At the end of our cul-de-sac, there is a large tract of property with an adult family home on it. I’d estimate it’s a few acres of mostly grass. Well – at least, it was, until earlier this month, when a crew of construction vehicles rolled in and started work on some new houses.

This work first entailed ripping out a large screen of trees that had been planted on the edge of the property, a noisy and depressing process. The work continues to progress from there, with a great deal of extremely loud rumbling, beeping, crashing, smashing, and general noise and mess you expect from construction sites. Oh, and of course I have to mention the rumbling of trucks up and down our formerly quiet street. It’s like garbage day every day, all day, and especially intrusive and onerous when the weather is nice and we open our windows. Continue Reading >>

Home Improvement: Fireplace Edition

After three months of… Let’s be generous and call it “planning,” rather than the more accurate “completely ignorant bungling” – anyway, after three or four months, today we actually started breaking ground (or, in our case, carpet) on the new fireplace project.

Before, although after we moved all the furniture.
During just got way less exciting.

This is a day fraught with much anxiety for me, since I did all the research and design. I started from a place of complete and total ignorance, and did the entire thing based on advice from architect friends, City of Bothell code requirements, and the fireplace installation manual. On paper, it looks like it might be decent, and once we got the permit, I stopped worrying about it. Continue Reading >>