Friday, July 31, 2009

First-floor layout

This was a "photo" I could manage without endangering life and limb.

Aside from all the windows, what we really liked about this version was the view from the front door all the way through to the windows in the dining room.

Note from husband: All the common areas are mine to design. All the private spaces (music room on this floor, library upstairs) are his. If I want a studio for my graphic arts business, it's going in the basement.

Is that fair?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

KatyDaly takes a break

The storms must have come through yesterday. I know because of the "driving" rain for my whole 5-hour trip home. It was soupy and hot yesterday in NY—nice to come back to the AC in NJ—it's pretty soupy here too.

I decided to leave when I found out that everything happening to the house from now through Monday or Tuesday, will take place down in the basement, where I can't see anything. I could, if I was a real photographer, but I would have to walk the plank, balance on the scaffolding, and/or go down the ladder. I think I will wait until the floor gets started and the "moat" backfilled before I venture inside for my next photo shoot.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Kaya takes a break

And we're going to take one too. Heading home today before the big storms come.

I talked to Jim the builder just now, and he says nothing very interesting will happen until Monday, so I am headed back and will return early next week. By Monday the basement floor insulation, radiant floor heat, and concrete floor should be finished. Once that's all done, they can start the floor deck and framing.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New kid on the block!

Momma (Luna) was out struttin' her stuff showin' off her new pony boy (don't know his name yet). I guess there's lots of big things happening in this podunk little town!

Also noticed tonight there's a new litter of Willie's relatives in the horse barn. Hope these kittens don't decide to cross the big nasty road like he did...

More of the pour

The big pour

To make up for no news yesterday, plenty of things are going on today. I thought the concrete truck wasn't coming until 11, but they showed up early. When does that ever happen in construction? I was down at the creek with the dogs when the trucks started coming in. Several loads of concrete were pumped through a hose aimed by the guy on the crane, with Gordy in the "house" pouring it into the forms, and Jim following him settling it in.

Weather was perfect today for the big pour. It needs to dry for at least a day, and then they come back and start framing. With any luck (and some assistance from j's smudge wands) the floor will get started tomorrow. Now that the windows are cut out of the Lego blocks, it is beginning to look more like a house than a hole in the ground.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A short flick

While no building is going on, the husband suggested I provide some entertainment. This is video from a few summers ago when visiting nieces were enjoying the creek with Lester and Sophie. This is the best part of the property, the creek that winds through the back.

The unloved

Earlier this week I got a last-minute invitation to the Historical Society meeting which was being held in the MagicBarn. Chazoo was hosting the meeting, and amused everyone with his performance. Just so happens that the realtor who sold us this place was sitting right behind me. We chatted about how she thought The Dump was the reason the place was on the market for so long—she thought it would never sell.

This photo was taken Thanksgiving weekend, 2004, just a few weeks before we went to closing. Truly this was a place that needed more than little TLC. Apparently we were the only ones to see the beauty in it. Pamela, the realtor, was much impressed with the renovations, but still, I think, puzzled by our interest in The Dump.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The staredown

Not much to do on a hot, sunny Saturday, but play in the creek with the dogs. We found some more fossil rocks down there...lots of little tiny shell impressions. You would think with all this clean water there would be more fish, but all I saw today was one tadpole.

Jane and Colin are coming for dinner tonight. Hoping the sunny weather lasts until then, because I do all my cooking on the grill.

Friday, July 24, 2009

They are out there working in this rain

Rainy day, again!

Jim, Jerry and Gordon were out there in the rain all morning finishing up the rest of the Lego blocks—6 courses total. Jim the builder showed up around noon (he was on another job). I was planning to go back to NJ today, but it looks like they will pour the rest of the foundation on Tuesday. Things will happen pretty quickly after that.

The framing is the fast and dramatic part. In about a week it will go from looking like a hole in the ground, to looking like a house. Once the wood frame is in place, it slows down with all the finish work, inside and out.

This photo is the builder's dog, Kaya, being ordered off the job. She takes her supervisory position very seriously. He said she jumped from the plank into the hole several times yesterday. And then she can't get out... (BTW, if you click on the photos, you can see them larger.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Foundation work

Susan, the architect, showed up to answer some builder questions about 10 minutes after he took off to go to Oneonta for some missing pieces to the foundation puzzle. She went over everything with me, and now it's my job to relay the information to Jim. Luckily they both know what they are talking about.

Cloudy again today, but looks like they will get a whole day in before any storms come through. The ICFs (insulated concrete forms) look like big Lego pieces that fit together pretty easily, but then there's a whole bracing and reinforcement system that ties it all together.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Late today

I was going to give Jim a hard time for showing up at 10 am, but turns out he was waiting on delivery of the rest of the ICFs. He was promised they would be here between 10 and 11 am, not much to do until they got here. This photo is the truck finally rolling in at 3:19. And that only after we saw him sailing past the driveway on Rt 28 and Jim had to get in his truck and go chase him.

They are still out there working, but the weather is looking bad for Friday so probably the pour won't happen until Monday. Then we need another inspection...blablabla... I might go home on Friday and come back again next week. We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

They're here

Excavator came back for his equipment this morning, and was followed by the builder and a concrete truck. The foundation was poured and it has to dry. They come back tomorrow morning to install the ICF blocks (Nudura, not Arxx) and then they pour again on Friday...if the weather cooperates...still too much rain up here!

I borrowed a friend's camera (thanks, Jane!). This photo was actually taken a few minutes before the one I posted for yesterday. Jim on the left is my builder, Jim on the right is his helper. Kaya in the middle is the supervisor, and Sophie's new best friend. They are just finishing up after the concrete was poured.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Work WAS done while I was gone, but oh silly me forgot my camera. I will either borrow or buy one tomorrow. The driveway is all laid out, the house site is cleared, the garage is a gravel square, and the house is a BIG hole with the beginnings of a foundation. Let's keep our fingers crossed that someone shows up to continue working tomorrow morning.

Photo from the following day: Imagine this as just the forms, without the concrete and the rebar—that's the picture I should have taken today. Wheelbarrow is in the front room, left side of the house, front door is just to the right of it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

More than just a mudhole

Just got the word that the excavator has finished most or all of what he needed to do yesterday. Probably just as well that he didn't start last Monday, or my foundation probably would have looked like this photo. At least Lester would have been happy.

I will head back on Monday. Looks like the builder starts on Tuesday. Let's get this party started!

Monday, July 13, 2009

No work today...

Nicest day yet and they are working on other jobs. I am heading back to NJ and wait them out there. Did manage to mow the "backyard" before I left, no easy task with 3-ft high weeds. Probably won't post again until Monday, nothing interesting to report... Here's a pic of last night's dinner—grilled pizza with fresh mozzarella and basil—and a lovely Malbec of course.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Beautiful Sunday!

Almost cloud-free today after yesterday's mucky weather. This photo of my favorite little shed is from Friday night. A message from above, just not sure from whom, or what it was they were trying to say. Maybe "X" marks the spot for Lester's Flat?

Well, you're a little off. It's a bit to the right...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Weekend break

They only worked one day so far, and then the darn weekend and more rain had to come along. Lots of progress was made yesterday, and now the new driveway gives us all an easier walk to the house site. We just got back from a walk down to the creek...back just before the thunderstorms and rain hit hard. Hail is predicted.

Lester and Sophie in the photo are surveying the work that has been completed. That's the MagicBarn to the left, HorseFarm across the street, Dump to the right, and my favorite shed to the far right. Kudos to the excavator for making it look like we planned to put those new trees right along the edge of the driveway.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Let the fun (and sun) begin!

They were here at 7:35 this morning, and digging by 8:30. Apparently the spirits are cooperating, and the sun is with us. This after rain on 36 of the last 39 days. Let's hope this bodes well for the rest of the project.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Weather is good today, I am thinking they will actually start tomorrow.

I like working from up here. It is pleasant to look out the window and see the field, the mountains, the horses...even the magician in his Magic Barn. So much nicer than watching the NJ neighbors mowing their lawns or doing their dishes, where our homes are so close together.

This pic is the view that must be preserved. It is the reason for all the stake-moving I have been doing. It is the view from the front porch, the kitchen and the library. It is what I want to look at every day.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Weather report

Husband on Monday, builder on Tuesday, architect today—all fine-tuned the placement of house, garage and driveway. I think Saturday and Sunday were the only days this past week that were mostly sunny. At least our land drains pretty well—no standing water—but that doesn't help the contractors finish up what they are working on elsewhere.

Patience is a virtue.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

FINALLY online!

Dear Verizon: It really should not have taken 8 months to get me connected, and one full week after I was connected to get me up and running. I think you need to work on that timeframe AND your poor excuse for customer service! Even your own techs and tech support people are scratching their heads and wondering what the problem is! But thanks to some seriously dedicated folks (you know who you are!) I am online in NY!

As for the groundbreaking ceremony: looks like we're held up until Friday. But even if I have to go out there on Friday with my garden shovel, by myself, a hole is getting dug.