Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Somewhere Else!

December 15, 2013

From Janelle:

This is the time of year I’m most grateful that we live where we live and not on the east coast where blizzards blanket everything in sight although we have had issues in central California with freezing temperatures and icicles clinging devastatingly to damaged citrus.  One grower commented that the fruit can withstand the frosty temperature although it is normally not this cold this early.  Forty-six degrees during my morning commute is BRRRRRR, COLD for us.

The week before the Mixology Party my new fabulously cozy radiant floors weren’t emanating their usual comfyness but I thought that Lewis was messing with the thermostat.  I had hoped that the new system would eliminate the turn it up turn it down turn it up turn it down battle and it has to some extent but my house is not as welcomingly warm as I had hoped when Lewis is home.



By Saturday reluctant acknowledgement that the radiant heat was indeed, not heating resulted in an emergency call to the furnace guy who was unfortunately tied up.  He did, however, volunteer to come Sunday but since the party was over by then we agreed on Monday when he reported back that someone had unplugged the unit attached to the water heater in the garage.

Mortified that he had come out for something so ridiculous but relieved that he hadn’t made a weekend visit I called Lewis and asked if he had any idea who could have done such a thing.  “Well, I think that it might have been me.  I unplugged something, wasn’t sure what the cord attached to and forgot to plug it back in.”



From Lewis:

What!!  I’m finally responsible for something I did do.  All I can say is oops shit happens.  I thought Janelle had overworked the heater system even though the temperature was only as low as the 60’s before last week but I did forget to replug the heater system when I needed an outlet the other day. Soooo  sorry.



200 Year Anniversary Party

September 14, 2013

From Janelle:

We’d been scrambling to finish up in time to host the 200 Year Anniversary Party.  Friends invited us to their “cabin” in Idaho on beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene for five days over Labor Day weekend and although I have a strict rule that no one works in the house while we’re gone (see More Than Just Broken Glass) we were running out of time. Contractor Don installed the new sliders and windows upstairs while we vacationed.

Cabinet installation stalled for months and everyone blamed the painter so it must be true.  The kitchen doors were manufactured, installed and sent to the painter for his high gloss finish and they look like lacquer for a fraction of the cost but the bathroom doors remained in place, lost, forgotten and naked.  No matter how much I begged, the artist remained unresponsive to Contactor Don and Cabinetmaker Steve’s messages.  When you’re the best in town, everyone waits.

I had pretty much resolved myself to the fact that my beautiful new bathroom would be marred by unshuttered cupboards as they had finally been whisked to the paint shop but no promise of completion had been made.

Friday arrived as well as seventeen people frantically scurrying like busy church mice.   Contractor Don put up his hands in mock fright when he saw me.  “I don’t know if I should kiss you or strangle you!” I told him as we hugged hello.  Two carpenters, two electricians, one heater technician, two hardware installers, two painters, one contractor, one A/V guy, two gardeners, two metal workers, Lewis and one housekeeper madly attempting to clean up after each of them.  The freshly coated cabinetry was astonishingly installed and Alec the A/V guy finally left around 8:00.

Saturday arrived, the oppressive heat we’d been experiencing subsided, an amazing cotton candy sky put on a show as if on special order and The Party to celebrate my parent’s 50th anniversary as well as three other couples 50th was a success.  Oh, and everyone loved the house.

My dad went to college with a group of friends that has remained close over this last fifty-five plus years.  These people are my family.  We have celebrated more events that I could possibly count and grieved together on a few rare but devastating occasions.  We have camped, house boated, water and snow skied, resorted and cruised together for decades and each trip is anticipated as the Great Adventure that it is.  The stories, it is all about the stories.  The craziness was factual, the lore perpetual.  I never, ever grow tired of hearing the stories.

Fifty years together is an amazing accomplishment.  We have not yet hit the twenty year mark and for many years I wondered what the fuss was all about as to how hard marriage was as ours had always been easy.  The last few years have been hard; my jobs has become insane and the remodel stress has been real and tangible.  The constant differing of opinions and communication styles and varying alignments has changed the “us against the world” to sometimes “me or him siding with a construction vendor and against the other” and it is wearing and destructive.  We are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and when we look around our beautiful new home we are proud and grateful but anxious to get back to the way things were; they were pretty damn good.  They’re still wonderful but there are a few sharp barbs here and there that need time to soften.   We had the opportunity to celebrate with four couples that have made it to that fifty year mark and I look forward to our twilight years as well, together.

From Lewis:

You always hear that if you can make it through a remodel you can make it through anything and in a lot of ways it is true. Hopefully it will return to some normalcy soon and we can enjoy the house that has taken a lot of work.

The party was a success and of course everyone liked the house.  Sometimes things never get done until the last minute.  It was a busy push the last few days and Janelle was a basketcase worrying about every detail but in the end it all turned out fine.  Now that it’s getting cleaner as less and less dust is left behind, Janelle will stay busy following me around with a towel, broom and closing doors behind me so good luck.

Do you have an extended family?

photo (4)

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Mom Dad Party 2013Jerry and RoseanneBill and Terri

Things are Heating Up

December 2, 2012

From Janelle:

Weather has been, to say the least, “unusual” this year.  Hurricane Sandy erupted into the “perfect storm” devastating the east coast.  Here on the west coast November began with 85 degree days and 50 degree nights dropping to a high of 50 within a couple days.  We decided to splurge on radiant heat downstairs but things have been progressing slowly due to major electrical corrections of the overzealous do-it-yourselfer previous owner.  Temperatures plummeted and the contractor was able to install the new upstairs forced air heater just in time for the weekend.

We hadn’t planned to change any heating during this project but our ducts were old and dilapidated and we discovered that our furnace had been recalled about twenty years ago.  The home inspector we used when we purchased the house obviously didn’t do a very good job inspecting; I wonder what else he missed. 

Now on to the outside patio heaters….  radiant heat

From Lewis:

I think we have made all the last minute changes and will now be able to move forward.  It is amazing how expensive it can be to keep Janelle warm and cozy.  Now if I can get Janelle to stop watching the home decorating shows for new Ideas and pick the faucets we will be good to go.

What is your thermometer setting?

Our ceiling is full of lights and wires and the radiant heat eliminates ugly heater vents.

Our ceiling is full of lights and wires and the radiant heat eliminates ugly heater vents.


Are We Radiant?

October 5, 2012

From Janelle:

Does anyone know anything about radiant heated floors?  Warm toes on a cool winter morning sound amazingly enticing but does the comfort value outweigh the expense?  We have also heard horror stories about busted pipes ruining hard wood floors.  Is it worth it?  If you have a story to tell, please shout it out!

From Lewis:

I am a radiant heater so no need to spend extra money on something that will not really save anything in energy bills in the long run, especially since we are over budget anyway.


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