Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Glimpse of One ALMOST Completed Side

As I sit to write here on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I am reminded that we still live in the midwest. Although there are buds on the maple trees out front and my daffodils are at least 6" high with buds just poised to pop open and hosta buds pushing their way through the mulch....I am looking out on steady, fine snow flurries. But, if you have lived very long in this neck of the woods, you know that with March Madness comes not only very spring-like weather, but also our last attempt as winter rears its ugly head one more time.

But, without further ado I am thrilled to share these shots of the ALMOST finished garage side of our new addition. These were taken yesterday, a very cloudy day and the siding appears more gray that green with no sunshine. But, you can see they have finished from the ground up and all we need now is the garage door installation, slated to happen this week.

We are happy to see that the siding has brought the enormous look of the new section down to a more reasonable looking size. The frieze board, a 12" wide band of white wood grain composite board cuts the height just as we hoped it would. We are anxious to see if the vast length of the north side of the addition looks a bit smaller once the siding is finished. So much thought has gone into this whole project and we are so pleased with our choice of contractor and his conscientious work ethic. Thanks Jeff!

This weekend has been fun. Although I worked the past two nights, we enjoyed social times both Friday and Saturday evenings. In lieu of our usual Friday night euchre gathering with neighbors, we all met at a local pizza place for dinner, and once their crowd thinned out, we played some cards right there. Then, last night we attended a euchre night with another group of lake residents, lots of great food and fellowship. Plus, Grandmommy and her partner Stickman (a very jovial fellow nicknamed for his willowy stature) were top winners for the evening. I came away with a whooping $10!
Of course, the big talk of both evenings revolved around the "loon sightings". With this time of year, we are thrilled by seeing the return of the loons on their migrational trip through the area. Loons are such interesting birds, floating there one minute and gone the next, diving down and coming up quite a distance away. Poppy was able to catch a few excellent photos of this particular fellow on Friday. They don't stick around long, as much action on the lake will scare them off quickly. We just enjoy spotting them so much and know this is a sure sign that spring is here!
Watching the loons, as well as any water fowl on the lake, I am always reminded of the truth of life. They all look so cool and calm floating and swimming along, hardly a ripple of water disturbed. Yet, if we could focus an underwater video camera on their bottom side, we would see their legs paddling frantically to get through each day. Don't we all feel that way sometimes?
I know Poppy feels the pressure of finally getting his chance to dig in knee deep with this project, as he will start tomorrow afternoon with the a young man to begin installing all the plumbing in the new addition. Then will come the electrical wiring and installation. All this along with juggling a couple part time jobs and trying to find enough time for sleeping and eating. I'll have to come up with some good meals to keep him fueled up enough.
Have a great week ahead and don't forget to fool someone on Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Another Week Closer to Finished

Although we have MANY, MANY weeks before this is all really finished and complete, the outside is coming closer and closer to being done. This past week we saw great progress. The weather really cooperated, although today it was quite windy, which was not appreciated as they hung siding. Here is the photo journal of progress this week.

A week ago today found Poppy doing some of the extras he wanted done. He sealed all the windows with a special tape.
Finally, the guys got the last two windows installed. How they carried this one up the ladder I will never understand. Of course, I do not climb ladders above about three steps, and then I don't even like to do that!

As the contractor worked, the heating and AC fellows were also busy installing duct work and preparing for our new system. They even delivered the new geo-thermal furnace, which will be installed eventually.

They got around to altering the porch overhang out front, as it was hanging over the bedroom window. Now it gives us an even clearer view from inside and looks very nice.

Just an extra stuck in here. Grandmommy celebrated a birthday this past weekend, and received these beautiful flowers from Shell and Richard. What a treat!! They are so springy!

Today it was wonderful to finally see the siding begin. They have worked for two days as they worked on brick mold around garage doors and trimming out the overhangs. Notice the service doors have been installed in the garage. We took forever to decide on a siding color and are very, very happy with our chosen shade.

We especially like the wide white trim around the windows and at corners. The color is a greenish gray, or you might call it a grayish green. The manufacturer's name is Quiet Willow. Things are REALLY taking shape! Hopefully the wind will calm down and we don't get too much rain so they can continue getting the siding up.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Beautiful Spring Day

I must start this entry with a look back to September. Somehow I failed to highlight the day the silver maple was removed to make room for our addition. These photos remind me of what a wonderful, long-lasting autumn we had, as look how green everything still was at the end of September.

These first shots show the end of the first day after one "fork" of the tree came down.

The next day they made very quick work getting the rest of the tree down. High up in the bucket we were amazed how this fellow used the chain saw as well as directed the fall of the large heavy logs he was dropping.

He made very quick work of this last section of the trunk and before long...

...all we had left was a stump and a nice pile of logs to cut up for firewood. The rest of the wood was chipped up or taken by our neighbor. We only wanted to deal with the smaller pieces. However, that weekend we quickly realized we had way more wood here and it took much longer to cut it into smaller pieces and haul to the back lot.

Now, fast forward back to present day. Yesterday we made a trip into town to rent a stump grinder. Here Poppy gets started at removing the stump.

It made pretty fast work of eating away the wood. I tried to help by shoveling the saw dust out of the way.
Within a couple hours only a hole was left. This morning he worked a bit more to be sure no stump would get in the way of leveling off the ground and preparing for the driveway.

Now we have lots of dirt, which will be a lot of mud and mess this spring. This shows how the pile of dirt in the front yard was leveled out to dry a bit.

They trenched out to put drain tiles out to the lake and the bobcat continued to move around the dirt. The dirt there on the north side of the house was still even frozen in the middle. It will take another day for finalizing grading the yard, as it was too wet for them to work with it a lot.

While I was out enjoying some of the sunshine and 60 degree weather, I caught this shot of my daffodils peeking through the mulch. I love this sign of spring, they are one of my favorite flowers!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Our First House Guest!

This week has brought some unusual things around Loon Lake Lodge. Torrential rains, very high winds and our first house guest. The other day Poppy thought we had a bird in the new addition and low and behold he was right! Yesterday the contractor found this beautiful fellow perched where he could watch their every move. I even thought I heard him hoot a bit. I checked in our bird identification book and believe this is a screech owl. This photo does not really do him justice, as the markings were just gorgeous. The way I figured, we surely would not have any problems with mice with this guy hanging around. However, today he was gone, or maybe well concealed in another corner. We found no signs of him anywhere. If you double click on the photos, they should enlarge to full screen and you can see this little guy a bit closer.

This past weekend we had over three inches of rain, as well as winds as high as 40 mph. Last night it poured more and the lake is up at least 12". Here you can see our shoreline encroaching on the lawn. The rocks that form the seawall are totally under water. Hopefully it will recede soon and things begin to dry out.

Today they worked to remove the old wall under the porch where the new will meet up with the existing structure. To do this, they had to tear out a bunch of the old and then reframe the wall. Tomorrow Poppy can keep a nice bonfire burning to warm them as they work, this old dry wood puts out great heat!
Here is the view from inside the bedroom once it was all opened up. The opening to the right is the doorway into the bedroom.

Lastly the OSB went on and now it is all ready for the siding next week! Eventually the small window that used to be in the bathroom and is now in the closet, will be replaced with one the size of those opposite the patio door.

Here is the view from inside. Tomorrow they will install the window to complete the bedroom. This will allow us a wonderful view down the length of the lake.
Poppy is busy preparing for all the work that lies ahead for him. Tomorrow dry wall will be delivered before the last window is installed upstairs in the back bedroom. They will "boom" the drywall in through that window and it will be ready to hang in the upstairs. They will also leave us a large pile in the master bedroom and that will really save us from hauling it inside later. He has also been working on finalizing the list of plumbing needs so he is ready to begin that job. For Poppy, the work is just beginning! Next week all the dirt should be leveled off and regraded, as well as siding should be here to hang. Big changes should be coming soon! Keep stopping by to see what's new!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

March Progress

This week March arrived a bit like a lion with very cold temps and wind. At least we did not have any more snow. The contractor and his crew were able to work most of the week and are really buttoning up our new addition. Today the house wrap went on despite some stiff winds. You can also see in this view that the old and new have smoothly been attached at the roof line. They still need to work on transition from old to new on the front where the porch overhang will be modified to give a clear look out the window from the bedroom.
We were glad to see the clouds clear this afternoon and the sun break out, bringing temps up into the low 60's. It was fun to see the ice breaking up and winds from the south pushing ice flows down the lake. There is now flowing water from the shore out to about the length of the pier.

Here you see how the front elevation will look from the pontoons as they cruise past. We are throwing around many ideas on how to break the height of the new front with various siding and color options.

Poppy was even part of the crew today, as he helped wrap the windows. He loves having his part in the building. He had to go drive a school bus, and when he came home they had started installing windows!

They have the window in the master bath and north side of the bedroom, as well as the garage and these in the front of bedroom.

Although a bit dark, here is the view we will have from the bedroom to enjoy the lake, the sunrises and the big full moons as they come up over the opposite shore.

I imagine tomorrow they will get the rest of the windows in and finish off the house wrap. Maybe it won't be quite so windy! But, it IS March!