What’s Up with Renovations?

I haven’t posted a renovation post in a while, have I? That doesn’t mean nothing’s going on! The main improvements have been to the second floor of the Pope house, where we had to expand sooner than expected, thanks to the growth of Hearts, Homes and Hands (a good thing – we sure are thankful to Kathleen and the team for that!).

Our care team now has an office on the second floor, with a great view of trees and the balcony. Meghan has a great command center for scheduling, keeping records, and filing, while there are two other desks for care team members who help her out. It’s hard to believe it’s grown that much since we opened for business last November!

Before we could get that office going, we had to get a nice, strong sub-floor in the upstairs hallway. The next improvement will be to remove the weird kitchen-y room, so people can get to the balcony without going through the future conference room (you know it’s a conference room, because we put the conference table in there).

It’s a good thing that the plumbing was all inspected on the second floor, because that let us set the upstairs bathroom up for the team to use. Right now, it’s functional, but not quite done. When it’s finished, it will be very cute and rustic, to match the theme of the building.

Work in progress!

Those of us who work in the office have really been enjoying all our fall decorations and the atmosphere in the building. I even get to eat lunch in my little break area.

Looking down at the break area and my office.

Hoping you are taking the time to enjoy what you’re doing, right now, and where you are. Take some time to look around. We’re alive, so let’s make the most of that time.

Enjoying my office every day!

End of the Micro-drought

Have you ever heard someone say, “It never rains at my house?” My grandmother would say that. She lived a couple of miles from us when I was a kid, and it would always rain for us and not for her. Well, that is exactly what happened to the Hermits’ Rest Ranch in August.

It rained a few times in Cameron, maybe not a lot, but enough to water the trees a bit. Seven miles down the road, at the ranch, we watched as storms would endlessly form and dissipate around us. I’d be able to see and smell rain, but it would miss, or we’d get a few drops. Lee was excited the day we got .02″ – which barely wet the ground. It’s like we had a micro-drought, just around the Walker’s Creek community.

The rose bushes are getting watered.

My evergreen tree had started to die off, but we only had one set of hoses, which go to the new tree and the chickens. I was going to buy a new one after work today, so I could save it. All the cedar elm trees were turning brown and losing their leaves, not in a lovely fall show, but in a “we need water” display. The oaks still look okay. (I would have a picture, but the rain started in earnest right when I was driving by the best place to show this.)

But, hey, it’s September now. As we always say in this area, “Wait until September, and it will rain again.” And it has! Of course, Cameron seems to have more than we had at the ranch when I left an hour ago, but the radar shows it’s raining at home, too.

This was a half hour ago. College St. is now completely under water. Note how nice our grass doesn’t look.

Speaking of rain in Cameron. When it starts to rain sideways, the flashing on the chimney at the Pope Residence does not block the water. I arrived to the office just as a wind came up, and I heard the festive sounds of running water, heading straight to an electrical outlet. I quickly unplugged the fireplace and found the only bucket Chris hadn’t taken home when he cleaned up.

That looks safe, doesn’t it?

I’m glad it hadn’t been doing that all night! The wind has died down, and it looks like I won’t be hearing dripping all through my half day of intensive meetings today.

Honestly, though, I always hate the summer drought period, and for our micro-climate, this year was the worst since the Big Drought in 2011-12. I will not miss the giant cracks in the earth and the extremely crunchy grass. Apache will be happy to have at least a little green grass again (hopefully not enough to make him sick).

Lee just filled me in. Five inches of rain so far. As usual, we have gone directly from drought to flood!

This means the pond is filling up!

Happy September to all! And isn’t weather interesting?

I’m in My Office!

The good news came this morning that our renovation of the first floor of the Pope Residence has passed inspection. I hear the sturdiness of the stairs impressed the inspectors, as it should have. I stayed the heck out of the way, as befits the role of the silent partner: you have to stay silent!

That’s the inspector truck on the side of the road. Hey, maybe we can take the permit out of the window!

I’m very proud of the work everyone has done on the project, especially Chris, whose patience I tested (and continue to test) frequently.

Desk with computer and red lamp. I’m in business!

Today I brought the rest of the stuff over that makes an office work as an office. And as I set the desk up, Chris did a few more things for me. He hung up the amber hanging lamp, and it really livens up that corner, I think.

The cozy corner now has its mood lamp.

The stained glass windows I brought from the ranch house also got hung, and they really look cool in the window, and will bring a little privacy while letting in light from the stairway area.

Eduardo and the spider plant got their hangers today, so the window looks rather jungly. That area isn’t quite done, because my sister gave me a stained glass window similar to the other ones, which we’re going to put at the top of the outside window as soon as we get another hook.

The jungle.

The other to-do item is the glass for the interior window. Chris is going to put plywood up there until the real glass is ordered and arrives. Glass is the last big item on the list for this place. My window and shelving will let this office have a more spacious look, since the glassware collection won’t be on all the surfaces anymore!

Back to work. I’m sure glad my phone works as a hotspot, because we can’t figure out the WiFi password!

Delays Are Minor Disappointments – Still Having Fun

Because I think I annoyed my family by reacting with a sad-face emoji to the news that the inspection of the new office building won’t be until Monday, let me say that I am ever-so-cheerful about how things are going, and am enjoying doing the things I can do. I also extra appreciative of how hard everyone is working and how helpful we’ve all been to each other.

That said, I’m still in the dungeon working away at the ole Agile Transformation and such. On lunch break, though, I went over to the shiny new office (which sure has a lot of spider webs to get rid of), and got to watch Chris put my desk together, so it’s all one piece now.

We still need to add the glass cover (very important to protect the delicate crackle job) and the keyboard drawer, for my typing pleasure. But, that can be done this weekend or Monday. I’ll use the small piece of glass on my current desk until the custom piece is made.

Look, it’s art.

And while he had the drill in hand, Chris was kind enough to hang my art on the walls. That really helps the place look more finished! I have the cool glass hanging lamp I want installed, but it needs more chain, then all that’s left is the stained glass and shelves. These things take time! I’m honestly not trying to get it all done at once. I can work now, once we get the approval, and that’s what dounts.

I seem to have put most of the stuff in this one corner. Hmm.

It’s just nice to have something that makes me happy to focus on, if you know what I mean!

I’m glad my painting of Carlton climbing the fence fit in above the coat rack. I won’t have the view of Lee’s door, once the glass goes in the “window” there.

There’s lots to look forward to the rest of today. Trixie’s coming, so my hope is that Apache gets a clean bill of health, as well as Fiona. Hee haw!

Fun or Else

Starting today, I’m gonna have fun all day long OR ELSE. That means, even at work! So what if I had Zoom meetings at 10,11,12,1,3, and 4 today? Fun times shall occur at 2 pm. It’s 2:30. I’m blogging. Thankfully, I consider blogging fun.

To start that fun off right, I made myself Zoom backgrounds so it will look like I’m in my new office. And I wore a cheerful shirt, plus lipstick!

Now, doesn’t that make meetings fun? Sure!

And to paraphrase Lee, I “get” to have a lot of meetings today. But, it’s true. I get to talk to a lot of interesting people. It was work book club day, which meant lots of fun.

Such a nice bunch of blurry people to chat with over lunch!

I did “get” to run over to the new office building, sign in to swear I am not sick, and get some pretty pictures of the completely finished stairs. Ahh.

Fun is how you define it! No wonder I surround myself with things that cheer me up. It makes whatever I’m doing fun. I’m extra glad for the happy keyboard and mouse, since most of my “fun” is typing!

Thanks, happy keyboard

What fun have you been having? Do you define your own fun, like I do?

Bright and Shiny and Cheerful

I do believe I now have my office set up to where it will force me to be cheerful. My pink chair showed up today, and it fit into my reading nook exactly how I’d hoped it would. When I look up from my computer, I will see this screaming pink beacon of comfort, which will look even better when the art is hung and the hanging lamp is hung.

Meanwhile, Chris continues with his finishing touches as we await the go-ahead to actually use the place. The upstairs windows in back no longer stream in light, so that should help the air conditioning bill, though I’ll miss the light.

Just makes you want to take a nap, doesn’t it?

And the white trim along the edges of the stairs is being painted on. That’s the final step to stairway completion. What a journey that has been!

But, the most best accomplishment of the day was that my little black hooks arrived from Amazon, and they worked just great to hold the crystals I bought for my chandelier.

Not too much bling, but enough to give me something to enjoy in a tedious meeting, or to take a break from working.

I somehow have three extra that I can’t figure out how I’d attach, but maybe I’ll figure out something. Or I can put them in the window.

It’s extra shiny when it reflects in the mirror! (Oops, there’s a thing on the mantel that I should have moved. You get the idea, though.)

Other than hanging the pictures and bringing in the stuff for my desk, my work here is complete. I have a place to work that will make ME feel comfortable and focused. No, it’s not minimalist. It’s okay. I think curated clutter is IN. And if it isn’t, I DO happen to know that timeless things that aren’t necessarily trendy are also in fashion. There’s a design trend I can agree with!

Going Up? It’s Stair Rail Time

Yep, Chris is still plugging along at the Pope Residence project. You know what’s more fun than welding? Welding when it’s 104 F outside! That’s what’s been happening.

The butterflies and lantana don’t care about the heat!

Before welding could happen, though, a lot of planning had to be done, because there are lots and lots of specs and safety regulations we want to be sure to follow. You want to get a thing like this right the first time, since it’s going to be one sturdy, heavy item.

This may not be the best angle, but you can see it’s going up!

So far, the rails look beautiful. They are all at the right angle, high enough, and spaced appropriately. I am very impressed. I especially like the end of the rail. It’s a nice touch.

That’s just purty.

There’s still a lot of welding and attaching to do, and the rail has to turn the corner and finish going up the rest of the way. But hey, it’s cooling off and will only be in the mid-90s F for the next few days. This project is not for wimps.

There will be rails every 4 inches, of course. This is just the supports and framework. But look at all those levels.