And below is evidence that the HVAC contractors have been at work:
Actually, the picture above also shows off the work of our masonry contractor, who built the stone pillar between the two large ducts. When we bought the Einsel House there was one large hole here. The stone threshold in the doorway above that large hole was literally falling into the basement, and we're still not sure how the large timber in the middle of the picture was held up before the masons built the new pillar to support it.
But for the final picture today I have to return to the HVAC crew. I'm afraid that sometime this week one of their employees has to venture into the space under our kitchen. This didn't get done before New Year's because they had to wait for the "skinny guy". The picture below simply does not do justice for how completely nasty the poor Skinny Guy's job was/is.
Even a skinny guy will have his back scratched by the floor joists above him as he army-crawls through this nastiness. And as you can kind of tell, the ground is a rocky mess, which has to be hard on the stomache in such cramped quarters. And of course you have to figure there's also the usual crawlspace accoutrements of spiderwebs, spiders, and mice carcasses in various states of decay. I feel for you, Skinny Guy, I do.
In fact, I feel so badly for you that after leaving the house Sunday I mixed up a batch of brownies intending to leave them at the Einsel House for you. But unfortunately my tried and true best ever brownie recipe (one whole cup of cocoa goodness and more sugar than flour, yum!) is with all my cookbooks locked in a storage unit for which we are paying $48.15 a month in rent. And the runner-up recipe I pulled from the internet Sunday night produced pathetic dry lumps that didn't even deserve the title of "brownies". So, Skinny Guy, I'm sorry. Some frosty winter day in the future, when I'm baking gooey, rich brownies in my snug and warm Einsel House kitchen, I'll think of you and be grateful for the hideousness you were willing to endure this week. But tonight I'm stuck refilling my kids' milk glasses as they work on the crumbly brown mess sulking on the kitchen counter.