Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October Progress -- Or Not

October was the "for sure" time that the addition to the old farmhouse was to be complete.  There were times when it looked promising, but then, two weeks ago, our carpenter took off for a couple of weeks..... No matter, the electrician, who was to do the electrical "trim out" on October 8, called to let us know it would be October 23 before she could be here...she had a two week vacation that popped up too. At least she called to let us know...

And so, we spent our time without contractors painting trim....miles and miles of trim.
Painting trim outside

Painting trim in the garage
  Now the original plan was to paint trim in "batches," painting enough for the carpenter to install in one day's work, and repeating that process until all of the trim was painted and installed.  However, with no carpenter to do the installation, Joe devised a method to store the freshly painted trim in a temperature controlled environment....not an easy thing to do when each piece of trim ordered by the carpenter was 16 feet long.
First layer of painted trim

Transporting trim to old farmhouse addition

View from inside the truck

Joe unloading trim

Miles of painted trim awaiting carpenter

We completed the painting of the trim during the first week of the carpenter's absence, every day thinking that he'd surely be here the next day to start installation.  The weather was, after all, beautiful.

On October 22, the electrician showed up, a day earlier than she'd arranged to be here.  Unfortunately, we were not completely prepared for her, in part, because the carpenter still had some "blocks" to install to facilitate the electrician's installation of the outside fixtures.  Joe called the carpenter to find out when he planned to return to install the blocks so the electrician could finish her work.  The carpenter promised to return on the 24th, and the electrician agreed to return on the 25th to complete the electrical trim out.
Fans, lights and more fans

Exterior trim out

Installing light fixtures
I should not have been surprised when the 24th and 25th went by without either the carpenter or the electrician making an appearance.  Late in the afternoon of the 25th, the electrician called, leaving a message that she'd run overtime on another job, but that she'd spoken with our carpenter and he'd assured her that he'd install the necessary blocks over the weekend. She promised she'd show up on Monday or Tuesday (29th or 30th) to complete the job.

Enter Sandy.

Local weather...continuous coverage
Yes, preparations for Sandy began in earnest on the 25th.  By Saturday the 27th, we were as ready as we were going to be.  All animals had been relocated to their winter quarters to weather the storm, and all hatches were battened down, as best they could be in a forever-construction site.  At 7:00 PM Saturday the rains began.  It rained and rained.  The wind gusted and blew, but not too badly.  We waited, completely prepared for the inevitable loss of power.  Every time the lights flickered, we knew this was to be the time.

Minor flooding
Goats and Chickens ready for drier weather
It rained for 73 hours straight, without letting up.  Sure, sometimes the rain was lighter than others, but, when it finally finished raining last night, (that would be Tuesday, October 30th) at 8 PM, we were very happy to see it end!  Our rain gauge (aka big plastic bin) reported about 15 inches of total rainfall for the storm's duration.  We had a few downed limbs, and some tarps blown off here and there, and the upstairs bedroom door to the service deck on the old farmhouse was blown open and the new subfloor took on a fair amount of rain, but in the greater scheme of things, we were VERY lucky.
Drainage ditch approaching capacity it safe to venture out yet?

Water on subfloor after wind blew door open

Judy opening trenches clogged with leaves

Now, while it is true that the worst of the storm passed us by on Monday, Tuesday it was still raining and the wind was still blowing.  So it seems only natural that at 9 AM the phone would ring and the carpenter's wife would ask me if we had power....turns out the carpenter decided this was the day to return to the job .... well, Joe convinced him it made little sense to come on such a rainy day, when our property was so soaked and no outside work could reasonably be performed.  All agreed that he should show up today instead, which he did.

And so, on the very last day of October, the carpenter installed the exterior blocks for the electrician, and has begun installing the interior doors and all of the painted trim.  Perhaps we will have a completed addition, at least, by the end of the week?  Well, of course, we still haven't seen the electrician......

Carpenter on the trim

Closet exterior trim

Closet interior trim

We did do a few little "fun" things while the contractors were on their vacations.  We did manage to paint the old window frames and then Joe installed the new "stained glass windows" in the stairwell windows of the old farmhouse.  It will make a lovely filtered light in the stairwell during the day, and it looks pretty cool from the outside at night.

Windows, painted and clean

Joe applying the "stained glass"

As he balances on the scaffolding

View from outside
From inside stairwell in daylight

November is going to be crazy busy for me with work, several trips out of town, etc. so, if we do, indeed, have a completed addition by Thanksgiving, I will be most thankful.  I hope to have our first Thanksgiving dinner in the old farmhouse with my kids, their spouses and my granddaughter.  It would be nice if the whole house were finished by then, but I'm going to be happy just to have the addition complete.  The kitchen, while not complete, is at least fully functional and the addition has the dining room, the family room and a small office/guest room.  So, we will be able to enjoy Thanksgiving in the old farmhouse, regardless of its state of completion.

Soon, soon.... patience is a virtue....

And for Hallowe'en, which brought no trick-or-treaters way out here, I was able to enjoy a cute picture of my sweet Eloise, dressed like a troll, playing with her Mama's trolls, saved from her own childhood....

Troll Eloise, playing with her "babies"
Oh, and another of the sweet Eloise sitting on a really neat bench.

Mosaic Model Eloise