June 27, 2008—I see, the blind man says . . .

When I arrived at the site today, they were pouring our concrete walkways and installing our storm blinds. Today’s title is something my grandfather used to say all the time, which we thought was excruciatingly funny when we were 8. It is a reference to our storm blinds—more about them later.

This is the walkway from the carport to the back door. It will have a little roof and fence along the front of it with a gate.

Here is the front gate opening with the hose from the concrete pump running through it to the pour crew inside.
When I saw the color of the concrete—olive green—I freaked out and went out to the pump guy to stop the pour. Kai heard me and was on the line to the concrete contractor in 5 seconds to confirm that we were pouring the right color. Evidently, the gray in the concrete makes it look green when being poured, but it should dry a more yellow color—which is what we want.

After the scare on the concrete, I walked around the front of the house and found the storm blinds contractor, Carola Clark, supervising the installation of the storm shutters. She is a very interesting German lady from Freiburg—where my family originally came from—who imports and installs European shutters. She says, and I believe her, that she is the only contractor for this in the northern part of our state.

After living in Italy, I really wanted these shutters on all the windows, but we could really only justify the ones on the west and southwest side of the house. They will protect the windows during bad weather and shut out the sun on hot days to keep the house cool.

Here is the kitchen window over the prep sink with the shade down. This will be a real boone for Jim when he is cooking on hot, sunny summer evenings with the sun glaring in.
Here is a picture of the living room with the shades down. There are 3 individual shades, each operable from its own switch. This way, we could have the middle shade and one end shade down and the other end shade up with the window open. The temperature dropped noticeably in the room with the blinds down.
Here was the scene for the pour. Concrete truck unloading into pump, pump sending concrete into the courtyard.
Here is picture I love of the pour crew putting the concrete into the carport walkway form. In a larger size, it has a wonderful composition and the expressions on the faces of the two workers you can see are very vivid. Unfortunately, this does not show well in a low-rez photo for the net.
I set up some of the back splash tile to look at with the granite, now that it is installed, and thought it looked great. This is Jerusalem Gold limestone tile and as you can see, matches the wall paint color very closely.
I wish we could have had the blind frames custom colored to go with the window frames, but the brown looks just fine with the house. There are wood boxes which go on top of the brackets over the windows to hide the blind casings. They are designed as part of the latilla shades, so you won’t really be aware of the rolled-up blinds.
Once the crew was done with the pour, they started finishing the walks. We had a design for the stress cracks they needed to put in to keep the concrete from cracking too much. The was to be one on either side of the red post bases, you see sticking up from the walkway. Then they put rock salt on the sidewalk to give it what’s called a salt finish. The salt roughens the sidewalk and makes it safe to walk on in the rain.
I asked one of the finishers to draw a heart in front of the front door so only love enters the house.
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