06Jun16 Dream kitchen

Cabinet drawer & cupboard fronts!! Oh, yeah………….

25Jun16 – It’s been an exciting week.  We are installing our cabinet drawer & cupboard fronts after, get this, 2 (that’s t-w-o) years since we met with our first cabinet maker to build our kitchen cabinets.  Now, if that isn’t a lesson in patience, I don’t know what is…………….Ahhh, it’s so exciting to see how beautifully it’s coming out.  I just sit at the sitz bank for moments at a time just lost in reverie admiring our kitchen.

We’ve also been saving “rescue Mountain Laurels” and a red maple as well.

Our Fifth Rim Hike of the year was last Saturday.  It was a strenuous climb to the top of Potato Knob, but so worth it.  The views were spectacular!

So, we continue to be busy, busy, busy.  What else is new?!


Bits and pieces….odds and ends….

06JUn16 – Steve’s helping Larry, our cabinet maker, along by going to his shop and bringing back unlacquered cabinet fronts, etc as they’re ready and doing the rest of the work here.  It’s helping to speed up this ungodly – long process.  Little by little……

There’s a new home site being excavated on the mountain and the word is out that there are mountain laurels for the taking before they get trashed.  Why did I think I had the time to transplant 4 of them?  Trying to “Save the Laurels” I guess.

Two of 4 holes are dug.   Two more to go; moving 2 lilac bushes from where they’re not happy to the two dug holes, and putting in two of the laurels in the lilacs spots, then planting the 2 other laurels in the two ready- to-be-dug holes.  If that seems like a mouthful, image getting it done!


Wallpapering the powder room and a d.a.r.k dining room table….

31May16 – In preparation for “The Four Sisters Reunion” Steve finished the coffee station shelving and began work on the powder room.  We were wallpapering just hours before they arrived on Friday and we got as far as two walls. By the time they left yesterday  the pedestal sink was in and functional!  The Reunion (with spouses) was a complete blast.  I haven’t laughed that often in years – everyone is a comedian….  Eight people in our Maple Forest Cottage is a lot for us – but not for the house.  We all managed fine.

Our long awaited (19March) dining table was delivered this afternoon.  It is beautiful.  But not the color ordered.  It-is-d.a.r.k.  We had decided to accept the discontinued very light cherry stain and the chairs would be a darker (but still light) stain as a two-tone contrast. Hmmm…..  I have an email into the sales person to see what can be done as this is supposedly the last (new) Glasgow table in all of Stickley-dom.  The chairs are waiting for their back ordered fabric and will be here in a few weeks.  The drama continues.  I wonder what creative solution we’ll come up with?!

A visit to our new cabinet maker’s shop

22May16 – We took a visit last week to see Larry, our new cabinet maker, at his shop, “Morgan’s Cabinet Shop.”  He’s got a lot going on there!  We were excited to see our door & drawer fronts in person – not a biggy for anyone else, but after 2 1/2 years we are darn ready to have our cabinets  f-i-n-i-s-h-e-d !!  Just another couple of weeks as he paints them and then  does the install.  It will be a happy day at our Maple Forest Cottage!

I planted my peas and beans today.  Made a tee pee of tomato poles for the beans, and am working on a re-bar & string trellis for the peas.  I bought a concord grape plant and am researching where & how to plant it and care for it before putting it in the ground.  I’ve always wanted to grow grapes, now if I can just get it right and not have to share too many with the bears and other wildlife up here….


Digging out sod for an edible garden, and Steve paints the media room!

15May16 – I spent about 10 days with a railroad pick axe digging out sod on a steep slope so I could make myself an edible garden.  That grass was darn tenacious!  What a project.  I’ve got it all mulched now and have planted 4 pumpkin plants, 8 kale, 6 radish, with green beans and peas coming.  Already there were 3 raspberry bushes, 4 blue berry bushes, and a mother strawberry plant with about 8 of here offspring.  I’m new at this and am having a ball!

Meanwhile, Steve’s been getting ready to paint our media room.  We picked the color out really fast – not normal for the two of us.  We decided on Benjamin Moore’s Twilight we love how it came out.  Later, we’ll be covering the insulated wall with a sound proofing fabric.   It’s darn dark in there now!

More cabinet tops, more trim work….

26April16 – Steve’s been working on applying still more trim to our Maple Forest Cottage.  Each piece adds more charm to this wonderful home design!

I’ve been mulching the landscaping the past couple of weeks – up to 12 cubic yards!  I do 2 yards at a time and come in the house pretty darn exhausted.  Last two yards should be finished on Thursday.  Phew!

Our Stickley table is going to be delivered in about 3 weeks.  The fabric for the chairs is back ordered so we’ll have to wait until June sometime before we see those – what’s 6-8 weeks in the life of constructing this house?!

Working on desk tops, unpacking, an early Spring on the Mountain, and did I say unpacking?

04Apr16 – We’ve been spending the last couple of weeks continuing to unpack from boxes packed 4 years ago!  What a surprise when we open the wrapping and discover a lost treasure or a “What-the-heck-were-we-thinking-of-packing-this-for-a-1000-mile-trip-to-the- mountains?”
We’ll be downsizing some more…but some things will be hard to part with.  I mean, a solid wood statue of a pelican (named PlumBob) doesn’t really work in WNC, nor does my mermaid collection, although for those who know her, Muriel will find a place in my Zen room!

Steve’s been tackling the various cabinet cherry tops, most excitedly the cherry desk that is part of the kitchen island!  More and more our Maple Forest Cottage is coming to be!!

Entry Porch Posts are Wrapped, and our Visit to Stickley-Audi in Charlotte

19Mar16 –  What a fun day we had today.  Took a day off from house responsibilities (Yeah!!) and took a road trip to Charlotte’s Stickley-Audi Furniture extravaganza, ah, Showroom.  We’ve dreamed of a Stickley dining room set since we started Our Maple Forest Cottage.

A brief background: I began googling cherry Stickley Dining Sets earlier this week for fun.  That’s equivalent to a “Steve, Have-I-got-a-great-idea!!”  We had originally decided we wanted the Harvey Ellis table – simple lines/classic.  Then I found the Glasgow table with the Lattice chairs on Ebay and instantly fell in love.  I didn’t even bother to tell Steve, since now’s not really the time to be thinking about purchasing a quality dining set.  But I ended up showing him a photo the next day (I’m not much of a hold-out) and he really liked the set.  By the third day he asked about what I was going to do about the table.  Ok, I’m going to go for it I thought and promptly got to Ebay’s “Stickley wild black cherry dining tables” page.

It.  was.  gone.  There must be some mistake!  Steve searched the sold section and the dining set had been sold just 12 hours before.  O. M. G.   I was crest fallen.  Heart broken.  Forlorn.  Shattered.  Distressed.  How else can I express how pissed off (‘scuz) I was at myself for letting that set go right before my very eyes?

So, I said to myself, “Self?  How can we get creative about this and get a Glasgow set into my dining room?”  It’s amazing what one will do when the scarcity principle is staring at you right in the face….

1.  I called the Ebay vendor and asked them that if the sale didn’t go through I was here to purchase the set right on the spot.  He was very agreeable.

2.  I called Stickley-Audi in Charlotte to ask what a new set would cost.  I didn’t get a good answer.  The table was discontinued just 2 months ago.  Ok.  Think, Jane.  Think.  I asked Jim, the kind interior designer, if there was one anywhere that he could find.  He said he would look around and get back to me.  he sounded sincere.

He was.  A day later, Thursday, he called and said there is one ( yes, one, 1, uno) Glasgow table left in all of StickleyWorld – the very last one made in their Upper NY State factory, finished in the original stain that is also discontinued.  He found out they would sell it at a discount/sell-out price, 45% less than the original price!!  So there, Ebay!

Steve’s and my Rim Hike was cancelled yesterday due to inclement weather forecast for today. Ah, road trip!  Let’s go see Jim 2 hours away in Charlotte and strike a deal (and let Steve sit in the Lattice chairs to see if they’re comfortable for his size.)

So here is what Stickley-Audi Charlotte considers their showroom:CharlotteNC28269_img01Oh my, may I be a bit over my head on this one??

You see, the table is 45% off, but the chairs are still available in their current catalogue with current stains.  Hmm. How am I ever going to make this work?

Jim is a wonderful man and salesperson:  He made it work.  There is a great sale going on next weekend and we’re going to do a two tone set (dundee stain already on table, and central valley on the chairs) to mimic the two tone millwork in the dining room (maple & cherry)  all for just a bit more than my Ebay find that actually had stain too dark for our space.  Some times things just work out for the best when we don’t even know it at the time.  Thanks, Jim.Staff_049_JamesContini_smSo much for my “brief background”…….





Getting a C.O. doesn’t mean we’re done!

17Mar16 – Happy Saint Patricks Day!

We’re into Day 10 after getting our C.O. and choosing what to work on instead of having to account to anyone.  That’s a relief!  There’s still plenty to do before we’ll consider Our Maple Forest Cottage “done”.  I’m guessing  it will be as elusive as getting our C.O. was!

Here’s what we’ve been up to……

The C. O. is handed over!!!!

08Mar16 – During our final inspection yesterday we discovered we were missing 3 ground fault receptacles in areas we didn’t realize we needed them, and 1 ground fault breaker that wasn’t working.  So out we rushed to Home Depot and within an hour Steve had them all installed and working with a call in to the inspector for our  2nd final.

Jerry, our county inspector, returned this afternoon with C. O. in hand and after checking the above items, gladly handed the Certificate of Occupancy over to a very happy, relieved, and exhausted Steve.

Steve then promptly headed out for a community maintenance meeting and I walked over to a friend’s for some wine and giddy talk.  Tonight a bunch of us are going in to town to celebrate the long awaited affair.  Whoo Hoo – we are legally in!!

So for those of you in the process of constructing your own Maple Forest Cottage, know that some day you , too, will receive your Certificate of Occupancy and realize that dreams really do come true.

And then you start a new journey of unpacking and making your Maple Forest Cottage your very own.  More coming as we transist into our new lives of less stress and no outside deadlines.  Aaaaaaahhhhhh.

08Mar16 Jerry giving us our C.O.