Thursday, September 29, 2005

First floor is framed!

The framing of the house is coming along nicely. The first floor is framed and it is so neat to be able to walk the rooms and see your plan come to life. The one room that I was concerned about is the dining room. Its kind of hidden in the middle of the house, but because it is open and the parlor is open, you can see into it from the parlor. The stairs separate the two rooms, but it looks like it is going to be really nice. They were supposed to put the second floor joists up and deck it yesterday, but there was a problem with the number of boards, so that has been delayed until today. There was a big rainstorm last night, hopefully that won't delay their work any. It should be alot cooler for the workers though. We still have some decisions that need to be made. There is a decorative window in the upstairs hallway, we need to decide on columns for the brick bases on the porch and still haven't decided on the bathroom showers. I will post photos later today or tomorrow.

A sad note: We are down to three birds now. Charles' English Parakeet, Lord Nelson has died. He was between 7-8 years old. His companion, Hayley, died earlier this year. So, our pet count is now 3 dogs (all 10years plus), 2 cats (1 8yearsplus, 1 kitten), 3 cockatiels (Frisco 20, his kids 10), 2 goldfish (1-2 years). Its very hard to have a geriatric pet household. We've lost so many this year alone, and some its just a matter of time. Those quackers we have are still sitting on the eggs, but no ducklings yet.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Tuffy's growing!

He's becoming a little pest but we love him to death. He tolerates John's rough treatment and still allows him to pick him up. We are very careful with him, but we are encouraging that they bond together. Here are some photos taken last week, so he's somewhere between 10-12 weeks now.

Framing begins on the house!

Well, framing has begun. We are so happy that Hurricane Rita moved east, because the longer we go without rain, the faster the house can be framed. It is so neat to be able to walk in the rooms and know where you are standing.

Pouring Concrete!

Site Prep

Recent Photos of House Construction

I put together a few collages to show the status of the house construction. To view them at their actual size, click on the images.

Foundation poured and framing started!

They poured the foundation for the house on Thursday, September 22nd. It looks really good. The framer has drawn out the floorplan on the concrete and put down the base plates. You can really see what the house is going to look like. We have photos and will be posting them after I've had a chance to trim them up. The lumber was delivered on Friday, so it will hopefully be framed within the next 2 weeks if the weather holds. We were real concerned about Hurricane Rita, but all that happened down there was incredible winds.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Problems posting photos

I've been trying to post some photos of the forms, but its not getting them. I will try again tomorrow. I have to go down and get photos of the trenches and plumbing roughin.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Moving along quickly!

The house is starting to become a reality. After a wild goose chase for brick, we have ordered the brick for the house. It is an Acme brick called Burgandy. The Acme showroom is built of this brick as well as another named Quorum. My biggest challenge now is to find a main color, accent and trim color that will blend well with the red brick. The second story of the front of the house will be in a Hardiplank lap siding and the gable will be in Hardi fishscale shingles. So, the challenge is to find a color that is complimentary that doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. I'm looking at a Sagey green, darker green in the same tone and a creamy white for the trim. We have an 8-10 week wait on the brick, but the house should be ready for it within 6 weeks. Hopefully, I'll be able to check our paint color against the brick before it is painted.

Progress on the house:

The forms are up, pier holes drilled and filled with concrete, trenches for concrete formed, and rough plumbing installed. The steel is there to tie everything together and they should be pouring the foundation early next week. As long as the weather holds, this should go pretty fast, according to our builder. I'm posting some pictures, but you may not really be able to tell anything. Its pretty neat being able to go there and see the rooms that you've only seen on paper.

Update on the kitten and ducks:

Tuffy is turning into a special little kitten. He's very loving, plays with anything, and wants to be right with you. He allows John to pick him up like a sack of potatoes and carry him around. We have to really watch them together, but I think the kitten likes him and us. I need to take some more photos of him.

If the duck eggs are fertile, they should be hatching sometime within the next week. If they do hatch, we will have to open the whole back yard to them. There are at least 20 eggs out there.

John's MDO:

John is doing fairly well with MDO, but he's apparently not eating much while he's there. They will serve a hot lunch or they can bring a lunch. We've had 2 days of hot lunches and 1 of lunch we brought. He hasn't done well with either. He's such a picky eater. I wish I could be a fly on the wall to see how he does with the eating.

Big news: Charles is now a senior citizen. He turned 55 on September 15, 2005. He celebrated by going with John and I to the doctor. John woke up screaming that his ear hurt. So, we took him and determined that it was not an infection, but an incredible buildup of wax. Yuck! We also purchased our brick for his birthday. But today, we had a family dinner and a little party at my mom's.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

House update

We have ordered the lumber for the house. We were afraid that pricing would go up because of the hurricane, so we've locked in a price through the end of September. Also, our builder is starting to prep the site for the house. Just in case you're interested, here are photos of the floorplan drawings. The house will have an elevated 18" slab. We hope to give the house the look of a pier and beam. As you can see from the floorplans, we have a fairly closed floorplan. This keeps in line with the Victorian style of the house, but also allows us to close off areas because of the indoor pets.


I have been spending a few weeks looking at kittens/cats on different shelter websites. We wanted to give Tiger a new companion, and John a kitty that enjoys/tolerates his attention. Tiger is very shy and only comes out when John is in bed or not at home. He's a very loving cat, just shy. Yesterday, John and I went to Petsmart and he fell in love with a little male apricot and white kitten named Neil. I wanted to get Neil's little girlfriend, a cute little calico. But, for some reason, this little kitten stole his heart and would let him pet him. So, we adopted him. The paperwork says he's 3 months old, but he sure seems younger. Its been a long time since I had a kitten, I found Jaws in 1992. John has decided that Neil should be named Tuffy, in honor of one of his Thomas engines (Duncan) who he has always called Tuffy. Here are our first photos of Tuffy. He looks a little ragged because he was surrended to the SPCA on September 3, neutered on September 4th, moved to the Petsmart location on September 5. We adopted him on the fifth. That's a lot of stress on a little kitty. He's coming out of his shell a little now, and seems happy with us.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

House plans, builder chosen, lots of little quacks.

Haven't posted in a while. Not much has been going on here, although the world has greatly changed with the aftermath of Katrina. I can not even imagine what those poor people are going through. I've lived on the coast and had runins with tropical storms and hurricanes, but we never got a really bad hit. I don't think I would have had the courage to stay in the city with that storm blasting down on top of me. I think of all the lost lives, homes, museums (that's what my career choice was) and the devastation and it is so very sad. I told Charles tonight though that maybe it was God's plan that the new basketball arena was built and Reunion Arena left with nothing to do. Maybe he knew these people would need the arena and the Astrodome for their temporary homes because of the disaster that befell them. If the new arena had not been built and the Astrodome was still in use, could they be used for the refugees? It makes you wonder. I thought at the time that a new arena was not necessary, but look what Reunion can do. It makes you think, doesn't it?

Oh, well, enough of that. We have finally decided on a builder for our house. We will continue to use the builder that has done all the work out here for us. I'm still unsure of brick with hardiplank. I think it will lose the character of a Victorian house with the brick added, but we'll see. We've chosen the Burgundy kingsize brick from Acme. Now I just have to decide the colors of the paint. I'm thinking 2 shades of green (jade, sage, etc) with cream, or taupe, red and cream or 2 shades of gray with white. Here are photos of the elevation drawings. You can double click on them and all of the photos here to see them larger.

Quackers. The ducks wanted to be fruitful and multiply. They are now sitting on 16 eggs. Wonder how many will hatch? Our last cat, Tiger has been cleared of all communicable diseases, so we are now free to get him a companion if we want to. That's great, because he lived over seven years with a FIP positive cat, our Jausenclaus.