Aug 162008

It’s been a whole month since we moved in, and for the most part, things have gone really well. Our labor of love, and 3 years of intention, have delivered us into a really lovely place. That still needs a lot of finishing work.


My “to-do” list is apparently endless, and I get something done each day. I’ve been sanding, priming and painting where subcontractors had to cut open the walls and fix things. Stocklin Iron came out and welded handrail extensions onto the spiral stair to meet code. I built trash and recycling pull-outs, and installed them into the kitchen island.

And today was trellis day. Our architect had drawn up plans for a really cool piece of iron work, to go over the front door. It’s been ready and waiting for us since July, and I finally got the time and cash to put it in.

Bob Hartwell was kind enough provide two of his guys, Mauricio and Miguel, to help. It took us 5 hours, start to finish. First we put 2×12 bracing in place, for the trellis to rest on during installation. As it turned out, we didn’t really need it, since the trellis was about 1/4” wider than the concrete opening, and had to be force fit into place! So we had about an hour of fun with various power tools, hammers, chisels and pry bars, chipping some concrete away and whanging on this massive piece of iron to get it to fit. Above, you see Mauricio drilling into the wall, preparing to epoxy 5/8” all-thread steel rod into place to hold the trellis. Another hour later, we have 8 pieces of rod solidly cemented into the wall, we’ve removed the wood bracing, and swept up the mess. It’s ready for bronze paint, our project this weekend.


I’m not the only one having fun with the task list, of course. Nancy tackled the landscaping as soon as we moved in, and the front is beginning to look much nicer, as you can see below. We’ll be working on the slopes and the landscaping shortly, to get the hillside stable before the rainy season starts in October.


It’s odd that my two main vehicles are almost the same shade of blue – Roy, the family Ford F150, and my 1979 BMW airhead, which I am finally riding again. I’ve always loved motorcycling, and one of the hardest things for me over the last two years was putting my bikes away, since I didn’t have a place for riding gear, let alone tools. Now I’ve got a garage, even though it’s full of clothes, hardware, lumber and paint 🙂