Saturday, September 17, 2011

ain't it funny. . .How Time Slips Away?

      Can it possibly be more than a month since my last post? For those of you who check this blog more frequently, I apologize but have this to tell y'all in my defense. . . for starters, I FRIED my computer, at least that 's what H told me. I was able to save my all my data (thank goodness) but the motherboard / graphics card was completely screwed up. So we packed her up (after taking out my hard drive), and sent her back to Dell for a complete work over.   It seems that the new location for my computer is right under the window which sends the most sun directly into my space. (Note to self: Need window treatment or shutters immediately!)
     We went to Memphis for a long weekend and she just set there, day after day and the heat was too much for her. In the past, we have taken her with us but not this last trip.
     She was gone for more than a week and during that time we left for Chattanooga for our annual Labor Day weekend with my sisters and their husbands after which, they all came home with me to see our new house and they stayed a week. Lots was accomplished during that time. My sisters immediately attacked one of the storage areas with me and help me locate and re-locate items of all kinds. That meant more to me than they can possibly know. I love them very much and thank God for them daily not just for their help, but because I have sisters I can count on. We were not able to hang pictures as I and hoped (other projects and shopping got in the way) but they were able to help me talk about where to hang what, and that in itself was invaluable.
    After company and a day's rest, I started back at it again. I finally made the pleated valances for the sitting room area and we were able to get to Birmingham to purchase 2 more counter stools. We found that 4 was just not enough since company always finds their way to the island. . . which is just why I wanted it so big in the first place.  It has really been put to use by H and I and we have had quiet a few company meals there as well. To go along with the need for more seating, I found I don't have enough dinnerware either. I finally ordered the set I have had my eye on for more that a year now. I ordered 2 sets with an extra set of 4 plates.  At least now, I can feed 4 people 3 complete meals before washing dishes!
     If y'all bear with me a little longer, I promise to post a more informative post in a week or so complete with photos!  I just HAD to post today. . . 1) to let you know why it's been so long since my last post and. . . 2)  because today,  was a day to remember.  For those of you who may or may not remember, one year ago today, September 17, 2011, we Broke Ground!  We have been in our new house 4 months already, have had 2 major parties, and 9 sets of visitors.  If you have a chance to look back over this blog, you will see why it was important for me to post today. We have come a long way, and I was able to share some of it with you through this e journal and with my camera.
      Our lives have forever been changed  since that day and we are not looking back! Also, as if that is not enough. . .H and I met 45 years ago today. WHOA!  

Friday, August 12, 2011

Take a Look at Me Now. . .

     You may notice that my blog posts are getting to be far and few between but this is just for the present. As I have mentioned, we have had several visitors since we moved in and between each visit, we are still trying to put the house in order. So far, no visitor has seen the house completely done or with all its furniture. We keep sending pieces out to be re-covered between visits. And as we get more and more things unpacked, placed where they need to be or just put away, we are finding more little niches where we need (believe it or not) MORE things! The good thing about that is it gives me a reason (as if) to go shopping! With that being said, I am having a wonderful time going to Flea Markets with my new friends here in the South looking for things to "re-purpose"!  Old things for my new house, go figure!
      I have already shown you some of the items I have  found, refurbished, and/or upholstered.  Check out the "Feeling Groovy" post to see the two chairs I found which are copies of the dining room chairs my parents had when they set up housekeeping in 1942, and when I saw them, HAD to have them. I have had Mother's corner cabinet for several years now and had it re finished while living in Virginia. These two chairs can also be added to my dining set as needed for company.  The table that is between these chairs, I found at a local antique shop in Clanton called Remember When.  It too, only need a little polish to bring it back to it's natural glory. The chairs are  in the sitting area off the kitchen for right now. I am still trying to define this area and during his last visit, my brother-in-law suggested I add a woman's writing desk to this area. I completely agree with him! We need a place for the phone, calendar, pens, pencils, etc. (taking this clutter off my bar) and this makes a lot of sense. I mentioned this to a friend here on the lake that I would be on the lookout for this  and would you believe she has an antique woman's writing desk that has no place to go in her house! Haven't seen it yet, but I have first dibs! Still need a rug to complete this area. Thanks for the idea, Paul! My next find was a table to go on the landing going down stairs. As everything else, this is still a work in progress and it will look more complete when a rug is added, a taller lamp and the photos are up on the wall behind it, which will be a re-creation of the family gallery I had in Virginia going UP the stairway.

Before I go any further, I MUST show you the wingback chairs I just got back. I have taken the Martha Washington chair in for recovering and that will be the last of the pieces I needed redone for this house. I have been soooo pleased with our upholsterer. Check out the sofa and stripped chairs in the post with the chairs to see how well all the fabrics go together. He has done an awesome job on all our pieces . . .and for a fraction of the cost to replace them!



            I also found and recovered a foot stool to go with these chairs if needed. I, for one, will use it!

A couple of other treasures found while out and about was a tall tin urn to go on the hearth of the stone fireplace. What a deal at $12.00!


The wine butler I found on another trip and just had to have him.  Linda had given P&R his big brother, who holds an ice bucket, some years ago for Christmas and I have always loved it.

       It been a blast going out with "the girls" looking for these treasures. I am slowly filling up the bookcase with some fun books to display such as  The White House Cookbook published during the Taft, Wilson Cleveland administrations and a must have, Teenagers of the Fifties, lest we forget Elvis, Giget, Tammy, Fabian and Frankie and Annette!  My latest find was James Patterson's The Lakehouse. What more can I say?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Up, Up and Away. . .

       Anybody remember why I felt the need to design and have a cabinet maker construct a double mantle? If not, when I say 18 foot ceilings, does that help jog your memory?  This all came about after realizing how tall the great room ceilings were going to be.  I had seen this photo of a double mantle in some design book and decided that was exactly what we needed to bring that ceiling down PLUS I loved the two urns pictured on each side of the book case. I thought this would  help to fill up those walls above it. Below is a photo I took of the mantle before some guests arrived so that it would look "kinda" organized.

      Each day when I sit, I find myself arranging and rearranging things for that very large "focal point" in my living room. One thing I quickly figured out is that I now have 40 feet of book shelves and not nearly enough hard back books! (Unless you count children's books and then I would need more book cases) That was quickly remedied last Tuesday when the VeeGee's had their monthly outing and we went to a very neat Flea Market called Prattville Pickers. As I was scouting the booths for tables (still need to fill in some spaces; one being on the landing going to the lower level), I spotted a John Grisham that I had not read. All of mine are paper back because I always bought them to read at the beach or on trips.  But seeing the hard back made me think that some of his books would work on my book shelves. In fact, for $2.00 each, I was able to buy 8 and would have bought more if I could have remembered which ones I needed. I now have a list of all his other books and am back on a quest for the remaining books. OK, that covered 3/4 of one shelf, what now? I know I have more books packed away but have not gotten them all unpacked yet. . .so I will just keep adding items to fill up the space and rearrange as I go along.  Another work in progress. (Note: I did find the perfect demilune table for the landing and will add the photo on another blog.)
      This photo below was taken after we borrowed a 10 foot ladder to hoist the urns to their place of honor about 12 feet up in our living room! Believe me, this was no small feat!  The urns are about 2 1/2 feet tall  and weight about 30 pounds each. It took both us, a 10 ft. ladder plus a bar stool on the bookcase, to get them up there.  After the urns were placed, I was able to start adding my books, special items and family heirlooms and of course, a few pictures (y'all knew that was coming) to make these bookcases look "put together".  NOTE:  Don't be surprised if I post another picture with everything changed around again. One thing for sure, those urns are not going anywhere!

     The screened porch is another work in progress. Unfortunately, this has been a kind of disappointment for us. We had visions and hopes of spending a LOT of time out there BUT when building it, we had not realized  where the weather would come from and since we are way out on the point, it has become more trouble than it is worth.  We are constantly bringing the cushions in and out as well as the "decor" (which the wind would take care of if we didn't). We also have to think about it when we are away in case an afternoon storm kicks up. BUMMER!  We have been considering having it glassed in to become a sun room, but that may have to wait.  In the meantime, we may need to find some blinds or shades to ward off wind and rain. Any ideas out there? Anyway, since we want to use it when we can, today I touched up all the scratches made from the move and started designing my Flamingo Lounge South coasters.

      Did I mention that my metal Flamingo with the flip flops and ankle bracelet was damaged in the move? If not, I may not have mentioned that I found someone to weld the legs back on....but before I picked it up, one of his sales people sold it! He offered me a new metal flamingo and the money he received for it but I really didn't want to replace it, so check out the urn on the hearth that he gave me in it's place! (see picture below) Could not believe the color was the same as my living room! Love it!

    With more company coming next week, it is about time to start thinking about picture hanging. As I have unpacked my pictures, I have been placing them in the rooms or leaning them on the wall where I think I want them to go.  I have been considering where the collages would go as well, i.e. wedding wall, family gallery and pen and ink collages.  That may take more thinking about. So I guess it's time to pull out the hammer and nails and make a decision.  Hopefully I can get it right the first time. . .if not, one can always change her mind  'cause we have spackle and lots of paint left over!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Feeling Groovy. . .

   Things are finally starting to come together. . .at least in one or two rooms. The great room is beginning to look like the room I was seeing, in my mind's eye anyway.  But even with the addition of the newly upholstered sofa, there seemed to be something missing. So once again, I set down at my machine, (thank you Mama for teaching me to sew) and started making pillows for the sofa. I had only planned to make two, one for each end using the brown paisley shown in my last post. . .BUT since I had leftover fabric from my sofa,  I decided to add a couple more.  It only seemed fitting to make two pillows to match the sofa. First, there had to be a decision about trim. Fringe or cording? Couldn't decide. But the decision was made for me when I went to buy the fringe in question and they had none! It was priced at $6.99 a yard and I need almost 4 yards per pillow. As most of you know, I taught Pre-K and we don't do 2-diget Math, but I figured out (by rounding up) that it was almost $25 per pillow. So I quickly told the lady to cut me 10 yards of the $.29 a yard cording and my decision was made! Love the results and am a firm believer that some things happen for a reason. Today we took the two wingbacks chairs to Mr. Davis! He has done a great job on all my  fabric pieces and can't wait until these two come back in a couple of weeks and then the entire great room will be furnished. . .just need to add the accessories and arrange the bookcases.


     After making 5 pillows (I made a smaller one for the stripped chair not to be left out),  I decided it was time to try my hand at re-covering  and refurbishing chairs.  So I pulled out the old chairs I had found  at a local antique shop. I lightly sanded them with steel wool and applied a coat of "refinishing stain" to enhance their look and then covered the old seats with a new fabric that I also plan on making roman shades with, and they turned out pretty decent. I had previously purchased a pedestal table from a new antique dealer friend of mine, to set between them, so I added a little elbow-grease to it at well and voila` a cute little sitting area off the kitchen! There is an "all girl" trip planned in the fall to a go to a large Flea Market in Atlanta where one can find all sorts of treasures. . .I will be looking for a rug and lamp to complete this little spot. BUT I just remembered, my new VeeGee's (Verbena Girls) and I are going on our monthly outing next week and we are going to a large flea market in Prattville (just this side of Montgomery) and who knows? Maybe I won't need to wait til fall. (Note: For a future post, show the last treasures found on an outing to Alexander City PLUS the house warming gift these ladies found and gave to me.)
This is my chair. . .before

Anyone for tea? 

After these projects, I was on a roll. I am still trying to "stage" my dining room table but not sure what I want to "feature" in the center.  It definitely needed a runner to soften the wood, so I made what is called a table topper since it doesn't actually "run" the length of the table. The photo doesn't do the fabric justice but here's it is anyway.

      Can you tell I and getting my "Crafting Groove" back on?
      I feel I must tell you that this blog may now turn into sharing my little projects for the house as well as some of my usual crafting stuff. The house is built and now you will be viewing the details of making this house a home. I have really enjoyed sharing this adventure with y'all and have had so many positive comments that I felt I wanted to continue writing this electronic journal. So for all of you who know me, and want to see what I'm up to, I would love for you to join me as I continue retired life doing all the things a retired person does. . .absolutely anything I want to do!
     At this point I will share my little project I have been dying to make for all my new neighbors on The Ridge to thank them for their warm welcome. These are called boat fenders for all my non-boating friends and I personalized them to hang in their boat houses rather than to be used as a fender. Since I am a crafter and not a photographer, you won't be able to see all the embellishments on each fender since I couldn't photograph in the round, but you get the "picture".

Roll Tide with the Masons
Enjoy a Dip at the Fosters

It's Toddy Time at the Phillips
It's Anchors Aweigh at "guess who?"

     Don't worry, it won't be all about crafts, I still need to design and decorate the "croft" but I need to live with it a little longer to see what I want to do. First thing first, organize and re-purpose is the buzz words for this room. It's a great space but now I have to make it work for me by organizing what I have and I think it will be fun to re-purpose items that I already have here first before having cabinets and counters made. I've lots of ideas already but may be early Fall before I get started. . .too much going on now to think about it now. My next guests are due to arrive next week!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Celebrate Good Times . . .Come On !!!

       I don't know how many of you are familiar with the movie "Field of Dreams", but the famous line that came from that movie was, "if you build it, they will come" and I am here to tell you, it holds true if you build a house also. . . and we couldn't be happier!
      We have just said good-bye to our fourth set of guests in the last two weeks and we have loved every minute of their visits. Our first visitors were Paul and Rosanne. They stayed four days and we celebrated their 37th Anniversay here with some of our new lake friends that we wanted to share with them. Then came Liz and Jarrett to celebrate her birthday. . .and she invited her "party" to come along. That would be Johnny and Nina and their 1 year old son, John Harold. The next day, Lauren and Clifton came and the party was on! We celebrated a birthday and then rolled right into the Fourth of July. We had already invited the Masons and their family to help us celebrate our first Fourth on the lake. That made 8 more! We had 17 people , 1 baby and 2-3 dogs celebrating like crazy around here. We are expecting a special couple from Virginia next week as they are bringing their grandson to Huntsville to go to Space Camp. I can't wait to "celebrate" with them! 
        Just to recap, we moved in the house on May 18th. Since then we have celebrated Memorial Day, an anniversary, a birthday, and the 4th of July!
      Our second shipment of furniture, that was in storage  in Virginia for a year, arrived less than a week after we moved in and I have been unpacking boxes ever since. Even though company was coming, our builder was here just about everyday working on the "punch list" and finishing up second coats of paint on the outside. During our first visit with Paul and Rosanne, every day H had to meet with, work with or call a contractor for one thing or another to finish up all the projects not quiet finished. One day H met with 5 different contractors! Mind you, all the boxes are NOT unpacked, nor are their contents in their final resting place, but we at least had beds for them,  PLUS we couldn't wait to have family come and see us. The weather didn't exactly cooperate  and Baby Boat was not quiet ready for her maiden voyage on the lake, but that didn't put a damper on our celebrating with our first visitors. (Sorry Andersons! Oh, well guess you'll just have to come back :)
     Since our first guests, we now have a new sofa and a 'fridge for the lower level. I can not tell you how much I love the way the sofa turned out and the fabric I chose. Lest you not forget the 80's fabric that has been on the sofa for about 20+ years. . .here is a before picture:

        And now it has a more up to date color and look. The color is a soft blue green with a herrinbone texture which may or may not not show up in the photo. The fabric you see on the corner will be pillows for the sofa. It is a paisley print and I think it will go well with the other fabric pieces in the room as well as
 "tying " in the brown leather chair.

         The club chair we bought just for me, we had upholstered  in this stripped fabric to match the sofa and carpet. . .  and is sooooooooo comfy. Funny thing thought, I find myself in the leather chair more often than the club chair and I am not sure why. If you double click you may be able to enlarge photo and see the carpet. Remember, we picked out the carpet and then chose the border to be added. We really like the way it turned out.

                                      Below is an up close and personal view of the club chair.

We have delayed sending the wingback chairs for a recover until after our next guests arrive. Until then, they will literally be the "pink elephants" in the room. I love love  love the fabric I chose for these chairs and will wait to show you the before and after photos when they are done.
      I am adding a photo of the dining room and foyer but keep in mind, a few more pictures and/or accent pieces will make these room more complete. I still haven't decided on window treatments for the dining room yet. I think the windows need softening but I really like the look of the windows as they are. Right now, there is no need for anything but as the sun changes its direction, I may need to reconsider my options.

      I also have plans for this Martha Washington chair but that is not a priority yet. (The Williamsburg blue just won't hold its own with the new blue color scheme).
     I realize this post has gotten a little wordy even though there are pictures to go with it, so I'll shorten it here and add the rest of the pictures of the Flamingo Lounge, Rocking Chair Lane as well as the Lower level bedrooms (or Motel 6 as I found myself calling it as I was making beds, cleaning baths and vacuuming today :) But don't you worry, I loved every minute of it and will keep that light burning, so Y'all Come Back, ya hear!


Friday, June 10, 2011

Rescue Me. . .

     Here we are in our beautiful new home three weeks later, still having workmen in and out every day and a lot of boxes unpacked. Unfortunately, we still have serveral more days if not (a week or two) with workmen in and out and many, many more boxes to unpack!
     I so want to take some pictures to share with you BUT it seems each room is still incomplete!
    The laundry room has all the "stuff" in it BUT nothing is in its right place. I have made a sign, painted baskets and have the linings of the big baskets being embrodiered as I write. I also found the large plate hangers for the plates my various classes made for me at HCEP, BUT I still need to hang them. So no pictures on the laundry room!
    The kitchen has been somewhat organized and the pantry has been stocked. The bar stools for the island have been assembled and the  island has been "staged", BUT the sitting room on the side is a holding place for all the screened porch items until the floors and screens are cleaned and ready for set up. So who wants to see a picture of that!
  The living room looked nice for a day or two even with the 1980's fabric on the sofa and chairs BUT the sofa is now at the upholsterer, my new club chair was delivered yesterday BUT that meant both recliners are in the great room for seating until the sofa returns. And that is not even mentioning the double mantle has yet to be set up because the Audio/Visual guys are still installing the surround sound and the "speakers" have to be stragicially placed on the bookcase shelves for optium sound, of course. Then I can find pretty things to set in front of them to hid them. At least they are white and will "fade" into the bookcases to some degree. BUT, with that said, that room is not ready for its photo opt either.
   The master bedroom and bath have all their elements BUT they look like they are naked from the waist up as they still  need pictures and curtains to finish the look. SO I want be adding to the porno already out there in cyberland and send any pictures until they are fully "clothed".
   The dining room has its furnishings complete with new rug, which I love, BUT I have not had time to wash all the crystal, polish the silver and put them away which means, everything (even thought they are beautiful family pieces) are still on the, now extended to sit eight, table.  Pretty stuff, BUT not photo worthy!
    The foyer has the 200 + year old secretary in its place of honor BUT the things that go in it are still in those many, many boxes waiting to be unpacked that I mentioned earlier.
    BUT even in the 98 degree temperature here in Ala-damn-bama, we managed to put the four teak rockers together last Friday night, and get the bistro table set up on the deck!  So, your only chance to see pictures in this post, is of the deck!

    The wrought iron painted flowers is my attempt at getting color on the deck for now. I promise you they will live longer than anything I decide to plant out there anyway  :) Below is the view from those chairs.

    We have sit out there several times now and have had coffee out there every morning since. Love it!

    I have gotten to the point now where all the unpacking is not as overwhelming anymore. I pick a room or project one day at a time and that's my goal for the day. Some days I get it all done and can start another project, some projects take more than one day.
    Last week I was able to take a day off  for a "Girl's Day Out" with eight new friends and we went antique shopping all day. We had lunch at Lake Martin and continued shopping  to a town about 55 miles south of here ending up in an old drug store with a soda fountain! What fun! Believe it or not, I bought more furniture and goodies to decorate with!
    Sunday, one of those girls joined us for church and came back to the lake with us for a swim. It's funny how un-ready we were for that swim but we managed it anyway and enjoyed ourselves all afternoon floating off our swim dock for about three hours with our choice of beverage in hand.
 Ahhh! I have been rescued. Next week, I'll tackle more of those boxes.

 (Note to H ) you really need to order that swim ladder soon! Also, while you are at it, we need a pump to blow up all these floats and that new Relaxation Station before our next guests arrive.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Green, Green Grass of Home. . .

     I can hardly believe it and couldn't wait to share, but we finally have grass! We also have a few plantings, some knock-out roses and tons of pine straw (Alabama mulch). As I mentioned earlier, the landscape will be a work in progress. Our top priority was drainage, cover the red dirt and set up a watering system. All the above objectives, have been met. There is still a little more sod and pine straw to be laid but all and all, we are pleased with our "instant lawn". Looks great from the lake. SEE!

     Today when we put the numbers on our new mailbox, I took a photo to show you the plantings on either side of the front porch. We plan on doing more landscaping on the hill running down the side of the driveway but not quite yet. I would love to add hydrangeas and then we hope to add some steps down the slope to work with the natural-ness of the hillside landscape. (Another day, another dollar.)

     Unpacking boxes and finding a place for everything is still an ongoing project and since we have all the time in the world. . .we are doing it at our pace! We were able to take a break this Memorial weekend and share some time with the Masons and their family. We found ourselves floating on an eight seat Relaxation Station with a Corona in our hand for most of the day, then a traditional burger with all the fixins' and then we ended the day with a sunset boat ride. Now that's what I call lake living!  Hopefully by the time our family starts visiting next month they can relax like that at our place. And, oh yeah! We are definitely buying our own Relaxation Station next week!
     The sofa and one of the beds are going to their respectful fixer-upers this week and then the wing back chairs will be next. The club chair and ottoman ordered for me is, you guessed it, not due until early June. My great room consists of my new beautiful rug, two chocolate leather recliners, 80’s style upholstered furniture and a 65” TV. And if you are wondering why I am holding off sending photos of rooms and their d├ęcor? It is because there is not a room completed! I have, however, lined the shelves and drawers and have most items in their new homes and I have almost ALL the glasses washed and displayed in their designated (upper or lower level) bars. The china has been washed and some tucked away in the china hutch but there is a lot of tarnished silver to be polished yet. I am stuffing food and cooking items, small appliances, serving pieces, cook books, recipe box and pyrex casserole dishes in the pantry just waiting for the day when I can’t get in there anymore without tripping to organize it. Don’t get me started on what has been stored in my beautiful laundry room without my knowledge. There was NO mention of tools, lighbulbs, extention cords etc. laying all over my counter when I was planning that room, was there?

    We are still struggling with getting the internet stabalized in our home and until then, my blogs will be short and sweet (Bet y'all are glad to hear that).

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Movin' Out. . .

        Finally, we have an official movin' out / movin' in day!
       To refresh your mind, we officially "broke ground" on this site Thursday September 17, 2010,  and as of Wednesday, May 18, 2011, we will have a new address on Lake Mitchell!  For those of you doing the math, it is exactly 8 months and 1 day! I have sent this new address (and new phone number) in a mass email and hope those of you who are interested got it.
       We have known about this date for about a week now and I have been packing boxes like crazy, because the move has been scheduled!  The AV man and the Direct TV man will be arriving on Monday, the rest of the appliances and carpet / rugs will be delivered on Tuesday, and the movers arrive here on Wednesday morning! Thursday, the new bedroom furniture and our new mattresses arrive; Friday I'll be unpacking the more than 100 boxes I have packed this week! We are in the process of setting a delivery date for our things in storage (in Virginia) and hope that it will be here within the next week.  Since we have been living in the rental with all the "stuff" we have now for eleven months, we can get by for another week without the rest of our belongings. The only hitch is all the "sitting stuff " will be placed in the lower level and our bedroom furniture will be on the main level, but you won't hear me complaining. Even when the rest of the furniture arrives, it will all be going to the upholsterer for a week or two anyway. What we will have in the great room until then, will work although (be prepared) it will NOT look good with the new color palette. :)
       There will still be quite a bit of "stuff " going on at the house but the builders feel we can start getting in and they can keep working around us.There is more "second" coats of paint going on all the woodwork and trim outside the house and the screens for the porch have yet to be installed. Since the porch furniture is in the storage shipment, we aren't ready for it anyway. Probably next week. Meanwhile, we DO have the four rockers for the covered deck which, I assure you, will be put to good use until then. We do have air, electricity, TV, telephone, running water, all the appliances and toilets in the house. All of that and the VIEW will keep me content for a while longer.
     The landscaping just got started a few days ago and may be a work in progress as we move in, but not a problem. H passed two humongous trucks full of top soil being delivered to our house getting the yard ready for the sod installation. YEA! At least the red dirt will be covered and we will finally have the green, green grass of home.
     I promise to add pictures to the next post if you will just bear with me. . .but until then, if you will excuse me for a few days until we get internet again, just like Billy Joel. . .we're MOVIN" OUT!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Splish, Splash . . .

       It's official. . .Tuesday, May 10, 2011 "Baby Boat" came to her new home on Lake Mitchell!
       Before I go any futher, I need to tell y'all that "Baby Boat" is not the official name of our boat.  That name came about because of her size next to the boats of family and friends that we were with at the time we bought her. Below is a photo of our boat rafted up with all the other boats last Labor Day.  Now can you see how easy it was to just start calling her Baby Boat? We are not sure if or when she will officially be named, but I wanted to share with you why I call her that. With that being said, and with the photo below. . . we were told today, that she is the biggest boat on Lake Mitchell! Go figure! We don't know that to be a fact but just goes to show you how all things are relative. All I can say is she is big enough for us and we look forward to going out in her as often as possible and enjoying every minute of it. Can you find Baby Boat in the picture below?

We were so lucky to have found this boat, in this condition, at this price, and at the time we were starting to look for a boat. We also count  ourselves lucky to have had family and friends, that were much more knowledgeable about boats than we were, to be with us at the time this happened. Then as a plus, we had Brian, the salesman at the marina who sold us the boat. He has looked after it for us while it was in storage and  today drove the boat  (about 3 1/2  hours drive) from Chattanooga and literally put it in the water for us! I thought H was excited when we bought the boat back in September, but today, waiting for her to get here I though he would pop his buttons! It was a long waited for day and I even wore my SeaRay shirt for the occasion!
      Below is the launch at The Ridge that is  used mainly by those of us who live here.   There is a public launch nearby. . .  but this one is just down/up the street from our home.

Next is a series of photos  taken while putting the boat in the water as if you couldn't tell . . .but you know me, gotta document it!

And splish, splash she's in!

     Now turn left (towards the dock) and head for your new boat house! H and Brian made it to the boat house by water quicker than I could drive back there and by the time I made it back to the boathouse, all the "guys" were gathered 'round her.  Actually, these are the guys who built the boat house and they were waiting to put it up her on the lift to see if it worked. And it did! Several more of our friends dropped by to welcome her home.

       After "the viewing", H  had a  "briefing" with Brian to go over again things he needed to know about the boat and then it was time to take her for a ride! Now, I'm not one who likes to "go fast" in a boat, but I must admit it was really a fun ride.  We took Brian over to the dam (the water is over 100 feet deep there)  and showed him a "small section" of our 150 mile shoreline on Lake Mitchell. The lake is about 14 miles long  with an average depth of 29 feet.  We then headed back to The Ridge.
       When the boat tour was over, Brian  asked for a tour of  the house. And of course, we said yeah!
The generator went in today, the painters are still busy at work, and the landscaper was preping the site for drainage and the installation of the watering system.   Bedroom carpets were installed yesterday with the rest will be completed on Friday. When we left today all the lower level bedrooms and bathrooms had been cleaned and were ready  for the furniture. Could we be getting closer to move in day? We are starting to bring things to the house now, because frankly, we have no place to put them here in this rental. Saturday, we will pick up the iron bed and leather chairs we purchased earlier this year. Our neighbor has offered his trailer and his help to get them to the lake. . . .and afterwards. . . let's see how can we repay them? I know, how about a boat ride?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

One Fine Day. . .

     That's what we are hearing these days. No specific date, just one fine day. . .in May. . .we hope. Sound familiar to any of you that have built a house?
     Last week, the builder said that the move in date may be moved back a week later than the last date he "kinda" gave us. This week, things have come together a little better and maybe we are back to the originial date. . .Who knows?
      All I know is the last time we went to the house, the appliances had been delivered, the painters were busy at work putting a final coat on the inside of the house after the floors had been stained, the heat and air conditioning men were checking things out and  installing thermostats, security guys making sure we have all the alarms we need, Terry, still hard at work doing all the wonderful trim work (inside and out), and the propane tank was delivered and put into the rather large hole dug at the side of my house.  The gutters have been added to the roof of the house and steps going down the side of the house from the screened room are being constructed.
     The plumber finally made it back on the scene and began installing toliets in all the bathrooms, faucets for all the sinks, hooking up the disposal, dishwasher, washer and dryer and getting fresh water down to the boat house. With the price of gas these days and all of our subs coming out of the Birmingham area, it is hard to get these guys here unless they have a full day of work. I hate that the granite guys have to come back from Tuscaloosa to drill more holes for faucets.  Its about a 2 hour drive from their place.
     H went to the house on Tuesday just to see what was going on and as he is getting ready to leave, the door bell rings! (Did I mention we have electricity?) It was the guy ready to install the gas logs for both fireplaces. We are not sure what he would have done if H had not been there. The doors all have locks now and only the builders and we have a key.  So H stayed and watched him as he also had to wait out the rain storm since he forgot and  parked at the top of the hill instead of coming down the driveway.
NOTE: The driveway, as I showed you in an earlier post, is a steeper than I had thought it was going to be, but I am glad to say I have been able to walk up and down it in flip flops without any trouble since the day it was poured. I am hardly winded when I reach the top now :) The first time to drive it was more scarier, but now, it's a piece of cake. . . once you get your nose pointed in the right direction. Driving up, not a problem  anymore. But I must go on record and say, only one of us has done this.
     I took Wednesday off to have a girls day out with  Jane and my new Verbena friends. We went to a historic B&B located in old town Prattville (just this side of Montgomery) for Tea! It was wonderful and afterwards we poked our heads into several little shops that reminded me a lot like Middleburg. H and Ralph went to Birmingham  that day where they were treated as VIP's at the Shoal Creek Country Club for the Regions Tradition Pro/Am . There they saw many celebs and pro golfers alike. The Mason's daughter works for Merrill Lynch who offered the tickets to the boys. So both H and I had a little "get away" time and treated ourselves to "one fine day!"
      Today is Thursaday and they are buffing and putting the final coat on the hardwood floors. We will not be able to get in until Sunday.
     Work yet to be done  at the house is. . . carpets installed, the rest of the appliances installed, the rest of the fans outside on the terrace installed, the screens installed on the porch,  more paint touch up and there is some  re-do work  on the mantle in the great roomand and that's not to mention all the landscaping that has been scheduled!  Due to a day of tornadoes and several other days of rain, the landscaper is a little behind schedule.
ANOTHER NOTE:  Thank you to all of you who called or emailed to check on us after the terrible tornadoes that went through our new home state. We were luckier that some fellow Alabamians. The last tornado of the day came right through this little tow of Clanton and headed staight to the lake. The good news is this one did NOT touch ground.  The weather people are saying this "perfect storm" should not happen again in our lifetime. Another bit of good news is they are saying the strong winds and rain did NOT harm this year's peach crop!
     With all of this going on, H is going crazy calling and setting up  our move in dates, move out dates, boat delivery dates, new phone service installation ( yes, that too will change again), TV and internet service installation dates, propane delivery, new furniture delivery dates, and storage from Virginia delivery dates. It's all a bit overwhelming because we haven't been given a clear cut date ourselves. So what do we tell these people? (H's frustrations vallidates once again the need for separtate work spaces.)
     Meanwhile, J is packing boxes. Enough said!
    Hopefully, my next post will have photos of all these projects finished! I know for sure there will be a picture of Baby Boat in his new boathouse on Lake Mitchell. Thank you, Frankie!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

With a Little Bit of Luck. . .

with a little bit of bloomin' luck. . . we may be in our house before Mother's Day! Before the spring rains set in, there had been some mention of getting in by my birthday which happens to fall on Easter Sunday this year, but it ain't gonna happen.  I would never hold the builders to this, and couldn't even if I wanted to, because there are just too many things that have to come together to have made that work.  If the truth be known, I'm not quiet ready to move in myself and in all honesty, we never planned on being in the house before the end of June! SO the way I'm looking at it, we are about two months ahead of schedule!
      I will admit that every time we are at the house now, I am soooooooooo not ready to leave the lake when  its time to go. I wish I could put into words the serenity I feel just being there and have felt since day one. I know that might change because, I am a people person, but after these past two years on this roller coaster ride of remodeling, selling, moving and buillding a house, maybe I AM ready for this change. I already love my new neighbors and we're looking forward to spending time with them as well as having  the "down" time for the two of us in our little retirement home.
      We have spent the last two days at the house for several hours at a time. There has been a LOT going on. One of the biggest projects was the installation of the double mantle and bookcases.  I posted the first phase of this project when the bookcases went in and the second stage when the granite surround went on and now this is a view of the third phase. I hope the fourth phase I post, it will be all done and painted. Can't wait!

     The center wall of the top mantle will  be painted the color of the walls and the doors are having a bit of picture frame moulding applied to them as we speak. . . hence the missing doors on the bookcases. We cannot believe how this piece has made the 18 ft. ceilings in this room seem less daunting. I just hope I can find those 3 ft. tall urns that I have envisioned  to go on the top of each bookcase, and then, someone with a tall ladder to help me get them up there!  The cabinet maker, Brad, has asked for a photo when we get settled and have everything in its place. Between his expertise of building it and my sketch of how I wanted it to look (not to mention some minor alterations here and there to make it all work) there will NOT be another one like it anywhere.
     Along with this project, the granite for the island was installed. They had to wait until the driveway was cured enough to bring this 500 lb. + piece of granite to us. We were visiting the Masons when the granite guys came and when they left, we all walked down the hill to check it out.  Love it!

     Now that the granite is in, time for the tilers to come back and finish the backsplash. As I may have told you, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for the backsplash.  There are so many ideas and things one can do to make it look special but I just wasn't sure that was the way I wanted to go. I opted for a very simple tumbled tile. . . but, we had it laid in a pattern that gave it a "special look".  This is what we came up with.

      And for a closer look. . .  it will be grouted tomorrow, but you get the picture. I know this bar is getting a lot of play, but it gives you a little bit of all of it. The cabinets and their color, the granite, and the backsplash design. In case you don't remeember, this is a herringbone design layed on the diagonal. This will probably cost me big bucks because of all the cuts and wasted tiles but what the heck, I'm going for style!

     These are just two projects I was overseeing sitting on my bucket (the builders left a 5 gal. paint bucket for me to carry from place to place to sit on during these loooong days). H found himself roaming where ever there was a sub working. Along with the cabinet maker, the two tilers, (a shower guy had installed the guest shower the day before) and outside, the Alabama Power Company was hooking us up so that we now have electricity to the house and to the boathouse, not to mention the builders putting up the bead board ceiling on the terrace so that the electricians can hang the last three ceiling fans.  But in the meantime, the electricians were in and out putting up the sconces for the master bath and half bath. There is something going on everywhere you look these days!
    Below is H's vanity. There is a big mirror being framed, using the trim from the cabinets, that will go in between the sconces.

                               My vanity will look almost like his. Only I get two mirrors and three lights!

      As of this afternoon we have been "banned" from the inside of the house. The painters will be back touching up and the floors will be sanded and stained for the FIRST time.  BUT, we will be back on site on Thursday when we meet with the landscaper to see just how much we will be able to do. All our neighbors have told us that this stage is a work in progress. All their lawns are in bloom now and look lovely but like ours, it wasn't done at the time they moved in. We hope to at least  put the sod in, the water system (we will be using  the lake to water) and a few shrubs or bushes. This year we might  just have to settle by being "pot" growers.
     NOTE: We have been given permission to come in on Saturday when Liz and Jarrett will be here and see it for the first time since Thanksgiving! Boy, does it ever look different since then!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bits and Pieces. . .

     Trying to think of an appropriate name for this blog was kinda hard.  Each time we go to the house something or another has been completed or added and as promised, I have taken a photo. Now I have all these wonderful photos to share with you but there is no rhyme or reason for this post. Just bits and pieces of things I wanted to share with you. So you can imagine my surprise when I found this song by the Dave Clark Five! Do any of you (other than my BIL Paul, who I am sure knows it) remember it?
     Okay, walk with me, talk with me as we take this photo tour.  Our first stop as we enter the house is the new foyer light.  Hope you can tell something with the plastic wrap but believe me, it's a good thing it got covered. This was the companion piece that goes with the chandelier which is pictured below.

     The dining room chandelier was not covered when I took the photo but it is now.  Those silk organza shades could have been a disaster.  (Good thing I showed you the pineapple pendants before they got covered.)

     Let's see, have I shown you the bookcase and fireplace surround in the great room? I chose Absolute Black granite for the surround to balance this end of the room. This is only the first installment to the fireplace. The main fireplace and mantle have not been built yet nor has the second mantle for the top. It will go up higher than the book cases on either side and the TV will fit in between. This was our solution/attempt to bring down the 18 foot ceiling. I want to place some urns on top odf the bookcases and found some lovely buffet lights to go on the cabinets. It isn't finished yet, but this will give you the "before" and then you can see the "after" hopefully, next week.

      Since I did not draw this to scale when I gave my rendition to the cabinet maker, I was not aware how big the doors would be on the bottom. After I see the double mantle in place and all the details on them, I may or may not need to add a little something to those doors. My guess is it will be picture frame moulding, if anything, that is like what we put on the walls below the chair rail in the dining room.  Below is the granite on the fireplace.

    Out the great room door you will see that the deck railing has been installed.  Still needs caps on all the posts but wanted to show you this and the fans that have been installed.  Now all we need is the rocking chairs which we found at Sam's yesterday but was in the wrong car to bring them home. Oh well, guess we'll make another trip to Birmingham this week end!

     Rosanne, when you are not on the swim deck sunning, I'm sure Paul will bring you sandwiches out here
Back inside I see the glass doors have been put on the bar. The lighting was installed and now we need to find the glass shelves we wanted to go in these cabinets.

       Downstairs the flooring has been installed and really looks nice.  We went with a laminate flooring down here after we heard the price to tile it. We wanted something to withstand the ins and outs from the lake for our  guests and granddog as well. :)  Most of it will be covered with a rug in the center of the room.  We put the same flooring up in the Croft as well but I as saving all those photos for a post all its on. Be looking for a post entitled . . . Stairway to Heaven.

I asked the builder for the self mopping floor, but this is what I got.  Don't you just love the dust on the floors already?    

    I thought I'd add this one of the Lower level bar in case you hadn't seen it. Wait, is it me or is one of my drawers missing?  Can you tell I just randomly point and shoot and not really check out the subject?  With all the work in progress, I gave up trying to "stage" photos. You get what you get, and you don't get upset. That's what I use to tell my kidlets when I was teaching preschool. It seemed to work for them.
    Next Monday the house will be alive with subs. The tile guy will be finishing the backsplash in the kitchen, the cabinet maker/firefighter will  install the mantles and tweak them, the closet man will be installing shelving in all the closets, the AV guys will complete their installations and work on the security systems, and the granite handlers will bring in the 8 foot piece for the island. Yay! We found and purchased the counter stools for the island!

     I think we will spend a lot of time at this island, eating, drinking and just plain socializing.  I love the fact that they will fit nicely under the island and not be in the way. I had thought I wanted backs on them at first but everything we looked at wasn't comfortable, or my short legs couldn't reach the rungs, or it wasn't the look I was going for or they were just too expensive (we need at least 4 or maybe 6). These were comfortable, fit my legs, the wood matched the island wood, and they were on sale! We'll take 4 please!

   Well, this catches you up on things not seen in other posts but there is more to come. We are now at crunch time and we still need the plumber, painters and floor guys back one more time!  We have set up delivery of the boat for the first week in May, contacted the landlord, are making arrangements to get our Virginia shipment here, met with the estimater for the move from here to the lake and showed him the way and have just about run out of room in this rental with all the purchases made to this point.  Good luck Liz, Jarrett and Savannah finding your bedroom when you come for Easter and to help me celebrate my birthday!