Monday, March 25, 2013

Jumpstart, relocation, and more demolition

What an interesting weekend. Ghon was experiencing a rapid heart rate early this week. After a few appointments with his cardiologist, it was determined that he neesed a cardio version on Friday. I brought his sister Cindy home with me again on Thursday night. Cindy hung out at the house Friday while I took Ghon to Frederick Memorial Hospital for his procedure. Cardio version is a shock that stops the heart. The idea is that the shock stops the heart, and therefore the irregular rate. The heart then restarts, or in Ghon's case, the pacemaker kicks in and restarts the heart. We had to leave by 4:30am to be at FMH by 6am. The procedure takes all of about 2 minutes, but he needed to have an IV inserted and receive anesthesia. As the drugs went into the IV, I left the room and was gone for about 5, maybe 10 minutes before the doctor came to get me. After one low dose shock, Ghon restarted and was ticking away at a comfortable 60 beats per minute.

Waiting for something to happen.

139 beats per minute while laying down. Insane cardiac rhythm.

Getting the IV. Ghon hates needles.

Attaching the shock pads. One to the chest, one to the back.

Ghon was in this room the entire time. After the shock pads were attached, they hooked them up to the defibrilator and plugged it in - that's it on the bedside table to the left.

A dose of anesthesia to knock him out, a quick low voltage shock, a pacemaker restart and ahh, a nice rhythm and back to 60 bpm. Check out that blood pressure though!

Post procedure wake up with a little cranberry juice.

Doctor's orders were that Ghon "take it easy" on Friday and no operation of machinery. The restrictions were due to the anesthesia, not the procedure itself. After stopping for breakfast, we headed home where we all took a short nap then loaded into my car for work at the farm. Ghon did have a few phone calls to make: we had MORE lumber delivered and we had to pay for the overage on our dumpster. The fee for the drop-off included 3 tons. Turns out we loaded that sucker with 4.2 tons. When I think about how much we didn't put in - all the lumber, furniture frames, boxes, sink, and bathtub - I can't imagine what it would have weighed with all of it added.

We also decided with 100% certainty that we are now going to put the stairwell back into the living room. This will add the original structural support that was necessary and also give an alternate escape route from the upstairs should one ever be needed. I am stoked that Ghon wants to add under the stair cabinet and drawer storage! Once at the house, our work was surrounded by outdoor tasks since it wasn't too cold. We used some dog kennel fencing to create the run and cinder blocks left in the woods to make a coop. Repurposing at it's best! We burned demolition debris for about 2 hours and called it a night.

On Saturday, Ghon had a meeting at work, so Cindy and I took the kids to a Easter egg hunt in town.

Jonathan and Genevieve with their friend Payton.
Jonathan and the Easter Bunny.

After a quick shopping trip, we met up with Ghon at the farm to get to work. I desperately wanted to get the logs cleaned in the living room, so that's where I started off. I had the left side of the fireplace to scrub clean. After I finished knocking off the plaster, I dusted the logs. I took this picture on Sunday, giving the dust plenty of time to settle. Here's the finished product! Once the stone work and rechinking is complete, I plan to use another wire polishing brush on a drill to polish the logs off.

These logs will stay exposed in the room. We are thinking about removing the small filler logs and chinking between the larger logs, which will result in larger white stripes.

Just a reminder of what it looked like before I started.

While I scrubbed logs, Ghon and Cindy poked around their Dad's old workshop and looked at the trash piles and came up with their game plans. Cindy worked one of the trash pits left behind, sorting scrap metal, pure trash, plastics, glass, and reusable items, like tools, tarps, and wood to burn.

To make things a little easier, Ghon pulled Tim's 4-wheeler out to help haul down bagged trash from the pile. He knew my Dad, Les, had been interested in riding, so after a quick lesson, Dad was tooling around the yard and went for a trip up the hill. We had the kids with us all weekend and Dad was a big help watching them play outside in the late morning/early afternoon.

Dad on his maiden 4-wheeler ride.

Dad and Luke

Ghon bounced around between inside and outside work. The biggest outside project was relocating the chickens to their new home outside. We were a little nervous about the move since we are expecting snow on Sunday, but they have really outgrown their indoor box home.

Once Tim arrived, Ghon, Tim and my Dad, worked on adding an extra joist - or double sistering one of the three remaining joists. They were able to get one set complete and Tim and Ghon were able to measure out the remaining three joists before calling it a night. A 4th Sunday of the month tradition, we took Aunt Cindy to pancake breakfast at the firehouse. After loading up on pancakes and sausage, the Eckleys headed to the farm and were joined by Kevin.

The kids got settled in their own special room upstairs. The day before, we brought a DVD player and a couple movies and a blanket for them to hang out on. Today, they got a little crazy, creating a "house", covering themselves up, and yelling for me to look at them every 5 minutes! The room they are in has a bathroom, and thankful, Ms. Independent has no problem taking herself.

Portable DVD player, blanket, hard hats, books and a play phone.

This was taken after one of the "Mommy! Mommy! Come see us!" requests.

Ghon and Kevin were able to work on double sistering the joists. There were a few that had one sistered joist, but Ghon was adding seconds. The last one proved a bit tricky, and it was time for Kevin to head out to his own carptentery project.

Only the far right joist needs a little help, the rest are secured and standing with no support!

Cindy and I tackled the kitchen. We wanted to remove all the lathing from the ceiling, and from the walls currently exposed. I had started some of this on Saturday, and Tim and Ghon did the first weekend they demoed the room. It is an incredibly disgusting job. There is so much mouse poop in the ceiling - its unreal. I found a decayed wasp nest and a mouse nest in the ceiling on Saturday.

Wasp nest in the ceiling.

Nest, plaster, poop. Yuck.

Cindy went to town on the ceiling, and I worked another section then the walls, especially near the trimwork. We carried out all the lathing to the burn pile, and Cindy cleaned up the plaster and as much dust as possible from the floor.

Whack, bang, boom! Cindy worked that crow bar to rip out the lathing.

The dust was insane! That's me, going after another strip. I don't dare work in there without head coverings and was SO mad that I left my eyegear at home.

Kitchen wall after the strips were removed. This wall backs up to the dining room.

Ceiling and side wall shot - after clean up. The counters were COVERED in yuckiness.

Cindy got a little creative with the vacuum cleaner.

With the pending snow storm, we decided that I would take Cindy home and stay at her house to avoid driving in snow in the morning. We still needed to get back to MD in a reasonable hour. Once I left, Ghon would be left with the kids, so after Kevin left and we finished what we could inside, we shifted operations outside. Ghon fashioned a small roof for the young chicks and I used the massive tarp from the dumpster to cover all of our lumber in attempt to protect it as much as possible.

While Ghon might not feel like much was done this weekend, we did get a chicken run and coop made, sistered the remaining joists and removed floor supports, removed all the lathing and plaster from the kitchen, and made a big dent in the trash pile. For a weekend that started with a cardiac procedure in the hospital, I'd say it was a very productive weekend.

Next weekend will probably include packing up the "keeper" finds from the attic to put back into the attic in labeled, plastic (mostly mouse proof bins) and hopefully Ghon can get the last joist fixed. We have friends coming down this way from MA so Saturday will be a break day while we spend the day in DC with them. Looking forward to it!

1 comment:

  1. This was a busy day for all of you! Based from the photos you posted, it seems that there is still a lot of work to be done. Renovating a house on your own is really a big challenge, especially if unexpected turn of events happen, like the pending snow storm you mentioned. I just hope it didn't create damage on your house. Lastly, I hope Ghon is feeling better now!

    Kayce @