I don't have any huge news, but a few things are progressing...
I got the embeds. I was correct in thinking they were the steel toppers to put into the concrete footings. They look like tiny little tables. I have 7 that are 12" square for the steps, and I have 4 that are 8" square for the one rain barrel.
I've had one concrete guy out to give me an estimate to pour the footings; I thought Red and I could do them ourselves, but yikes no. (Well, maybe we could, but not on such a short time frame.) A wee bit more involved than I had originally thought. Then I had Vic (and the magic van) out to give me an estimate, and of course VIC -- found errors in the design. That led me back to the steel fabricator, and a design change. I am still waiting on him -- I should probably call him -- to clarify details so that I can get that project started.
Along with the embeds, he gave me a color wheel to take home and choose what color I'd like the whole thing painted. I consulted Red and some neighbors and decided on a brownish black color. If you put black (roof) next to it, it looks black. If you put brown (wood) next to it, it looks brown. He couldn't match the copper gutter color (bummer) and I didn't want to choose something crazy that would tie me down with regards to house trim color in the future. Ultimately a pretty basic color. Too bad that when I mailed it back to the steel guy, the P.O. ripped the mailing envelope and then delivered an empty envelope. Helpful, no? I don't know what is happening on that. Sigh. Onward and upward. S L O W L Y.
I don't know if I mentioned here that my washer was flooding my kitchen when it drained. The hooked hose that goes into the wall behind the washer? That drain was clogged. Apparently not the first time, since the sheet rock in the wall under the drain is basically shot. JOY! I dug deeply into my bravery bag and called Roto-Rooter. Truthfully, when you have an 81 year old house, you just really don't wany anyone tinkering with the plumbing. [Shove fingers into your ears and repeat, "La la la la la" and poof! All problems dissipate. Yeah, no.
But, it wasn't bad news. The guy just snaked the drain for the washer and kitchen sink and I was good to go. And VERY educational! He showed me the ins and outs of the issue, as it were. He may have thought I was going to leave him alone to do his job, but no, I tromped out into the shrubs with him and peppered him with questions. He shined his flashlight into the cleanout and gave me a thorough explanation of what we saw, and what he was going to do. Basically there was just this gelatinous goo in the line, likely a combination of neglect and colder temperatures/galvanized pipes. I don't know, call me weird, but I thought it was interesting. And I scored a new clean out cover. I mean, really. My Christmas is complete. It's all silver and shiny and everything. I probably should have snapped a photo, because I KNOW you are interested, too.
Christmas is showing out all over the 'hood. I have some of my lights up, but I haven't done the roof outline yet. Tick tock because the lights contest is next week. HA. I don't really anticipate winning. But the horse drawn carriage rides on the 18th do go down my street, so there is a bit of pressure. A neighbor stopped me last night on my dog walk to make sure I (and my next door neighbor) are planning to light up our eaves. I told her yes, we just hadn't gotten to it yet. She said, "But you're GOING to do it, right? Because, well, you know, because there's been talk." Apparently we are behind. Time to snap to it, Ladies!