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Squatters are moving on

It has been just over a week since the first tenants moved in.  When I arrived at the house this evening, the house was all locked up, but I could hear the baby birds load and clear.  I walked over to the dining room door so I could look into the hole where the nest is so I could check on the birds.  As I walked past the fireplace, I happened to look down and found the source of the chirping!

Apparently, the baby birds have left the nest.  This one made a wrong turn, however, and flew into the house and landed in the gap under the fireplace.  While I tried to get this bird to fly out of the fireplace, I found his brother was also in there.  I couldn't get the birds to fly using sticks or conduit so I decided I would try to grab them in my hand and carry them outside.  I carefully lowered my hand down behind the first bird in a futile attempt to get him before he realized my hand was there.  When my hand touched the bird, he surprised me by simply stepping up into my handing and standing there.  I lifted him up to take him outside and his brother went crazy, screaming bloody murder.  Obviously, there is some separation anxiety on his part.  As soon as I had stood up with the first bird, the second one stepped up onto the wire the first one had originally been on.  So I put my other hand down in front of the second bird, and he too stepped right into my hand.  They were super cute and so trusting.  I passed them both into one hand so they could be together and I could get a photograph.

We stood there for a few minutes and then one of the birds "flew" out of my hand and onto the kitchen floor.  He could still barely fly - technically he was not falling, but he was definitely consistently descending!  When he hit the kitchen floor, he tried to take off, but didn't get very far.  It took me a little time, but eventually I caught him again. 

I took them outside and we sat together for quite a while.  I finally sat down on the porch so they could sit on my leg instead of in my hand.  I figured they may be more likely to fly off my leg than my hand.  The one who flew away in the kitchen was fairly quick to fly off.  He got just enough lift to make it over the edge of the porch and then descended into the brush below the house.  The second guy sat with me a little longer and then joined his brother in the bushes.

So this nest is now empty, but it has been replaced with a nest in the speaker hole above the master bedroom patio.....

We can't see the babies yet, but we can hear them.

Back inside the house, now that the windows of the rotunda have been relocated, the stairs can be set back in their final location.  But first, the contractor had to make some changes to the two brackets that hold the bottom of the staircase.  The original brackets, supplied by the stair manufacturer, Arcways, are part of the reason the stairs didn't fit the first time.  So the contractor has modified the two brackets - the L shaped bracket has an extra flange

as does the U-shaped bracket....

The new brackets are ready and the bottle jacks are on site.  Therefore, it looks like we are ready to reset the stairs!

That is supposed to happen tomorrow.

While we have been awaiting the final installation of the stairs, other progress is being made.

First and foremost, the Shower Tower has been installed in the master shower.

The Shower Tower is very appropriately named.  It has two shower heads at the top, four body washes in the body of the tower, and a hand held shower head all incorporated in one unit.  It is even finished in brushed nickel!  The woman at the appliance and plumbing fixture supply store deserves all the credit for the Shower Tower existing in our shower - she got us an amazing price on this unit because it is discontinued!   And when I say amazing, I mean really amazing!  

After all the disappointments and disasters with the kitchen cabinets, they are finally all installed.  We still need some glass fronts and to get some of the veneer fronts replaced with real wood, but the cabinet bodies are in and finished.

Since we did have many issues with the kitchen cabinets, we have ordered and reordered quite a number of cabinets.  As a result, we have some extra cabinets left over now that don't fit in the kitchen.  So we have a big pile of cabinets in the garage for us to use however we want!!

Back in the kitchen, the crevasse sink has been installed in the island.  The crevasse sink is simply that, a crevasse.

A closer view gives you a better idea of the crevasse sink.  In the foreground portion of the sink, there is a built in water source and the water comes out just below the lip of the sink.  The sink then slopes from the water source to the garbage disposal at the other end of the sink.  It is billed as a prep sink and really it is a very fancy garbage disposal.  There is not really a way to wash veggies in this sink, only to get rid of the waste in the garbage disposal.  Peter, of course, says it is just the right height to be used as a urinal......

The electrician has been busy installing the light switches.  We upgraded with the light switches as with everything else in this house.   Now, all the light switches that have dimmers, like the two on the left shown here, have a column of LEDs along the left side of the switch which display the level of dimming for that particular switch.  So our LED lights have LED lights!

Another exciting installation is the thermostats for the heated floor.  The boiler was installed a few weeks ago (see May 10 entry) and now the gas is hooked up so we can actually use the boiler.  The heated floor is now on and being controlled by the thermostat.

The vent for the boiler is puffing out steam as it works to heat our house.

Now that we have water flowing through the radiant floor heating system, and it is not leaking, we can put in the wood floor.  The wood floor planks have arrived and are sitting in piles on each level of the house awaiting installation.  Here is Peter holding one of the planks to show what the floor will look like, but it is hard to see with the backlight.  Where are those dimmers when you need them?

Another sign of progress is the vent pipe for the dryer.   I think we now have all the plumbing in for the washer and dryer; all we need is the actual washer and dryer....