Category Archives: The Hardscape

Paving the driveway!

19Oct16 – They paved the driveway last week!  WOW – it really adds to the curb appeal of our Maple Forest Cottage.  It is lousy timing financially, but the paving Company (Burnett’s Paving) is doing work on Creston roads (his equipment is already here) and we were able to rally 4 other owners to pave their driveways (yeah!) so he gave us a nice discount.  Most pavers in this area won’t even come up to do just a driveway (too small a job).  So, we bit the bullet.  We are so pleased.  So much smoother to drive on and the dust has become almost non-existent, never mind those little pebbles that were making their way into the house!

The driveway gets graded for paving!

11Oct16 – There is roadwork being done in Creston and we were able to get a good deal on paving our driveway, especially since we rallied 3 other owners to do the same.  The timing isn’t the greatest for us, but it’s hard to get a paving company up here on the mountain for just a driveway job.  It’s one of those not-so-exciting expenditures, but we’re finding it a necessary one….


Stone pillar caps, inlaid step at entrance, and driveway work

04Aug15 – Lots going on today.  Not used to having more than one sub contractor on the site anymore!

Driveway:  The storm drain is in and now the final grading will begin.

Porch inlaid stone step:  This is shown in the original plans (material of builder’s choice), but we decided against it long ago.  Then while during research at some time in this whole process, Steve saw an inlaid stone on the entrance porch of a house & fell in love with it.  Hence, our re-do of a small section of the porch floor.  It’s going to look great when we get the tiling finished!  When?  We don’t know either……..We may end up doing it ourselves.

Interior doors arrive, adding cherry trim to main floor and more….

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!

Taking advantage of a warm Dec. Sunday…

14Dec14 – We have some nice subs.  Both the stone masons and the tilers came on a Sunday to take advantage of a sunny, warm, 62 degree day to get some outside work done.

Another super weather day tomorrow – yeah!  Get to have more work done outside!

Steve finished up the electrical work to connect the thermostats to the warmboard/radiant heating.  What a project – it’s amazing to me how much he knows.

We found a great site on-line to order our plumbing fixtures – 15% off competitive prices, ( 10% off, an additional 5% off if you sign up for their emails) no tax, and free shipping.  Such a deal!  And the main order came in two days, the back-ordered items arrived within 5 days.  Check it out:  Plumbing Depot

Moving very big boulders and more… Post 2 of 2

17Nov14 = I’ve taken so many photos this past week that I needed to separate this post into two separate ones….

Moving very big boulders and more… Post 1 of 2

16Nov14 –  I’ve been sick all week with a chest cold/flu that’s gotten the best of me.  But, New England work ethic triumphs again – over to our Maple Forest Cottage I’d go everyday until I just couldn’t do another thing.  Steve’s been really sweet about it all – and he should be:  he’s the one who gifted me with the cold!

Here is a catch up of what’s been happening this past week…

And 4 days later we get 1/2 day of work…

23Jul14 – It’s been cloudy & raining for a week and we’re all a bit  o-v-e-r  i-t  by now. We had bright sunshine and clear skies for about 3 hours this morning and then the clouds began to hover and the rain drops started to fall.  Again.  The stone masons, and Jeronimo & crew waited for an hour or so hoping  it would pass, but it didn’t.  Oh well, 1/2 a day of work is better than no work at all!  Maybe we’ll get a full day tomorrow…..

Happy, Happy Birthday, Nancy.

Moving on to the deck pillars! And, poision ivy isn’t all that bad….

15Jul14 – We have two crews on board again today and four jobs going on:  laying the conduit for electrical, working on the entrance stone pillars, putting up forms for the deck pillars (yeah!…Finally…), and weed whacking the gargantuous weeds on the East side of our yard.  That was abruptly stopped by a short but voracious downfall.  Eventually Steve will sic them on to the Trees of Heaven – I’ve come down with poison ivy on my forearms, those areas I uncovered because it got so darn hot whacking down Heavenly Trees in the underbrush yesterday.  Duh.  It’s not a very bad case of it at all.   Today, that is…..

Trees of Heaven – an impossibly healthy invasive; and digging trenches

14Jul14 – I’m finally tackling our very healthy orchard of Trees of Heaven.  They are prominent on the sunny slopes of the mountain. They are an invasive species.  Over time they will choke out the natural species that the insects, birds & wild animals depend on.  Oh no.

We have not done much about them the past two years as we weren’t concerned with the “yard” –  the Carriage House & the Maple Forest Cottage has had our attention.  But this year, they are huge!  So I donned my Trees of Heaven protective garb complete with my trusty sawzall and non-diluted super concentrated Round-Up. Once cut, by spraying the remaining sprouts, “trunks” for us, the chemical will seep into their roots and eventually prevent them from returning.  I should have taken a picture of the depths-of-darkness at the bases of our trees of heaven on the steep slope of our property as it goes down to meet the road.  It’s like a Jurassic Park jungle under there…  I’ll go back in tomorrow and do just that!