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Maybe we should start with ‘the before picture’. It doesn’t do last year’s winter fires justice — because they are all gone — except in our hearts:) But this is last week, stripping it out.

It’s Friday…

Liam’s hammering away in the living room. Vacationing neighbors across the lane just came by to lend a hand and heave-ho the massive oak beam we have oiled and sanded, which now becomes the mantle of our new hearth. It is perfect.


Chimney swept…check.

T-pipe secured, cap in place…check.

Mortar jimmied betwixt and between…check.

It’s Saturday.

We’ve reconfigured the how-to for laying and leveling cement block on the floor — the new hearth. We’re re-thinking and thinking again. Googling also:)

Today’s Monday…

We’re nearly there…two days ago we measured and cut stone by stone, the underfloor for the hearth. Yesterday we took the puzzle apart, poured mortar, made a roadmap, and put it all back together again. Today, we tile.

So there’s tile and grout to do, the stove to pop into place, all before Thursday morning when we sail to Ireland…Liam will be on Irish soil with his father for the first time:)

Next post will surely be the finished hearth!