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Plates in my Head

I put down two plates last week, and I feel so much more relaxed! Oh…wait…did I not explain the plate thing before?  So, you know those Chinese acrobats that spin plates on big sticks?  Well, that’s how my brain has felt the past few months.  I have plates for Walden, our current house, each of the kids,  Penny the labradoodle, the foster dogs, my parents’ move, my husband — and a little cracked, stained saucer that is always off balance.  That one has my name all over it.

So anyway, last week I got to set two down.  My 14 year old daughter took off for an 8 day singing road trip, which meant the end to hours of rehearsals, plus her room was spotless the whole time and I never once had to nag.  Secondly, we put the current house on the market ( .  I have been busting my behind cleaning, purging, organizing and staging.  Now, all I can do is hope (and keep it clean).

So now I am back to doing my part on the Walden house.  Meanwhile, Super Bill has been cracking the whip and a lot is getting done.  The infamous retaining wall is done (Bill says it looks like a fleet of small VWs stacked back there). The tile floors are almost all done, which is so exciting!  Personality is starting to show!  They added an amazing light-tube to my pantry/office.  It changes the whole feel of not just that room but the adjoining kitchen and great room with the way it brightens things up.  Most of the rooms have been primed, which I love.  The girl was not thrilled at  the main color when she came in today, as she said it reminds her of our current home (that’s because it is the color of our current basement, which I adore).  Her room is her business, and she is pumped by the changes,  from the tile and tub in the bathroom to the coral primer on the walls.  My husband freaked out when he saw it and warned her her room was orange.  Guess we can’t please everyone!

They have started installing the brick floor in  the bar.  You may remember these are the bricks from the original house on the lot.  I am so pleased to be honoring the past this way!

The stucco goes up soon, and the cabinets start arriving Thursday.  The wood floors will hopefully be going in soon, too, as they were supposed to be done before cabinets.  They’ve been cranking the AC to dry the moisture content out of the sub-flooring, and I think we are ready.  Super Bill is starting to get grumbly with the subs, and husband Rich is fearful we are falling behind again.  Ugh.  But I will not dwell on those things.  I have to keep my plates in the air!


The stairs to the main level


A view of the great room and bar area from the future exercise room


The bar floor in progress!


All the doors are hanging out in what will be the music room


The shower from the main basement bath — I love how this is turning out!


A close up of the bricks — which are almost one hundred years old


Frankie’s shower


He is prepping the master shower walls for tile. The floor is in (heat and all!).


Making progress

What a whirlwind lately!  We’ve been busy making decisions, but I can’t rest too easy.  Every time I think I’ve got this project in hand, project superintendent Bill wants more.  We ordered the fireplace stone (great — do you want that arched or level? What type of gas logs? What do you want for the back of the fireplace box?).  Ordered all the lighting! (Nice!  Now you need to meet with the electrician to place everything — and do you want under-cabinet lighting? How far up should the soffits be in the kitchen? What type of doggy door are we installing?)  Picked out all the tile! (Awesome!  What do you want under the deck?  Getting bids on the low-voltage stuff! (Terrific — where are you storing the “command center?” Oh, where the wine is stored?  Then we need to find a way to keep the wine from over heating.  can I run duct work through the exercise room?

I am NOT complaining:  this has been an easy project so far (unless you count Mother Nature’s resistance.  Third week in May and today I froze my toes walking the site, as it was about 19 degrees!  But should hit 50 by this weekend!).  I just really find satisfaction crossing things off the list, and my lists have lists.  Some of my next tasks include picking all the hinges and hardware for the doors.  Will stop by Knob Hill or Brass Handle for that, maybe next week.  I am also going to design the front of the fireplace.  We picked our stone out at Hedberg.  I was thrilled because Rich picked the same one I did without me telling him my favorites — and it was one of the cheapest.  Score!  I want to create alcoves in the fireplace for candles, artwork, etc, so I am going to draw that plan up this week.  I want something like in this picture:

Picking out the light fixtures was tough — so far it has been the most exhausting, simply because there are so many options online!  Created an order today at Cartier Lighting with Susan, who really helped me out.  For example, we wanted some fun, flush-mounted lights covered with crystals in the master closet.  Susan pointed out that while they would put off good light, the kind of light (wavy) wouldn’t really be great for picking out clothes in the morning.  SO went with some basic, utilitarian lights instead.  There are a few key, funky lights that we found online, and Susan is checking to see if she can get them for me.  If not, I’ll order online.  One is for the master bedroom:

 Sputnik Chandelier - 12 Lt

Fun, huh? I still need to hit Ikea, Pier 1, and a few places like that for paper lanterns.  Hoping to string them up with lights inside for Frankie’s room, like this:

I think we are good to go on tile, too.  Submitting choices to the Kraemer & Sons tile guy, and he will get me numbers.  Goal was to stay under $10 per square foot, and I think we are close.  Still need to finalize vinyl flooring for kids bedrooms, pick out basement carpet, and choose stain for wood floors.  I think that will come after our cabinetry meeting, which should be coming up soon.

It is exciting to visit the site, as every day is different.  Windows go in in next week, and the roof will go on, too (still need to finalize shingle selection, but narrowed it down to two.  Waiting for samples so we can see it on site).  Thursday we meet with the landscaper to make preliminary plans.  This will probably be a multi-phase event, as we will probably be ating ramen for a few months after the actual construction is done!

Here are some new pictures of the project:


The garage





Frankie checking out the view from inside the garage


The big opening is the door to the deck from the dining room.

The big opening is the door to the deck from the dining room.





house 010

The view of the back of the house. Upstairs, left to right: water closet window, master window, dining room doors opening. Downstairs, left to right: Frankie’s room, Frankie’s bath, the guest room (when will you come visit?), and Carter’s room.

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