We Have Walls!

It’s Memorial Day and we’re making major progress with the drywall; it’s going faster than I thought.

When the Sheetrock is installed, it’s an immediate transformation. Rooms are created with walls along with privacy. It’s also bright white with a clean look. Up until now, everything has been brown–brown studs and brown insulation paper.

The Sheetrock also makes the windows stand out more. I’m now envisioning all sorts of colors for the walls, window treatments, furniture, etc. Since I have a blank canvas/clean slate, my mind is running wild with ideas.

The decorating phase will undoubtedly be fun and exciting.


After John completed the kitchen last week, he continued with the drywall in the dining/living room. In this photo, he has a Sheetrock panel on the drywall panel lift. First, he cut out the holes for the 12 high hats followed with drywall adhesive on all the ceiling joists. (This is why guys in the trade say, “glue it and screw it.” )

The panel on the lift is ready to be installed. After the panel was in place I held it at one end until he drilled a few screws into the joists making it secure.

imageJohn left the area above the kitchen entrance open intentionally because he wants to put a time capsule in one of the four voids before closing it up.


Standing in the dining area with the ceiling finished and the east wall.


I took the above photo of the east wall in the dining area in January, when John was installing the insulation.


Standing in the same spot, I took this photo yesterday. (Windows are covered in cardboard.) To the right, John is on the ladder where it opens up to a 20 ft vaulted ceiling in the living room.


The wire between the windows is for a wall-mounted flat screen TV.


Next: The Living Room




“In Flanders Fields”

The three-day Memorial Day weekend is all about relaxing, having fun, maybe a barbecue with family and friends and hopefully watching veterans leading a Memorial Day Parade.

I wonder how many of us know the significance of the poppy? My grandfather served in France during WWI. When he was gassed, he returned to the states and was sent to a hospital in Texas.

My grandfather used to tell me stories about his WWI days. Of course, looking back, I wish I had listened more carefully and asked more questions. I distinctly remember him saying that when he returned to the states, he literally wanted to kiss the ground.


My grandfather in the 1920s

My grandfather was born in January 1899. After the war, he settled in NJ and lived there well into his nineties. Through the years he wrote me many long letters, all typed out using an old typewriter. A few of the keys would “jump.” Every single one of his 3 to 4 page letters would include stories, local and world current events, a short or long poem and a riddle or joke. He lived by himself and watched Benny Hill every night–he loved the “off-color” skits. He also watched The Three Stooges. He thought both shows were riotous.

Not too long ago, I was going through a box of old letters and came across one he sent me just before Memorial Day in 1984.

“In Flanders Fields”

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below

We are the Dead.

Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

John McCrae, a Canadian, was a military doctor. It is believed he wrote the draft for his famous poem on the evening of May 2, 1915 in the second week of fighting during the Second Battle of Ypres in Belgium.

This is where blood-red poppies growing upon the graves in the burial ground–one was the grave of his friend–inspired McCrae to write the poem.

The questions I would ask now!!!!

Don’t forget to thank a veteran this weekend! Without them, where would we be? And if you ever have the opportunity, visit Flanders during poppy season.




A Drill with Lots of Power

Thank you, Dewalt, for providing/sponsoring a pretty powerful 20 volt drill for screwing in hundreds and hundreds of drywall screws.


John has bought many Dewalt drills over the last 20 years; this is the latest one from Dewalt!


Nice and bright…


The Kitchen on Monday

The drywall is finished in the 18×18 kitchen (except for the box bay window and above the entrance).


Looking straight ahead at the backyard.


Looking left at the box bay window.


The kitchen sink will go beneath the casement window.


Looking at the east wall where the Maytag appliances will be located with kitchen cabinets. I partnered with Maytag; they sponsored Brick House 319 with products for the kitchen and laundry room.


I’m standing at the French doors looking at the entrance to the kitchen. John has started the drywall in the dining area. Interior French doors will be installed at the opening.


Now I’m standing in the living/dining room area looking toward the kitchen. I took this photo while standing on a ladder helping John install a 4×12 Sheetrock panel.