The fireplace should be finished today – as far as the brickwork goes. Then Glenn will be doing all the final work including paneling and trim, and the mantle. But I thought you might like to see some of the progress that happened this past week.
This picture shows how things looked after the masons put in the new fire bricks for the floor of the fireplace, as well as the little grate with a basket underneath which will allow us to remove ashes. Also – all the brick along the sides and in the middle is the new brick – you can tell because the mortar is dark gray instead of light. This brick needs to be here to protect the walls from the heat of the fires we will someday have – so it’s pretty important! But none of it will be visible when the fireplace is finished.
Not much else to say at that point – except we could tell there was forward progress finally instead of the demolition we kept doing to it.
This is the pile of sand sitting on the driveway that the masons are using to mix with the mortar. They have a little mixing machine that sits on 2 wheels and is hitched to one of their trucks. They put sand, cement mix, and water from the hose in that little mixer and mix it all up.
The kids have spent some time standing around watching the guys as they lay the brick. Kate told me that when the mortar consistency looks just right, the guys say, “Soup’s on!”. The kids think this is hilarious. Some of the girls have spent lots of time making their own “mortar” with sand from the sandbox, a small blue bucket and my gardening trowel. They’ve built a little town with 2 houses so far, and more to come, out on the circular concrete pad that used to be the foundation for the grain bin in the field next to us. I should have taken a picture of the leftover mortar and my sticky trowel which I found sitting in the garage when they stopped work for the day… it reminded me of the many mudpies my sisters and I made when we were kids. Of course our mud pies were made with dirt and water and leftover chicken pot pie tins. Much less sophisticated to be sure.
And here is one more shot of the progress… The firebox in the middle has the damper in place over it, the cinder block goes along the sides and will be covered over with MDF board and trim.
It was about this point that I started losing sleep at night – wondering what in the world we are doing. Are we making it better?? Or not?