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Hi all,

Generally a productive week, hopefully with more to come over the next couple of weeks. The place has to be livable in 5 weeks’ time with tenants moving in in 3 weeks’ time. Now the pressure is going to start to build as everything is still waiting on …..

Windows – This was the step back. They were supposed to be at the supplier’s warehouse today, but there was a port strike in Haifa and the bad weather closed the port once the strike was over. We do know that the ship arrived on Tuesday – the day the strike started. We do not know if the windows came off the ship and are awaiting customs – or still on the boat. If still on the boat – then it is not still in the port as due to high winds all boats were sent out into the open sea. Once the port opens properly there will be a backlog – no idea for how long, nor where we are in the “queue”. On the good side – the windows are basically here and they weren’t travelling on snow laden roads in a truck. That really is a scenario we don’t want to think about. We have a week of good (or better) weather predicted from Motsei Shabbat and hopefully we will be able to start the work during this time. Everything “movable” is waiting on the windows and doors so that we have security in the house.

Doors – More problems with Hermetix. Tamar has told us they were causing trouble but will not elaborate further. It was something to do with the protective staining on the interior wood of the front door. They were probably asking for some more money and thought it was acceptable to provide unprotected wooden finishes with the Israeli sun and heat. We still haven’t been given the internal sample door to approve and time is moving on. Supposedly the front door will be installed on the 4th March with the internal doors on the 8th and 9th. As tenants are moving in on the 9th we really need them to manage these dates.

Garden – The gardener has returned from holidays in Thailand, China and Eilat (the life of a gardener during shmitta seems quite nice!) and has built the pond outside our bedroom and will be finishing off this water feature soon. He has carried up the stepping stone tiles as well which will be laid in the near future. He is looking into a price of a guillotine for us to cut up the logs in a lot quicker fashion.

Electricity/Rubbish Boxes – These were finished off with a little tiling and the current electricity box was put into the rubbish bin area. I called Yaniv (the Kablan) to ask why it was done this way – and he explained that we are actually getting a new (smaller) box from the electricity company which will go in the other area. Until then we cannot use the area for the bin!

Electricity – The electricity company finally received the last email that I sent them with my approval signature and they told me that I had to go to their office to pay due to the large amount. I finally did so on Wednesday. The Kablan said that the electricity company are allowed to change the price (always upwards) until the bill is paid. Afterwards they will not change the price – even if it costs them an extra 50,000 NIS for digging up roads etc. We are glad that we have paid. We now just have to wait for them to do all the work – which will probably be after we move in to the property.

Railings – The outside front railings were re-measured and the design re-finalised this week. The inside stair railings are in with a couple of provisos. The wooden handle has not been installed – it will be last after all painting is completed – and the extra supports which stop the railings from moving have not been installed either – so these railings are currently not safely useable. This will be fixed soon.

Hammock – The railin was installed – but was enough askew (supposedly due to a metal bar in the wall) that is was obviously not straight. When measured we noticed that on one edge there was a 1.5cm drop between the centre and the side. This has now been corrected and the actual hammock has been ordered. It will be available in about 2 weeks but will only go in after everything else in the room is completed – so that it does not get damaged by paint or air-con and other electrical (tv/speakers/lights etc) installations.

Downstairs Kitchen – They took away and replaced the cupboards that were the wrong size. The counter top is being installed on Sunday. One of the cupboard doors has got some paint on it – so it will up to the Kablan to clean this effectively or replace it.

Upstairs Kitchen – Our kitchen cupboard shells have been put in. The only doors that have been included are the pocket doors on the tall cupboard next to the fridge freezer. The other doors will be installed just before we move in to stop the workers using the kitchen as we are planning to move into a kosher for Pesach kitchen with absolutely no work. We are spending all this money – we might as well have some additional benefit from it! When the counter top person installs the downstairs Caesar-stone he will also measure our kitchen for the tops. The carpenter also took a sample handle so that he can put holes in the cupboard doors back in the workshop where there is more control.

Bathrooms – All the carpentry units for the bathrooms are ready and most of them have been installed. The guest toilet vanity and our en-suite units look fantastic. The boys’ bathroom unit is waiting to be installed – but is in the house.

Next Carpentry step – Dany the carpenter (actually a good English speaker) is coming on Monday to measure and finalise the aquarium unit. I am assuming that Tamar managed to arrange for Yaniv and Uri (Aquarium guy) to be there as well. At the same time they will finalise options for around the fireplace.

Painting – Almost the whole house now has a coat or two of paint. Natanel’s room is Man City sky blue (nobody’s perfect 🙂 ) and Ya’akov’s room is a really nice pastel green – he obviously now wants blue like his brother. We said hard luck!

Network – We were obviously charged a little bit extra to replace all the wiring as we have had to move the network cables but this has been done now. The advantage is that I now have about 30m of cat7 cable which I should be able to use to make spare ethernet cables (I would usually use cat 5 – but should work just as well). I already have ethernet connectors (rj45) and the appropriate crimping tool to do this myself. The additional dropped ceiling to transfer the wires has been added. It actually makes the entrance look more finished.

Moldings – These are being installed at the beginning of this week.

Furniture – Tamar has gathered together all the info for ordering the material we need for ottomans, chairs, piano stool and cushions etc. This order – with an order for the specific ottomans to connect our sofas will be going in today or Sunday.

Smoker/etc – I have made absolutely no progress on arranging the shipping of this (and a few other items). I really need to do this next week. If anyone out there can give us a lead for a reliable shipper from Austin, Texas it would really be appreciated…

We think that is it. We really did not realise we have so little time left until we have to move in. No wonder that Tamar is getting worried and pushing everyone constantly. We understand that not everything will be finished by the time that we move in – but the basics will be. The more utilitarian carpentry (like bookcases) will be completed afterwards. We have no choice but to move in as we have 6 friends coming to stay with us on the day that we move in!
Having space for guests to stay is an integral part of our house that we have sorely missed over the last five years.

Shabbat Shalom,

Adam & Joelle.