Friday, December 31, 2010

Auld Lang Syne. . .

T’was the week after Christmas
And down at the site,
Our builders had been working
From morning  ‘til night.

Last  September this site
Had trees all around,
Then in came the machines
And they fell to the ground.

The dirt was then moved
To make it level and neat,
For the eight big trucks
Full of concrete.

With boards and string
They had marked out the floors,
Because the house’s foundation
They needed to pour.

They framed all the walls
As fast as the wind,
Then on went the roof,
And the windows went in!

The electrician came
To check out the plan,
Where to put all the outlets,
The lights and the fans.

We put in some air and
Heating ducts too,
We also needed wiring
For a TV or two!

Now the roof is all shingled
The siding is on,
The paint color is chosen
Just  waiting for stone.

On the inside of the house
With the drywall installed,
Now some rooms look big
While others seem small.

It’s almost time
For us to commit,
On the colors of rooms
To make it all fit.


Should the cabinets be stained?
Or just painted white?
It's hard to decide
How to make it all right! 

We’ll pick out the tile,
 and some granite and such
carpet, flooring, lights and fixtures
. . .it all seems so much!


Will our old furniture fit,
Or do we need new?
It’s so very hard
To know what to do.

One step at a time
Is what they all say,
It will all come together
And be finished one day.

All these decisions will be made
I have no fear,
Because our house will be done
And we'll show you next year!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Up on the Housetop. . .

             . . .and just in time for Santa because we now have shingles on the roof!

But not so fast, Mr. Claus. . .even though this house has shingles on the roof and two fireplaces, it has no chimney.  So I guess you'll just have to use the new front door. Its 8 feet tall and pretty wide for all those goodies in your bag.
(Unfortunately, Santa still needs to be careful because the porch has yet to be built.)
But  at least Santa will have no trouble finding us because we have the only gray house on The Ridge. Most of the homes are all done is darker colors or all brick.

     Speaking of gray, can you tell which shade of gray we decided to paint the house by these photos?  Just in case you can't tell. . .it was number two! It was the one in the middle that had the green undertones. That was H's first and only choice from the three color choices and after I saw it with the stone and bricks, I pretty much had to agree with him.  Most people who voiced an opinion, went with number one (it had the brown undertones).  Hope you are not disappointed, we certainly aren't! The areas on the house that are not painted, like the front and side of the garage, will be all stone.  Most of the brick work is on the back side facing the lake. See the coupla sitting on top of garage? The copper roof is still being constructed.
     With the roof shingled and all the doors and windows in, we are officially "dried in" as the builder would say.  The insulation is in the walls and the drywall is in each room waiting to be installed.  The hold up right now is the Audio-Visual man who H met with, and decided on what, where, and how all the electronics would be. He is also doing all the security work on the house.  All his work needs to be done before the drywall is installed. He was supposed to start work this past week while we were in Atlanta, but so far he hasn't been there.  Wonder if the below freezing weather has had anything to do with it? Meanwhile, this is what things look like inside.

      It is now a lot easier to start seeing room sizes.  The insulation helps to close in the room so you are not  looking throught the framework and getting a false reading on the room size. 
      The electrician has finally finished his first part.  As I said in an earlier post, we added more recessed lights and ceiling fans after going through the house with him. The orginial house plan called for about 50 recessed lights, the electrician said the most he had  ever put in a house was about 80. . . our house has 109!  If you are gonna want more light, this is the time to do it, I guess. The kitchen alone has 12 plus the three pendants over the island, not to mention the under cabinet lighing. . . guess we could always use the kitchen for an operating room!  We also added five more ceiling fans for the deck, terrace and the Croft which were not in the plans. 
    The weather should warm up on Thursday and hopefully building can resume. . . it is just too cold outside for the subs to use their hands for any detail work. The only problem with warm weather coming in, it brings the rain.  (I know, I know that we left Northern Virginia because of the freezing weather, rain, sleet and snow during this time of year. . . but, the big difference here is this will go away in a day or two and warm up again, she says hopefully.)  But at least they can get the drywall up on the inside and stay dry.
    We still can't believe how fast things are going and will be more surprised how fast three months will fly  by in the new year, if, in fact we can move in somethime in March!
     We are now deciding on the stone work for the retaining wall that separates the terrace area and the grassy area that leads down to the boathouse.  Our choices are:

     One has more gray, the other has more brown. This has got to be a lot easier to pick out than the stone for the house was!

     This may be my last post before Christmas because of the weather and what may or may not get done at the house before the Christmas break. H and I will travel to Memphis to celebrate Christmas with H's mother, and Rosanne and her family.  Liz and Jarrett are traveling to Austin, Texas to celebrate with his parents and his brother and family. H and I were able to exchange gifts with them while in Atlanta last week. Since they were going away, they decided not to put up a tree and decorate their home as elaborate as last year. But it is Christmas time, and one needs a tree to put the gifts under. 
A tribute to "A Charlie Brown's Christmas"

     We loved it and the special time shared with them and  our "granddogger", Savannah. She's thanking Papa for her new Virginia Tech collar we gave her! Go Hokies!

   So in case I don't send another post, Merry Christmas and Much Happines in the New Year from the both of us here at the homesweetalabamablogspot!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Stormy Weather. . . .

First off, the title of this post has nothing to do with the progress of building our house, but everything to do with the weather since my last post. As had happened earlier this season, once again we were awaken by the sound of the siren announcing tornado warnings on Monday. With that came, colder weather, lots and lots of rain and yes, mud. (If anyone remembers the movie, "My Cousin Vinny"  and the piece about the Alabama red mud, then you have an idea of what I'm talking about.) All of the above has slowed some of the progress on the house. Mainly on the outside. The trim guys opted NOT to get up on the scaffoling with muddy shoes to finish the trim. The down side of that is until the trim is finished, the roof is delayed and shingles on the roof would definately keep the water out of the house. . .get the picture?
     Meanwhile, the electrician is still hard at work pulling wires for all the recessed lights, ceiling fans, and numerous other electrical "stuff." This is his third week on site. Liz and Jarrett's Thanksgiving visit gave H and Jarrett time to walk through the house trying to decide what and where electronics should go. So between Jarrett and the Audio/Visual guy that  H met with on Tuesday, there have been even more suggestions for outlets and switches which has kept the electrician very busy.  Believe it or not, I have not been on site since the Wednesday before Thanksgiving! Hence, no photos!. . .again. The photos I would take at this point would not indicate much change but believe me there is a lot going on that a picture would not show.
     Since this was a slow week on the site, H and I decided we had better start making plans for the next phase. Furnishing. As I might have mentioned, the room originially designated for the office has now been extended to make a larger laundry room. Yea!  It was not a great location nor was it large enough for an office anyway, so out went the wall and in came a 14 foot counter and a laundry room that (believe it or not) I am very excited about and have already decorated (in my head) !
     OK, so now what to do with the very large solid wood office furniture that we have with us but won't fit in the now re-located office upstairs in the croft? Well, as luck would have it, a young couple we know has just moved to the area and bought their first home. Her job is in B'ham and his "company" is in Atlanta (about 3 hours away) but he will be working from home. Ta Da! He needs some office furniture.  He took a look at ours, liked it, made an offer and it is now in his new home! H and I knew we would not be using this office furniture, (but not sure what we were going to do with it) so we have been on the look out for something more in scale with his new office layout. Voile!  While out and about this week, we found it, bought it and are now ready for buisness. While buying this furniture, we looked around for more things we will be needing and found a great leather (recliner) chair for the lower great room. If fact, we liked it so much, we bought TWO! The "football" viewing room is now furnished. We had already bought two end tables and a sofa table right after we got here because we needed something for the sound system to go on, remember? Now the green leather chair that we were going to have re-upholstered (but have been waiting on the leather for more than 8 weeks ), has now been re-assigned  to the great room upstairs. It will be re-upholstered in fabric to go with ALL the other pieces that will go in that room. Now, all we need is one more club chair for that room. Love it when a plan starts coming together! I have ordered swatches from Ballard Designs and can't wait to get them, see the colors up close and personal and get the "feel" of this color scheme. We still have plans to meet with a designer because there is just too much to try to figure out ourselves. For instance, what does one put on an 18 foot wall?
    H and I are going on another little "road trip" with Jane and Ralph to a town called Eufaula.  There we will tour four Victorian homes on the Historical register by candlelight.  We will end the evening having dinner in lovely mansion. We are staying overnight not to have to drive the 2 1/2 hours back after dinner. Then the next week, we will be in Atlanta from Wednesday until the next Monday. My sister, Jane and her husband, Bill along with my nephew John and his wife Nina will be hosting a Christmas Open House for about 300 guests. She has already decorated her home and put up nine Christmas trees! This will be the first time that H and I will be able to attend and we are looking forward to it. We are going early so maybe we can lend a hand .  My sister, Cheryl will come early as well. While the "girls" are in the kitchen, grocery store, or Michaels preparing things for the party, the guys will also have  their list of chores. (H will take a day off  for a trip to Chattanooga to see "baby boat" who has alread been winterized and just waitng to join us on the lake when our boat house is completed.)  Hopefully, all of these festivities this will jump start my Christmas spirit because this year in Clanton, we will have no tree, no decorations and even worse, no SANTAS! It will be hard, but I can handle all of this knowing Christmas will be on the Lake in 2011!