Long time no write

I’ve been meaning to post an update for days now, but things are so busy right now (and I’m too sleepy at night!) that I haven’t gotten to it.

So, this one’s going to be a quick text update (pictures take a long time to add on my pokey Internet connection here) and then I will post new pictures as soon as I can.

The big news these days is that we have a move-in date! You heard right. We plan to be sleeping in that house by the night of Saturday, February 25.

As of last Friday, the full McKernon crew is no longer coming to the house. This week, we have a small crew doing some of the last details (kitchen counters, bathroom tile, installing electric fixtures, and other this and that).

By the end of this week, the downstairs floors will be finished (sanded and a covered with a final coat of varnish) and, with luck, the propane will be hooked up so that we can have hot water (cold water is running already!) and can cook on the range top.

We’ll start moving our stuff in sometime next week, and will move the pets and ourselves in by Saturday evening.

Of course, the story won’t end there, because there is a list of other interior details to finish (some for us and some for McKernon), and then there’s that little issue of the exterior work (landscaping, burying some connections to the septic, etc.), but this phase — the one where we don’t get to live at home — will soon be over.

Not soon enough, I can tell you.

Things are heating up

First of all, for those who’ve been waiting patiently to see evidence of the painting we’re doing, here are a couple of shots.

Hyla’s room:



We’ve covered three walls and the ceiling fairly well; we need to finish patching the one remaining red wall and then that will be primed, too.

We’ve also primed the ceiling and some of the walls of our room, the ceiling and repaired walls of the guest room, the replastered wall in the old living room, much of the front hallway/mudroom walls, and the new bathroom walls, as shown here:


For those of you keeping track, that leaves the new living room, the rest of our bedroom, the office, the ceilings panels between the beams downstairs, and probably a few other little areas here and there. Plenty to keep us busy for a few more weekends. Maybe someday we’ll actually get around to putting a color over some of these white walls, but, for now, the white looks good to us.

The plumber was in yesterday, putting in some of the plumbing for the kitchen sink


and the prep sink


And Steve put together a temporary set of legs for the range top so that we can hook it up to the propane (supposed to happen today) and have things in working order for the appraiser on Friday:


The real cabinet that’s supposed to go under the range top hasn’t been delivered yet.

With the oven and warming drawer at least placed in their cabinet, you can get a basic idea of what the kitchen will look like:


The best news yesterday, though, is that the oil company finally came to pump the heating oil they had pumped out in September (from the old oil tank) into the new oil tank.

At the same time, they hauled away the old oil tank, which has been sitting out in the yard since the house move:


With the oil pumped in, we can now start the furnace, which means the plumber can also connect the water all over the house and install sinks, toilets, washing machines…

The propane (for the range top and water heater) is due to be hooked up today. If that happens, all services should be up and running by the end of this week. All that’s left to do is the details. 🙂

Office space

Up until Thursday morning, this is what the floor of the new office in the basement looked like:


It was a nice, clean, smooth concrete floor, but a concrete floor nevertheless.

After five hours of labor, this is what the floor looks like now:


This is a “Click” style bamboo floor. Click is a non-glue laminate flooring. You “click” the boards together by matching their special tongue and groove edges and applying some pressure.

Underneath the floor is one layer of heavy plastic sheeting (a vapor barrier) and a felted pad (which also has one layer of plastic attached to one side). The pad gives the floor some warmth and some “give”.

This is the first major project I’ve done in the house and it was extremely satisfying. TREMENDOUS thanks go to all who helped me get this floor done, especially to Alix, my incredible friend who gave up a day to do the floor with me. I know I couldn’t have done it without her help. Also, thanks to Travis, Steve, and Stewart, who took turns cutting the boards for us (two at a time) through the day – and who didn’t laugh at us too much.

At the very same time that we began the floor, Michael was busy doing another very important task for the office: working with a local wireless Internet provider to set up the wireless antenna and wiring for the house. The antenna is communicating with a tower on a hill about a mile away (across the valley) and is pulling in a nice, strong signal. When we move back home, we will no longer be on a dial-up connection.

Here’s the antenna, installed at the apex of the valley-end of the house:


High-speed Internet access, at last. I won’t know what do to with all the time it saves me. 🙂

Little but significant changes everywhere

Last post, I said we were going to do some painting, and we did, but I somehow forgot to take a picture of that, so I’ll save that for the next post.

Instead, I’ll show you some of the many changes that have happened since last week.

In the new bedroom and living room, the floors have been varnished:



Upstairs, they’ve done two coats. Downstairs, they’ve done one over everything, and will do a second one over all the floors at some point. Yesterday, the guys were really cleaning the downstairs floors up of all sawdust and other stuff, so maybe the second coat will be going on today?

In the upstairs bathroom, the platform around the tub has been completed and the front has been plastered. When the tile comes in, they’ll be able to complete this and add the tub filler.


Also in that bathroom, our old marble-topped table (Michael’s baking table) has been resized so that it’s a standard height and installed as the base of the vanity:


The next step with this will be to tile the top with black Vermont slate tile and insert the white sink and the faucets. This is a wonderful way to reuse this great table. Michael’s friend David made it for him years ago, and topped it with a piece of marble from an old coffee table they had in their apartment. We’re reusing the marble, too, as part of the hearth for the Jotul wood stove.

The white PVC pipe you see will be painted so that it looks coppery.

In the kitchen, the range hood has been installed:


And our old sink has been placed in its spot on the cabinets (it’s not hooked up at all yet, however, just in place):


The hood still needs a vent pipe, and we’re talking to the appliance dealer about why it has some pre-made holes in it for heat lamps when we ordered the one without the lamps, but it’s nice to see it in the right spot.

The sink will get a new faucet (already onsite, along with most of the other faucets and plumbing fixtures we’ve ordered) and new strainer/drain baskets.

Two other little changes —

The old floor boards in front of the front door have been replace:


No more holes for little creatures (and the wind) to come through!

And, finally, the phone company came out to the house and completed the connection from the pole to our house, so we have phone service at the house (though no phone jacks yet, so no one will be taking any calls). Their box is on the electric panel in the basement: