Monday, December 28, 2009

We're In!!!!

We are “in!” So hard to believe but sure enough it has happened. Been about two weeks actually, but we wanted to wait till he had our “we’re in” celebration. What an adventure!
Words cannot express how we feel. Overall, we are “giddy” and just can’t believe we are in our house. The house we built, with the help of family, friends, and a short list of sub-contractors (some good and some I would not “hit a dog in the ass with,” as my Dad used to say!) It took about one and three quarters of a year from our move up here on March 12, 2008. We thought it would take a bit under a year…… but, given we had a 5- week delay for our block, working full time, the worst weather in recorded history, Debbie breaking her back, and being with my Mom, we think we have done pretty darn well.
Still many little things to do but the fact we do not have to live in an apt. or the barn, and travel back and forth to the house everyday is mind boggling. Many little things to do have kept us from fully enjoying the house but there have been a few nights, and even on Christmas Day, where we have had time to just take a break and enjoy. Christmas was bitter / sweet …being in the house was great but the fact my Mom was not there was a tough pill to swallow. I/we so much wanted her to be with us and see the house completed. Just not to be.
Overall, Christmas was great. Christmas Eve, I even got to be Santa at our neighbors John and Carol. Great fun. Debbie even got to sit on Santa's lap! Our tree was decorated with two very very special ornaments.... they were my Mom and Dad's ornaments that they had as kids. They have been on our Christmas trees as long as my parents were together. Mom's is a Santa, and Dad's was a little boat. They must be 80 or 90 years old. You can also see Deb's hand-made cross stitch ornaments that are so nice! The photo of the Chickadees (Love Birds) was a gift from Steve and Patty.... Chickadees are Deb's favorite birds and the print is perfect. And, thanks to Sandra and Fred, our stockings were hung by the "masonry heater" with care!
Christmas Day we made it a point to not work on the house. Believe us, it was hard. After being "programmed" for the last 1 3/4 years to "hit the ground running" and work the minute we enter the house was a tough habit to break. We did ok....:) And, we had a great dinner.... Hungarian "Chicken Paprikash!" and Hungarian "nut roll" for dessert...both my Mom's recipies. Even had some "Hungarian Bull's Blood" red wine that we bought in Hungary in 2000, and have been saving for a special occasion... well, this was it!
Enjoy the selection of photos! Taking the photos at the front door was a blast. Just prior to that we both went up to the orchard and had “ a couple belts” of Hungarian “white lightening” called “Palinka” as a toast to my Parents, Margaret and Barney… they have a apple and pear tree in the orchard. It was nice. But the photo shoot was a hoot. Even have some movies that I wish I could post here….need to find out how… They are a scream! We even have nice clothes on... we went to Church right after the photo shoot!
Even though the house is not finished, we think some of the shots show how the house is shaping up to be our little world to enjoy with family and friends…..
Happy Holidays …………… dreams can come true!
Love, D2

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Quick update. We'll assume you have been chomping the bit waiting for a new post..... well, as busy as everyone is for the holidays that is probably not a good assumption. Anyway, we should be having a real extravaganza of a post coming soon. Been crazy busy again and again. Work, work, work, and no play but that is gonna change soon......
In the meantime a snippet of what is to come....(that is a hint), some updates on the house like the balcony off the master bedroom, Debbie and her oh so cute "lamb slippers" that Donald bought for her, and a special holiday greeting from "Olaf" our skiing moose and our little christmas tree....:)
Be safe out there!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hang Time!

We have actually had a project that cost less and took less time than we estimated! Hurrah. Bout time. Actually, we have been quite close on our cost estimates. Time estimates….well, not so much….:) At this point we really don’t care. We just know there are “x” hours of work to be completed before we move in, and that is just the way it is.
Closets are complete. We love them. Time to hang some clothes, or put them on a shelf. Definitely worth putting in the sweat equity, And, it was a really good team effort…team being Debbie and I. It went quite smooth and we had a lot of fun and satisfaction. I can tell you, when we get on a roll, we are really a great working team. Talk about getting focused and getting in a rhythm… look out!
So, we feel we are ready to move in but not sure when it will happen. Still a list of things to do but some of them we feel we can complete once we move in.
Enjoy the pics….I just realized I never included a pic of the completed master shower….all 1900 tiles!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Coming out of the closet....

Another weekend of utter bliss. Clothes closets. We decided that if we were going to move in, it would be somewhat mandatory that we have a place to hang our clothes. Of course we needed to make some more decisions. Hang a few rods and call it good, the easy way out. Buy some of the closet organizer scenes from Home Depot…. Pretty easy.. Have a closet company come in and design and install some custom cabinets… easy yes, but too expensive… or, yes, you guessed it…we decided to build our own. Yes, some more sweat equity. Good grief! Why take the easy route now heh?
Well, here is the progress so far. It is not finished but looking good. More to follow.
We modified a design from the “free closet company lady visit,” bought plywood/hardware, cut plywood, drilled plywood (over 2000 holes for the adjustable shelf “pins”), put on the “fast edge” on the edge of the plywood (over 200 linear feet of it!), sanded it, made all the pieces, hauled it all upstairs, and then installed it. Ran out of plywood (cause the store did not have enough of what we wanted…) so have to get more later in the week so we can finish…And for the icing on the cake, I may have to work this weekend, which is the weekend WE planned to move in…. Gotta love it!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's December

Hard to believe it is December. Hard to believe we are not "in," but given all that has happened in the last year, and even more recently, it should really be no surprise. We can only do so much. Thought it would be a good time to post another update. However, most of the house updates are really somewhat minor. Some touch up painting, installed closet “organizer” in guest bedroom, finished master shower, grouting, and sealing, installed a handful of interior and exterior light fixtures, door handles, etc. All part of “getting in.” Even though these tasks seem minor, it is amazing how much time they eat up. Ten hour days on the weekend and couple hours here and there each week day evening.
Got our first frost today. Pretty neat actually. Huge full moon and perfectly clear skies – hence the cold night. Moonlight was coming in our master bath window right on the bathtub. Could only imagine soaking in that with a few candles going, or just using the moonlight. Another one of those, “had no idea this would happen, but sure am excited about the discovery” kinds of things that continues to treat us.
Chris and Troy are working on stair rails and pantry cabinets – both key elements for us to “get in.”
Sorry, no new pics since I left camera at the house…UPDATE got my camera and added a few new pics of stairs with carpet, putting finish on stair post (gotta love my stylin' house slippers heh?), and the new decking…But, how about the "one year ago today" pic of our heater. Wow.... no insulation in the house, no sheetrock, no nothing so to speak. We have come a long long way. Wow. That is all I can say.

Monday, November 23, 2009

More than a pair of Eagles heh?

Just another weekend at the Bow House…..almost. We had new visitors. Two of them. A pair of bald eagles came to roost about 75 feet from our house, in perfect view from our picture windows! This is the first time we have ever seen a pair of eagles on our property. They were there for almost an hour, and of course I said to Debbie…”you know who that is, don’t you?” She said “of course, its your Mom and Dad…. Margaret and Barney coming to see the progress on the house.” I said “Yep.”
For what it is worth we all know one can believe anything you want. We both believe there is something to this and we will leave it at that. Interestingly, I can still hear my Mom saying how much Bald Eagles “fascinated her." She said that all the time. She thought they were great and often just said “Ooooooh!” when I would mention them! It was really really cute.
Center pic shows eagles in upper left corner of our center picture window.... two black shapes side by side. By the way, these eagles are a nesting pair and their nest is located straight out from our picture window about 1/3 of a mile away, and is very visible during the winter months… see pic. We’ll be watching them this winter, and keep thinking how incredible this is going to be to have this kind of "NatureWatching" outside our windows! Wish I had a high end spotting scope…. We will one day.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Carpet Baggers

Hey, why not. A couple pics of the carpet effort.... furniture is likely to be only temporary till we get what we want, but fine.... just fine, for now. Pics not the best. Should have taken some the other night when we had a candle or two lit... The house is so quiet! Love it. Love "youse!"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

D2 Trucking and Moving.... and Matt and Rachel's Magic Carpet Ride.

By popular demand (thanks Kathy!), here is an update for our Blog. Pics coming.
No question we have had another round of wicked work. Last two weeks have been intense to say the least, but with a big payoff. Last week Deb and I drove to Portland on a Tuesday evening arriving in Portland around 11 p. Then, we pick up one of two 16 ft. rental trucks, which are actually a total of 23 ft. long. We started packing everything in sight at the house. OMG what a bunch of stuff we have! While packing, I was fasting too in prep for a routine colonoscopy. Boy, now there is a bunch of fun…. Packing boxes and fasting. Matt and Rachel came over and Matt and I went downtown to pick up our carpeting and padding. Two rolls of carpeting.. 1300 lbs. each, and 16 rolls of padding that were at least 100 lbs. each. Deb and I started loading the truck. Next, Lisa and Dick came over to seems that is all they do! Thursday, I had my colonoscopy (clean bill of health) and then continued to work a bit although Deb did most of the work for sure. I was loonier than normal. Friday, Sat. and Sun we continued to pack the first truck and then got the second and loaded it to the gills.
Friday night we had a real treat. Went to see Jim and Tim play! Lisa and Dick and Matt and Rachel were there too. Oh my, what a great time we all had. It sure brought back memories of the night life in Portland that we miss so much. Ah, life sure is strange. Monday morning we each drove a truck to Bow, and Matt and Rachel drove our pick up truck and a vehicle of their own on Tues.
So, Monday we get to Bow around 1 pm. Poured all the way. When we got to Bow…we:
- Borrowed neighbor’s pick up truck.
- Packed up our bedroom set in the barn and moved it down to the new house.
- Was getting dark and we were carrying dressers and such along our trail using the wheel barrow. It was quite a site. We used some of the light from our foyer window.
- Power goes out and we move the rest of stuff in the dark.
- Go back to apartment and eat in the dark till lights come back on.
- Go back to house and clean out garage and basement. Back at 10 pm.
- Start early on Tuesday and unpack first truck. Work like hell all day. Have to unpack and repack truck because some stuff goes in barn and other stuff goes in house….
- Unload everything in second truck except the two giant rolls of carpeting. Matt and Rachel show up around 6 pm and help us get carpet in garage.
- Repack second truck with everything that has to go to the barn..
- Take truck to barn and unpack it and load all the stuff in to the barn.
- (yes, we ended up loading and unloading each truck around FOUR times!
- We are dead tired on Tuesday night.
- Start early on Wed and begin installing carpet. Glued and nailed tack strips, installed padding, and then carpet for all bedrooms and office.
- Thursday more of the same. Got all done except the loft and the stairs. Finished at 1130 pm. AND THEN, Matt and Rachel drive back to Portland and get home at 4 in the morning. God Bless Them! And God Bless Lisa and Dickey who helped all weekend in Portland
- Friday we both worked our jobs. Late Friday afternoon went to store to look for vanities for powder room and mudroom.
- Sat and Sunday worked all day at house. More tiling, setting up beds and computer desk and vacuumed all the carpets.
- Nov. 10 was my Dad's birthday. He would have been 92.
- Sunday was my Mom's birthday. She would have been 88. Yes, no question there is call for celebration for the day she was born but that is not how we felt. Just a very odd day all around. Always felt like something major was missing. It was.

Whew. Matt and Rachel worked like hell. Not only do we think the house looks great, it is so so so quiet! And we, (especially me) love that!
Deb and I both travel for work throughout the week. Oh my is this an incredible amount of work.
PS – Deb and I have decided we do not “live” in Bow, nor have we for the past 1 ¾ years….. we merely “exist.” No kidding on this. Since we have moved we have not enjoyed ourselves with any of the reasons we moved there…. But, once we move in, all of that will change for the better!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy Halloween and Packing in Portland

We are now in Portland, cleaning out our house and packing. Great fun again. As you may recall, we had planned to clean out and pack things a couple days before we left for Bow back in March 2008..... but my back went out for the first time in my life (for no apparent reason) and that kaboshed that!
Anyway, a belated Happy Halloween.... we dressed up as homeowners and contractors and worked on the house.... boy were we scary. And, of course, somehow Deb found time to dress up our "guys" and give me a card and some candy. Gotta love that!
Here are a few pics of the lastest work on the house. Hauling deck boards was an exciting adventure as you can see (Deb warming up flexing her muscles! Don doesn't need to warm up - he's just extraordinarily STRONG!), tiling (Doesn't the shower look GREAT? we can't wait to take a shower! Don's taken this on as his own little project and he's done a GREAT job!), installed some tile in front of our masonry heater so carpet does not get dirty, trim work on the stairs, etc. And while we're gone, Chris is working on the west deck - so it will be great to see it finished when we get home! Enjoy!