Deck : Day 6 – Framing is finished! Grading the yard….

30Jul14 – They finished the deck framing this morning!! Wow – what an accomplishment.  We just love being able to sit out there and ended up napping last night before a late dinner.  So peaceful.

Steve & the guys cleaned up & graded the area around the deck – we’re a couple of dump truck loads away from finishing, but it’s actually looking groomed!  What a concept.

I ran into Asheville to pick up some straw matting, grass seed & wild flower seed (the guys were giggling as they learned they were going to be sowing flower seeds – too hilarious to listen to) and almost all was planted before the end of the day.  Back tomorrow to finish up!

Deck: Day 5.5

29Jul14 – Sunday night rainfall made it too wet & mushy to work on the deck yesterday so we started back at it again this morning.  Beautiful Fall type of day – sunny, dry, and in the low 70′s:  delightful.

Deck: Day 4.5

25Jul14 – Decent weather all day – Steve, Jeronimo, Gerardo, & Alfredo working on the deck. We get to set foot on the Maple Forest Cottage’s new deck at the end of the day!  And then we sit in our chairs and just relax.  Almost forgot how….

The electricians, Walt & Darlene, connected the kitchen & dining room to electricity with real light switches!  Missed the photo op of all the electrical lines coming into the junction box.

26Jul14 – Back to painting.  Steve’s painting the bedroom gable walls a lighter version of the same color used below the trimline. And was just up in my loft painting away.  ;- )   The wood trim will be coming way down the line…..

The Deck gets a full day’s worth of work!

24Jul14 – Well, who would have guessed.  Sun.

Then rains drops; and then they went away.  For all the rest of the day.  Look at all that got done!

And 4 days later we get 1/2 day of work…

23Jul14 – It’s been cloudy & raining for a week and we’re all a bit  o-v-e-r  i-t  by now. We had bright sunshine and clear skies for about 3 hours this morning and then the clouds began to hover and the rain drops started to fall.  Again.  The stone masons, and Jeronimo & crew waited for an hour or so hoping  it would pass, but it didn’t.  Oh well, 1/2 a day of work is better than no work at all!  Maybe we’ll get a full day tomorrow…..

Happy, Happy Birthday, Nancy.

Rainout – Day 2 and counting……..

19Jul14 – Here we are all excited about the main deck finally going up and we’ve been rained out for 2 days so far.  Constant fog and rain, all day, all night with more on it’s way.  Oh well, we’ve waited this long, we’ll just wait some more…..

The Main Deck Begins… ;- )

17Jul14 – Ok, today is a really exciting day – work on the main deck begins!!  We’ve both been waiting for this for a very long time.  There is a lot of precision prep work which will probably take the longest to complete – I would guess.  We should be laying LVLs and floor joists by tomorrow.  That’s when the visual will come to life!

My Heroes of the Trees of Heaven Decimation

16Jul14 – Jeronimo and crew spent the day ridding our property of the majority of our forest of invasive Trees of Heaven.  MY HEROES!  This is one time I was delighted that a material delivery will be a day late.  Deck building starts tomorrow.  Today they tackled the heavenly trees! What an amazing difference…..

As Steve was readying to chainsaw a rather large heavenly tree, he came upon a hornets nest in the ground, along with the complementary kazillion hornets.  Quick thinking told him not to try & climb up the steep slope so instead he just let ‘er rip and slid all the way down to lower Creston Drive, chain saw in hand, as he encountered blackberry brambles, vines and 4 ft tall weeds (thank goodness he didn’t meet any trees along the way!)  He escaped with only 2 bites to his hand.  Now, I didn’t know that this was going on from up at the entrance.  All I saw was the four of them, then 3 of them running away up the mountain and Steve yelling “Oh, !@#$%” and disappearing down the mountain.  Jernonimo then frantically waved me to go get my car and rescue Steve.  I couldn’t get there fast enough, not knowing what I’d find lying by the side of the lower road.  Thank our luck stars, he was upright and walking, a little worse for wear, but ok.  There now is what appears to be a large bear track going down through the black berry bushes all the way to the road.  But that’s all our Steve’s doing.

Ah, life in the mountains.  You ‘gotta love it.

Moving on to the deck pillars! And, poision ivy isn’t all that bad….

15Jul14 – We have two crews on board again today and four jobs going on:  laying the conduit for electrical, working on the entrance stone pillars, putting up forms for the deck pillars (yeah!…Finally…), and weed whacking the gargantuous weeds on the East side of our yard.  That was abruptly stopped by a short but voracious downfall.  Eventually Steve will sic them on to the Trees of Heaven – I’ve come down with poison ivy on my forearms, those areas I uncovered because it got so darn hot whacking down Heavenly Trees in the underbrush yesterday.  Duh.  It’s not a very bad case of it at all.   Today, that is…..

Trees of Heaven – an impossibly healthy invasive; and digging trenches

14Jul14 – I’m finally tackling our very healthy orchard of Trees of Heaven.  They are prominent on the sunny slopes of the mountain. They are an invasive species.  Over time they will choke out the natural species that the insects, birds & wild animals depend on.  Oh no.

We have not done much about them the past two years as we weren’t concerned with the “yard” -  the Carriage House & the Maple Forest Cottage has had our attention.  But this year, they are huge!  So I donned my Trees of Heaven protective garb complete with my trusty sawzall and non-diluted super concentrated Round-Up. Once cut, by spraying the remaining sprouts, “trunks” for us, the chemical will seep into their roots and eventually prevent them from returning.  I should have taken a picture of the depths-of-darkness at the bases of our trees of heaven on the steep slope of our property as it goes down to meet the road.  It’s like a Jurassic Park jungle under there…  I’ll go back in tomorrow and do just that!