Tuesday, March 16, 2010

That's a wrap

Thom and Young Brian are setting the flagstones outside the great room doors, and they're not enjoying it much. They enjoy the precision of measuring and cutting wood, not this arbitrary puzzle work..

At what point does the house change owners? Of course, from the git-go the bank has been and will be for a long time, the owner. But, from the moment Thom borrowed the model of the house to study, he has been the owner, but there has been a shift now. The guys are outside, and we are taking control of the inside. We're just awaiting the gas guys to come connect everything, and then we can completely finish the inside cleaning.

We've already taken over the bedroom and my bath, waxing the floors and those areas are now off limits to the workers and their muddy boots. We've even put the blue painting tape across the areas to limit movement.
And, we are now finished with this blog. I find that the closer we get to moving in, the less I want to write, which I think is normal.

The neighborhood open house will be this Saturday, March 20th from 2-4, after which we, we will shut down the public part and live privately.

Thank you for reading about our little retro house.

"Goodnight Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are."

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Case of the Unwaxed floors

We wanted to get the second coat of wax on the bathroom and half of the great room last night, before the workers and inspectors brought in dust and dirt Monday morning. You have to wait 8 hours between coats and we didn't get the first coat on until after lunch. After compline we hung out at a daughter's home watching RAMSEY"S KITCHEN NIGHTMARES because we knew if we went home, we'd never go out again.

Pat carried one of our lamps, for some reason we don't have a good flashlight right now, and as we crept up in the dark to the house, I felt like I was in a Nancy Drew mystery. We had to fumble for the extension cord, but all was well, and we managed to get the second coat of wax on the floors at 10:00pm.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

have vacuum will climb

I don't like vacuuming all that much on the ground. Pat loves it so much he'll carry the Kirby anywhere he can.

A Weather forecast

I can confidently predict that the rain which has dogged this entire construction effort will miraculously end in approximately 10 days, at which time we will enter a three year drought. That is the expected arrival of my trees and landscaping plants we ordered yesterday from Mebane Shrubbery.

Friday, March 12, 2010

They say that breaking up is hard to do...

We are really winding down. The only thing left is the final floor manifold in the spare bedroom, and the plumbing inspection before we get the C.O.

Thom is leaving for Columbia next weekend, but before that, he's going to stay around this week and help us with the final cleanup and laying the stones by the sliding doors of the great room. The plumber stops by quite a bit to see how things are progressing, and so did Young Brian's grandfather. There's just not that much doing construction-wise in Burlington, NC.

I think the newspaper is coming by to do an article on the house. We're hoping we get the floor spots rectified before then. Pat applied a coat of Xylene which is the solvent for the sealer. I could smell the fumes from the street and asked Pat how many brain cells he'd lost today while working in the house amongst that chemical. He couldn't remember.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I woke up the other day thinking about Lost Horizon and The Philadelphia Story. Both were really good movies, excellent writing, good editing, solid stories done in black and white. They are as interesting to watch now as when they were made.

They were both redone later and both stories were lost in overproduction and techincolor. Lost Horizon, re-deux, was made in 1973. It was painful to sit through, and if my companion hadn't been in love with Liv Ullman, I think we would have walked out.

High Society is the bastardized version of The Philadelphia Story, and not even Grace Kelly's gowns could save that.

I thought about those movies, and the FLW foundation's decision to stop selling his plans for people to build houses and wondered if maybe we've just ended up with another bad remake of a really good movie. I hope not, I don't think so.

We sat on the back steps and watched Thom and Young Brian cut the death wood for the decking. It was so pleasant.

A woman who grew up in a Usonian said that living there felt like she was on a perpetual vacation. As we sat on the steps, after the guys had left, drinking our wine, snacking on cheese. I had the same feeling as when we're on a boat, watching the water. It's not just the house that I think is good, it is that the house draws us outside on warm spring days. I don't know. I don't think I'll ever know. Is this house going to end up being Bing Crosby when I had hoped for Cary Grant? We shall see.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

What Chile had that Haiti didn't

Rebar...it's what keeps the concrete stable during times of great stress. Here's a pic of the rebar soon to be encased in our carport.