Sunday, September 30, 2012

Weather Report

I have no new construction photos to post today.  That is because it has been raining!  This is a really big deal because we have been having such a drought for a couple of years.  The recent three days of occasional storm at the house location have brought the total for this year up to a little under 11 inches.  I think the average is something like 16.  Unfortunately, the house was not yet weathered in, so I am not sure how much this will delay construction to let things dry out, but it is worth it.

Our son drove down yesterday and helped immensely with clearing and packing and taking things to the trash.  He also took a whole car load of boxes of the really delicate things that you don’t want a mover to handle back with him to store at his house.  Tomorrow to take a combined car load of things to go to the charity thrift shop and items that we were storing for my daughter. 

The first item on today’s agenda is to put boxes together.  Onward!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Progress Report

I worked at home today, bagging items for trash and for donation, and packing a very few boxes.  I’m working in an area where most of the items won’t be going with us.  My son did a check on the house progress after work this evening.  Here’s what we have since I last looked:

brick, sheetrock, shingles

That’s brick, sheetrock, and shingles on the roof,


ductwork and wiring,


the bathtub for the hallway bathroom, 

address plate

and the “official” address plate that will be set into the brick.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A New Book

A local writer, Teddy Jones, published her first novel this month.  I halfwidewaited for the e-book edition since I’m trying to have as little to move as possible.  I downloaded earlier this evening, having tried earlier in the week with no cooperation from AT&T.  Then I discovered I couldn’t put the book down.  If you want the publisher’s description, it is available on Goodreads or B & N or Amazon, but here is the review I just posted:

It is now almost midnight. I read nonstop.

Since I come from West Texas myself, I can attest to the authenticity of the characters in this novel. They are the type of people who populate our own special part of the world. Since I am a long-married woman "of a certain age," I can also identify with the struggles that Dorothy Faye has dealing with the changes in her life and in the relationship with her husband Harold and in finding a purpose after the immediate challenges of job and mothering small children are in the past.

I also found it interesting that with recent emphasis on the many contributions introverts make to society, someone whose skill is listening should arrive at an appreciation of her talent so late in life.

Finally, let me add that this book is not just a superficial coming-of-middle-age novel with local color--it is extremely well-written. The dialogue is spot-on for this section of the country. The narration is complex, combining the protagonist's journal entries with standard third-person narration. The use of crossword puzzles is intricate and unique.

This novel is an entertaining and thought-provoking read.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The View Inside


“Open-concept” view, standing in living room looking toward dining area windows.  (I just had to use the OP term—too much HGTV.)  This side of the living room is open to the hallway, with only a column as a divider.  The kitchen is open to the dining area, and the sink area has an angled view into the living room, but the half-wall with the sink is high enough to provide a view without a view of cooking disarray.  The windows are insulated, low-e, and filled with argon.  For our climate, that is very adequate.  When I watch programs about insulating homes “up north,” I realize how very different construction methods and requirements are depending on the climate and the amount of rainfall. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Discovered Treasures

In my sorting and packing, I’m exploring a few boxes of items my mother saved.  It’s been a trip through family and local history, with decisions about what needs to be discarded and what I want to keep.  I have, however, come across some interesting things.

Isn’t this lovely? 


My parents married on November 28, 1931, in the middle of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression.  This is the Christmas card they sent that year.  This particular one had gone to Mother’s brother, who died in 1941.  She must have gotten it back from his things.  The postage stamp was 2 cents.  The card is printed on heavy card stock.  The very “30s” style envelope is actually lined with beautifully colored tissue paper.  This is definitely going into my “to keep” box.

A second interesting item was the hospital bill from my 1957 tonsillectomy—3 days in hospital, operating room, anesthetic—$57.00.  Sort of boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

One of my granddaughters has been particularly fascinated with losing her teeth and with what happens to them.  Well, I just found ALL of my own baby teeth in a box.  I am not including a picture!

Friday, September 14, 2012


The previous photo was at about 1:00 pm—this one was taken at 6:00 pm:


The South Wall


Monday, September 10, 2012

Practicality in the Extreme

In making choices for the new house, I have leaned heavily toward the practical—easy to keep, both because keeping gets harder as you get older and because I want to spend only the minimum time on housework, and durable.  Getting back to the city means a knitting group or two and places to go and children and grandchildren.  So I’m trying to select colors and finishes that will please me and still be functional and low maintenance.  Therefore, I found myself rejecting the quite lovely tumbled marble kitchen backsplash that was the standard choice.  It was indeed lovely, but my sense of practicality told me it would be too porous to be easy to keep behind the stove.  We are both rather careless cooks, and although I know it could be sealed, the sealing would have to be renewed occasionally, and I don’t want to have to put sealer maintenance on my agenda.  I am having some porcelain tile that has almost the same appearance installed instead.  However, in the back of my mind was the thought that I knew the marble would not retain its lovely matte finish but would wear and get slick with age.  Then it dawned on me how I know this fact.  I know it because of this:


See how shiny those steps are?  They are every bit as worn and slick as they look.  I scooted down on my rear end when I was in my twenties.  Of course, I was looking at a few thousand YEARS of wear by thousands of human feet.  Probably not the kind of wear a kitchen backsplash would have, but the lesson did stick with me.  (The photo is looking down from the top of Mars Hill (Aeropagus) in Athens.)  I do think there is a lesson to be learned from my rather over-cautious backsplash conclusion, and that is that live, hands-on (or in this case, bottom-on) experiences have a lasting impression that is more vivid than a list of facts. It’s a pity that education cannot provide a sensory experience for every fact that needs to be learned in the classroom.  (For the record, the natural marble on the top of the Acropolis was worn fairly slick as well.)  However, I have high hopes for the durability of the porcelain tile—just think of potsherds and ancient porcelain vases. . . .

And, on a less-philosophical note, the weeks of hard work finally kicked in and riding a bicycle worked.  After repeated trips down the sidewalk at the park, dad and daughter made the first bicycle trip to Meemaw and Grandpa’s house. 


Saturday, September 08, 2012

Saturday Report


Not a member of the construction crew!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Progress of a Sort

After a week of being thoroughly miserable with allergies—the downside of finally getting some rain; EVERYTHING is either pollinating in a last-ditch survival effort before fall or molding a little—to the point where I kept falling asleep all the time, I am at last back into packing boxes.  I am waaaay behind my self-imposed schedule.  This morning, however, lunch is already in the Crockpot (Pinto beans, with a fast batch of cornbread to bake at serving time), and I plan to spend the rest of the morning packing some more boxes.  I would have started sooner, but I paused for The Pioneer Woman.

I didn’t drive up to look at the house this week, but my son snapped some construction pictures.  I know you will be excited to see dirt, but here’s one anyway:


That’s a bathroom and a bathroom, I think.

For my breaks today, I’m going to be experimenting with diluting some Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Soap into some empty foaming hand soap dispensers.  I’m starting with a ratio of 2 T. to 8 oz. of water because that was recommended to me.  We’ll see how that goes.  This is my little salute to green and organic.