Thursday, August 6, 2009

Home work updates and a taste of home

It's been an age since I posted, so here's some news/thoughts/going's on from Melinda!

I'm heading into a seven night stretch of freedom from work. I love my job, but I love my time off even more! Over the past several months we have traveled when I've had stretches off. That's always great fun, of course, but it's good to have a block of time off at home. It's projects time again!

We have a verbal update from sister Maj (in Illinois) on the status of the cottage there, as well. When last we left it, Dean and Maj had been gutting the part of the storage room (also known as "the scary room") in preparation of a wall being moved to make a bigger master bedroom for us. You can read about that work here, and see the before pictures. We don't have pictures of the current work, yet, but will when we visit in September. Maj has really outdone herself, tearing out the floor in the scary room in preparation for the reconstruction phase. I have to hand it to her, she is fearless when she's doing this stuff! She had the floor open (there's a dirt floor crawl space under the house where critters have been known to burrow) in no time, and made sure to cover it well enough to keep the raccoons, ground hogs, chipmunks, and skunks out of the house when she was finished. What she did find under the floorboards was that 4 of the 6 joists supporting the scary room were rotted through - yikes! Yesterday was the big day however....the carpenters came (kudos to Mike and Dave for the great job they did!) and did their magic in one day. They put new supports under the scary room (lifting and evening the floor with the rest of the house), put new supports in the roof for that section of the house, put in a solid 3/4 inch plywood sub-floor, and (last but not least) moved the wall to create a more spacious master bedroom! Maj is already talking about putting in insulation before we get there in September, when our tasks will be to finish the wiring (pull cable for a TV outlet), put in the ceiling and walls (wainscoting and drywall), paint, finish the windows off, and dare I hope - flooring?? I firmly believe that if we work on the house every day while we are there we will completely finish that project during our stay! We will have pictures after we make that trip - so something to look forward to!

The above update doesn't reflect what plans I have going on in Tucson, does it? Ahh.... This long stretch has been planned for, however. It's really too hot outside to do outside work, so what's cooler to work with than tile?! I have been doing my homework and legwork, and Dean and I have finally decided on a tile for the bathroom floor (hall bathroom). If that project goes well, then we'll move on to the bathroom in our bedroom. I really love the look of Saltillo tile, but the installation and finishing is a daunting task. Our next best idea is quarry field tiles! They are very strong, work well in areas of moisture, are non-slip, and have that lovely brick color. After visiting most of the local tile places (and a tile guy in a back alley, really); we have made our choice. We'll use 6" tiles, instead of the 8" one shown. We'll be able to get a better repeat of pattern in a small space with the smaller tiles. I am hoping to be picking mastic out of my fingernails very soon!

While we were visiting family in Iowa, in July, we enjoyed going through albums and boxes of pictures that sister, Linda, had brought to the party. I always get a kick out of seeing my hunk o' stuff in his earlier years! This is one of the pictures that particularly caught my eye -- Dean standing atop of Baboquivari mountain. Baboquivari is near Kitt Peak, where he worked when first coming to Tucson. Nice 'mountain man' shot!

And, finally, a little taste of home! Dean came home this afternoon to find a large box by our front door - from Illinois. Our sister, Linda, sent us a surprise that we appreciated immediately. You just can beat fresh sweet corn from Illinois (or Iowa either)! Even after it made it's 1500 mile trip, and sat in the 106 F heat on our doorstep - it was pure summer goodness! She sent enough to last several days, as long as we pace ourselves!


Anonymous said...

(wink) had no idea there were GEICO commercial auditions back in the 70s...

Shannon and Alex said...

Linda mailing corn?! that is too much!! Now if I can only get MawMaw to mail me some Dukes mayo and Mt. Olive dill pickles.