Monday, January 5, 2009

Okay, really need to go to bed now...but just thought I would post a few pictures of where we live (at night at least) to show that the 35 mile commute to the office/house is really worth the drive everyday.

This is a picture of the Wet Mountains taken at 6am from our front deck

Here is a pic of my Mom & Dad's house taken from across our valley

And these strapping lasses wait all day long for us to come home and spoil them rotten!

It is long overdue that I post some pictures of our “new” floors. As I mentioned earlier, we were incredibly lucky to meet the team that did the floors (thanks Dan B). They are based out of Woodland Park just west of Colorado Springs. The company name is “With the Grain” and Tom Grimes, who we dealt with, is the president of the Colorado group. The website takes you to the Minnesota company run by his brothers, but it will give you an inkling of what kind of craftsmen these guys are. I would recommend them unconditionally. They were extremely professional, but still relaxed enough to kid around with and feel comfortable. Tom’s son Tommy no doubt will take over the reins in the future as he shares his dad’s knowledge and love of wood. It is funny, having an old house, some people walk in and think OMG what a drafty old shell, and others are immediately taken by the character and history. I put the second class of folks in my A list (kind of like people who don't like dogs and those who do). The pictures here depict the front room (now my office) and the dining (conference room). The first picture here is a “before.” Even then the floors were beautiful and just knocked you off your feet when you came in from the front hall. But check out the difference after Tom and gang were finished. Of course this picture was taken immediately after the final finish so it is uber shiney; it dried to a nice mellow sheen. Tom felt that the wood for the parquet was probably imported from Europe as wood was not milled to that thickness here in the U.S. Anyhow, just look at the results of this talented team. I can’t let them know enough how much we are impressed with their work and expertise. If you need hardwood flooring experts in southern Colorado, these are your guys.

When given the choice by the experts, I chose the stain on the left. KID was bummed when she saw the picture I brought home as she felt the stain on the right brought out the grain more. But look at the second picture from a different angle and you can see it looks muddy. In the end we all agree the simple "Swedish" look is most appropriate for this piece of art floor (apologies to Englishmen).

And although I love the house that is our real home (mainly because it is full of love, good times, good food, and bad animals) this house has really stolen my heart. Every day I go to work I appreciate the craftmanship and attention to detail that is totally lacking in newer buildings. It is kind of like working in a mini-museum. Now if only I could find 200K hidden between the walls like you read about in the newspaper. A few more shots of craftsmanship below. And...thanks again Tom and Mary!

Happy New Year! Hope it’s a good one, but with the current economic outlook I’m afraid it will be a bumpy ride for many of us:( So sorry for the long lapse, but a lot has been happening. Besides the Holidays, KID finishing up her third semester at university (4 As and a B in French—Oh yes, Dean’s List again!), transportation problems, and actually having to work for a living…we finally moved into the house the second week in November. It was kind of sad to me to have to move Any furniture onto the gorgeous wood floors. But, alas, the reason we did get the house was for offices and to get out of paying exorbitant rent in an office building. IJ and I both agree that as an office, the space is working for us extremely well. I disposed of tons of superfluous stuff accumulated by the previous five years of ever changing support staff (hmm, wonder if he might be hard to work for?) and archived many files. The result is that we now know where everything is and have dedicated areas for compiling reports, accounting, client lists, and our massive need for file storage. The huge maple table (and six chairs) that Mom and Dad gave us looks great in the dining room (what we now call the conference room—although the only meetings we have had there so far have consisted of conferring over Greek sandwiches or MacDonald’s). However, IJ will have the table covered with blueprints today for a current job he is working on. To have everything for a job laid out at once is a luxury he never had before. Of course, there still is a lot of work to be done but the bulk of the major projects are complete. And, it is so nice to be in the house without plumbers, electricians, cable/phone/computer guys tromping in and out (on those wood floors)…sorry guys. I am actually at home today working on a cheery report for IJ on private prisons, so in my spare time I might catch up on some blogging and posting pictures. Oh how I love the multi-tasking of MS Windows!