Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday, Monday

A dumb day, as Mondays tend to be for me. Rain, hail, and well, more rain. Spring smring. It is a cold dark wintry day.

Instead of ripping through the installation of helical ties (I'll tell you about them tomorrow), I was stymied. Wah. Awaiting instructions from the architects = a pacing, restless day. The mortar has suffered badly from years of neglect, making these walls a bit dicey to reconstruct. I want to go fast, but -- as always -- it's going to go slowly. I knocked out some rotting bricks and bedded new ones. One wall has about 60 bricks to rebed. Sigh.

I've done five scare-free loads of laundry. The dogs nap peacefully today, whilst the offending former laundering pair are sitting on the front porch, tarp-covered and awaiting their sale.

On a happy note, I present my beautiful section of tuckpointing. I FINALLY got the color right (I hope, I hope). 

And, as an extra treat: an encore of delicious hardware.


Sunday, March 30, 2008

A new leaf...

will now be turned over, as I vow to blog daily -- until you are sick of reading the ad infinitum details of our "project", i.e. my work/my life/our work/our lives. Profuse apologies to those of you who have continued to check the blog regularly, only to find NOTHING NEW.

So, my (me: Jodi) brother, Jeff, flew out from Illinois AGAIN last week to help us raise the first beam. His method was ingenious and (from our ends) painless. I think he was picking up our slack. It is bolted and shimmed and being temporarily supported by two 12-ton jacks. I am dying to post photos, but Jeff won't let me, so if you want to see any, just email me and I'll send them to you individually.

I also installed some gorgeous, honkin' hardware that I know you lesbians will love. These reinforcing angles are big and heavy and the bolts are 3/4" x 4-1/2"!

Alicia got to play at length with my new mini palm nailer 
which I highly recommend. Even Jeff was impressed by it! Alicia was adding (psychological) reinforcements to the attic rafters. We all got a lot done in three days!! Jeff also helped me get the horrible, scary old washer and dryer down from upstairs (remember our old "headboard"?...good riddance!).

I must give a plug to Oscar, our favorite bar/restaurant/pool haunt around. I'll have to include a photo of it next time we drive out there. It is in the mountains and spectacular. We spent many, many hours there on Jeff's last night. It was a joy to treat him to a wonderful night out after all of his hard, hard work.

 On the day of his departure: breakfast at our other favorite eatery that is only about three minutes from our house: the Palace Diner. (Lakey was immediately smitten with this quality establishment). We frequent there often, especially for a delicious breakfast. We are now considered regulars by the hostess. These diners are standard sighting in this area, but the Palace is THE diner. Oh, we love it so! The sweet potato pancakes...!

I must say, that there is a definite deflation of momentum when Jeff leaves. Things happen much more quickly and intensely when he is here directing us and helping. There is so much to do!! I am quite content to do it all. I just wish that a.) I was being paid b.) there were more hours in a day.

Yesterday, for instance, I spent an entire work day scraping old white tile adhesive off the bricks on two basement walls. Wow, does that feel satisfying. Yeah, right. A whole day!? Next to remove the mortar (tomorrow) and then tuckpointing pretty much all around that entire room. I will have to post a photo tomorrow of my last wall down there. It is really quite lovely. I actually love tuckpointing, it is just so damn SLOW!

Today, we rented a U-Haul and picked up my ASKO washer and dryer from storage. You see, the old washer they'd left in our house seemed a bit possessed during its spin cycles. The dogs were absolutely terrified, as the entire house would shake violently. They would cringe on wash days.  So, now we are doing a load upstairs right at this very moment in the ASKO front-loader (yay!) and I can barely hear it, let alone feel it.

 No more scary laundry!

We also picked up a whole bunch of sheets of 1/2" plywood (more psychological reinforcement) as long as we had a truck. Fun, fun, fun.

Happy. Oh, how I love my brother.                                                                                                                                                                                   

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The first sign of spring!

Hello, all.

Sorry, no pictures today for you. I've been feeling remiss about posting and just wanted to give you a quick update.

I saw the first robins today (everywhere!) -- a sure sign that spring is near. After so many years in Seattle, where the robins live year-round, I had to inform Alicia about the great significance of the first robin sighting of the year. This came on a day of chilly temperatures, torrential downpours and emergency alerts of flash flood warnings. It is a mess here, really: rapidly melting snows, heavy rains, and cold nighttime temps = a solid ice-covered world that exposes plenty of mud and (!!) a little green grass.

Cruelly and inexplicably, has erroneously reported the morning temperatures as 60 and 64 degrees yesterday and today. (Perhaps 30 and 34 degrees in reality??) I rushed out of the house for the gym in shorts yesterday... ouch!

We have temporarily resorted to painting houses on the side to refill the monetary coffers and landed a dream job for a wonderful, kind and generous couple. We are painting most of their house, sans trim and the husband does all of the prep work. Easy. Funny it is that as soon as we took a job Alicia sold a painting in her show and I have been turning down modelling gigs. Oops. Well, a temporary  and short detour and then back to what we REALLY want to be doing with our time and energy. (Did I mention our $1500 heating bill??).

Life is good. I am very, very happy -- but missing my friends.

Happy pre-spring.