Wow, That Pope House Is COOL!

Of course, we’ve been hearing how cool the Pope Residence is ever since we started working on it. Heck, it’s a pretty fine place, and we are excited to move into the offices. Kathleen’s in already, and Lee’s office is ready for him. We even have blinds for some of the windows (the big ones are, naturally, special order).

Window blinds, ready to be installed for privacy and light control. And what’s that above the window?

But now, the house is actually cool! That’s right! Felix and his very charming son showed up yesterday to get all our mini-splits and the regular air conditioning unit set up and running. You know that is a relief to Kathleen, since she was in there working and it was getting up to 99 F outside!

Mini-splits getting checked for how well they cool.

I got to enjoy watching Felix and son work on the system, and I was so impressed with how eager the young man (19) is to learn from his dad, and how patient Felix is with his teaching.

Installing the thermostat in Lee’s office.

We were all very happy to see each other, since it had been something like 5 years since I last saw a spindly teen, who’s now an adult!

Supervisin’ – in this case Felix was teaching his son how to measure the hole for the air conditioning filter properly.

The systems are all working great. If you ever need air conditioning work, we recommend Felix! His number is on his shirt, wink, wink.

But There’s More!

That’s not all that’s going on, however. Monday, Chris and I picked up a lot of the stuff needed to finish the downstairs at our new offices. He got to work yesterday and installed the counter-tops in the break room, which are lovely laminate, but don’t look too bad, I think, especially next to the metal wall. I was quite impressed with the angled edge that adds a wee bit more space for us, but won’t cause us to bump into the edge as we turn the corner. The hole for the sink still needs to go in and it will be ready for plumbing!

Another little detail that got taken care of is that the remaining tin ceiling tile finally arrived, after having to be re-ordered (it was supposed to be at Lowe’s, but no one could find it). First thing yesterday morning, Chris finished out the bathroom off my office. Hooray! Tubby has a nice ceiling to look at now.

The finished bathroom ceiling (other than a couple of trim pieces). That’s one blingy room!

Exciting New Plans

Because things are changing rapidly at Hearts Homes and Hands, the business that’s going to occupy the Pope house, our plans for the building are evolving. The original plan was for the beautiful front room to serve as both a reception/front office area and an office for the Care Manager (Meghan).

This ugly thing is the upstairs bathroom. Believe it or not, this is a huge improvement.

However, by the end of the month, Meghan will have more responsibilities that will require her to keep documents in her office that need to be protected for HIPAA reasons. That means she needs a door that locks (right now she’s in Kathleen’s old office at the Hermit Haus, which locks). There is no door to the reception area, because we wanted to preserve the beautiful woodwork there.

The lovely woodwork at left is being preserved (we have a door in the other opening; this is a photo from April).

So…we will be creating an office for the Assistant Administrator on the second floor, where a lock can be installed. The office is in a great room that looks out on trees and the balcony. All we have to do is put in a room air conditioner and paint the walls and she will be up and running!

This is the room that will be Meghan’s office, once the trim that will be put back and extra insulation is moved again.

The unfortunate consequence of this change is that poor Randy will have to move all that wood he moved IN that room back OUT to another room. That’s really fun in this heat. Not.

This office will be empty when Felix comes back and finishes the big air conditioning ductwork next week. It’s where the stuff currently in Meghan’s office goes, I think.

Speaking of Randy, he has been busy cleaning out the upstairs rooms and getting them “reno-ready.” Yesterday he removed all the carpets that were in a couple rooms. Ick.

The area where all the filing and storage stuff will go. We will remove the stained wallpaper, which extends to the ceiling, oddly enough. The stains are from a leak in the roof that was repaired.

The back room that has windows looking out to the stairwell is completely empty now. It’s destiny is to become the document storage room. State-regulated agencies generate a LOT of paperwork and much of it needs to be saved for audit purposes and CYA and all that. Since we will need to have immediate access to it, we need it to be in the building. So, the former giant closet room for the previous occupant will be storing something else.

The other side of the future storage room, which has formerly beautiful wallpaper that must come down. Those are original windows. The doors at right are my future desk!

That’s as far as we have gotten with the second floor. I’m not sure how much else we are going to do soon, since after we close on July 1, we will be working on the Ross house project, and that will be a LOT as well. More on that one soon!

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

2 thoughts on “Wow, That Pope House Is COOL!”

  1. Seeing you use “CYA purposes” made me laugh and brought back some memories. Back in 2004-ish, I volunteered with a physical therapist that was out of Rockdale. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up. This wonderful lady had a room that had this super fancy and professional sign on the door that said, “CYA Storage” and it meant the same thing you did above lol. In the end, obviously, physical therapy wasn’t what I was looking for, but I truly enjoyed that time. It was only a month, maybe 6 weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

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