Friday, October 24, 2003


Mauro stopped by today. Luckily, Wendy was here, so we were able to ask many more questions than we would have without her. The most important question was: when will we have heat? The answer was not good: about twenty days! BRRRRRR!!

The work continues, mostly outside now. A channel was dug in the wall to allow the vent for the stove to connect to the chimney, but I think that was it for the inside. The street outside is completely torn up as they prepare to lay the pipes for the new drains. They continue to jackhammer and dig. I feel sorry for the people who own the other half of this building. It is owned by the brother of the man we bought from, and this brother uses this as a summer home, and occasional retreat. For whatever reason, they are here this weekend. They have to step over a two foot wide and four foot deep trench just to get to their front door. What great circumstances to meet the new neighbors! Maybe we'll just lay low and wait until their next visit to introduce ourselves.

While Mauro was here, we peppered him with questions. We asked about his payments, and how they were to be made. He is in no rush for his money, which is amazing to us. He suggested that we go ahead and put the door to the backyard in now. He said that we wouldn;t have to pay for it until spring. This was one of the many things on our list to him, and it was at his request that we agreed to delay everything but the downstairs work until spring. We aren't sure what changed, but we jumped at the chance to get more work completed! His theory was that by doing all the work upstairs now, all the walls could be prepared for painting, and nothing would have to be redone in the spring.

We also asked him to find us someone who could build a large closet for our bedroom. We showed him where we wanted it, and he told Wendy, "No, the bed should go there." We explained that no, THIS is where we want the bed, and THIS is where we want the closet. Italians have very firm ideas about the way things should be done. We just smiled at him and said "Americani." I'm sure that will explain a lot.

We then discussed the wiring in the bedroom. We had Fausto add some temporary plugs, knowing that the wiring would be buried in the walls in the spring. Had we known Mauro was going to change his mind and do the work now, we would have waited. Oh well. We then reminded Wendy that we had new bedroom furniture on order, and that it would be arriving soon. We would need for the work to be completed before it arrived. So Mauro suggested that we move into the guest room for now. Luckily, we had moved out most of the furniture last weekend, but had left the armadio, or armoire. The only reason we left it was because it is too long to get out the door and into the hall. We joked about just sawing it in half, but after talking with Mauro today, I think that may be the best idea! It's just not worth saving, and it's been taken apart and put back together so many times before, it might not survive anyway!

We spent the afternoon moving clothes, rolling up rugs and moving the bed, dresser and night stands. We stored a lot of the stuff in the white bathroom, since that "wing" of the house can now be closed off. It was a tight fit, but we manage to get everything moved. We were glad we had bought the gold sheers the other day at OBI, as they worked perfectly in the guest bedroom.

Mauro said that we could contact the electric company for the upgrade. We had decided to wait on this, because someone said they might want to inspect our wiring first, and that with our exposed wiring, we wouldn't be allowed to upgrade. So far, we haven't blow any fuses, or circuits, but of course the new kitchen will be more of a drain. The good part is that the water will no longer be heated by electricity, but then, we will be adding a dryer and a new, larger refrigerator. I decided to put in a gas oven, because I have heard too many stories about power outages. Since we are on mains gas, and since I have never had a problem with gas ovens before, this is what we are doing. At least if the power goes out, we can still cook and bake!

As I am typing this, the workers are preparing to install the pipes. Concrete is being mixed, and some sort of concrete sleeve is being put into the trench for the connection. Tomorrow will be quiet...we will probably wake up at 7:15 because it IS so quiet!


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