Progress! The ceiling started coming down today!
I started doing this while James was outside playing with his new toys (an engine and an air compressor...he loves tax return time).
This is the top of the door between the dining room and living room. That is the lines from where the top trim piece was removed. And you can see it looks like the plaster was never painted under it, and that when it was removed the wall cracked. There is a crack in the same place above each door and window where the trim was removed. Obviously it didn't want to be removed.
This is our new chandelier. That's right...I won! James wanted a fan, I wanted a light. And I got it. Its not really what I wanted, but it works for now. It matches the house style and was in our price range ($35 at Menards).