Lynn’s brother may have made a mistake yesterday when he sent a short e-mail wondering how our new house is coming along. See if you can believe this: I barraged him with a multi-paragraph reply.
Amid those paragraphs, I may have worked in a commercial for this blog, the inaugural purpose of which was to offer a non-intrusive means of keeping friends informed (should they want) on the progress of our Some Day Ranch. As I told Kent last night, the blog seems to have devolved (I did note that polite people would say “evolved,” but I wasn’t sure I knew any polite people) into my stream-of-consciousness.
Then I went looking for a photo or two of the house that I could send him, and it was only then that I realized just how far I have strayed. I know I manage to work mentions of the house in nearly every day (were you aware we are having a house built?), but it’s been awhile since you’ve received a full update, and apparently much longer than that since I’ve regaled you with anything beyond the photo of a wall with wild paint swatches.
Now, we’re still back to that constant problem of failed photojournalistic effort, so one of two things will have to happen: 1) We hope Lynn has taken recent photos and she manages to send me some in a timely fashion this morning; or 2) Oz and I take a trip out to the house this morning, meaning this will arrive late. Not that we’re on a demanding timeline around here, but like Dickens, I operate on the assumption that there are Great Expectations.
So, where are we?
While perhaps not the promised beehive of activity this week, owing to weather —
[Today’s report: I just saw a ribbon of sunlight on the Palisades, although there is a large of bank of clouds looming behind the rocks, and the Denver weatherman highlighted us as having a “mass of cold air.”]
— stuff is happening at the house. Lynn thinks the bulk of outside trim, fascia and soffit are all in place, and this “around the roof” work needs to finish before the roof itself can go on. Inside, as Oz learned, the priming got done but not completely dried on Monday, and the ceilings got painted (High Hide White, in flat finish) over the last two days.
On Tuesday, Lynn and I went on a three-hour tour with Skipper Dusty. We started out at the house, where we settled on the ceiling “color” but not the wall neutral. We pointed to a few colors for a few rooms.
[I once wrote a portion of a short story where the unnamed protagonist was writing on the walls because there was no paper — and now I’m recalling a movie, name, star and subject all gone, of course, something about a famous Frenchman in history, maybe, where denied paper, he was writing on the walls of his cell — but Dusty doesn’t imagine this stuff; he routinely writes on walls. I don’t know if he leaves messages for his wife on the walls of their house, but there are plenty of instructions for his crew penciled along our house-in-progress. It seems like a reasonable place to put notes; they’re harder to lose that way.]
Then we relocated to Western Lumber, where we spent longer than necessary, as Lynn instantly pointed to the “slipstream casing” as her choice for our interior trim. We had been discussing a flat trim but I had already wondered while in the house if we wanted to go that route when so much of the house is rounded: our arched entryways, the design on the doors, the bullnose finish of the corners (which makes it harder than you might think to determine at what point one color will end and another begin). Lynn needed about five seconds with the sample ring at the lumber store to point to the trim that starts thicker toward the window and tapers away from it.
(At the time, I was on the floor bribing the proprietor’s dog with a Flavor Snack. This very skittish rescue dog let me scratch his ears, thus proving all over again the Magic Power of Flavor Snacks.)
We looked, sort of but not really, at stain colors, and then we headed to the project Dusty is finishing up, a one-bedroom straw bale house along the Gunnison River (near the site of the old Red Dolly Pub, if you’re old enough and Gunnison enough to remember). The purpose of this excursion was to see clear-coat pine in action (more toward inaction) as interior trim.
It was mostly an excuse to tour this house we’ve heard so much about. It’s owned by a man named Hil, a postal patron of Lynn’s up in Almont, and he and Lynn have been talking about this house for nearly a year.
It’s a very nice house, with those lovely deep window wells that a straw structure brings about, and his trim (which is much wider than ours is going to be) looks great in his house. But I think it looks so great in large part because his walls are so very dark. He went with an extremely dark gray plaster on the walls, and a lighter gray on the ceilings. Hil waxed very enthusiastic about how the play of light changes the colors, and we could see that for ourselves.
But it’s kind of the antithesis of the look we’re going for. Those gray walls damped down the light (such as it was — remember, the weather has not been at its best this week), and we’re going for light-soaked and airy. So I’m not sure how much help the tour was.
It now has Lynn rethinking her kitchen sink, because Hil’s is one basin, and he was exulting in his ability to set a large frying pan flat in the bottom of it for cleaning. The tour left me wondering just how much room I’m going to have in my laundry room for laundry, because Hil’s HRV unit hangs down more than I was expecting in his utility area.
I had already decided, due to a very deep corner, that I was going to have to forego some undercabinets below my folding counter, but Hil’s tour made it clear that I’m losing about half my upper cabinets as well, because there’s going to be a heat exchanger core in the way. It may end up interfering with my drying area as well. We don’t have to worry about our house being overloaded with cabinets, that’s for sure.
(As yet another in a series of asides today, I will also note, as I tracked mud from Hil’s homesite everywhere I went for the rest of the day, that Dusty told Lynn our building site has dried out faster than any jobsite he’s worked on. That sounds positive for good drainage, doesn’t it?)
So that’s where we are. Dusty estimated we can move into our Some Day house by the end of June. Bearing in mind that he always seems to be a week or two optimistic about his schedule, that puts us right in the thick of the busy season at Pat’s Screen Printing. We should expect nothing less, right?