Monthly Archives: April 2005


Restoration Clinic et al This morning we drove to Mechanicsburg to visit Dawn’s furniture. The Restoration Clinic had prepared an exhaustive list of all the work required, and it was way out of our budget, so we needed to pare it back. Now picture four people standing in a tractor-trailer stacked floor to ceiling, trying […]


Insurance, molding, and fireplaces: just another day Today we met the insurance guy and found the only thing the mansion is insured for is lightning. Imagine, a stone house insured for lightning! Worse, there was a surcharge for having a low deductible! He’s going to re-work the numbers and let us know what a real […]


Yes!! We secured funding for most of the project today. It wasn’t cheap, and this project no longer makes any kind of economic sense whatsoever, but I suspect that’s how most of these projects go… We also met with Toni and Loren from After Eight B&B, a lovely Victorian inn on Route 30. (If you […]

MONDAY, APRIL 25, 2005

Decisions, decisions… We met with two contractors today to discuss conventional vs geothermal again. I hate to keep harping on this, but I’ve made my last ‘green’ stand on geothermal and I’m just not willing to back down, despite the costs. Dawn keeps telling me not to quote figures, so let’s just say that the […]


Two more days and I’m back in Pennsylvania for a week. I thought once Dawn was out there, there wouldn’t be anything left for me to do. Ha. I’ve still got a million things to do; just now they’re unimportant things. I think my main function right now is to move all of Dawn’s belongings […]

SUNDAY, APRIL 17, 2005

Risk-Reward Surprisingly, given how notoriously cheap I am, I insisted on hiring a general contractor. Equally surprising, given what a perfectionist Dawn is, she was willing to tackle the mansion without one. We compromised: The GC has responsibility for the “skilled” jobs, while Dawn handles the unskilled jobs, like the demo work, cleanup, etc. When […]


How to make Dawn cry First, make her quit her job, move cross-country by herself with a bare minimumm of possessions, live in a greenhouse next to her mother and without a car, and tell her to supervise a 15-month construction project. Then, throw in a low-level bureaucrat who says her papers are not in […]


Bees Dawn called me yesterday at 6:30am my time to report there were three wasps between her and the door, and she couldn’t go to work. As we talked, she managed to dispatch them with a full can of Armor-all, and now the carpet is very shiny. (She has since switched to Dow scrubbing bubbles, […]

MONDAY, APRIL 04, 2005

Professional rivalry In stripping the paint back to the plaster, Dawn found the signature for the original painter, dated 1888! Unfortunately, it was crossed out and someone else signed it 1902. Unfortunately, that was crossed out, too, and someone else signed it 1947. So if we wanted to leave this exposed, it would be a […]