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.
06May15 – This is so cool. The landscaping process has begun. I rushed off this morning to teach a Yoga class at the Community Center at the top of the mountain and came back home to Fred & crew starting to move dirt. Grading and placing drainage happen first. They started the front walkway this afternoon. Gravel was delivered to place on the lower lever under the main deck. This should be nearly a month long project so I’ll try not to bore you with too many pics. Me, I’m in heaven for almost 30 days. I’m going to soak this all in….
12May15 – Update: Oops, I thought I had already posted this. Here’s last week. Will now do separate post since then……
05May15 – Happy Cinco de Mayo! (A momentous day in history commemorating the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over the French forces of Napoleon III on May 5, 1862, at the Battle of Puebla.) Ole`!
Saturday and Sunday were busy days for Steve and I. Steve prepped all the 150 or was it 200 maple floor pieces from a demolished textile mill nearby so we can create a wood mosaic floor ‘mat’ as you enter the house. We’ll use a herringbone pattern. Eventually.
We prepped the front porch to the right height and slope so the front porch tile floor will exactly match the main deck tile flooring. Took more material than the manufacturer stated, so we had to stop prematurely and order more. Just another day in the birth of our Maple Forest Cottage.
On Monday, Mark and Steve began the move around the corner from the main deck to the entry porch with our “slate” tiles. Trouble is on Sunday we decided to organize all the tiles that had managed to get scattered here & there over the past 6 months and discovered we had only 2 12″ x 12″ and 5 12″ x 18″ brazilian green tiles. My 75% green tile to 25% brown/gray tile formula ended up more like 85%:15% in reality. So all the green tile I thought I had, well, had already been used! Oops. So I quickly ordered more, but they won’t arrive until Monday, maybe Friday if we’re lucky. So you’ll see blank 12 x 12 spaces or upside down tiles holding the spaces for our tile arrival. We were able to use &/or fabricate 12 x 18’s by cutting 18 x 18s. Anyway, a long story just to tell you, we are so close to being done with ALL our tiling!
Fred, our landscaper is due tomorrow. Now that is really exciting!
29Apr15 – Landscaping was supposed to start Monday, or so Steve & I thought. Then we learned that the landscaper and we were on different pages. Good communication can be hard to come by. Oh well, so now we should be able to start next week, around Wednesday. What are 7 days compared to the years it’s taking to complete our Maple Forest Cottage?
Steve is continuing to finish trimming out the lower level and I spent the whole day yesterday power sanding (thank God) 7 of the 12 deck posts. Finished the last coat of stain at 8pm last night. Wanted to continue today, but rain is forecast, so I need to wait. How I hate to stop in the middle of a project! Sun is predicted by Friday, so again, what are 2 days in the grand scheme of things? So many lessons, big and small, in this concept called patience…..
24Apr15 – Yesterday was a momentous day:
1. The main deck was finished – what a triumph! Now we’re rounding the corner to the porch entrance. I’m ready to get out the Adirondack chairs I purchased two years ago and start using them!
2. My sanding of the main floor windows and doors is complete – thank the Lord!
3. After scurrying around like crazy people the past 2 weeks, we found a nice temporary rental for our Carriage House renters. We slowly began to realize that a June 15th C.O. isn’t on the radar and they (& their 3 animals) were going to be homeless 6 weeks because of our delay. Now we’re shooting for August 1st. Oh, please………..
Today, the stone masons have returned to finish up some stonework that needs to be done for the arrival of Fred, our Landscape designer, on Monday. I will finally be saying good-bye to my “construction-site” of a yard. It almost feels too good to be true. I’ll be sure to post lots of pics for this grand accomplishment!
Have a great weekend. ;- )
21Apr15 – Spring is really beautiful on the mountain this year. All this emerging greenery is so uplifting.
After a rainy week, Mark and Lewis are back to finish the main deck. Can’t believe it’s almost done!
Steve and I are working on finishing up the trim downstairs and clear coating windows/doors on the main floor. I just finished sanding the last window in the kitchen before the gloss coats go on. Then one more sanding of the kitchen windows/door, the satin coat and we’re done with windows & doors. What a relief – that’s a lot of tedious work! Toward the end of the process even great tunes didn’t relieve the monotony. But it all looks really good. ;- )