Thursday, January 29, 2009

2008 Brought So Many Changes!

Early 2008 brought many changes to our lives. Job changes forced us to simplify our lives and consolidate to just one home. This started with packing at our new home we had just moved into August 2007. Then, when we started moving boxes to the lake, we soon realized we must really purge more and try to find space for storage. The area that had been an old bathroom quickly became a brainstorm for Poppy. In early March we spent a lot of time at the lake. We framed old bathroom area into a small walk-in closet. This would afford us very valuable storage space.

While there in the early spring, we were also blessed with the arrival of the loons who are so rare. What fun to spot them on the lake and a second later they are gone, submerged to come up yards away.

By April first we had sold and closed on our new house and moved to Loon Lake. We lived with many boxes as we decided what to keep and what should go. We were wall to wall furniture and still working around the drywall that needed to go on the lodge room ceiling. By leaning the drywall against the walls, we could finally have a bit more space.

Let me tell you, those first few months were a bit trying! But, soon the closet was done and we had room for a lot of much-needed storage.

By late spring, we had settled in quite nicely and found a place for most everything. A lot was sold or given away and the garage was bursting at its seams. We enjoyed the summer months with GG living with us due to Bapa's death the end of May. She got used to our "projects" as we continued to work on our work in progress. In mid-July Poppy took a week off and we tackled the dry wall on the lodge room ceiling. We got very good at measuring and cutting the location of each can light hole. This was a VERY good thing and by end of July when we held Bapa's Memorial Service and family reunion here afterwards, it looked a bit more "put together." HA!

As fall approached, we desperately wanted to get our new Anderson windows and patio door in the front wall of the lodge room. Finally we got a warm enough day to tackle that big job. The contractor came to help and they took out the old, reframed the whole wall and readied it for the new windows and door. That was all in one afternoon. As night fell, Grandmommy realized that the OSB put up to close the wall was going to be all we had to look at until another nice warm fall day. UGH! It was so dark in the room and air infiltrated all the cracks and edges. Brrr...Finally a month later in mid-November we had another sunny, warmer day and they arrived to install the new. What a difference this made on our outlook. The new door and windows give us such a transformed view of the lake. Love it!
Stay episode will be the demolition of the north third of Loon Lake Lodge! What a work-filled autumn we had!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Very Important 2007 Happening!

After I finished the last post, I realized I had omitted one of the most important things that happened in 2007. In early August, the family welcomed a new addition. Kate was only a few weeks old when she made her first trip to Loon Lake Lodge. While here, she had her first pontoon ride.
She also was the co-guest of honor at a birthday party for her Great Grandma. What fun that she arrived in time to experience the lake before the season ended.

Here she is a few months later when her bubbly personality started to emerge. What a joy she is!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

2007 Offers More Time to Relax!

The year of 2007 allowed us some reprieve from all the nonstop work at Loon Lake Lodge. We were able to just sit back and relax and enjoy the lake much more.

The only major project was reroofing the garage out back. On Memorial Day weekend our "young crew" came up for their yearly lake visit. This is our daughter, son-in-law and their good friends. On this particular visit, the guys volunteered to help Poppy get started on this big task. Within just a couple weeks Poppy was then able to get the roof reshingled and it turned out great! Thanks again guys!

I think the reason we were not so involved with projects at the lake, we were busy overseeing our new home being built in the Indy area. We did travel to the lake every weekend, but we spent each evening during the week going to see what they had accomplished on our new home as it progressed. Little did we know we would only call this lovely place home for six months. But, we loved the whole process and enjoyed decorating and being there for a short while, not to mention all the wonderful friends we made in those neighbors.

On the weekends it was fun watching Elizabeth grow and come to love being at Grandmommy and Poppy's lake. She loved to "help" mow the lawn and tackled the lake on her own terms. Just beware, don't drop her "eyes" (sunglasses) in the water!

Elizabeth sports her "eyes" to protect from the bright sunshine.

As 2007 came to a close, we made a December visit to the lake. On that weekend we enjoyed the very, very quiet night as snow fell and blew into a winter wonderland overnight. We woke to this sight and we happy we could still get out to head home after our visit. Although we have had quite a winter this year, we have yet to see this much snow and drifting in one night again.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

June thru October 2006 - The Work Continues!

Back to the progress that led to where we are today. 2006 was one of the busiest in transforming Loon Lake Lodge. June found us busy inside and out! We worked hard to frame out the skylight shafts to be ready for drywall. Poppy also worked long hours on wiring all the new lights. It took quite a bit of thougth and planning to figure out just where we wanted to position the can lights. We even moved some of them several times until we were sure they were perfectly placed.

Outside Poppy put many hours into improving the lawn and landscaping. But most importantly, he was busy building the new front porch deck. This has become the place we spend most of our time and we love it. Built to last, from the foundation up, it was a long labor of love!

One other important aspect of 2006 was to introduce Elizabeth to the lake! She loved it!!

When summer started to wind down, we were back inside removing the oldest of the bathrooms. This was a long, dirty day. Poppy spent time under the crawl space unhooking plumbing and the old tub was still stuck somehow. It took a chain hoist to eventually lift it off the floor and loose from its drain. Luckily there were neighbors around who helped carry it out of the house, but it took six of them! A few days later we learned we could break the tub up with a sledge hammer and all the pent up aggrevation the whole project created.

As summer wound down, Poppy got the can lights wired on the porch, as well as two ceiling fans, which were hung the next spring. Finally in October we were busy insulating in preparation for the coming winter. So much had been accomplished since we bought the house. But, we knew there was still so very, very much yet to accomplish to have it as we dream about. Not shown in any of these photos is the pile of drywall that was purchased in August in hopes of having that ceiling all complete before winter. Little did we know it would not be hung until the summer of 2008! How many times did we move that large, heavy pile of drywall in three years? Don't ask Grandmommy!! But, we will tell you, all this work has been well worth it!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Jumping Ahead to this Week's Progress

OK, I have tried to begin at the beginning and run you through our project in chronological order. But, what is happening this week is just too exciting! We have family and friends who really want to see things take shape and so we are jumping ahead to current-day progress. This fall we demolished one third of the house in preparation for the new addition and square footage. This area will become a first floor master suite, a half bath and a utility room leading to an attached two car garage. Two thirds of this space will be two story, so there will be two bedrooms and a full bath above the garage, utility room and bath/closet area to make room for all our family to come visit. So far, all the progress has been below ground as footers and foundation was completed. But, now we are seeing above ground progress and it is all taking shape. Here you see the first wall that was framed up yesterday.

Late in the day before the contractor left, we went out so Grandmommy herself could pound in a few nails. After working on building with Habitat for Humanity, I just wanted to say I worked on framing our house too! So, you see I was given instruction on where to nail and then I was successful in getting one and a half nails firmly planted. After curling on Sunday, my wrist was sore, so I had a little trouble. Bet they thought I was a wimp! Wait until they see me put on siding later this spring!

By the end of the day today, we really saw the structure take shape! Here is our master suite coming together. Here you would be standing in the bedroom looking towards the bath and closet beyond. The yellow ladder leaning against the studs is right where the whirlpool tub will be below that high window opening. The shower stall will be to the left of the tub and door into walk-in closet will be just beyond that. To the very left of photo where the blue ladder stands, is the doorway into the bedroom. A stairway leading to the upstairs will be right outside the bedroom door. To the back, where you see a red gas can, the left side of that area will be the utility room. Know these are details that only a few will be interested in, but this is for you Aunt Phil, Uncle Art, GG, Boz and Shell!
Then, the best view of all will be out the front of our bedroom. There will be tall windows looking out on the lake, what a view we will have! I can just see the full moons shining off the water glaring in those windows this summer!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Creating the Lodge Room

The beginning of big transitions started at the very end of November in 2005. The crew came in to remove the old roof and install new scissor trusses to open up the middle section of the house. This was done in stages. They would tear off just what they could accomplish in one day, working their way across the length of the roof, starting Wednesday morning and finishing at the other end on Friday. We even had the first snow flurries of the season that week as we experienced a tiny taste of winter at the lake.

By the time we returned in January after the holidays, we found it all completed and loved the outcome. We were now ready to tackle all the changes we wanted to make on the inside the following spring.
Late April 2006 we were back to undertake one of the messiest jobs ever. When they replaced the roof, we had them leave the existing ceiling, insulation and rafters so the home would remain insulated for the winter. In the spring we had to remove the old paneled ceiling, the insulation and old rafters. What we found when cutting away the plastic vapor barrier was DIRTY old insulation and all the debris from them cutting out the old roof and rafters! It all came down on our heads as we began. We quickly devised ways to capture the debris before it came falling from the rafters. The pile of insulation on the front porch was twice the size by the time we were finished with it all. What a JOB!

It was during that week we dubbed it the "Lodge Room." With no insulation, it was quite chilly in that section of the house. One morning when Poppy came down to make his coffee, he returned to the bedroom to report "it feels like a fishing lodge down there, it is so cold!" The next day he had moved his coffee maker into the family room to avoid that chilly morning job in the kitchen. Thus our lake home was dubbed "Loon Lake Lodge."
Before our week of vacation ended, we had removed almost all of the ceiling, as well as drywall on the walls and the actual wall that closed off the kitchen. It was all so open with so much potential! We even got a warm afternoon to demolish the old front porch deck in preparation for the new deck. It was a one of the most exhausting but rewarding weeks of vacation!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Winter Fun

Today we experienced some more fun of year round lake living. A frozen lake doesn't stop this group of neighbors from having a great time together. The snow is cleared off and a skating rink is created, as well as a curling court. This was our first attempt at curling. Homemade curling irons were created last winter and all the finesse of professional players can be found at Loon Lake on a sunny weekend. The temps were in the high teens with a bit of a breeze, but what better way to keep the beverages cold, eh? Bundled up against the cold it is hard to recognize folks we are used to seeing in bathing suits and flip flops. Lawn chairs come in handy for the cheering section!

Form is everything when throwing your curling iron and it's to your advantage if your partner is quick with the sweeping on the opposite end to slow your iron down or to clear the ice for more speed and distance. Here is Poppy imitating Hans Brinker, taken a week or so ago as he tested the ice.

So as you can see, although we always have plenty of work to accomplish with our remodeling, we must also live by the adage we found hanging aroud the neck of a wine bottle the first summer we enjoyed the lake...."All play and no work? Sounds like a plan!" Sometimes you just gotta take a break and have some fun. And with friends like we have here, it's just a phone call away! This same group gathers almost every Friday night at someone's home to play euchre and graze at the food brought in. Life is Good!