Friday, March 07, 2008

More "Progress"?

Let's focus on something pretty for a change, shall we? (Although, the way things have been going lately it seems if I post a picture of a "pretty" it then winds up traumatized, and I'd hate to do that to my camellia!)

This is the bush that grows by the back door.

It is mostly (nominally) this peppermint-candy kind of blossom. Very pretty.

Flowers come in big clusters, and it's a very heavy bloomer.

It also grows blossoms that are solid red. Sometimes you'll see the solid red and the peppermint stripe on the same branch.

Sometimes on the same flower, like this one!

We have a new shower pan! It is full of water, which is a test to see if it leaks.

The old shower leaked really badly and actually at one point was dripping onto the junction box in the basement. That was NOT a good thing! It also rotted out a lot of the floor, especially the trapdoor which is the basement access. New trapdoor coming! And I've been assured, in the face of a total lack of logic to the thought, that they can indeed put floor tile on the trapdoor.

I'll believe it when I see it!
Have you ever seen a sadder looking kitchen? This is a view of the south and west walls--the dark line on the right is the edge of the dining room doorway. Over there on the left is a chunk of the wallcloth that's peeled away--I tried taking a closeup of it but it came out fairly blurry.
Apparently, putting fabric onto the wet plaster was a hotshot design statement in the early 20's.
Looking out to the back room/studio area, this is the north and east walls. Also quite pathetic!
Lastly, I thought I'd show you how the back of the house is looking with the new windows in. You can also see the new French doors and garage door.

When we paint, I'm planning on keeping the body of the house the same color...Swiss Coffee... but not sure about a trim color. D4 thinks the blue looks "dated" but we haven't come up with anything better.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

New Developments

There is nothing quite like the feeling of getting home after dark, to find that your house is surrounded by yellow caution tape.
I had to take pictures so I could see what had happened, since it was too dark out there to just "see."
This is what it looks like in daylight.
Who knew that upgrading the plumbing meant digging a moat in the front yard?
However, the iris is surviving. Hey, I called it with yesterday's post, didn't I?
Let's change the subject for a minute.

Here's something much cuter: Miss Audrey, with her new pacifier/teether/raspberry.

She likes it, in spite of the face she's making here.

And when she drops it, she can get it back in her mouth. She enjoys the nubbly texture and likes to gnaw on it--she's got a good bite action going.

Bleah. (A second later, she had it back in her mouth and was chomping away happily.)
This is what happens when the workmen don't give you the requested 24 hours notice to clear your belongings out of the bathroom * aka safe room.* If the coffeemaker is on the bathroom counter, they will set it wherever they think it will make the best statement.

Yeah, that bathroom has pink tile. I think we lucked out: the former guest house, which is two doors down from us, has lavender tile. Lavender, with black trim.

This is the new window in my bedroom. All 6 of the new windows went in yesterday. I took pictures of all of them, but they're on my Flickr page. Only so much I can inflict on the poor blog! They are quite nice and seem to open and close smoothly. It does seem odd to be replacing the "new" windows from the addition, though. After all, it was only 25 years ago!

Wanna see my bins? This will give you a good idea of the size of the things--they are just a little bit narrower than the driveway.

And yes, those are holes in the wall. I think the painters/plasterers are going to be quite busy trying to patch it all up. Of course, it has to be left open for inspection.

I'm hoping it doesn't rain any time real soon, or there may be some problems around here.

One last view of home-sweet-home. I can only imagine what I will find when I get back there today. Thank goodness I have some place to hide out every day! (and with such adorable company, too!)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Eye Candy Day?

Little Miss A has such a wide-eyed take on the world, and she was snuggled down so sweetly in her swing!
It was a little chilly in the house, so she was wearing her lavender fuzzy sleeping bag and wrapped in a fleecy blankie. With, of course, whales on it!
But of course the cute smile evaporated when the camera came out. Oh well. Check her blog for the pics her mamma took today!

With all the commotion going on at my house, I'm amazed and delighted that this iris was able to survive and actually bloom! This was the second picture I took... the first one had a porta-potty in the background!

I also took a picture of a baby narcissus that is blooming out there. Gotta love bulbs--some of these have been coming back for years and years! Anyway, those pictures are on the Flickr page, which you can access from the Flickr badge over there. (Pointing!)

Today was supposed to be a knitting day for me, but I had to make other plans. Sigh! At least, I got the colorwork done on the Very Warm Hat for Audrey's daddy last night, so now it's just a question of going round and round and round in yellow yarn. Pics when it looks more like a hat and less like a grocery sack!

My big excursion today was out to the "tile place" to pick out some of the tiles etc for the new kitchen and bathroom. This photo is the kitchen cabinets (sample) and the floor tile. 18" and a lightish non-shiny ivory color. This will go all over the kitchen floor, through the former "mud room" and into the back bathroom. Since there are no windows in the kitchen or mud room, I wanted a light color so it didn't feel like a cave.
There is a window in the back bathroom, though. This photo is the shower tile and floor tile together. The color (at least on my laptop) is pretty true. The wall tiles will be 10" x 16" and will go all the way to the ceiling. Shower door will be clear glass.

Again, kind of neutral but we can spice it up with paint colors, towels and accessories. Oh, and there will be a wall cabinet in there in the same honey-maple finish as the kitchen cabinets. There's also going to be a built-in cabinet in the mud room which ought to transform it into a butler's pantry. Not that I have a butler... but hey, a girl can dream!

This last picture is almost-the-backsplash with the cabinet sample and countertop. The actual backsplash will be glass tile like this, but in different colors--the dark goldish-beige, a dark olive, and a dark taupe. The salesman assured us there would be a mix of shiny and frosted tiles, too, which is an effect we really liked.
The countertop granite is something called Emerald Pearl which is closer in color to the picture I took than to the color in the link--it's one of those that has a lot of flecks of iridescent color in it, so when it's photographed head-on with a flash it washes out. I think it's something we won't get tired of very easily, and the dark color will be an accent among all the light colors in the room.

There's something about shopping for the new incarnation of the house, and then returning to the cold dusty shell, that's a real disconnect. I guess the closest comparison is to a pregnancy--there's a lot that you have to take on faith, and it comes with a lot of uncomfortable times, but in the end it should all be worth it.
Stay tuned to see how long this optimistic frame of mind lasts!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Weekend Update

There is progress of sorts on the house front: the sconces have been taken down out of the living room, and new wiring is being run to them. Once the new wires are in place, they'll be reinstalled and hooked up again. It will be fun to have them back!

The old wires that are coming out are very very scary. As in, I don't quite know why the house hasn't burned down due to these old corroded wires!

The other thing that's on its way out is the original 1921 plumbing pipes. New stuff going in--and it's kind of fun to see what is happening to the taste of the water and the water pressure as it runs through new copper instead of rusted galvanized metal.

I'm just grateful that we continue to have hot water in the mornings. Today's shower was a little iffy, as there is now better water pressure in the cold water line so it was "different" regulating the right mix of hot & cold.

Some days there have been three crews at work. I'm amazed at how fast this phase is going. We're now waiting to see what the floor guy thinks about restoring the hardwood floors--there are a lot of areas with water damage since many of the doors and windows have leaked over the years. Well, we knew the house was drafty--who knew there was water seeping in as well?

Miss Audrey has now learned to hold her head up well enough to be able to sit in her Jumperoo. She's figured out that moving makes it bounce, and she's discovering that she can make some pieces rattle or make music by hitting them. She's found her hands in earnest, and seems to enjoy chewing on them as well as reaching for things. I love this stage of a baby's development: you can almost see the wheels go round as she learns new things every day. She's very responsive and has learned to giggle. But, she still stays put when you set her down.
She loves her blankets. They make a good tent!

I managed to get both of the hats for the Nevada granddaughters finished in time to send them home with their parents. It was touch and go--I was weaving in ends as people were saying their goodbyes!

There was some time on Saturday when we actually had all 5 sisters together, for the first time in quite a while. That meant a photo op!

Top: D2 (Nevada) and D1 (Colo.)
On the sofa: D4, D5, D3.

Audrey got to meet her Colorado family for the first time, and they were charmed. Nate got to meet not only the Colorado crew, but his Nevada auntie D2 and uncle too.

Nate is now 6 weeks old, gaining weight and has the greatest dimples! He's a very contented baby, happy to snuggle with his doting aunties and uncles and cousins. He's already working on holding his head up--he's going to be a strong little guy. He'll need to be, since he's the "little brother."

D2's husband was celebrating his 10th birthday--he's one of those Feb. 29 kids.

We were sorry that my son couldn't be here--we thought he'd be at Kristin's confirmation, but it turned out he got snowed in and didn't even make it to that! Of course, as soon as he saw the pictures of the 5 sisters on line, he had to call to give us all a guilt trip! He still doesn't quite believe it was a spontaneous event...

Lastly, in case you've been wondering about the Grandcarrot, here's the only non-blurry picture any of us were able to capture this weekend. Little Mr. Perpetual Motion is at a very busy, totally adorable stage (21 months) and his two-way communication is getting much better.