Wednesday, March 26, 2008


oh yeah. Wow. Thus stuff is SO cool! You should see the colours and texture of this stuff. Besides your basic gray granite, there's dark charcoal, green, pink/maroon, and a gorgeous quartz in Aegean turquoise. The camera can't capture it. . . .
In the foreground are the pallets of rock that will start to go up on the tower and - to the right - on the studio.
The library chimney and front wing-wall are coming along nicely, too.

Monday, March 24, 2008

meanwhile. . . .

at the greenwood, here's the living room chimney. The batt'ry ran out [again] on my camera, so I didn't get any pictures of the front chimney which - although not finished - did get a bit higher. . . .

But here's another shot of the living room chimney - in context - rising out of the middle of the roof.Meanwhile again: here, at about 3 weeks, is the greenboy. . . . Or perhaps here, little boy blue?One of whom - oh, how I hope - will be coming to coming to live with us at the greenwood, when he gets a little bigger!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

concerning the cupola. . . .

Remember this?They got the cut right - finally.It went up on top of the studio - briefly - sans little roof, as Tom-builder had the weathervane in his truck for safekeeping. Here's what we saw Friday.Here it is today, in a bit of a stormy blow, with a hawk circling overhead, heading into the wind.Wonder how long it will take to wear that shininess off the little roof? We've got some weather scheduled through this weekend - rain, sleet and lots of wind - that oughta make a dent on it. I hope!

fireplaces and such-like

Outside, the brick chimney is starting to go up. This is what it looks like inside: the library fireplace. If you look just to the left, you'll see the front door, just put in.Yep, that's in the tower! It's hard to photograph.The living room fireplace is largely done - inside, at least. Outside, there's a scaffold up against the back porch, and a hole in the roof, where the chimney is beginning to stick out.Speaking of doors, here's Randy and the really-friendly-guy-whose-name-I-can-never-remember putting in the side door under the porte-cochère.Another door just like it goes in on the other side, into the studio.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

still no pictures

But I have better words: the guest house is closer to the size it was supposed to be, and boy is it going to be "quaint"! Lots of strange little nooks and crannies. . . .

Oh - and the first part of the brick chimney is going up, up front.

Why did I forget the camera, again?! Sorry. . . .

words. no pictures

OK - how many of you did that scare off?!

No pictures? No pictures. . . .

We took a couple days off because things weren't really moving that quickly down at the greenwood. For some reason, that appeared a bit depressing and we wanted to see a bit more of an appreciable change from one day to the next (and I'm not talking a coupla more brick on the fireplace here, either!)

So, we let a two days go by before heading down again.

It didn't look like that much had happened - ok, the front door opening was lowered (too much, it looked like, at first glance), but still no cupola, no brick outside, no front doors, just a lot of churned up mud, discarded block, a growing stream of rain-dissolved cement dust, and assorted stacks of lumber languishing in mud puddles.

When we got inside, though, we saw that both fireplaces are done and the front door IS in (hidden by what looked to be the too-low lowered outside opening and more Tyvek wrap). I forgot the camera! So I have no pictures to show.

It was raining steadily, and the good news is that there's no sign of any water in the house, except for at the front in the library, where the fireplace chimney needs to rise, and the roof then tied in to it. There, there's a lot of water coming in. All the water running down that side of the house, in fact.

Some bad news, which we didn't pick up on until much later, looking at the plans back at our rental house. There's a very good possibility that what we had assumed would be a decent-sized guest house with lowered ceiling at the eaves (5 foot bearing) is in fact framed out with walls. This cuts off the eaves, and makes what appeared to be good-sized guest quarters with eaves and window seats into [instead] an ok-sized square-box bedroom.

The difference - apparently - is a space of about 11x17' or 18' instead of a space about 21x24'.

As a bedroom, 11x17' would be ok, but not when you figure that a bathroom and kitchenette are also going in there, and the idea was to have a bit of a guest studio with living space and a desk. . . . Not just a bedroom.

We don't know yet what's going on up there - not for sure - although of course we do have the one picture I posted when we poked our heads up, having found the ladder so conveniently stationed there. I can't help but think that, if we had been able to get up there sooner, this would have come to light much sooner. . . . It is - probably - another problem arising from the use of pre-engineered trusses. Interestingly, these were trusses that were done "wrong" the first time (not explained to us, but obvious, from the stack of discarded trusses still in the meadow).

Yes, I'm upset. I'll get over it - and we'll work something out - but I'm upset for the moment.

You see, I think one of the most important things about the greenwood is the vision we've had for having separate guest quarters for those who come to us on retreat. It's a big part of the original design of the house, one we had to fight hard for, through two architects (not to mention Planning & Zoning), as it is apparently a whole lot easier (and cheaper) just to add another bedroom to the main house.

Now, it appears that's what we might have ended up with - just another bedroom - but outside of the main house. All the fighting and extra expense for naught.

Sorry. I'm whipping myself up into a frenzy, here.

We don't know yet, that it's for naught. We have a call in to the builder and we NEED to get upstairs and see just what the hell is being done up there. THEN, to talk about what we're going to do instead. . . .


The problem - it seems - with builders, is that they often don't think past the next step. They don't always notice a problem until it's bopping them in the head. (as, for example, will happen to Tom-builder, when he tries to figure out how to put in a closet behind a potentially walled-off area.

Me? I'm too dumb to know the implications of some of this stuff. I see dimensions on a floor plan, and assume that means floor space. NOT space behind walls. I also don't really understand the 'cross-cuts' - which builders set great store by - and which (in fairness) may have given me a clue that the dotted line on the floor plan was not just where the eaves came down lower than usual ceiling height, but in fact a wall - according to one lone cross-cut.

Here, I'm talking about guest "quarters" and Tom-builder is building an 11x17' room, complete with its own entrance, bath, kitchen and heating/cooling system?! Don't you think he'd say something? Something like "Wow - that's a kinda small space to fit all that stuff in there!"

sigh, again. Time to settle down. The king is on his way to pick me to go meet Tom-builder at the site. He's finally ready to talk about the details of the chimney. Great.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

not so much

The fireplace is coming along. Slowly.All work has stopped on the library fireplace. The living room one has the full-time attention of some 4 or 5 men.
Here are three of them. Outside, one guy has the full-time job of mixing up concrete and swapping out the concrete tubs using this big orange vehicle. He drives it right up to the dining room door, drops off the fresh tub and picks up the emptied one. You want to stand upwind of this vehicle. . . . I got a disorienting whiff of diesel taking this shot.Meanwhile, there are signs of life in the guest house.Still no steps up, but they're framing out the room, and we took advantage of a convenient ladder to get our first glimpse of the place!This is where one of the window seats is going. It should be a nice perch, overlooking the courtyard.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

once upon a fireplace. . . .

This is John, putting in the living room fireplace. He says they don't get to do the herringbone firebox very often. . . .
Another one is going into the library. There's so much that goes into these things!Here, just the flues, block and fire brick.
For the moment, you can see the firebox from the outside. Now you know why there's been a hole next to the tower - that's where the chimney will be going.
As promised - here's a 'big picture' shot.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

windows and other fauna

There are windows in the house!
This window isn't in yet. It's in the library.
Here's going into the couryard.
The backyard - the 'not-a-nook'.
Inside the not-a-nook.
Inside the living room.
But here - in some ways - is the most exciting part today: a pair of bluebirds. Yes - there are two in there - the less colourful female is on the left. Look sharp there!

I have been hoping and praying for bluebirds to come calling, and to settle in with us. Here they are. Hope they've found suitable housing. . . . (I do - of course - plan on bluebird housing in the meadow out front, but that won't be for a while. At least until I can get the earthmovers to stop flattening everything in sight!)

I'll put in another 'big picture' picture once we get the front windows in. Promise!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

windows, doors and other niceties

Walking up to the house this morning to meet with Scott-kitchenguy, stucco-man, and the wood beam fabricator, we saw new developments right away. French doors!

Also, the concrete was poured yesterday - to wit: the studio floor.

In fact, all of the windows are here, as are the doors! All stacked up, ready to go in.

More plan consultations - under a close up of the front french door - as the little dormer box windows are wrong.

Randy has put this little box window in - now - at least 3 different times, 3 different ways.

On the left: the first attempt at the box windows. To the right: the approved box window. After all the machinations and different configurations, I'm not sure which one I really like at this point! Ah - but Randy is pleased to have this over and done with. Finally.

Tomorrow, a goodly portion of the other windows ought to be in.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

this and that

The cupola survived the next cut. Here it is. Ready to go.Almost ready to go. . . . First, the weathervane has to go up. I had a picture of Tom-builder putting it together, but it's a terrible picture of Tom-builder. I can't do that to him. Anyway, here's a picture of Randy - looking on in approval - after Tom-builder assembled the weathervane and put on top.Much discussion ensued as to how to determine true North.

Here's Tom-builder and supervisor-Al discussing it.And here, the tower. Resplendent in the roofing shingles, just like Jack-dog promised.

Meeting onsite with stucco-man and Scott-kitchenguy.

Oh - and I get to see the concrete [finally!] poured in Houndstooth studio! Yay!!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

tower time-lapse

Jack brought a full crew today. He's taking it easy - as you can see - but the rest of the guys are hard at work.
Here's the tower. He's assured me the guys will shortly transform it.
Right. So here they go!
It's amazing how they walk around up there. Here, they're putting on the moisture barrier.
I'm liking it.

Almost done. . . .
Wow! That dog Jack's the best. Tomorrow, he thinks we'll actually have the shingles on, concrete slab poured, and - wait for it - maybe the cupola up.

Because the cupola's another story. . . .
Measure twice - cut once - measure again, consult owner, make more marks, decide to cut tomorrow. . . .

I like the little roof mock-up. We'll see what happens with the final cuts tomorrow.

Thanks, Jack! See you in the morning. Mwah! xoxoxo