Friday, January 16, 2009
Wacky Weather and Remodel Updates....
For all you Lower 48 and International readers, I truly sympathize with the crazy cold temps and snowfall you've had the past few days. I know it hit you unprepared because it's not your norm. Here in Alaska, we expect, even greet, the challenges of winter with open arms. It's part of our Alaskan culture and identity. But we too have had crazy insanity with the weather the past few weeks.
We had a huge dump of snow right around Christmas, then record-breaking, metal breaking, bone chilling, energy bill raising cold spell. -20 to -40 at night, -10 to -20 daytime. For MORE THAN TWO WEEKS we did not get above ZERO. Then, 3 days ago, it started to warm up. And rain. And hit the high 30s low 40s. And the snow melted. And the ground was frozen. So there are feet of standing water over frozen ground ice. Everywhere. The highways are not so bad, but the neighborhoods are impassible for many. Especially those living on hills/mountains. Like us. Oh, and did I mention the hurricane force winds (70+ mph) that glossed all icy surfaces to skating rink smoothness. Our schools have been closed for three days now. They were not closed in the multiple days of -20, -30 temps. They are closed due to ice. The travel danger is too great. I could not make it out of my driveway. Hah, I could barely walk across my driveway/yard. DH and DD parked their trucks at the bottom of our street and walked/crawled up the 1/4 mile "S" curve to our driveway. From their they pulled themselves up with by their hands on the fence and landscape branches. This morning they walked down with crampons on. Thankfully, the sand truck came by a bit ago. And neighbor Paul who plows our driveway/parking area came by and sanded everything well. I got a bonus day off today. I feel badly about having my patients reschedule in clinic, but they don't need to be out in this mess either. I'm off til Monday now! Whoo! I'll play bloggy catch up since I'm feeling rambly and have a bit of extra time.
I finished Reynaldo's "Churro". I love this yarn! Needful Yarns Kaleidoscope purchased from elann.com. Washable wool. Sproingy and great coloring. I was s'posed to have lunch with him today but obviously will have to reschedule. I know he'll overlook my sucky round changes. You'd think by now I would've remembered to make that part be in the back when I positioned the ear flaps. Of course not. (slaps forehead). Maybe next time. I know this pattern is in Amy Singers Knit Wit, I don't have a linky for it right now, but seriously, I just do it from memory, top down, measure head for height, position ear flaps for front/back comfort.......
oh, and yes (bragging again) that is that new granite countertop in the background. So, some folks have kindly asked for a remodel update. Your patience is rewarded with a little photo tour today. It's not totally finished everywhere yet. Remodeling, I have found...is an evolutionary process. Once something new is in place, the surroundings look shabby in comparison and need a spruce up......so to begin, we'll go with the most complete and satisfactory part of the remodel to date, the kitchen...
You can look back at THIS POST for some of the before pics.
Here's where we are to date:
I love it. I love the double drawer dishwasher. So quiet and energy efficient. Love the farmhouse sink and the faucet. DH was afraid it would just get more piled up with dirty dishes but that hasn't been the case at all. And it's depth makes it very convenient for yarn craftiness and DD filling large water buckets for horses when the outside faucet froze up! I haven't yet gotten the cabinets full or totally organized as efficiently as I'd like. I have a piece of Raku pottery/artwork that I want to hang on the wall above the sink. We also need to touch up some of the paint that got dinged with the granite install, sand and restain the ceiling and beams where the pass-through kitchen wall came out, and remove and restain under the old lighting support braces. A weekend project.
Here's the dining room. It needs a bit more finish work but is essentially complete. (yes, I did get a new dining table and chairs....DD, known as "Jethrine" in some circles, accidently broke one of our old chairs from the old set. Sigh. And it was time to freshen up.
Again, paint touch-up, and finish trim around the windows...and a new overhead light and wall sconce. Just haven't found the right ones I like yet on that. Have FABULOUS new curtains though...I'll show you when that part's finished. Oh yeah, and have to put new covers over the baseboard heat elements (gas hot water baseboard heat).
The new hardwood flooring is just insanely beautiful. Here's a shot of the old floor (OK, it's my sealskin slippers but the floor is behind it)...
and the new.
This covers the kitchen, dining room, living room, hallway between the girls' rooms and the main bathroom. (i know, i know...nutz to have hardwood flooring in a bathroom, but the last hardwood floor there last 20+ years without much problem). Yes, I know Pearl needs a shavedown....it's just been too cold lately to do it...
We added energy saving window treatments in the lower living room windows. Expensive but Holy Cow they keep the living room much more comfortable...even with the extreme temps. Yes, these are daytime pics..around 11am..yes, it's our dark winter days...but we are gaining minutes of daylight every single day now...and I'll be in Mexico in less than a month. I digress again...We also redecorated with a comfortable dark chocolate easy care microsuede sectional. Very comfy and cozy for knitting, reading, napping, watching movies etc.......and we can chat and travel easily between kitchen and dining room. Love the fact that the island rolls! (no, that wasn't a scratch on the island earlier, just some camera artifact)
I still need new end/coffee tables and a different floor lamp but I'm pleased with the new table lamps and sofa pillows and such so far. We also need another occaisional chair/small armchair or something that Grandma Clara can sit in and get in and out of easily, so that's next on the agenda.
I'm binding off Helena as pics are loading up, then just to add the buttons and loops for closure. Maybe I'll add it later, or maybe I'll wait to post another day. This was long enough. So until next time....KNIT ON!