Nancy, Reflection  Comments Off on stillness
Jul 172008

I just woke up from an 11-hour deep, dreamless sleep — haven’t done that for years, I was so tired. Over the last two days, I got the last stuff out of our apartment, and gave it a thorough cleaning. As of last night, the move is pretty much complete, with our key things in the house.


Life is startlingly different. It is completely quiet, except for the sound of a cat padding through the house, or someone walking their dog down the street. The fog was pouring over the ridge across the valley this morning, sun just breaking through to light up the trees across the street. My view getting up out of bed was déjà vu…reminiscent of mornings in San Francisco, decades ago when I lived there. The radiant heating came on, and the floors got warm. So many new textures to get used to.

Monday I set up my office on the 2nd floor (temporarily, until we finish the tiling and bathroom and my mother moves in with us).


Last week, we picked up the silk art from our friend Tomoko, and hung it in front of the light boxes over the stairway landings.

The kitchen is in turmoil, as I unpack boxes of supplies and appliances and plastic containers and spices, and…you get the idea.

And then there is the closet project. I’ve been designing and installing closet hardware, pretty much just in time as I move our clothes into the house.

Nancy is away on a long-planned vacation trip, so it’s been lonely as well as quiet. I actually turned 50 years old since she left on her trip, and she had the grace to apologize for her bad planning. The good news was that several of my men friends came over here for a night of drinking and music and reflection, which was absolutely perfect. The house has been broken in, without anything getting broken 🙂


Now the dust has settled, everything is here, we are out of our apartment. I look forward to making this our place together. And getting her help with the closet 🙂

movin’ on over

 House Building, Nancy, Reflection  Comments Off on movin’ on over
Jul 062008

Apparently yesterday was a national holiday, but we hardly noticed. We’re moving! And setting up one room at a time. First, the living room and bathrooms.

We won’t have natural gas in the house for a few more days, since we could only get one utility service (electricity, of course) until we got our occupancy permit. So…no cooking, no hot water, no central heat. However, it’s summer, the house keeps the temperature pretty even, and everything else is working pretty well. We’re having a few friends over to help us celebrate tonight, so we’re setting up the basics for a party. This is where I just let Nancy do her thing…she has a way of creating a beautiful space.


This marble dining table has been at her father’s house in Novato for more than 10 years, used as a desk. She ordered the walnut chairs online about 2 years ago, and they went straight into storage. We bought the carpet in 2005 at a sale, but never got to use it. So everything is a surprise to us, like unwrapping Christmas presents.

Then there is the final kitchen, with the large shaded light fixture hanging over the island. I just finished putting maple stain on the sides of the island two days ago. The bar stools are also brand new, coming from more than a year in storage.


Master bathroom, showing the fixtures we’ve been installing all week. I now own a rotohammer drill and a set of bits for putting holes in tile and concrete. And I’ve had lots of practice using it.

The right photo is the 3rd floor powder room, with a combination fluorescent/halogen light fixture hanging over a very unusual mirror. The tiny sink is cute and functional (Nancy will probably hate that I say that 🙂 and in the mirror you can see some architectural drawings framed on the wall.

Lastly, here is the brand new (to us!) sectional, with the marble coffee table and another rug that has been in storage for years. I’m starting to love this place, the way it looks and feels.


“the eagle has landed”

 House Building  Comments Off on “the eagle has landed”
Jul 032008

Today we got the final signature on the job card, and received our occupancy permit.


I’ve got to take a minute and thank all the folks on the home page, especially Bob Hartwell, Rich Dowd, and Brent Harris, who have participated in the entire project. And of course, Nancy. We couldn’t have done it without each other.

Of course, the final process was tortuous. The building inspection went well, and we got that signature on Monday. The fire department wanted a signed contract with an arborist to come trim and remove trees to meet fire regulations, plus a change to the alarm system wiring. We got that signature Tuesday.

Then there is the planning department for Fairfax. It took 4 phone calls with our architect, 3 with our geotechnical engineer, a letter from me, a meeting with our geotech on site, a letter from the geotech, a letter from the architect, and 3 visits to town hall to get the final signature. To be fair, there were two outstanding issues — drainage and slope reconstruction — raised by the town engineer. However, I cannot understand why that would delay our occupancy of the house — especially since the issues are really ours, not the town’s.

Whatever. We’re in. We’re moving this weekend.