Monday, May 21, 2012

Mowing Day

Lilies, lilac, forsythia and mowed lawn.
Tim mowed the lawn for the first time at Gull Haven.  The grass was too long, and consequently so was the time it took to mow it.  "We" had to take a break halfway through and get lunch and doorknobs.

I posted a close up doorknob view picture on my other blog, Mainely Write, along with a poem.  Doesn't seem necessary to post it again, so if you want to see it and read it, head on over there.

There's something about mowing your lawn for the first time...or having your husband mow it, or paying someone to mow it (as we should have done)...
It makes the place really yours.  Because if you didn't do it, there's no one that's going to be walking by and stopping to mow it just because it needs mowing. 
I don't know about you, but I've never heard anyone as they pass by our unkempt lawn (or anyone else's) exclaim, "Wow, yes!  Another spot to mow!  I'm totally on it!  I hope no one else gets here before I can get my mower!"
You, the owner, have to mow it, or ask and pay someone to mow it. 
Tim got two offers to mow it (for money, of course) while he was out there.  He declined, saying he needed the exercise.  I think they asked too soon.
Next Saturday we're totally up there cruising for a lawn maintenance crew.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Early May

The windows are in, all except one.  One is waiting for the drywall to be delivered so it can be brought in through it for the upstairs walls.  I am so (you don't know how 'so') relieved that the windows are right.
The contractor ordered them before checking with me, but he understood that I wanted the replacements to be just like the old ones.  So they have the same style grill, the width of the bar is right, the grill is on the inside of the window, the outside, and in between the two layers of glass.  I was so afraid that he ordered the ones that only had the grill on the inside.  For some reason, we hadn't really communicated this, and my emails weren't answered on that question.  So I was relieved to say the least.
A few...20?... years ago, we had a porch enclosed on another house, and they put in windows with the grillwork for panes.  I came home to windows that had the rectangular panes going the wide way instead of the tall way.  Needless to say I was devastated.  It just offended my sensibilities.  But the job was done.  The windows were the major part of the job and the focal point.  My husband couldn't see anything wrong with them, so we lived with it.  Well, he did.  I hated them from the day they were put in, and we never did finish off the porch into a sunroom as planned.  I couldn't even sit out there.  Hated it.
So, knowing that, when I declared these windows perfect, my husband let out an audible sigh...not the impatient one - the relieved and bordering happy one.   I had never really thought about how anxious he was about my approval of the windows.
The only thing I would have done differently about the windows is have them prestained.  I really don't like doing window trim.  But, hey, if something has to be not quite right, I'll take that over any of the other not quite right options.
I am really liking the view since we removed the kitchen/livingroom wall and opened it up.  This is my view from the kitchen into the livingroom:
And when I focus on outside the windows...
Standing at the sink I can see the ocean out those three windows.
I'll probably remove the stickers.
I think even the doorknob hole has a nice view.
It was such a nice day, we went down to the beach to see if there was any new old glass to pick up.  I love to collect it to make jewelry...
And yes, I found some more for my collection, along with a couple of interesting other pieces: a shell and an old sea-worn porcelain knob.  It's getting harder to find nice pieces since the advent of plastic bottles.  People aren't even throwing their old teacups and saucers into the ocean like they used to apparently.

And of course, we stopped at Moody's Diner for supper on the way home.  Their open turkey sandwich is so good - on a homemade biscuit (or you can have toast), with mashed potatoes, cranberry jelly, a vegetable (make mine pickled beets).  Saturday's special for dessert is a hu-u-u-ge piece of gingerbread with a mile of real whipped cream.  After a meal there, though, you will probably want to split it with someone...or better yet, start with gingerbread and then see if you really do want dinner!  We couldn't do dessert, but next time we go I'll see if someone will let me take a picture of their gingerbread if I'm too full to share with my husband.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Almost May!

We took relatives up to see Gray Haven and check out the inside of the house all wrapped up in Tyvek.  There are no windows in it yet, so it's just white over all the openings.

Here are our colors, seen in the light.  Had to check them out in real life, kind of, still trying to picture how they will look.  I really think I'm going to like the effect, with the rounded, green shakes in the eaves and the main part of the house yellow. If anyone knows where I can get a flying seagull sculpture...I'm wanting one up in the eave on the front.

 This is one of the salvaged doors which we will use in the house.   They are great looking wooden doors, and we should have just enough still.

This is looking from the top of the stairs, down the short hall to the spare bedroom.  Bathroom is on the right and our master bedroom, ocean side is on the left.

This is the master bedroom closet.  There was no closet in there before, but adding onto the other side of the room where there used to be a hallway to the "pretend" bathroom, gave us enough room to add a good sized closet.

This is my nook that matches the one on the other side of the room.  I'll have my "stuff" there...beading, writing, sewing...whatever I decide will be important to do.  I kind of wish we'd put in corner triangular windows there, to lighten the space and to look out.  I wonder if it is too late?

This is the stairway down.  A landing was added at the bottom, and it isn't turning into the living room as I'd imagined it would.  Headroom at the top is a bit low, but all in all I think it turned out the best it could be.  We kept the circuit breaker panel at the bottom of the stairs on the main floor, so there would be no fumbling around in the basement in the case of resetting.

And this is in the living room looking at the itty-bitty wall that separates the kitchen from the livingroom.  The sink will be on the other side of the wall, so looking sideways I can see the livingroom and out the front door window to the view across the street.  Much better than the placement of the sink on the backyard wall with no window.  Even adding a window wouldn't give me a view.  If I need to see the backyard, I can look out the window in the backdoor.

The windows are stacked in the house now, the cedar shakes will be here this week, and we are waiting to hear about the plumbing so our plumber can get an idea of where the placement of the Toto fixtures can go.

I'm pretty excited about the Toto fixtures.  They are plain, but very low maintenance!  The sink has a shroud to cover the pipes, so no dusting pipes and full access below the sink for vacuuming/mopping etc.  And the toilet mounts to the wall, tank inside the wall, so again, full access beneath the toilet and not curly-ques to clean on the sides of the toilet - just nice clean lines and no trying to get between the wall and the toilet or in back of it to dust.  I may have said I'm excited already, but I AM excited about not cleaning harder and more than I have to.   I'll get pictures when they are unwrapped.

Late April

We are currently waiting for the cedar shakes/shingles to arrive, in addition to the Toto toilets.  The plumbing was supposed to be here in the beginning of April, but was delayed to the middle, and now to May.  We have gotten word via our credit card that they have arrived at the distributor, so we should hear something soon about their arrival.  Then we can get moving on the rest of the work.
So here is the house from the outside currently:

Looks like it's gift wrapped.  It just needs the bow.

We are putting yellow cedar shakes on it with regular on the bottom and rounded green at the peak.  Should look something like this:
It's hard to picture the two colors on there and where the break should go, but so far this is the way we decided to go with it.
Here are the two colors...they are kind of the color of the mints you get at a restaurant.  My computer picture is actually quite accurate in displaying the colors.  I don't know what you'll get!  But here they are:

I have tried laying out the wood alongside the picture to see if that helped me visualize it.  Not really working.  I'm hoping that it looks good when we are done!  All the trim work will be white.  We are hoping to put a porch on the front with some Victorian trim, along with a trimmed storm/screen door.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


The ants were hiding out here.
Cedar shakes are coming off
The shingles are going so we can properly insulate. There was absolutely no, N-O, no insulation in this house. That may be why there were no, N-O, no rodents found living in the wall! That's a yea! We did find some ants under the door sill, so they're gone. If we hadn't put on new siding they'd still be happily ensconced in their cozy new home.
Another bonus of new siding - they could make the window opening larger so the new shower could be hoisted up to the second floor and slid into the bathroom easily.
We decided on a large shower, like we have now.  The cast iron would have been nice, but there wasn't quite enough room after moving a wall a bit for the hallway.  And looking at the height of the sides, well, it didn't seem that in a few years we'd be able to get in, or more importantly, get out easily.

Decided on Delta one piece 48" acrylic shower
Upper window, shower edge on it's side inside

Monday, March 19, 2012

March at Gull Haven

The livingroom.  Floor is protected so we can refinish it.
Things are definitely more cleaned up in some ways, and messed up in others!  Here's the livingroom.  It has a gorgeous wood floor (well, gorgeous when it gets refinished) that is made of single long boards of some red wood, that we think is fir.  They have put a nice padding on it, so that it doesn't get damaged during the work on the electrical, plumbing and walls.

The old dining room, now has a closet and half bath framed.
Here's the new half bath and closet in the den that used to be a dining room.  It is closed off from the kitchen now and open to the living room.

Living room looking from the kitchen
There used to be a wall between the kitchen and livingroom.  That has been opened up, so the view can be seen while washing dishes or cooking.

Kitchen looking from the livingroom.
And so now we turn around and see the kitchen area from the livingroom.  More light all around, larger feel for this tiny house.   This is exciting.  The walls are framed for the cabinets.

Upstairs, no walls.

With all the walls down in the upstairs it makes it easier to line up the walls that needed to be moved a bit and put in closets where NONE existed.
An added benefit - you can remove wasp nests that over the past 100 years were quietly built between the uninsulated walls!  The new insulation should help dissuade them from renovating or rebuilding in the old spots.
So the next post will be soon!  Things are moving quickly there, so must get some more visits in up there before it's too far along.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

More Demolition

Rose bush in the house
No insulation in the walls.  But there is a rose bush!  There are a couple of spots where the rosebush has insinuated itself through the shingles on the outside of the building.  There isn't much light between walls, but it tried!

The dumpster is full, and there's still the upstairs to clear out, plus the old refrigerator (too moldy to salvage) and the kitchen cabinets (again too moldy to keep, and too built in to  get out in whole pieces).

Although it's at an angle, this is one of my favorite views...where the kitchen table is going to be!  I'm ready for coffee!

This wall is between the livingroom and the kitchen.  It's going away, so we can open the kitchen up more to the livingroom and get more view.

The stairway is problematic with the lower than standard ceilings.  We won't be able to turn it as we'd hoped.  That means there won't be a closet at the foot of the stairs where you can see the circuit breakers.  Oh, well, we'll think of something else.

This writing is from 1900.  Markings on the wood are exposed when walls are taken down.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February at Gull Haven

Gull Haven has been on my mind lately.  I know I need to update. 
It's been a while since I've posted here, mostly due to my busyness on my other blog, Mainely Write.  I've been busy there writing daily for the month of March and then for the A to Z Challenge writing a poem for each letter of the alphabet.
But we have been up to Gull Haven this spring and I have taken pictures, and some progress has been and is being made on this little home by the sea.

So I am going to post past posts fast.  Sorry, sometimes I just have to say things that way to see how they sound or look.

I'm posting pictures as it looked this winter, as they stripped the walls of their wrinkles and moles (not the animal, fortunately, just a figure of speech).  The winter has been mild since our October snows, so it wasn't as bad working in there as imagined.

So here they are:

Look at the corner bracing...boat builder workmanship.

A part of the expanded master.
This used to be a part of a "bathroom" of sorts...a toilet installed and uninstalled a long time ago.  It has a great window overlooking the water, so it will be a nook in the master bedroom now where I will sew or blog.  In the next picture you can see the spot off to the left still framed in as a tiny toilet room with a window.

Master bedroom still, but to be expanded.
You can see the hole in the floor.  There was a loose board there, and the men gutting the house, used the "slot" to feed the walls and debris downstairs and out to the construction bin.
Looking from the tiny toilet to the new bath.
This is in the doorway of the old "bathroom" to the opposite side of the house, where the new full bath will be.

The hallway and top of stairs.
Standing here in the future, we would be in the master bedroom, and the room on the other side of the wall at the top of the stairs is the new bathroom.

At the top of the stairs.
 The door between the two rooms will be closed off and a hall will give access to the bedroom way over by the window you can see.  This house had three small bedrooms upstairs (and the tiny toilet area).  The one in the back corner you could only get to through either of the other rooms.  We're making a hallway down the center of the house, where the chimney used to be, and scooting a wall over just a tad to make more room for it.  We are having either radiators or in-floor radiant heat, so we won't need the chimney.