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Friday, September 28, 2012

Any Place I Lay My Head Is Home

In the four months that Pepper's been with us, he'd never paid any attention to the dog house in our backyard, which I'd gotten nearly five years ago for my mother-in-law's dog, Charley. He didn't much like it either. So, just before we moved up the new house, Karen snapped this photo of Pepper sleeping on top of the dog house. Rather Snoopyesque, no?

We've mostly moved into the new place, and have really been living here for about two weeks. Donovan, Karen's son, helped us move most of the heavy furniture, and Karen and I have been moving small stuff nearly every day. We'd planned a room in the new house for Donovan, but he's since decided that, when he needs some time for himself, he'll stay in the old house. So much for our plans to rent it out, but it's nice to have him nearby and to have the place occupied and cared for. I've made "his" room into my office, from which I'm writing this now. There are a few pictures on the walls, but many boxes of files on the floor, waiting for the new Mission-style file cabinet to arrive.

Today, Karen and I started to hang art on the downstairs walls, balancing size against color and general tone of the pieces. For instance, a pastel by Laramie, Wyo. artist Jeanie Schlump, which I received as a retirement present from the University of Wyoming, pairs nicely with a black and white photograph of the old homesteaders' barn on our place, a shot I took more than 30 years ago. And three woodcuts/linocuts, form an Arts & Crafts triptych above a Mission buffet in the dining room. I'm not sure we have enough wall space for everything.

We did the "gallery display" while waiting for our builders and their plumbing subcontractor. The builders' visit was planned - installing some final cabinet hardware, a new overflow drain in the master bathtub, and new doors in Karen's study (which had been delivered with serious scratches on the glass panes). But, the new doors were too wide and went back to be planed and re-stained; maybe next week or so. The plumber was an unexpected need. Yesterday afternoon, we ran out of hot water. After the builder's rep tested the hot water heater for voltage and resistance (and called the Ruud help line), he concluded that the upper heating element was out. In came the plumber, who pulled the element, which was not just fried; half of it was gone - melted clear away. This is what the element is supposed to look like. The top loop was completely gone.

Late this afternoon, the plumber replaced the resistor element, and we had hot water again. Baths and showers for everyone - and a couple of runs through the dishwasher.

We've gotten enough squared away that I think I'll finally be able to get out on my bike tomorrow after walking Pepper and feeding Pete, the black cat who lives in the old garage. I'll also spend some time taking photos of the exterior and interior of the new house. It's about time.

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