Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween... or perhaps.... Haunted Halloween...

The kids were carving pumpkins last night, and it appears we were not alone.... At least the small ghost in the Japanese Maple seemed to approve......

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rain Rain GO AWAY!

We have waited and waited to seed our yard, and plant some things because it has just been too hot. We picked out some beautiful trees, plants, bushes, flowers and after September 15th, went nuts planting. Everything looked great. The yard was freshly graded, we had many loads of dirt and we had a perfect empty canvas. Ryan and I built a pretty stone wall, and planted herbs. He was very proud of his hard work. I was having a dinner party on Wednesday night (last week) and the last loads of mulch went in by about 5 pm. It looked great! We could just imagine how nice it would all look once the seed filled in the yard. Sigh, it WAS great. Then, just as I was setting up my cocktail tables on the front porch...

drip, drip, drip. No worries, a little rain would be great for all of the plantings. But drip......drip........drip turned to drip..drip...drip..boom. Then the skies parted and we got a flash flood. The water started coming down the hill, gathering speed, and volume. It washed the new plantings down the hills, and the mulch, and the many truck loads of nice dirt, and giant sections of sod. The street was filled with the mudslide and the lot across the street was the beneficiary of much new dirt, mud, mulch and seed. Nick spent the evening before my party with his snow shovel digging the mud out of the street. I moved the party inside. It was a great time. I got to use my dining room for the first time, and my nice new linens from our Provence trip...yes Mom, I ironed them :-).

The day after the party it was back to work trying to get everything back in place.... but the rains just kept coming. I spent the afternoon after the morning rain scraping and sweeping the street. Ugh. What a mess. By Friday, we'd had about enough of the rain. Baseball practices were cancelled, games, cancelled and we wanted to see some sun! On Saturday, it appeared to be drying out. We got the wheelbarrow out, scraped muck and I re-seeded portions of the yard. We had an erosion control company come out and build a silt fence to stop everything from running into the street. We replanted the plants and bushes which has washed out in the heavy rains. It was looking better, and we were starting to feel like it was getting under control. We sat down to enjoy a beer, when the skies started to get a bit dark for the hour. Ugh.... not again.... a 15 minute burst of torrential rain! The rivers of mud picked up speed, gathering the 8 bags of grass seed, and mud, and anything in its path..... all running down the hill. The erosion control silt fencing is holding back a swamp of muck. Maybe we should get some pigs? On Monday, I went to Lowe's and got more seed. Finally, the sun was peeking out of the clouds. Hooray! Baseball was back on... 2 games Tuesday night how exciting! At the end of the games, as the boys were lining up to give "fives" we noticed some fireworks in the distance. Noooooo, it couldn't be thunder and lightning could it? We made it home, got snuggled up in our beds just in time to hear the storm. Back to replanting and seeding today.

The lot across the street is going to have the most lush lawn around!

Here are a few shots of some of our erosion and swamp area.... lovely, don't you think?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tour, part deux (I mean party deux)

I promised to finish pictures of the first floor, and while I am willing to partially keep my promise, the camping room, aka the Master Bedroom, isn't looking too good yet. Bed is made, though the sheets are not ironed (sorry Mom), and it is just a bunch of random pillows that somehow ended up in there and our down comforter with no cover. However, I did find the prettiest bedding at French Laundry at the Atlanta Market several weeks ago and it should be here soon. I think I will show my bedroom once that arrives, because it is so pretty! Also, it will give me time to iron my sheets (if my mom visits) :-).

It is Thursday though, and Nick does have major presentations going on at work this week, and it is the first weekend in a while where we don't have major commitments like moving or something, so it seems like a good time for a party! Whoo hoo, just the 5 of us (well 6, including Lanie), but that will be so nice. Having the house to ourselves, and getting this party started. Friday night will be the first time to test out the bultler's pantry where the party fixins' live.

Here is how we set it up....

This is it --- a wide hallway connecting the kitchen and dining room. It is next to the piano room and porch doors, so it should be convenient to all areas, while keeping people out of the kitchen. I am hoping during parties or big holiday gatherings to use the big counter for a buffet set-up. The glass in the cabinets is this cool antique wavy, bubbly, seedy glass. It is subtle and doesn't show up well in pics, but I like it.

On the left hand side, there is a wine fridge and then beverage drawers for beer, champagne, mixers, whatever suits your fancy. The top one is a fridge, bottom is a freezer and ice-maker. Then in the center bottom are pull-out drawers for the liquor bottles. My cabinet guy definitely thought I was crazy when I brought in my measurements of Grey Goose, but that was the tallest of the bottles and I wanted to be sure it would fit! I was so pleased on moving day when I went to unpack these boxes and the bottles all fit, perfectly, even Grey Goose! The small victories are the best! The shorter bottles fit in the next two drawers over. The kids like the copper sink best for making water balloons. Grrr. They might not be invited to the party now that I think about it. I think they need to be introduced to the hose....outside.

Isn't that divider design cool... it moves in any direction to keep your beer bottles from clanking around.

On the opposite side of the room are the stairs to the second floor. The light up there makes very cool shadows.

Guess I'd better hit the store for some mixers and limes. We don't want the goose to be lonesome in his big tall drawer.....

Monday, August 1, 2011

We have moved, and are EXHAUSTED...but loving it!

Lots has happened in the past few weeks. We got our other house under contract, the new house is finished and we have moved! Hooray! It was a bit like camping at first, but on Saturday, movers came and brought the rest of our stuff and that is much much better! This has been quite a project, and I am so pleased about the outcome. The builder has been amazing and we are really enjoying it. It is fun to pull out my little sketches of rooms and look at them now that they are complete. Still tons of work to do to get settled, but at least all of our stuff is in one house. Phew. Here are a few pics of the first floor. I'm too tired to go up or down stairs right now, so those will be another day!

The front view... we did put in some sod, but it is just too hot to even seed anything, so every other area is covered with wheat straw. Same deal with the other plantings.... very very basic because we are afraid everything will die in this 100 degree weather (great weather for moving I might add, ugh).

Entering the house, here is the tour.... First, up the front steps to the porch. We still need to move a bit of our furniture out here, but we'll get there.

The foyer complete with welcoming committee. She is looking pretty comfy, don't you think?

The dining room. I love how the wainscot on every wall is perfectly centered. I had a big disagreement with the trim guy about how to do it and I insisted on my way and I have to say, I was right. He even told me later it is better my way and he'll do it this way next time. That was nice to hear!

Down the long hallway (guess I should have turned the lights up, it is pretty dreary today)

Into the study...this room is not exactly set up yet. It does have the desk and chair and pretty windows, but we have been camping on a mattress on the floor in here, so it is not picture worthy for the moment!

Next on to the master. I'll skip our bedroom for now since it is not set up yet. But here is a glimpse of the master bath. It is really hard to capture in a single picture.

Back down the hallway to the powder room.

This little pocket office is for the kids. They each have a set of cabinets, pencil drawer and a knee space. It is close to the kitchen, but a nice separate space. They have been doing crafts, and "working" in there, mainly because they like the swivel desk chairs! I hope it continues to be useful during the school year!

Mudroom and charging station. Everybody has a cubby, even Lanie!

Magnetic chalkboard. Very cool.


My little office / mail drop.

The kitchen and keeping room. The fireplace and hood are centered under the peak at opposite ends of the room. The window seats at the ends are so handy. See 2 of my kids snuggled up there.

Barn doors on the clean-up / baking area to hide the mess!

Breakfast area. The ceiling in here is v-groove that mimics the arched window. It is hard to see, but really pretty.

Rear porch... this round porch pic came out really dark.

Straight part of the porch.

More kitchen shots, though pretty dark... you can see the farm sink and a glimpse of the island.

Living room / piano room.

View back out through the foyer from the living room.

I skipped a couple of first floor areas, like the butler's pantry (lights just went out in there and I'm too lazy to go to basement to flip it back on) and master, but will get to it once I make my bed!

The landscaping will be a disaster for months, but we are looking forward to an end of boxes at least. More to follow...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Details, details....

Lloyd told us that the next week or 2 would be quite slow on the house as they are cranking out details. The HVAC is being turned on, electrical and we got our certificate of occupancy.

Normally, waiting for these few weeks would be rough... but, somehow wasting time in Provence seems like a perfect solution!

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Monkey in the tree...

I was wrong....

there is a creature living in THE tree. This monkey has now decided this is the WORLD'S BEST climbing tree....

The monkey now has plans to go back out tonight with ropes to try to get to the top of the tree..ooh ooh ahh ahh...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Farewell to the spiky balled Sweet Gum...

I have to say, I am very sad and worried to see this tree plowed over, I always liked having a big tree in front of the house. Everybody tells me it will die soon, and the grading is problematic if we leave it in place, so it is going. I thought the kids might enjoy watching the bulldozer push it over, but I now know they are very sad for the tree. "How would you feel if you were that tree," is what I am hearing. Today we saw a bird land in the tree and that nearly put Ryan over the edge. We scrutinized the entire tree, searching for nests and luckily, the birds seem to have steered clear of it and it is not the home to anybody or anything major. Phew.

However, now that this tree is going, we must decide what to trees and shrubs to put in front of the house. Nicholas says that if we just had a weeping willow, he would have a place to sit and read (under it). That kid knows how to manipulate me.... so a weeping willow somewhere in the landscaping plan is a must!

We are also thinking a small little herb garden in this little half circle outside the kitchen would be great.

In the rear yard, we would like to plant a garden --- we think it would be great to plant some more "orchard like" trees to go with our Pear tree. Ryan would like to get Papa to come visit and help him plant a vegetable garden. Actually, to use his exact words, he would prefer to plant a "meat garden" instead of all veggies. We have several black raspberry bushes and Ryan loves to pick them on visits, so we are thinking about some veggies, but also some melons and berries... with a side of "meat."

On the interior, the painters keep going.... and going... and going..... what a job. Can't believe how long the painting takes! It is getting close though. The big lights came in also, so they are all in. The keeping room lights are up.... here is a shot with them:

You can also see the completed little backsplash. Think they did a great job! The floors are all covered up. I was so surprised to go out this week and see a cleaning service in the house. Seemed early, since we've got weeks to go until completion, but I guess they clean out all the vents, etc. before turning on all the hvac? In the picture you can see they installed the fridge and freezer in the wrong places --- so the handles look off. They are already fixed today though.

The stair light is in too --- it is a cool light, but it takes some adjusting to have anything there at all!
The last details are being completed, and the basement floors will be stained at the end of next week. I like a golden wheat color, but Joeren the Eurofloor staining expert thinks another golden color will be too much. He is recommending a darker cola-ish stain, or other combo. We are going to do some cool circles in the wine room to create a border around the round table. I think that will be neat. He'll have stain samples in by Tuesday and they'll start the install while we are off to Provence. I think we should come back to a pretty much move in ready house... yikes! We really really need to get crackin' on the landscaping....