Tonight when I got home from work I had mail from my mom. What a treat!

DB was sitting in front of the fire he made and is right now cooking our dinner. It’s going to be a very nice night!



Warm at Last

We’ve lived in this house for 4 years now.  This will be the first winter that it will be warm and cozy in our living room.  Oh oh oh why didn’t we do this 4 years ago?

Here’s a before photo, Monday morning, looking out of the living room window to the front of the house.  See that radiator?  Who in their right mind thought that that thing was big enough to heat the living room in winter?  Who even thought that having such a small radiator was the least bit efficient?

Now here’s the NEW radiator.  Now THAT’s a RADIATOR!!

It took 2 workmen half a day to make the changeover to the new radiator.  There is actually a crawl space under the floor so they could get under there without destroying anything.  Isn’t is beautiful?

We also bought a new thermostat that is wireless.  The receiver sits next to the boiler in the attic.  The thermostat is a small white box you can carry with you all over the house.  That way, the room you are spending time in is the right temperature.  Our house is 3 stories tall.  Heat rises, so normally the 3rd level is warmer than the ground floor.  If I plan to spend several hours in the office at the top of the house, I take the thermostat with me and that room is the perfect temperature, while the ground floor is several degrees cooler.  No point heating a room you aren’t using!  I tested this out yesterday when I spent most of my day upstairs.  It worked perfectly.

The thermostat is also on a timer which DB programmed Monday night.  It automatically drops the temps at 10pm and starts to heat the house again at 6:30am.  Normally it’s at a low temp during working hours and starts to heat the house again around 5pm when we should be heading home.  Last night I taught a class in Amsterdam.  When I got home I walked in the door and immediately felt the difference a new radiator makes.  It was comfortable in the house.  Not too cold, not too warm.  I felt like Goldie Locks.

Why didn’t we do this before?  Don’t ask.  I don’t know.  Laziness?  Stubbornness?  We’re just plain slow to make changes?  I think that’s the biggest part of it.  But now we have a fantastic fireplace and an efficient heating system.  Bring on winter!


Over the last 3 days we have emptied and reorganized our storage area outside.  It’s a really small space – about 4.5 square yards/meters.  The previous owners of our house had built shelves in there using really crappy particle board and not protected it against the elements.  It was moldy and awful.  It all had to come out.

Unfortunately they built these crappy shelves like they were building a bomb shelter.  Everything was screwed into the brick walls with 3″ screws half of which were rusted and stripped.  We ended up just prying half of it off the walls and breaking it up.  Here’s all the junk we pulled out of that small space.

And here’s the shed emptied out (mostly) before cleaning and fixing up.

After we hauled all the junk to the dump (2 trips with the car) and cleaned up the walls and floor, we went to IKEA and bought bare wood storage shelves and protective stain.  After putting them together, and painting them, letting them dry and putting everything back, the finished shed looks like this.

Everything has a place, even my bike!

We’d been wanting to do this job for quite a while and it feels really good to have it done.  The really good news is that the shed is not leaking like we were afraid it might have been.  All that moldy particleboard made us afraid there was a leak we’d have to fix.  It’s just a brick and cement space without heat in a damp country that gets a lot of rain.  There’s no leak.  Yea!  Tick this chore off the todo list!