This bird was outside behind the car yesterday. It is a white broadbreasted turkey hen. They are supposed to be very good to eat, but I had to wonder if she was a little lost, there being no turkey support group in sight. Maybe she was sent to scope things out.


It is a universally acknowledged truth that a renovation project, like a software project, will take much longer to complete than anyone estimates. Imagine me explaining Agile methodologies to our two contractors, one of which was happy to get a schedule, and the other who was not.

But before I explain what has impacted our work, let me give you some good news. First, here are more photos of the office, trying to capture the color. It is a robin’s egg blue, called Watery by our hyphenated pal, Sherwin-Williams.


It’s apparently a very relaxing color.


The great room has been primed and is wearing its first coat of paint (SW Colonnade Gray). I love the way it looks with the stone fireplace. We are holding off on painting the rest of the trim so that we can decide exactly what we want to do– replace all the windows? paint the trim? Replace the trim?
The second coat is being applied today.


We drove over to Brevard on Monday to select kitchen tile. There is a wonderful builder’s supply place there called Jennings. After looking through every last type of tile and stone they had, we selected this one, shown here with a piece of wood having the same general coloring as our cabinets.


We think it will go well also with our countertops, which are Caesarstone in the color Himalayan Moon:


We were pleased that the tile is ceramic (easy to clean) and not too expensive, since we needed 500 square feet of it for the kitchen, dining, laundry and hall areas.

Meanwhile, John has been continuing the electrical work on the kitchen and there came a point in time at which he had to cut into the ceiling in the basement to find wires and plumbing and route them to their new positions. Unfortunately, when he opened a hole he was showered with what appears to be the worldly possessions and apocolyptic-anticipatory larder of a very wealthy squirrel, not to mention the liberal sprinkling of that which emits from the body of squirrels on a regular basis.

John was not wearing a mask.

John went home for the day to recover.

Brian went to the basement and pulled out a huge box full of all kinds of delightful squirrel treasures– “200 pounds” of acorns, a part of a dog leash, many granola bar wrappers, large pieces of wood and bark, pieces of insulation cleverly used to keep squirrels warm, and so forth.

(updated 6/14 to add photo– it is right and just that all except the insulation went into a box that once contained a toilet.)


Since we had patched all rodent entrances to the house last summer, we don’t think this squirrel has been here in a while, but he and his ancestors may have inhabited the palace for many many years. It brings to mind Grey Gardens and the raccoons that lived in the upstairs. For those not familiar with Grey Gardens, here is an excerpt about it from Wikipedia:

Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale (1895–1977), known as “Big Edie”, and her daughter Edith Bouvier Beale (1917–2002), known as “Little Edie”, were the aunt and the first cousin, respectively, of former US First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The two women lived together at the Grey Gardens estate for decades with limited funds in increasing squalor and isolation.

The house was designed in 1897 by Joseph Greenleaf Thorpe and purchased in 1923 by “Big Edie” and her husband Phelan Beale. After Phelan left his wife, “Big Edie” and “Little Edie” lived there for more than 50 years. The house was called Grey Gardens because of the color of the dunes, the cement garden walls, and the sea mist.[6]

Throughout the fall of 1971 and into 1972, their living conditions—their house was infested by fleas, inhabited by numerous cats and raccoons, deprived of running water, and filled with garbage and decay—were exposed as the result of an article in the National Enquirer and a cover story in New York Magazine[7] after a series of inspections (which the Beales called “raids”) by the Suffolk County Health Department. With the Beale women facing eviction and the razing of their house, in the summer of 1972 Jacqueline Onassis and her sister Lee Radziwill provided the necessary funds to stabilize and repair the dilapidated house so that it would meet village codes.

Albert and David Maysles became interested in their story and received permission to film a documentary about the women, which was released in 1976 to wide critical acclaim. Their direct cinema technique left the women to tell their own stories.

I think we are far from the plight of Little Edie and Big Edie, but they are a sobering lesson in what can happen.

We are considering that we may have to remove the ceiling from every single room in the basement and clean out everything so as not to have a biohazard on our hands. Since we recently paid good money to have the ceilings relieved of their popcorn and nicely textured, this is hard to bear. Not to mention that a certain weaver would really like to set up a loom or ten and this will be prevented for a while.

Also, my PC is very ill and decided it must rebuild all of its RAID partitions, which takes approximately 14 hours and still counting.

But the view is wonderful.