Saturday, September 27, 2008

And the Lights Go On - 15 days later!!!

Well, the army of line trucks showed up in the neighborhood today and we just got power tonight – boy did we need it. I think there were some neighbors that might have gone crazy. Again, amazing neighborhood, we cooked out with about 50 of our neighbors and their kids tonight. We had a blast and watched the power come on, it was outstanding. Now we have to take pieces of a 60ft tree out of our backyard and the big thing is they can run the A/C to dry out the wood floors. The A/C needs to run in this climate for 4 days before you can seal wood floors. Pretty interesting. They look amazing so we'll see how that goes! We have hopes to close on the 15th now but we shall see, it will be close.

On a side not, I had a discussion with the neighbor behind us. It looks like we are going to capture that land sooner rather than later. He is a very nice man and willing to work with us on financing so our yard just might get bigger, sooner!

The piece of tree that landed in the back yard of our new house. They are taking the rest of the tree down tomorrow morning, it is unsafe to sleep in our neighbors house since there is a giant piece of tree leaning over it!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Countertops and Floors

This week they have laid the flooring, added the stairs and begun to complete the granite countertops. Heather picked a great color and the house is looking great. The should have the appliances in by next week and we are working budget right now to get it where we need it. Typical overages are around 10% and we are at about 2.5% right now, thanks Paul the contractor!

Pretty exciting times, we're ready to be settled. Especially after Ike.

NOTE: We still don't have power at the house or office!

The Bar in the kitchen/great room

Working to secure the slab over the sink

Sink and contnertop

Detailing a seam

The new stairs and their wood

Our bookshelves and area for the TV

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The new driveway!

Our new driveway is being poured today and I hate that I'm not there to see it. We are still in Granbury with my aunt and uncle because our house is still without power. We have been entertained and very well taken care of. Mostly I hate that we're not there because I wanted the kids to put their hand prints in the new drieway so we would have a little momento from this time. Bummer.

We are planning on coming back tomorrow even though they are saying that it will probably be next week before we have power restored. Most of the work is on hold in the new house until we have power restored but they are able to do a few things, like the driveway, fix the roof, etc. They are also checking the sheetrock and insulation to make sure it is all okay.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hurricane Ike Blows

In more ways than one! Hurricane Ike blew through on Saturday, September 13th around 1 am and didn't stop blowing until after 6 am. Getting prepared on Thursday and Friday was fun for the kids and even a little bit for the adults. We bought all the needed supplies like water, batteries, etc. I did all the laundry and one last load of dishes in the dishwasher because I wasn't sure how long we would be without power. After all the chores were done we hung out on the driveway with all the neighbors and their kids. Cooked on the grills and just had some neighborly fun - this picture is of some handy work by 2 of the neighborhood guys at the expense of some neighbors that decided NOT to ride out the storm. The kids played golf in the front yards, rode their bikes. There wasn't much to worry about on Friday. It was kind of like a summer day with everyone home just a little extra wind and some dark cloud cover but it never rained. We were all hoping and praying for the best.

That changed come early Saturday morning. The winds woke me up at around 1 am, plus this strange blue light that kept flashing and a bzzzzzzzzzz electrical sound. I finally got up and checked to see what it was and found that it was the transformer south of us sparking and arcing. I couldn't go back to sleep so I started watching TV to drown out the sound of the crazy wind. Bo turned off the TV around 2. He was tired of listening to the 24/7 coverage, which did get to be a little much. He couldn't sleep either. We lost power around 2:15. We had a neighborhood pool betting on when we would lose poser. Bo said "never" and we all hoped that he would win but it was Leslie D that won - she had 2:30 am. The rest of the night was restless and scary. All of the neighbors started texting each other to make sure everyone was okay. It was nice to have that reassurance out there. We all said that our kids were sleeping through it, but we sure didn't. The winds finally settled down around 5:30 and I think that most of us went back to sleep and slept until around 8:30 or 9 since it was such a rough night.

Bo and Hank got up and walked the neighborhood to find that many of our neighbors, like us, had dodged a bullet. Others were not as fortunate...they had 2 and 3 trees through their houses. Everyone was okay but properties and trees were severely damaged. They cleared the drains of debris so that the streets could drain and then us girls and kids went walking the streets to check on our neighbors and to see if anyone needed anything. Most streets were impassable. Root balls of some of our oldest and largest oak trees were standing on end - taller than most men. Pine trees snapped in half. Shingles were laying everywhere. It was scary to listen to the wind but even scarier to see all the damaged it had caused.

We feel so blessed that we sustained minimal damage. The house that we are renting had some shingles blown off and debris in the yard but nothing major. Unfortunately our new house didn't fair as well but not near as bad as some. Also, it is fortunate that we are where we are in the construction process because it is mostly just roof and sheetroock damage. The new house truly dodged a bullet.

We have a 100+ foot pine tree on the west side of the house and one of the larger branches about 40 feet up snapped off and just barely missed our house, landing in the backyard just feet from the house. This picture isn't even of the whole tree. One of the smaller branches did however punch a hole in the roof over our dining room and playroom which caused some flooding in those 2 rooms. Also, the flashing around the chminey had not had been completed so it leaked around the chimney so we have sheetroock damage in the greatroom ceiling and the walls in the dining room and playroom but we hadn't installed any flooring or baseboards yet so that damage is very minimal. When the pine tree branch fell it also took out the power lines so our backyard is filled with a pine branch and the fence and power lines are down in the backyard. As of today, we are still waiting to have power restored. They are saying it could be up to 2 weeks.

The real kicker was that we were all without power so we couldn't watch the news and had no idea that it was going to storm again early Sunday morning, nothing related to Ike but a cool front moving in. We ended up getting 6 more inches of rain. We didn't think we needed to tarp the roof of the new house because we thought all the rain had moved through, but that was a mistake. We probably wouldn't have needed to replace all the sheetrock but with the new rain that moved through we will definitely need to replace the sheetrock in the ceiling of the greatroom and the walls in the dining room and playroom.

The kids and I left on Sunday and headed for power and mostly A/C. We also took one of our neighbors, Nadine, who lives alone to her daughter in North Texas. We couldn't stand the heat and being without power, plus my son got a cold and was miserable. We are staying in Granbury, TX for a few days. Both of the school districts that my kids go to and I work in are going to be closed until Monday, September 22nd. All the guys stayed home. They are cleaning up and having a little fun at the same time. They hooked up the satellite, TV and beer fridge to the generator and were going to hang out and watch Monday night football last night. I think that the guys are glad that they got all us women and children to higher ground (hahahaha!)

All in all we feel blessed that we are all okay and all the things that were ruined can be replaced. Others were not as fortunate. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Down the Backstretch They Come

Here we are, about 5 weeks from completion. Cabinets are going up, walls are being finished and flooring will be going in soon. We will most likely have a new driveway this week! The house looks amazing. We picked out electrical fixtures this weekend and Heather is going to pick out the granite tomorrow. All the picking should be completed by then. We selected some great fixtures for the dining and the outside. The exterior lights are made in the US by Arroyo Craftsman. They create authentic craftsman style lights. Beautiful. We picked our lighting out at Lighting Unlimited on Richmond here in Houston, Eli helped us. Between he and our contractor we couldn't miss. Pics to come when we get them off Heather's phone!

We are very excited to be moving to our new home so the first boxes were packed this weekend. We are ready for all that new room and to have our McParty soon!