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I’m a little late with the update, but we have brick!!  I was pretty excited when the brick was delivered, but once it was actually put on the house…yowza!  I love the brick we picked out – it’s called Southern Antique and it is the perfect color for my taste.  Not too pink, not too brown, and ABSOLUTELY NO ORANGE.  (Those were my only requirements when selecting a brick, by the way.  I’m relatively easy to please. Er, most of the time.)

When the brick was delivered, Dom called me up and asked me why I got such little brick, to which I replied, “Quit pickin’ on my brick.  It’s not little; it’s perfect!”

Unbeknownst to me, Southern Antique is smaller than the average 9” brick; it is closer to 7”, I think.  That’s potentially one of the reasons that we had to order so much more as the bricking went on.  Combined with a few other significant factors, like my last minute patio fireplace and such, it caused my builder to have several more squares/pallets/whatever-you-call-them brought in.  I took it all in stride because it looks So. Freakin’. Awesome.

And our well house…which looks like a guard booth…which makes us giggle.  Dad says all we need now is the “AK.” I love my well house!

One of the things I knew early on that would cost me more was that I wanted steps leading up to the front door.  The estimated cost was totally worth it, to me, despite the fact that we had to build up the land so much with all that “good dirt.”  (As my luck would have it, my lot slopes perfectly… in the wrong direction.)  I couldn’t wait to see what the steps would look like.  In my imagination they were modest and cute.  In reality, they rock the earth off its axis.

I am realizing more and more that my builder, Dominick, is not like any other builder.  He is on the job site almost every working minute of every day – even on the weekends when the crews are available to work.  If something is going on at my house, he’s there to supervise.  If there is any work that he can do himself, he does it.  (He and my Father-in-law built my shutters so I wouldn’t have to buy over-priced ones!) When it was time to build the steps, Dominick was right up in there.  He didn’t like the way the curvature of the side brick was going, and he made the brick masons rip it out and start over…twice.  One of the men called him a name in Spanish, not realizing that Dominick knew what it meant.  (In contrast, my Dom only knows the Italian curse words!) Dominick stopped the brick masons and said, “Let me ask you something.  If I were building a house for you, how would you want me to be?”  They admitted that if he were acting on their behalf, they’d want him to be just the way he is – making certain that the work performed is superior to any other.

About three weeks ago Dominick asked if we wanted to brick our patios – as in, the floor of our patios.  Dom and I considered all the alternatives, including the option to leave them all plain gray concrete, before deciding that oh-heck-yeah! we wanted to brick them all.  But, my house brick is not solid, as brick on the flooring must be.  So I needed something like Old Chicago brick.  Unfortunately, all the OC that I had ever seen was…ahem…orange, and that simply was not gonna work for me.  One day after a meeting with my builder and the cabinet man I drove myself back to the brick company to pick out a complimentary brick for the patio floors.

I got lost on the way to the brick shop, but didn’t sweat it much – I had an iced caramel latte to keep me company. 😉  As I made my way back to the main road, I wound through a neighborhood where most of my high school friends had grown up.  I recognized street names and was overwhelmed by the Mayberry feeling I got as the kids and moms flooded the sidewalks after school let out.  It made me realize what my kids miss out on by not attending a neighborhood school.  And it made me a bit misty for the kids who walked those same sidewalks thirty years ago, and who I will never see again.  The slow, meandering path I took to the brick company actually did my heart good.

When I got to the brick store the employees were waiting for me, and a really nice man showed me my three options.  Ironically, the Old Chicago brick is running more taupe these days, but it was actually too close to my wall brick color to give me the contrast that I wanted.  The next sample was a bit more red, and the third sample was plain ol’ brown.  (Guess which one I didn’t like?)  I went back to the red, named Carolina, and within two minutes the gentleman was writing down my choice and assuring me that he thought it would look beautiful.  Ya know what?  He was right!

The pic is a little muddy with mortar, so here’s another pic of the side stoop with matching brick:

As for the inside of the house, all the sheetrock has been floated, taped and textured.  My builder is sweeping up the remnants of drywall dust and nails, clearing the area for the trim carpenters and cabinet installers. (Told ya he does it all!) And I’m headed to the tile company to make sure I still like what I picked out six months ago.  I imagine that we will be moving in sometime in November, and I absolutely cannot wait!

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