Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Most Important Room in the House

You thought I was going to say it is the kitchen, didn't you? Well, that one ranks mighty high to those of us who like to cook and who LOVE to eat. But the most important room to which I refer is the MASTER BATH! Ours took shape fact, I was able to stand at the "windows" and get some idea as to what the view will be from there.

I also stood in the master closet and could've jumped on my bed had it been in place. I made a cell call from my "office" to make sure I'm still getting service from that spot!

The framing for the basement level is pretty much completed and the space is actual mostly enclosed. The floor joists that were in place on Sunday are now covered in plywood subflooring.

The window selection process was completed today so that our builder could get the Pellas on order. They are BRICK RED with the grilles between the two panes of glass on the front of the house. On the sides and back, there are no grilles at all...just a clear view into the verdant surroundings! Won't be long till we're picking out all sorts of finishes. Heck, I've already got furniture placement fairly well settled in my mind.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Skeleton Takes Shape

Despite the periodic downpours and gullywashers ( should see what the weather did to some of the roads in Saddle Ridge last week!), significant progress continued! I drove out yesterday afternoon with low expectations and was more than pleasantly surprised. As we approached the house, we were struck by a sea of floor joists. So many, in fact, that we could no longer stand atop the foundation walls and see clearly down into the basement. Nearly all the framing for the lower level has been completed and nearly all the joists are in for the second (main) level! The place is actually starting to look very much like a house.

We are close to our window color selection. I'm pushing for red windows. Yes, RED! The exterior needs to blend with its natural setting so will be very earth-toney. So, I think we need a little punch of color (yes, too much HGTV again). We'll see.

No camera yesterday, but I will go back and get some updated shots this week. Stay tuned....

Thursday, August 20, 2009

We've Been Framed!

Much happened during our vacation last week. The lack of progress has been replaced by steady work in the right direction.

Milestones to report:

1) We have water! LOTS of water! The well is only 300 feet deep and water is flowing at a rate of 30-40 gallons per minute. So, you guests-in-waiting...the shower will be up and running next Spring.

2) We have power! The power line has been run from the pole at the street down to the house. All that construction equipment that has been run off a generator can now be plugged in!

3) Framing has begun! There are studs encasing the exterior lower level and some in place for some of the interior walls.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Just a few final images from our little getaway to paradise and then I promise to stop gloating! If you've never had the chance to visit Maui start making your plans today. It is a magical place with everything to offer...rainforests, volcanoes, beaches, fabulous food, wonderful people...I could go on for days/weeks, but I'll spare you that. The trip from East Tennessee is no day at the beach, but it's worth the effort!

We spent a day taking the "road to Hana" which is a 52 mile stretch of curves, switchbacks and unbelievable views. Then we went snorkeling to Molokini crater and saw the most incredible creatures at home on the coral reefs. Followed that up with a swim with the Green Sea Turtles in the altering, really. This was not a lounge-on-the-beach kind of trip. I didn't finish my first book...we were just on the go constantly.

Later this week we'll get back to the nitty gritty of this blog...THE HOUSE. I haven't been out to the site since we got home so I don't know what to expect. I'll give you all a full report as soon as I have an update. In the meantime, one final Aloha to you all!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Days 3 and 4...just your typical Tuesday and Wednesday in my world....only COMPLETELY different! We dodged a bullet when Hurricane Felicia was downgraded to a tropical storm and then a tropical depression. Even the tropical depression missed us, much to the dismay of islanders who desperately needed the rain. We spent most of Tuesday in Lahaina which was sunny and gorgeous even though it was a bit rainy at our condo. We even got a little touch of sunburn! Today was rainy in the morning, but we missed most of it by traveling to the windward side of Maui. After a quick meeting with the awesome folks at the Maui Humane Society we had lunch and went shopping in the surfer/hippie town of Paia. We then drove into the upcountry where the temperature dropped by over 10 degrees in the span of 3 miles! We found lots of great local art galleries and chatted with lots of nice folks before driving back to the condo for gin and tonic on the lanai. The palm tree photo that accompanies this posting was taken from that vantage was tough to put that drink down to take the picture, but I felt obliged.

More to follow. Hold down the fort in East Tennessee...and, know that even though there are lots of wonderful places in this world, there really is no place like home....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

From a Rain Forest to a Volcanic Crater Above the Clouds

Lest our readers fear they have been forgotten, here is my installment for day 2 of the escape to Paradise. The day began with a 5-mile walk along the pristine beach of Ma'alaea Bay. By mid-day we had driven to Iao Valley State Park, home of the Hawaii Nature Center. The park is part of a huge rainforest on the eastern side of the West Maui mountains. It is a breathtaking experience each time I visit. Lunch at Kula Lodge followed and then a truly spiritual experience...a visit to Haleakala Crater. This National Park is akin to Stonehenge in terms of the "energy" instilled in every grain of sand, every volcanic stone, every plant, every bird, every cloud. I have declared that a portion of my cremains be scattered here at some point after my demise (whenever THAT may be!). Awesome. Just, awesome.

Monday, August 10, 2009

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Program...

Need I say more...there may or may not be any progress being made on the house and at this moment I can't seem to muster up the least little bit of "give a damn"! These are just a few images of the first day on Maui...beginning with sunrise from the lanai and culminating with sunset over the West Maui mountains. There was some great food, lots of stunning vistas and a rainbow or two in between. And now it's a glass of outstanding cabernet on the lanai before turning in for the night. Tomorrow we have to do it all over again...Aloha, y'all!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"It Don't Look Like Progress to Me"

In the immortal words of our friend, singer-songwriter, Jay don't look like progress to me! That's a melodious way of saying we seem to be at a bit of a standstill. All of my friends who have been through this process warned me there'd be weeks like this...weeks in which the milestones were replaced by lots and lots of NOTHING!

We're expecting an electric line, a well and maybe even some framing this week...but as of last night, just before the storm of biblical proportions hit, this week looks a lot like last week...NADA, ZILCH, ZIPPO progress.

I'll attempt to ease the pain with a breif respite on the beautiful island of Maui. There I shall drown my "No Progress Blues" in mai tais and every other rum-filled, paper umbrella laden concoction I can get my hands on.

And when once again I am returned to the doldrums of the mainland, let us hope and pray that progress has resumed.

Meanwhile...aloha to you all!