With a house leaking wind and snow (yes, we even got snow inside!), it was vital that, holidays or not, John continued the renovations of the house. The week before Christmas he began the kitchen. There were several layers of ceiling to be removed, and this was the absolute worst thing to live through.
Under the suspended ceiling that we have lived with for years, there was a yellow sheetrock-type ceiling. Under that was gold flocked wallpaper. And under the wall paper was sheetrock and insulation. Under the insulation was the original plaster ceiling from 110 years ago. It was disgusting. It held a century of filth and dust. There were squirrel and mouse skeletons and scat. When the plaster came down, it created an awful rolling cloud throughout the house. I failed to wear a mask, despite John's warnings, and the next day (the Wednesday before Christmas) I was barely able to breathe and was at the clinic getting asthma treatments.
John cleaned and vacuumed and cleaned and shoveled debris as I used a nebulizer and masks at home. I have slowly gotten better, but the doctor thinks that until we can open the house in the spring, I will be using extra asthma meds for months. At least now, in the middle of January, I am able to help John a teeny tiny bit, go to work and continue my housework and cooking.
The photographs in this post go up to right after Christmas. The entire area is now studded and sheet rocked. Windows have been moved, new windows have been installed and now the house is clean and tidy. I have half of a kitchen for cooking.
The new living room, dining room, kitchen and another dining area will be open. But every wall had to be rebuilt. The foundation had to be repaired. The sill that the house sits on had to be fortified. And the house had to be jacked and leveled. The construction spilled upstairs to the bedroom above the kitchen and into the basement and original living room.
We had no choice but to continue with the ceiling demolition while the house was closed. But if we have to do more ceilings in the future, I will need to leave or we will do it in the summer.
I am so grateful to my husband for cleaning up the filth that was in the house. I always wondered why I was sick more often here in Vermont but never ever sick in New Hampshire. Now we know why.
We found wonderful artifacts inside the walls, including newspapers and porcelain devices for wiring the walls early in the last century. We found how the original house was originally laid out in four rooms downstairs with different window configurations.
More photos in the future will show you how the kitchen has evolved!