Missing my alpacas

Every so often I get a tinge of regret in selling our alpacas.   However, that is offset by the money I know we are saving in not having them right now.  But, I still miss their antics in the pastures, and seeing the new crias pop up in the field, usually a surprise birth.  They are fun with unique personality and an easy attitude.

So today I will post a few pics of my funny alpacas.

Summer with Kona and Dash IMG_0465 Hershey Surprise IMG_0154


Slow going

It’s that time in the build process that things seem to slow down and feel like it’s never going to be done.  Our builder says we can be in by end of November.  So, it would seem we will probably be moving Thanksgiving weekend.  Of course.  What would anyone rather do Thanksgiving weekend than move.  It will probably be cold and rainy too.  Of course.

In the meantime, we have given our decision on stain color to the painter.  He advised they do the staining of woods first (we have kitchen cabinets and island, and crown moulding and wide base molding, plus the booth and wall slats, window trims and little bitty details here and there I can’t recall), and then they will paint walls and all the other trims, window trims, guest bath and laundry cabinets, etc.  They are starting today.  I will run by the house and see how it has progressed.  To see stain on one little wood sample is so different in large quantities in your own home, and hope you made the right choice with no regret.  I took them a drawer from an old piece of furniture that I wanted to try to get matched to a stain color.  I think they got it, I hope so anyway.  I will take pictures and post them tomorrow.

When the painters are done then more trades can come in to do their thing, like the granite installers and flooring.

We did find a couple of spots where the electricians did not read our plans and chose to install fixtures according to their own guidelines, which is apparently “center a ceiling fixture in the space”.  That is usually fine, but the two hallways they did this in actually had cabinets, installed after they left, and so the wall to wall measurement was not valid.  The measurement should have been cabinet to wall, and centered over the walkway in both halls. In addition, the mantra “read the plans” comes into force yet again in this build.  The builder had them remove those fixtures and sheetrock, tape and mud were done before the painters started.  The electricians will have to come back and and reinstall those fixtures later.

The aerobic septic system was installed yesterday.  It is the exact same system we have in our current house, so no surprises there. I met with the engineer recently and explained to him where we wanted the system to be, he designed the layout, we approved it, and the builder set up the install date.

Today, it’s me moving more things out of this house to storage so we don’t have much excess to move from here in case our helping hands are few.  My husband will be recuperating from surgery at that point in time and not able to lift or carry anything.

A few newer photos are attached.

living and booth papered for paint kitchen sink and dining windows papered for paint kitchen sink window papered for paint

Stone decision

So we went to the rock yard our builder referred us to and looked over choices for our fireplace wall and columns along our gallery hall. We had narrowed some ideas down to color gray, light rather than dark, assorted heights rather than uniform height, rough but not extremely rough surface, and coordinating with our other finishes in the house. It is in the main living room which is also adjacent to the kitchen and the dining, so it will need to coordinate with the slate floors and living room carpeting, which has coppers, greys, creams, and specks of other colors that give it some “lift” but are not big players in the overall look. It just really fits well with the slate colors.

We decided to focus on looking at Blue Streak Granbury Chop (grey and cream) and a nice block of grey slate for the lintel piece.  We will also have a 20′ span of straight grey slate that will go from wall to wall and function as the hearth and also seating or table space.  The fireplace has two big windows on each side of it, so the hearth seating wall to wall span will be under these windows as well.  The slate seat/hearth will sit on top of a short wall of Granbury under it to match the wall and overhang it a few inches so when sitting you don’t scrape against the stone.

The salesgirl was very helpful and offered some additional ideas for the way the stone can be cut and laid and how the lintel piece can be cut to add some interest and not look just like a lump of stone.  We will look at having it cut with a “v” in the middle so the “v” space can be inserted with a piece of matching cut Granbury, kind of like a keystone, but just decorative.

We will get our decisions to the builder so he can get everything measured and an estimate written up so we can see how we are doing budget wise.  The most expensive thing in any tile, granite  or  stone install is the labor cost.  He has been very good at estimating all costs within our budget and we haven’t made choices that are wildly expensive and out of our budgets yet.  We do like the stone choices and think they will be a great look in the new house.


More decisions

The flurry of activity will begin again as we get finished up. I met with the engineer for the septic system and that layout was decided and can be installed. The propane tank placement has been located. They can both be installed any time now. We made our decisions on granite, tile and flooring. The granite guys and floor guys came out and measured after all the cabinets were in place. The painters will be at the house starting next week for a couple weeks. We meet on Monday with our decisions made. The exterior color is never easy for me so I am down to two possible gray colors and either can work just fine. I will have the painters make a sample board for each color to really get a feel for true color and make a decision.

The granites we chose were honed Verde Uba Tuba for kitchen counters, and honed Verde Marinace (pron., mare-uh-notchy) for the kitchen island. The extra expense to hone these is worth it because it makes them look more natural, to go with our stone backsplash and other stones in fireplace and stone columns along kitchen and hall entry. The Blue Pearl in laundry will not be honed; I like the shine in that space. The remnnant marble they had and we got for a fraction of the original cost (still expensive though) was already honed and will be perfect for the guest bath vanity top. The backsplash in kitchen I will be ordering and they will install for us, and it is Jeffrey Court copper slate mosaic stick tile.

All the interior colors have been made and were easy as I am just using the same color palette I currently have and have been totally happy with and works with our present furniture and color schemes. All Sherwin Williams and nice warm colors. We will get lots of light because of all the windows and it should all glow inside. Buckram Binding in the living, powder bath, kitchen, dining,halls, sitting room/tv/office and up the stairs and into my husband’s office loft. Jersey Cream will be in all the bedrooms and master bath with Ecru Gray Tessuto floor tile. Sensitive Tint will be in the guest bath, with Ecru Gray Tessuto floor and bath surround tile. I was able to snag a very nice Carrarra marble for the guest bath custom made vanity cabinet. We have custom designed the marble backsplash surround to resemble an old style wash basin.

After the painters finish then the granite and marble tops can be installed. It is required to have all the sinks, faucets and cooktop onsite when they install.

Then the flooring and lighting and fans can go in, along with fixtures and hardware. Some interior and exterior clean up and pouring of front walk and patio and driveway will be the final things. Luckily, weather has not been an issue during these several months, although we need rain badly. The area is in its third year of drought. Some spots have had a little more rain than others, and our pond has maintained nicely. Fall will bring rain and get its level back up.

More boxing up what we can in our present house and taking to storage so when we move it should be down to just our basics we need here,plus our furniture. Each week is flying by and so I still have to paint the exterior of my clawfoot tub this week before they need it to install. It will be cooler temps the next few days so I can focus on that. Half the garage right now is in DIY mode as I finish up some packing, painting and sorting.

island trimmed

booth view

booth view

booth to living view


Hurry up, Hurry up

We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We should be finished by the end of September (doubtful) or by mid-October (realistic), so says our builder. The downside is this will all be happening just as my husband will be scheduled to undergo surgery an hour away in Dallas to remove his esophagus. He was diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer in June and has finished his chemo and radiation treatments and now must have a few tests scheduled before surgery just to see how well the tumor responded to the chemo and radiation. It should be reduced in size and make it manageable to remove through laparoscopy and the stomach moved up and reattached to replace it. I really had hoped the house and the move would be completed before surgery, but I can see all this will be interwoven into my schedule. Since he can’t assist with the move in any way, we have our son, daughter, and some friends and family who have volunteered to pitch in and do whatever needs done. We are grateful for their assistance. We never in our wildest dreams (or nightmares) envisioned cancer as part of this journey, but it should be a forgotten foe once the surgery is finished, so says the surgeon.

But now the house, which is in a flurry of activity right now. Next week the builder says the painters should be starting. The cabinet maker and trim guys are finishing up. The carpet and tile has been measured and will be ordered. The granite guys should be out to measure in just a few days. We are working with the septic people to get all the paperwork started for the system to be planned. The propane will be contacted next and we are getting the tank buried, which I have not seen done before, but we have contacted several people who have buried tanks and they say they are not a problem. We will pay a little extra to have that done so we don’t have to look at an unsightly tank since we don’t have a really good place of hiding it from view if not buried.

A few glitches have popped up that are being dealt with. The builder needs answers quickly so as not to hold up the trades involved in the “fixes”. The wood columns at the island are not trimmed out as we wanted so we are looking at the recommendations of the builder to improve the trim out on those. The plumber missed seeing our vintage high backed porcelain sink in the laundry as noted in the plans, and plumbed for a regular sink. He will have to come back and redo his handiwork to fit our sink.

vintage sink for laundry

vintage sink for laundry

It takes daily trips to the house at this point to review what is being worked on and make sure nothing gets overlooked and make sure our plans are being looked at.

I ordered all the door hardware and took one to the house and make sure it fit okay. They are all going to look great when installed. The doors are awesome and the hardware is the Schlage Addison Collection with Georgian knobs in Matte Black. The doors will all be painted just a matte antique ivory or similar with the black hardware. Very sharp.

matte black interior door hardware

matte black interior door hardware


all interior door hardware in matte black

all interior door hardware in matte black

We still have ceiling fans to purchase, but I found some I really like online at the local Home Depot and Lowe’s. Just need to decide which style work best for the bedrooms.

We are off to the house now with camera, plans, measuring tape, notebook and pen, and our reminders of what to look at and follow up with the builder tomorrow.