Monday, August 31, 2009
After all the fuss about the swooped roof, it seems to have worked out pretty well. Several people (including Jim the Builder) have commented that they like the "presence" of the house, that they can see it from the road and it looks great. The woman who owns the horse farm across the street said she was mowing down by the lake and could see the house from there. And the architect commented that it is "sited well".
I replaced Jerry's stolen sandwich with some grilled chicken. I am not sure if he shared it with the other guys or not.
Since we bought our land up here, I have been wanting to take some photos of the Herkimer Cemetery that is just a few hundred feet from the edge of our property. Our 22 acres was once a part of a much larger Herkimer Farm, going back to the time of the Revolutionary War. I need to do some more research, but I am pretty sure it was owned by a brother of General Herkimer, and stayed in the family for years after.
Since I have no paying work to do today, I finally wandered over. This poor little cemetery is landlocked by other people's property, so you have to trespass to get there...that and you have to climb a very steep little hill.
On my list of things to do when we move up here, is to contact the owners of the cemetery, the town's historical society, and see if we can't raise some money to clean it up a bit.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Chicken finally made it to the grill. The second pic pretty much sums up the weather pattern: blue skies, looks like rain, blue skies... You can also see the new house behind the shed, to the right. This is the view from the backyard of the Dump. I will miss this view, but I think the new ones from the house will make up for it.
Dinner tonight, with Lester's help, was grilled chicken (finally) with some of my goodies from the Farmer's Market yesterday: yellow tomatoes and raw milk feta, blue potatoes with fresh onion and garlic, and my new $1 wine glass (with cheap white wine). Wrong color for both taters and tamaters, but YUM!
I went with the dogs to the creek around noon, and we could barely cross it at our usual spot. I had to help Sophie back across as she was getting swept sideways. I finally saw the creek from the upstairs window in the new house, probably because the water was so much higher than usual.
I tried to find my way back to where The Husband wants the dock to go, but only got about halfway there. At least I think I have a better idea how to direct Scott to where we want it.
And I spent a couple of hours moving stakes again. I think I finally have the garage in the best location. If you click on the photo here (or any of them) you can see it larger. In the large version you will see my pathetic attempt at architectural drawing. The view is pasted together from 2 different spots on the front porch, so it's not exactly correct. I drew on top of it what I think the garage will look like (thin red lines). And, if you look to the left of the garage and the Magic Barn (you can ONLY see this in the large version, and barely there) I pointed out my huge lake view for all you naysayers.
I can see it even if you can't! And that's all that matters, isn't it?
Saturday, August 29, 2009
This morning I went into Cooperstown to the Farmers Market for some peaches, tomatoes, blue potatoes, and my favorite from there: Painted Goat cheese. Today I got their raw goat's milk feta, haven't tried that yet.
I left 2 peaches for the architect for bothering her about picking up a siding sample on a Saturday. Turns out she had plenty of peaches and was freezing them for winter pies, but she was happy for the 2 unfrozen ones to eat. Then I took the sample to the hardware store to compare it to the roof shingle colors. Harvard Slate looks MUCH better in person than on the website, so that will be the color for this little house. Note to IKO: Take some better photos of your shingle colors and replace the awful samples you have on your website and in your brochure. Maybe it's just me...far too picky...
And Fly Creek was having a town yard sale today, so I hit a few places and came back with 2 nice wine glasses for $2, and some homemade strawberry jam for $4. I'm on a low budget during this building project.
The rain seems to have stopped. Maybe I'll be able to get the grill going for dinner tonight.
Friday, August 28, 2009
They finished all the roof (minus shingles) except for the "whimsy", the curved roof on the dormer. It will be more of a challenge to frame this little swoopy roof, but I think well worth the effort.
I did write a few big checks today, and a few more will come next week. The excavator is due to put in the septic, and finish some grading. Jim also promised to repair the dock and have Scott drag it back to the creek for us. My job is to find the spot where The Husband wants it to go...that won't be easy!
And I have an appointment on Tuesday with a designer at the bath showroom in Oneonta. Between the 2 baths and the kitchen, I have to start making some decisions as to what is going on. Also need to pick the roof color before Monday. Whaddya think: Harvard Slate or Dual Black?
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Ever-so-sweet and innocent Sophie ran up on the porch today while all the guys were eating lunch. She assessed the situation, unsuccessfully tried giving everyone the sad boo-boo face, and carefully waited for the right moment. Jerry set his sandwich on the floor for one second, and just like that it was gone! I owe you one, Jerry.
Susan the Architect showed up unexpectedly for a visit. I am very glad she did because she got to talk to Gordy and clear up a few things that may have slipped through the cracks otherwise. Like cutting the front steps out of the porch so that they are under the roof, not outside the roof with rain dripping on our heads, or ice to clean off... We also discussed removing a few unnecessary walls upstairs to open up the dormer office and the closet crawlspace.
In talking with Susan, it turns out that Gordy caught a few things too, like lining up the kitchen window (after I had him move it) with the one upstairs, and moving other windows a few inches this way or that to make them perfect. As far as I am concerned, all talk is good talk.
Jim the Builder is supposed to stop by tomorrow. I am sure I will get some other things resolved, and probably have to write a few more checks. Things are moving so quickly it feels like we are going to blast through all that loan money before the house gets done...but that is just my fear of writing big checks. So far we have only used our savings and not touched the loan. I am sure that will change tomorrow.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Perfect fer sittin' and watchin' the sun go down.
Just got in tonight. I don't have any real work to keep me busy, so I plan to work on all of the house plans to make sure everything is properly translated from architect to builder, to crew, to plumber, electrician, etc.
Our new electric pole was also installed since we left on Sunday. Only a matter of days before we have electric out there, and they can eliminate the noisy generator. And Steve, my Verizon hero, dropped off some wire for me so they can run it out to the house in the trench with the electric and the water line.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
We took another drive today, so I never finished my slideshow of the growing house. We are going home tomorrow, so the slideshow won't get done till Monday.
We went to see Cousin Chris's new bull calf, Bullwinkle. We found Bullwinkle, but not Chris.
Then we went to the Herkimer County Fair...expensive but interesting. The best part was watching the youngsters showing their winning lambs and sheep, with an occasional goat or calf in there just to annoy the judges.
Then we stopped on the way back to get some raw milk and fresh eggs to bring home as a gift to Debbie who has been caring for the cats. (sorry, J, don't forget those cats and farm animals!).
Friday, August 21, 2009
I am working on a slideshow of all that happened this week, but since I am also doing some real work (the kind that pays for this project) the slideshow will have to wait for tomorrow.
The steamy temps are supposed to leave us after a rainy Friday. Then we're supposed to go back to some less humid weather. Right now the guys are out there working in the pouring rain...again!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Jersey Girl was missin' the pooches, so we'll add a few pooch pics for her.
They are moving very quickly with raising the roof. I have taken several photos over the last few days, and will try to put together a slideshow for my next update.
We also met Bruce the Plumber for the first time this morning. He seems to think we are better off with radiant floor heat throughout, instead of opting for radiant panels on the second floor. It was Jim the Engineer who suggested the radiant panels...so who do you listen to? I suppose either will be acceptable and efficient.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
On the way back on the NY Thruway, we encountered some torrential downpours and lightning. I drove down the driveway to get this pic of the house because it was still raining pretty good. I'll post some more photos tomorrow of the inside: no roof yet, pretty wet inside, but the soggy views are spectacular.
BTW, notice that they "parged" (cemented over) the blue legos on the foundation, and they started to put in the basement windows.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Jim the Builder says not to worry: they'll fix the dock AND take it down to the creek for us. And we planted the cherry tree and gave it several good drinks to bring it back to life.
Tomorrow we have to blaze a trail to the part of the creek that Brett keeps calling "The Hole". He says the water there is 6' or 7' deep.
Croce e delizia al cor.
Of that unspoken love,
The pulse of the whole world,
The torment and delight of my heart.
Violetta and Alfredo were so enchanting that we totally forgot about how steamy it was in the theatre. This is only the third opera I have seen, and it was by far the most interesting. The staging and especially the performances were just beautiful.
To listen to some (or all) of La Traviata, check out this website: http://www.magazzini-sonori.it/esplora_contenuti/approfondimenti/traviata.aspx
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Yesterday was a day for visitors to review the progress on the house. As far as I can tell, everyone approves. Of course, the kids were more interested in swimming in the creek, refusing to get out and come home for dinner. It is incredibly hot and humid here so far this week, so I think maybe they are smarter than we.
Later today we go to La Traviata at the Glimmerglass Opera. I hope that our ticket price includes some serious air conditioning.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
We still haven't jumped up inside for the full tour, but will do that this weekend. In this photo, Sophie is in the driveway where you would pull up and first see the house. The front door is the hole on the right.
The bad part: a small sour cherry tree that we planted last year had to move for the driveway to come through. Found it today still not replanted.
Bad part 2: We bought a 12' piece of dock awhile back for $25. We were going to use it to bridge the creek, but couldn't find a way to carry it or drag it back there. Found it today destroyed by some big equipment. Oops.
If these are the worst hurdles we have to jump, we'll be doing very well...
Friday, August 14, 2009
Just got done ordering some expensive tickets for the Glimmerglass Opera for a matinee on Sunday. La Traviata by Verdi. From their website:
"Jonathan Miller’s Glimmerglass production has been described as 'brilliant' by the Schenectady Gazette, and 'well directed and carefully understated' by the Ithaca Journal.
In this tale of passion, sacrifice and heartbreak, courtesan Violetta abandons a life of freedom and extravagance to be with Alfredo. Although their unconventional union proves unstable, their love endures.
Mary Dunleavy as Violetta and Ryan MacPherson as Alfredo are '…utterly convincing as a couple trying to navigate a path between sudden passion and social protocol' (The New York Times)."
Thursday, August 13, 2009
We are expecting some of The Husband's family to visit this weekend through next week, so I will update you with some family photos while the second floor remains invisible. I am working today on trying to print out this photo of my parents leaving their wedding reception to go on their honeymoon in 1954. This is how I choose to remember them both, before age and illnesses took their toll. I am wondering what they would think of my home-building project and our plans to eventually move there. I expect they are following our progress from above, without the need of my blog updates...
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Well, I don't think we're any competition for the real farmers. This is our whole crop of peas. Last year we got maybe 7 or 8 ears of corn. The year before was our first gardening experiment. We paid Shotgun Mike to prepare 2 fairly large garden beds for us. We added some composted manure and peat moss to the gravelly, partially clay soil. We planted 2 seed packets of sunflowers and 1 of winter squash. We got one baseball-sized squash and that's it. Groundhogs got everything else.
Friday, August 7, 2009
The big hole gets filled in tomorrow and they start the second floor next week. The husband and some other family are coming up Friday. They should be starting the roof by then—if all goes well. Enjoy.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Things are going to slow down just a bit, so I'm running back to NJ. These pics, and the ones I take later this afternoon, will have to suffice until I get back. But then Jim the Builder offered to take some while I am gone. We'll see how that goes.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
If I can see the house from the creek (not yet) will I be able to see the creek from the house? That might just help me get over the loss of my favorite view from the front porch.
Later today I am going to meet with Karen, the kitchen layout design pro, in Cooperstown.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Looks like the concrete basement floor is finished, and the first floor framing begun. I am still concerned that they moved the house forward a bit too far, after all my staking efforts, and that I will lose my favorite view from the front porch. But I won't be able to tell for sure until my front porch reappears. Maybe we'll have to make that a wrap-around porch like the one in NJ...