Monthly Archives: June 2013

Framing: Day 23 ~ Gables go Up!

19Jun13 – Weather’s fine, crane is here, framers, Steve & Hugh ready for action.  It was an exciting morning to see our Maple Forest Cottage take on more of its personality.  I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

I’ll post the rest of the photos tomorrow – I’m t-i-r-e-d!

Well, maybe a couple more…

No gable rising today…

18Jun13:  No gable rising today.  The weather was forecast for 100% chance of rain with thunder showers and the radar showed lots of yellow, green & red coming our way.  So we cancelled – not a good environment for a large crane acting as a lightning rod! Besides, getting a crane on this site is a very expensive proposition – they charge from when they leave their office to when they return, by the hour, in the three figure range.  Certainly didn’t want to pay for 2 round trips!

So we called the framers & Hugh and told them not to come today.  Such a disappointment, but we were able to re-schedule for tomorrow at 9am. That’s good news.

We went out for a walk and came across some ripe wild blackberries – the whole mountain is covered in blackberries this year.  Steve got first dibs on these ripe ones – I was too busy laughing at his zest for this delicacy & me trying to get a photo.  It’ll be fun to watch all the others ripen.  Think we may need to buy a freezer just to store all the containers I’m planning on picking.  Of course, there will be competition with “Berry” and his bear friends….They love them, too.

By the way, the nasty weather never materialized – just a few sprinkles here & there. While we were on our walk.  Who would have guessed?

Eating this season's first ripe wild blackberries - they're all over the mountain

Eating this season’s first ripe wild blackberries – they’re all over the mountain

Framing: Day 22

17Jun13:  Hugh, Framers & Masons here today.  We’re getting ready to stand 3 gable ends up on the 2nd floor tomorrow morning!  What a difference that will make in the look of our Maple Forest Cottage!

Today the masons unwrapped the chimney cap, constructed the forms for the 3 piers on the front porch, and the forms for the two front steps leading up to the porch.  We’re going to use single 18″ X 5′ X 3″ thick slabs of stone for the treads, and either stone veneer or additional single pieces of stone for the risers.  It’s become quite the decision on how to detail our front steps – neither one of us knows exactly what we want.  We just want it to look perfect!  Ha!  We’ll see what happens when we come to the point of finishing the steps….In the meantime I’m surfing through looking at the 170,722 available photos of stone steps. We both are doing our share of homework while building our new home.

The framers finished gable two and stayed late to finish gable three today!  Having a huge crane come up the mountain for this rising of the gables motivates everyone! Steve & I even helped out by zip-taping the third gable zip-board around dinner time.

Hugh was busy helping Steve with all the other things that need to be done to build a house – and that’s a lot.


Framing: Day 21

14Jun13:  Happy Flag Day!  Does anyone celebrate this holiday anymore?  Sunny, mild & breezy today. Gotta luv it.

All the crews were on site this morning, even “Berry’s” little nephew.  I heard a ca-thump! out the french doors and Deuter & I looked out to see a little bear cub looking back at us from the retaining wall. Deuter doesn’t know what to make of the bears except to stay far away.

So cute, until I found out he ate my lettuce, knocked over two of my planters & ate one of my pumpkin plants for a breakfast snack!  I’m afraid it’s just beginning… I hear that gardeners up here electrify chicken wire and cage their garden.  The bears can smell the electricity and don’t go near it.  Sort of loses the communing-with-nature feel I was hoping for, though.

PS. Scratch Baking Company, (on Steve’s T-shirt) is an artisan bakery in South Portland, ME and is owned by his daughter, Sonja, and son-in-law, Bob.  Visiting is like a trip back to yesterday, with all the hospitality and yumminess of fresh baked goods – from Scratch! Stop by if you’re in the area; it’s The Best! – you’ll go back again.  And again…..


Framing: Day 20

13Jun13:  Today we capped the chimney!!  The innards are done!  This afternoon Steve & the masons were watching the weather radar on the computer to see if they could finish today.  They stopped at the last row of cinder block.  Took a 20 min. rain break and then dared to beat the next wave of rain (they all figured they had 45 mins to do it) and poured the cap – bucket by bucket using a basic pulley system.  Hard work, but they made it!  They had just finished stapling down the plastic to protect the new cement and the next part of the storm we had seen on the radar arrived with a vengeance.  Done for the day…

The framers began building the East gable.  This is where the master bedroom with it’s large arched window & window seat are located.  This window is the same size/style that we put in the kitchen window in the Carriage House.  It will have a lot more exterior trim around it when finished & will appear a lot larger – great illusion.

The front porch re-bar mat was installed & tied in preparation for pouring the concrete tomorrow.  That will be fun to walk up to the front door onto the porch base!  Ah, simple pleasures.

Steve squeegeed out the basement floor for the 100th time to help keep it dry down there until we close in the house.  He also bought a huge 36″ fan that he runs after the rain to also aid in the “let’s- keep-it-dry-in-here” scenario.

Framing: Day 19 (!!)

12Jun13:  The sounds of multiple construction crews on site is music to my ears….

The chimney masons’ portable cement mixer churning along, skipping a beat every so often & the sawing of cinder block.

The stone masons’ excavator moving forward & back with the machine’s obligatory beep-beep-beep, picking up boulders one at a time from the pile and placing them on the retaining wall.

The framers’ sawing and hammering and debating with Steve on how to build the first gables.

Steve on the phone to the architect’s again, this time noting a 3/4″ discrepancy on two plate heights.

Hugh with his congenial “Good morning, Steve!”  “Good morning, Jane!”

Henson’s flat bed truck maneuvering the job site in reverse, delivering the roof lumber – YEAH!

And me sitting at the kitchen table typing away on the computer listening to Pandora’s Bebel Gilberto radio playing in the back ground, Deuter by my side.

It’s a wonderful morning on the mountain.


Second floor, here we come! Not….

10Jun13: Evening:  Only time will tell if the mason’s get here early enough to get the fireplace surround up to the 2nd floor so the framers can begin work again….This has been one of the most frustrating parts of building the Maple Forest Cottage so far.  So little appears to be done to the fireplace each day.

Patience.  I’ve been given loads of experiences lately to practice patience.  This is not a fun lesson.  Obviously I haven’t passed the test yet….

And everything happens for a reason.  I just have no clue what this chimney delay might be about.  Ah, time for my mantra again:  Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Breathe in…..

11Jun13:  The sun is shining, the air is warm, the chimney masons & stone masons are here bright and early.  Life is good.  The chimney will get into the 2nd floor space today – they even have a work order to work late.  About time!

Framers should be called back for tomorrow.  Ok then, let’s get a move on!



Back at work

10Jun13:  Rained yesterday & last night.  Over 7.5″ so far this month – way over the average of 4.2″ for the whole month of June.  Oh well….It is what it is.

This morning the sun is peaking out through the clouds every so often and the mason’s were here right after 7am with “The Missing Part”.  Yeah!  So they’re busy doing their ‘masoning’.

The framers showed up and Steve sent them home – nothing for them to do with all the lumber & warm board soaking wet on the house & on the ground.  Besides, the masons haven’t gotten to the second floor yet.  Watching through the kitchen window I suspect they weren’t pleased as I saw them leave with heads down walking rather determinedly down the driveway.  But, we don’t want wood rotting inside our house when it’s closed in, and they are paid by the job, not the hour.

Hugh has septic problems at home and will show up after it’s dealt with.

So, hopefully by tomorrow we’ll be back in full swing, starting to see the 2nd floor take shape!

News from the top of the mountain…

08Jun13:  As I was coming up the mountain to work this morning I frightened a bear at the top.

He decided to stay.

And eat the leaves off a tree.

Right next to the Office entrance.

I stood by the car and talked with him for awhile since the front door was right to the left of him. He remained interested in his snack.  Do I? Don’t I? Do I? Don’t I?

I did and slowly made it to the door, unlocked it and scurried in.  If this is Berry, he knows I’m harmless as he just kept on eating.

Greetings from the Office Entrance....

Greetings from the Office Entrance….