Sunday, May 31, 2009

T - 12 Days, and Counting...

Today is the last of May. Tomorrow starts the month in which we will actually move into our new house. This is the moment that we have been dreaming about and planning and watching come to fruition for 4 years now. I am feeling relatively calm about it this morning, but those obsessive-compulsive tendencies that I'm known for are simmering just below the surface, and threatening to explode in the face of the next person that makes direct eye contact with me.

J and I have finished our last full day of Kindergarten. It makes me a bit nostalgic when I think about it a lot...that my baby is growing up, and that recent lost tooth is going to be just another day in the life after a couple of weeks. Mostly though, I am thrilled! It was tough being a teacher when I never expected to be one. Over all, I'm glad we did it, AND I'm glad we're done. Today we are celebrating by eating out at Red Lobster (her choice), and for the next 2 weeks I am planning on several outings to take our minds off the fact that there is still a lot to be done before we can move our beds in.

Meanwhile, I am trying to tie up some last minute details. I ordered drapes and 100 cabinet knobs in the past week (not quite as expensive as the light bulbs, but a close second.) I have been thinking about towel racks and curtain rods and toilet paper holders...all of those mundane necessities of life. I'm hoping that the house can be ready to live in soon after we are handed the keys.

All the while, things keep happening out at the house. Last week they finished up the kitchen/dining room ceiling, and put in the kitchen cabinets. It has a log cabin feeling in there now, and the galley-type kitchen has become quite cozy. There are several things about the cabinets that we are not thrilled with, but overall, they are great. JP is of the mindset that our "dream kitchen" should be perfect. Perhaps I should think that way, but I grew up (as did he, really) in the "make do with whatever" mode, so I am planning to do just that. This photo is taken from the dining room, looking toward the pantry. The cupboard just behind our scratch-and-dent range hood is way back in a corner. It is a bit awkward, but a difficult area to fill because of the cabinet for the wall ovens and the small space.

This shot is from the pantry out toward the dining room. We have LOTS of drawers, which will be GREAT!

L could hardly wait to show me that they have put in the doors and trim downstairs. This is her beside a door in her room.

They have begun trimming out the windows and doors in the great room with wood. The rest of the house will have white trim (less expensive), but we wanted the wood look in this room.

The tiles are laid in the Mud Room and adjacent bathroom.

They were working in the Master Bathroom as well...put in the shower floor and drain, and will likely start tiling it as well before the day is out.

The whole crew was out on a Saturday. I expect they will be putting in a lot of overtime in the next 2 weeks. In fact, the builder asked when the light bulbs are to arrive so that he can work some in the evenings. I think they should come in by Tuesday so we can light up the night.

We have also chosen an exterior paint color for the house. It is called "Portobello"...because we are a bunch of FUN-GIS (guys)!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Sky Came Down

It was a humid evening, with light showers all afternoon. We were anxious to see the kitchen cabinets, so planned a picnic dinner out at the house. We have been doing that at least once a week for the past month or two. The mist was heavy in the valley. This picture was taken just down the road from our place.

The kitchen cabinets were all still in boxes, so unfortunately they remain a mystery.

Most of the light fixtures and smoke alarms have been installed. I spent an hour on line last night and approximately $500, ordering compact fluorescent lamps for all of the light fixtures! This is the fan in the library.

Several of the window sills and trim have been installed too. They look really sharp.

This wood on the back porch is for the window trim in the Great Room.

All of the interior doors were delivered today as well. A bunch of them are in storage in the Master Bed Room.

These ones have been painted and are out on the porch.

The wood ceiling in the Kitchen/Dining Room is nearly completed. The builder was there late finishing the solatube. Even at 7:45 PM on a cloudy evening, it was generating a lot of light.

We put the girls to work filling their little red wagon with scraps of wood and taking it to the burn pile. They had fun, but got very muddy (as did the wagon) in the process.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend Madness

Whew! We just blew through a 3 day weekend in a blink of an eye! The girls are exhausted, as am I, but we are ready to enter our last week of school...yee haw! We had several late nights and a picnic with a bunch of friends today, so I am about partied out. I need to get MC's mojito recipe...

The house is now entirely painted on the interior. I intended to paint the Master Bath in left-over paint from our last house, but apparently it froze in the garage this winter. It was solid in the can. After a quick trip to Lowe's (I am getting utterly tired of quick trips to Lowe's), I got paint and covered the walls on Sunday.

Then returned this afternoon to do a faux treatment in a ragging technique. It took a long time, but looks nice. I did it in our last bathroom, which was much smaller and consequently did not take nearly as long to complete!

We were pleasantly surprised to see the crew out on a holiday up on the scaffolding.

They have finished the ceilings in the Great Room. Isn't it gorgeous? Now we just need our chandelier. The crew were offering me various stuffed and mounted animal heads to put on the walls...a very kind gesture, but I think I'll pass.

The girls' walls are quite bright. I'm hoping they are able to sleep in this room!

The yellow looks good in the Mud Room and Bathrooms.

Siding is up above the hip roof on the entrance side of the house...

...around the breezeway door and under the garage eaves in front.

The kitchen cabinets are scheduled for delivery on Wednesday, and they plan to start putting in some of the lighting this week.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Perhaps a Prescription?

I've gone from getting extremely anxious to getting seriously spastic every time I visit the house these days. Things are getting SO close to being done, and I am SO tired of living in this apartment (and while we are on the subject of being SO tired of things, I'll mention that I'm SO tired of being J's cyber school teacher...she's tired of me too). I pace. I jump around. I growl. For some reason, none of these things seem to make things happen any faster. We have 5 more days of school, and 3 more weeks of apartment living. I wonder if JP could put me in a medically induced coma until then?

Lots of guys working out at the house today!

Today they are priming the walls. The primer is tinted, so the colors are similar to the final thing. Our "weeping willow" is very nice, although lighter than I anticipated. They didn't have the girl's room primed yet, so I still don't know what the "lemon mint" will look like. Through some miscommunication, the builder thought I wanted the mud/utility/T's Own Private Room to be "butter". After I thought about it, I thought it might be quite stimulating, so we're going with it! This is a shot...sorry it's so dark...of the green color in the library.

They have nearly finished the siding on the entrance side of the house, including soffit over the door. There should still be some cedar detailing over the front door.

The last green door for the breezeway is in. There will be one more door on the other side of the breezeway, and then the house will be closed up!

Here is the cork flooring that we picked up in Pittsburgh yesterday. It will go in the library. I love the way it looks!

The well man finished putting in the rain water cistern. It's not exactly what we were anticipating, but he hit bedrock one foot too shallow, and we told him not to jack-hammer. He also found another spring, which is why the hole was full of water in my last post.

I counted nearly 100 light bulbs that we will need for the house. That's a small fortune when you are considering compact fluorescent bulbs throughout. Anyone know where you can buy light bulbs in bulk?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

If there is a front door, we can move in...right?

Oh yeah! We have a front door! Of course, none of the doors have any door knobs yet, but they are there...hooray!

In addition, the siding is completed on the front of the house

and the driveway side.

The ceilings are finished. This is in the master bedroom, showing the finished ceiling against the tray. The tray will eventually have faux tin tiles (I think).

The great room, kitchen and dining room will have wood ceilings. They have been working on staining the wood.

They have also been painting trim in a buff color.

The well man finished connecting the well to the holding tank to the house.

Now he is working on digging a hole for the (much smaller) rain water cistern. This water will be used for watering the garden and washing cars, etc. Or we could use it for a swimming pool!

The builder is working on installing our on demand water heater. He tells us that we are the "greenest" clients that he has ever worked with. We are still sad that many of the "green" things that we hoped to incorporate were too expensive to seriously consider.

Some seedlings are sprouting in the pig garden, despite the nasty horse hooves.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Horse of Course

The dry wall finishers were out on a Saturday. Apparently the 100 gallons of joint compound was not quite enough, so they had to go for a "mud run" in order to finish up today. It was pretty cool to see the guys zooming around on their stilts.

On top of the 2 wandering herds of cattle into our yard incidents in the past 2 weeks, there were eight horses there this morning.

J was thrilled at first (she's on a horse/pony kick at the moment), but once she discovered that they trampled through our pig garden, she became furious.

We got our mailbox put in.

JP got to drive his tractor. That's our creek, Wisecarver Run, in the background

We bought some more light fixtures and a kitchen sink.

Oh, and in the paper yesterday was an article about how there are plans to repair Wisecarver Dam, restore the 18-acre Wisecarver reservoir, and turn 360-acres into a public recreation area. Wisecarver Run empties into the reservoir. It will be nice to have this close by.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

One Month To Go!

We have been promised the keys to our new house in 4 weeks from tomorrow. The builder has been ill this week, but some of the crew were out today working on the siding. They put soffit under the eaves of the prow, and have the upstairs set of french doors in.

The dry wall finishers are moving right along. The walls look nice and smooth and ready for some paint!

The Oak flooring has arrived and looks beautiful!

New week things should really start looking great! I can't wait!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pig Garden

We decided today that it was high time to plant some flowers on Poplar Ridge. The girls and I dug up about 3 square feet of weeds at the edge of the woods (well out of the way of random heavy equipment), pulled out the roots and sticks, and sowed some wildflowers. J reminded me that George Washington Carver used to say "A weed is a flower growing in the wrong place."

I couldn't find my flower bed fencing in the garage, so we put some pigs around to keep the seeds company, and did a little Totoro dance, willing them to grow. Thus begins our first gardening venture on the hill!

Our builder is home sick today, he sounds awful! The drywall finishers were in and things are looking good. Here is the great room.

The tray ceilings are really looking nice in the Master Bedroom.

The well man put our gia-normous holding tank in and dug trenches to run pipes from the tank to the house

and the well to the tank. We should soon have running water, which we will need to get tested A.S.A.P.

L painted this picture today. I thought it was an appropriate sentiment for this post.