Thursday, March 25, 2010

Getting close!

Yes, today was a very productive day on the housing front. Now that our floors have been sanded and refinished to a gleaming version of the original maple, all of the cabinets are up (awaiting countertops and backsplash) and the bathrooms are nearly done (awaiting final plumbing and light fixtures).

It's been wonderful to see the contractors working so hard and so much progress in such a short period of time. Here are some pictures...they look a little washed out because of the time of day and lack of flash on the iPhone.

We're finishing up some things with the bedroom/attic set-up, but I'll have pictures of that soon, I promise! In the meantime, we thought this shot of Violet in the living room at sunset was just too funny:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Housing Update

So...we are making progress! Since we last updated, the majority of the boxes are out of front half of the house and all in the back bedroom (off the kitchen) or up in the attic (soon-to-be bedroom). The few that are left are mostly frames and living room knick-knacks that I'm starting to sort through and figure out what I want where. The best part of moving the boxes is that we were able to arrange our couches—which means Violet has a new window perch—and reassemble our dining room table. Behold!

They have been able to start real work on the kitchen which means walls (finally!), paint and soon, the floor.

Step 1: Reconfiguring our walls. This meant not just new drywall, but shortening our two windows (one a bit and one a lot) to make room for the newly positioned sink and refrigerator.

Step 2: Paint! It's hard to tell here—because of the iPhone and because it's just a first coat—but the walls are going to be a Canyon Rust orange-ish color. It looks like a big grapefruit now, but the walls are going to be covered with lots of cabinets (see the example below).

Step 3: Floors. Under the six layers of linoleum were original hardwood floors. The guys are going to sand and refinish. Here's the before shot:

The bathroom is also seeing a lot of progress. At the end of last week we had nothing but insulation and studs...

As of yesterday, we have:

It looks like the bathroom will be done early next week. Hooray! That will mark our official move-in to the 'hood since we've still been spending at least a couple nights a week in Downers Grove and showering at the local YMCA when we do stay at 4523.

The kitchen will be done by the end of the month!

Monday, March 8, 2010


I [Heath] had the opportunity to visit Nicaragua a couple weeks ago with Keith and Micah, who was celebrating his 30th birthday.  We had a lovely time in a sleepy [ muy tranquilo, as the locals would say] little beach town called San Juan del Sur.  We spent our days swimming, surfing, fishing, reading, and just enjoying the beautiful scenery.  Our last day we went to Granada, an older settlement with lots of colonial architecture and outdoor cafes.  All in all, it was a fantastic trip.  

Here is the precipice of the crater of Masaya Volcano, which we saw shortly before heading to the airport.  That smoke smelled of sulphur and was so thick that you couldn't see to the crater's bottom:

A main strip of outdoor cafes in Granada: 

Keith, Micah, and I in the belltower of a beautiful old church in Granada:

We had an opportunity to do a zip line canopy tour in San Juan del Sur:

One of the highlights for all three of us was our fishing trip.  We caught five big fish, which our hotel then transformed into lunch:

Some everyday scenes from San Juan del Sur: