Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cabin Picture

Here's a nice view of the cabin as it looked several weeks ago. Our neighbor across the road, Keith Phillips, whom I grew up with at Cattail, took this the 2nd week of April. Notice the porch now on the upstream side. This will have a ramp to it. The cabin looks a bit small in this picture, until you notice how tiny the people are on the far left!! Trust us, this is no "cabin!"

Randy, our builder, told us yesterday that the siding is on now, and this week they will start the stone work on the front. They also plan to finish the back deck this week and start the drywall next week. He also reports that the grass is up!!!

Here too is a picture I forgot - this is a child's oak table and chairs, made by Mr. Bontrager and his sons. Perfect for finger painting!!

We are returning this Saturday to get me a desk chair and more patio furniture, as well as a quilt hanger. And of course we will stop at an Amish bakery for hot cinnamon rolls and coffee! Maybe even pick me up a birthday pie!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Amish Furniture from Indiana

We’ve been having a wonderful couple of Saturdays driving up to Amish country (Shipshewanna) and tracking down the last furniture we need for the cabin. We’ve been actually going directly to the workshops, usually down very long farm lanes, thus dealing directly with the craftsmen and eliminating middlemen and showrooms.

Here you can see mom sitting on one of our new patio chairs, right at the workshop. Six green for the deck and two red for the front porch so we can watch the kids and grandkids arrive. These are made from recycled plastics, and we are getting matching end tables too.

Also pictured is a hall tree we picked up Saturday, along with a footstool. We’ve met a Mr. Ervin Bontrager , who with his 12 sons operates an incredible workshop. He actually jumped in the back of our Jeep and drove with us to the patio chair place (he doesn’t do plastics, just oak and cherry; the plastics take a special shop, with an oven, etc.).

This coming Saturday he will help us with a desk chair, bunk beds and another dresser.

We also tracked down another Amish craftsman, who is making mom a custom sewing table and a craft table. Paul Miller already makes the sewing tables, but didn’t know what a craft table was. When he saw mom’s pictures, he said, “I can do that.” Maybe he’ll be able to start a new line!

This has been a lot of fun, networking with the Amish, and the furniture of course lasts multiple lifetimes – this is an heirloom project, all around.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Trip to Amish Country

We had a super day Saturday, driving up to Amish country in Northern Indiana. Instead of going to a major store, we looked for small roadside signs and followed a long farm lane 'til we came to a workshop behind a barn. Ervin Bontrager and his 12 sons (90 grandchildren) made the above laptop computer desk and chair, which we purchased for the upstairs. It's solid oak of course.

We intend to take a similar excursion next Saturday, looking for someone to build Susan a sewing desk. It is super fun talking to the people who actually make the furniture. We also bought a wonderful hall tree as well as a rack to hang coats or towels on. After we left Mr. Bontrager, we went to an Amish bakery and ate superior Cinnamon rolls. Then we went to a major store and priced the same items we had just purchased at about forty percent more than what we paid without the middleman. Pretty cool.

Below is a picture we took today of our campsite at Lukens Lake where we'll live May 6 - June 17. We are hoping we don't have to pay extra for the truckload of scrap metal that seems to share the site! Oh well.

Friday, April 8, 2011

April 8 Update

This has been a crazy busy week at Cattail, with everything finally happening at once and hordes of workers and subcontractors at the site. Among the seemingly hundreds of decisions we’ve made in the past five days are these:

Landscaping (see pictures - grass got literally planted today, amazing); we interviewed the landscaper, inspected his work, and are contracting this out ourselves

Steps to the creek (see picture)

Stones by easement (see picture)

Drainage for the drives

Split-rail locust fence along the front

Electrical and water to the camper

Cabinet fittings

Desk for my office

Built-in bookshelves around fireplace

Rollout bed and window seat and cabinet and shelves for the bonus room

Handrails for the balcony/upstairs hall

Ramp for the sideporch and entry to laundry room

Tile for the baths (we interviewed the tiler, inspected his work, and our contracting this out ourselves)

Dozens of little electrical and lighting decisions

Moving the powerpole and burying the lines to the house

Built-in wiring for the TV, dvr, iPod, etc. hookups behind the fireplace

More Amish furniture for the upstairs (one more bed, one dresser, and two rocking chairs) – that entailed a trip to Hickory.

Location and hookup for gas grill

We also visited our banker and our attorney, and we hiked to a nearby mine up the Bolens Creek road to pick up a few pretty rocks for the fireplace.

And we also found a designer (the woman who has helped us with our cabinets) to help us pick out the paint colors for each room (that will be a walk-through when we come back in a few weeks).

I’m sure I’m leaving something out, but it is been both exhilarating and tiring. Not to mention we have gone on long walks every day with the doggies.

The other pictures here show the color of the roofing (sans copper metal over the dormers and porches) and if you look carefully in the chimney picture and the dormer picture you can see the “battens” going up over the “boards” that comprise the “board and batten siding.”

Tired as we are, we are already looking forward to our next trip, in about three weeks!