It’s really crazy to think that we haven’t even been in this house a year. Especially when I think that we’re not making progress or things are moving too slow, I need to remind myself of this. This little snapshot sent me back, today:

It was taken just a few days after we closed — and mowed the lawn for the first time in months, before we found the cute little rock path to the front door, or pruned the badly overgrown hydrangea tree, rhododendrons, and lilacs. See our tilting old chimney stack on the colonial? That came tumbling down when the roof was redone.

Here’s the same shot, today:

Notice our new little chimney? It’s back… and this time… it’s USEABLE! We’ve turned to our trusty chimney guy:

Who has rebuilt the chimney, complete with a new insulated stainless steel liner:

See it poking through the old chimney? We can’t wait to plug it into the new Vermont Castings fireplace insert — which will help us heat (even in power outages) with wood cut from our property.

We went with the Vermont Castings Montpelier model mainly due to the ‘viewing area’ it offered… so many of the inserts we saw were more along the idea of something ugly you’d rather remove than actually purchase. Ours will look like this, when installed:

And remember the ridiculous what-to-do-with-the-fireplace conundrum I was going through months ago? (seriously, don’t give this girl options). We’ve decided to model this fireplace after the one in the Dining room. It’ll be plastered around the outside, and white on the surface and sides. Perfect for us to hang a barn beam mantle.

And that load of pellets you see in the garage photo above? That’s three tons of Maine premium pellets for our pellet stove. Hopefully this’ll get us though several months in the winter, though, as this is our first year heating with it through the winter, we’ll not know quite for sure.

So there’s where we’re at. The limestone slab for the hearth should be put down tomorrow, followed by the plaster work and installing the insert. Phew!!!