Thursday, June 21, 2012

Erasing Trees

I thought it was time for a quick update on moving from our current address to the smaller house.
The new Living Room
 Darling is handling all the contractors. It's a chore, and I (personally) would keep everything in a notebook which would never leave my side, but she handles it all in her head and on scraps of paper. I'm not that talented.
The floors are finished and they look absolutely lovely. It took a few more boxes of flooring than we planned, but Benito got those. I was disappointed in the customer service from Floor Decor since Benito's crew picked up the medium grade under-layer when Darling paid for the top grade. The store and store personnel refused to refund the difference in price (a few hundred dollars), claiming it was the crew's fault. I might address that issue with them when things calm down a little.
Darling paid Benito already, even though the transition pieces are not yet installed. Normally I'd be nervous about that (okay, I am a little nervous) but Benito is sort of a friend of the family, so it isn't a big deal. The transition pieces will be installed today or tomorrow.
Nathan, bless his heart, installed the office ceiling fan and it took him almost an hour. That only leaves about four more fans. I read the instructions twice last weekend and couldn't make heads or tails of installing them. I just am not good at a lot of things, home improvements topping the list. (See my blog on Suckage.)
Hector came back and did some more touch-up painting after the floor guys were finished. Inevitably the floor guys touched parts of the newly painted walls and got them dirty. Also, Darling did a punch-list for the painting job and Hector came back to correct the differences.
It doesn't look like we'll make the modifications to the closets. Closet space is one of the biggest issues between a large house and a smaller house. I think we'll be getting rid of a lot of clothes. (Well, I won't …)
One of Darling's guys went in and fixed the shower stall in the Master Bath. It wasn't the complete rebuild that I wanted, but we only have a limited amount of money available (regardless of what some of the contractors seem to think). The new tiles look good, so we're okay on that.
Darling's brother A (yes, the same sweet guy who spent time with me during her surgery) is at the house today to fix as much plumbing and miscellaneous as he can. Unlike me, he is a handy guy - and a good-hearted fellow.
Our two youngest helped me a bit in the garage doing some shelving. I'm not that great at that either, but it is in the garage for goodness sake, so even if I mess it up, I'm likely the only one to know and care.
Darling had an automatic sprinkler system installed. That was completed today. There are six zones. I'm a little excited by that.
On top of that, there is the story of the tree that was entirely erased. In my last blog about the house, I posted the picture showing the existing tree. On Saturday I took our axe and played Paul Bunyan on the roots of the tree that was cut down to ground level. The stump still bothered me, but I had no way to remove that. Darling arranged for dirt and sod to be delivered and for Felipe to come spread it out in the yard. As it turns out, the dirt and sod are not the greatest quality, but we did go with the lowest bidder.

Before Picture

As I sat in the house cooling off I heard a noise outside and figured it was the delivery guy. I was pondering the shelves for the garage. (I do a lot of pondering.)
It wasn't. A guy was driving by and saw the stump and got out to talk with Darling. As it turns out he has been depressed lately because he cannot find work, but offered to remove the stump for fifty bucks. Darling prayed with the guy, Juan, and he went off to get his partner Roger and the stump-grinding machine. They did such a good job I had them follow me to our current house and we ground out the three stumps there, one of which I got two bags of cedar chips from.
Since then Darling had Juan come back and plant a new oak tree in the front (on the other side of the driveway) and six trees in the back. He does good work, and we'll keep him in mind for our landscaping needs.
As the sun set Saturday the entire front yard was transformed. The tree that was too close to the house was entirely gone, and we have a front lawn with new grass.
After Picture
We'll see if the sprinkler system can keep the grass alive.
All things considered, we should be moving in soon. That's when we discover how much from our current house doesn't fit in the new one.
I might even have the shelves up in the garage by then. I sure hope they're level…

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