Saturday, December 18, 2010

Deck the Hills...

The lake looks differently in the late fall or early winter.
The trees are more colorful and the light appears golden. Today Allen and I spent the day on the new decks. For this part of the construction, I left the designing to David and Allen. The railing is designed to enable the maximum view with safety for the dogs. These decks add a lot of space to enjoy the outside and that great view!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

New Decks on the Horizon...

We have some loose ends to wrap up inside but for now the crew is moving onward to the decks. Since the house is small, We decided to add a bit more outside space. The existing decks had to be replaced as they are very old, rickety and downright unsafe. This is David's forte and he is quite skilled at designs.

Fall at the Lake

Fall at the lake is very picturesque. Most noticeable are the brilliant colors that seem to be more intense than back at the farm. There really aren't many people around now. Quiet and beautiful. If I had a spare moment, this scene would be one that I would like to paint.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Teak Flooring

More photos

Coming Together

The kitchen is installed with the new cabinets and granite countertops. David is advising his son on floor installation here. We chose solid Brazilian teak which is challenging to install due to the varied colors of the planks. Amazingly, David's sons are fascinated not only with construction but also color and pattern. I had thought this would be a real ordeal but they jumped right in and did a great job varying the lengths and color of the boards. On this job each person works so well with others and really takes pride in their work. Thomas seems to be a perfectionist with his attention to detail, especially with the tile. Our Franklin stove was painted, cleaned and installed on Sunday by Randy the Chimney Sweep so this is looking like a home more and more!

Everything is coming together!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Mantis Prays for the Lake House, Tidal Wave Time and I Can Finally See the Kitchen Space with New Windows...

A Praying Mantis Blesses the House!

It was a big day when we went to the house last week. David [resident renovation therapist] and crew leaped ahead with new windows and the birth of the "pony wall". I can now see exactly where the kitchen will be and how much space I have or haven't...Bathroom is ready for tile and vanity work. Things are jumpin'!
Asa and Jackie came up to celebrate his birthday. Where else would a former trout want to be? We enjoyed the day and the birthday cheesecake. Of course, most of the time was spent IN the lake. The tidal wave was awesome...or more like Jackie trying to use the Iphone camera.

Joe is back on the scene and is sprouting a beard. I need to call Ms. Betty about this!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Behind the Scenes....

There has been so much to see with the renovation that I am neglectful of the person who is responsible for "making the trains run on time". That person is David's wife, Kathy. She is the one who orders the materials, makes sure we get a great price [just ask us about the windows!] and responds to email from morning into the night. She is as fast or even faster than I am at responding to them! She is a great part of one great team! So, to Kathy who never gets any of the baked goods that I leave for the crew....THANKS for being the BEST! Maybe I'll be fast enough to catch a photo of her at the house!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Asa is back in the Lake and Allen's cell phone defies Death!

We are lucky to squeeze yet one more day of long swimming on Saturday. Asa showed up and dove right in. Allen is diving and swimming out to the middle of the lake, also. Ok, so I am still in the water in that sling chair enjoying the warm sun and cool water. There is always a breeze on the lake and it is amazing that the climate is different only 40 minutes from the farm. We decided to eat lunch on the deck and I didn't notice Allen's cell phone when I reached for a sandwich. It became airborne and fell off the deck, landing hard on some flagstone. At that point, one would assume its death since it made a cracking noise but it is still alive! We thought about it a minute and then immediately went back in the lake!
Joe called and we are surely glad he is feeling better!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Asa swims the Lake, Update on the House and the Fish Fry

Our friend Asa was a trout in a previous life. He
lives to swim and loves to come up to the lake.
Sometimes he swims to the dam and people on their docks will watch him glide effortlessly through the water.
Asa is encouraging Allen to dive off the dock. I'll stick to the sling chair that sits deep enough in the water to keep me cool.
Saturday was the Fish Fry supporting our local volunteer fire dept. The fish was quite tasty and we heard that one man catches all of the
fish for this fry. At lunch we met some neighbors who have three chihuahuas. Comforting thought that others besides us, Asa and his wife, Jackie have such packs!
The house is coming along just fine. As usual, there are evidences of David and crew's work everywhere. Electrical, plumbing and sheet rock are just about done. Kathy tells that the windows should be here this next week and the pilings will be on that list, too. David has advised that the pilings will help him to level the floor. It still is amazing that this amount of work has been done and the house is so cleaned up! We've renovated the beach house twice and never saw this neatness before. One of the nicest aspects of the house is that both french doors open wide to bring a great view inside! Allen and Asa are attesting to that!
This Saturday was one of those "perfect" days. Great friends, fried fish and great progress on the house!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Meet the Crew!

So, I have received an email from Kathy with photos of the crew. David, our contractor is wearing the cowboy hat and from left to right is Thomas, Casey and John. We drive to the lake at least once a week and each time we see that there is a huge amount of progress. We like that David is integrally involved in every bit of this renovation. He is very concerned that everything is right and everyone is happy. His standards are high. I know that he had a rough time revealing to us that in order for the house to be supported properly, we needed more pilings. Yikes! After listening carefully to what he explained, we fully agreed. He knows his construction and this job, for sure. We are confident in what he is doing. That says a lot.
David is one of those guys who really knows a lot but is quiet about it. His work speaks for him. I've nicknamed him a "renovation therapist". He not only knows what is needed, but presents it in a manner that we can understand. No double speak here.
When you look at these photos, take a look at the inside of the garage. Demolition and construction are in full swing. Neatness counts! I wonder if they do closets, too!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Granite Day

I'm glad that we made the appointment for a "slab viewing". This refers to granite. Somehow, it can sound weird, like shopping for barbeque ribs but that is how one picks out counter material. Craftmasters is tucked away in Houston and the parking lot is more crowded than Saks at Sale Daze. We couldn't have picked a hotter day and we quickly made it to the reception area. It's a friendly place where people seem happy to work despite the degrees. Our sales rep is Vanessa and I wondered if she would drop from exhaustion while I searched for the perfect colors and "movement" in the thousand or so pound slab. Let me tell you that Vanessa is a "no nonsense gal" who intuitively seems to read your palm and the granite's grain for compatibility. The first two sister slabs were perfect! Vanessa has it all together, for sure. So, we have slabs. Sound good? Her two co workers concurred it was a good choice so we are another step towards completion.

Remember, Lighting is EVERYTHING

In this case, the saying is literally true. Nothing is left BUT the lighting. This house is getting peeled like an onion.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Where's JOE?

Just a brief entry today. Allen told me that Joe has surfaced but has been under the weather. We wish him speedy recovery. Heck, I know that his Mom was out west for a vacation and figured that he had booked the house with parties! GET WELL JOE! We miss you.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Swim til We drop!

Even though we were at the lake on Thurs. night, we couldn't stop ourselves from heading back to deliver more fixtures and tile for the house. Once the garage door raises, we are again stunned by the order and total neatness of the work area. That which has been removed and things to be installed are neatly arranged and stacked. I need to meet this crew and pursuade them to organize my life! The house itself has been treated with that same neatness. I can tell that someone has even vacuumed the popcorn ceiling mess. We simply ask ourselves who are these men who work diligently during the week and then quietly disappear without the usual chaos and mess that comes with renovation and construction? I see evidences of David's checking and fore thought as I look through the house.
We did battle with a few wasps. End score: Linda 14/ Wasps 0. That's a surprize that no one wants!
The great change is that the low beams in the ceiling are gone. It looks much more spacious and now the room seems like a blank canvas ready for the big change!
The real reason for the trip was to take in a long and leisurely swim. The lake is cool and the breezes plentiful. We floated and swam the afternoon away. We were the only people in the lake for most of the afternoon until a few young boys down towards the dam jumped in. I'll be sad to lose these summer swims.

Friday, August 20, 2010

First Week: Disappearing Interior and Wall of Wasps!

In one short day the entire interior was transformed to mere bones of the house. It looks very encouraging to us and everything that was removed is very neatly packaged in the garage for removal. What we did learn today is that there was a leak in the livingroom/bathroom wall. Even worse is that the dining wall was full of wasps! Kathy and David sent us a virtual slide show of what is going on. That's efficiency! We'll take a look when we head up there for a swim this weekend. I hope that the wasps have moved out!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Get on Your Mark....Get Set....

Less than a week from "D Day". "D" is for demolition. Monday starts the renovations with D&K Custom Builders. We've been busy picking out tile, cabinets and countertops and now it begins. One sad note is that with all of the construction, our carefree and lazy summer swimming days are probably numbered. Joe has been around and is starting his own demolition of a dead tree to the side of our yard. We're making a trek up there this afternoon to bring home a few last things to empty out the place. I didn't think that we had much up there but there are a lot of boxes in that sacred RV building. I wonder how long it will all take. One thing I have noticed about the lake community; everyone is really friendly and it is like a little home town. This we like!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Seeds of Renovation and the "Tree of Gone"

It was a mixed day at the lake this Saturday. We met with David and Kathy about the remodel, had John and Jimmy up from Galveston and still managed some swim time! If you are looking for us on the dock....we're off in the lake! Some neighbors, Linda and Tommy swam over from their lake house to meet us. The water is clear and wonderful on a warm day. there always seems to be a cool breeze, though.
Someone had to work around on to JOE. Joe cuts our grass and is one of those people who has more energy than I ever had as a teenager. He cut and removed a huge tree that had been down for some time on our lot. It's amazing but he did it in less than a day with the help of his son [and didn't even have his "good" chain saw!]. Everyone needs a JOE in their life!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

There's a hole in our dock!

Did I forget to tell you that we bought this cottage "as is"? Allen saw the potential and so, this is how we had to sign on to this saga. The dock had a huge hole in it. I can safely say it is about 30 years old, so it is no surprize. Enter our new best friends....D&K construction. Allen wanted a big entertaining type dock and that's exactly what we got. David built it within 2 weeks [ even though he was on another job] and did it all in the rain! We've already jumped off of it to swim in the clear cool water.

Our friends, Asa and Jackie came out last week and Asa [World Class swimmer] glided from one end of the lake to the other. Being on the lake is like having a swimming pool with none of the upkeep! So here you see the before and the after. Hooray for David!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Life Twists and Turns...The Start of a New Blog

Recently I ended my former blog:
because after Ike, we were tired of hurricanes, dimishing beaches and lack of support from the city. After 30 years on the coast, we bought a lake house and promptly sold our little gem on the ocean. In fact, we were at closing for the Lake House when we got a call that the Beach House had a contract! At this point, I feel that credit is due to two realtors: Peter at Bayreef Century 21 and Marie at Lakeland Realty. Both made buying and selling a house a speedy reality.We never thought that our beach house would sell quickly. At this point, I need to digress to how we landed on a small, pristine lake in Goodrich. My nextdoor neighbor at the beach, Jane, was listening to me proclaim that I was not going through another hurricane and wanted a more tranquil setting. She related that she also had a lake house and went on to describe its peacefulness and beauty. No, she wouldn't sell us hers, so I started looking online for homes in her area. After much persuading, Allen agreed to take a look at the lake....but only a look. We drove up there, found Jane in her front yard and went down to the lakefront. We were instantly smitten. So, for the next year, I looked weekly on HAR online for listings. Not many around.... I looked in the SOLD section and showed Allen a house that resembled our beach house; exactly what I wanted. Only a few months later, that house came on the market. After a 3 day listing, we bought it. Unlike the Beach House that is completely renovated and sparkle-new, the Lake House needs some work to bring it to "our own". Thus, the saga begins.