Three Weeks Down – Summer Solstice Edition

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Today found us on our newly named Sky Deck watching the sun come up over the Cascades and Lake Washington. Buster loves it up there as now he can make sure there are no kitties lurking around the neighborhood, and he has a view of all the neighbor dogs. Coffee on the deck on a gorgeous day is sublime.

It’s week three and we’re trying to mitigate the dust and debris. We finally gave up on our contractor managing our site and spent 4 hours yesterday cleaning up the yard and vacuuming areas in the house to remove the debris left behind by Ivan who is working on repairing the dry rot. His brother, Eddie, has come in from Chihuaha, Mexico to help, and is doing what he can, but he’s not really into construction as much as Ivan, who has been doing a great job with very little support. But Eddie and I worked together to remove the kitchen tile and fireplace landing. We also worked to remove debris from the house. Both brothers are great guys and hard workers.

John is at the end of his rope with the debris falling into the basement through the vent holes created when we removed all of the ductwork. While we asked that the holes be plugged, they were not, and both of us have spent a lot of time cleaning that up. John is going to Florida and will have a break from the mess for a week, which I’m sure he’ll enjoy. Buster and myself will hold down the fort. 

We’ve made lots of decisions this week on bathroom fixtures and some lighting, doors and tile, but we still have many more to go. The Airstream is performing like a trooper, but there is one major design flaw to them and this is the horizontal blinds, particularly the one over the bed, which keeps popping out of the pins that hold them to the wall. The pull down blinds on other models are far superior as they lock in place, and I think we are close to replacing some of the key blinds with those so we don’t have to keep putting them back in their pins. John made delicious breakfast biscuits today from the biscuits we bought at Biscuit Bitch in Belltown (they are wonderful biscuits) on our way back from Le Pichet where we always go after the Symphony for Chocolate Chaud. Last night, the Seattle Symphony performed an extraordinary version of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite for the Untuxed crowd. It was quite moving.

Buster is doing great, though he’s a bit tired from making sure everyone is doing their thing. He’s constantly on alert for changes. We’ve been giving a bunch of tours to the neighbors, but those will end this week when the roof structure is removed and we can no longer get up on the sky deck until all is re-framed.

Today is a beautiful day for Solstice, and as we head into the next week, we’ll be curious to see if our contractors reappear, and if the roof removal and reframing goes smoothly without the threat of rain.

We are beginning to believe that the demo process is nothing like you see on HGTV. You have to live it to believe it. Their remodels are done in an hour.  : )

Ravelations and The Firebird Suite

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Last night was an amazing night. I’ve not experienced symphonic music before except at the opera and a few local events on the level of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. They were unbelievable. So precise, rich, and their playing was incredibly emotional. John was trained in classical music so it was great having a guide. One of his favorite pieces is The Firebird Suite by Stravinsky. And last night, when the final note rang out, the audience leapt to their feet. It was extraordinary. The conductor, Myung-Whun Chung was quite gracious and spoke to the audience after the suite and gave two encores. The audience ate it up and more ovations ensued.

What I responded to however was their first piece of the evening: Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite. John explained that Debussy (which was also played last night) and Ravel were part of the impressionist movement in music. The precision at which the violinists plucked their instruments and played was astonishing. If you get a chance to see these performed, by all means go. I feel I have a lot of music to catch up on.