Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I Quit!

As of 10 pm tonight (Tuesday), 
I've quit my job as lead painter/sander/caulker etc.

Or not maybe I shouldn't say "quitting"....
 I'm taking a holiday. 

Tonight I clambered up on the rolling scaffold and 
gave the den and foyer their final paint coats.  



But now I'm going cold turkey 
and hanging up my brushes and grubby clothes for the week.

What's done is done and what isn't done will hold until after January 1st.  
It's time to focus on Christmas and the impending arrival of 6 family members!!

Prepare to be shocked, 
but first I'm taking a few hours for myself and getting my haircut,
then I'll putter around town looking for a Christmas gifts.  
Maybe I'll even go to the coffee shop and enjoy a latte.  

There's still no Occupancy Certificate.
I don't know where the pillow and sheets are for different beds.
Heck I don't even know where I'm going to put beds.
There are showers, but no soap or towels.
I still haven't tested out the oven and haven't unpacked any kitchen boxes.
I don't have any wrapping paper or even any presents to wrap.
The refrigerator is literally empty.  

But who cares?  Not me!
I've got "kids" coming and I'm literally a happy camper!
Somehow it will all work out.
Woohoo!!  It's Christmas!!


Monday, December 17, 2012

It's Become a Home

I know this sounds preposterous,
but today for the first time in months and months, 
I allowed myself to believe 
that there was an end to building this house.

After 20 months, it would seem logical 
that I should have been anticipating this day for ages.

But for the past six months, 
I've had such tunnel vision that I haven't been anticipating the end result.

There's been no looking forward to the prize at the end of the race.

Just keeping my head down and plowing forward day to day.
It's the only way that I've known how to keep my sanity.

One day at a time. 


Yett tonight after we cleared away the Ram-Board from the kitchen floor, 
put our old Hoosier hutch together again 
and moved my great grandmothers sideboard into the dining room, 
it felt like it was going to be home.

My home at long last.

And the remaining "one day at a time" workdays and nights in the trailer
are so few remaining
that I can at last allow myself to see the end. 

there have been fifteen months of floating and feeling unsettled. 

I've had vast stretches of time for reflection as I've been painting and sanding
and I feel certain that the work I've been doing on the new house
 is something that I've needed to do 
in order to help me fall in love with the house.

To become invested in it so that I could give it my heart.

And I have....
It's my house now 
and I love it dearly already though I haven't spent a single night inside it.

Change doesn't come easy to me.

If you remember that I'm the woman who
recently lamented the loss of her ancient clothes dryer
it's easier to put the magnitude of an entirely new home into perspective.

Pretty strange,
 I know,
but that's me.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Weekend Work

This morning, Joe unearthed the coffee pot from the storage pod 
and when I walked over to the house, 
I was greeted by the smell of fresh brewed coffee in the kitchen!

Our plumber and electrician were both working today 
(Sunday!) 
trying their best to help us get closer to the elusive occupancy certificate.

The old treadle cabinet from a local antique mall has been reincarnated
 as the half bath vanity.
The modern wading pool sink installed today, 
keeps it from being too stodgy.
And yes, the toilet works!!
Half Bath with Treadle cabinet

The newels in the foyer mean that the stairs still aren't completed,
but there's hope.
Foyer with bookcases (no vent covers)

The stair builder arrived back in town on Saturday night
and has been finalizing details for the handrail and ballusters.
Staicase looking down at winders and bookshelves

We had a longlist of chores to get done this weekend, 
and miraculously 
(and thanks to the help of friends who spent 4 hours helping us move furniture) 
we were able to get it all done.

The bulk of our furniture has been under plastic sheeting
iin the center of the bedrooms for the past 7 weeks.
We had to get it out moved out into bathrooms and halls
in preparation for the carpet which is arriving tomorrow.

All three bedrooms rooms and their closets have the final coats of paint. 
Walls, trim, doors, windows, you name it.... 

Master bedroom
I'd thought that at least one of the bedrooms would hold me up
and so I wasn't certain that I'd be able to get it done.
Yep, I proud of myself!

The electrical work and plumbing is all completed in those areas too
so with only a few small exceptions,
we'll be able to keep them off limits 
to construction traffic.

Bring on the carpet!

Refrigerator Transformation

I refuse to let another morning slide past without a blog post!

We've taken two evenings for ourselves this week:  
one for bridge (fun as always) 
and another where we "entertained" 
by making soup on the new stove for Barb and Rich.  

After our dinner, 
seated in the plastic chairs amongst the construction debris, 
we walked next door to the Krantz where I was reminded of why I moved here.

  Four pianos playing simultaneously with  over 100 people singing Christmas carols.  
An evening of pure delight and a wonderful break from our chores.

So what have I been doing the last few days?  

Prepping the newels for the return of our stair builder, 
frantically trying to get the basement bedroom painted so that the carpet can be installed, 
polyurethaning loads of trim and doors upstairs, 
and refinishing the hall bathroom vanity so that it can accept the sink.  

Plus about 100 other things and "fires" to be put out.

We've had some disasters and dilemmas (snowguards and stairs to name two).
 Still no Occupancy certificate, but we're crawling along toward the final days.

The half bath has a toilet!!  Hooray!

My only photo to share is how the refrigerator went from this 


to this!!  



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Where There's A Will

I'm coming to grips with the fact that if we even manage to get blow-up beds
or mattresses on the floor for the holidays, it'll be a miracle.

But Christmas is all about miracles isn't it?
So there's hope. 

And where there's a will there's a way.  
I love that saying.

And goodness knows I've got plenty of will.  
Maybe too much.

The long hours are beginning to show on Joe
and he's been a crabby "you-know-what" today.  

But everybody has an off day 
and he'll probably be his old self again tomorrow
after a good night's sleep.


He looks  passed out in this photo.
All I can see is his size 14's
You don't think I've worn him totally out do you?


Not a chance!
Changing the sheets in the "nose" of the trailer 
requires one to be limber and a bit of a contortionist!

I winced when I paid the price for the 5" memory foam topper.
But it's been worth every penny.
The new heated mattress pad 
means that we're officially old geezers.

But goodness, it's wonderful to climb into warm sheets 
in this cold tin can.


Knobs and pulls were installed in the kitchen 
nd the cabinets tweaked by our cabinet maker.
Just a few more days and the kitchen will be able to be cleaned!

And in an answer to my prayers:  
the refrigerator is on and working!!!  

Monday, December 10, 2012

Porch Railings: Inspiration and Local Craftsmen

The old saying about inspiration striking anywhere was true for us back in August.

We'd met with local metalworker Neil Bland a few days earlier 
and were all set to have him make the railing 
for the upper porch and exterior stairs.

Regular old metal railings with vertical bars. 
It seemed to be what we needed to do 
and wasn't something we'd given much thought to since it seemed so obvious.
Classic for sure, but also a bit ho-hum.

Then we were eating lunch on the balcony of Hillel House 
on W&L's campus when inspiration struck!

I asked Joe what he thought of the horizontal railings that were right next to our table
and he agreed that they might be just the ticket.
And doesn't everyone eat lunch with a tape measure in their pocket?
Or at least people who are building houses do!
We took a few measurements, 
snapped photos with my phone,  
and then arranged to meet Neil on the balcony at Hillel House 
so that we could show him 
our starting point for designing our railings.

And here's the result....

The first panels going in....

They're just a tad out of the ordinary 
and the horizontal rails don't obscure the view 
when you look though them obliquely. 

The talent in our small county is second to none.  
We're thrilled with the care and craftsmanship shown by Neil.

We decided to have them powdercoated and also went local...
VERY local as one of our neighbors has a powdercoating business!
The color is nearly a perfect match 
for the bronze/brown of both the lights and the windows.

For the great color match, I owe a hats off and kudos to Tiger Drylac up in Canada.
Drylac is the source for the majority of powdercoating "paint" used commercially.
Even though I was just a lowly homeowner, 
they kindly sent me large free metal samples of 6 different bronze browns 
after I called them and lamented the fact that I couldn't make a decision using
the thumbnail sized paper chip in the powdercoating catalog.

I'd never have picked the perfect color using only the catalog!


The next step is to see if we can get our inside staircase builder back 
(he's supposed to be coming this weekend)

If we can get our interior railings
 then we'll be about ready to get an occupancy!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Kitchen Chaos

How about some photos of the kitchen?
I guess one photo is all you need to see the whole thing?
The little kitchen in the trailer is getting a workout.
I'll hardly know what to do with all of the elbow room waiting for me 
across the driveway at the "big" house.

It's every bit as cluttered as the trailer kitchen....  
(that's the vanity for the half bath and the top of a china cabinet
crunched up by the island)
But with the soaring rafters and picture window they won't be easily confused!

The blue board is doing a good job of protecting the soapstone counters
and the Marmoleum floor is hopefully faring well underneath the Ramboard cardboard.

The Capital Culinarian range is a beauty and much to my surprise 
was installed without huge amount of difficulty 
or hernias to the crew (all 700 plus pounds!)

The backsplash makes me smile each time I enter the kitchen,
it adds just the right amount of color to the room.
Last night after the paint brushes were cleaned and the windows rehung,
I "cooked" on the range for the first time!  
OK so it was canned Progresso Tomato Basil Soup...
but I did add some frozen tortellini!  

It was a little silly to schlep a pot, potholder, bowls, spoons etc over to the house 
just to warm up canned soup,
but it was fun nonetheless!
After dinner I tried out the new Whirly-Pop popcorn popper.
It wasn't a gourmet meal (or even a very nutritious one) 
but after a 12 hour workday, 
it tasted delicious
and we both declared it a successful first meal on the new range.

The trailer sink is about the size of the center section of the new sink!  

 It's hard to be patient and not be cleaning and filling up drawers
but there's no point in spending time to spruce it up just to have it trashed the next day.

 We're not ready for cooking Christmas dinner that's for sure!
Leaks under the sink, refrigerator still not operational, 
no knobs or drawer pulls,
wires hanging out and junk everywhere.

But we do have some neat little things hiding amid the clutter....
Now you see it....

Now you don't!  
Pop Up "Mocketts" in the kitchen windowsill!



Saturday, December 8, 2012

Tapered Column Wall

It may not look ready for Christmas company, 

but when I put the second coat on the baseboards of the guest room today, 
I crossed that room off my list of things to do!


"F"inished painting another room!
I love that F word!

I'm not promising sheets or a working refrigerator at Christmas, 
but there is paint on the walls of the guest room!

And yes the whole crew is coming here!  


It's still primer white in the other bedroom with raw crown molding
and more hours of work than I have time for 
before I meet the first flight at the airport.

I keep telling them to pack their senses of humor;
I hope they believe me.
Today I worked on door and cased opening oak trim 
in the kitchen, drop zone and half bath
While I'd love to show off, there's no way to take a photo of a coat of satin polyurethane 
or shellac sealcoat.  

But how about something pretty?
I promised photos of what I didn't show yesterday 
over on the other side of the den

Drumroll......
The colonnade wall separating the dining room is in!   
Den, Tapered Colonnade Wall and Dining Room   (French door to porch opened inside) 
Wowzer! 
They're some serious tapered columns!
Looking into the kitchen from the den
And in the space between the foyer, den and stairwell....
bookshelves!!  

The holes that look like little bird houses at the bottom of the shelves
will be cut out for vents for air returns.  
Foyer with bookshelves
But the columns are stealing the show

 Like everything else in the house,
They're larger than you might expect
But somehow are exactly the right size for the space.

Here's a peak at the kitchen through the dining room.
I'll aim for some kitchen photos tomorrow!


It's almost time for the F word!

Is anybody still there?  
Right off the bat, I'll apologize to everyone for not responding to emails 
and reading/commenting at fellow bloggers sites. 
 
If only I could add a few more hours to a day....

Life in the trailer continues to be just fine.
We're snug (that's a nice way of saying shoehorned in here like sardines in a can),
 but all joking aside, we're warm and dry and together 
so I won't complain.  

Across the driveway from the trailer at the "big house" it's been a madhouse this week. 
Central vac, alarm, tile, HVAC, 
porch railings, appliances, exterior paint, 
and floors
were just a sampling of what was being 
tweaked, finished and worked on this week.  

In addition to all these new folks coming on the scene,
 the plumber, electrician and carpenters 
as well as the 2 man crew of "Slow-Painters-R-Us"
 have still been hard at work.
:)

Who'd have thought?
I can almost say the "F" word about a room?!!  


The mirror is scheduled to be installed next week.
The knobs are ready and waiting...
And that's ALL that's lacking in the Master Bathroom.

The "F"word?

Finished! 
 
Can you believe it?  
It won't be long before the grimy protective floor covering can get thrown away 
and I can unearth some towels from a box somewhere and relax in the tub!

Hopefully I can get in at least one hot soak before everyone arrives for Christmas!

After wasting paint and time with the first coat of Navajo White (too yellow), 
the walls now sport a final coat of BM Grant Beige.

The shower doors, recessed lights and vanity lights were installed.
I've scraped and cleaned the windows after their final coat of BM Feather Down paint.

The tile is beyond beautiful, 
thanks to Johnny Swain and Jesus .... no I'm not praying to the tile gods.
Jesus is Johnny's assistant! 

The master bedroom is also completed with the ceiling fan hung, 
windows and doors all finished and hardware on....
All it lacks is the carpet which is scheduled to be installed shortly before Christmas.  

Three coats of Waterlox sealer were put on the oak floors in the den, foyer, dining room and stairs.
I thought that the stain that we used on the doors and trim was smelly, 
Stairwell window, bookcases on landing and foyer
No railings or upper newels yet.
Looking down the stairs.... four huge winders and the bookshelves
but the odor of the Waterlox was almost as potent and lingered longer.  
View looking up the stairs from basement.  No stain yet on tapered columns
The rest of the house is a far cry from being finished, 
but at least our bedroom gives me hope that one day
I can retire my work clothes and start unpacking!    

It's after midnight, 
so that's it for today.  

I'm challenging myself to do a post a day over next 2 weeks.

Check in tomorrow for photos of the huge change
over on the other side of the den!