Friday, December 16, 2011

santa came to our house!

Today was a special day at 315 N. Thomas because not only did Santa come to town - he came to our house!  The jolly fellow stopped in to see his "painting elves" and check out the chimney. 

santa works here.

Days are merry and bright at our big house on the prairie. The upstairs painting is almost completed and work has begun on the first floor.  We feel especially blessed that Santa himself has beeen working on our house!

Larry Shelley, owner of Two Guys Painting, actually does have to leave work early today for a Santa gig. He is my favorite Santa.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

insulation man.

The insulation of the 315 Thomas house is now complete!  Mike started this massive project in August and his work culminated in the insulation of the exterior closet walls on the south side of the house.  He left this particular insulation project until last because... it sucks.  All of it was nasty and labor intensive, but this involved crawling in and out of the tiny crawl space hole to place the insulation pieces.  Mike always told me that he had to do the work himself, because you couldn't pay anybody to do it - at least to do it right.

He was blessed to have Thad Nelson as his handy assistant for the project. Thad caringly cut the pieces and handed them in to Mike "in the hole".  They worked from 8am until 8pm - and the insulation project is officially complete.  It is a big house, and I am learning that a well insulated home will be much more energy efficient.

We also decided that this project might be one of the very few things that Mike's massive weight loss was good for... Could you crawl through that tiny little hole in the wall?

Friday, December 2, 2011

no wonder my head hurts.

Sometimes my head feels like it will burst with decisions to be made.   Yesterday I made the PAINT COLOR CHART so that not only could the painters keep things straight - but so I could keep things straight!

Yesterday, in a single day, I was asked to think about the following:   Would I like the bathroom tile to have a bull nose edge or a deco edge?   Would I like the tile setter to cut the slate into small pieces for the shower floor, or make another selection?   Would I like an apron under the kitchen windows, or rather have the tile border there?   Would I like the cabinets above the washer to be 18 inches deep as the architect recommended, or just 14 inches?   Would you like to pick out spindle for the basement stairs banister?

This certainly is not the extent of the decisions for a day... but it is all that the ol' brain can retrieve at this moment to tell you.   Please do not hear this as complaining.  This is one of the most thrilling things that Mike and I have had the privilege to do.  In fact, almost every time I enter this house I say to myself  "I cannot believe this is really our house... " and I thank God and my dad for making it real.

what is dave doing?

 This week Dave has been finishing out the mudroom addition.  He matched and replaced the cedar siding, put in a bead board ceiling and put in the new porch floor. He also did the finishing trim around the doors and windows.
 Love our new floor grates for the wood floors - the first of many.
 We finally got to put the vintage looking Pottery Barn lockers into the mudroom!
 Earlier in November Dave prepped our upstairs balcony for a new floor...
And basically he has been working to finish out the doors and windows throughout the house. It is looking beautiful!

wet paint.

Earlier this week a primer coat went on the entire upstairs.  (No, I am not going for an Artic White decorating palette.  Primer is most often white.)  All the details that go into "painting a wall" are mind numbing when you are doing the job right.  All the workers are taking much pride in this project.  This grand old house is worth it.

We did have one 'situation' on two large exterior windows and two exterior closet walls with the primer not setting up (and running) down the walls due to the extreme temperatures outside on the uninsulated surfaces.  It actually ran outside onto the new exterior paint job and shingles.   Oops. But the good news is that everything cleaned up well.

painting prep.

Our wonderful painting crew, Two Guys Painting (which is more often five guys and a lady), spent the last three weeks in November prepping the upstairs of the 315 Thomas house for painting.  Hours and hours of scrapping and sanding... and mudding and sanding... and scrapping and filling window lattices.  All the surfaces are being repaired, filled and smoothed.  They know how to fix things that I don't even have the "painter's eyes" to see.  I admire their hard work and their painstaking attention to details.

The least I can do is bring them lunch every day.