Taking Nothing for Granite

OK, sorry, I couldn’t resist. It was either that or borrowing the lines or titles from one of these songs:

  • Neil Diamond’s “Stones”
  • Queen’s “We Will Rock You”
  • Bob Dylan’s “Everybody must get stoned…”
  • Of course, The Rolling Stones’ “Only Rock ‘n Roll”

I’m sure there were others I could have named too.

What’s this all about? You may remember sometime back I wrote that when Edith and I had selected granite slabs for counter tops in the house, we had NO idea it would take so long before the house was ready for them. As a result, we didn’t reserve them, and because of that, the suppliers sold the pieces we’d picked. D’oh!

So now that we’re finally ready for the slabs, we had to go back to the suppliers and see what they had. OK, no problem, right?

No. Problem.

One of the suppliers no longer had any of the Blue Storm we’d selected in stock. Not in Tucson, not at any of their other stores. Well, they did have one piece… but it was really orange. SIGH. All right, we’ll see what else they have.

Meanwhile, they didn’t have any of the Timbalada stone in stock, either, but there was another slab at one of their other stores. “Get it!” I said.

They did, and on Tuesday I drove down to Tucson. And the result was…. (Drum roll, please.)

"Timbalada" granite

That lower right corner looks kind of icky brown, doesn’t it? In person it’s A LOT more green. Perfect for the guest bath.

But no Blue Storm. Or…?

The salesman said that just for grins and giggles he’d checked their online catalog and what, to his wondering eyes, did appear, but this.

"Blue Storm" granite

“Get it!” I said.

OK, those problems are solved. But there was one more to pick, at another store. We’d originally picked a stone called “Golden Crystal” for the master bath, with a back-up stone called “Golden Ridge.” The folks at Arizona Tile kindly pulled one of each from their stock, and a good thing they did. The Golden Crystal had more gray than gold, but the Golden Ridge?

"Golden Ridge" granite

Much better. And what gray there is will complement the gray in the slate floor tiles. We have a winnah!

There’s one thing these pictures can’t show–and it’s my fault for taking them the way I did–and that’s how big these slabs are. Each one is about 5 feet tall by 7 or 8 feet wide. That’s A LOT of stone, and while we won’t use all of it, we need to have that much to be sure that we have enough. Some of the Blue Storm will get used for the big desk that will go in my office. What will happen to the rest? Well, we’ll just have to see.

Stone work has been the major effort this week at the house too. More of the front landscaping has gone in.

Cow tongue prickly pear

That funny-looking guy and the one behind it, closer to the street, are cow-tongue prickly pear cacti.

The Texas Mountain Laurel that will (eventually) hide the utility boxes on the front of the house is in as well.

Texas Mountain Laurel

It (that’s really just one plant) will grow taller and fill out. Eventually it’ll look more like this.

Texas mountain laurel 2

Out back, another “river feature” has gone in to channel overflow from the rainwater harvesting tanks through the future lawn and toward the wash.

River feature

That slab of flagstone will make it easier to cross. (But who might be living under the bridge?)

And speaking of living, I have tenants.

Bird nest

I’m not sure who the “construction engineers”–or the real estate agents, especially–are but some feathery friends decided that the cover over this electrical outlet above the south patio looked like a good place for a nest. Uh, maybe not. We will be needing to get to that outlet soon.



2 comments to Taking Nothing for Granite

  • Jackie Ritacco  says:

    Being a butcher block person, after seeing all this business with the granite, I have a new appreciation. A lot of personal expression can be made!

    I have been a landlord to feathered acquaintances (will NOT call them friends considering the mess they made!) and was forced to implement several forms of eviction!

    I continue to be interested in this undertaking as details become, seemingly, less mechanical but wonder if your stress and, perhaps, frustration levels stay the same or diminish.

    • Ross Lampert  says:

      There are SO many different kinds of granite! Just at the store where we picked out the Timbalada and Blue Storm there were something like eight rows of slabs, with 10 stacks of slabs on each row! Pick a color, pick a style, it’s probably out there. Eye-popping!

      I have had a pair of barn swallows nesting at my current house for three or four years now. They just returned and I’m happy to have them back. Yes, they make a mess, and yes, I have to give up the use of one of my patios (the one I don’t use much anyway) so they can raise their yearly 3 clutches of chicks, but I don’t mind. I expect the new place will have its share of “renters” too–there are certainly places for them. In fact, birds built nests in the framing while that process was underway. Not a good choice but what did they know?

      As things wind down and the number of choices remaining to be made gets smaller, some stresses go down, while others–like preparing for the move and figuring out what needs to be done to and for my current house to make it more saleable go up. Things will only level out when I’m in the new house and the old one is sold. Then I’ll probably be bored!

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