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27th July 2009

3:39pm: Bye-bye, Container

The 27-foot truck body (aka The Container) that served us so well for three years has left for a new home in Canada. Our friend Jori wanted it to store his electrical business stuff, and we were finally done with it (after a Herculean effort by Dale to get the last remaining boxes and things sorted and disposed of, one way or another). Jori and his friend Willie showed up Friday with Willie's flatbed trailer and they hired a crane operator for Saturday to lift and swing it onto the trailer. I'm sort of glad I wasn't here to watch--the propane tank sits within three feet of where the back end of the container was. But all went well, and Sunday morning off they went. The container is about five feet longer than the trailer, and it's pretty high. Nonetheless this unwieldy load made it safely across the border to its new home. It really is a pretty cool thing, with its sturdy shelves
so boxes weren't all stacked on each other. But it's also nice to be done with it--one giant leap forward for Fryekind.

1st July 2009

7:25pm: Planting!
Dale and I have been planting fools over the last week. We've begun to address the north side of the yard (very sunny) as well as some shade pockets and--yes!--the east side of the house. We've actually had lots of fun--this is work that we can do together. And I'm discovering lots of previously-unknown-to-me plants (having last gardened seriously in California's Central Valley). Pictures are in the usual place. Considering that we started on this yard thing in the middle of May--lots and lots has happened!

27th June 2009

6:45pm: End of an Era
Jack Jr. (Dale's old truck) went to the scrapper today. It was the victim of a stupid accident last September--a foggy morning smash up that was unfortunately Dale's own fault, and it was totaled. Finally it went away today.

This truck took the Sutter OM team's stuff to San Bernardino for the State competition, and was the vehicle Toby drove on his roadie experience. It made many trips between Sacramento and Star Lake and moved all the garage stuff up here.

Jack Jr.? Dale had an old beater truck that we named Jack--also a Ford and also with running lights. I'll never forget Dale driving this new truck up N Street--white as had been Jack, and with those lights on the cab. He said he hadn't even noticed them--the truck met his specs and that was it.

Now Dale has a new generic-ish Ford truck, also white. It's OK, but we'll probably never bond with it quite the same way. Life moves on.

11th June 2009

10:57am: Landscaping
We've (meaning mostly Dale) been working on landscaping the lake side of the house. A lot has gotten done in the last few weeks, although the amount remaining is daunting. With our friend Joe's help, the sod got laid and it's now knitting together nicely. I've gone wild with plants--and need to hold off until Dale gets the sprinklers and rocks farther along. But I've done some, and am very pleased with how this "white garden" is shaping up! That's astilbe, by the way, in front of the hydrangeas--my new favorite! Pix are in the usual spot. It's not as sunny, yet anyway, as it has been the last several days, so the pictures are a bit dark.

4th April 2009

5:32pm: Sadness
A mallard drake got hit by a car on our road (probably by someone going too fast). I saw him when I started my walk. As I was coming back, I saw his mate fretting on the side of the road. Even sadder than the dead drake was this sight.

Dale moved the body to the edge of our forest so she wouldn't have to cross or enter the road to fret.

I think I saw this pair last year out by the ditch. A kid came by while I was working in the garden and asked me, "Are those your ducks?" I said no, but if they were I'd tell them to make their nest near the lake, not on the side of the road. They didn't listen to me, though.

My birding friend Maureen said she'll find a new mate, so I felt a teensy bit better.

Nature red in tooth and bumper.

22nd December 2008

5:48pm: Snowy Christmas in the New Star Lake House
We're moved in, pretty much (still have to clean the apartment and turn in keys by the 31st), and Toby, Rachel , and Ellen are all here. And we've had LOTS of snow. Things are shaping up fantastically well, despite the cancellation of Ellen's friends' coming by yesterday (the roads were too treacherous). We all have a bit of cabin fever (although we have been getting out a bit--just not very much). Toby and Rachel arrived safely and more or less on time today. I am very happy to be here and want you all to visit!

16th December 2008

7:27am: Moved In!
We spent the first night here last Monday, December 8. Things are getting settled, some places more than others, but we're certainly livable. And we had weekend guests already, which is a great impetus for getting things done.

Pictures can't really show, and words can't express, what a great job Dale has done. You'll just have to come see it for yourselves.

The snow covered up the yard--the next great challenge--and there's still lots to do inside. But, finally, we are home again at Star Lake.

3rd December 2008

5:29pm: Hip Hip Hooray!
We passed the final inspection today! Now we can begin to commence to move in (with a lot of detail stuff yet to do--but we're just about liveable now, with a signed King County document that says so).

Yay Dale!

Yessss!

2nd December 2008

10:22am: Plumbing Inspected!
We passed the plumbing inspection (just moments ago) and Dale is going to call for the Final Occupancy Inspection for, we hope, tomorrow. And then we can start moving in!!!!

26th November 2008

4:42pm: Almost there
Really, we're almost to the point when we can move back in! A minor setback today--the plumbing permit, which the plumbers took out, expired in September and nobody told anybody. So when Dale called for the inspection today (for Friday, we were hoping) it couldn't happen, and he couldn't renew it because he didn't take it out. The plumbers have to do that, and, like normal people, they're taking Friday off, so it'll have to wait until Monday, and then probably the inspection will be Tuesday, with possibly the final occupancy inspection Wednesday.

On the plus side, the cleaning people came today and did a great job getting rid of all the dust and sheetrock drips, etc., and they cleaned the windows too. It looks wonderful, as you can see from the pictures. Brent continues to chip away at the cabinets--almost every single one has had a problem of one sort or another-some Jeff's and some Shawnee's, but all a pain. It makes for slow going. But they are mostly done--there are about a dozen doors and a similar number of drawer fronts that are wrong, messed up, or something that will need correcting (that's why you see them missing in the pictures). The painters were back doing touch up, and the siding guys came and replaced the window that the flooring-delivery dudes ruined when they delivered the hardwood. They got it all back together, and Brent had already made the trim (and it had been painted) so he just popped it in and now the window is good as new.

And the tub! Oh my, it's beautiful as well as being huge. Dale said it looks like ice cream. We are so looking forward to a long soak. That bathroom is really nice, and I hope all our guests will enjoy it when they come to stay (although there may be a problem getting me out of the tub).

So that's the news from Star Lake on this Thanksgiving Eve. Have a happy one!

20th November 2008

4:35pm: Red Letter Day
Dale passed the electrical inspection today--both low voltage and "regular." He was very happy. Tomorrow the plumbers come. Today, the painters started hanging doors and did more touch up and clean up. They're removing the cardboard that has covered the floor for so long. It's still a bit of a mess--very dusty with sawdust and such. But next Wednesday, the cleaning people come!

Plumbing inspection Monday, final "occupancy" inspection maybe Wednesday?

And then we can start moving in!

19th November 2008

7:01am: No Drama
I am so glad Ted Stevens lost his reelection race in Alaska, avoiding the distracting drama of the Senate expelling him. That's something that just isn't needed right now. He's an old-line sleazeball, so good riddance.

And I think the Dems were wise in not kicking Hapless Joe out of their caucus. Another potential drama avoided. Joe knows he'd better watch his back, and he may be useful in the future.

Now, let's get on with it.

4th November 2008

12:30pm: Fall

31st October 2008

11:41am: Slogging forward
Dale got the electrical problem in the downstairs hallway fixed--two cabinets had to be removed (and holes punched in the sheetrock behind them, and in the end he did have to cut a hole in the hallway ceiling (that Joe is patching), but it's finally fixed. Must have been a broken or bad wire. Dale is concentrating on electrical now, getting fixtures up and so forth.

The concrete was poured, and now we have a front porch and actual steps (no more ramp). And some sidewalk and patios on the lake side. This will cut down on the dirt and gravel tracked into the house which, along with the tons of sawdust and the sheetrock dust, is the bane of my existence!

The last four doors were hung and Brent is moving swiftly along on the mill work (baseboards, window and door trim) and the book cases. The tower is all trimmed out now. There are still a ton of drawer fronts and cabinet doors to attach--this seems to be daunting him a bit, but when it does happen it won't be as messy as the mill work (which creates the sawdust everywhere).

The stair railing parts come next week, and the tile guy is scheduled to come replace what was torn out for the vanity tops. Also the deck railing guys are coming Tuesday (I think). Not sure when the plumbing fixtures (sinks, toilets, the tub) will go in--after painting for sure. And we're going to have the tile cleaned and sealed after that.

We have decided NOT to give notice here at the apartment for the end of November. Too much pressure and uncertainty. We may actually be in the house by Thanksgiving, but also maybe not. It'll be close. Painting will probably start on Nov. 7 and take at least a week. I'm anxious to get in and start playing with my new toys (the kitchen) and move our stuff in from here and the container and the east shop. But that too will take time.

27th October 2008

7:35pm: Oh My
Lots and lots of things are happening. The bath tub was delivered! And all the appliances (with the exceptions of the big dishwasher and the cook top) have been installed. The special-order doors arrived, and Brent hung 3 of 4 of them. He's just about finished with the baseboards. Concrete comes tomorrow, and the forms are all in place (as is the snow-melt hydronic deal). We're headed for the end game, though not quite there yet. Dale is getting tired. He's on the track of the electrical problem, but hasn't solved it yet.

In other news, we got our flu shots today.

21st October 2008

1:30pm: Major milestone
The last of the upper cabinets was hung today. This is a big deal--they've all been such a pain, due to Jeff's inaccurate measurements and apparent aversion to things being square. Now Brent can turn his attention to trim--most of the doors are done, but there are still windows to do and the baseboard. And build the bannister. And the book shelves. And install the drawer fronts, cabinet doors, and shelves. And pulls and knobs. So he has a way to go yet.

Dale got some opinions about what it will take to fix the window that the hardwood delivery people wrecked when they slid the boxes through it. Patching it isn't an option--the whole window will have to be replaced, which means removing some of the siding. Not an easy fix, unfortunately, but will be covered by the installer's insurance. Dale still hasn't solved his electrical mystery--why 4 of the 5 lights on one switch won't go on--maybe a broken or bad wire somewhere. He's hoping not to have to tear out sheetrock (again) to fix it, as we're hoping to get the painters in to start the touch up later this week.

He's started working on the back stairs, and the concrete guys are coming back Thursday, I think, to pour the porch and walks. Lots of progress, to be sure, but still it seems lots to do!

15th October 2008

8:28pm: Lots happening
Today: vanity tops and installation of the refrigerator. Dale and Joe started on the hood fan. It seems like more happened, but actually these are huge!

In other news, I got my hair cut and had a manicure and pedicure. And swept up tons of sawdust. And watched the debate.

Tomorrow there should be lots of electrical work happening, or possibly some more appliance installation.

13th October 2008

2:10pm: Closer every day
Today, Brent is continuing to work on trim--he's started on the doors and has some windows done. The sprinkler guys were there putting the sprinkler heads on (note: apparently the Washington state fire/construction code will require, in 2009 or 10, that all new residential construction have sprinklers. A word to the wise, or entrepreneurial?)

The butcher block counter (on the kitchen island) is being installed. It looks great, and it looks HUGE. Maybe I'm just so used to my teensy bit of counter space here that by contrast it looks so spacious. I like the color with the cabinets too (I wasn't sure how it'd look) The Corian goes in tomorrow, and the appliances will be delivered tomorrow too.

There's still a lot to do, but it's beginning to feel finite.

4th October 2008

8:09pm: Somewhat Better Days
The doors did arrive yesterday--most of them anyway. The missing ones were custom orders--two bathroom doors and the media room double doors, all with glass panels, and an odd-sized double door for a linen closet. Matt-the-door-deliverer was johnny-on-the-spot and the weather was OK--the storminess held off until today.

Dale is working on switches and "devices"--light fixtures and such. The first of 13 bathroom sconces was installed today, as was one closet light. He put in a light in the utility room, and it looks great. I moved cabinet parts and pieces (with Dale's help) and swept up tons of sawdust, so that the floor guys can get the kitchen/dining room done early next week.

I continue to see things we decided to do that I either didn't realize the import of or forgot about, that are wonderful. Like--the way the kitchen is defined by its surrounding soffit , and the fact that the drawer bank in the laundry room will mean that the junk drawer(s) will reside there, not in the kitchen!

3rd October 2008

7:14am: One Step Forward, Two Back?
While lots of things are happening, some seem to be taking us backwards. Dale discovered that a window frame was broken by the guys who loaded the hardwood into the house, This is big--possibly the siding will have to come off there and the whole window will have to be replaced. If you look at my pictures you'll see that a bunch of the marble tile had to be pulled out because the counter top has to go in first (and in doing so, the sheetrock got pretty badly chewed up in spots). Yesterday the flooring guys merrily laid boards over one of the floor boxes that Dale had so carefully put in. If they can't find it, several courses of wood will have to be taken up.

Today these things are happening: doors are being delivered, exterior door knobs are supposedly arriving, one interior door knob should be delivered (to see if we like it--it's somewhat less expensive than Rejuvenation Hardware's), Dale will continue putting in electrical boxes and downlights, maybe I can pick up the parts and pieces of cabinets that we had to take back to be fixed (or made new--such as the missing book case). Oh--it's supposed to be rainy and windy today.

30th September 2008

7:27pm: Moving along briskly now
The hardwood guys started today! They got the sitting room and the hall way downstairs done, along with a little bit of the bedroom. And Brent is carrying on, getting the cabinets in and now doors on. He's got just about all of the upstairs done, and wants to start on interior door-hanging Friday or Monday! The tile is finished, except for a little bit that needs to be redone. The marble slab guy showed up to measure, and to say that some of the marble needs to be torn out, to be redone once the slabs are in. Brent continues to discover measuring errors etc., but he's dealing with the problems as they emerge.

Dale called for an electrical inspection, but the guy didn't show up today. Probably tomorrow. And the concrete guy and the gutter people are coming next Tuesday. The counter top measurers come this Thursday, with installation next week. Appliances delivered 10/14. Much, much activity! Very exciting now, seeing it all coming together.

19th September 2008

1:25pm: Tile and Cabinets
It's been quite a week, with Jeff-the-cabinet guy walking off the job last Saturday, leaving all his tools spread throughout the place, and a lot of uncertainty as to how we'd get our cabinets, most of which were in his garage/shop! Many machinations later, the cabinets are now on site, the tools are gone, and we're done with Jeff and his family. Dale is still seething about Jeff's mistakes and deceit that cost us thousands, but we've engaged another finish carpenter, Brent, to install the stuff as well as to do all the interior trim. Check out my pictures to see great piles of cabinets (and other things).

The tile guys started late last week (?--I'm losing track of time) and have grouted the two upstairs bathroom floors and the guest shower. The marble shower is in process and looks great. The slate in the entry may start today--all the prep work is done.

So--all in all, we're moving forward. It looks like late Oct./ early Nov. for a move-in date. Hard to believe, but entirely possible.

11th September 2008

8:57pm: Oh My!
Ellen is leaving for London on Sunday! I can't believe it's happening so soon.

10th September 2008

5:36pm: September Progress
Quite a lot is going on. Courtney dug a huge ditch for the propane and electrical, which sort of felt like a step backward, but Dale got the electrical stuff inspected and passed today, so it's actually progress. Brent has been working on trimming the tower windows, and a few others, and they look great. Jeff-the-cabinet-guy showed up on Monday for a while, mostly bringing in his tools. On Tuesday he put in some of the bases, and today some big cabinet boxes arrived on the scene! Finally! Dale installed the two medicine cabinets in our bathroom-to-be--these were the ones where he had to cut out for electrical boxes because SOMEBODY thought it would be a good idea to be able to plug in our electric toothbrushes in the cabinet. But now they're done--and the big excitement there was that something actually came out of the East Shop where many, many parts and pieces (faucets, towel bars, etc.) have been stored for months.

I spent hours scraping sheetrock mud off the floor, and also put down the crack-proofing fabric in the bathrooms. It's about the texture of iron-on interfacing--easy to work with. Dale will paint some substance over it and then we'll be ready for tile--next Tuesday!

Also, on the negative side, Dale has to go through gyrations to pull two more wires for each of the thermostats (he wrongly though two wires would work but needs four) and, when I left today a little after 4, he was working on an oil leak that he'd discovered (we have an oil-fueled water heater). But I'm sure he'll figure it out--he always does!
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