So, without further ado:
The Mandala House Library Project.
This is what the air in the WHOLE HOUSE looked like for five days. This is also why you don't take flash photos in dusty rooms. Aheh heh.
By the next morning, enough of the dust had settled that we could take the photo, but you can STILL see the miasma hanging in the air. You can also see, on the right-hand wall, where great swaths of paint just peeled free of the STILL WET plaster underneath. I pulled those down with my fingers, and no particular effort at all. Clearly, that wall had to go. At the top of the wall, you can just glimpse the hunter green paint they'd had on the wall when they dropped the ceiling, and the foot or so of height that we're going to be recapburing with this repair. What this picture does NOT show you, is that each of those cross beams is studded with hand forged iron nails, one inch apart along the length. Those were holding the lath up, and while I wasn't able to save as many as I'd like, I do have a couple for souvenir/house charms.
The next day brought the wet wall down, and the plumbing for the 'new' sink brought into place in the upstairs bathroom. You see, we bought the replacement sink a year and a half ago, but hadn't had the money to get the work done before this. Now, given that the wall is open, it's practically nothing to just take out the whole problem-sink -- the one that caused the leak in the first place, the one that's frozen every year we've lived here, -- and put the new one in. Call us silly, call us Nancy, and call us late for dinner, but don't call us un-opportunistic. That's also why you can see the electrical cables in the ceiling now -- there were no overhead lights before in that room, but since we have the ceiling open anyhow, now is the time to get them in place. You can also see the plank subflooring here, where they ripped the old floor up. As near as we can tell, the old floor was made up of hardwood lath pieces, laid out in a nifty pattern, surface nailed, and then polished up on the topside. Because back then, labour was dirt cheap, and it was the materials they made the most of. We weren't a disposable culture back in the 1840's... unless you were talking about people.
Here's the other end of the room on the same day. You can see that the floor there is intact, still. That's what we're going to be matching.
Then we had the weekend.
And this was Monday. They framed in the new wall and archway -- I'd been visualizing that arch higher up, but they're matching it to the entryway arch's dimentions, so I can't complain. And they put in a LIGHT SWITCH! No, you don't understand, it's an actual SWITCH! In the WALL! And it will turn on the lights in the whole rest of the room! Maaaaagically! Also note: Ceiling board! Yey!
Mountings for the ceiling fan, and also for the mantle lights visible here. The rough area up by the ceiling is going to be covered with a 1x12 white pine board, as a skirting mount for the crown molding that will eventually go into the room. That will be something that will wait awhile in the Library, because we'll have to get the built in shelves done before that'll be ready, but for the TV parlour, we'll be moving a bit faster.
Today they're piecing in the last of the ceiling drywall, installing the ceiling fixtures (I think,) and possibly getting the sheetrock up on the wall. Which means, once the taping and mudding is done, we can begin to vacuum up the dust that's bloody well all over the place, and stop living in a pile of dessicant! Yooray!
But best of all?
there's a light switch!