Finally, We’re Getting Somewhere!
June 28, 2007: Here are Esteban and Miguel working away like mad to finish grouting the tile. I’m amazed that I’ve had them for two days straight and that other people’s catastrophes have not prevented them from showing up.
Esteban does beautiful work, and he’s a truly nice guy, and like almost all truly nice guys he doesn’t know how to say “no”. He has too many clients, especially since the father and son quit, and most are a lot more demanding than I am. One jerk threatened not to pay him if he didn’t finish “on time”, with “on time” being defined by the idiot’s decision to move into his new house two weeks early. Esteban can go to City Hall and file a Mechanic’s Lien, and he knows it, but he’s probably too nice to do it. I told him the jerk should be paying me for taking Esteban away from my project.
Here’s the tile after the excess grout has been wiped off, below. There’s still a film of it that will be removed.. when he comes back…. to seal the grout…. someday. I have paid for 75% of the project and there’s only an hour’s worth of work left; he hasn’t demanded the rest of his money and I haven’t made any threats nor have I felt that I needed to (ok, I fibbed. I did threaten* him but not in the way you might think.)
He says he’ll be back this week; I’m pretty sure he will.
It’s beautiful, beyond what I imagined it would be. Even though I picked out everything (with a lot of help from the designers), I could not visualize the finished project.
I got a little silly and made the following:
Brief Interlude with Homegrown Vegetables.
July 1, 2007: This is part of our dinner on Sunday evening, and we grew everything except the olive oil. We partially precooked the potatoes, onions and bell pepper, then cut them up for skewers, brushed them with olive oil and grilled them. The tomato was sliced and seved with basil leaves in a balsamic vinaigrette. There is nothing like a perfectly ripe tomato unless it’s one you’ve grown yourself or been given one by a gardening friend, and there’s almost no other way to get one. The rest of dinner was grilled chicken on skewers that were reportedly marinated in teriyaki sauce, but they were flat and tasteless beside the veggies. The leftover chicken became chicken salad for sandwiches, and it was much improved.
Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program
July 2, 2007: Today we’re back to our general contractor, Bryan, whom we have missed. He and his crew have been waiting patiently (mostly) for the tile guy to get done so they could swoop back and get the floor in. Luckily, they had other projects that fit the time nicely.
Esteban’s delays put him off for nearly a month, even though the tile work took only five days to complete.
Bryan is the guy on his knees. You can see some of the paint colors we tried just above the light switch. Still not entirely sure what we want to do.
Here’s the kitchen floor at the end of Monday, July 2.
Ok, the floor is gorgeous, but what I’m really dying to do is bake a pie. The apple trees are loaded and we have berries in the freezer from our vines.
*Here’s the threat: I called Esteban on Monday and asked him to come on Tuesday if possible, to seal the grout. He hesitated and said he had other jobs, so I told him that we were trying to be careful but that the water would be hooked up on Tuesday and we didn’t want to get anything on his grout. At that point he said he would he’d come on Tuesday or Wednesday in the morning, and he’d call me to let me know.
Mr Pie came home early with a fever and started throwing up. I had that last week, it’s stomach flu. We have become the Plague House. I will make him stay away from the contractors, which will half-kill him but I don’t want them sick.
July 3, 2007: Today the faucet was installed and we have running water in the kitchen again. I ordered the faucet from a small photograph and was very pleasantly surprised when I opened the box. It wasn’t one of the really expensive ones, either. The photo didn’t do it justice at all. I tried to look at it in several places but none of the large stores had it on display. It’s much taller than I thought it would be, which is great. I can get a really big pot underneath it, one so large that I couldn’t lift it if I filled it with water.
We also have a dishwasher and a garbage disposal.
This is Bryan the general contractor, below. I feel a bit possessive of him because he’s done such a great job and the price has been so reasonable, and he actually calls to let me know what’s going on. In the past we have done our own installation but Mr Pie was unable to do it this time, partly due to illness. Cancer tends to interfere with a lot of plans. The surgery eliminated the cancer and he’s healing, but he told me he wanted to hire someone else to do the work this time.
Bryan says he’ll be back tomorrow morning to put the range in so we can cook; he felt bad that we would be stuck in the Plague House on the 4th so he’s going to come all the way from Covina just to do that.
No word from Esteban yet.
He didn’t come today, so does that mean he’ll be here tomorrow morning? If he doesn’t show up, I will only be able to boil noodles and bake potatoes. Some 4th of July that will be.