Mar 31, 2015


Today an excavator came in and backfilled around the foundation and smoothed out all those piles of dirt.  

And Harrison did a dance of joy.

While they had the excavator they also dug out the very old, mostly dead apple tree in the front yard.  The one that had a hole running right through the middle of it.

As if that wasn't exciting enough, the "Lumber Package" (Lani's words, not mine) was delivered!  That is a lot of lumber.  I think they are going to start framing tomorrow.  Happy Birthday to Me!

Mar 26, 2015


The forms are off and we are all concrete foundation.  Doesn't get much more exciting than that!

Mar 25, 2015


So far in this project most of the work has been done by Lani the Builder and one of his employees named Owen. So I was very excited when I drove by the house this morning (we carpool with the boy who lives next door, so we get to drive by everyday) and saw a crew at work on the house.

I know that picture only has 2 people in it.  I swear there were like 10 of them when I drove by this morning.  And they were making so much progress!  These are the forms for the foundation.

In the afternoon, about 3:30, we decided to drive by the house one more time so I could take a few more pictures.  And what did I find?

They poured the concrete too!  This was a totally unexpected and very happy surprise.

Hot Diggity!

Mar 23, 2015


Today the forms were pulled off of the footings, and Richard moved the electrical box away from the house and over by the fence.

Exciting? No. Necessary steps in the whole building process?  I have no idea.  I don't have a clue what needs to be done when or how or by whom.  I'm just here to document it.





Mar 22, 2015

Unexpected Side-Effects of Parenthood

I went into parenthood with a pretty good idea of what I was getting into.
Ha!  Just kidding.  I never could have anticipated all of this.  There was lots of stuff I expected though.  I expected to be sleep-deprived, and I had an idea that it was going to take 10 times longer to get out of the house anytime we need to go anywhere (though in reality it takes more like 700 times longer), and I knew that my house would always be a mess, but there were some things that I did not expect, and I would like to take this time to share them with you.  Thank you.

1. Not Being Allowed To Talk To Myself:   

Because there is always someone else there.  And they are always listening.  So when I drop my phone on the floor AGAIN, for like the 6th time in a minute and I growl "Oh, come on!" There is a little voice there saying "What?  What happened, Mom?  What's wrong?  What happened? What?  What? What happened, Mom?  What? What's wrong?  What? What? What? What? What?  What?  What?"

Even if I answer the simple question with a simple answer that won't be the end of it.  I could say, "I dropped my phone again."  But the little voice would ask "Why did you drop your phone? Did it break?  What if it DID break? Will it break if we drop it outside?  Can I drop your phone?"  And I don't WANT to talk about what happened!  I dropped my phone.  I want to express my annoyance and move on, not talk about it for the rest of the day.

2. Not Being Allowed to Throw Things Away:

My children use the garbage can to get an idea of the events of the day and to know what I was up to in their absence.  Every candy wrapper will be brought as evidence against me for the injustice and inequality of treats my children suffer at my hands.  The piece of paper they spent 2 seconds drawing a horizontal line on will be laid out as proof of my lack of reverence for their creativity.  And forget about throwing out that dumb McDonald's toy they never play with that is both misshapen and broken.  They check the garbage can regularly.  They must root through it, because unless I put things in the large can outside, they will be found.

3. Finding Out How Impatient You Are:

This is the worse one.  I thought I was a pretty OK person before I had kids.  But now I know that I am crazy impatient, easily annoyed, selfish, and quick to anger.  Oh, how wonderful to learn all those things about yourself!  In case you didn't have enough reasons to be humble, now you also know that on a scale from 1 to Saint-Hood, ha ha that is hilarious you aren't even on the scale.  Congratulations.  You are a Parent.

4. Never Getting to Be Alone. Ever Again.  

Nothing is sacred to children.  I thought we had outgrown the coming-with-me-to-the-bathroom phase, and the "hey mom can you see my fingers under the door?" phase, but I guess not.  My 4 (almost 5) year old has taken to following me to the bathroom every time I go.  He will stand right in the doorway so that I can't close the door until we have a 20 minute long conversation about how I need to be alone in the bathroom or until I physically push him out.  If I am really fast and I get the door shut and locked before he gets there, he will come and knock on the door, saying, "Mom?  Are you in there?  I want to come in!"  And when I say "No, I am using the toilet."  he says "I don't CARE that you naked!"  Every time.  Like that was my big hangup, I was afraid he might care.

Sometimes I get to be alone.  I have to be honest.  Because my youngest is 4 and he is in preschool so for 2 hours, 3 days a week, I am blissfully alone.  And I can talk to myself and throw stuff away (as long as I throw it outside, and bury it deep, deep down under leftover rice and cottage cheese and stuff) and go to the bathroom with the door wide open with reckless abandon.  And I do.  I totally do, so you should probably not stop by my house for a visit in the afternoons, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Consider yourself warned.

Mar 20, 2015


It happened!

The footings have been poured!

Richard had to go over to the house at 6:00 this morning to move the Manlift and he didn't come back until about 8:30.  I was worried that he couldn't get it started,  but the cement truck got there not long after him, so then he had to stay and watch. Well, then we loaded the kids into the car and all went over and looked at it because cement is fascinating. These pictures were taking taken at about 8:45 am, and the cement truck was already finished and gone.  

Those are the spot footing for the front porch, just so you know.  So now we get to sit around and wait for it to dry.  Fun!

Mar 18, 2015

PROJECT DARKSTONE: Day 45 - so far

Stopped by the house this morning and talked to the builder.  He said the inspection is scheduled for today, so I guess he got a check from the bank.  He and the other guy working with him were still finishing things up, so hopefully they'll be done in time for the appointment.  (Which is scheduled for "Some time after 9:00 am.")

Here is how the money works, for you unlucky few who have not had to go through this yourselves:
We got a construction loan.  They have agreed to loan us a percentage of the estimated value of the completed house.  It took FOREVER, but that loan is all squared away and secure.  The loan basically acts like an account that we can draw money from.  The first thing they did with the money is pay off our existing mortgage.  And now when we need money, to buy lumber for instance, or pay the excavator or pay for the building permit (but NOT to buy furniture unfortunately), the builder fills out a form with all of the separate, specific things that need to be paid for, Richard or I signs it, he takes it to the bank and they write him some checks.  And I guess that part takes a couple of days.   And we keep doing this until the total they are willing to loan us is all used up.  If all goes as planned, the house will also be done at that point, and the Construction Loan magically transforms into a mortgage and we're done.

Intriguing? No?  You came here by mistake?

Well, we can't read without pictures, so here is a picture of the front of our house.  This should give you a feel for the beauty that our neighbors get to experience.  Enjoy!

Mar 17, 2015


Here is what I think I know.  Today they finished all the frames and prep work for the footings. I think. But before the footings can be poured the city has to come and do an inspection. And when I talked to the builder yesterday he said they wouldn't do their inspection until the building permit had been paid for. And he was waiting for the bank to cut him a check.  I tell you, getting a loan to do this has made everything 75% more complicated.  Sigh. If only we were independently wealthy.

My hope now is that they'll be able to do the inspection soon enough that they can pour the footings on Friday.  The cement needs 3 days to dry, and I'd love those days to be weekend days. I'm not going to hold my breath though. I can only hold it for like 16 seconds anyway,  so it's not like that would do me any good.

Mar 12, 2015


No doubt these pictures speak for themselves. Right? Anything I could add would be superfluous.

At this rate I expect they'll star pouring cement next week.

Mar 10, 2015


And then there are the times when all you get is an odd assortment of metal that mysteriously appears in your front yard overnight. Some days are like that.

Mar 8, 2015

Today in the Bragosphere

Did you know that I have taken up quilting?  I'm not really sure who I am talking to when I ask that question.  You, I guess.  Did YOU know?  Yep.  Quilting.  Me. Pretty thrilling,  right? Hard to believe I kept that nugget to myself, but I did.  The cat is out of the bag though.  And who knows why, but at the moment I feel like showing you a quilt.  That is what the internet is for, after all.  Showing off your mad skills.  Or your epic failures.  Sometimes it is hard to tell them apart.

So, because there has been a serious dirge of nerdiness around here lately, and without further ado, here is Harrison's Doctor Who Quilt!

I got the fabric from, but at the brand new Joann Fabric that just opened up in town, they have SEVERAL Doctor Who fabrics in stock.  The Doctor is So Hot Right Now!

The thing that makes the quilt awesome though, is the quilting.  The friend who I hired to quilt it for me is amazing.  With no instructions from me she quilted Gallifreyan all over the place. I was speechless when I saw it.  I am still blown away.  Just look at it!

It has yet to be translated.

As if that wasn't enough, she stitched in a little TARDIS, just for good measure.

I mean!  How awesome is she??

Harrison made me give this blanket to him when I finished it.  I DID make it for him, but then I also had to actually give it to him too.  So I've already got some plans in the works for another Doctor Who quilt, for me this time.  You can never have too many!

Mar 5, 2015


Look what happened today!

I know these pictures don't show much.  Have you ever tried to take a decent picture of dirt?  It's hard!  Anyhoo, ground was broken today.  Do you hear me??  We broke the ground!  This is a big deal!

We couldn't get an excavator so Richard, Lani the Builder, and Colin dug the trenches.

Only joking!  But can you see Colin's cute little  blue shovel?  He was so happy to be helping dig.  They only worked on about a 3 foot section that the excavator couldn't quite reach.  The rest was done with heavy machinery.  The excavator dug those trenches in no time, and he did it all with his little dog riding passenger.   

It was pretty darn adorable.