Monday, November 26, 2007

A brief environmental opportunity

Do you ever get tired of having catalogs sent to your house? Things you just couldn't care less about, and if you did, you would go to their web site? Here is a web site to visit:

Catalog Choice

It is a non-profit, free service that makes it easy to request specific catalogs stop being delivered. Unfortunately, you can't just say "stop all of them", but it makes it very easy to do when you are going through your mail. Just plop all those catalogs in a pile and when the pile gets high enough, go in and request a stop for each.

Save the trees! Save them mail carriers!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Fall has fallen

I left the camera on and drained the battery, so I don't have pictures, but watching the end of fall is amazing. The trees in the pictures from a week ago have lost every leaf. However, some of the trees are a little more tight-fisted and refuse to give up their foliage. Last night saw temperatures around 23, so I think that was the trigger for the forest to give up and go dormant.

There is a 30 foot Crepe Myrtle tree out front. Until yesterday, it still had almost every leaf. This morning, with absolutely no wind, it is dropping leaves at a rate of 10-20 per second. Constantly. It looks and sounds like a pretty rain shower, dressed in yellows and reds. By noon it will be as naked as the rest of the yard. It really is gorgeous to watch.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Another remodel

Last year, we have a deck converted to a porch while we were in Utah. This year, we had our master bathroom remodeled. It is nice to have a builder (Steve Kjellberg) you trust so much that you can have all this done in your absence. Unfortunately, he thought we were coming home a few days later, so we still have some trim work to be done.

We had the entire roomredone. New tile, cabinet, fixtures, lights, etc. The shower was enlarged a bit.

There are two of these new cabinets, one on each side of the door. You can see a bit of the new floor tile.

And here is the deco tile that was used. It is around the bath, shower, and mirrors in the cabinets. Quite pretty!

It is hard to capture everything without a mongo-wide angle lens, but these pictures capture the "style" of it.

Fall in Raleigh

The drought has been terrible in Raleigh this year. The city is down to a 115 day water supply. My dad said that the leaves on the trees were starting to turn brown and drop. Then Raleigh got a nice, long rain over a few days. Nothing to make much impact to the drought, but the trees sure seemed to be happy. We got home just in time for the color. All of these are from right in front of the house.

Being gone through the entire growing season means fields of weeds and lots of messy plants. As an omen, there was one gorgeous rose blooming on some plants Julie's dad gave us years ago.

It is good to be back in Raleigh and see friends and the neighborhood.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

In for real

No pictures today, but great news. We have moved all our stuff and have been living in our new house since Monday. The condo is empty and has been completely cleaned. Hopefully it will sell soon.

Getting settled is a lot of work. Now I remember why I move so very infrequently. It has been a week of almost constant moving and putting away. Long days, measured simply by piles. Piles of stuff left at the condo, piles of stuff in the garage at the house. Piles in each room. We are now down to zero piles in the condo, a few around the house, and a garage that can't begin to fit a car in any of the three bays. Oh well.

A few more things have been done on the house, but I discovered one of the most important. Back on July 11th, 2006, I noted that our construction was official because we had our own Port-a-Potty. Now it is gone. I guess the work is over.

We are heading back to Raleigh for a short stay. While we're gone, our punch list will hopefully see great progress. Then we can really settle down in time for the skiing and holidays.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Well, it's about damn time!

Finally. After 18 months of waiting, we have a house. We got our Certificate of Occupancy today, so we can officially live there. We start moving our smaller and more fragile stuff tomorrow and over the weekend. The movers come to get all the furniture on Monday. Yeah!!!!

A few more pictures:

Modeled after China's Great Wall and Tiananmen Square, but larger, our driveway and retaining wall.

We did this epoxy coating on the garage floor. It looks really nice, making the place look a lot more finished. Supposedly it will be much more resistant to stains, salt, oil and such.

When your driveway has more pavers than Tiananmen Square, it takes a lot to heat it for melting snow. The 1,000,000 BTUs of boiler are above. These are the pumps and controls for the glycol-water mix that heats the pavers. Do we need it? They pressure washed the pavers this morning and where there was shade, there was a thin, slick layer of ice at 10:00am.

This is Julie's work of art. She saw some pictures in magazines, pieced ideas together, and crafted an arched stone facade for the cook top and blower. It has nice little tile niches on each side for storing spices, oils, etc. It ended up taking a great deal of thought from the builder, carpenter, stone mason and tile guy to figure out how to could be built. Success!

Faux, faux, and more faux. We like how the walls take on more character with a faux finish, but it turns out that most of the things thought "faux", aren't. Faux painting is really about painting something to look like something else. This is an example of an electric plug in our kitchen's tile backsplash.

This, while thought of as faux, is really a textured paint style. This is our very purple downstairs powder room, minus it's mirror. The tile guy is over building the mirror as I type.

Another stylistic finish in an art niche.

But the most outrageous one is in my office. Hard to tell from the picture, but it is painted to look like the many layers of old weathered paint you might see on an old house or barn. The top layer is done over glue to make it old and crackly looking.

Well, that should be all for the "building our house" pictures. Now it is time to go move in.