Monthly Archives: September 2014

Time to check-in and Electrical can be boring….

18Sep14 – Wow – It’s been a long time since I’ve posted.  Rest assured, that means not much worth blogging about has been happening.

Steve’s been spending a tremendous amount of time as Board VP dealing with road repair on the mountain.  Things are happening fast & efficiently, but that’s because he’s spending so much time organizing it behind the scenes.  We both decided that this will take priority for the next few weeks and then we can focus more on our Maple Forest Cottage a bit later. So much for a C.O. for the holidays.  Oh well, what’s an additional month or two in the grand “I finally get to move into my dream home” saga?!

So, in between getting quotes, renting big equipment, finding the best deal, supervising road work and actually doing some hands-on himself, Steve’s been putting in over 100 electrical outlets & switches in the house.  We are wired for Broadway!  Electrical/Audio/Visual is a love of Steve’s.  I just stand back and shake my head at the complexity of it all.  When all is done, we’ll be able to set different “moods” for each room at the touch of a remote control/ or our phones.  Our Maple Forest Cottage is going to be a very smart home indeed!

We’re going all LED lighting in the house and we’ve learned that not all LED bulbs are created equal – especially when dealing with dimmers, of which we have a plethora!  We learned the hard way, don’t put almost all of your bulbs in their temporary key-less fixtures and then turn on the breakers.  The first set all buzzed and hummed to the point of distraction.  We re-packaged them to the best of our ability and brought them back to the big box store and the poor customer service employee had to individually tag each one of the 40 bulbs so they could be returned to the vendor.  I’m glad he had a good sense of humor (and shared when all was done, that he had to return those same bulbs himself!).  So, Cree LED’s:  try one first to see how it works for you.

I tweaked the color of the master bedroom because all the light coming in from the main arched window was causing the taupe walls to look light tan.  Definitely not ok.  Since Steve is very particular about his walls, I picked the right moment to approach him on this and got the reluctant go ahead.  I can deal with reluctance – I got my yes.  So now I have a slightly darker, definitely t-a-u-p-e  wall color to wake up to and go to sleep with everyday.  Phew – – that was a good move.

Laying the Ti-Proboard on the main deck. And Jane’s perch

01Sep14 – Happy Labor Day!  How did it get to be September so fast?!

Steve spent the weekend attaching the Ti-Proboard to the main deck floor joists.  TI-Proboard is a composite sub floor panel that is unaffected by expansion, contraction or exterior weather conditions.  It enables you to tile a raised deck.  We ran out of panels (a miscalculation somewhere) and will special order more from Home Depot tonight. Wow – the demi-lune part of the deck looks huge!  Steve power screwed about 900 special screws to secure the panels to the floor joists!  I think he is glad we ran out of panels today…..

I spent the weekend designing and constructing my “perch”  amongst the trees on our side yard.  The space was calling to me to be used as a look-out from the mountain side.  It started as a simple path to a small patch, just a little leveling, and then the stone masons said they would make me a stone slab bench so I could sit and just gaze out at the valley and mountains.

Then I decided it would be a nice detail to round-out the base of the perch area, since the Maple Forest Cottage has many arches in it’s design.  This extension, of course, would be just that much further down the steep slope.  Well, Steve smiled at me and said, “Now you’re going to have to build a retaining wall.”  And, yes, unfortunately, he was absolutely right.  So now I’ve dug down the mountain far enough that I’ll indeed need about a 3′ stone retaining wall (I was getting excited about the idea of space for a chimenea!)  My little project just got a lot more complicated!  So, from the stone pile in our driveway about 100′ away I start picking out stones for my wall.  Now, I have to be able to carry these stones, one at a time, two if I’m lucky, the whole distance by myself, across the driveway, down the dirt path to the basement area, where I walk over, that is on-top-of, the makeshift dirt birm that holds out rain water out (there was a puddle from the previous night’s rain right in the middle of my path), up the steep side yard and over to the perch area where I decide where each rock is going to fit in the grand scheme of this project. Both Steve and I worked until dark (Fri – Sun) – he because of the immensity of his project, me because I had to take periodic rests each day, because of the immensity of my project.

Today Steve continued on the deck (he’s watching me & smiling through all my travails) and I’m ready to do some back filling.  There’s not enough dirt left from where I dug it out in the perch area, so Steve puts air in the leaky wheelbarrow tire and I take about 14 shovel fulls per trip via wheelbarrow down the same trail as before.  Now this is clay dirt and weighs a ton so from the driveway down the dirt path to the basement area, I have to hold tight so I won’t have a runaway wheelbarrow, and from the end of the basement area I have to make a running start up the mountain so I have enough momentum to take me, the wheelbarrow, the dirt & the bucket up to the perch.  Then I partially fill a 5 gal bucket and walk it over to the perch to dump it out.  After the third bucket, I can maneuver the wheelbarrow with the rest of the dirt into the perch area and release the rest of the dirt.  This took me a couple of hours.  And I’m only maybe 20″ high into my 36″ retaining wall – which means I get to do this a second time!  Ugh.  I sure am glad I like to dig in the dirt…..

Painting the Deck facing

26Aug14 – Beautiful Summer day here in the mountains – sunny, dry, soft breeze, mild temp (78 degrees) and able to just be present to enjoy it.  Had lunch on the deck just taking it all in.

Steve painted the deck facing today and it still amazes me what a coat (or two) of paint can do….