Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him. (Oswalt Chambers)

Friday, May 30, 2014

Subfloor Is Done

Late Friday afternoon we headed out to see if there was any progress on the condo. WOW! The basement support wall is in and the subfloor is done. We are very excited, but not too excited to take pictures that almost no one but us will understand or want to see.

This is what we see from the road, Harborview Court.

Looking a little closer we notice that the cement walls have not been backfilled yet.

The garage is on the right, the indentation for the porch is in the middle, and our office is on the left.

Getting even closer, we see that our subfloor is totally beautiful.

The plank is still there to get over the trench. As much as we would love to stand on our new floor, Jay and I do not use the plank. With age comes wisdom.

On the left, mostly north side of the house there is a hole for the future stairway. Right now it contains a ladder.

On the back, mostly east side of the house we are able to peek into the basement and see our supporting wall that separates the future living area from the storage area.

The room jutting out on the left side of the picture is the three season room.

This picture shows the garage from the right, mostly south side of the house. I have to admit that this picture is even a bit boring for me to view. But it's part of the building record and I'm not deleting it.

Jay is checking out a large hole in the front yard. There is a white X on one side of it and we think it's the hookup to the water main.

Having lived with a well and septic system for almost twenty-three years, I am very very excited about sewer and water hook ups.

Jay went over to peek in the neighbor's windows to check out the progress on their interior. There is some furniture in there now, so today was the end of our peeking.

The trailer for the framers is still on site and there is plenty of lumber yet to use. We're thinking we will have actual rooms by the end of next week. And maybe even a roof.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

First Lumber Delivered

Tuesday evening after Memorial Day and some lumber has been delivered.

It's just a little lumber so we are just a little excited. We might be more excited if the delivery contained floor joists, but it doesn't.

It's going to be a busy week so we probably won't check again until Friday at the earliest.

There is major road construction and traffic delays on the way to Westport Village, so it's not a quick drive by.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Inspector Has Been Here

Coming back out to check on Friday, nothing has been done since yesterday. And with Memorial Day weekend ahead, we doubt anything new will happen before next Tuesday.

But what are those little green stickers on our lot sign that we never noticed before?

Inspection stickers! The foundation was inspected and approved last week and the sewer hookup was inspected and approved yesterday.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Plumbing In The Basement

While waiting for the basement walls to cure so they can be filled in, very athletic people have been working on the plumbing in the basement.

We are in awe that there are humans who will walk this plank and go down this ladder. We will just take pictures from solid ground instead of giving it a try.

The plumbing on the left is for the guest bathroom. The plumbing on the right is in the storage area. Guessing it is a basement drain.

Guest bathroom plumbing taken with a zoom lens.

Storage area plumbing taken with a zoom lens.

Throwback Thursday for May 22

My maternal grandfather, John Kern, working at Comptometer in the early sixties.

He was an engineer and inventor who immigrated to this country from Switzerland around 1922. He's been dead for almost fifty years and I still miss him.

He took time to spend one on one with me, understand me, and taught me how to be kind to to people. Including my three younger siblings.

That's right, siblings! I was kind to you!

My son, John Kern Baker, is named after grandpa. Although they are physically very different, the two Johns are similar in intelligence, temperament, talents, and character. I couldn't be more pleased about that.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Basement Walls on May 18

Visiting our future home on Sunday most of the mud had dried and we were able to walk around the lot and see more of the basement walls. We are probably the only two people on earth who find them beautiful with the possible exception of the people who poured them.

I use the word 'house' instead of 'condo', but it actually is a free standing condominium. I think of it as my future home/house and the word 'house' sounds cozier.

This is the back, mostly east, side of the house looking toward the front. That's PORKY, Jay's Explorer, parked in the cul-de-sac. Not much of interest got captured in the picture. The interesting part of the back is out of the picture to the right.

View down the left, mostly north, side of the house from front to back. The cutouts on the back wall are basement transom windows in the rec room.

Another view from front to back showing the same two transom windows. The room jutting out the back is the three season room. We feel fortunate that our building site allows for a basement underneath it. That part of the basement will be storage area.

This is a peek down into the hole on the mostly south side where the basement ends on the right and the garage begins on the left.

Looking north to south, left side of house to right side of house. Can see the footing for the basement divider/support wall going down the center of the basement floor. The front, mostly west side of the basement is storage. The back, mostly east side of the basement will be a finished rec room and guest bedroom and bath.

Looking at the unfinished neighbors house, their three season room is on stilts and does not have a basement. Their house is not the same model as ours, so the finished shape does not correspond to our layout. (Because I know I'm going to have some detail people reading this who are going to try and match the almost finished house with our basement.)

The egress window from the guest bedroom on the mostly south side of the house toward the back.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Snapshot of My Life on May 16, 2014

Weather in SW Michigan ...
Two frost warnings this past week and rain every day.

Since we learned that cool, rainy weather is good for curing concrete, I guess the weather is fine. Our new basement has cement walls and they are curing.

Really? ...
It's the middle of May and the leaves are still not fully out on the deciduous trees.

This is an oak branch taken today to show the tiny little leaves just starting to emerge.

Something from the kitchen ...
Thanks to the cool temperatures and rain, we're having a good morel season in SW Michigan. These were picked in my back yard.

I am creating...
I have no idea why I stopped knitting when I remet Jay in December of 2012, but I did. It's probably some psychological thing that's not worth thinking about because life is so much better now than it was in my knitting years.

But happy people knit and enjoy it, right? So I'm going to go with a simple pair of socks in Opal Graffiti. The balls are wound.

Even though I don't have much knitting time right now, twice a week I take mom to an exercise class and sit in the waiting room for an hour. Sounds like the perfect place to knit to me.

I am procrastinating ...
Taking Pappy to the vet for his last appointment. It's hard to know the right time when a dog isn't in pain, just very old. Without going into details, there are several good reasons I can't move him into the new house. We will have a last summer together as long as he is healthy enough to snuggle up to me at night.

Seen anything good on Facebook lately? ...
Jay made this attractive and delicious cheese and raspberry bacon sandwich for my lunch yesterday and jokingly said I should take a picture and put it on Facebook. So I did. In just a little over twenty-four hours it got forty comments and twenty-three 'likes'. Guess people were hungry when they spotted it.

Something new for me ...
A gift from my husband. A beautiful, leather passport wallet with RFID/NFC shielding material so it can't be scanned without my knowledge.

My passport is ready to use with new name, new picture, and now a new carry case. All that's missing is time for a trip.

A few plans for the next few days
Sunday is the 19th Annual Louise Lunch, where four generations of women (I'm the second generation) with the middle name Louise get together and celebrate Mother's Day and Heather Louise's birthday.

Monday is another meeting with Kelli at Westport Village to review and make more decisions on the interior of Oak Haven. We will work until we are braindead, about two hours, and then go out to lunch.

Giving thanks for ...
So many things it is difficult to pick. Are you tired of hearing about Jay yet?

Skipping the obvious, I am thankful for Kelli, our building consultant at Westport Village. She quickly picked up on our style and preferences and has made so many helpful suggestions that I can't imagine what our new house would be like without her input. When building a house, the choices are overwhelming. She is pleasant, knowledgeable, and fun to work with and has promised she won't let us do anything ugly or disfunctional. Priceless.

And ...
The bluebird eggs have hatched. I only know that because I see mom and dad poking food in the hole to feed them.

It's too cold to open the nest box, so I don't know if all six eggs resulted in nestlings or not.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Basement Walls Are Up

This evening it was raining so we almost didn't go out to check on the condo. But we did and were pleasantly surprised to find basement walls standing, frames gone.

Because of the rain and resulting mud - all that white looking stuff in the foreground of the picture is standing water - I rolled down the car window to take the picture. Wish I could have gotten a better view of the wall layout and some pictures from a different angle.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Frames for Basement Are Up

When we went out to check on our condo today, it was raining. We didn't expect to see progress, but there was. I shot a few pictures out the car window.

It appears the frame is ready for the cement delivery. Rain, rain, go away . . . .

As a bonus, we also got our cards to get in the Westport Village gate after it closes at seven pm.

Yesterday we met at Wenke's for a lesson in hardwood flooring and an initial selection of all our flooring, countertops, and backsplash. The meeting was two and a half hours and I was totally braindead by the end. But very pleased with our choices.

We had done hours of internet research before the meeting, so were prepared - some decisions more than others. We still have the opportunity to change our selections, but we are both happy with them for now. The interior of the house is coming together in the most beautiful way.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

We Think the Hole is Complete

When we got back to town yesterday we stopped out to see if we had a basement wall. Jay bet we would. I bet we wouldn't. I won a dollar. There's been rain.

Even knowing that blog readers are not impressed with three posts of pictures of dirt and a big hole, here are more. I think they are totally exciting. Click on them to get a more detailed look at the dirt.

We think we know what we're looking at, and we think the hole is finished. It looks full size and the big equipment is gone. We are not experienced home builders and could be wrong.

The first picture is the basement. The house will be facing south west and the back is slanted away from our neighbor.

We think the plateau is the garage placement with a trench for footings dug out around it.

Tomorrow we meet with Kelli to learn about hardwood floors and make a tentative selection. Seems early in the process, but much of the interior choices are dependent on the flooring. Could be the most important decision for the interior other than the floor plan.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Throwback Thursday for May 8

From May, 2003.

Feed Me! Feed Me!
The bluebirds are a week old.

Their wings are developing and their eyes are partly open. It's amazing how fast they are changing.

Granddaughter Kimmy, age 7, finally gets to see and touch the baby bluebirds in the nest box she helped buy, assemble, and erect.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

The Big Hole is Bigger

We had a busy day today. Had a will signing at the lawyer's office, signed a paper at the bank that was missed at the closing, ran planned errands and a few unplanned errands, ate lunch at Steak and Shake.

The most fun was driving out to our lot at noon and seeing the hole was bigger and deeper. It even looks like it might be a basement.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

The Beginning of a Big Hole

We thought maybe the digging for Oak Haven would start yesterday, so we went out to check in the late afternoon. There was no work going on that we could identify as being for our basement. It was still fun to check out the lot, though. We are easily entertained.

This is a picture of our cul-de-sac. The house on the right is occupied. The house in the middle of the picture is under construction. We have never seen our future neighbors visiting their new condo and don't know who they are. Maybe they're not as easily entertained as we are.

The pile of dirt on the left side of the picture is where our condo is going to be.

Today things were much more exciting. There is the beginning of a big hole in the ground and dirt is being moved.

It's gradually sinking in that we are building a beautiful new home for our new life together.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Snapshot of My Life on May 4, 2014

Weather in SW Michigan ...
After a long harsh winter with above average snowfall and below average temperatures, nature is a little behind in SW Michigan.

Marsh Marigolds along the creek are usually one of the first things to bloom on my property. They bloom in April. Except this year they have just started blooming in May.

Really? ...
If you think something is simple, you probably don't understand it. Like kitchen layout.

Did you know that an average sized refrigerator sticks out approximately twelve inches from the edge of the cabinets?

Therefore, if you think you have designed a four foot wide aisle past the refrigerator, it's only going to be three feet wide in front of the refrigerator hardly leaving room to open the refrigerator door. You are definitely not leaving room to pull the refrigerator out to clean behind it, and definitely not leaving room for two people to navigate past it, even if they are newly married and don't mind bumping into each other.

Something from the kitchen ...
I have also recently learned that the standard height of kitchen cabinets was determined back in the mid 1900s when the average height of the women using them was five feet four inches.

Jay likes to cook and he is six feet tall. Working at a normal kitchen counter gives him a backache. I am five feet four inches tall.

Compromise. We're having an elevated island workspace for Jay, he gets to do all the cooking. And since the sink is not going to be elevated, I get to do all the dishes. Jay is a very good cook. I like this plan.

I am creating...
My new name. After thirty nine years of being Marguerite Byrne, I am changing my name to Marguerite Hammond. Before getting married I vowed to go through this hassle without complaining because I am happy and honored to take my husband's name.

It has been a project, for sure. Some changes that I thought would be a hassle turned out to be easy, like Social Security and Secretary of State. Other changes left me shaking my head and wondering if I was the only person who ever asked for a name change there.

Shouldn't every agency and company have a procedure for this? That is a question, not a complaint.

I am procrastinating ...
Replacing my 2000 Camry because I don't like the current Camry tail lights. They don't flow nice and it looks like there's a piece missing.

No hurry. My old Camry is a good friend and it's still running fine.

Seen anything good on Facebook lately? ...
You don't have to be a member of Facebook to go to this link at Mentalfloss and enjoy this article. The older you are, the more you will enjoy it.

Retronyms when you're talking old school

Something new for me ...
I am so crazy in love with my new husband my readers may have to put up with some mush for a while. Maybe forever.

A few plans for the next few days
Monday we meet with the builder again and make progress on picking out a hardwood floor, cabinets, front door sidelights, and whatever else it's time to select. The last meeting to make decisions lasted two and a half hours even though we were prepared and decisive.

In anticipation of being braindead after this meeting, we are going out to lunch to regroup and then head to Verizon to merge our accounts so we can save money.

For the record, Jay does not admit to being braindead after these meetings. But he does not understand how colors work together, so he is not using his brain as much as I am.

Giving thanks for ...
Almost everything. Except blackflies, allergies, and dogs who won't swallow their pill.

And ...
Two of my three siblings made it to the wedding from their homes far away. It was so special to have them make the trip to Michigan to celebrate our love and marriage.

I'm in back in the red sweater. From left to right: Sister Doris from Virginia, Mom, Brother Dave from Oregon, and Brother in law John from Virginia. Love them all.