Paradise ponders... Well, some workers actually did show up yesterday. Woo hoo!
Drywall guys showed up and taped all the drywall in the mud room and sun room. That's the good news. The bad news is that it needs a second coat, and they can't do that until Friday. Then that has to dry for two days before they can put the texture on, so that won't happen until Monday. This is taking a long time for something that was supposed to be finished last week. I can't finish the electrical work in those two rooms until the texture is up, so my progress there is stalled.
A solitary roofer/siding guy showed up, too. He spent all day installing just half the soffit on the mud room. At this rate (which I hope will be accelerated!), I compute that they'll be finished just before Christmas, and that's if they show up every single week day.
On a more positive note, the fellow (Mark T.) I originally contacted to put sprinklers and sod in (which he hasn't started on) made a proposal for a way to fence our back yard that we really, really liked. He's starting on that today! If you haven't seen our back yard, it's completely fenced with white PVC post-and-rail fence. We needed to make it dog-proof, so last year we had a local fencing company install “goat wire” over top of it. It works, but it's ugly – and it's already starting to come apart. What Mark came up with has several parts to it. First, he'll insert a steel C-section piece into every top rail (the rails are hollow, so you can do this). This will greatly stiffen those top rails, plus provide a solid base to screw into. Then he will cut panels from fence made of 1/4" thick steel rod in a 3" square pattern to fit between each set of posts on our fence. These will be trimmed up so that the top is level with the top rail and the bottom is in the ground a few inches. Then that will be screwed into the rails with little clamps, with most of the weight being borne by screws into the steel-backed top rail. This is a far better arrangement than what we originally had done. Considerably pricier, but when its done we're going to have an awesome, strong, and durable fence.
On Monday, one of our neighbors and friends (Tim D.) gave us a big mess of beets and carrots from his garden. I cleaned them all yesterday afternoon, which is a much more elaborate exercise than you might think: these were grown in good Paradise soil, which all the locals know is also a good substitute for glue. :) To get that sticky stuff off the vegetables took lots of water, brushing, and considerable elbow grease. I ended up with 46 beets and 108 carrots, both wildly variable in size. What to do with so many vegetables? The last mess of beets he gave me, I made them into a sweet-and-sour cold dish, and that worked very well. So I did the same for the beets again this time, and for the carrots made a variation that had more sugar (and brown sugar, instead of white) and less vinegar – in other words, more sweet than sour. I also added cinnamon and cumin, to make it Moroccan-style. It has to marinate before it will taste right, so I haven't even tried it yet (I'll do that later today). It sure smells good, though!
I'm expecting the roofers to show up today, and also our main contractor, who should be here until the entire job is complete. We await him with bated breath, as once he starts progress should be rapid...