Friday, October 24, 2008

Praise the Lord, we have heat!

Drumroll, please! Yesterday around midday, Matt Troendle flipped the switch on our geothermal system. And nothing happened.  An hour or so later, after some adjustments, he tried again, and this time, the pumps started pumping, the compressor started compressing, the heat exchanger started exchanging, and the blowers started blowing lovely warm air out our vents! Glory, hallelujah. I'm not swearing, I'm really praising God for this.

It's very exciting. I'm amazed what a difference being warm has had on my general attitude. The kitchen remodel is back to being an adventure, and I am back to being able to sell the latest inconvenience to my children as just something fun and unusual (as in, "We can't walk on the kitchen floor for two days! Here, take this bridge across to the stairs to go to your rooms! And climb through this basement window to get to the basement! Yay!").

The floor that Les laid a week ago has been resting and settling to its new home, hidden under collapsed cardboard boxes for protection.  
Yesterday morning Shawn Leppert of Silver Creek Hardwood Floors came and sanded it and put down the first coating of finish, and then he came back and put down another coat another today. By this evening, we will be able to walk across it in stocking feet, and by Monday we can cover it with kraft paper to protect it while the cabinet makers do their work. The fridge needs to stay in the dining room for at least another couple of weeks, most likely, and the stove needs to stay on the porch. The lovely grain of the wood jumps out now with the finish to accentuate it.

One really neat thing is that while he was here, Matt and his assistant Aaron replaced the gas line from the propane tanks outside to my kitchen stove hookup with a larger gauge pipe, so whenever the stove is hooked up again, it will get much more fuel. Right now it's hooked up to a 5-gallon propane bottle and it just goes to town.  A pot of water boils in, like, 4 seconds. Well, not quite. But close. They also added a line to the family room so someday we can get a ventless propane stove to keep us cozy on cold, dark winter nights. We can snuggle by the light of a pseudofire instead of by the lights of the XBOX for a change!

Another really neat thing about this whole remodel project is how we have been blessed with good workers. They may run into glitches, but they fix them, and they are honest, hard working people, and I don't ever feel unsafe letting them into the house. I know I take that for granted far too much. When your house is being remodeled, you invite all kinds of people in to see you as you really are. They see how you interact with your kids, they see how good or bad a housekeeper you are, they get to know your pets (in our case, they get to know the pets more than any of them probably ever wanted to).  It's a good thing to feel confident that these are honest, kind people who are seeing us with our... well, I was going to say, "with our pants down," but I sure hope that hasn't happened. (Anybody out there ever see "The Money Pit"? With Tom Hanks and Shelly Winters? Yes, that's what I was thinking of, too.)

Shawn Leppert is our latest blessing of a workman. He is so careful, really a professional. He did a lovely job on finishing these floors. And he likes chickens and dogs and guinea pigs and old houses, and he met his wife at Bible college, and he works with the youth ministry in his church. He's pretty great, and his wife, with whom I have spoken several times now on the phone, is also lovely. We're glad to have added them to our list of "nice new people we have gotten to know while our house was in tatters."


Shallowsister said...

Whew, answered prayers! We're so glad the heat is on!! Curious: how did you make a bridge to go upstairs?

Northeast Iowa Mom said...

The bridge was a couple of long boards screwed to a couple of short cross-pieces at the ends - one end goes on the stairs, the other on the floor out of the finishing zone.

It's snowing today, but I laugh - Ha! - I laugh in the face of it.