Sunday, April 15, 2012

Finally Some Indoor Photos!

Up until now I've posted very few photos of the interior of the house.  

2x4's and open walls are hard to decipher and don't make for very interesting shots!

But now that the insulation is in, there is definition to the space 
and the rooms can make sense in a photograph.

The stonework on the fireplace wall is completed, 
although the board is just a temporary blocking for the mantel.  

This is the kitchen sink window... the island will be opposite the window with the stove to the left.
There are lots of varied ceiling heights in the house, but the only vaulted ceiling is in the kitchen.  
I love it!  Very different from having the typical vaulted den!   

Another view of the kitchen with the door going out to the porch and dining room to the right.

And just to tempt everyone who has promised to visit.... here's the most important room in the house....  The guest room!

A little info on the house since I've had a few questions lately
 from old friends and new blog visitors....

We're hoping to be in the house sometime in August and luckily we're comfortable here in our nice rental home.  We've extended our lease so we aren't feeling a squeeze or rush, 
just a desire to unpack our things and start living in our dream house!

A common question for folks to ask us is "Did you downsize?"  

Well.... not exactly!  The house is 500 sq feet larger than our old one in Louisiana. 
But we do have fewer rooms!  
I'm not clear on how we managed to lose two bedrooms (and 4 sons) 
and design a larger house but leave it to us to find a way!
The house will  have 3 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths and a study that can be used for a bedroom in a pinch.  

Sheetrock here we come!!! 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

We've got Water... Almost!

This photo might not look like much, but it's cause for celebration and deserves its front page news
 here on the blog!  

It's our water well!   

And you were wondering if we were going to make guests shower at the truck stop in town!  

The gravel surrounding the pipe wasn't trucked in, that's what came up out of the pipe as they were drilling.  The finest Rockbridge County limestone!

They hit quickly:  at 150' the flow was 5 gallons/minute and they kept going to 200' and 15 gpm.   There are some sulphur pockets here and there in the county, but the drillers said that they didn't smell anything so that was a relief.

We'll send some water off to an independent lab for a full slate of tests and then we'll know how much filtering and softening we'll have to do.  But we're happy that at least one thing has come in under budget and that we won't have water that smells of rotten eggs!

Lots of progress out at the house this week.  Stay tuned for some photos tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Opportunities Abound

Opportunities abound in our new little hometown!

Following last Friday's afternoon bridge game (yes, I'm still struggling on!), I dropped by campus and parked a few yards from the entrance to Lee Chapel.

No tickets were required, so I strolled in and sat down to hear Tom Wolfe (Bonfire of the Vanities, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The Right Stuff....) who spoke for a few minutes before he introduced keynote speaker Colum McCann.  McCann wrote the National Book Award winning Let The Great World Spin which has been on my stack of "To-Reads" for a while now.

It was the start of the yearly Tom Wolfe weekend seminar at W&L sponsored by the class of '51 in honor of their classmate Tom Wolfe.  Both McCann and Wolfe gave memorable talks and words of advice for writers.... unfortunately I was without a pen for taking notes!  :(

This weekend, we drove up to Staunton where following a fabulous locally sourced dinner, we heard Jesse Winchester sing at Mockingbird which is a small music hall venue billing themselves as providing "Artisan Fare and Roots Music."  What a fine evening we had with friends Barb and Rich!

Yesterday we exercised the brains just a bit more when we went to hear Rudy Giuliani speak on "Principled Leadership" and also give his views on the upcoming election.   Although tickets were required for this one, they were free and once again it was a simple affair to walk in and take a seat.

Though we saw her motorcade out on the interstate, we missed Secretary of State Hilary Clinton who was in town to receive an award from the Marshall Foundation and give a talk last Tuesday.

Can you believe that this little town gets so many nationally known folks just popping in?  Every week there is more to do than we can fit into our schedule!

Thanks for the kind words for everyone concerning our loss of Mr. Biggs.  Despite having Atta, the house seems empty.... many of you know exactly what we're experiencing.

Turn up the volume and listen to one of the prettiest songs ever.  I dare you not to close your eyes and smile!  ....  Jesse Winchester singing on Elvis Costello's Sundance Channel show with Neko Case and Sheryl Crow as fellow guests.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

An Eleven Pound Giant

I have sometimes thought of the final cause of dogs having such short lives

And I am quite satisfied that it is in compassion to the human race;

For if we suffer so much in loving a dog after an acquaintance of ten or twelve years

What would it be if they were to live double that time?
                                                                                                                     Sir Walter Scott

He weighed only eleven pounds, but in his sixteen years with us
 he was entwined in our family's history as though he were a giant.   

This afternoon we buried all that could die of our Mr. Biggs.

We'll continue to hold dear the memories.  

Monday, April 2, 2012

V.I.P. House Tour

This weekend we had a visitor from Louisiana.  A VIP as far as we're concerned these days!!
     Kevin Harris our architect was in DC over the weekend, and he rented a car to drive 3 hours (one way) to see the house!  

     To say that we were excited was an understatement because who could possibly identify with our love of the new house better than its architect?!

     It's very unusual for him to design a house that he doesn't carry through the construction phase and we appreciated his being willing to accept us as clients despite knowing that we didn't "want" (i.e. we couldn't afford) the whole package of his normal services.  

     Before beginning the design phase, Kevin had flown up so that he could view the building site, 
but other than photos, Saturday was the first time that he'd seen "his" house. 

     After an in depth tour, we sat up on the back gallery (sounds better than veranda), ate lunch and visited for 2 hours.  Being able to show the house to someone who truly cared about all of its details, plus getting a chance to catch up a bit on news from Louisiana made for a special afternoon.

     Our home doesn't carry the price tag or measure up in physical size to most of his designs, but it's nice to know that he still considers it an important part of his portfolio.   In our early meetings, we stressed that we wanted a comfortable welcoming home and we think that he hit a home run.  Now if only I can keep from messing up the paint, lighting, fixtures etc....  I feel an awful lot of pressure to not ruin his concept with lousy interior choices!