, we ripped out the carpets only to find that
1. the tacking strip was nailed down not just by the little nails that come already in the tacking strip but by 2-inch nails spaced every three inches as well. Lest that carpet be blown away, I guess.
2. the pad under the carpet was both glued and stapled to the floor; the staples occurred at a rate of about 15 per square foot. Not. Effing. Funny. But I digress.

So we ripped down the cabinet and pretty much put all kinds of holes into the drywall. That's when we discovered this:

While our house was built with plenty of wood and metal fasteners, it was built so long ago that no one thought to put in any sort of insulation. Not hundred-dollar bills, or an original draft of the Constitution. Not old magazines. Not newspapers. Not nuthin! Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, our walls consist of barn boards covered by drywall! To be completely honest, there is another layer: ancient asbestos siding on the outside. Nice.

So--here's my hand, poking through a space in between the barn boards:

The kitchen is a pretty cold place right now, what with the wind blowing through the wall and everything.

But that snow was amazing.


FranIAm said...

wah... no photos showing!

Rabbits' Guy said...

Wah Ha .. no photos for me either ... boxes with xs! But - your words painted a vivid picture! Glad it is not me on that project! Good luck and keep warm!

dguzman said...

Hey what's with the boxes with xs??? Hang on. I'll fix this situation!

Susan Gets Native said...

A lot funnier with the pictures.
But I still wanna see the hole in the wall!

FranIAm said...

Top photos of NY blizzard showing... and then nothing!

How you taunt and tease!

pissed off patricia said...

I wish I could see the photos but I'll just have to use my imagination. Sounds like the person who built the house didn't want anything to blow away so he used all the nails and tacks and whatever he could find.

Just wanted to let you know all your robins are down here and doing fine. I know that because they are eating red berries and pooping all over our driveway. That's our sign of winter down here.

dguzman said...

Okay--I think I got all the pics done. I don't know why they didn't show before because they did on my home computer. So sorry to tease and tantalize so cruelly, Fran! I made new little versions and put them up, and let's hope they are viewable!

PoP--glad to know they're okay. Actually, we've gotten a few early birds up here lately, and they're also eating these red berries and kinda loopy! The berries are really old so I guess the birds are getting lit!

Owlman said...

Hmm, looks like fun! I started my basement project a couple of weeks ago and round 1 is done.

Round 2 is more complicated so I'm taking a union-mandated break at the moment. I did almost complete moving the shelves at the back of the basement and this weekend I have to paint drylock on the cinder block-yippppeee. I guess we're staying busy and out of trouble. I've been thinking about going owling, but with the basement project going on they are mere thoughts!

BTW, I had the nail guy stop in at my house some time too......

Earl Cootie said...

Ooooh, I've run into that Glue + Staples on the Carpet Pad = Double+ Good thing before. Not effing funny is right. I recall tears being shed.

Sorry you didn't get to go birding. Bullock's Oriole is on my life list too! (Though it's rumored that there are buttloads of them over here.)

dguzman said...

Owlman--could you come and do my basement too? Of course, it needs all kinds of work--I have the old stone and mortar work plus some areas with cinderblock, and it all needs to be re-mortared and drylocked. Oy vey.

Earl--yeah, it was a drag. Maybe next weekend.

Mary said...

Wow, Delia. First, I'm glad you had a nice snow day. Second, I'm glad you didn't lose your electricity.

Now, about that lack of insulation. My goodness - that room must be freezing cold.

FranIAm said...

Holy Moly! Wow - so little between you all and the elements.

Stay warm and stay well beautiful girl.

Anonymous said...

love those old photos!