Saturday, December 26, 2009

And what to my wondering eyes should appear.......

And what to my wondering eyes should appear?..........but a red rug on the floor.....from the Netzers, I fear. Yep. It was bound to happen. A person has a basic character it an aversion to color or a fondness for Precious Moments.....and some folks just won't let it alone. Don't count on seeing this rug on the floor for more than another few or not.
Phase 2: Technology. (I guess the phone installation was Phase 1......and not a whole lot less complicated than this one.) High definition......straight from Sam's.......not bad for a non-card-carrying, lukewarm-TV-watcher. (New chairs from Target in the picture......and old, rickety camping table from the basement.)
The TV in Morgan's room will be right over her desk. Check out the custom closet doors that Michael made from the translucent plastic panels in a metal frame.
By encasing the plumbing innards in steel, a fairly ordinary bathroom has been ramped up to industrial chic.......Michael and Jason's good idea.

And Jason has finished making the doors for Morgan's room and bathroom, for my bathroom and for the utility room from pieces that were initially cut out of the container walls. They plan to paint them white, but I'm sure attached to the "character" of the rust spots, dents and lettering and hate to cover that up.
This is Michael's Red Banana Berm plan. Try selling that to a landscape company from Rogersville. If I've learned one thing during this process, it is NEVER to use the term "dirt cheap" again. Instead of having just a flat area planted with Buffalo Grass on the non-river side of the house, we thought that berms would make it more interesting and help with the drainage issues as well. That was before learning how un-cheap dirt really is. We'll see how this turns out.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Not exactly the Shroud of Turin.....

Not exactly the Shroud of Turin.......but that mysterious purple stain on the floor in the kitchen is, at the very least, sure to be a conversation starter....and at the very most, a tourist attraction which could possibly become as popular as the World's Largest Ball of Twine or the Spam Museum. Where did it come from? What does it look like? Would you drive all the way from Elk City, Oklahoma to see it with your own eyes?

Seepage from an exotic, ultra violet, gelatinous substance being carried in the shipping container from port to port.......only to find itself on a Webster County kitchen floor? Residue from a squid held hostage by a band of starving gastronomes? The outline of a dagger used to slit the gizzard of Australian rain-stick player? Plumber's compound? Bad vibes or good?

Well, enough of that. It's definitely character in the floor to be "celebrated".

Other news: the couch has been delivered......twice. Remember when I went to Chicago and sat on every couch in every store in the city until I found the perfect one at Room and Board? Thanks to the wonderful assistance of Kathleen......and her helpful, intelligent, non-judgmental guidance. Since that day in March, someone has called to check with me, every three weeks, to see if I was ready for it to be delivered. Finally, I said yes. The day before it was to arrive, the Room and Board truck driver called to make the final arrangements and said he would deliver it between seven and nine the next morning. I asked him if he knew the way, and he said he had a good map. I rushed out there at the crack of dawn, unlocked the door and made a welcome sign and stayed as long as I could before returning to work......knowing that it was going to be late that day before I could go sit on it. I went home (to my old house) for lunch, like I usually do.....and there was the couch, wrapped in plastic, sitting vertically in the corner of my living room. Oops. I honestly don't know if I never gave them my NEW ADDRESS or I did and they didn't put it on the paperwork....but I called and told them that there had been a mistake. Instead of telling me that it was my mistake and there was nothing they could do about it....or citing their order numbers and blah blah blah.....they said that they would reduce the delivery charge if I could find a way to get it to the new house, but if I couldn't, they would return next week and pick it up at the old house and deliver it to the new house. Yes, that's right. They would return from their warehouse in Minneapolis and drive to Springfield and then to Rogersville to deliver the couch. ROOM and BOARD. You won't find any better, smarter more conscientious service than that.

I've had lots of family support these days.....bearing (and baring) gifts and talents that I didn't even know existed. My son Gabe, having worked as a home entertainment/security systems installer while finishing Engineering school, has probably experienced one of the more frustrating jobs associated with the building of this house: dealing with the telephone company and the TV people. Need I say more? (Personally, I've got a notebook with a hit list of names from AT & T from the times my Internet service has been severed......which is totally unrelated to THIS undertaking....Linda in India, Bob in Phoenix, Mary in St. Louis, Rick in Mexico, et. al.....). With the details of the installation too gruesome to include, let me just say that this is definitely a labor of love on his part.....on-going, but almost there.

And my son John R., with nary an agricultural/horticultural gene in his body (that I know of), not only has been clearing the land around the house and down to the river, but is now working on smoothing the driveway area with his tractor and new attachments. Another job that has its pitfalls......ticks, scratches, frostbite....and a never-ending need for MORE new attachments.

My daughter (and part-time roommate) Morgan, seems to be in denial. I'm genetically familiar with that trait.

All in all, when it comes to having "good help", it doesn't get any better than what I've had.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cooking on all four burners........

Cooking on all four burners.......and a whole lot of just last week. I bought all of the appliances for the house, way back in October, at Metro Builders Supply in Springfield, and
must say that it was a good experience from beginning to end. No heavy-handed, slick-talking, promise-you-everything sales people.......just the facts, some very smart and very personable professionals, a bit of education about why some products are better or more efficient than others, staying within the budget, saving money wherever possible, free delivery to the house (17 miles away), and for a reasonable cost: INSTALLATION.

I am extremely close.......extremely living the dream. And I'm talking about a cold water dispenser and the possibility of crushed ice here. Not to mention a dishwasher for the first time in thirteen years. And, finally, the ability to fix pancakes on the griddle or fry cheese burgers without the smoke alarm going off......thanks to a vent hood. CRUSHED ICE. What next?

And how about the floors? Have you seen the floors since Jason put those coats of sealer on them? Oh, yeah. Now I remember talking about "celebrating" the character of the various imperfections......or some such thing. Well, they are just great. Just great. In a day or two, I'll take pictures of a very distinct "character/imperfection" to be found in the kitchen floor.....and an accompanying "celebration". Folks from miles around may be lining up to see this phenomenon.


And if that isn't an oxymoron, I don't know what is. Imagine marching up to the list, tools in hand and a head full of motivation.......and then you spot a Bald Eagle cruising right down the river runway......or see a couple of ground squirrels having the time of their lives. What to do?

And a great view of all of the clearing John R. and Nicole did one great Fall day.......
See why it's taking so long to get this project wrapped up? So much TO-DO......yet, so much to do........