Thursday, September 24, 2009

Inspirations Part 1

Many people have asked "Where does Connie get her inspiration and ideas?" They haven't asked it directly, or even out loud, but I can tell they have that question by the questioning look they have in their eyes.

Today, I will share ONE of my sources of inspiration...one that Mark actually found. It is a woman from Kansas who built a white farmhouse and blogged about it. She called her site "The Country Doctor's Wife" (she has since changed it to her own web site) . We were looking for examples of "farmhouse trim", and when Mark googled it, he came up with this blog. It turns out this woman shares a lot of the same ideas about houses, light, and color, but she has been thinking about it for a longer period, is better researched, and is also an excellent writer. Here is her house:





I just love the timeless look of this home.


Here's the original farmhouse trim that brought us to the site:



Here's a cool detail that I showed Mark, and he said "That makes it easier to do a corner". I said "Can WE do that?" and he said "Are you kidding...sure!" And so another detail was born.



Now, just so you don't think I'm simply slavishly copying someone else's house, I have to point out that we are not doing stained oak trim. Yes, it is very farmhouse-y, but I just got too burnt out on oak, so can't do it. Plus painted is cheaper, and we have to conserve where we can. Speaking of which...

No more shingled siding. Turns out that stuff is WICKED expensive...like $5/sq. ft! So back to regular lap siding all around. It hurt me to give that up, but looking at the cost, we couldn't justify it. I think it will look just fine. See?



Sorry...I did get a little carried away with the colors there. No fuscia door. Mark said so.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The rest of the story...

Ah, so you heard about the 7" siding, and how we ordered it...but that was not the end of the story. Turns out, for some reason the 7" siding was more expensive than either the 6" or the 8" siding. I can only think that it must be very popular, and that I unwittingly chose the most popular choice, and that maybe I am a trend SETTER, and NOT a follower. In any event...it was also 4 weeks out when we went to place our order. So we went with the 8" boards (cheaper, less than 2 weeks and we will set a new trend). So now you broader lap fans can also be happier with our choice. The siding should come in this week, so we'll have to start figuring things out PRETTY QUICK regarding how to lift these boards to their final resting place up high on the wall of our house. Mark has been working to get some "pump jacks", so we'll see how that works out.

Meanwhile, Mae lost her tooth a week ago, and Abigail lost hers at school on Tuesday (note that picture day was just ONE day later...just in time to catch these fresh gaps). But is there any doubt that the Tooth Fairy makes this a happy event? Yeah, one tooth = $1! That buys a whole BAG of jelly beans!



In other news, we had quite an event this weekend...we spent the night up at the house. It was actually my niece, Casey's, idea. She wanted to have her friend over and spend the night up at the site. So we all rode the coat-tails of that plan and crashed her party.

Here are the original partygoers after a rough night of sugar intoxication. And did they bring toothbrushes???? Nooooooo!



Here is the room for party crashers. We had a great time too!



I got to watch the sun rise over the hills out my loft window.



And see the morning light illuminate the island??? Ahhhhhhhhh, my plan is WORKING!!!



Can't wait to do this again!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Strangers in the house

Wow, yesterday was a weird day. There were strange men in our house, sawing and hammering and leaving their own little boxes and gizmos attached. Two plumbers and two electricians, so we KNEW they were coming and we had, in fact, had asked them to be there, but still...they were working on OUR PROJECT. It really did feel strange. And I had the opportunity to discuss once again where every freaking switch and light and fan and outlet was going to be. But that was kind of exciting. Especially when I went back after they were gone and there they were--the switch boxes!

AND, we ordered the siding. We chose the...(scroll down for the answer)...















Isn't this exciting??????











Seven inch boards. Yep...smack dab in the middle (although no one seemed to like anything SMALLER than 7"). Lots of broader lap fans out there, I see, and Corrie brought up the ease of installation, which is always a good point. But I had to follow my heart, which after much close examination still cried out for the seven inch boards. Mark liked both 7" and 8", so he was happy with either. He's so easy to work with!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What's an inch or two?

I mentioned in my last post that we would be ordering siding and windows, and start installing them in two weeks or so. The windows DID get ordered, after finding that a new fire regulation requires that ALL 26 windows have tempered glass. Fortunately, the vendor was able to work with the Milgard rep, who cut his cost, and made what was going to be an almost two thousand dollar hit into less than five hundred. Not great, but not quite so painful. The siding, on the other hand, remains unordered. Let me show you why:

I found this cool on-line modeling program at www.certainteed.com that allows me to play with different sidings, colors, etc. I've generated a whitish country-ish house. NOW the challenge is to decide on how wide I want the lap siding to be. Here we have 9", 8", 7", 6", and 5" siding.







I think I've decided on a favorite. What do you think?

I HAVE made up my mind on doing the shingle look on the gable portion of the wall (the upper triangle). Also on the dormer in the front. So that's one decision down, 999,999,999 to go!

Monday, September 7, 2009

The roof...the roof...the roof is...DONE!

Here is Mark working on the ridge and nailing the last shingle.





The roof took exactly two weeks of crazy hard work on Mark's part. Many of those 14 days were 100+ degrees in the shade. Can you imagine how hot the southern-facing roof slope was? Fortunately, the work was kind of self-limiting under those conditions. The shingles got too soft, and would tear if they were stepped on, so once that time of day came round, usually around noon, the work on the roof was over for that day and he could work in the relative comfort of the shaded interior of the house, or run to get supplies, or play computer solitaire (no wait...NEVER before 5 p.m.)

Getting the roof complete means the house is now "dried in", meaning water tight at least from above, which gives us comfort as we head into the fall. We have ordered windows and are about to order siding. Mark's plan is to work wall by wall, doing both siding and windows as we work our way around the house. Meanwhile, we have electrical and plumbing subcontractors who can now do their thing (as soon as we decide final placement of every little freaking switch, which is my current assignment).

All in all, we are still on schedule to be "complete" by April, twelve months after breaking ground. As we get into this next phase, though, we have SO MANY decisions to make, it just is mind-boggling. We went to an appliance sale this weekend, and got just a taste of what is coming:

- stainless, black, or white? (of course this is intimately tied in with cabinet, counter, and floor selection)
- hood or downdraft?
- french door, side by side, bottom freezer?
- ceiling fans? recessed light? sconces?

And the most plaguing question of all...do I REALLY need a double oven? Really?

And in other news, my girls discovered yesterday that they EACH have a loose tooth. They're not even 5 1/2! I'm not prepared for this!

Tooth fairy, you ready?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Exciting things you can do if you visit us

As promised, here are but a FEW of the really exciting things that real live visitors have done while visiting us here in Tollhouse:


You could run with the bulls!

Or walk around and feed them alfalfa






You could (harness up and) walk the roof with Mark (my cousin Donald did it...so can you!)






You could climb up on the scaffolding to hand Mark shingles, tools, beer (just kidding), etc. (Katherine does this fearlessly here)



You could visit lovely downtown Tollhouse. Here we are at the minimart, but you could ALSO see the post office, garage, military surplus, church and cemetery. You can get ALL the provisions for root beer floats here!




You could go a little further (50 miles as the crow flies but 2+ hours drive) and see Yosemite!




You could hang out at the pool



You could befriend the kittens. And then maybe take one or two home! Please?



So pick up that phone now and schedule YOUR visit to Tollhouse, California. If you're really brave (like Katherine and Rhyan), you can stay out in the trailer with us! Hey, it sleeps 11, so you could bring a party of 7! Bring earplugs, though, because MARK SNORES! (I might too...just a little bit...all that country air, you know).

See you soon!