A fairly recent, but very exciting, development in our house is that we're having our wiring replaced this week. We've known since before buying the house that this needed to be done at some point (I'll never forget the expression of horror on our real estate agent Christine's face when the inspector peeled back some insulation in the basement and pronounced "knob and tube") but we haven't done anything about it in the four years we've lived here. Instead we've lived with the knowledge that you can't operate the toaster and the microwave at the same time, with one outlet per bedroom, with one outlet in the kitchen (when the electrician came for the estimate, he looked around the kitchen, then stared at me: "How have you survived?"). But our tax returns were especially generous this year, so we decided to take care of it before the froglet arrives.
At some previous point in the house's history, someone who didn't do any research into the hazards of knob and tube wiring installed roll insulation around the wiring in the basement and then covered it with sheet rock. This is bad; the tube part of the wiring can get extremely warm and the insulation makes the whole thing a huge fire risk. Basically, we're lucky the house is still standing. The electrician we're using gave us a quote that included removing all the insulation and sheet rock; we decided that we'd rather spend that money on having them install an attic fan instead. So we gathered the troops and had a good old fashioned demo day today.
Well, more accurately, everyone else had a demo day. I stayed upstairs and outside and was scolded every time I went into the basement. My aunt Virginia and Jill and Christian came over and helped Morgan kick butt; they tore down the sheet rock and pulled out the insulation in just over two hours. Jill also ventured outside for a while and helped me clear out the overgrown rose bushes and weeds along side the house so that the electricians can get to the service head. All and all, we have amazing family, and we're very grateful for everyone's help.
Overall I'm very excited to know that our house will be safer, hopefully cooler, and that we won't need to worry about running the computer and fish tank chiller at the same time anymore. I'm a little concerned about herding cats to keep them out of the electricians' way and about dealing with an uber anxious dog (he was so stressed out about all the activity in places he couldn't go that he hasn't eaten dinner yet), but it will only be a day or two, and - best of all - I'm taking a day off to stay home with the pets tomorrow. Any day off work is worthwhile.