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)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

More Siding and Shower Plumbing

A Saturday visit to Oak Haven is becoming habit. The work people are gone and we can wander around looking everything over and saying, "Wow". We say "wow" often when we visit our new home because the whole thing, including being married, is, well, WOW!

First thing we noticed was the finished peak above the breakfast room. Wow.

Then we walked around to the north side of the house and admired the siding.

The back is still in progress. They can't side on the far side of the four season room until the deck rail is on the house.

The next three pictures are for Jay. He researched many hours to come up with the plumbing for the master bath shower and he was excited to see some of it in place.

The hand held is on the shower wall opposite the rainshower head and controls. It is off to one side so someone sitting on the shower seat is able to reach up and grab it.

Plumbing on the control side of the master shower.

Home of the future shower controls with the plumbing for the rainshower head visible above the shower stall.

We also found plumbing in the laundry room for the washer. This is going to be my first main floor laundry and I'm very excited about it. Wow.

Saw the blueprint hanging in the laundry room and just had to take a picture of the title box. Double wow.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Siding and Kitchen Bar Wall

Monday was our last long decision meeting with Kelli, the amazing lady who helps us know what we want. The decisions are done. From now on it will be be questions and answers and small decisions as needed by the various people working on our house.

After the meeting, we went to the house (of course), and found many ladders in the back yard suggesting siding would be starting soon.

Wednesday we found siding on one side of the house and the siders there ready to do a second side. Very exciting.

Siding colors for Westport Village are limited. Although the interiors are custom, the exteriors need to conform to a community standard. We did get to pick our color from the cards of acceptable colors. It's called Clay.

Although we have driven through the village many times and seen multiple clay sided condos, we got excited about our clay siding and think it looks the best of all the clay sidings.

We are so excited to have siding that I'm sure there will be more pictures as the other sides of the condo are completed.

Inside we found a new wall structure. This is Jay peering into his kitchen over the bar from the dining room. It changed the whole feel of the interior to have this partition in place.

The same structure taken from the dining room looking toward the kitchen.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Stopped out at the new house on my way to Meijer last Saturday. Well, to be truthful, it was a little out of the way but I wanted to see if anything was happening. Not much was.

There was a new piece of siding in the garage, the piece that goes on the peak of the garage.

After touring the inside and finding nothing new, I decided to walk around the house just in case there might be the beginning of some siding. There wasn't. I did find two new meters.

The gas meter is showing 0000.

Got a bigger picture of the yellow tag just because I like to read the tags work people put on our new house.

The electric meter is also at 0 0 0 0. A sight I've never seen before on an electric meter.

The green inspection tag is not filled out yet, so I assume there's more work to be done. At least an inspection.

There is a breaker box in the basement, but I haven't opened it and looked to see if it actually has something in it.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Joni's Visit

Every once in a while it occurs to me that I'm a step-mother. Since my step children have grown children of their own, this is zero work and one-hundred percent pleasure because I love them both.

This week step-daughter Joni came to visit, check out everything going on at the new house, and give us some encouragement, advice, and love.

We had a great time, lots of good food, and I'm sorry I didn't get more pictures.

It was Joni's idea to get a picture of Jay and me in the four season room. I love it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Outlet Boxes, Duct Work, Plumbing

The siding resides in the garage since last week. Mostly in boxes, but these pieces show the color, Clay Brown.

We thought the siding would be next, but the electrician, the plumber, and the heating and cooling people all showed up yesterday with no sign of the siding people.

Yesterday evening Parker Scott, granddaughter Kim, and daughter Heather (left to right) came over from Pennfield (Battle Creek) to see the progress. The workers were gone so I took some pictures.

Heather thought it was amusing that I took a picture of duct work. I ignored her.

The boxes for the electrical work are mostly in place.

And there is plumbing.

The master bath shower is in place.

The second main floor shower is in place.

The garage is the storage area for all types of miscellaneous pieces. Grab what you need, I guess.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Deliveries, Doors, and Downstairs

On our Saturday trip out to Oak Haven, we found promises of things to happen in the garage.

Siding . . .

Porch columns and shakes for the roof peaks . . .

and a gas hot water heater . . .

We also found doors in place. No hardware and unpainted, but in place.

This door goes from the garage to the house. There was also a side door in the garage that didn't get in a picture.

Door from the four season room out to the deck . . .

And the front door with cutouts for the sidelights.

Here is a long shot of the mechanical and storage area side of the basement.

On the other side of the basement, the framing is up for the guest suite.

The long wall on the very right is the wall between the finished half and the storage/mechanical half of the basement. Next to that wall is a hallway going to the guest bedroom at the very end of the basement.

First room on the left with the pipes sticking up is the guest bathroom. Behind that is the guest closet, and behind that the guest bedroom.

I'm very excited about having a guest bedroom. Jay's current king size bed and bedroom furniture is going in there and we can be Hotel Hammond for our relatives when they're in town.

There's an egress window in the guest bedroom, complete with ladder. Guessing if a guest needs an egress window, they will have enough adrenaline to climb the ladder.

It appears the egress well is being used as a temporary trash can. It does look a bit like the old fashioned garbage cans we used to have when the garbage man would walk into the back yard to carry it out to the street to empty it. The same good old days when a good looking young man at the gas station would rush out to pump my gas, check my oil, and wash my car windows. Sigh.

Taken from the guest bedroom, this is a view of the guest closet and guest bathroom from the opposite direction. The area between the guest bathroom and the stairs in the back of the view is the rec room.

The roof is finally finished, so had to get a picture of the outside of the house. Probably the last one before the siding goes on.

On the way out of our cul-de-sac I noticed several flycatcher type birds hunting insects. At first I though they were phoebes, and was excited to think I would have phoebes at my new home. Phoebes are one of the things I will miss about my old home.

Then I noticed they were bigger than phoebes and had white markings, especially visible at the end of their tail feathers. I identified them as eastern kingbirds and took this picture to make sure. Nice. Even though there is some open, undeveloped land there, I wasn't sure we would have interesting birds to watch in Westport.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Stairway to Basement

On our trip out to Oak Haven Wednesday we spotted doors in the garage. Not as exciting as functional doors, but at least we could still get in the house. They do show promise for having an enclosed, secure building soon.

We have a temporary stairway to the basement now. An important next step so the plumber, electrician, and other workers can get up and down. The final stairs will be oak to match the hardwood floor.

Jay is standing in the great room in the picture above. I'm trying to figure out how the color flow would work if we paint the great room wall behind Jay in Kensington Blue. The stairwell window is the same wall without a break.

The picture below was taken from the great room. I'm printing it off to take to our meeting Monday so Kelli, the amazing lady who helps us know what we want, can explain how the walls will flow when things are finished.

Down into the basement I almost go. I stayed on the bottom step not knowing if the cement was totally dry or not.

Looking down the half of the basement that is going to be finished. At the far end is the guest bedroom with an egress window. The plumbing sticking up is for the guest bathroom. The rest of the area is going to be a rec room.

We're thinking we need a pool table. We most definitely need lights.

This is not a good picture of the other half of the basement because, as mentioned above, I did not leave the bottom step. This is the mechanical and storage area and is huge. We will have plenty of room to collect amazing amounts of things we will forget we have. (No, whoever you are who is thinking of bringing stuff over to store in our basement!)

Looking back up the top half of the stairs from the landing.

Painting Samples

Choosing paint colors has been an experience in saying, "No, I don't think that's it" over and over.

We looked at paint chips in these ungainly and annoying pivoting decks until all the colors started looking alike.

We used the Benjamin Moore website to look at colors and to virtually paint rooms. That was a very helpful tool. Much easier to use than the paint decks, but impossible to trust the colors on the screen due to the amount of pickiness we were exercising.

We both selected maybes, we both rejected maybes. I did more rejecting than Jay who tried to wiggle out of this decision by saying he would be happy with whatever. Never did believe him because he kept coming back to find more colors.

When it was all over, the decision was firm and it was colors that Jay found that ruled the day. Fortunately, they were just what I was looking for when they came together with the floor, counter, and cabinet samples. We do work well together.

After all the selection angst, we decided we had to have bigger samples to examine. This decision is too important to make a mistake. Jay bought two foot by two foot pieces of drywall and primed them. We bought a sample pint of each color and used the garage at Hermitage to verify our vision.

The colors above are:
  • Upper left and partially hidden, Sandy Brown, our main, basic wall color.
  • Upper right, Soft Chamois, trim, chair rails, cove molding, ceilings.
  • Pumpkin Spice, bet you can guess which one that is. Will be used on upper half of one wall in breakfast room and upper half of one wall in dining room.
  • Kensignton Blue, the dark blue, will be used on the wall with the three transom windows behind our bed. Also considering the great room wall behind the television. Need to have questions answered on how that wraps into the half wall at the stairwell before deciding.
  • Bayberry Blue, the lighter, brighter blue will be the outside of the front door and the outside trim around the door sidelights.
The picture below gives a better view of Sandy Brown.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Snapshot of My Life on July 5

For a 'snapshot', this post is picture poor. But it is a record of what is happening right now and someday I will come back and read it and remember when.

Weather in SW Michigan ...
It's been a beautiful long weekend so far, with highs in the 70s and nightly lows in the 50s.

Really? ...
Last week the first junk mail with my new married name arrived. It was two new membership cards from AARP.

I am not and have never been a member of AARP. Wonder where they get their mailing list.

Something from the kitchen ...
Things are leaving the kitchen! I've realized that when I'm home for a meal it's going to be quick and easy, so I may as well start cleaning out the cabinets.

Thursday I cleaned out three cabinets. Took the good stuff over to Jay's to review if we were going to keep his or mine. The rejected duplicates were dropped off at Goodwill today.

I am creating...
With Jay's partnership, we are doing our best to create a house where we will be both be happy and we can live together.

Very soon we are going to get paint samples of the colors we are considering for the house. We've looked at them in paint chips and in virtual rooms online. Now it's time for the acid test.

Jay bought and primed 2' x 2' pieces of drywall for use to paint. We have large samples of all our flooring and the kitchen countertop and backsplash. After hours and hours of looking and discussing, we are so ready to have the paint color decision done.

I am procrastinating ...
Cleaning out the basement at my current house.

Maybe it's not actually procrastinating. I just decided to do the main level first.

Seen anything good on Facebook lately? ...

Something new for me ...
Last week I started sorting through my papers and files with the goal to merge them into Jay's filing system as we prepare to join households.

The 'new' thing I noticed is that Marguerite Hammond now looks normal for my name. It was a little strange to see papers with Marguerite Byrne, my name for the past 39 years, on them. This mental transition took about four months. It feels great to be done with it.

A few plans for the next few days
Tomorrow is church and lunch out afterward with church friends.

Monday is the electrical walkthru.

We will be painting color samples on drywall.

The car needs an oil change, and I hope to sort out more papers and kitchen cabinets.

Giving thanks for ...
A few days ago Jay said, "Who'd a thunk it?" I suggested we make that our summary of the last year and a half. I NEVER would have thunk it. Not any of it. And I'm very very thankful for this unexpected sweet time in our lives.

And ...
I'm enjoying blogging again. My knitting readers are likely wondering where the knitting is. Knitting got me through many difficult years and right now I'm happy to have my mind elsewhere. But there is still knitting in my blood, and eventually when life returns to a moderate pace I'm sure I'll pick up the needles again.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Stairway in Progress

Monday we have an electrical walkthru with the electrician. We celebrated the 4th of July by going out to Oak Haven and having a pre-electrical walkthru with only the two of us to make sure we agree on what we're going to tell him.

That went well, and we are ready. I hope the electrician appreciates how prepared and decisive we are going to be.

Once we got in the house, we noticed the stairway under construction. The house is a ranch, so this is our only stairway. It goes down to the basement to a large rec room, a guest bedroom, a guest bathroom, and a huge storage and mechanical area.

Neither one of us is climbing down that ladder, so it will be nice when the stairs are complete.

The landing is in place and it appears all the risers have been cut.

We were surprised the risers were cut and not purchased pre-cut.

One other task for the day was to get a picture of the places the Direct TV man said would work for the dish. The back of the house on the roof of the four season room seems best. As a bonus, it won't show from Harborview Trail. Hopefully that will make approval go smoother. As a second bonus, we Jay will be able to walk out on the deck with a broom to sweep it off in the winter.