Friday, January 21, 2011

Wire, Wire Everywhere And Not A Light To Blink

  On Tuesday January 11, 2011, Mom went Home. Two months shy of 89, she was eager for the journey, and looked forward to being reunited with family that she missed so dearly.  If I have half her strength and determination, I'll be a lucky woman. I'd like to think she stopped by on her way to see the house, since she loved watching the progress on the blog.

   I returned from California to find the wiring still in progress, which was no surprise. I wish we had thought to keep track of how many feet (or miles) of wire was going in. Electrical wire, phone wire, structured wire for every possible kind of television and entertainment toy known on the planet.
   There is an electrical panel and a sub panel, with a total of 60 breakers. Ed says that two breakers on each panel are dedicated to tying the two together and then running out to the generator for emergency power. I'm glad it all makes sense to him because my eyes glaze over. He's told me several times which circuits cover which switches and lights. It's a good thing there won't be a test because my brain is a sieve when it comes to that stuff.
  The walls look like spaghetti on steroids. No more walking through the stud walls. I have to actually use the doors...which is kind of fun. I find myself walking around the area that will be the kitchen counter and the island.
   Ed and I have both commented on how much it feels like home already, even though it is unfinished.
We're starting to get excited about moving in, although we realize we still have a long way to go.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Happy New Year

   After a period of heavy rain, we've finally hit a dry spell. It's been a week now of cold, dry weather, glorious sunrises and cold, crisp days. The stairs are really slippery, and I make sure to be mindful when taking a trip (the operative word) up or down the stairs.

  The doorknobs I ordered last week from Knobs-Etc.Com arrived in record time.  We decided to continue the Emtek doorknobs in the same style as the exterior door sets. Now I have to start looking for doors to put them on. I'll need 14 interior doors for bedrooms, closets, bathrooms and the pantry. Of course, they won't be prefinished, so I'll be a little busy. But I will NOT put the stain rag in my pocket again!

   While I was ordering the doorknobs, I went a little crazy and ordered doorbell covers to match the front door hardware. I can see where it would be  easy to forget the budget and just buy things. It's fun to look at very high-end hardware and see what's available, but I have no need for a doorbell cover that costs more than some folks earn in a day. Someone buys that stuff, but it won't be me.

 In spite of that, I did manage to order a central vacuum system which will arrive next week. A much appreciated luxury. We will always have pets that come in the house. Living in the country, we will always have more than our fair share of dirt, mud and sand. I told the salesperson on the phone that I wanted something that was so powerful as to be a threat to small children and farm animals. I'm not sure she knew I was kidding...or was I?  We have ordered from Central Vacuum Stores before and been very happy with their customer assistance.
   I've also been working on ideas for the tile surrounds for the upstairs and downstairs fireplaces. Again, buying Rookwood tiles or similar period reproductions are heart-stoppingly expensive. I don't have a kiln to try to make my own reproduction tiles (sorry, Martha Stewart),  but maybe I could make an alternative. Something with a National Park Lodge feel but with more easily obtained products.

Slate is beautiful and inexpensive. It's easy to find in many sizes and easy to cut. It's been used a lot recently but every time I see it in someone's home, I love the way it looks. I have a tile saw....maybe I could make my own keystone arch with 12" tiles and the saw. 

   Then I could lay out the 3"x6" tiles in a traditional pattern, and add a touch of modern with a slate mosaic strip. The tiles here are sprayed with water to show the color. When installed, they will have a coat of sealer that will do the same thing. I think this would look great on the downstairs fireplace. I'll either repeat it upstairs, or come up with a variation on the theme.

   Ed is still plugging away (pardon the electrical pun) at getting the can light housings set in place. He wants to get them all in before Lance-the-electrician comes out next week to work with Ed on the wiring and subpanel.  We have plenty of windows on the south side of the house, but on very cloudy winter days (and there are many of those) it can get surprisingly dark inside. Ed is being generous with the lights, and that's a good thing.