Decking the Halls

A couple of weeks ago Tom, Brian, and Theresa arrived from Spokane and Portland to help build a new deck/stairway with a railing and wide steps that would help Gordon navigate from the house to the deck and points beyond. It was a stellar week for us, but a trial for Tom and Brian. It was the coldest, most miserable week of the winter. But they persevered with the help of classy rain gear Theresa found at a local Good Will. You can see the results here. Pretty classy stuff!

Bathroom Remodel – April Showers

Although I failed to take a “before” picture, I am sure anyone interested enough to view this page can clearly picture it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Bathroom demolished with cat "inspecting"Tuesday was demolition day. A new double-paned skylight went in to keep things cozy when the cold winds blow, but we were down to the studs with a hole where the window used to be.

Today the plumbers were here. Mimi, the cat, inspects their work.




Thursday, March 27, 2008

New windowThe new window is in. It is smaller and higher so that you can’t fall into it or out of it while you are in the shower.

Friday, March 28, 2008

View of bathroom with blueboard installedThe blue board is in. (Actually it is purple.) You might think we would want to keep this color–but no.

You may wonder how we are managing while our only bathroom is in transition. We actually now have two (well, really three) options.

Old toilet out by the drivewayOption One – Lawn decor?



Porta potty in the drivewayOption Two – dubbed “the palace”



Option Three – a great viewView of the mountain top



Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A hole cut in the half wall for the built-in magazine rackOne of the carpenters installed the half wall that includes a built in magazine rack and toilet paper holder. No joke.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Shower prepped for tileThe tilers came and put up the chicken wire base for the tile. This shows the work of the day.





What a difference a day makes

Tile covers the back wall of the showerBy the time I got home on Friday, the place was starting to take shape. Mimi and I inspected it. Guess I need to get the cabinets painted this weekend before they tile the counter top next week.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Bathroom with towel hanging on temporary shower curtain rod and with rug on the floorYesterday was D-day (Done! Well, not quite) The shower went in and was measured for doors, the toilet was hooked up—

The built in magazine rack next to the toilet with the cat inspecting the room.–and the built-in magazine rack was installed and inspected by you-know-who. You may see evidence that someone has taken a shower. The blue tape on the walls indicate the location of grab bars and the shower curtain will be replaced with a glass wall and door.

Today I fininshed painting the walls and the cabinet interior.

The palace, still here, has been abandoned. The lawn decor has vanished.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A view of the finished bathroom complete with a small vase of flowersI finally finished painting the cabinet doors and–even bigger deal–got the new hinges adjusted so the doors close almost properly, a task I have managed to put off for a while. Here it is all dressed up to have its picture taken. There may eventually be an update if I ever get around to weaving the new rug I am planning for it and buying Gordon the new black washcloth he wants.

Roof – Chapter 3 – 95%

This tale of loss (of roof) and restoration is almost ended. Earlier chapters can now be found below. I am not planning a sequel

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The carpet arrived, but not without Gordon having to go down the hill into town to meet the man who was to install it. He claimed to be a confirmed flatlander who never would have taken the job if he had known he would have to drive up a mountain. Once he got here he was fine and helped rehang the bedroom door and move the bed back in. Too bad we didn’t have him rehang those darn closet doors too.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Giant fans extracting moisture from the bedroom area


Ladder with paint can on the floor in the closet

Slightly after






And now!

The closet with doors on in a furnished room
Bed with hippari hanging over it







My beautiful hippari from Kasuri Dyeworks in Berkeley has been in the closet too long. I thought it was time for it to come out.

New reading corner in bedroom
Everything back in place, slightly rearranged



Not everyone is lucky enough to have an original Thomas Frost photograph, or to know the original Thomas Frost personally for that matter. His photograph of ice has a niche of honor in the new scheme of things.

And the 5%?

Lampshade with water stainSo, now the hard part. You probably noticed a missing lampshade in the otherwise perfect room pictured above. This lampshade was water-damaged. Its partner fared better but still is very old and looks pretty grungy in such elegant surroundings.But do you think I can find a replacement? These shades are more than thirty years old and are flat on one side because they fit on wall lamps. I currently have the name of a person who might know the name of a person who does custom lampshades.Let me know if you have any leads. They are 15″ high and 12″ in diameter across the top. But 95% isn’t bad.


Mimi the cat on the bed in the sun.


Mimi the cat has finally settled down in her customary place in sunbeams on the down comforter on the bed. The sun has come out and she has overcome her pique at us for having moved the mattress off of the living room floor in front of the fireplace.


The latest

A woman at the Benjamin Moore paint store in Los Gatos where I buy all my paint knows a man in Santa Cruz who makes custom lampshades. She has taken one of the shades to him to see how much it would cost to make a new one. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll just stain the other one to match.

Roof – Chapter 2 – the sequel

The magnitude of losing the roof has morphed into an intensive and exciting restoration project. Necessity has caused us to make some changes we should have done anyway, but never quite got around to.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Two men lift a panel of wallboard to the ceilingThere is definite progress. Insulation went in today, and wall board is up and will be textured tomorrow. Can paint be far behind? Mimi the cat is delighted to be able to go into her bedroom again (the door has been closed for weeks), although there is still no bed in there upon which to lie and soak up the morning sun.


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Much progress this weekend. Painting and the beginnings of a new closet. No wimpy colors here! Tomorrow we get measured for new carpet. (Oh, no! The old one is so attractive.)

Ladder with paint can on the floor in the closet


Bright blue paint on walls around the closet

Slightly after







Sunday, April 2, 2006

Closet with clothes hanging in it



The painting is done, the new closet shaping up. The carpet has been ordered. I predict move in to be in two weeks or less. Stay tuned. In the meantime….




Black and white cat sleeping on mattress in the living room


Mimi sleeps on on the mattress on the down comforter in front of the heater on the floor. She’s in no hurry for a quick fix.




Thursday, April 6, 2006

Trees mangled by the storm



The tree guys came and spent the day cleaning up the mangled trees that were part of last month’s weather event. They were planning to come on Wednesday, but it rained–just as it has almost every day in March. Nice to have a roof over our heads.



Friday, April 14, 2006
The carpet arrived at the installers today, but they missed us when they tried to call to set up an appointment for installation. We will do that on Tuesday when they open again. My guess is that it should be done by next weekend. We are ready to move back in.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The bed bathed in morning sunTwo nights off the floor! Slowly we move back in. We tried rehanging the closet doors. It was a routine worthy of Monty Python (notice the slight offset at the top). There is another set to go in; we will persevere–eventually. The baseboard behind the bed is nailed in; the rest is not.We won’t move other things until it is finished. But moving the bed out of the living room has enlarged the rest of the house.

Mimi is not feeling well this morning.

Roof – Chapter 1 – “thar she blows!”

Sunday, March 5, 2006

Piece of roof leaning against Gordon's carI worked in Palo Alto on Monday and it was pouring. I had my Spanish class in Los Gatos that night and drove there in a deluge. After class it was still raining and I wondered what conditions I might find on the mountain. But I got home without incident.

About 11:15 I was sitting in bed reading. Gordon was already asleep. It was still stormy and extremely windy. Suddenly there was a gigantic rumble. The house shuddered. Gordon bolted up. The cat looked alarmed. There was a crash and then just the wind. I took the flashlight to look outside and see what had happened. Maybe a tree limb had crashed into the house. When I went out to the driveway, there was part of our roof leaning against our cars. It was the part from directly over the bedroom.

I called the insurance company.

Pond on missing roof. No fish yet.The next morning I called roofers. They were all busy and only one returned my call. On Wednesday we got a quote for the roof. We took it.

On Thursday workers came to tarp it. The insurance company had promised to have an adjuster call in 48 hours, but that passed and it rained on.


View of exposed raftersWe had buckets all over the bedroom. By Tuesday night when I got into bed in a seemingly dry part of the room and opened a book to read, a drop landed squarely in the middle of the page. We wrestled the mattress into the living room where it remains and will probably stay for a while. We tarped the bed. This shows the area that was directly above the bed as it looks now.





Giant fans extracting moisture from the bedroom areaFinally on Friday afternoon, we heard from the insurance company. They sent someone up from a company they hire to intercede in this kind of event. Our guy was supposed to inspect and report back to them. Instead he recognized our plight and immediately swung into action. By that evening we had a crew here ripping off wallboard and insulation in the bedroom. They set up five gigantic fans that are roaring away in there right now and need to run all weekend to dry it out.

It snowed on Friday.

Roofers putting on new roofSaturday was clear. Our roofer thought he could get a new roof on before the next big storm came on Sunday (today). The foam roof needs to have a waterproof coating rolled as a final step. A temporary coating was installed until the weather is dry enough to do a permanent one.

With the soggy insulation ripped out in the bedroom below, you could see patches of sky when the tarp came off.

The new roof was finished just in the nick of time. The wind is up and a new storm should be here by evening.

Mimi the cat sleeping on the mattress on the living room floorMimi, the cat, has been remarkable. She underwent a personality transformation during our trip to Sunriver. For all of her eighteen years she has hidden in the closet whenever there was anyone in the house.Most people don’t believe we have a cat. They have never seen her.

But Mimi LOVES having the mattress with the down comforter in front of the heater in the living room. She sleeps right through the constant stream of roofers, demolishers, and contractors parading through the house.

Occasionally she will nervously lick her foot.

Clothes and other belongings littering my officeYou would think that after taking three giant bags to the thrift shop yesterday and two bags of books to the library, there wouldn’t be that much stuff left from the bedroom. Yet I am sitting here in my always impeccable office surrounded by all the stuff that was once in the bedroom. At least I now have an excuse for it.

Needless to say, life here is not same old, same old at the moment.