Best Day Ever

The timer just went off on the Nuwave oven.

I just cooked four very expensive steaks in an “As Seen On TV” device plugged into a kitchen wall socket.  We plan on only eating two of them tonight.  I had to cook all four cause they were in a big frozen brick in the freezer.  The other two can be our lunch tomorrow.

The garlic noodles, from a bag, are boiling over in a white foamy mess. 

My can of 7-Up is empty, and the head cold I have uncreatively expresses itself by way of a constant drip from my left nostril.  Our oldest kid oscillates between fits of crying and speaking in tongues.  It’s two days before Christmas and we (or at least I) haven’t wrapped a single present.

It may be the best day ever.

Today I ecstatically bolted from work early, like a kid getting out of school two days before Christmas, and jumped into the crippled Rabbit (see pic below).  Wait, wait, before you call my boss to bust me (cause I know you wanna), work let us out early today. Happy Holidays to me, thank you very much.  With thoughts dancing like sugar plums in my head I leisurely enjoyed my freedom and headed down to the house. 

Just the day before the Rabbit was hit from the side as we backed out of a parking spot. Like a champ, he is hanging in there. I used a wood stake (a la "Stake n Snake" entry) and a rubber mallet to pound the bent metal off the back tire.

All week we’d been battling the status quo and complacency.  We patiently waited to hear reports of some sort of progress or success on site.  Finally today I could get down during daylight hours to see if the rumors of the house coming up to temperature were true.

Pulling up I saw a good sign.  Three trucks on site meant someone was doing something productive somewhere.  I could see right away that most of the siding on the main house was complete.  The studio and front porch look nice outfitted in their red cedar and board n batten siding. 

Proceeding to step inside I could feel it. 


Not a lot because apparently everyone was born in a barn: front door and back doors left wide open.  I quickly tour the public areas of the house and step out on the back porch.  Stepping out I could feel the crispness of the late December day on my face.  My warm breath leaving a trail in the air. A smile on my face, I quickly jumped back inside.  I closed the door with a firm “thunk”; its weather-stripping sealing up inside from outside.  The house was getting up to temperature and was definitely warmer than outside.  Room to room I went.  Upstairs and down. Inside, it was genuinely warm.  No more seeing my breath.  I was warm in my house. 

For a moment my house felt like home.

After basking in the quiet embrace of the warmth surrounding me I examined what else was happening on site.  Our cistern water supply system is essentially complete as of today.  The filters are in place in the basement, electrical is hooked up and all the pipes are run.  Once we’re positive the house is up to, and will remain at, a comfortable temperature, everything will come on-line.  I’ll order some water for the cistern too to get it filled up.  From here on out we’ll have water on site.  It’s funny to think back to my sorry attempt to get water on site via the plastic rain barrel.  I think there’s a big ice-cube in the bottom of it now.  No worries, we’ll use the barrel in the garden next Spring.

Mechanical filtering system for the cistern / rain water collection system.


The hardwood flooring for the first floor is happily getting acclimated next to the four flights of stairs sitting in the dining room.  I suppose if they hang out together long enough I’ll get lucky and they will produce maple tread offspring for my studio. 

Fingers crossed.

Today I ordered pretty much all of the porcelain tile for the house, save the master shower.  Carpet Warehouse in Cleveland gave us great pricing and customer service.  If you’re in the market, go there.  Wet area cement board will be going in next week.  The tile should be here shortly there after.  We’re still working on the tile selection for the shower.  Incidentally the shower is large enough to house a decent size swinger party, not that we would ever think of such a thing….ahem.  (Mom I’m kidding if you’re reading this, honestly.  I need the readers so I exaggerate).  Anyway.  Because the shower is so large it’ll cost a small fortune to line its 9′ tall walls in inch by inch glass tiles.  But we would never let that stop us, of course.  Christine and I are looking to see if there’s anything more expensive than glass.  We’re hoping baby seal tiles exist somewhere out there. 

Fingers crossed.

The floor of the shower will be 2×3  dark bronze colored tiles to match the 18×18’s used on the bathroom (laundry and foyer) floor(s).  If the baby seal thing doesn’t pan out, the walls of the shower will be green glass most likely. Come over, we’ll show you….(seriously, just kidding…..I can hear my wife’s divorce lawyer on caller ID already).

Totally custom and you have to applaud the creativity and effectiveness. We couldn't put the final furnace in because it'd void the warranty. Our guys over at Sissler lent us an electric resistance furnace to warm up the place. Instead of running a bunch of one time use tin, they just strapped the unit below the main trunk line. Works for me.

Now that the house is getting warm, the next major event is getting the drywall finished.  They’ll tape and mud next week.  After that the house goes into full trim mode.  The look and feel will change the most since the drywall went in.  With the holiday, even I’ll get a chance to get out there and do something productive.

Western red cedar on the studio walls. Hopefully it will weather to a natural grey.


We wrapped the board n batten around the front door to amp up the illusion that the center of the house is one block.

So why’s it the best day ever?  Well, I guess it depends on how you look at it and who’s best day ever it is.  Frankly, for me, it most likely loses out to the birth days of my two boys.  And then there was that day I sank a 12′ eagle putt….(kidding again)
But you know what.  We have, and we will, pour a lot of blood, sweat and tears (not to mention love and care) into this project.  And for all we’ve done, especially “insulation wise”, firing up a furnace and getting it warm inside is a big symbolic step in my eyes.  It may be different for you, or some random observer, or heck it may be different for the guys building the place, or the wife. But to me it’s a big deal (plus this is my blog not theirs).  I mean just think, back in July the place was a little unkept overgrown farm field.  In just a few short months it’s transformed into this wonderful structure, made up of all kinds of complex pieces that some how make up a house.
And now that it’s warm inside it’s feels like home.

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