Things have finally started to move in earnest on the house reconstruction project. The rough in inspection was passed last Thursday and since then there has been constant motion. Over the weekend most of the new drywall was hung. The space is starting to feel like a room again now that we have a ceiling! Today the framers are here doing the work to frame in the space for the new sliding glass door and the new windows. Once that is complete, the final structure work for the new space will be complete. Next steps are for the work on the dry wall to be finished and then the floor will be put down. I am hoping the work on the floor will be completed by the end of this week and then the cabinets can start to be installed. I'll just have to wait and see how far they progress this week and if they can get that far. I know at this point they aren't going to be done with the work before we go on vacation so I will be having some one stay here while we are gone so that workmen can come and go.
Here are two pictures of the current shape of the kitchen. Most of the drywall is up and the spaces for the new windows and the new sliding glass door have been framed in. Seeing progress is so very good! Notice Finnegan wandering around to check everything out. Both Finn and Lex have been so curious about all that is going on. They have to check out what has happened every day!
Zack has just 1.5 days of school left after today. It is so hard for me to think back to where he was last year this time and to see how far he has progressed. He is an utterly different kid than he was a year ago. First of all, he is so much physically different than last year. I think he has grown about 4 inches and he has put on about 15 pounds of weight. He is definitely starting to develop a lot more muscle. His voice is also at that point where it is drastically starting to change. I have to laugh when he is talking and his voice totally cracks as it sounds pretty funny. He is very pleased to know that his voice is changing and he is very proud to have acne - at which I utterly have to laugh.
He has also changed tremendously in his mental demeanor. The whole issue of anxiety and OCD is pretty much gone. I don't want to say that it is totally gone because I think for Zack it will always have a presence in his life. The key for him is what he chooses to do about it. He can choose to let it control him or he can choose to control it. For now he is controlling it and he now understands how he can control it. Before he really didn't have any idea of how to control it nor was he able to control his anxiety because he really had a functional issue with his brain chemistry. Now that we finally have him on the correct medication it is making a world of difference.
In other big happenings for us, in exactly 3 weeks we will be leaving for Iceland. I am really excited for our trip and I am so looking forward to experiencing all that Iceland has to offer. Our itinerary for our trip around the island is pretty much complete. I still have a couple hotel reservations to make, but I will get that complete in the next day or so. We have even selected specific activities that we are going to be doing on specific days - like going on a whale watching expedition, riding horses through the lava fields, potentially sea kayaking through a bay filled with icebergs and visiting giant bird rookeries and waterfalls.
In our day-to-day life things have been quite busy. This past weekend was one event after another. It made for a fun and enjoyable weekend. On Friday night I went with Lisa to the South Denver Comedy Works and saw Jay Mohr. He was hilarious and the most amazing thing about it is that he really didn't even swear that much. He can be raw but he wasn't too raw. Another neat thing about his show was that he talked a lot about what happens in his life and he sounds like a pretty normal human being as opposed to some Hollywood snob. But that could be part of his show - who knows. We ended having a great time and laughing our butts off. Saturday during the day was spent going to granite and appliance showrooms. Saturday evening was the Chalk Art Festival in downtown Denver with Lisa. It had rained a fair amount on Saturday afternoon so that really slowed down the artists progress. Normally by Saturday night the vast majority of the art is complete, but this year there were only a very few that were complete. But we still had fun and explored a new restaurant (Temayo) to which I had never been. If you live in Denver and have never been to this restaurant I do recommend it. The cuisine is Mexican but they do a very different take on it. Sunday was then all about trying to get things done around the house. With the work on the kitchen taking place I have a unique opportunity to clean stuff out and get rid of a ton of things. I am taking full advantage of this opportunity.
(Crowds on Larimer Street for the Chalk Art Festival)
Other miscellaneous stuff going on.... I am still waiting to hear back from my surgeon on starting physical therapy. I am chomping at the bit to get this going for several reasons. First I want to get active - I am sick of not being able to do the things I want to do. Second, I am still having a good bit of pain in my hips and legs. Most of this is a different kind of pain than before the surgery. So I am hoping that physical therapy will solve it.
Here's a picture of the tattoo I got last weekend. It's just the outline of what it is going to look like. Eventually all the designs will be filled in with black ink. It's gonna take at least one maybe two sittings to get it complete, but it will be worth the wait.
The flowers in front of the house are at the peak of their blooming beauty. They are perennials so they come back every year but they only look good for about 2 weeks.. I snapped a bunch of pictures of them before they start to lose their petals.
Do you know that people from 94 different countries have visited my blog! I started tracking the countries people visit my blog from back in January. In that time people from almost 1/2 of all countries in the world have visited the blog. How cool is that! I was surprised to have people from Afghanistan and the Northwest Frontier of Pakistan visit my blog. I have no idea what they did to reach the blog but it is interesting to know that people from all over the world read what I write.
Lastly, I re-did the GoPro video from last week, but this time I used a copyright free piece of music for the sound track. I don't really like it but it was the best I could find. It's nowhere as good as it was when I had the Dave Matthews song for the soundtrack! I think what I am going to start doing to post videos like this is to use one of the websites that I own - like coloradomtnpasses.com and post the videos to that and then just share the link here. Anyway, here is my most recent attempt at film editing. And a thank you needs to go out to Beth McCarley and her boyfriend Eric Carlson for providing me with the stylistic concept of how to build a film like this. What Beth and Eric have done with GoPro cameras is amazing.
(This video was shot during Memorial Day Weekend 2011 on the Michelson bike trail in the Black Hills of South Dakota.)
There's a lot more I could write about today, but that's all folks!
Thanks and peace to all! ~J.