Tuesday, November 25, 2003


November 25, 2003

Today was the day everything was going to happen, and some of it actually did! The first bit of good news came early when Fabio called from the Post Office to say that our loan money was FINALLY in the bank! And only what... five weeks after we began the process? Anyway, that is an ordeal I hope we never have to go through again, and I'm sure Fabio feels the same way!

The electrician had already arrived by that time. The head electrician had left two of his workers in charge of finishing up the electrical work so that the painter could finish his work tonight. There were still fixtures to be hung and switches and outlets to be changed. We have three different sized outlets in our house...the basic two prong, the regular three prong, and then the heavy duty three prong. It seems that no matter what I am trying to plug in, it never fits in the outlet I want to use. We have quite a collection of adaptors, and I usually need to try every one before I find a match. Art had asked that all the outlets be changed to the new universal type, so that we could avoid this problem in the future. We had a few questions for the head electrician, and asked if the bedroom could be finished first, since new furniture was due to arrive.

The furniture store called shortly after that to say they would arrive at 10:30. We called to find out why we hadn't heard about the refrigerator and the dryer, and discovered that these were scheduled for tomorrow! Then Rosella called to say that the fireplace work wouldn't begin until tomorrow either! Luckily, the excitement of receiving our bedroom furniture helped to ease my disappointment about the fireplace. The appliances were no big deal...I can't use the refrigerator OR the dryer until next week anyway.

And then the bedroom furniture arrived! And most of it stayed! The very first piece they brought in was the dresser. I was in the living room, trying to stay out of the way, but Art was in there, watching them unwrap and set up the furniture. All of a sudden, I hear, "BARBARA, GET IN HERE NOW!!!!!"  Uh oh, this can't be good. So I rush into the bedroom, and Art is about to explode. "You need to be in here! I can't believe you aren't in here! What are you doing?! LOOK at this!!!" And I look at the first piece of this beautiful furniture I have been waiting for, and I see that is has a huge dent/scratch right in the middle of the front edge. And Art is saying "No, via!" over and over, and the owner of the store, who has come to supervise, is talking a mile a minute, and I can't tell if he is trying to make us keep it, or if he is apologizing, or what! We finally determine that yes, the owner realizes this is not acceptable. He says he will order another one. More good news/bad news...now I'll have to wait AGAIN! The owner goes to his car to get his cell phone, and begins the process for replacement. He says that a new one should arrive within ten days. Okay, on to the rest of the furniture!

Luckily, everything else has survived the trip unscathed. The bed is put together, and it's interesting to see how well this stuff is made. The side rails of the bed have dowels, in addition to the screws used to hold it together, and the drawers are beautifully finished, inside and out. I discover a pamphlet inside each piece, and it's written in both Italian and English. I have never heard of this company before, but my knowledge of furniture is pretty limited. The name of the company is Marchetti, if that means anything to anyone else.

Then they bring up the larger chest of drawers, and it's beautiful too. We have only seen this piece in the catalog. Of course, it's much more beautiful in person. Now the only thing left is to hang the mirror. The (damaged) dresser is moved into place so that the mirror height can be determined. Sig. Moretti asks if I would like it mounted with the bottom of the mirror at the same height as the dresser, of if I would prefer it a bit higher. Since I'm short, my initial reaction is to have it hung lower, but once we start to move it and look at it, I really like it about ten centimeters above the dresser, as Sig. Moretti suggests. This allows just a bit of the paint to show through, which really accents the mirror. I'm sold.

Then, as they begin to drill the holes for the wall anchors, a problem develops. For whatever reason, there seems to be a hollow spot just where one of the anchors needs to be. The back of the mirror has two pre-installed hooks at either end. If I knew where to get piano wire, I would have suggested just putting in two eye-hooks on the sides of the frame, running the wire through them, and then hanging the mirror on hooks that could now be installed at the correct height, but closer together, thus avoiding the problem hollow spot. Since I have no idea if this is even an option in Italy, I don't even mention it. Sig. Moretti says that they can try to drill, and see what happens, so we say, "sure, why not?" And of course, the hollow spot turns into a hole large enough for a baseball. After much discussion, it is decided that when the painter comes tonight, since he would have to patch the holes anyway, he can just set the anchors into the wall with the plaster, and after a day or two, the mirror can be safely hung.

Art and I later decide that now would be a good time to hang the wrought iron curtain rod for the drapes that are still waiting to be made. Since these walls are so old, drilling can create problems such as larger than expected holes, and extra chunks of wall and paint missing, Since Roland has to patch and touch-up anyway, we may as well get everything done now. And then WE start to drill. We just bought a cordless drill, and I'm not too impressed. It's a Black and Decker, but I've never had a cordless drill before, and never will again. The power is just not as strong, even fully charged, and when Art drills the first hole, the wall practically crumbles away. Of course we realize we have used a bit that is WAY too big, but this drill, and the bits we are using, just aren't working. We decide to give up and take the car to Ford. We need to pick up some paperwork, and also to find out why the phone charger won't work.

After a quick stop at Ford, we return home. Ford was quick because #1, the paperwork wasn't ready, and #2, the guy fixed our phone charger in about ten seconds. I don't know what he did to it, but apparently this is a fairly common problem.

When we returned home, we discovered that the electricians had gone for the day, but that they had not finished, as promised. Again. And also, we have no electricity in one of the bathrooms. The only functioning bathroom. And the electric water has been turned back on, after the new plug was installed. Guess no one told the electrician's helpers that we weren't using it any more. I try to turn the switch off and it makes a loud "POP!" I turn it back on, and it pops again! Art just unplugs it.

The painter and his helper arrive, and we sheepishly show them the holes that will need to be repaired. It is now six o'clock. The painter has waited until this time so the electrical work could be completed. HAH! Anyway, he patches and fastens the places for the mirror, then patches the holes we have made trying to install the curtain rod, and with his GOOD drill, makes the holes for the brackets. We we'll have to walk down to the iron shop and have larger holes drilled in the brackets tomorrow. But at least the holes are drilled, and the holes are the right size!

The painter knows he will have to return tomorrow to (hopefully) finish up. He will need to touch-up in the hall, where all of the new switch plates and outlet covers are smaller than the ones that were there before. And of course the patched spots in the bedroom will need touching up. The plumber is supposed to arrive tomorrow to install the water softener and put the washer back. The refrigerator and dryer should be delivered. The fireplace work is supposed to start, or so they say. We are still waiting for the new back door'that is supposed to happen this week, but we don't know what day. We are so close, but since nothing downstairs is useable, it may as well be the first day. I know it's all going to come together soon, but certainly not soon enough for me!