Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Oh, Lordy

I caught just a glimpse from a distance of movement on the woodpile a couple of days ago. Today when I glimpsed, I raced with the camera to take this from the window of the new quilt studio. It's something I really, really didn't want to see.

Still, they're so darned cute. The mom seems to be Barefoot, the almost tame gray-striped feral who has been around the most persistently. I see a little bit of Black Kitty, the long-time-homeless neighborhood tom cat, in the one kitten, but have no idea where that Siamese look came from.

Henley got the picture about the big move of the cat tree into my office yesterday. He beat me in here this morning.

I'm trying to keep this short and sweet so I won't get so darned far behind and feel overwhelmed and stay up until three in the morning to catch up. Indulge me a moment more. I took a picture of the ephemeral glint off a box of CDs on the floor of my office on my way out last night, and of some pretty flowers in front of the ophthalmologist's office this morning.

So, yay! I got my prescription for new post-cataract-surgery glasses, got the glasses ordered, and I learned from my optician that the dread disease, pseudophakia, that the ophthalmologist listed as a condition in both my eyes, is, in fact, a fake lens for the eye that has been implanted to replace the home-grown lens.

The whole point of the surgery.


See you soon.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Handy Helpers

This will break the log jam. The guys, Craig and Tom, came over this afternoon to put my closet together. (Hard to put a lot of stuff away when your closet is a big empty space.)

They, in turn have a supervisor. Jean-Luc. The closet is more than a mere afternoon project, so they'll be back. In addition, I must take back one box of components that has a broken piece.

I decided to move a cat tree from the living room to my study. The cats weren't using it at all in its living room location. It's heavy, so I put it on the little hand cart.

Jean-Luc was first aboard to help, then when I was maneuvering the corner, Henley joined him. Nothing like making a top-heavy load even top-heavier.

I'm also getting help with this. I'd be in bed by now if it weren't for all this help.

I need to wear light shirts to take a photo with this cat.

My May 28 Photo A Day: Click it. I just love it when it is enlarged.

See you soon.


The Very Long Hall (pt.2)

(I call this part 2, even though it isn't,  simply to avoid confusion with The Very Long Haul.)

Right from the time he first saw my rough sketch of the room addition, Craig, my contractor, declared this a very long hall. Perhaps a bowling alley in scale. Just the final stub of it shows up in his almost-to-scale plan proposal.

I couldn't see any other way to get from one end of the house to the other without a long hallway given than the new rooms would be added to the end. Perhaps he was thinking second story and stairs. The husband and I bought this house for our old age for its lack of stairs. I'm 24 years older than when we moved here. There will be no stairs.

I guess what it has added to the hall is the length of my bedroom, plus a little more, because there used to be a linen cabinet at the end, and now there is St Francis' niche.

It's a comment Craig has made often.

Well, it's finished! There are add-ons and dribbles and drabbles still pending that are not part the the original project: move the generator, add a tankless water heater, extend the front planter, get someone adept at assembling, starting with my closet so I can get stuff put away. But you've seen us go from this empty ground at the end of the house to two added rooms, here before it's painted.

Here of some scenes from the evolution of the hall. Upper left, when the barricade was moved completely to MY end of the hall and I had to move out; as the niche was taking form; then on the right, a long view after painting and carpet but before light fixtures. Bottom left, St Francis way at the end and the ceiling fixtures in the new part of the hall; St. Francis by the light of a recessed can; ceiling fixtures all installed but not all hooked up.

The quilting studio has the laminate floors that look like big tiles, in the beginning in the upper left and complete in the lower right. Ugly hardwood in the entry hall was also replaced by the laminate. The kitchen (lower left) and the hall bathroom have the vinyl tile effect.

Here's the carpet guy cutting out and rolling up the piece for the long hall.

These are the light fixtures for the hall. With all the family paintings Sister and I have, these will light my hall gallery. She has really done a nice job on her hall gallery, so I think I'll enlist her help. There are five of these fixtures, so I guess the hall is long.

These are the dimmer switches now required for incandescent bulbs. I love them.

Here are reasons kitties and I needed to vacate for the final push to end on inside construction.

Now that I see what's coming out of the buffet (the guys packed up), I realize that the orderly look of what I put back is because a bunch of stuff hasn't made its way back in. Darn.

Here are the kitties just before we came home. (Henley did not eat Jean-Luc.)

I got this cat tower to use at Sister's house during the exile and Chloe adopted the top shelf. The tower is in my bedroom now and she sleeps up top at night where she can keep an eye on the boys. We continue without locking anyone up in the kitten room at night. There is still hissing and growling, but something of an uneasy truce between Chloe and Jean-Luc. Maybe someday they'll both relax.

Thursdays Out continues, a little oasis during the confusion. A couple of weeks ago Barbara came in with these festive gloves, sox and hat, and Sandy had a selection of watches that she'll be selling at the Quilt Stroll coming up in early June. I had such a great photo op there last week with all kinds of construction going on at The Little House, as well as our own craft and needlework. One of the workmen gave me his macho pose as I raised my camera, only to read "memory card missing" on the LCD. Rats! It was back home in the computer.

Going up toward the end was my new dining room fixture.

Sigh! I got the TV hooked up not too long after we came home, but deleted a couple of components from the system and am trying to salvage a tape deck and turntable from Husband's old stereo system. Hooking the old guys up was a lot more complex than plugging together modern systems. It doesn't look like I have enough plug-ins in my home theatre system and I'm not sure they're all compatible. I would hate to plug them in and blow up the sound system. The manuals don't speak the same language, so no help there. There is still a big mess back here, but I've found some cord ties to help tame it. There are a lot fewer cords here than before I tore it apart. There's only one power strip and only one plug into the wall.

Here's the weekend before Memorial Day when the tourists began to flood through town, as did some women cyclists who had just completed a steep six mile uphill climb and took a break in the park. They were being shuttled up the road a piece to do a 50-mile mostly downhill run for the rest of that same day, then a ride planned for all day on Sunday.

Outside work came to chez moi when the cement truck arrived to create a swale to carry water off from under my deck, put a step on the basement entrance, and create a pad for the relocated generator. I asked the guy who was wading in the concrete up to his knees who did his laundry. He does. His mom doesn't like to do it. (Quelle surprise!) The last view of the truck was how I left them behind to go to town. It had stalled where you see it at least an hour before my departure. They were waiting for a huge tow truck to come from afar.

You never saw so much animal arranging going on as on the buffet. Daughter put up her version first. Sister rearranged it. I arranged it again (it's mine, after all), and tweak it every time I go by. This still may not be the final configuration.

My first meal eaten at my table in I don't know how many years. Someone had found place mats and salt-and-pepper shakers and napkins, so it dawned on me that this was the place to eat.

Craig's last day before going on a little vacation was to wash and clean the deck, which was cluttered not only with construction debris, but ratty covers over the bench and table set to shelter feral cats from winter weather and cat fur and a cat bed that had been torn apart by critters looking for nesting material.  It was quite a job and I took advantage of his manly hefting skills to rearrange the furniture.

When all the other interior work had been done, the window-covering guy came in to install the shades. I especially like the left one, which can be pulled up, or pulled down, or anything in between. I wanted that because that window only opens at the top, so I can close the bottom for privacy while letting air come in at the top. On the right, for the slider, there are double shades, operated independently.

These are the new study/office and quilting room shades.

I realize now that it really is a long hall, especially when I have to go -- as I frequently must -- from one end to the other and back for something needed or forgotten. It's done wonders for my pedometer totals, without even going out for a walk.

Except for the missing planter box, my house looks like it has been this way all along. I love my new bedroom arrangement. It's the same size as before but with the closet and mirror doors in a different location, as is the bed, it feels really big in there. There is much to do to put the new rooms together, but can't wait to get to use them. I have a trip coming up that will delay that opportunity somewhat.  Oh, well.

See you when I can.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Very Long Haul . . .

It's a long haul, once it's been decided, getting a room addition planned and built, with an inevitable expansion of the project. Who, after all, wants to put a new roof over two rooms right next to the shingles whose sands have blown off to who knows what corners of the earth? Who wants to put fresh carpeting and tiles (albeit laminate tiles) next to 25 year old carpet? Who wants to put fresh paint next to 25 year old beige paint? Or leave the tired ivory electric plugs and switches with the new white switch plates and white trim?

You see how it goes. Next it will be furniture. It's shabby without being -chic, since contractually I cannot declaw these fancy cats. I've already started with the new bed, a few lighting fixtures and fans.

I've slept at home for two nights now. Contractors and subcontractors are entering my house through the bedroom patio door. I made it up before the electrician arrived the first morning, but this morning I woke up late. The electrician had the power off extensively yesterday and my TV alarm had lost its setting. I did wake up, just in time to pass the first arrival going through the door and to get to a medical appointment.

Construction happens. And other things in life happen, even as the kitties and I hang out in Garage Mahal and Sister takes a short trip away to a convention of Wee Mice. (Not exactly the right term. I'm sure she'll correct it in a Comment.) Brother-in-Law and I manage to stay alive due to Sister's discovery of fresh meals from Safeway which can be heated in about four minutes and are actually quite good. Otherwise we might have leaned heavily on peanut butter and jelly. I took pictures, so there will be a few here!

This is the "before" picture of the house taken about two years ago, same time of year.

Here is the current picture. There's a front porch/deck on the right end that's hidden in the trees now. It shows up a bit in the "before" picture.The Photinia, which puts out shiny red leaves this time of year, has put out leathery red dry leaves this year. Alas, despite efforts to protect it and save it, it hasn't made it and will have to be replaced with something which won't want to grow up to be a tree.

The kitchen painting is done here but electrical covers need to be put back on the outlets.

I'm looking at closets for my bedroom, something other than the one long rod and shelf above where I can't reach anything.  I've seen some pricey custom builds on the Internet. Here's a more modest, yet not cheap, brand that appeals.

We had a patch of hot weather, then they started predicting rain. I saw thunderheads up over the mountains (Yosemite direction), catching glimpses of them as I drove along the curving roadway. Nowhere to stop, so I went on out to the airport with its relatively unrestricted view of the skies.

Indeed, by the next day it began to rain. Down at the bank, water swirls along its front. The pansies are loving it. Henley watches it from atop the cat tree at Garage Mahal.

Back at my house, I inspect the floor plugs, where I'll be able to plug in my sewing machine under the table that is still to be assembled.

The boys are being "Good Kitties" by using the scratching surfaces on the base of the cat tree.

What's out there at night?

Aha! Soroptimists take a social break in their busy schedule for a luau. It wasn't exactly Hawaiian sunshine but the rain did hold off for most of the party. We have a friend and neighbor of Soroptimist who performed several Hawaiian dances.

 As a warm up for possible hula dancing by the party guests, a small hula hoop contest is held.

We also get tropical punches in fancy glasses.



Hula lessons for this pretty bunch of the more daring . . .

The final cataract surgery is forthcoming, so I audition new glasses and get a timeline for having them made. I really want the new ones before my upcoming trip later next month. I chose the frames with the white earpieces (fully bendable and unbreakable) and the lens shape of the orange ones.

Eh! And surgery. Sister stuck around to drive me this time, while BIL went on a Morgan club event.

After surgery, we stopped by Orchard Supply to order ClosetMaid components, to pick up the following day.

That happened, not without a little confusion, as a couple hundred dollars worth of duplicate components were carted out to us. Assembly is required, by someone who is willing and able to entertain looking at the instructions.

We also stepped over to Staples to look for a corner desk for my computer, so I can place it such that I can see out both windows of the new study. There we have it. Assembly required.

It had this companion piece, which wasn't on sale, so I left it behind until I could see how my current furniture stacks up in the room. Brother-in-Law spent a very long afternoon doing the desk assembly.

I think I showed you the bed. But here it is with its cute little lights, fitted out with light bulbs now.

This is "The Very Long Haul."

I'll soon introduce you to "The Very Long Hall."

See you soonish.