Sunday, August 31, 2008


Concerned about us spending another winter with no heat in the bedrooms, Francois' dad came up from down south where it's always hot to help us run the heat ducts to the second and third floor.
We were so glad he came. Our friend Eric had designed the system that was to feed 5 different rooms but it took dad's engineering mind to figure out how to actually build the various components and the order of installation to fit in the space. Did I mention that most of the work was done in a closet!
Those climbing skills come in handy!The final product...
Meanwhile, Joy and friends put on the last few coats of polyurethane to finish the floors on the third floor rooms

Just in time for our new housemate, Melissa, a student from Montreat College who will interning with CCO this fall.

Down in the dugeon

This summer has not been as productive as last summer (see old house blog) but we have tackled a few major projects. One of those projects was pouring the floor in the basement.
This is what the floor looked like when we bought the house two major trenches ran the length and width of the house. The floor had been opened up to lay the new waste lines down.

So under the tutelage of our neighbor Jonny, with the help of Terry and Josh, we leveled the trenches to 5 inches, poured 2 inches of gravel... over 180 sq ft...
and waited for the concrete truck to come...
We had to roll back the chicken wire fence and build a ramp to pour the concrete through the basement window.

After three hours of hard work...
A day later...
What joy to be able to walk across our basement without fear of twisting an ankle or falling into a ditch. While the truck was here, we were able to pour a new section of our sidewalk as well (I am sure our neighbors appreciate it) as well as fill a few holes in the garage floor.
What fun to think about using the basement as storage and not worry about dirt, mud, and mushrooms growing on everything! We quickly arranged the washer and dryer (Thanks Bear!) where they have longed to be for the last year: next to each other on flat surfaces!

While we were outside, contemplating our good work, Jonny suggested that the house looked much better without the chicken wire fence. Inspired by a project that had actually gone according to plans, we decided to take out the fence along the house and fix a few bent sections in the back yard. Thanks Josh for sticking around to help.

All in all a good day work and another reminder that this house would not be what it is without the love and service of our friends and family. Thank you all.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Praying Mantis!

As I was gardening right out back yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to find this praying mantis on the side of our house. I'm a country girl at heart, so seeing things like this in the city makes me smile.

Fun With Big Machinery

Check out these photos! We had fun with a carnival ride machine for a few days. Thanks to the generosity of our neighbor Eric, we were able to fix a gutter problem (sort of) and finish part of our roof - shingling the back dormer. Of course, just like every project, it became bigger than what we had imagined. We not only shingled the dormer, we also put up siding and facia (which was an adventure in and of itself).

Front Trim Painted!

After almost a year, we finally have paint on ALL the outside trim! Here's a before...

During (that is our painter friend Dan on a big construction lift!)...and after!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Summer Time

Hi guys,
Just little update on some of the recent work. Joy has been hard at work between her sabbatical reading and resting. Friday we started shingling the front porch roof only to run out of shingles (left over from last year) and to find out that Home Depot doesn't carry them anymore!!! (sorry no pictures) So we will special order them. Tuesday, our neighbor is renting a lift so we hope the painting of our peaks will get done as well as a few other up in the air gutter issues. If we are really inspired we will reshingle the back corner of the roof that was done in a different color before we bought the house. The following week we will have my dad come to help put the heat ducts into the bedrooms and I will try to get my final paper done for class!
'cois and Joy
moving towards a finished bathroom (left) and the new pantry (right).

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Greek Islands

Now that spring is here, our thoughts turn to continuing work on the house.
Not that we haven't been at it over the last few month but it's been at a much slower pace. Here are some pics of the work over the winter.

Closing the bathroom walls and finishing the vanity

Today we tackled the third floor bathroom floor so we can put the toilet on and then close the second floor bathroom ceiling!

We hope you feel like you are in the Greek Islands when we are done! The sea at your feet, the white washed walls around you - and the sunshine streaming in (some days).