Friday, October 31, 2014

I vant to be alone

I may jinx myself by saying it out loud, but I think the remodeling is *finally* done. Today the counter top was fixed and the seams sealed, the underside of the house inspected (no evidence there has ever been water in my crawl space - good to know), this and that checked, and walls touched up. Not only does the house look great, but NO ONE IS EVER COMING TO MY HOUSE EVER AGAIN. Not really, but I am looking forward to some solitude. As soon as Halloween is over. And Women's Weekend. And the holidays. Maybe come January?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

What a good cat!

Last night, with my butt plastered to the living room couch, I heard a noise in the dining room. I thought it was the cat doing something, but the sound went on and on. Finally, I eased over to see what was what. Finn was lying on the floor, perfectly innocent and perfectly OBLIVIOUS to what I realized must be a mouse in the wall between the dining room and the kitchen. Eek!

There has been the occasional rodent in the garage, but never in twenty years has there been a mouse in the house itself. The other day, however, I noticed some movement by the (closed) garage door and realized there is a gap in the garage foundation; the movement was probably Mickey deciding to come back later when the structure was not occupied. I keep a litter box in the garage because sometimes Finn likes to hang out there (I wonder why!) and I grew tired of finding cat poop here and there. Last night the litter box contained not cat poop but mouse turds. While I have changed to using clay litter in the house, the garage litter box contains the last of the Swheat Scoop which is made up of wheat which is apparently attractive to mice.

So I locked Finn in the garage overnight (with food and water), and this morning there was half a mouse on the step. Hopefully, that is the only one. Today I am replacing the Swheat Scoop with clay litter and blocking the gap in the foundation. In a previous lifetime, when I lived in the country, there were mice in the house, but you can't live in the country and be squeamish about such things. (There was a black snake that hung out behind the siding by the back door, too. Snakes eat mice - the enemy of my enemy is my friend.) That was a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Backyard habitat notwithstanding, this citified gal now prefers the wildlife stay outside!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Happy birthday to me!

The couch was delivered today. Fingers crossed it looked at least okay colorwise in the den, and it does. The cushions feel stiffer than they did in the store.

The mattress will not induce anyone to overstay their welcome, but it will be used maybe once per year, if that, so I'm not too concerned. A nice feature is the head of the bed can be propped up. The better to see the TV, my dear.

In other late breaking news, the deck repairs were completed yesterday to my satisfaction. And the countertop rep magically appeared today, to declare the countertop fixable. That means more waiting while they schedule that task. If I knew then what I know now about countertops, I would have made some different choices. Ditto bathtubs. Ditto just about everything that has been upgraded in my house over the past twenty years. Maybe I will remember some of this info in my next life.

Friday, October 17, 2014

I lied

This morning, while replacing some of the deck paraphernalia, I discovered the deck crew did not run boards down to the ground in the pit by the faucet. I'm sure Finn would relish (in more ways that one) having families of mice or chipmunks living under the deck, but not me. So that needs to be fixed. Also, the sales rep is discounting my final invoice to atone for the fact the deck was not built to spec. Once the above described fix is made, I'll pay up.

The sofa, on the other hand, is paid for and scheduled for delivery next Wednesday. Whoo-hoo! I bought a nine-cube thing from Target, thinking it could go behind the love seat in the living room, but once I assembled it, I did not like it there - too tall and not wide enough. I put it in one of the spare bedrooms and, once I get some fabric drawers for it, will use it for, well, fabric storage. Target has a different shelf thing that I think would fit better, but I decided I would look around more before committing.

STILL no word on the kitchen counter. I am looking at alternatives for that corner, like maybe stainless steel. The area is not very big but much used when I cook.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

At least SOMETHING is finished

I received a phone call early yesterday, and the next thing I knew, the pergola crew showed up and finished that job. It took most of the day, and was completed in the rain, but at least it is DONE. The sales rep is coming Friday for a final "walk through" and presumably to collect the final payment.

The thing looks massive to me, much more so than the free-standing pergola that was there before. In fact, the whole project is bigger than expected. There is a whiny part of me that is a bit put out that I did not get exactly what I asked for, but seriously, it is just a deck. Once the surface is populated with the usual collection of potted plants, patio furniture, and grill, I'm sure its overall gestalt will return to the lived-in look I am used to.

Same day the plumbing guy banged on the door. He was passing by and decided to stop and take care of the bathtub spout and the grout for the vanity backsplash (he had used clear grout, which disappeared and made it look like there was no grout). We also discussed the scratched floor tile. I have only one extra tile left and the flooring is no longer in production. I've come to the conclusion that this guy is not that experienced in all facets of home remodeling (earlier he confessed that this job was the first time he had installed crown molding), so I'm reluctant to waste my last tile on his education.

Still no resolution on the kitchen counter. Still waiting to hear from the manufacturing rep. I am prepared to shed tears to get what I want.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Good news and bad news

The good news is, the carpet/tile junction is now smooth and even. The guys who laid the tile seemed to know what they were doing, except for the carpet bit. A different guy fixed their errors, which begs the question of why the first crew did not know the correct method. My observation of some businesses is they have A teams and B teams, and they send the B team out for most things, then the A team comes along and mops up. Presumably, the B team is paid less, but I don't know that for sure.

(I took a picture of the "foyer" but the walls look pink and the tile looks like particle board, neither of which is accurate. So, no photos. Sorry.)

The bad news is, when I decided to try out the new tub enclosure, the spout flew off when I switched the water over to the shower head. I'm glad I thought to test the installation, else the calamity might have occurred to a guest.

Still nothing new about the kitchen counter, although the rep for the manufacturer is supposed to contact me this week. I really, really, REALLY want that corner of the counter to be sans seam. We'll see how that pans out. Also, waiting on the pergola construction.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Deck and pergola - after day 2

I haven't been paying too much attention to the weather other than monitor nighttime lows for frost warnings, so I was surprised at how much it has rained the past two days. In fact, it absolutely poured at times. The mostly Amish crew was not deterred, though, and completed the deck portion of the deck-and-pergola project yesterday.

Even though the deck is not much bigger than the patio footprint, it looks HUGE to me. It's like another room has been added onto the house. The patio furniture is in the garage, but I may have to drag it back out so I can sit outside and survey my realm during Indian summer.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Deck and pergola - after day one

Midday Sunday I decided I should mow the lawn, and set the mower deck down a notch, in hopes that this will be the last mow of the season (jinx, jinx, jinx!) Shortly thereafter, the deck people called (okay, *one* guy called, representing the "people"), to inform me that work would begin today at 8:00 AM. Whoo-hoo! And that gave me time to finish cleaning off the patio instead of grooming pets and vacuuming, like I planned.

The deck crew's idea of 8:00 AM differs from my idea, as I was still staggering around half-dressed and under caffeinated when they showed up. At least I was able to get the car out of the garage and into the neighbor's driveway before more vehicles arrived. Then it was noises, noises, noises for the next eight hours or so.

The rain did not stop them, but they did break for lunch, so the pets and I got a short respite. I left mid-afternoon to pick up g'daughter at preschool. My car is not very quiet, but it seemed so on the drive across town.

Apparently, reality collided with my vision of the project. As explained to me, because of pre-existing footings, the deck itself is larger than the patio slab, even without the step. And the step down from the house to the deck is shorter than anticipated because there just isn't room enough for the joists otherwise.

The whole thing looks incredibly... sturdy. The posts are set three feet into the ground, so this pergola should not get blown over like the free standing one did. So far, so good, anyway.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Almost there and almost more

Two days ago the tile by the front door was installed. I definitely like it BUT the transition from tile to carpet is too bulky. I think they should have trimmed more off when they folded the carpet under at the edge. It is a subtle tripping hazard as it stands, so it will need to be redone.

(The carpet is starting to show its age, but I don't want to get new until I no longer have Betsy. She suffers from occasional brain farts, thinks she is outside when she hits carpet. It doesn't happen often but often enough. Poor thing.)

Today there was a small parade of contractors through the house, taking care of this, that, and the other. Everything is done except some wall repair in the kitchen (in progress), and a decision is pending on what to do about the kitchen counter by the stove. Ideally, I want it to be replaced with something that has no seam, as it is a primary work surface. The only worse place to have a seam would be by the sink.

The deck company was supposed to start work around the end of September. Yesterday I was going to call them, but did not need to, as the underground utility guys showed up to mark the yard. That means installation is imminent. Whoo-hoo!