Monday, December 7, 2009

December 7: Long, long overdue post and explanation/excuses

I was totally beating myself up for not posting before this, then I cut myself some slack, realizing how much has been going on over the past week or so.
For one thing, my camera conked out so my only source of photos is the husband's I-phone .. and that works very well actually, providing there is ample light. These days, we are barely home when there is any natural light, given winter's sunlight hours, so that is a bit far between, I am afraid. Without photos, a blog post isn't much interesting, so that leads to a pretty big dry spell.

Add to this the fact the youngest child had a fifth birthday and there is that thing called Christmas that keeps creeping up, plus all these kind folks who are popping in to visit ... really not much time for picture taking or blogging. After all, this is my current kitchen. We are living out of the downstairs kitchen, which is fine, I have only the bare minimum stuff unpacked, the rest is here. This was only ever going to be for three days or so, we are now going on ten. It's fine, really. We are very well set up down there.

We also didn't have Internet for about five days - or sporadic Internet as things got sorted out. The joys of moving.

And, as I often say to the the husband and kids "I am only one woman" and this is true of blogging, I guess.

Then there are still all these people in our house all the time, trying to finish it for us. The place is a beehive. The husband and I are either here constantly answering questions etc. or at work, letting things unfold. The husband normally works from home, rarely going to his office. But I think he's been there every day this week - it's just been too distracting staying here.

But here we are back on line. In my previous post, you'll see where I left us. As you will recall, it was very early the day after we moved in - a week and a bit ago. I wrote the post and only had to post pictures of the couches. That took until today!

Since then, things have been unfolding in our home-that-is-a-construction-zone .... everyday we get closer to done. Still not at done, but we get closer. Each day the house feels more and more like it will "when it's done".

I do change management in my real job, communications around change. We call the end result of a change the "desired state" .... So, the desired state in in sight. We have a few days to go til we get there. We are starting to experience the desired state.

We got 3/4 of our kitchen and bathroom counters last Saturday (at 730 am!!) same day as we hosted a birthday party for ten kids as well as two games of the oldest's basketball tournament, which the husband coaches, plus a dance recital dress rehearsal, the recital and a trip of two to Ikea and Home Depot....)

The counters look like this. The gap is where the end pieces will go, the island will end up looking like it's wrapped in the brown quartz. We have a three level island. There is different quartz on the smaller part and that's butcher block joining the two together. The end pieces come Wednesday so I'll take a picture of the completed island once that's done.

The kitchen is really coming together. Note: Poinsettias!! My only current Christmas decoration.

The glass back splash arrived and then wasn't right, so half of it went up. The other half was wrong and had to be re-done. Supposed to be in tomorrow. Then there is the stove fan. The gas stove can't be connected until there is a fan. The fan can't be installed until there is glass. I think the glass needed the quartz ledge to be installed. Can't recall exactly, I am sure SOMEONE knows how this is supposed to unfold. I believe the glass comes tomorrow, as does the glass for the railings.

As well, all week, our trusty audio visual team has been installing our audio, sound, lighting, security and other components which are all connected. It's pretty cool actually, we have these "pads" in the house that we use to turn on our music/itunes/radio/phone/security/temperature etc. I hope I will be able to make them work. The lighting past is really cool, actually. We can select these lighting "scenes" that are pre-programmed. Needless to say we are having a few laughs developing the "scenes" ...

Key pads look like this:

And then there are the remotes. The husband has promised that this will all be "wireless" - and that everything will be combined into one easy to use remote control and that it will not be ridiculous.

Well, readers, judge for yourself. Here is the remote collection currently in the TV room. As if I can even turn anything on. I hear promises of this changing very soon ... we'll see. these are required for the television, blue ray players, (there are two), cable, sound system and some other stuff. I have no idea.

Also, our TV in the main room - in the planning center -- is a TV/computer screen. It switches back and forth between both, which is actually pretty cool. It's here:

This is all still not done, it's quite a feat. I think they should wrap up this week.

I have been unpacking areas as they are unfinished. So far, here is what the library looks like:

Need more books. When I see the new shelves, I realize how many books we lost. We had an equivalent library shelf in our old house and it was packed with books. In time, we'll get there again, I am sure.

Those are our outdoor porch chairs. We had to remove them from the porch to give the exterior finishing guys space to do their cutting. The new ones arrives from Toronto last week, but we haven't' unwrapped them yet. Best to keep them protected.

As you may have guessed, the house is still crawling with people every day - electricians finishing, plumbers installing as things progress. We are all here, hanging out all day together. Yesterday was my day off and I couldn't find a place to sit and do some online stuff .... I left to run errands.

For a solid week, we brushed our teeth in the bathtub of the kids bathroom - which was our only working bathroom for five or six days. We now have toilets everywhere, but are awaiting the rest of our counters for the rest of our sinks and faucets. The counters - these ones marble - come Wednesday. Hopefully the sinks and taps can be connected the next day.

The exterior is so close to being finished, but our trusty installers had a mishap - the son of the installer, fell off a ladder and injured his elbow. He will be off for quite a while with surgery and a cast. Although I am dying to get it done, the front cleaned up and my Christmas lights installed, I completely understand and wish him a speedy recovery.

Speaking of cleaning, can I tell you the worst part of all of this? THE MESS! There is construction debris everywhere in our yard, the back is especially bad. It's not safe for the kids to go out. Snow is just starting to fall in the next few days so I threw a fit and made sure a bin and some strong backs are going to be taking care of this asap. We can't have that debris sitting in the yard over the winter. Can't. So, tomorrow is the day for that.

Debris (covered in snow)

Can I also say that the cardboard is endless? We are buying and unwrapping so much, it has become a mountain. The boxes and packaging material. The garage is full, we are recycling our little butts off ... and still, there is cardboard. Cardboard:

Followers, I must go. Will report back to you all very soon, and much more frequently. Also will arrange a guest post from the husband so he can fill in the details behind the electronic component of this project, for I know nothing.


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