Well. I’ve been living in my house for almost 2 months now! It seems like a lot longer than that for some reason. It must be because I’ve practically lived in this house since the foundation hole was dug. Whatever the case may be, I’ve been terribly lax in my blog updates. It’s not because I’m lazy, though. It’s because I’ve been enjoying every single moment of living in my new dream house on Fruit Hill Farm.
I’ve been spending a lot of time outside, doing things around the house — playing with my dry stream bed and dry waterfall. It’s so neat and novel for me that I have my very own yard! I can stick whatever I want in the ground, and if I’m lucky the deer won’t eat it. If it survives the deer, and it grows and makes flowers or more leaves or whatever, it’s so fun and exciting! So I thought I’d post some photos of what I’ve been doing outside, since the inside is still “coming together”… ie: a mess.
Just for some perspective:
And what the heck. Here are a couple of neat things I have inside.
Chipp, Dad’s Office Maven and also a good friend, gave me a Dogwood for a housewarming gift. I’m so excited about it! And I received a Birch from Aunt Connie and Uncle Arch. Yay! I’ll update the site with new pics when they’re planted in fall — maybe sooner, if I can get it presentable enough inside…
I decided I wanted to tile my entry hall to separate one half the house from the other. I thought it might help protect the cherry floors from weather and gravel and such too. Julia McDonald at Rock and Tile in Charles Town spent many a long afternoon and zillions of emails helping me pick out just the right tile and giving me pointers on the best way to go about this. If you’re interested in tiling, and live in the Tri-State area, I’d advise a visit to Julia. But beware, she’ll encourage you to live out all your wildest tile dreams…
Next on the list of my helpers is Jen Reineck. I couldn’t have done this project at all without her support and extreme expertise and experience with tiling. She spent 2 long (half) days with me mixing mortar and laying tile. But we got it all done — everything but the pieces that needed to be cut and the grouting. I’ll post another update when it’s completely finished. I’m just so excited, I felt the need to post what we’ve done so far.
When this entry is finished, I’ll only have 2 more tiling projects to go!
A lot has happened since the last time I posted! It seems as if things happen so quickly now, that it’s getting harder and harder to keep up with the ol’ blog. That and the fact that I’ve just moved out of my apt, and I’m trying to keep up with my work, and I’m also doing house-related things in every spare minute of free time I have.
Anyway, here are a few updates on some little (big) details that have been coming together.
The kitchen cabinets are in:
And thanks to Kelly for spending hours with me, picking out the perfect lengths of cabinet pulls:
They won’t go in until the end, so they don’t get accidentally scratched. Thanks for lookin out, Tim!
So that’s it for today’s updates. Stay tuned. Tomorrow(-ish) I’ll show you some tiling that my pal, Jen, and I did!
Bruce and Susie and Tim have started my interior trim. First they had to finish the cherry floor, though.
Anyway onto the trim. I’m told the trim is what’s going to pull everything together — the walls and the floors and the windows. It’s the finishing touch. And you just have to appreciate the lengths the MFT Inc. crews go to to make sure the trim is just right. There’s a reason they call him the best builder in the state!
Everytime I go out to the job, I think to myself how lucky I am to have so many creative and talented people working on my house. Not only that, but they’re all pretty great people too!!
We had one when Leah and I were young, but it only happened when the spring overflowed after a heavy rainstorm. We had to share it with the cows, too. They usually drank it all, stomped in it and ruined it. Well, thanks to Pete Spaulding of Spaulding Landscaping at Home View Farm and his amazing crew, I have my very own stream that I don’t even have to share with the cows.
It’s actually a dry stream bed or “dry crick bed” as we call ’em in WV. Not only is it beautiful to look at, it helps carry excess water away from the house when it rains. They hand picked the stones along the edges from a big ol’ pile of rocks Zach pulled out of my foundation hole. Then they very thoughtfully placed each rock and even shaped some of them to make them fit just right to look natural. I’d say they did a pretty amazing job.
The best part is that I now have a wonderful feature in my yard created by talented craftesmen and craftswomen that I can build on with plantings, etc for years to come.
P.S. Did I mention the waterfall?
Yeah, they made a a waterfall too. Again they used stone that came from under my house. It will be a perfect frame for the view of the fields. I can’t wait to watch it and help it transform over time.
Another special detail from another skilled artist!
The drywall is finished, and Ken Purdham’s crew did an amazing job. Big thanks to them! The rooms look like real rooms now with beautiful solid walls.
In other news the cows have found me, and Frankie is finally using his window:
We also picked up my floor tiles for the hallway and kitchen door entry. I’ll tell you all about how great and helpful (and patient) Julia McDonald at Rock and Tile is when I get to the tile installation phase.
But the biggest news of the week is my living room and kitchen floor. My friends Dustin and Laura Fritz and my dad are the most beautiful people in the whole wide tri-state area. We had a goal of getting all the flooring down in the living/dining room and kitchen. They worked like maniacs all weekend, and we met the goal! And they did it all for a coupla pulled pork sandwiches. I’m still in shock that it’s done, especially since Dad is the only pro of the group. Granted, Dustin and Laura renovated an 1800’s Fire House into an actual house, so they have a bit of experience with working on projects similar to this. But I still consider it a pretty great accomplishment. Thanks three thousand billions guys!!
And I also want to give a special thanks to Dad for cutting and collecting all of these trees for me. There wouldn’t even be a floor if he hadn’t found the trees.
For reference, this is how my floor started. (I thought I’d posted these photos, but I guess I not.) This is the day Keith came and picked up the logs to take to the sawmill. Phase One:
For phase two, Keith milled the logs into lumber and dried them in the kiln. Saturday we went to pick up the lumber and transported it to the Hicksville Planing Mill where they’ll make the lumber into floorboards.
I’m starting to lose traction on my blog. Things are moving so quickly, I’m having trouble keeping up. I should probably fashion a helmet with a camera attached, so I don’t miss anything. I annoy my father enough as it is, though. (“What did you say the difference between semi-gloss and low lustre are again?” “Wait… why are there nails AND screws in the drywall?” Ummm… can you look at these 27 different outdoor light options I’m considering?” “What do you think of this tile layout?” “How long til I can move in??”) Can you imagine if I showed up to the jobsite with the Blog-o-nator Helmet?
Anyway, these pics were taken yesterday. Today they finished hanging 95% of the drywall, and Kenny cleaned up the mess. Keith talked me out of flat paint. And my good friend Julia @ Rock and Tile ordered my floor tiles, as well as some croc skin* tiles… more on that soon.
(*No crocodiles were injured in the making of the tiles.)