29Jun15 – We’re working on so many different areas at the same time! I’m helping Steve whenever I can and I’m still making regular trips down to the Artesian pond for water for all our flora!
I’m also in the process of designing my new business website with Black Mountain’s Kudzu Branding , and working on a land deal. Ay caramba! So I’m going to let the photos speak for themselves today!
17Jun15 – I have to share that I am finally in my home office in the lower level of the main house!! Oh my, this is such a treat. My own space where I can concentrate and be in a clean environment. You just don’t even know….
We put on another layer of veneer early this morning – too hot during the day with this heat wave. I’m impressed by the number of clamps it takes to take straight pieces of lumber and make them want to curve into our demi-lune deck’s top railing.
Meanwhile, Steve is making the door jambs for the first floor doors that are on their way. Normally a pretty easy project, but each jamb has to line up perfectly in height so the horizontal maple banding is level all around each room and hall way on the main level. No small task. His laser level is being put to good use!
15Jun15 – Not much to report this week. We’re still watering plants religiously. We’re going through a heat wave of 93 degrees that next few days, so we’ll be making trips to the artesian pond more frequently.
Steve has started to attached the veneer strips to his elaborate railing top “form” on the demi-lune portion of the main deck. I’ve never seen so many clamps at one time! We have three 1/2″ layers of strips up – we’ll be finished at 11…. It’s a slow process.
We decided to lightly stain our cherry trim for more depth to the cherry. After playing with loads of formulas (of course, plain cherry stain wasn’t working – too orange) we came up with 50%/50% Cherry wiping stain/Red Mahogany wiping stain diluted in 8 parts mineral spirits. It works! All the cherry window stools on the main level are in! (we learned that’s the correct term for the ‘sills’ on the inside. Window sills are on the exterior. Still sounds funny to me.) It’s such a nice contrast to the maple trim around the windows. Little by little, the inside is starting to look like the Maple Forest Cottage pictures I’ve seen for so many years.
08Jun15 – We’ve been spending a lot of time tending to our new landscaping. That means up to 5 trips a day down to the watering hole to get 210 gal. each time to then return to our yard and pump it out and quench the thirst of all our trees & plantings. It finally started to rain last week and it was such a blessing to be able to skip a day watering here and there. All plants are thriving except one lilac. Her sister right next to her is fine but she just isn’t making it for some reason.
Steve has started the main floor trim. Whoa! Now this is a major project. The detail is so beautiful, but executing it will take some real skill and patience. It’s bound to go slowly, so I need to focus on what I can do to move this project (ie getting our C.O.) along.
I prepped the lower level travertine floor yesterday & today, readying it for sealing. Then, yes then, I get to move my real estate office from the back of the garage to my office space in the main house. This is big. I’ve been wanting to do this for months and now it’s here! I’m delighted.
26May15 – The landscaping was finished today! I spent most of the day away from the activities as I had a closing to attend to that took all day…. But here are some final shots. It will be fun to see all the growth through the Summer. More Landscape pics then.
22May15 – Fred and crew are off for a long Memorial Day Weekend, and much deserved! They’ve been working really hard, long hours to give us our beautiful yard. We’re watering religiously, sometimes twice a day and so far ‘everyone’ is looking very happy. The grass sod is even starting to take root. Nature amazes me…..
Glenn, our cabinet maker, and his new assistant, Alphonso, came yesterday with more cabinet “carcasses”. We’re supposed to actually get some door fronts, drawers, and cherry tops in the next two weeks. What a long haul this cabinet process has been….
19May15 – More things happening with the landscapers today. They are work horses!
Of course, this also means more trips down to the artesian well at the community entrance to fill our portable 210 gal in-the-back-of-the-truck water tank! We make a couple to a few trips a day depending on the weather and the number of new plantings. We’re actually enjoying the 6 min fill up as we watch the kazillion tadpoles grow. Some are starting to grow their tiny frog legs. Sounds silly, but it is such a peaceful respite from the crazy busy-ness of building our Maple Forest Cottage.
18May15 – Steve and I spent the weekend grading the driveway & parking area and cleaning up the accumulated mess. With the help of an excavator and a skid steer, Steve has the grade just right so all rainwater will flow exactly where he wants it to. Away from the house and to the designated drains.
Fred and crew (Charlie, Ian, & Neal) are back after taking Friday off to get more plants, etc. We finally are getting some much needed rain here in the WNC mountains – yeah! That means less trips to the artesian well& less hand watering! However, the crew had to leave early because working in the rain & mud just isn’t a very great idea. Here’s where we’re at today:
14May15 – More Landscaping excitement along with a new adventure: Our well ran dry with all the watering. Oh no, say it isn’t so; not with more plants coming! The well recovery time is not keeping up with the initial demands of all the flora.
So Steve, as resourceful as he is, located a 210 gal back-of-a-pick-up-truck portable water tank at the local Tractor Supply store, rented a gas powered pump to extract water from a water source, and purchased a submersible pump to pump the water out at home.
There is an artesian well that feeds a waterfall (at 30 gal per min) at the Entrance of our Community – 1.5 miles down the mountain. So we head down to extract water from the pond, water what we need until we run out of water and then go back down to refill. It only takes 6 mins to fill the 210 gal back-of-a-pick-up-truck portable water tank so it’s only a 15 min process. Immediate problem/potential catastrophe solved. Phew.
The Japanese Maple and the Red Maple trees were delivered and planted today along with a host of other plants. Things are pretty messy right now, but we’re slowly seeing the evolution of our construction based dirt pit into a lovely landscaped yard. When the driveway gets put in in a couple of weeks I’ll think I’ve died and gone to heaven!
12May15 – So here we are with Days 4 & 5 in our Landscaping adventure. Fred and his crew are doing such a super job. The front walkway is done, we have two paver door stoops at the lower level doors, and the back yard & entrance have been graded. Today the sod arrived and about 1700 sf were unrolled and laid together. Instant green! Now all we have to do is keep it wet for a couple of weeks…..Ah, the pluses and minuses.