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Have Yourself A Merry Little Frostbite

So as of 11/30, we still have no heat in the house due to the chimney needing to be cleaned. So mom’s been freezing to death every weekend while Dad…well I’d imagine it’s just a minor inconvenience to the man who’s history includes wearing shorts during a snowstorm. Luckily Dad’s meeting with someone this week about that. On top of that, I, once again, wasn’t present on Saturday working the post Black Friday rush so I’ll do my best to translate notes. And touch on the elevator which I forgot to talk about in my last post. (Let’s face it, the post was long enough as it was, right?)

So the main project was finishing ripping out the walls of the largest bathroom upstairs which we’ll split down the middle into two. Removing the walls was harder than anticipated (as Dad put it, “A pain in the ass” according to Mom’s notes).

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Where the bathroom used to be.

They also removed the hot water heater which will be replaced with a tankless water heater. Apparently they’re awesome sauce and as I stand waiting on the shower to heat up later, I’m sure I’ll be yearning for it. Seriously, it takes forever for the water to heat up in the house we’re living in now. Grr. But back on topic because I’m straying again. Mom says it was a forty gallon water heater but after a certain number of trips to dump water from the deck she’s thinking it was larger.

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Draining the hot water heater looked…fun…

There’s a spot in the kitchen by a pipe that’s been wet, and apparently four days later was still wet. Mom’s worried. Dad says it’s due to sealing where the pipe comes out into the attic and water gets in because spots around vents in the roof aren’t sealed yet. Mom doesn’t fully believe him. I choose not to panic until I know I need to. This is the only way I get through Christmas in a retail management position. Well, that and coffee. But I digress again. I really should finish my coffee before writing.

Of course, as I read through these notes I come across, (for the third time) “New plan!”. Not much change in this one though, in comparison to the other times. Just means utilizing the hallway leading to the bathroom door and door to the outside for the kitchen. Or as mom put it “Mama needs a bigger kitchen”. Also, this happened.

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My father, ladies and gentlemen.

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This is perfectly ordinary behavior for him.

Mom sent this to me and thought it weird that I only responded with “Woah, no walls.” I thought it weird that she found that sort of behavior out of character for him after thirty years of marriage. Thirty years today actually, it’s their anniversary.

Oh! I should talk about the elevator, because I almost forgot again.


If it didn’t take an hour to get there I’d run and take a clearer picture of the elevator for you all.


Top of our hundred year old elevator.

We have one of those. A hundred years old this year, it was built with the house/store. It was also the first elevator in the county and went from the basement to the second floor. Very useful for transporting merchandise without taking the stairs. Right now it’s not operational, having been disconnected by the previous owners to avoid joyriding tenants. Also, I can’t spell tenants right because of David Tennant. Thanks Doctor Who.

It doesn’t go to the basement anymore due to the previous owner building in a floor underneath it. (There’s not much reason to take it to the basement anymore anyway) Right now it’s sitting at the ground floor but we’re considering raising it to the second and doing the same, building a floor underneath it so it will sit there. Last plan was we didn’t intend to use it and quite frankly, I have two large cats that have a habit of falling of the couch so I’m terrified they’d fall off the railing and down the elevator shaft. Therefore, I’m all for this plan and it’ll give us a little more space because, you know, we totally don’t have enough space in this house…


Doors on the left side of the house, next to the elevator.

That’s the elevator off to the right of the doors. They used to pull the carriages up to them and unload directly into that room and the elevator. Dude, I still can’t believe I’m gonna be living there.

In closing I’ll leave you with the last of the notes. We don’t have a ficticious dead dog named Steve, sources (AKA, the previous owners) tell me, so mom named our new stove Steve. Because someone had to carry the name Steve.

Finally, in planning the new kitchen, dad began rocking back and forth. I think all the talk of cabinets and layouts and why we can’t have that sink because it doesn’t look right to the period of the house is getting to him.

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Too much planning, Dad?

I’ve also figured out exactly how the store is going to be decorated for Christmas next year. I’m going to need garland. Lots and lots of garland. What? I can’t be there so what else do you expect me to do? Man, I’d love to have some long needled pine cone accented lit garland to go all the way around the banisters and the supports downstairs…Wait, long needled pine cone accented garland is how much? How much do I need?

Bottom of the stairs and the old office

Bottom of the stairs and the old office


Landing at the top of the stairs.

…That’s gonna be a lot of garland. I think I’ll need to sell my car.



  1. gee Rachel like the way you write. the hose looks great. the cats and I need the elevator. It must work…..ha cN NOT WAIT TH SEE THIS HOUSE.love you all

  2. Robert W says:

    Nice read thanks Rachel

  3. Heidi says:

    Actually our anniversary is tomorrow but we all know how you are about remembering dates.

  4. Grandma says:

    Rachel, cant. Wait to see in person, when done. Gramps was excited about the house, for you all. Sure do miss him. Love grandma

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