Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Time out for a puppy

Nothing new to report, still working out the details on the house.

We received a new addition to the critter family last night at about 10 p.m. Miss Ruby was given up by her second owner, and she's only 7 months old. Of course she was reported to have several "issues", but so far she is fitting in nicely, and has succeeded in wearing out the old Lester and Sophie to the point where all three are sacked out at 11 a.m. I think the cats are down there investigating the new girl. They still aren't sure what is going on.

Ruby is the first dog to enter the house and sleep through the night without a whimper. Now there's an issue I wish they all had!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Talk about balmy!

It is going up to 63° in Jersey today, although it is so windy and rainy that we won't be able to appreciate it. The dogs are stuck in the house, but thankfully still exhausted from their romp in NY. Before we left on Saturday, we made it to the creek to see if the runaway dock was still there...and indeed it was...thanks to Jim and the guys who moved it out of the water to a safe place on higher ground.

As long as I walked ahead of the dogs, making a trail for them to follow me in, they were able to make it through the wet, heavy snow. Lester thought he might investigate the creek, like he always does, but after crashing through the snow and ice a couple of times, I think he figured out that swimming is not the best winter sport.

I sent some photos of my woodstove issue to Herkimer Home and Leisure, where I bought it. They are going to call me back with a solution, I hope. And, if you were able to watch the video in the post below (sometimes it doesn't work) you would have seen the little love note I left for Jim the Builder tacked to the wall. There is a way to fix this, but I am sure I don't know what it is. I just wish I could have figured out that it was a problem before they put up the drywall...sorry Jim!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A view from the inside

Here it is...what you've all been waiting for, a tour of Lester's Flat from the inside, with Lester as your guide.

Most of the first floor has been painted, and the downstairs bath is partially finished. They are working on the slate tile floor and shower surround in the upstairs bath, and will probably start installing kitchen cabinets next week. The bamboo floors should be coming in from Krazy Tom's next week or shortly after. I don't think Jim ordered the cork floors yet, but he was going to try to save me some money on those. They are more expensive than the budget allows, and the whole second floor is cork, except for the bathroom.

There are still some other kinks to be worked out: woodstove installation; gas pipe to the cooktop in the kitchen; why there are so many roller marks in the expensive Benjamin Moore paint; final design on the porch brackets; whether I should take Susan the Architect's advice and have them paint the T&G ceiling on the back porch AND the dining room the same sky blue as the front porch; having the water tested and maybe getting a water softener to alleviate the yellowish water that is already staining the white toilet, after a week!; stopping the new Baxi boiler from banging loudly, but only when Bruce the Plumber isn't listening; and more I can't think of at the moment.

These last few weeks promise to be very exciting.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A busy day

I was going to make a slide show of everything that has been done in these few days, but I am tired of sitting in front of the computer. So these are the 2 pics that best sum up the day's events.

The first is my new shower. Not completely finished, but finished enough for me to finally get clean. There was a time this morning when the shower was ready, but we couldn't get the water to stay hot. A call to Bruce the Plumber who installed the Baxi boiler, and then a quick read of the instruction manual for it, and I was a happy, clean girl.

The second photo is L and S on their way out to The Dump to boil up some spinach penne for my dinner. I have a microwave and a few other appliances here, but no good way to cook up a pot of pasta. The electricity is still on in The Dump (the heat is not) so we wandered over with our box of penne and prepared to boil...only one problem...forgot the water. So we had to go back to the house and then drive back with our big bottle of water. We steamed up the frozen Dump while we were waiting.

The penne was great with some hot sausage marinara that The Husband cooked up in NJ earlier in the week.

There is a decent amount of snow on the ground here, but mostly it has been sunny and very pretty. The dogs are having a great time running around in the snow, but Lester is pretty much limited to the driveway because the wet snow is just deep enough to hang up his old legs. He made a heroic effort to get to the creek (without me, because I was in my slippers with no socks). Luckily for both of us he aborted his trek about halfway. Sophie and I met him at the back door to save him a few precious feet on his return.

Going home tomorrow. I will post some more photos afterward.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lights. Camera. Action.

I came up here Tuesday to spend my first night in the new house. Front porch light turned on, key in the door, music room all set up with everything I need. Just today I got Jesse the Electrician to connect one outlet so that I could see if the DSL was working. Not only did the iMac survive the frozen Dump, but I am online as well. These north country guys are good at what they do.

Other than my fridge dying for the tenth time in 3 years (don't buy a Frigidaire!) everything is running smoothly. Actually, for the moment, even the fridge is running after Jim and Richie burped it when they moved it back from the frozen Dump.

Shower should be put together by the end of the day. Living room half-painted (Phillipsburg Blue), music room (Maple Leaf Red), entrance (Dunmore Cream), kitchen and dining room (Kingsport Gray) all mostly finished being painted. Window trim and baseboards painted and ready to be installed. Kitchen cabinets maybe installed next week. All systems go.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Drop your Photoshop. Architect to the rescue.

Thanks to Susan the Architect, I think we now have plenty of porch designs to choose from. Maybe I should just go back to working with a pencil. These are so simple and beautiful. Or maybe I should just allow the architect to do what she does best—house design—and stick to what I do best—graphic design.

I am very excited to be going up next week, even though the living conditions won't be perfect. And maybe I can do some detective work to find out why our propane bills are so high. I thought we had a very efficient house, and I wasn't planning on paying over $300 a month just for heat, when nobody is even living there.

But for now I am enjoying some balmy weather in south Jersey. It's going up to 50° today, unusual for mid-January.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

So you think you're a designer?

I think I am getting in over my head...again!

I am still trying to come up with a design for the brackets on the front porch. I took out the curve, but otherwise left the brackets the same. There are 2 versions of the little squares between the posts. Both have a diamond shape that I think works better with the angled brackets. But I have to step away from the computer and look at these again later. If anybody's checking in, let me know what you think. Do you like today's or yesterday's versions better? Or neither? Or both?

I have asked Susan the Architect for her opinion. Rescue me, Susan!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Progress on porch design, ordering paint and floors

I talked to Jim the Builder yesterday. In preparation for a visit from me next week, he is going to make a working bathroom, install some of the light fixtures, and move some necessary items over from the frozen Dump. I was going to hang out in the basement while they are still working inside, but the 12YO Lester is not so good at going up and down the steps. So Jim is going to set me up in the music room on the first floor.

Should be interesting to see if my frozen iMac and printer can be thawed out and hooked up to my DSL connection, which I think was successfully transferred to Lester's Flat.

I have been working on a design for my porch brackets. I am settled on the shape of these brackets, which I stole from the corner details on my old screen door that I brought up there for the back porch. But I am not settled on what goes between the posts, where the little square frame is in this photo.

I paid for my paint order yesterday, and changed the finish from satin (it's called pearl in Benjamin Moore paints) to eggshell. The paint that was already mixed will remain in the pearl finish. Luckily, the library was one of the already mixed paints, and The Husband likes that "lacquer green" color to be nice and shiny. I also left the bathrooms as pearl finish.

I called in the order for my bamboo flooring. Krazy Tom's in Cooperstown gave me some good prices—better than what Jim was going to get from his source. Should take about 2 weeks to come in.

Kitchen cabinets were delivered yesterday.

I can't wait to see what it all looks like next week.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

First accomplishment of the year

My $45 vanity has been transformed into a thing of beauty. Thanks, Gary the Farm Table Guy! Now I just have to find out when the cobalt glass top and sink will be ready.

Rooms are being painted.

The Dump is officially decommisioned, disconnected and frozen, although it still has all my frozen furniture, computer and printer, and a running refrigerator with not much food in it. Should be interesting to see how that all works out.

Steve my Verizon Hero is going to disconnect the DSL at The Dump tomorrow and hook up to the new house. Since I am pretty sure I have a job to do when we are going to be up there soon, I am hoping all is good with my connection AND my computer.

Kitchen cabinets might be delivered tomorrow.

I am bringing with me the kitchen vent hood, wall sconces for the master bath, light fixtures for the basement, and Med the Blacksmith's wrought iron cabinet knobs.

I think I got better flooring prices from Krazy Tom's, but don't think Jim ordered yet.

Moving along nicely.

Friday, January 1, 2010

An X for the year of ten

Took a nice walk in Palmyra Cove today. Warm enough for a long walk in the woods, but the colors were all winter, no green to be seen. We saw plenty of deer, a large woodpecker, and several trees that had been felled by a very ambitious beaver. Other than that, not much life in the park today.