More house

So, the 3rd fl is moving along in great shape, although we found that the forced-air returns in at least two of the rooms are stuffed with what appear to be bits of gnawed carpet—did I mention the house used to be home to a large-ish colony of, um, rats? Yeah. Rats. Dan has disappeared for the moment, apparently taking advantage of this week's nice weather to finish an exterior job. The fireplace guys finished their end of the installation, and the unit looks great. It appears we'll be able to use the mantel we found at Dell's, as long as the projecting shelf is high enough (too low and there's a risk of fire). More tile to pick out—maybe we'll go with these. The lovely A_______ has selected the above tile mural for the kitchen backsplash: quite nice, I think (I'm especially fond of the lion eating the oryx, or whatever it is), though I would have argued for something delft-y from the solartile website (she is smarter and has better taste than me).

We meet with Barb the kitchen designer tomorrow for a final look at the plan, and some quotes on cabinets and counter—so we'll see if we can really afford the cherry/cambria combo we're thinking about, etc.

My big goals for next week: the two back bedrooms finished, cabinets ordered, upstairs fireplace fully installed with dura-rock and ready for tile. Also we should have some of the new windows in by then. And maybe the dining room ceiling taped-off, and the walls skim-coated. I think A_________ and I are both feeling the weight of some big fix-up expenses coming just down the road (furnace/boiler, screen porch, kitchen), which makes us a bit anxious to get things done and start winding down/moving in. Probably not quite by September 1st, I'm guessing.

Update: the meeting with Barb went fine—the numbers on the cabinets actually came in slightly below my educated guess, which is a great thing. We made decisions about materials and style and range size (36"); now we're down to countertop, other appliances, sink, lighting and wall color. Just that.

Dan's back (it rained this a.m.), working away. All good.

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