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July 30, 2008


This house is certainly a collaborative event. I don't know what I would do without my friends and family. They are wonderful with feedback. Today I have some Marmoleum at home and have to make a decision between the glue down stuff or the floating stuff. I mentioned before that the glue down might have some problems, but the other will have some seams. I also briefly contemplated checkerboard -- but thanks to Millie and Dani, I decided that it would be too busy. My neighbor, Millie, has been especially helpful because she has such a wonderful eye for color and design. I have relied on her several times during the remodel. My friend, Marilyn, is another person who has impeccable taste and an eye for a bargain (which more closely resembles my budgetary needs), Dani has a an uncanny ability to put interesting ideas together and make them look like a million dollars. I'm still re-reading the stuff that Etta told me about configuring the kitchen. I asked both Jeni and Ron what they liked best about their new kitchen and have constantly re-read those comments which reside in my "kitchen wisdom" folder. Even James has some ideas about the use of my new rooms -- he wants to move into the new pool room. I have a feeling if I let him, he'll be here until he is 18.

What fun to have such great and creative people around me. I don't even have to mention Debbie and Tom because I have relied upon them from the start for my remodeling education, my design decisions, and they have become good friends. I guess what I am saying is that you don't ever have to make decisions in a vacuum. I am not remodeling my house, WE are remodeling my house. And, I am so very glad to have a collaborative team that I can count on.

New Beadboard Inside Cabinets

My Pantry Door Not Yet Finished -- Will Have Blackboard in the Three Panels

Trying to Decide Upon Flooring and Counters

Posted by Marilyn at 11:11 AM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2008

The Rest of the Railing

The railing guy is back to finish off the railing on the back stairs and to redo the railing on the breakfast room porch. Tom was not happy with the job, and although they have been pushing for their money, he was waiting for them to finish the job. Perhaps we put an end to that chapter after today. One by one things get done -- I'm crossing out the big ticket items as they come.

Creative financing has to be cleverly managed -- somewhere between charge accounts, home improvement loans, mortgages, and my own funds this job will be done. Of course, I could have had a top-of-the-line kitchen and new bathroom twice over for having to do the back of the house. But, every time I walk through those rooms I sigh over how good they make me feel. I'm afraid they will make the rest of the house look shabby, but little by little it too can be painted and spruced up.

Today Chas is doing some touching up on items that are left over in the back of the house, Tom was working on my pantry, Miles is working on the inside of the old cabinets, Mike is working on installing outside lighting, and I have been doing a multitude of small tasks to carry us along -- calling to make appointments for measuring the kitchen for counters and floors, finishing ordering lights, etc. Somedays are just a potpourri of items. Yesterday I scraped paint from the radiator and took down some hardware at the top of the stairwell. I figure that my time is free and those are things I can do.

I went up at noon to ooh and aah over Marilyn's construction. It is coming along beautifully -- and I know just how she feels as it takes shape. My thoughts are with Charles in California who is putting the final touches on their move -- hoping that the movers come back for the few left over items that didn't get picket up yesterday (another story) before he has to leave for Washington this afternoon. He must be exhausted. So, houses are on my mind constantly these days. I have little thought for anything else. But, that is not so very bad.

Posted by Marilyn at 1:28 PM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2008

Changes of the Week

Sometimes the change is too subtle for pictures, but I thought I would update you visually. So, here are some new photos of the project accomplishments this week.

The kitchen Takes Shape

More of the Kitchen

Lower Living Room With Carpet

Pool Room With New Floor

Lovely Stairs

Posted by Marilyn at 9:09 AM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2008

So Little Time, So Many Decisions

Now that the crew is in the kitchen busy working on all the cabinets, there are many, many small decisions to be made that have been on the back burner. Oh, there are the big ones that I alone can make which involve choosing the kitchen counters and flooring -- but there are all the small decisions such as the final shape of the breakfast nook, the wood and color of the shelves around the window, the configuration of the pantry, the placement of bead board inside the cupboards, in the breakfast room and at the back of the bookshelves. Some of these decisions are based on economical concerns and some on envisioning the final decor after all is said and done.

I'm very grateful that I don't have a firm bid on a set of plans which need a change order to tweak. I appreciate so much that Tom is willing to continue to negotiate until he is ready to build. I sometimes get bogged down talking about something until all the ideas are on the table and final decisions are made. Tom jumps into the discussions with cost factors or considerations that I haven't thought or have knowledge about. Now that Dani is here, I like to pick her brain. And, to make it even more interesting, Debbie stopped by yesterday just as we were talking about one of her design elements involving the shelving. I'm sure this collaborative style is more chaotic and my habit of thinking out loud and changing my mind while there is still time sometimes drives Tom crazy, but I think the final product is so much better when it can be fashioned after seeing how the house is taking shape.

As I walk though the back rooms and the kitchen taking shape, I am continually grateful for Debbie and her design decisions, for Tom's expertise and cleverness, for his crew of talented young men, for everyone's flexibility on the job, for Tom's network of people who have done well such as Mike and John, the wallboard guy, and for the transformation of this old house into a new life. I have heard such horror stories about remodeling. And, Tom has had hassles with the deck and the railing people, but either there have been relatively few glitches or Tom has handled them without my knowledge. How lucky can a person be?

Posted by Marilyn at 8:19 AM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2008

The Carpet Is In!

The carpet is in the lower living room and it looks very nice. It is a bit more beige and a bit less taupe than I had hoped, but it will blend with just about anything I decide to do down there. It makes at least one room look finished. The piano will be moved back on the 31st.

I'm in a dither about the breakfast room bench configuration and the pantry. I probably won't sleep well until those decisions are made. But, now I have enough history behind me to know that I will make them soon enough. My neighbor, AmySue, is having a HUGE weekend party with a group of friends who all have families. She asked if one family could stay here -- and the only space left is the attic. They are only sleeping here according to her -- but that is just about all they can do. It is going to be interesting (and crazy). Charles has one more day to get ready for the movers and Dani is looking for storage units that are cheaper than United. Lots of busyness around here.

Posted by Marilyn at 11:03 AM | Comments (0)

July 23, 2008

Lights, Camera, Action

Well, lots of lights and action -- but no camera today. Mike the electrician is back and finishing up the lighting. So, I went down the Village Lighting and made a few decisions about final choices. I chose two schoolhouse lights for the ceiling in the kitchen and a fluted glass fixture for the breakfast room. The carpet is coming this afternoon and so I made arrangements for the piano to be moved back into the lower living room on the 31st. The painting is almost finished -- I still see a few places here and there that need to be touched up. I'm going to make a better inspection this morning. I also made a decision on hinges for the kitchen cupboards and found a sink this morning. Wow! I guess lots has been done in a short time.

I'm waiting to hear from the flooring guy who is going to try to find a way to install the Marmoleum that I like -- and I need to go forward to decide upon counter tops and tile on the kitchen walls. The kitchen cabinets are being faced and doors will be next. It begins to get exciting. My front yard looks like a war zone since that is where the crew is cutting the wood for the kitchen. Unfortunately, the weather is cool today so they all went out for coffee this morning.

Back to the lights -- one of the things Mike is doing is cleaning up the mess in the basement ceiling. For years I've wanted to clear out all the old wiring and the disconnected stuff left over the century- long use of the house. Then, each light in the basement had to be turned on one by one. He has cleaned out all the old wires and is putting all the lights on one circuit to be turned on and off when entering or exiting the basement from any door. I love it! He took down old light boxes and random wires. It begins to look downright tidy.

I guess one thing about remodels, you get some of these little side advantages that you never thought about -- having a new poolroom and subbasement is so exciting even when not planned, having a tidy basement ceiling, having a little room for garden stuff left over under the breakfast room. Just frosting on the cake!

Posted by Marilyn at 12:36 PM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2008


Here are some pictures of the kitchen as the cabinets begin to take shape. And, the view from the dining room into the new lower living room. You have to look through the clutter as everything is piled up in the dining room until it can be put back in place. Perhaps next week after the carpet comes, things will begin to look normal again. Or, the new normal. You can see the old cabinet frame in the third picture. All the new cabinets will be faced in fir and all the new cupboard doors and drawers will match the old cabinet.






Posted by Marilyn at 11:37 AM | Comments (0)

New Fireplace

Yesterday Barrons installed the little gas fireplace that I'm using for a heater in the pool room. It just fits in between the windows and looks so cute. It will be on a remote control so that I can turn it on from upstairs and warm up the basement room before I go down to use it. Or, I can leave it on the thermostat very low if I find myself using the room often. In any case, the theory I'm using is that as heat rises from the lower into the upper room and also flows from the main part of the house into the lower living room, it will stay at a pretty good temperature. I took the electric floor heater out of the lower living room and until I trade out my boiler sometime in the future, I won't have any heat in there except that which comes from elsewhere. But, with the new windows and the lower room heat, I think it might work. We'll see.

I talked to Willie who works for a couple of companies in town and laid my basement bathroom floor. He is supposed to lay the Marmoleum in the kitchen. He was hesitant because he just laid down Marmoleum in another old house also over an old wood floor and it didn't work well. He is concerned that he won't be able to get a good fit because of the shifting wood floor underneath. He is doing more research and I suppose I'd better look further for another floor covering. I'm disappointed, but haven't given up yet. The other good news is that the barrier between the living rooms came down yesterday. I forgot how lovely it was to have everything so open since I've now lived with the openings closed for so long. I'll post some pictures today.

I got an email from my friend Marilyn. Her second story is now built and the steps up are finished. So, there's building progress galore on South Hill.

Posted by Marilyn at 8:31 AM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2008

Painting Has Resumed

I feel absolutely deluged by painters. Andrew is back to paint the outside of the breakfast room which is going to leave my house 3/4 grey with blue trim and 1/4 beige with white trim. Since I'm inside my house, it will not bother me as much as the neighbors. I just hope that I can get the rest done before the first needs repainting. I haven't seen either of the other two painters -- the wallboard guy and the trim guy. Since I have always done my own painting (except for the exterior of the house), I am both critical of what they do and relieved that I don't have to do it. I still don't know whose fault it is that the masking took the paint off of the wall in various places downstairs. Or, who will have to repair the problem.

I went today to check out the new carpet -- and it is not far off the big sample that I used to choose it. I suppose one could say that it is definitely within the 2% rule!!! In any case, they will come next Wednesday to install it in the lower living room. I also went today to look at tile for the kitchen backsplash. But, unfortunately, I seem to have Dani's sore throat (I miss my dishwasher's ability to kill germs!) and I wasn't up to really thinking clearly about tile. Another day.

Tom is in his workshop building cabinets so only the house painters are here. Pam is cleaning today. She heard me talking about tiles and said, "Please don't get tile for the counters. You know who would have to clean it." I said, "What is it worth to you for me to get granite?" She said, "What is it worth to you to have me keep cleaning this house?" She is a wily one and knows her worth around here!

I must report that the five of us are amazingly organized in the second floor. The little kitchen is humming along and super organizer, Charles, has us all whipped into shape. Every time I am turning around, he is organizing another corner of our little nest. And, he cut up a peach in perfect squares for my breakfast today. That was very thoughtful since I felt yucky -- it went well with the tea and toast Dani brought me in bed. I might just get used to having an extended family around.

Posted by Marilyn at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2008

A Sunny Bellingham Day

When it is glorious in Bellingham, it is truly glorious. Dani, Charles, James, Nico, Kinsey and I walked down to Boulevard Park this morning. Dani and I took computers so we could stay and write at Woods Coffee Shop. On the way down, we were talking about how California seems golden and yellow and Washington blue and green -- also how the flowering shrubs and plans in Bellingham are so vivid and beautiful. How fortunate to live in such a place and how fast we put winter behind.

The crew showed up this morning back from a few days vacation. I have several things to report. First, my bedroom floors that were refinished while I was in Ashland are truly beautiful. I'm borrowing a lovely sleigh bed from Tetricks that was in their storage unit. Except for the fact that my mattress is too high to look perfect, it is a great addition to the room. I finally put on the new spread I bought 6 months ago and hung a painting that I got from my Santa Barbara painting teacher so many years ago. I took the rug from the bathroom and put it in the bedroom -- and it all looks great! I only have to finish painting the woodwork and recover a little chair and I've accomplished that bedroom/bathroom suite task. I'm very pleased. Now, on to the guest bathroom (but not until I've earned more money).

The woodwork painter finished downstairs, but he had difficulty with his tape pulling the color off of quite a few spots on the walls. He blamed the wallboard guy's job/paint -- but Tom rolled his eyes when I told him that. Who knows who's fault it is -- it will have to be fixed. He was embarrassed so he did spend some time spackling, but I noticed that he didn't get everything. It is part of the one step forward and one step back phenomena that I mentioned before. It will get fixed and the woodwork does look nice. I did tell him that I wished he had hand painted it. But, he said that in such a huge room, it is usually much quicker to mask and spray and they rarely hand paint such large spaces.

Have I mentioned how very much time I have spent thinking about drink refrigerators? I want a dual control wine/beverage center right next to my breakfast room. Following Jeni and Ron's idea, I like to keep juice and pop in a little refrigerator because the kids can access it without opening the big refrigerator. I've done this for a long time, but I want one that will be built in. I also want it to store wine. Millie had the one I wanted, but it was more money than I wanted to spend. However, after doing HOURS of research (literally), I finally decided to go ahead with it. It is only 15" wide and can be built it. I could find lots of separate drink refrigerators and lots of separate wine refrigerators, but finding a dual purpose one with more than one control got me into a separate category -- so I just decided to go for it. I'm so glad to make a decision that has taken me forever to make.

The gas fireplace for the pool room will be delivered on Friday and the carpet has to wait until next week. I still haven't gone over to see the color of the new carpet -- I've been avoiding it. D&C went out looking at houses yesterday and they are going again today. We have totally organized the upstairs to accommodate all five of us. It is pretty amazing. In fact, the little ersatz kitchen is pretty impressive on a beautiful day with ships in the bay. And, Nico (who is daily picking up new words) loves the sound of the train and the birds. He stops eating and listens very carefully to all the wonderful sounds outside the open windows. What a joy to watch him grow.

Posted by Marilyn at 9:56 AM | Comments (0)

July 14, 2008


When I am tired, I get grumpy and my thoughts go towards what is NOT alright instead of what is wonderful. I expected my carpet today for the lower living room, but they called to ask if it could come tomorrow. Then, I found that the painter had NOT FINISHED his job before I arrived home and he was masking off the poolroom to spray tomorrow. Now, if you remember, the pool room is OPEN to the lower living room -- and he is going to spray the same day that the carpet is being laid???? I do not think so! Also, what ever happened to painting by the good old fashioned brush? I now have paid for over three days of masking the room so that he could spray everything in five minutes. I'd much rather pay for his hours with a paint brush in his hand. Sometimes I just don't get it. Surely in 24 hours he could have painting most of the trim without masking -- which, he says, has taken some of the paint off of the other guys paint job (wallboard guy) -- and he blamed him for not using good enough paint. Save me from my own misguided logic! Now, I have to pay for the first guy to come back and touch up.

Then, the carpet people said that I would have to wait until the middle of next week if they couldn't come tomorrow - and "by the way," she said, "the carpet color is not exactly true to the color of the swatch, but it is within the 2% rule." I need to go check it out tomorrow. The 2% rule?????????? was not mentioned when I originally said that the big swatch which I used to choose my carpet did not completely agree with the littlle tiny square in the sample book that they had. I reminded her that she said she would check it out when it arrived. At that time, she said, "No problem. If it is not the same, we'll return the carpet." And, now there is a 2% rule??????? I can't mow my lawn because the crew left a bunch of wood pieces all over the front yard AND whoever trimmed out the front of the house totally destroyed one of my plants. I try to keep in mind that it is a construction site, but sometimes I think the guys can try just a little harder not to step on plants or leave a mess for me to clean up.

Maybe I'm out of sync with the construction world. Maybe I'm just cranky. Maybe I'm just sick of it all -- but some days I wish I could make all the rules and enforce them.

Posted by Marilyn at 8:49 PM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I just got home from Ashland, Oregon. One of the joys of going away is coming home to see what has been done in your absence. I was excited to see the cabinets in the kitchen -- at least the basic boxes. They begin to define the kitchen as it will look very soon. The painter has finished the lower living room (mostly) and it is beautiful. And the trim and siding are finished on the breakfast room. While I was playing in Ashland, it is evident that the crew has been working at 240 South Forest Street.

In between watching four plays in three days, I stayed with old friends in a wonderful Victorian just two blocks from town. It was lovely and converted from a home into two flats -- each able to house 10 people. We stayed upstairs where there were three bedrooms, two baths, three decks, a kitchen and a little sitting room. My sense of houses is heightened these days and I loved waking each morning in an antique bed and gazing out the ornately trimmed windows amid the beautiful appointments in my room.

I saw Our Town (good performance, but not a good venue), The New Adventures of Hedda Gabler (fascinating and funny), Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner (funny but very confusing), and Corliolanus (one of Shakespeare's later plays) which was utterly amazing and wonderful. Coming home to reality would be boring if it weren't a challenge to see how we are now going to fit five of us in a house without a kitchen.

Posted by Marilyn at 1:18 PM | Comments (0)

July 9, 2008

Back Upstairs

I'm having my bedroom floor refinished today-- costs less because the hardwood floor guy, Jeremiah, has already fed his family this week on my downstairs!. For the last three days I have been working very hard to better organize the upstairs for the arrival of Dani and Charles, James and Nico. I moved stuff around and into the attic and then began moving out my books, clothes and small dressers to clear out my bedroom for the floor job. Last night Marilyn, Keith and Eulalah came to help me finish the project. We moved the huge mattress and box springs from the bed (whatever happened to handles???) and put them in the hall. Keith moved a few heavy book boxes and Keith and Marilyn moved a tree out of the back porch to make room for an empty bookshelf that I'm going to use for the extra food we will need to feed a family of five! My little porch kitchen has been lovely for one -- it will now be crowded. But, Charles suggested we get a little barbecue and that means that he expects to make better stuff than I usually do for myself. Yeah!

After moving stuff, we played Rummy Cubes which Keith won (as usual) and had lovely refreshments -- cold water. That was all I could manage at the last minute. I was too lazy to go upstairs and make tea! But, aren't friends wonderful? They didn't complain at all. I suppose I'll have to have them over for a proper dinner (or barbecue) sometime to thank them for being so nice to me.

Let's see -- the painter is here today for the back two rooms. He just went upstairs to find Jeremiah. I'm hoping that he didn't do something dastardly to the floor! Sometimes I just don't want to know what is going on. Tom's guys are working on the windows in the breakfast room and I think the wallboard guy is painting the kitchen. There are noises from all parts of the house so it sounds like a beehive. I'm off to do errands and then to Redmond to spend the night away from my smelly bedroom. Tomorrow I fly to Ashland for three days.

Posted by Marilyn at 10:33 AM | Comments (0)

July 8, 2008

Second Time Around

This is the second time tonight that I have written this entry. I don't know what I do, but sometimes I hit something inadvertently and lose it all. Well, here goes. Jeni wants pictures so this is for her.

It is harder for me to do pictures on my new computer which isn't set up like my old computer. The process seems to be more complicated. In any case, the guys have been working on little items -- like finishing the trim and I've posted some already. However, today they worked on the banisters and that is pleasing. Deborah was determined that the new part of the house would match the old -- not like the modern room from before we began this journey. So, Tom and his crew have been working on banisters that match my main staircase and they have done a good job. The painter is getting ready to paint the trim and the kitchen is being painted now. Here are some pictures of the banisters, the panel in the lower living room, and the new kitchen window.

Oh, and also Blythe came back today to fix the water heater and had the wrong part!!!! Talk about Comedy of Errors. I haven't a clue why I'm traveling all the way to Oregon to the Shakespeare festival when I could just go watch the plumbers. They are very apologetic. I don't want apologies, I want service.

Nico's Banister -- My Baby Banister -- Sorry, the Light Switch is All Gone!!!

The Paneling in the Lower Living Room -- It Will Be White

The New Kitchen Window -- All the Front Windows Will (Sooner or Later) Look Like This (From Inside the House)

My Favorite - the Banister to the Pool Room

Posted by Marilyn at 10:06 PM | Comments (2)

Finishing Touches

We are buzzing along in the back two rooms trying to get them finished for occupancy when Dani and Charles get here. They won't be totally finished, but move in ready pretty soon. Tom and his guys are putting the final touches on the trim and putting in the pickets for the stair railings. I got a call yesterday from Barron's heating and my fireplace is ready to be installed. My carpet comes on the 14th. The painter for the trim is beginning. It will be so very nice to open the space between the rooms again. And, to get my piano out of the dining room and the patio furniture outside. Let's see! The last time I saw my patio table it was in the garage with three big appliances between it and the door. Oh my! Well, it will be very nice to have Charles here.

I'm busy getting the upstairs more friendly for us all to live in -- organizing some shelves and cupboards and storing some books for now. I love my little upstairs kitchen, but it is definitely limited for more than one. But, we'll do the best we can while Dani and Charles are looking for a house.

I didn't hear from the plumber yesterday, but the hot water is working pretty well at the moment. The kitchen got painted the prime color yesterday so it is all white. Today I have to begin thinking of timeline for ordering appliances and counters, etc. Decisions are all but made -- but I need to talk to Tom about when they need to be installed. I begin to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Now, if Mike, the electrician, will remember to come and finish his job, I really will see the light.

Posted by Marilyn at 6:15 AM | Comments (1)

July 6, 2008

Saga Continued

No hot water this morning and little pressure in my shower. I put on a robe and grabbed my keys just in case I found a flood in the basement and had to access the main turnoff -- but all I found was a noisy water heater trying to crank out something! Sorry, Blythe, but I can't wait until Monday morning -- I called again. Of course, no one remembers who came out on the 4th and I didn't write it down while I was driving -- so now I'm waiting until they find the person who located yesterday's problem and have him call me back. I'm sitting here clean after my cold shower and hoping to go to church but thinking unchurch like thoughts! When will this end?

On another note, Marilyn and I went shopping yesterday. She bought a new chair for her proposed remodeled bedroom at Restoration Hardware outlet which had a further 20% discount and I bought a few small items for my bathroom and a great basket on wheels to put under my laundry chute.

I just heard from John (my 4th of July plumber) at Blythe - the problem with the water heater is that is not igniting properly -- so that is why I didn't have hot water this morning. We are back to our original "it'll be o.k. until Monday schedule." John assures me that it is not in danger of leaking or gassing me into oblivion. I wonder if I can wash my clothes that are overspilling my hamper.

Posted by Marilyn at 9:40 AM | Comments (0)

July 4, 2008

The Continuing Water Heater Saga

I checked the new water heater last night after the plumbers left and thought there was some residual gas smell, but after opening the window it dissipated. This morning, however, it was back and so I called Blythe answering service (since it was a holiday). I took the return call illegally since I was in the car on my way to Redmond but I understand that the police cannot stop me simply for talking on my cell phone alone.

The plumber said he would check it out right away. He called back later to tell me that the gas pipes were just fine, but there seemed to be a problem with the new water heater.
Judson Morse had talked me into taking a 75 gallon tank they had sitting around because it had a cosmetic dent in it. He was sure that there was no structural problem and it was fully under warranty. Furthermore, he was giving it to me for $300 plus labor, I decided to give it a try. The plumber seems to think it has a flaw so they are coming out on Monday to see what they can do. He assured me that it could be used until they return.

The good news is that my water pressure upstairs seems to be back to full flow except for one sink -- so in the one step forward, two back continuum, I'm still ahead. It would be very funny if after unloading this water heater on me, they would have to replace it already. We'll see.

The good news is that the Craswells and Marilyn and I had a great time in Redmond and drove home after dinner leaving Ron, Jeni and guests chattering away on the patio waiting for the homemade ice cream to finish. I watched the fireworks over Bellingham Bay from Don's old study and thought nostalgically of past 4ths, fun times with family and friends, and how very much I miss my husband.

Posted by Marilyn at 10:53 PM | Comments (0)

July 3, 2008

The Calm After the Storm

After the water mishap this morning, I fulfilled a 25 year old promise to my neighbor, Millie Tetrick. When we first came to Bellingham, we looked at her house and loved it, but it was too small for us. Don talked Gary into buying it and calmed his anxiety about paying off his dental school education. They did buy the place and we were their first dinner guests. It was from their window that we saw this house was for sale and we toured it the very next day. I told Millie that I really wanted to come over sometime and bathe in her luxurious bathtub. This morning I got my wish fulfilled! Since they are away, Millie suggested I use their facilities when I was without hot water. What a friend! After the fiasco with plumbing, Pam and I walked over. Pam got some warm water to clean my waterless home, and I took a book and read while bathing to my heart's content!

The plumbers are working away in the basement and Tom's guys are continuing to put on trim. Jeremiah came and took care of the footprints on my new wood stairs so life is humming again. But, I have some really exciting news I think. First of all, Jim brought over the stained wood and my cabinet door and he has matched the kitchen stain EXACTLY! He is a miracle worker. That is a big relief. I will clean the doors that we have now, and he will take care of all the new wood and varnish everything.

Then, on a whim I wrote several recycled wood firms who were mentioned at the end of an article on Salvaged Lumber in Fine Homebuilding magazine. I told them about the wood from my swimming pool. First thing this morning I had replies from every one of the people I wrote to making inquiries about the wood. One person said he would like to come see it next week when he is in Bellingham. Everyone else wanted exact measurements and some pictures. All were interested. So, that means that there is a demand for my clear cut red cedar -- and I'm hoping to get the best price possible to help pay for some of the work around here. I knew it was marketable, but now I now know that it is in demand.

I'm off to look at tile for the kitchen. It is a very rainy day in Bellingham and we had a marvelous lightening storm most of last night. I'm planning to go to Redmond for July 4th celebration at Jeni's and Ron's. Otherwise, things are toddling along just fine now that this morning's excitement has calmed down and now that I am squeaky clean again. Happy anniversary to Dani and Charles!

Posted by Marilyn at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)

Disaster Number ?????

I have had more disasters around here since I began remodeling than in the past 25 years I have lived in this house. I don't know if it is a remodeling phenomena or what! This morning Blythe Plumbing came to install a new water heater. My old one gave out -- maybe as a result of turning it off and on so many times during the work in progress, but probably not -- the work certainly did not cause the rust. However, the plumber thought that the valve was off to the hot water since he had checked it - but he had checked the wrong valve! So, we had a bit of a spurt of water. Luckily, most of it went into the subbasement but it also lightly splattered a few of my friend Marilyn's boxes stored during her remodel.

If you read this Marilyn, your things are fine! Anyway, here are all these burly guys standing around while one seeks me out to find out where the main water shutoff was located. Of course, Tom and his guys assessed the problem immediately and Tom raced to turn off the main supply. What is there about plumbers? Most of the emergencies have been about plumbing -- which is not very curious in a house of 100 years. But, every plumber has seemed a bit lacking in specialized knowledge. I know that everyone can make a mistake, but there seems to be an epidemic among plumbers. I must say that it gives me pause for how the new hot water heater system is going to work. We'll see!

I don't know about you, but I'm not a plumber and yet if I were to plumb in anyone's house, I would first turn off ALL of the water to the house.

Posted by Marilyn at 9:11 AM | Comments (0)

July 2, 2008

Home Again

I got home yesterday afternoon completely exhausted from getting to the airport by 5:30. This early morning travel is great because Allie and I were home by 10:15. But, I was not happy at the other end of the day when the trip took its toll. I came home to busy beavers trimming out the lower living room and a lovely oak finished floor downstairs. I have no hot water yet because I'm in some discussion with Blythe about the size of the hot water heater they will install tomorrow. Millie and Gary are going to Eliza Island today through the 4th, so she said I could come take a long, lovely bath this afternoon in their empty house. I really wanted one last night, but delayed pleasure is nice. The crowning glory of the evening was when no one told me that the floor guys were going to come by and put a coat of finish on the two wood steps leading into the lower living room. So, I opened the door and stepped down before I realized that a) the stair was sticky and b) there was a smell that reached my brain too late to stop the momentum.

I decided that my recent experiences were bookends to my trip south. I began by waking up the day I left with no hot water and ended with going to bed after stepping on the newly coated steps. I finally just went to bed and slept so deeply that I didn't care at all. Now I have to call Blythe and deal with the water heater. Then go to the store and get some food.

Posted by Marilyn at 9:02 AM | Comments (0)