Monday, January 16, 2012


Perhaps I've mentioned we're building out the unfinished basement of the new house.  That's what the beautiful marble in a previous post is for.  More about that later.
As part of the build-out we had to get a new furnace.  The original furnace is too small to heat the basement in addition to the other two floors of the house.  Also we are getting it "zoned" so we can send the heat to whichever floor we want.  The furnace installation guys have been here the last week or so, pounding, grinding, rattling, and basically making a huge mess downstairs.  So then they tell me that part of the huge mess is because there was SO MUCH junk and garbage and debris in the existing ducts that has been there from when the house was built.  Whenever they disturb it or take a vent down to work with it, they get a face full of insulation, drywall chunks, dust, tile chips, 2x4 chunks, sawdust, dead mice, pinecones, what have you. All the ducts are full of it.  One of the features I'd demanded on our new furnace was the fancy electrostatic filter because it's been driving me crazy that the day after I dust everything is all dusty again.  I am not a daily duster.  I'm more a "when it drives me crazy" duster, once every couple of weeks... or so.  The filter on the existing furnace is just leaning up against the opening and completely ineffectual, which goes partway to explaining my dusting problem.  But apparently the rest of the problem is that every time the furnace turns on it kicks up more existing crap from the ducts.  Sigh.  As soon as they're done installing the new ducts and zoning it all I need to call one of those duct cleaning companies and have them get the rest of the stuff out of there.

As for the marble vanity top that I'd picked out... I went back and had them give me a bid for it.  A 6 foot by 2 foot slab was going to cost me $1300.00.  That included the backsplash and edge and installation, the sink hole cut out, and a sink mounted on the bottom.  I asked how much it would cost for my contractor's tile guy to just pick up the slab, and then he'd do all the rest of the stuff?  The 6x2 foot slab by itself was $900.00.  The guy then went on to assure me that there is no way I'd want my contractor's guy to cut and install it, no way.  I'd want THEM to do it.  (For $400.00).
I started looking for a new piece of countertop.
I found a piece of Ubatuba (say OOO-bah-TOOO-bah) which tempts me purely by the name.  It's black with green and gold flecks in it.    This is my picture (and my thumb) of the piece I found in someone's boneyard.  It was hard to get a picture of it because it was outside, there was so much reflection and it was too bright.

This picture is from the internet,
It is quite pretty, though it's kind of uniform.  Hubby and I seem to be attracted to the unique wild pieces that are different from foot to foot.  The price on this - installed and sink cut out and everything was $580.00.   Even with my inherent inability to do math I can tell that's less than half the price for the fancy rainforest brown.  Also this is granite, which is sturdier.
I need hubby's opinion.  The only problem is the place with the ubatuba isn't open on Saturday.  So we found a place that was open on Saturday, and found two more likely pieces in their "boneyard."  One is called Victoria Regia, it's kind of like slate like, not shiney, with greens and blues and grays through it.  This is my picture of the piece we found:

The other is called Sequoia, with black and browns and an interesting crackled appearance on it.  This is my picture of that.  It doesn't show up so well, but I couldn't find anything on the internet that looked the same. 

The guy who showed us both of those pieces said both of them are somewhere in between marble and granite, not totally one or the other.  He also couldn't give us a price on them on the spot, he'd have to email us. 
Either one of the three other pieces is quite different from the original piece of rainforest brown marble I am refusing to afford, and would mean starting over from the ground up to match it with tile for the floor, walls, and accents.
Next I took Hubby (and the girls) to a tile store, where they have a fabulous showroom and though they don't sell partial slabs, they have a lot to look at.  This was also were the tile store that had the most stuff to match greens, since so many of the countertop slabs we were looking at would go well with greens.  Hubby was overwhelmed (welcome to my world, darlin'!) and suggested that we get a designer from the tile store to help us.  He's going to be in town this week, so we set up an appointment for Wednesday.  By then we should have bids back on the Victoria and Sequoia countertops, and a stain sample of the cabinets.  It is somewhat problematic to not have samples of everything we're trying to match.

I have learned a whole lot about the whole process, and am glad I'm doing this one little bathroom first, before we do the kitchen.  But things keep happening in the kitchen that march its remodel up - the microwave went out (we pulled the little one in from Hubby's office and have been using that), Thing 2 got a huge sliver in her foot from the crappy parquet wood floor, and the dishwasher has started not turning on unless you SLAM it shut.  The clock is ticking on that.  Right after the rest of the basement, and the garage, and my office.  
Yeah, get in line, kitchen-itchen.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The kids are at school, so who is doing all that whining?

Like a slowly opening door that needs to be oiled.  A long, sad, drawn-out squeak.  
It's the dog.  Somehow he can tell the difference between weekends and weekdays, and he knows it's a weekday, and there's absolutely NO GOOD REASON for me to not be walking him.  WHAT?  I just got back from dropping the girls off at school, this is HIS TIME!!!  Why would I park myself in front of the computer and read some random person's blog when I SHOULD BE WALKING WITH HIM!  Who cares if it's 19 degrees outside?!?   He's alternately pacing around the house, looking at me expectantly, barking tentatively at the windows, and sitting next to me emitting a high sad squeaky whine.
So I'm not blogging, I'm going to walk the dog.  Though I'm pausing long enough to take a couple pictures because even though he's annoying, he's a big fluffly cutie.

Come on, Mom!  WALKIES??  Please??!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Rushing to bed

Just wanted to catch up quickly, before I get to bed because if I do one thing this year, it's get to bed.  So I can get enough sleep so I can have enough energy to get through the day so I can drop a few pounds.  Okay, two things.  Just the two things, get to bed and lose some weight, if I made New Year's resolutions, that I would resolve.

Today was a good day.
Thing 1 had a field trip to "The Norwegian Center" that I thought would involve snow-shoeing, or alpine skiing, or some other cool equipment, but I think the lack of snow kept it pretty much a hike in the mountains.  Just her and about seven other kids with the two guides from the center.  She had a marvelous time.  After I heard her describe all the wonderful details to Hubby on speaker phone just before bed, I tried to congratulate her on "finding some joy" and not dwelling on the bad part of the day - homework was pretty nasty, long division that she really struggled with.  We're still working on finding the joy, but she seems to be happier, overall.

I found a little joy myself, in the form of a piece of marble I found in someone's marble bone yard for the basement vanity top!  Yippeee!  A lovely little piece of Rainforest Brown marble, all shot with browns and greens and a deep red vein going through it...  It was just so satisfying to have made a decision... though it is the third decision I've made, the other two got tossed aside for the next decision that came along.  I think this one's a keeper, though.  Now I just have to pick the wall tiles, the floor tile, the knobs and drawer pulls, the sink faucet, and the towel racks.  And whatever else.  But hey, I've got a countertop!
So this is NOT the piece of marble I found, but it is a full slab of a very similar piece of marble I found on the internet.  I'm going to bed and am too lazy to upload the picture of the actual piece of marble from my phone.  But it looks a lot like this.