Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fence complete

The fence is done and we love it! The gates are exactly what we both had in our heads--we didn't look at a booklet or anything to pick 'em out, just described what we had in mind to the head fence guy, and they had 'em built to fit the spaces. The fence was supposed to be done last Monday, but there was a delay of a few days due to a broken machine at the supplier who cuts the dog-ears or gothic points or whatever you want on top of the pickets (the machine cuts them twelve at a time!). And the gate latches are backordered until next Tuesday, but everything else is done, and beautifully.

Here are the first boards going up. These horizontal boards are called runners, not rails, which is what occurred to me. They're what you nail the pickets to, obviously.

And here are the pickets starting to go up. Note the huge truckload of boards.

And the finished fence....

Here's a panorama (sorta) of the whole house with the brick columns and gates on either side. Sister A's a good photographer, isn't she?  :)  And look how well the columns match the house!

We got a new Red Rocket crape myrtle out of this project (the one on the right), onnaccounta a section of the old fence fell on the previous one that was planted in that spot and squashed it flat. The fence company bought us this very nice replacement.

They also gave us a new shut-off valve on the back faucet. Apparently, when they turned the faucet on (for cement mixing), something went flooey (I don't know what) and they decided they'd broken it. We didn't argue.

The final bill will come Tuesday, when they install the last bit of metalwork (the gate latches). It'll be less than the estimate because they didn't have to buy as many posts as originally thought (there were some good metal posts on the east side of the old fence instead of the rotted wooden ones we expected), which is nice. We're very pleased with the entire project.  :)

Minnie can walk through the bars of the gate easily. Sammi, who's quite a bit stouter, has to wriggle a bit more to get through, but it works.

Now we can mark the fence project off our list. The only big remodeling project remaining is the kitchen and floors, a few years down the road.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sign of the times

Oops, wrong rapture--sorry. My bad.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fence columns are up

The fence guys did a great job on the columns that will go around our gates. It sure is an involved process, though! Here's what Sister A. observed today:

This fence is gonna look great...and the cats are going to love the tops of those columns!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New project? New fence!

We were planning to wait on replacing the old tumble-down fence until next spring, after the windows were paid off, but it started "tumbling" rather seriously, so we bit the credit card bullet and accelerated the plan. Today, the guys took down our old fence (really fast--I don't think it put up much resistance!) and started putting up nice solid posts for the new fence. First, of course, one must dig post holes, using this monster:

Here's a nice line of posts, ready for pickets:

And, looky! Our paving-stone path will actually end at a gate soon!  :)

We're going to have brick columns built on each side of all three gates: back, east side, and west side. Here are the bricks; their color is as close to our house brick as possible 50 years after the house was built:

The columns will be filled with mortar and will need time to dry (or cure, or whatever mortar does), so we'll have to do without a fence throughout the weekend. Hopefully, the fence guys can finish up Monday.

The wooden pickets will be dog-eared instead of gothic points. We don't want the cats to have to climb pointy things anymore (at least as far as their home fence is concerned--nuthin' we can do about the neighbor's fence).

Speaking of the kitties, they were pretty weirded out by this development. They went out and sniffed around after the fence guys went to lunch, but only Minnie has returned so far. She seems to have gotten over the latest upheaval, but Sammi ran off when the fence guy turned on the augur again after lunch--she was really spooked by the noise--and she still hasn't come back. Hopefully, she just holed up somewhere during the high wind this afternoon and will turn up again when the wind dies down tonight. We tried to get Minnie to bird-dog her, but she's not being very cooperative. You'd think there would be solidarity between kitties in the face of adversity.

Update: Sammi finally came home sometime after 11pm. :)

RUAQT?

This morning I saw a perky young thing driving a perky little car with this license plate: "QT 4EVR". I thought, uncharitably, Girl, are YOU ever in for a surprise in a few years! "Cute" disappears with amazing swiftness.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Curtains and other house stuff

Sister A. has been a busy bee lately, making curtains for two more rooms! First came these colorful damask curtains in the living room.

She had just enough fabric left over to recover that little pillow on the couch. After that (and a bit of a rest), she made the curtains for my bedroom, brown with cascades of shiny copper and gold leaves. They really tie all the other decor in my room together.

(Note the bonus cat asleep in her tree.)
Both sets are gorgeous--mine are fancier than any curtains I've ever had! And my new curtains make the room darker at night, which is always a plus for me.

Elsewhere on the home front, our falling-down old fence became a bit more active in its falling-down process recently. A section was blown down by the fierce winds we had week before last, and when we tried to nail it back together, the old wood started to split. It's just going to get worse from there, so we decided to move up our next-spring fence replacement plan and git 'er done sooner. The current fence is all wood--skinny gothic-point pickets with a wooden gate in the back and another on the east side of the house (for access from front yard to back) that's hanging by a thread. There's no gate on the west side of the house (naturally, since that's where a gate would be most useful). The new fence will have wider dog-ear pickets and red-brick columns around each of three metal gates (iron or steel, we don't know yet) so that we have access from front yard to back on both sides of the house. We haven't picked out the gates yet--Sister A. spoke with the fence man only last Monday--but we just want something plain with bars narrow enough to keep out dogs. Cats are OK. And chihuahuas, I guess--they're small enough for Sammi to eat in one bite.  ;)

Now about that bonus cat....

Minnie says hi! (OK, it was more like "get that flashy box out of my face", but I translate liberally.)

And, no, she's not a Manx--her tail's under there somewhere.