Friday, June 27, 2008

still no colour

But we have pictures.
And we know one thing: all-gray is a little drab.
Still, can you picture this in yellow? It may be too much. Then again, it may be just the thing! I think we're going to go for it, though, if stucco-man can get us another yellow panel that's dialed back just a bit. He didn't have one - as promised - when I was there yesterday.

Oh: and it appears that Luther has roundworms. Lovely! The vet (and all her friendly assistants) know him by name now, and make inquiries and send regards.
Meanwhile, the hood fan that was causing such havoc - and a no-show for so long - has arrived. And sits. And waits. And no hood framing has taken place all week, although Al-builder was clamoring for the thing on Monday.

In another "meanwhile", it appears that the entire roomful of big boxes which I assumed was the entirety of the kitchen (I tried to photograph it, but I didn't have a wide-enough angle and a picture of just boxes is not real interesting) is really only half the shipment. Scott-kitchenguy just called to tell me he'd "re-checked" and was "glad he'd caught that."

OK then. I think I'll just let that go without further comment.

In some good news, I think I've finally tracked down a decent source for the countertop.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

more of this - and that. . . .

The first stucco coat has dried back to a very light gray.
Meanwhile, we continue the search for the "right" stucco colour! Either of the two grays on the far left will work - don't like the 3rd one in (too blue) - but we can't seem to get the yellow in the right vicinity. The darkest one in the picture is very intense, in person. Attempts to split the difference have all yielded pretty much the same shade, on three different panels, as you see on the 3 panels to the right. We are promised yet another panel today, at only 80% of the intense yellow. I am hopeful that will do it.
Meanwhile, the kitchen has arrived. We were leaving as Scott-kitchenguy and Tom-builder dealt with the persnickety truck driver who wouldn't back his truck down the driveway, and who wouldn't pull in either, for fear of not being able to turn the rig around.


Bigger trucks than his have made other deliveries already. . . . Tom-builder broke out the forklift and that did the trick. We were leaving as the first load was coming in.

Wow - we are set to be moving in something like 6 weeks! I'm not really comprehending this. Not really.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


The black mondo is doing well, once I found it under the creeping crown vetch that had magically appeared, after I planted the mondo. I pulled back the crown vetch, and stuck a stick in the ground to hold it away from the mondo.
Meanwhile, the exterior of the house slated for stucco is getting its first treatment, which consists of the Tyvek paper being covered with a black membrane of some sort, which is then overlaid with a metal mesh.
As you see.

Next - which I have seen, but for which I [currently] have no pictures - is a coat of a concrete-like substance which goes on gunmetal gray, and dries back to a light gray.

Inside, a man on stilts applies the stucco directly to the wall surface. Luther was unaffected by the overly-tall man, but highly appreciative of stray stucco blobs on the floor, which he wanted - badly - to eat. I thought the guy on stilts was pretty amazing. I wondered whether there are break-away straps on the stilts, in case he loses his balance and starts to fall. You wouldn't want to have those things strapped to you if you were doing a timberrrrrr! now, would you?

The wood columns will be stained dark. Yesterday, we looked at three hundred thousand different shades of white and selected one. Ha! One. It was selected not only for how it harmonized with the other materials in the house, but also for its name: Moonrise. It narrowly beat out Writer's Parchment and Stucco White.

I know I made the right choice because the king - with no benefit of knowing which one went with which name - picked it from across the room when they were all held up together. (You are talking here with a woman who has also been known to select wines based on the label alone. . . . It's a failing.)

Anyway, there you have it!

For today, the hood vent fan - which Al-foreman needs in order to frame out the kitchen hood - is still missing in action. Our kitchen supply guy has come up with yet another excuse as to why it has not been delivered as solemnly promised - now for the third time - but he's UPGRADING me now, don'tcha know, to another fan, which costs more [but don't worry, he's not charging me - or so he says] but which can be here in THREE DAYS.

This fiasco has been going on for THREE WEEKS.

And I do believe the rest of the kitchen arrives today. Cabinets, I mean. I don't know where they're going to put them.

We meet with the moving man today; we gave notice on our rental house last week; I have a wooden floor to order, bathroom tiles to specify, bathroom lights to select & order, kitchen counter, backsplash and guesthouse sink to pick and purchase, and. . . . surely there's more? More details. Many more details. . . . but that's more than enough for me today.

POSTSCRIPT: There's apparently a 6 to 7 week lead-time required for the wooden floor. Which puts us right to the time we're hoping to be moving in - Oh my! We're MOVING in 7 to 8 weeks?! - so that the floor might be expected to arrive right around the same time we're hoping to arrive for move in. We might have to do something else here. . . .

This is so typical, by the way. The stuff I was ordered to procure right away has sat in our rental house - apparently unneeded - for months. The stuff I've been trying to get Tom-builder to focus on - and give me required information about - now needs to be here immediately. If not sooner. Hurry up and wait. Or wait - wait some more - and then scramble!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

pressure cooker

"I'm having a hard day with Luther."

"I can hear that. So can the rest of the neighborhood."

It's sad to think that perhaps the main reason I might appear nice is that there is nothing stressing me; nothing that is upsetting me. Put a large deerhound on top of our glass-topped porch dining table and that all evaporates. "OFF!!!!!!!"

In fact: expletive deletive ensued.

Follow that with several bashings of the screen by the same said deerhound - as I was momentarily outside and he, inside - and several more choice phrases (ok, the same one) erupted and "NO!!!!!!!"

Then have the dear deerhound commence attack runs and pogo-leapings, thinking we were starting a very fun new game, and I found myself furious, and not caring very much who else knew.
&**^)* &*()_#$
"NO BITING!!!!!"
I see how important it is that he be trained early and properly. . . . and I fear I'm already falling behind. For today, I had already learned that it is not enough that he know how to walk nicely on a lead when it's just me, he also needs practice walking on a lead when there is someone else with me.

[ooooh! fun!! play!!! leap!!!! twirl!!!!! pull. on. lead!!!!!!]

Then I learned that Luther is not worried about prosaic things like: Will this glass table top hold me if I leap up onto it? The quarry was apparently my coffee cup [blech!!] and our two red plaid napkins from the night before.

[yum!! smells like himself and herself. And white pizza. My favorite! I will CHEW THE NAPKINS. YUM!!!]

Luckily, I had not yet brought out my laptop.

Ah yes. Things are all fine and good when everything is good and fine. Add a 40 pound puppy and his highjinks and we'll talk.


I feel pretty ashamed of myself at this point. And the whole neighborhood knows my shortcomings.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

the secret weapon

So far, the squeak of this guy's belly is a sure-fire attention-getter.

Luther is enamored of the thing.

Throws it in the air and catches it.

Squeaks his midsection.

Swings him by his hoof & legs.

Gotta admire the connection of a deerhound to even a deer-moose (or is that a moose-deer?) - whatever. He likes the thing. I like the thing, because it takes his mind off of biting my hands off.

This is a "very good thing" indeed. . . .


We have three stucco panels - so far - to choose from. It's a bit of a scary prospect. We think we want a bit of colour, but the "bit of colour" is really intense when it first goes on.

Our stucco guy keeps telling us it will "dry back" - much lighter - and not to worry.

I'm a little worried.

In this shot, the far right colour is the one we're leaning towards. Trust me, in this shot it isn't even close to as intense as it looks up close. . . . We're talking serious yellow - apricot!

It's a temptation just to go the 'safe' route. Just pick the lovely beige.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

before and after

Remember this?

The third mantel has arrived. It appears to have made it off the truck safely. . . . Let's see how it fares getting into the house.

Meanwhile, some more before/afters. The tower:
The tower with drywall:

The library before:
The library after:
And finally, the living room. Before:
and after drywall:They're going to finish up this weekend. Stuccoing starts on Monday.

lessons from Luther - growing

Growing is hard work. It's a full-time job. It requires full concentration when awake and lots of sleep when otherwise.

It does not require caution or proceeding slowly. That's what the humans are for.

My Job: taste and/or eat as many things as caninely possible and chew on my human chew-toys.
Their job: run around after me, prying things that will kill me out of my mouth, setting things aright before they have toppled over and killed me, and producing small tasty treats whenever I have [momentarily - and completely accidentally, I assure you] done something that has either preserved my life or seems to be in accordance with the wierd sounds issuing from my people.

Generally, it's a howling nooooooooooo.

I only howl when I am alone and in need of consolation and the appearance of one of my humans.

They are very strange.

Meanwhile, I have to get back to growing. Like I said: full-time job. This part is the sleeping part. This helps me concentrate when I am awake. I have also found that I get my best growth-spurts while asleep.
I understand that someone sent the queen the exhortation to live life in such a way that Satan says:
Oh shit. She's awake!
I am trying to live in just such a way, myself.

Watch out, world! I'm awake. . . .

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

slated question

This is the floor we want to put in. It's slate.I think it's gorgeous, but I have a question. OK, questions:

How long does it stay so dusty?

Should we seal it?

Oil it?


Luther likes it.

That's another concern.

Just above his right paw you can see the dark saliva mark on the gray square where he went over to gnaw on it. Having been scolded for that [Leave it, Luther!] you can see that he has transferred his attention to the grout.

What is it with this dog and rock?! I don't get it.

Any insights?

construction update

The insulation is done. Here's the tower.This means that Tom-builder successfully passed the framing inspection.

So! Here's the library - all insulated. I'll spare you any other insulation shots. . . . interesting, though, they may be.
And now? Install drywall. It's already on-site.
Oh, and the rough-hewn columns have apparently been sanded now, and covered with plastic wrap.

Meanwhile, the weather has finally broken. It's under 80 degrees on our porch this morning, for which I am profoundly grateful. It's been 100 degrees or higher the last two - three? - days. Luther's been going crazy inside, but I couldn't take the heat outside.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

growing apace

He's getting big.

I keep meaning to photograph him in front of a brick wall, say, so you can see - graphically - how much he's grown.

Trying to photograph Luther, though, is like trying to herd cats. Which he does much better than I. At least, he gets the cat behind the sofa and then keeps her there by means of galumphing from one end of the sofa to the other, snorfling. The cat's contribution to the game is an unearthly howling. Periodically she emerges, fur and claws akimbo, to dispatch Luther to the other side of the room. Momentarily.

All very entertaining. . . . sigh.

Some times I succeed in distracting Luther with Mr. Hedgehog.Not for long, though. He is nothing if not dedicated! (Wouldn't you rather play with a real live hedge-cat?)

We're on Plan X for the dog & cat peaceful coexistence negotiations.

flora, revisited

You remember lone laurel.Well, maybe you don't. I think I only thought I had mentioned it a lot. It's a single laurel in small tree form, that grows in the woods behind our house. We stumbled upon it in one of the first walks through the property, long before we had any idea even where the house would go, let alone what it would look like.

I had no idea what this thing would look like in bloom. Truth told: I thought it would be a little scrawny. It's a native woodland shrub, how spectacular could it be?

Pretty spectacular.
Just look at those blossoms. Amazing.
Look closer. Each flower has little parasol-like ribs! I think it's incredible. Who could come up with this stuff?!Elsewhere, the flowers on the raspberry vines hint that it will be a very good year for raspberries. I gathered a pint in minutes last year. They are delicious.
And again, I am overcome with amazement and gratitude. The greenwood just "came like that" - with amazing flowering shrubs, flowers, and berries. They grow wild.

Our job? Not to mess it up.