Saturday, October 10, 2009

An update

Accuweather and NOAA are unanimous in stating that at this time, clouds are supposed to be gathering for a coolish, rainy Saturday in these parts, but you couldn't prove it by the clear blue sky, brilliant sunshine and delicious, cool breezes we are enjoying as I write. This would be a perfect day for the beach, but it would be our luck to get there just as the rain started--for it's bound to start. It's just a little late. Last night was incredibly beautiful. We sat on the deck and looked at the sky, so clear that the Milky Way was literally just that: a cloud of light so dense that the stars in their indistinguishable billions looked like nothing so much as milk spilt across the sky.

The clearing work is done! That's Steve up there in the picture, standing on top of the last load we took to the dump yesterday. (There is actually still quite a bit of clearing to be done on the waterfront, but we can't get to that until mid-winter, when the water recedes and we can walk on the shore. We're so good at this particular job by now we ought to have the beach done in a matter of a few days, and then, North Carolina being a state that allows such things as long as we get a permit, we will burn it. So we can truly say our huge yard-waste dump runs are over!)

I just wrote an email to a friend with an update and realized everybody else may be hungry for the news, as well, so I thought I would share the interesting parts:

The house is coming along, mostly on the inside, so there hasn't been much in the way of photos to share. The HVAC rough-in is done, plumbing is about 3/4 done, and wires for electricity are being pulled now. It's at times like this that we are so glad to be here to watch the process closely. We can talk to the guys on a regular basis, establish relationships with them, learn a lot (especially good for Steve, who has the technical basis to build on) and catch errors, sometimes of judgement but mostly of omission on our part. We forgot a few things when designing the kitchen, for instance: a place for trash, and dedicated lights over the sink and over the cooktop. We've been able to add those things on the spot by talking to the right people. And then Gary, our otherwise sainted builder, took it upon himself to assume that the deck along the back of the house would be a step down from the house, instead of mounted flush with the interior floor. That to us was a series of accidents waiting to happen, with people having to negotiate a step as they went outside, lawsuits in the making. Plus, the big deck off the kitchen will be a dining area. Can't you see someone (me, of course) armloads of food or dishes spreading dinner all over the deck because I missed the step? We fixed that.

Since electric is in process, Steve and I have been focused on fixtures: deck, dock and driveway lights, lights on either side of the garage door, a doorbell, and various interior lights that aren't part of the standard package. (And we're talking a lot to the electrician about outdoor electrical needs: trenches for the lines to the dock, to the driveway, which at 450 feet needs plenty of lighting, and to the garden shed. Since we're here, we can easily stay on top of all those things.) The Lowe's down here in Elizabeth City is pretty good in the electrical department, and after looking at all the specialty stores, we ended up buying all of our fixtures there. Their selection was huge and the bill was a fraction of what it would have been at an electrical supply place. We actually like everything we chose, didn't have to "settle" on anything. (And no, I'm not being paid for this plug!)

Siding is going on the house now. It's a painstaking process because of all the peaks and soffets, but it's looking beautiful. The next good pic to share will be of that job when it's finished.

Steve and I are fine--I'm OK once I just accept the fact that this is a limbo time, and for now I can't do some of the things I love, like listen to music and write. The luxury of those couple of hours a day just doesn't fit into the current schedule. Also, I'm in the worst physical shape I've been in for years because there's just no place to take my walks and our days are often so busy, lunchtime is just too much food--salads, mostly, but big restaurant ones with a lot of extras that I of course finish. So I'm putting on a few pounds. (Nobody else would notice, but I do, and so does my blood pressure.) Again, I quell those worries with the reminder that this situation is just temporary.

And now, sure enough, the clouds are beginning to gather, and it's becoming humid and more uncomfortable. The rain is on its way, just in time to do whatever the day demands in the form of errands. If I play my cards right, that may not amount to much.

Sorry for the weird font and color changes. They come from copying from the meail format to this one. I did what I could to fix it, but it isn't perfect, because Blogger isn't......


nan said...

Things are rolling, rolling, rolling! Great!

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

I understand what You mean with that step. I have a small step in my kitchen and even if I have lived here for nine years now I still forget that step :-) I don´t know whats worse, missing it going down or going up hitting my toes on it :-) :-)

My daily walks with my dogs is a must for me! I need it both for the exersise and to clean out my head. But walking around here in winter, when it´s dark most of the day, with three black dogs isn´t easy. There´s no lights in the forest :-)
Have a great day now!

Charlie Metro said...

Hi Ralph and Steve, Wonderful update. I'm glad Ralph that you accepted the current crazy schedule so the music and writing will be for another time. My late father loved to say "This too shall pass."

So glad you caught the "one-step-too-many" thing before it was an issue. I don't do steps well.

Do you have a "finish" date from the contractor? hugs, Woody

Ralph said...

Christer, your comment reminds me that we actually have a step-down designed into the house. The great room is a step below the rest of the first floor. But the vaulted great room with its sweeping ceiling is so dramatic that, we hope, the stepdown will be obvious.

I do miss my walks, since they're the only workout I ever get on a regular basis. and not doing them now shows in stark relief how much good tehy do. I get winded more easily, tire faster, etc. I look forward to when I can start them again.

Ralph said...

Woody! Nice to hear from you. The window for moving in is looking like end of January to early February. If things roll out the way they're appearing now, we'll probably pay rent through January here and then start moving at the beginning of February. (At least, that's the hope!)

Cuidado said...

Sounds like things are moving along nicely. What is the reason you can't have daily walks? I need them too but not daily. We go every couple of days; at least 10 km. I need 20 km today after yesterday's thanksgiving meal.

Ralph said...

Hi, Cuidado. There's just no time to fit the walks in. If I'm not working at the property it's here at the house. The work is exercise, I suppose, but it's not the good cardio workout that a long and strenuous walk provides. I'll be able to start up again once the routine changes and we're in the new house.