Tuesday, January 7, 2014

We're here. We're queer. We're here. Ahhhh.

I know, it's been a while since I've posted. Two and a half months, actually. A lot's gone on in that time. Construction on the Babe Cave is complete and we have furnished it.

We went from this scene last February

to this in May,

this in July,

and this in January.

We tiled the back stairs that go from the deck to the Babe Cave. 

To the right of those stairs was a funky old retaining wall, which we upgraded to feature a little fern garden that only those inside the cave can see.

We replaced our treacherous old interior staircase with a safe new one.

But in remodeling, as in life, all things are connected.  

To make the staircase less steep, the guys had to add more steps, thereby making it longer. That meant they had to create more headroom to prevent Rebecca and me from hitting our little noggins on the overhang. And what sat atop the overhang was our upstairs bathroom, which therefore had to be modified.

The bathroom had a bathtub.

The bathtub had to go.

The builders, being builders, figured what the hey. Might as well remove the vanity, too.

Something had to fill the void. 

(Drum roll . . .)

And behold!


Our new tricked-out custom-built Super Vanity! More powerful than a locomotive. And big enough to fit one inside it.

We did lots of other stuff, too. Made our foundation and roof more watertight. In between, we shored up pretty much everything else. 

Upgraded plumbing and electricity. Painted inside and out. Replaced our 19-year-old carpeting. Got new windows. 

Best of all, in my humble opinion, we added a swell new home for my bobbleheads. This sucker is seven feet tall.

So . . .  

Hope you've enjoyed reading the blog as much as I've enjoyed writing it. Come visit! Just don't forget to wipe your feet. Me and the Mrs. have gotten awfully persnickety lately.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Almost there.

Noe Valley is getting closer than ever! We move back home tomorrow. Home, Toto.

Guys at the house are furiously preparing for our arrival. The terrazzo steps are being cleaned for the first time since the house was built in 1952.

The stairs going down from the deck to our new Babe Cave are being tiled.

Light fixtures are being installed downstairs.

Big-time cleaning is going on upstairs.

Meanwhile, back at the apartment, packers are packing us up.

Outside, the beat goes on. And on and on and on and on and on and on and on . . .   

The pile drivers are frickin' relentless.

Inside, it is all systems go. And are we ever ready.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Heading into the home stretch. Get it? Home.

"Of all the hardships a person had to face, none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting."
      -- Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns

Next week! We move home next week! The wait is almost killing me, but I keep reminding myself we're in the 19th week of a 20-week job. Actually it's 20 weeks of being out of the house. Probably another month of smaller stuff needs to be done after we move back in.

And while Mr. Smarty Pants, quoted above, thinks waiting is so simple, it's anything but that for Rebecca and me. We are still running all over town, picking out knobs 'n grab bars 'n shit.

Admit it. You're transfixed.

We are making arrangements for a "reverse move." You remember we had movers come and move our stuff from all over the house into the living room and dining room? Now they have to come and move it back. 

They also have to move us out of the apartment, which we have to clean big time. I could go through the whole to-do list, but I imagine if you're still awake and reading this, you won't be for long if I go into more detail.

So let's talk about what's gotten done.  The upstairs bedrooms have been carpeted and painted. The carpet in both rooms is the same color, not that you'd know it from these pictures.

The upstairs bathroom vanity is installed, counter top and all.

The tiling in the downstairs bathroom is complete.

The stone on top of the shower seat has been installed. The boys left us a pink thing because we're girls. Just kidding, I hope.

California Closets installed a great big storage unit at one end of the room and Rebecca's work station at the other.

As you can see, the room got painted too. Here's what the whole thing looks like. The floor, remember, is cork, but it's covered now.

A fern garden will go (and hopefully grow) outside this window.

Here is the room with its happy primary occupant.

Lucy Silverstein Gebroe
She and I are quite pleased with how things are turning out. The only one we believe will be less than happy is Miss Lucy. 

We have committed the cardinal kitty crime of changing things. Worse, we have changed her things. Most notably, her door.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Coming together

It's the second to last day of September, which means it's almost October, which means it's almost the last month of work on the house. It's almost time for Rebecca and me to move out of the apartment we've been renting. It's almost time to move into the home we've been owning, but that has, for the last five months, been taken over by (mostly) men with heavy boots and big tools and sharp, clangy things that infuse the very pores of our residence with dust. 

We are champing at the bit. And yes, the word is "champing."

While the beginning of the job was all about the big picture and upgrades to the structure of the house, now we are into the details. Each day, we can see progress and change.

The downstairs shower is being tiled.

The tile man a-tiling.

The brown trim will actually be the trim that you see 
inside the niche. The seat will get a nice stone cover.

The military has been called in to restore order to our upstairs bathroom.

Vanity, thy name is We've Still Got a Ways to Go.

The grate on the deck has been installed, thereby allowing a good amount of light into the new room below.

And now we come to the beautiful, exacting and sometimes exasperating task of selecting paint colors.

Jill French, on the left here, is our house painter. She and Rebecca discuss things like hues and saturation. 

Eventually, they turn to a higher power for inspiration.

And they receive the Word. Two Words, actually. And the Words are "cloud white." And the walls on either side of the staircase shall be cloud white forevermore.