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  • Dan Schumacher

Happy Holidays!

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care. "Were" being the operative word, they have already come down. Unfortunately the gas logs weren't installed by Christmas but more on that later. It was a great week of Christmas. Tom flew in from Seattle and we went out to dinner a few nights, made our traditional Christmas dinner of standing rib roast, twice baked potatoes, green beans and pecan chocolate pie for dessert. It was probably the first and last real dinner we will prepare in the existing kitchen. Christmas day we went to see our neighbors Lynn and Corey and convinced them to come have dinner with us. After all, there was no way the three of us could eat nine pounds of roast beef. After they walked in the front door and saw the existing conditions I was pleasantly surprised they were brave enough to stay and eat. It turned out to be a very delightful evening.

Our make shift dining room table in the our "lower level apartment."

We added two leaves to the table and got a couple of chairs out of storage to make room for our Christmas guests. On one of the days we managed to find our way to the Arbor Crest winery from some wine tasting and then on to Coeur d'Alene to dinner at a nice Italian restaurant.

Taken from the scenic overlook at Arbor Crest. You can't see it but the Spokane river is right below us.

Believe it our not (believe because I have photographic proof) I did manage to get some work done since the last post. The first was to install the gas logs into the fireplace. I had been waiting on a "key" so I could turn the gas on and off at the valve. It was finally delivered on December 30th.

It is operated via a remote control and has two settings. It is nice to be able to turn it on and off and adjust the flame without having to leave the comfort of the sofa. Now if they only had a wifi model.

Since we will be dismantling the kitchen soon I figured I needed to start preparing the laundry room to be our temporary food preparation area. The wall between the laundry room and storage room needs to be demolished and rebuilt six inches over to make room for the code required insulation. Additionally I need to build the back wall which will enable me to run new PEX plumbing lines for the washing machine and utility sink as well as new electrical wires for the dryer and convenience outlets.

Original utility sink, galvanized pipes and flexible dryer duct.

The old wall separating the laundry from storage is gone.

New PEX water supply lines, relocated drain for washer, new rigid duct for dryer, and new 30 amp receptacle.

Washer and dryer operational with new partition wall.

Room for base cabinets and wall cabinets.

I have also started demolishing the rock lath and plaster on the main level. I forgot how much fun it was to swing the hammer all day long!

Window at the front of the house for the future office.

Old bedroom closet that will become part of the powder room and master bedroom closet.

I was surprised to find that there was absolutely no insulation in any of the exterior walls. Not even rolled up old newspapers. The house was built in 1951. I wonder when insulation became a standard.

Trish and I made it back to Schweitzer for our second day of skiing for the season. The conditions were just okay but the views were amazing.

You could see all the way to the mountains in Canada.

Schweitzer mountain village in the foreground. Lake Pend Oreille in the background.

Of course as soon as we got back home we jumped into the new hottub!

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