A busy week on Bobcat Ridge
I’m still trying to figure out names for my little farm. Bobcat Ridge is in the running, to acknowledge the other resident I’ve seen, along with Glencullen or Glen-something (that dang Gaelic thing rearing its head). Glencullen means ‘holly glen’ – there are quite a few holly trees in the woods, and the place is a bit of a glen – but something is lost in the translation. I mean, I don’t want it to be some Twilight reference (well, maybe I do…sigh, Edward…heehee). So for now, Bobcat Ridge is the ‘working title’ as we say.
Last week was the installation of my new windows. I ordered them six weeks ago, after a visit from Ray of Best Choice Windows. One of my main goals was to get something to help with heating bills: the existing windows were all single pane, wood frame windows. Which means that most mornings during colder weather I woke up with window fog (or sweat) up to mid-window on the picture windows. The two that opened were so drafty that they didn’t fog. Two of the windows were double pane, and one of these had a bad seal, so always looked dirty. So I decided to take the plunge and replace all of them. The only one I didn’t do is the little window in the loft. Probably should have, but I like it as it is.
So the guys came out to install and didn’t waste any time. They cut out all of the old windows first, leaving the place a barn. I sat at my desk trying to work until my fingers were too cold to type anymore. It was overcast and chilly, and I made sure to secure Hugh (the budgie) in the closet with the door closed. Still cool, but at least not drafty. The dogs did pretty well with all the intrusion and noise.
By noon or so the sun began to come out, and it warmed up a bit. The guys worked steadily, and slowly my little place was transformed. I didn’t think it would make that much of a difference, but the new windows are gorgeous. They’re energy efficient windows from Milgard called Tuscany, and will be a huge help next winter to keep the furnace from blowing all evening to (try) to keep it at 68 degrees in here. They’re clean and clear (well, mostly clean – the bird dog has already made a nose-smear mess on the big one behind the sofa – an absolutely HUGE window-I didn’t realize how huge until they got it out of the truck to install). I was concerned in their energy efficiency that my view and sunlight would be dimmed due to the tinting, but it hasn’t affected this at all. I do notice the tint when looking into the house from outside, but it’s nice to know that this is protecting my furniture from fading.
The same day I installed two of the three appliances I purchased earlier this month. Well, the technician installed them, not me (in case there was a moment of doubt). It was the cooktop and the oven. The cooktop is a Jenn-Air, replacing the prototype Jenn-Air that was in there, limping into oblivion. This new one is sleek and beautiful, though it will never be as clean as it was for that one day… The oven is a little under-counter job (and I do mean little – hard to find them that small) to replace the dead one that was in there. It too is sleek and beautiful – made by Fisher & Paykel (a New Zealand brand, which accounts for it’s NZ pronounciation “Fisher Pike’l”). It was only $40 more than the GE brand (my only other choice) and loads cuter. And it’s all about the cute, right? It’s a convection oven, so my chicken comes out evenly browned and beautifully cooked. It’s so nice to have an oven again after 3.5 months without one. I made muffins the other night, as I’d been craving some home baking. Muffins were “eh” but the baking was GREAT. Next will be the new dishwasher (also a Fisher-Paykel, on back order).
Even though I’ve been spending money like I’m making it in the basement (and don’t even have a basement!), it’s great to get these things done and out of the way. Next up is the roof – the biggest ticket item yet, but the last one too. After that I’ll start the interior painting. I was waiting for warmer weather (and windows that open!) so I can ventilate well when I paint, and that’s coming right up!