Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I have a choice to make...

And it is not an easy one.  There are some things, when building a house, that just can't be undone.  I don't like our brick!!!!  I am going to have to choose to let it go.  But before I do, I'll just spew forth my dissatisfaction.  Beware.

Here's the brick we thought we chose
Here's how the brick looks next to the stone  :-(

I love the building process.  I love seeing the ideas go from your head to the paper to the actual plans and then seeing the house take shape--from the first boards to the last drop of paint.  I don't consider myself all that talented when it comes to knowing what looks good together but I know what I like.  I do not like odd stone/brick combinations.  Our town is full of them.  So when we decided to do stone on front and brick on back I wanted to be sure that they blended well and complimented each other.  I have written about the difficulty they had finding the correct stone, and then the correct brick.  It turns out what I thought was the correct brick probably isn't.  So, instead of a nice smooth transition from tan/gold stone to tan brick we go from tan/gold stone to ugly pink brick.  Every time I go to the house I look at it and have to remind myself that there is nothing that can be done.  I hope that once it is all done I will be okay with it.  I realize that in the grand scheme of things this is relatively insignificant. But for now I am aggravated.  Seriously.

I probably shouldn't even be writing this right now!  The more I look at it the madder I get.  Is madder even a word?  

Well, the inside of the house is coming along nicely.  They have been working hard all week getting the drywall up and ready for texture.

one of the small domes

Rob and Susie in the kitchen

Looking from foyer to side entrance.  

Progress on the family room, looking into the kitchen

Groin vault outside master bedroom

Master bathroom

Are you kidding me?  This beast was found hanging around in the space for the master bath tub.  You can't tell from the picture but it has a leg span of almost 3 inches.  GROSS.

The ceiling in Joe's room has some interesting lines.

Brick work.  It would be great except I specifically did not want any contrast.

Drive through.  There is a fancy French word for it but I can't remember it and I don't feel like looking it up right now.  Grouchy.  Not to mention that the beams are not supposed to be like this... 

Front porch done!

Arbor off Master bathroom

Ah, yes... the barn site.  
The barn is a whole 'nother story.  We have been waiting MONTHS for the builder to make progress on it.  He has a lot going on and it just wasn't a priority, so we are going to find our own barn builder.  

So... this wraps up another blog post.  Not the most upbeat, for which I apologize.  Just have to keep giving myself the pep talk and at the moment it's not working!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


That one word sums up the last two weeks for my life in general.  I put all the house business on hold and went to Utah to be a with my soon to be married daughter, Michelle.  I arrived on a Saturday night and for the next 6 days we were busy every day, all day and I loved every minute of it.

I don't have any of the "official" wedding photos yet--this is one Jim took on his i-phone!
There wasn't one thing about the whole week that I would change, other than maybe the day we were so busy that we didn't eat anything until 5 pm...  I am so grateful for the time that I had to spend with Michelle!  We love her husband, Miles, and are so glad he is a part of our family.  

The wedding was last Friday and we made our way home on Saturday, finally arriving at about 10 pm.  I was up at 3:30 am... mind going a million miles an hour... I guess stress is stress whether it is good or bad!  I was anticipating seeing the work that was done on the house while I was gone.  And so my trip out there the next day proved to be pretty sweet, too.  This first set of pictures was actually taken before I left--showing the insulation going in.

Insulation!  Foam insulation sprayed in all the outside walls and in some of the inside walls where we want it to be extra quiet.

The dome ceiling--close up

This is the foam after it is sprayed in and dried.  They will come along and shave off the excess so they can put up the drywall.

Master bathtub

Spraying the ceiling in the great room

I don't really know how it works, but I think the spray comes in the big drums and they use a pump inside the truck to power their sprayers inside the house.

The view from "the spot"

Dome ceiling view from first floor

back stairwell with drywall up

Rob's room:  drywall complete.  That happens to be Jim hiding out in Robert's wall... we will have a built-in dresser there eventually.

This was our unfinished attic space.  Builders have a way of talking you into doing things that you hadn't planned on.

They finally started putting the metal roof on the curved areas.  

Stone going up.  It looks a lot more gold in this picture than it really is.

This picture is taken looking down onto the stone going up.  I was surprised that the stone doesn't actually go right onto the wall.  You can see here the metal anchor that goes into the mortar and the stone wall is a few inches off the wall board.
(Take note of my wedding pedicure at bottom of picture.)

These are the beams that will frame Jim's office door on the outside.  They are massive.

Here is the gas line running to the house.
front porch is almost complete

another view of the front
"Tongue and groove" ceiling on back porch.

Well, that's enough boring house pictures.  If you really want to read something fun and interesting, see Michelle and Miles' honeymoon blog.  It is super sweet!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

There's something to be said...

...for vacuuming the entire house in 7 minutes!  We are all settled in the first of our two rental houses and enjoying the simplicity of 6 very small rooms:  2 bedrooms, bathroom, living room, kitchen and laundry room.  It has been reminding us of our college days in a basement apartment with just a little less square footage than this house.  Here's the digs:

Master bedroom with walk in closet!

Living room


Laundry room

View of living room from kitchen

Walk in pantry!
Last week was, in a word... EXHAUSTING.  Here's how it went:

Monday:  Major house clean out--sorting through every drawer, shelf and closet to get rid of junk before the packers came.  2 trips to the Grace donation station and at least 5 garbage bags full.  Where did all the junk come from?  5 am to 11 pm.

Tuesday:  More of the same--in addition to cleaning the barn, teaching a riding lesson and a 3 hour cabinet design meeting for the new house.  The guy at the Grace Donation Station now recognizes my car!  5 am to 11 pm.

Wednesday:  The packers showed up at 8:30 am (30 mins early) and there were 5 of them.  They are FAST.  I had to have everything labeled to pack/not pack.  As they packed downstairs I was continuing the clean out upstairs.  They worked until 6:30 pm and the whole house was packed, other than a few items for the next day.    5 am to 11 pm.

Thursday:  The movers showed up at 8:30 am.  (I was expecting them this time.)  There were 4 of them and they were great.  Anyone needing a recommendation for movers in the DFW area let me know.  At this point, I can't really even remember what I did while they were loading everything up.  I know I was busy about every second.  Tasha brought us lunch. I took Susie over to Cindy's so she wouldn't freak out.  Once the truck was gone for the day I happened to notice that the packers had packed the pillows of the sofa and chair that are going to be reupholstered.  I had a note on the sofa that it was not going with the moving company but somehow the pillows were on their way to Dallas. That will be an interesting dilemma to deal with in a few weeks.  In the evening we checked into a hotel since the boys beds were already loaded.  Joe tried to convince us that he could still stay at the house but we convinced him that he couldn't.  Robert said, "what about my clothes for the wedding?"  Well, they went to Dallas on the moving truck, too.  And no, honey, there's no way to go and get them.  Shopping trip on the calendar.  5:30 am to 11 pm.

Friday:  3 movers showed up to finish loading.  They were done by noon.  At 1:30 the second moving company showed up to get all of the furniture we are giving to Michelle and Miles or having reupholstered taken to our storage unit.  That and our food storage... I wanted it to be in the air conditioned storage.  The mover said, "that's A LOT of food!"  Loading it all up took another 5 hours. Someone came to disassemble the pool table (which our mover bought for his dad.)  Then a friend of a friend came to get our old freezer and refrigerator and a chair.  We quickly figured out why the previous homeowners didn't take the refrigerator with them:  it wouldn't fit through the laundry room door without removing the door itself AND the doors off the refrigerator.  :-(  That was a long process that we finally finished at about 9:45 pm.  Then we were off to the hotel.  6 am to 11 pm.

Saturday:  I spent most of the day organizing for our move to the rental(s).  What to pack for 4 people for 3 months.  What food to keep and what to toss or give away.  The last of the furniture was picked up by a local consignment store.  Those were the pieces that the buyers of our house didn't want.... and the house was finally empty of furniture.  We took yet another load of stuff to the storage unit and utilized their dumpster so the new owners of the house wouldn't have to deal with all of our garbage.  Robert and Joe patched nail holes in the wall.  We dragged into the hotel at about 11:45 pm.  Whataburger never looked so good... (at least to the boys!)  6 am to 12 am.

Sunday:  We slept in until 7 am!  Then took Robert to the airport to catch his flight to Utah for his EFY camp at BYU.  Then Jim flew in from Washington DC, where he had been for business and a quick visit with his family there.  Around lunch time we got the call that our rental was ready and we could come on over... so we loaded up all three cars and became Grapevine residents.  It took 5 carloads to get everything over.  Settling in went quickly and smoothly.  I must say I managed to be quite organized about it all--I think even Jim was impressed.  We picked Susie up and brought her to the rental.  She was not happy.  7 am to 10 pm.

Monday:  Taking Sunday off from the Stockton house was great but in order to get everything done for closing I had to get up at 5 am again... over to the house to finish cleaning by 6:30 am.  Touch up painting, wiping out ovens, refrigerator/freezer, spot cleaning carpet, touching up stairs, etc etc.  Closing was at 9 am and went off without a hitch.  I went back to the house to finish and finally locked the door and left at about 12:30.  Before I left I took a minute in each room to remember something about it.  I'm glad I did that.  It was a good house.  Lots of memories in 6 years.  5 am to ?  

Tuesday:  Meeting to finalized flooring for the new house.  Grapevine is turning out to be more convenient than I thought--it took me 2 minutes to get there!  Once the meeting was over I felt the wave of exhaustion hitting me.  I was comatose from about 2:30 pm until Jim was knocking on the front door at about 6 pm!  I rarely ever sleep during the day but I definitely needed it.  And I didn't have any trouble getting to sleep by 11 pm that night, either.  I still feel like I'm catching up.

So, that sums up the last week.  On Monday we will be moving across the street to a larger rental.  Hopefully, Susie will not freak out again.  She has been barking her head off when we are not here.  Poor thing just doesn't understand and wants to go home.  

To end on a positive note, we met with our builder today and he said everything is going great and we are on track to finish up end of Sept/beginning of Oct!  Hang in there, Susie!