The Continuing Saga of Counter-top Place

There’s been good news and bad (or, bad-ish) news on the counter-top front this week. The good news is that the counter tops in the kitchen and pantry were installed on Monday. Take a look! Here’s the kitchen.

Kitchen counters, wide view

And here’s the pantry.

Pantry counter top

The material we’ve used here goes by the brand name Curava® and this particular version is called Arctic Blue. It’s made of crushed white quartz and a binder, plus pieces of recycled clear, gray, and blue glass (which should get us a LEED point for using recycled materials). You can see the glass bits a little better in this close-up.

Island counter close-up

(And yes, the bowls of the sink are two different sizes. Different depths, too.)

The not-so-good news is that apparently that piece of Blue Storm granite was broken so badly in transit to Tucson that it was unusable. And with no other slabs seeming to be available, what are we going to do? Edith was at a big interior design trade show in Las Vegas last week and put out all sorts of feelers to see if anyone else could find a piece. While she was doing that, I put out similar feelers to a cousin in Dallas and the wife of a friend in Las Vegas, both of whom are interior designers. And in case none of them find anything, I’m looking at other kinds of granite. With SO many choices out there, there’s got to be something that will look good–maybe even better than what we had chosen!

Otherwise, things keep plugging along. On Thursday, Bill and I met after dark at the house to test some LED light strips we’d borrowed from Sun Lighting, our supplier in Tucson. We were trying to figure out how to light the south patio under the slatted roof. Once we found a hot electrical outlet (not all of them have power yet!), we settled on a choice pretty quickly, and the good news is the strips are so bright that just three should provide comfortable lighting for social activities. Now we just have to figure out how to attach them to the bottoms of the slats that Weatherguard, our roofing contractor, is designing. Magnets should work since the slats will be steel.

Speaking of those slats, my intent with them is to have them angled so they let in maximum light in the winter and little or no direct light in the summer. But what should that angle be? And how wide should the slats be, and how far apart? Who knew this would be so complicated? Well, thanks to Google Earth and the web site of one of the universities in California, we got the angles figured out, and from there the supervisor at Weatherguard has worked on the rest. On Monday we’ll see his latest design. (At noon on December 21st, the winter equinox, the sun will be 35.1° above the horizon; at noon on June 21st, the summer equinox, 82.1°. I know you were just dying to know that!)

Finally, this week I purchased the doorbell for the house. That doesn’t seem like a big deal but today doorbells can be programmable! You don’t have to be stuck with ding-dong or bzzzzzzzz. And I didn’t want to be. ‘Way back in 1968, Bill Cosby recorded an album called “200 M.P.H.” in which he talked briefly in the title track about how he was tired of doorbells that just go “ding dong.” So he had one made that announced, “Somebody’s at the door!” Now he’ll do that for me, too. I found that portion of the track (it’s just over a second long!), extracted it to an MP3 audio file, and loaded it into the doorbell. (I’d demonstrate it here but that’s a potential copyright violation. Instead, you’ll have to come visit.) How well will it work? I’ll know once we get it installed. And we’ll see how soon I get tired of it.



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