Progress report... Yesterday was one of those (pleasant!) days when we felt as though we'd accomplished a lot.
On the network side, I finally was able to bring up all the gear for the new house network. It's all working as desired, with nothing left to do other than some documentation and cleaning up the wiring (which I'm going to start on as soon as I finish writing this). After that, I'll be setting up the barn's network – but as it's a near duplicate of the house, that should go very easily.
We “hung” a bunch of stuff on walls yesterday – not pictures, but rather things like a key holder (a casting of cats facing away from you, with their tails making key hooks), our kitchen bell, etc. Most of these things needed mounting hardware that we didn't already have, so we picked that up at Lowe's in the morning.
On the same trip, we dropped a bunch of stuff off at Deseret Industries (roughly, an LDS version of Goodwill – but better run). We also took a turn through their store, to see if we could find an old used overstuffed chair or sofa to put in our cattery. We don't want to put anything nice down there, as the cats would quickly shred it :) They had a fairly large selection of chairs, and a couple sofas, all at very low prices (generally between $20 and $30), but none of them tickled Debbie's fancy. We later stopped in at a furniture consignment store (Savvy) which had much nicer stuff (too nice for the cattery!) but at prices that looked to me to be about half to two thirds of new furniture. Signs made it clear they'd negotiate, though (“Make us an offer!”), so I suspect those are just the starting point of a haggling session. Not my style. I wouldn't do well in the Middle East, where such haggling is de rigueur...
Our builder (Jim J.) has been beavering away in the nice, warm interior of our barn. The heating system has been performing flawlessly for a over a week now. I'm struck by two things about it: the evenness of the heat (it's perfect everywhere, with no drafts at all), and the nearly absolute silence of it. I can only hear the boiler if I'm standing within 10 feet or so of it, and once the door to the mechanical room is installed, I'll bet I can only hear it from inside that room. Jim's got all the first floor sheathing completed, and the cleanup done. He's also got the partition for my office on the second floor finished, and there just some sheathing to finish up. In a day or two he'll be ready to have the insulation guys come back to finish up the very last of the insulation work. At that point, he'll have a bit of sheathing to finish up (maybe 3% of the entire job), a couple of interior doors to install – and he'll be finished. Well, finished at least until spring, when he'll get the final exterior work done (stone washed and sealed, and siding painted). I'm pretty sure that within two weeks, the interior of the barn will be ready for us to start my part of the work: installing lighting, electrical outlets, painting, finishing the office, etc. Woo hoo!