Saturday, June 25, 2011

Stairways up, up, up

 The stairways are back. I am very happy and the cats are happy again. All in all it was a very pleasant building experience. The railings will be painted white as soon as the redwood “seasons” a bit. The redwood steps and walkway will be sealed to retain their nice natural color.

The contractor, Delta Pacific Builders, went beyond my expectations and added some extra amenities. I was surprised and delighted. They created a mini deck seating space near the big mulberry tree. It will be a perfect shady spot during the summer.

 I had asked that my old lattice be put up to block my neighbor’s view of my sliding glass door. They did that and then on the last day Dan, the owner, said “You have some extra lattice, why don’t we put some up over head for you.” I thought that sounded like a good idea.

 When I saw overhead completed I exclaimed, “Charming.” This was such a thoughtful gesture. I’ll start growing some vines (probably honeysuckle) up the lattice when the paint dries. The carpenters were very nice guys to have around. They really worked hard every minute they were here. No swearing and cussing. They treated me with kindness and respect.

The back stairs on the house go up to a platform 20 feet or more off the ground. Why?

 Because the electric meter is up there. It is required that PG&E must have access to the meter. Before “Smart Meters” were installed a meter reader used to use the back stairs. Meters in flood plains have to be installed above the potential flood height. This does not make a lot of sense because if the island flooded, the power would be turned off for the entire area. No one would paddle a little boat to my house and turn off my individual hookup.

The platform up high was a perfect place to install a cat door. So the new stairs are for the sole benefit of PG&E and my two cats. I don’t use the stairway at all.

There is a popular quilt pattern called “Stairway to Cat Heaven.” I found it on the internet at this site: I’m not going to make it but I think it is really cute and my cats would appreciate it.

I made two cards to thank the two main carpenters – Lynn and Alex -- for their nice work. I used little log cabin quilt blocks.

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Two loving dads

 Robert and our son Davis Romine Thresh – 1967

My father, Davis Romine, and me – 1947

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Welcome, watch your step!

 After the contractor removed the back stairs from the house, we found that the front stairs were rotting away, too. They had to go. Oh my goodness.

If you come to visit, be prepared to take a flying leap if you want to come in the front door. Or you might want to come up the still-existing back kitchen stairs. Luckily the house had three separate stairways up.

My cats are so confused. They always came in and out using the back stairs up to their cat door. They seem to have grasped the fact that those stairs are gone now. However, when they are inside and want to go out they cannot understand why the path to their special doorway is blocked. They circle around and let me know that they want to go out their regular way.

I should have new stairs by the middle of next week. The cats will be happy.

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Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Rotten luck

 My contractor was here this morning to start the stair replacement project. After the back stairs were removed, they found lots of rot in the foundation. Nerts (my grandmother’s strongest swear word).

It’s the main foundation that holds up my house. The huge glulam beam (7” x 16”) rests on top of a driven pile. The house is elevated because the island is a flood plain. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping the rot does not go too far under the house.

I love building projects, but repair projects – not so much. This morning I read about Terry’s new studio project on her blog. New building is exciting. Repairs are just preserving what you have.

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Monday, June 06, 2011

Wasting time

That's what I've been doing.