Category Archives: moving

Taking possession

It’s finally time to re-key all five exterior locks, switching out from the construction keys. Walter from Cothron Safe & Lock set to it.

Walter removed and disassembled the locksets from each door.
Walter removed and disassembled the locksets from each door.
This tray holds pins to go into the cylinder. Each color designates a different width or length for locks made by different manufacturers.
This tray holds pins to go into the cylinder. Each color designates a different width or length for locks made by different manufacturers.
Four of the cylinders that Walter has to open and match to the fifth cylinder we are using as the "master."
Four of the cylinders that Walter has to open and match to the fifth cylinder we are using as the “master.”
Walter uses a special wrench to unlock the retainer on the cylinder.
Walter uses a special wrench to unlock the retainer on the cylinder.
After removing the retainer, Walter uses a shim and a blank key to twist the plug free of the cylinder without losing the springs mounted inside the tower.
After removing the retainer, Walter uses a shim and a blank key to twist the plug free of the cylinder without losing the springs mounted inside the tower.
There are five pins in the plug. Each color indicates a different size pin. Walter has to match all five pins in all five locksets. When this is done, one key will unlock any of the five exterior doors.
There are five pins in the plug. Each color indicates a different size pin. Walter has to match all five pins in all five locksets. When this is done, one key will unlock any of the five exterior doors.
When the pins are all correctly assembled, Walter puts each lock assembly back together in reverse order of disassembly. Here, he reinstall the lock mechanism to the front door. As Walter finished with each door, Steven tested one key in each of the five locks, to ensure that all five operated with that one keyset.
When the pins are all correctly assembled, Walter puts each lock assembly back together in reverse order of disassembly. Here, he reinstall the lock mechanism to the front door. As Walter finished with each door, Steven tested one key in each of the five locks, to ensure that all five operated with that one keyset.
Walter stamps a numeric code onto the "master" key that operates all five doors, that serves as the model for duplicate keys. This code matches the size pin that must be inserted into the cylinder, if we ever have to repair and rekey the locks again.
Walter stamps a numeric code onto the “master” key that operates all five doors, that serves as the model for duplicate keys. This code matches the size pin that must be inserted into the cylinder, if we ever have to repair and rekey the locks again.
As the penultimate step, Walter cuts duplicate keys. Steven tested all the duplicate keys in all exterior doors, to ensure they all work. When done, Walter wrote up the bill and sent it via cellphone to the office. Done.
As the penultimate step, Walter cuts duplicate keys. Steven tested all the duplicate keys in all exterior doors, to ensure they all work. When done, Walter wrote up the bill and sent it via cellphone to the office. Done.
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Going to the mat

Steven continues Garage Therapy. It’s taken about a week, so far, an hour or two each day …

Above, the twin racks are built, screwed to the wall, on the right, and the supply of lumber left over from construction is now off the floor. That allowed Steven to roll the old workshop carts from Sea Eagle over from the west wall of the garage, tucking them under the lumber racks. With that shift, Steven was able to clear the west wall of everything, sweep up shards of linoleum tile that remained from demo, to unroll three of the garage floor mats that we used at Sea Eagle.

It doesn't look like much -- red rubber mats rolled out on a garage floor. But, to Steven, this is a significant milestone in the process of moving in, instead of just moving. He is taking control of the garage; it's no longer just a storage container for boxes. The tools have a home, albeit temporary; the lumber has a home, on the wall, sorted by type and size; and floor space is opening up.
It doesn’t look like much — red rubber mats rolled out on a garage floor. But, to Steven, this is a significant milestone in the process of moving in, instead of just moving. He is taking control of the garage; it’s no longer just a storage container for boxes. The tools have a home, albeit temporary; the lumber has a home, on the wall, sorted by type and size; and floor space is opening up.
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Quotidien

It is week three at Emerald House. We evolve toward some kind of usual.

Steven is back to riding his bike. 11 miles Tuesday. 12 miles today. Exploring new routes. Carefully. There’s a lot more traffic in Northwest Austin.

When Jacquela comes home, it is still daylight. Her commute now takes 15 minutes with traffic, vs. 45 minutes if there was no traffic.

Jadin walks to school. Three blocks. And asks every day for Dad to drive her. No.

We went to our first college admissions fair.

Work continues in the garage. Boxes are emptied. Lumber racks are up on the wall and wood is migrating to the racks, off the floor.

We message Ranserve with punch list items.

Sea Eagle is almost ready to list for sale.

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Evening constitutional

A herd of deer strolled through the neighborhood after dinner.

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Garage therapy

We’ve been in the house for three weeks. Every time Steven needs a tool, he has to go through seven large black and yellow storage containers and five toolboxes. Or the orange bucket that serves as the sixth toolbox. It is frustrating.

And the garage is a minefield of lumber, boxes stacked six high, construction debris that was never really cleaned up, and all sorts of stuff we have no other place to put.

Steven reached the point this day where this has got to end.

Jacquela chose this day to escape to the Renaissance Faire with Bridget from work. Good for them.

Steven stepped into the garage to claim the house and begin to take control of the garage.

Boxes of CDs, photos, artwork, fragile items were culled from the garage and transported into the bedroom upstairs that is intended to become the model trainroom.

Jadin was coerced into helping to transport boxes upstairs. Reluctantly.

Boxes designated by Jacquela for the bedroom that will become her craft room — Steven hoisted those up the ladder to the storage attic over the new third bay of the garage. What will be the craft room is crammed with the shelves and carts and table that we need to organize into a configuration that works. Shelving will be screwed to walls. Carts will be rolled against walls. The worktable will go wherever Jacquela points it.

Back and forth. Up and down.

Steven reached the back wall of the third bay, where the workshop and power tools will eventually go, vacuumed up the construction debris, shifted one metal shelving rack into position below the window on the side wall — and started to relocate cartons of books and magazines off the plastic shelving to the metal racks. Then there was space to move a second metal rack into place. Then a third.

Back and forth. Box by box.

When the metal racks filled the workshop space, Steven shifted the black-and-yellow containers to the top of each rack. All he needs to do now is pop the lids to get to what he needs. Progress.

Behind him, a huge expanse of garage floor is beginning to clear.

For extra credit, Steven put tools and supplies left behind by Ranserve on a plastic shelving unit near one garage door, and cans of paint and grout up on a second shelving unit near the back door of the garage.

There’s still a long way to go, but … we can now walk on bare feet on bare concrete across all three parking bays of the garage.

In photo above, the space between the bicycles and middle ceiling light was filled with boxes before Steven set to work — with some stacks six boxes high. Now we can see floor. At rear, the yellow lids are the storage containers with Steven’s tools, screws, nails, parts — the stuff he needs to get the family moved into the house. At right is a pile of lumber that Steven is putting on the schedule to tackle.

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It’s snowing oak pollen

It doesn’t photograph. Steven watches from his office window as the oak trees at Emerald Hill “snow” pollen. Jacquela’s allergies are working overtime.

We’ve started to assemble Jadin’s closets using Pax from Ikea. Still have to purchase hanging rails and standards.

Stacy K from near Mopac picked up a ton of moving boxes and packing paper, significantly reducing the cartons stacked up outside the kitchen.

After school, Jadin and Jacquela hit a volleyball back and forth at each other in the back yard at Emerald Hill.

Progress.

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Tangled up in blue

It’s time to clean the one carpet at Sea Eagle, in the bedroom we called the “toy room.”

Meet Sam from SC Proservices, above, tangled up in blue (with apologies to Bob Dylan) — about to haul the vacuum hose into the house and upstairs.

Sam at work on the carpet. He said it would take 45 minutes. And the carpet cleaned up well.
Sam at work on the carpet. He said it would take 45 minutes. And the carpet cleaned up well.
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Floor waxing

Late yesterday, Trey from DeAtley Tile & Stone cleaned and degreased the stained concrete flooring on the first floor of Sea Eagle. Today, he’s back to wax and polish the floor — above.

A second shot of Trey at work, waxing and polishing the stained concrete for showing to potential buyers.
A second shot of Trey at work, waxing and polishing the stained concrete for showing to potential buyers.
Before finishing for the day, Trey talks with Cloral, the painter, about how to protect the new finish on the concrete. Cloral is going to refinish the maple cabinets at the island. Trey instructs: "put down cardboard to protect the floor, and do not tape the cardboard to the floor."
Before finishing for the day, Trey talks with Cloral, the painter, about how to protect the new finish on the concrete. Cloral is going to refinish the maple cabinets at the island. Trey instructs: “put down cardboard to protect the floor, and do not tape the cardboard to the floor.”
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This was, part 2

This was Jacquela’s craft room — left at the top of the stairs, painted a “spring green” that she selected with help from Hannah, daughter of a neighbor — light and nearly not there. Now, above, Cloral, in the corner, and Freddie, blue shirt, are painting it Aged Parchment to match everything else in the house — neutralizing Sea Eagle for showing to potential buyers.

This was the accent wall in the stairwell -- a darker shade of neutral tan. Now it is aged parchment. The camera makes this paint color look yellow. It's actually the color of old paper -- aka "aged parchment."
This was the accent wall in the stairwell — a darker shade of neutral tan. Now it is aged parchment. The camera makes this paint color look yellow. It’s actually the color of old paper — aka “aged parchment.”
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Weed whacking

The real estate agent — Sari Pearce — connected Steven with Jose Vences, landscaper. Today, Jose is at Sea Eagle cutting back the wild grasses that grew tall through the summer and then gray in winter; blowing and raking up all the leaves; pulling weeds; mowing the small front and back lawns. Everything seemed to collect on the surface of the pool, which Steven cleaned twice as Jose and the 30mph winds wreaked havoc.

Above, Jose threshes the tall grass at the hill next to the pool.

At the other side of the pool, the field of wild grass is hacked close in hopes of spring rain. Next to the pool, a field of bluebonnets is growing -- one of Steven's favorite signs of what passes for the blink that is Spring in Texas.
At the other side of the pool, the field of wild grass is hacked close in hopes of spring rain. Next to the pool, a field of bluebonnets is growing — one of Steven’s favorite signs of what passes for the blink that is Spring in Texas.
The front lawn, neat and edged.
The front lawn, neat and edged.
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