Category Archives: The Carriage House

Landscaping Days 10 & 11, and more Cabinet Carcasses

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….

Lightning Strike and finishing the next stage of the Laundry/Mud room

23Jun14 –  Thunderstorms are everywhere.  10 years in the FL Keys and we had our share, never coming close to danger.  But living high on a mountain is another story.  It’s like you’re just asking to get noticed – by Mother Nature.  And we were.  Noticed that is:  the deafening sound of the thunder came after a second after the bright bolt of light (1 one thousand, 2 – what?!) which were enough to make me jump and get the heart pumping, but it was the big “POP!!” right after  that made me realize we might have a situation on our hands.

We didn’t lose our electricity, but all of our electronics were fried.  !@#$%^!  The bolt came from the cable box across the street, into our modem, router and out to all the connected products.  Darn! Had to use the wifi on my cell phone to get rudimentary real estate work done.  We spent a few days regrouping and the Maple Forest Cottage got put on temporary hold….

Steve finished putting up the channel bead board in the Laundry/Mudroom today – Love it! We’ll put the trim on later.  Up to the master bathroom next – that channel bead board will be 2 1/2″ wide there instead of the 3 1/2″ downstairs.

More Louvers & Corbels…

23Jan14 – Despite the cold, Steve was out installing more ridge louvers and vents yesterday. The art is in the details – it really makes a difference.  We cut & split wood from our back yard, had a fire going all day, and toasted hotdogs for dinner.  So fun pretending we’ve moved in….

Happy Mother’s Day

12May2013:  Beautiful day on the mountain.  To celebrate Mother’s Day I got a call from my Son, Daughter-in-Law & 4 grandchildren early in the day.  So sweet to hear all their voices sing to me. They sent me a Buddha statue (I’ve taught Yoga for 17 years) that I’m saving to put in one of the Maple Forest Cottage’s bedrooms that I’ll use as my Yoga/Meditation room.  Probably the bedroom with the eyebrow dormer that looks East out over the valley…..

Steve helped me make (well, he really did it all) a window box for the front window of the Carriage House.  That’s the set of three windows of the workshop.  I’ve had the flowers all ready to plant, but the weather at night has been too cold.  So now all I have to do is paint the window box, fill it with my flowers & Steve will hang it for me.  I’ve never had a window box before – can’t wait to see it up!

On our way into town I saw this creek in the valley that is exactly the look & feel that I want to try & re-create as our water feature.   After the house is “done”.

Peaceful flowing creek

Peaceful flowing creek

Great day for me.  Hope all Mother’s are appreciated in whatever fashion today…..

A Little Catching up….

It is now April 1st – and much has happened these past 6 months!

September – December ’12: We built & finished our Carriage House portion of the Maple Forest Cottage.  This was not in the original house plans, but quickly became our Plan B in August.

We closed on both our FL houses on the same day in November, 1 hour apart.  It made for a very busy packing week, since we had rented them both out furnished.  Brian & Debbie (our mountain neighbors) came down to help us pack!  Talk about Southern hospitality! (And they’re from Maine). We were packing up to the very last minute – only 5 mins late to closing and then off with the packed  Ryder truck & U-Haul trailer for the 15+ hour ride to Black Mountain, NC.

Good-bye Ocean and island life…..

Since the lease on our rental was up on Dec. 21st, we moved into the Carriage House by the skin of our teeth with a temporary C.O. on Dec 20th and left the next day for a road trip up to see the kids & grand kids in the Maine area.  Suffice it to say December was one immensely busy month!  Daily trips to Lowe’s & Home Depot, sometime 2 & three trips depending on what came up, or rather, what ran out during the day!  Do yourselves a favor and get a credit card for each store. And keep a running list of needed supplies.  It’s a great way to keep track of those many “little” expenses and helps when you return things when you’ve inevitably lost your receipt! We squeezed every bit of space we could into the 2nd floor apartment in the Carriage House I call “Sunshine” and are living in 685 SF quite comfortably – for temporary living, that is.

I’ll add pages later of this 1st part of the building process.  Just want to get up-to-date on building the main house. Life becomes very narrowly focused & consumed by building your dream house – remember to take of your health, your time, your friendships, family, work and each other.

January – March ’13: We took a more leisurely pace in finishing up the Carriage House during the Winter.  We were exhausted and were finally living on our piece of the mountain, our lot, in our apartment.   Phew!  It’s amazing how long it takes to finish the little things at the end of a project like this.  Don’t fool yourselves into thinking all can be completed in a flash – there are still hundreds of decisions to make and trips to the hardware store.  We weren’t going to start the main house until everything was done in the Carriage House, but……somehow that just hasn’t happened.  ; – )

Weather delays have postponed being able to start the main house. (this has been an unusually rainy & cold March in Western North Carolina this year – a hard thing for us way-southern Floridians to handle this first year back on the mainland.)  Also, we had over 130 dump truck loads of earth to move before we could even think of construction. We didn’t want to pay the exorbitant fee to move it to an official dump site, so we solicited friends, neighbors, subcontractors to help us find homes for our dirt.  It worked, but still cost a few thousands of dollars to transfer.  People in the mountains don’t necessarily want fill – unlike flatland property owners.  Words to the wise:  Mountain home building is a whole ‘nother ball game.  Save your dollars for unexpected expenses!