Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A New Edition to the House - April 27 2011

Well Steph and I finally left the hills of Northern Arkansas and returned to the great state of Texas.  Our journey began with a trip to College Station to see Ann and Jared.  They have moved from Waco to College Station and bought a beautiful newly built home.  We arrived in time for dinner and a little celebrating with Ann, Jared, and their friends Cole and Jessica.  Dinner was prepared on Jared's outdoor kitchen (Hamburgers and Jalapenos). 

I guess the long trip (650 miles), a big meal, and a little happy time was just to much for Steph.  Believe it or not, this is the only picture taken during the entire trip.  Oh, by the way, Steph was really tired, but the rest of the photo was staged without her knowledge.  Now let's get on with the real subject of the posting.

Mr. Staley made an appearance around 9:00am this morning with his latest creations for us.  This is just the beginning of Steph's cutting table for the sewing room.  The table is so large it came in about 10 pieces that Jr. and Allen (Jr.'s helper) had to assemble in the room where the table would be used.

This is more of the pieces that needed to be put together.

This is Jr. putting the wheels on the bottom so that Steph can move the table in the sewing room.

This picture shows Allen trying to figure out which piece goes where. 

It's starting to come together, but we seem to be missing a key piece of the table!!

They did it!!  I think it's almost complete and we don't have any extra pieces.

I think Steph will be able to put much of the "stuff" in the closet somewhere inside the cutting table.

Now that the Queen, oops that's Stephanie, has her dream cutting table it's time to move down to the basement and get to work on the mini-kitchen.  Jr. and Allen are busy installing the upper cabinets and the lower counter.

The serving tray, cups, and dishes are a house warming gift from Brent and Melissa.  These are a great addition to the mini-kitchen in the basement.  The guest area is now complete with a microwave, a mini-refridge, and a coffee pot.  As I said earlier, you better get your reservations in early as we expect a busy summer.

No posting is complete without a lake picture.  You won't believe how much the lake has risen in the last week.  When we left to go to Texas the lake was at  653 ft., as of this writing the lake is at 676 ft.  We have been moving the dock as many as 4 times a day.  Steph and I spent over two hours weed-eating the scrub brush and sticker bushes so that the dock would have a clean space as we moved the dock to higher ground.  We will be back at it tomorrow as the lake is forecast to continue to rise to the 685 to 690 ft level.  We will get some pictures of the high water.  In the mean time, go back to some of the other lake pics and look at the rocky shoreline and then look at the current picture -- we have no shoreline, it's up to the trees.  How did this happen, try 15 inches of rain in the last 5 days.

Monday, April 18, 2011

April 18 2011 The Back Yard Gets Cleaned Up

Ever since we started the LakeviewDream I have wanted to do something about the "mess" at the far back part of the lots.  The previous owners had partially cleared the lots to improve the view of the lake.  The debris was pushed to the lower back part of the lots and left to wither away.  We came along and built the house, requiring even more trees to come down, and of course we put our debris pile where the other one was.  Allen, the man who cleared the lots and dug the basement, has always said he would clean up the "mess" when everything was finished.  Well, as of today I guess everything is finished, according to Allen, because we spent all day transforming the back part of the lot.  The rest of this posting will be the transformation of the backyard.

The first thing Allen had to do was dig a pit so that we could bury most of the debris pile.  There were times when the dozer would disappear below the pile of tree stumps and logs.

Starting to look pretty good, but still a lot to move to the pit.

Well, when Allen started moving the very oldest debris he disturbed a large nest of snakes that had been laying around over the winter.  Fortunately the snakes headed further down the hill toward the lake and not up the hill to the house.  He only saw the one nest during the day so we are pretty lucky to be rid the the "critters".  I am going to Gregg's Farm Store tomorrow and get a couple of bags of sulphur to sprinkle around the lower part of the lot to be sure that the "critters" don't come back to visit.

Now we are looking REAL GOOD!  The debris pile is now a thing of the past and it seems as if our little piece of the world is twice as big.

Just to give you some idea of what I mean, this is a picture looking back to the house from the bottom of the lot where all the "mess" use to exist.  If you look real close you can see me spreading grass seed to try and get some top cover for our new found resourse of land.

We now have lots of room to expand. 

Now that the backyard is cleaned up we need to do something to the area.  This is the Johnny Appleseed of Baxter County, aka Stephanie, spreading Fescus grass seed over the freshly top dressed back yard.  We have 150 pounds of grass seed to put out and hopefully get a little ground cover started this year.  This will be an on-going project for many years to come to get a good stand of grass on this area.

This picture is another shot of Steph seeding our new found land.  I took this picture standing by the windows of the Grandkids bedroom.
Well, that's it for today and probably for the week.  We are headed to Texas to see Ann and Jared and  Brent, Melissa, Hannah, and Jake.  When we return we will start to do the flower beds and plant a few trees.  We are really excited with all the exterior improvements and hope everyone will start thinking about visiting us this summer.  Back soon when we have something to report!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

April 15 - 17 2011 Changes Continue!!

This week has seen many changes at the LakeviewDream.  We have received a truck load of landscaping rocks.  The crew has been busy setting many of the rocks around the trees and in front of the office window and the sewing room bathroom window.  We have had at least 11 dump truck loads of dirt delivered and spread on the front and back yard to get ready for the sod that's coming on Friday.  Thursday, April 14, was very productive with the dozer and bobcat moving all the dirt to the yard area and spreading it to place the sod on top of it.  We also received an inside upgrade on Thursday with the arrival of our wall mounted TV in the master bedroom and a big 50 inch plasma for the media room.  Late Thursday night and early Friday morning we had a tremendous rain, almost two inches, and as a result:

All of the good work we did on Thursday was partially ruined due to the heaavy rain.  The guys got here early Friday morning and started re-raking the dirt and filling in the wash outs.  About 8:30am
Friday morning a huge load of Zoysia grass arrived.

The work really started once the grass truck arrived.  It's time to unload 22 pallets of grass,
approximately 11,000 sq. ft.

Normally, the little unloader would place the pallets in the general area of where the grass would be laid, but we were way to wet to do that.  So, we always have a back-up plan,

I am glad we live on a quiet street and have few neighbors.  The street from one end of our property to the other is our holding area for the pallets.  The guys are going to have to carry the grass strips to where they will be placed.

It was a cold, dreary day to lay grass.  Everyone wore hooded sweatshirts and jackets.  This is the front yard by the driveway and garage.  It's really starting to look like a home with the addition of grass and landscaping.

After a slow start on Friday due to the wet weather we really increased the coverage on Saturday.  The weather was much better on Saturday and we were able to get the bobcat in the yard to set the pallets closer to the work area.  This is a picture of the flat area getting it's plot of grass in the backyard.

This picture is of the west side of the house.  The guys really worked hard on Saturday and got most of the grass set in place.

Well, this is where we are as of today.   We have a front yard, side yard on the west side of the house, and a full back yard.  The guys will be back Monday to complete the sodding around the rock walls and the area to the east of the driveway.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April 2011 - Spring is Here It's Time to Start the Landscaping

The weather is improving so it's now time to turn our interest to the outside of the house.  We are starting our landscaping projects in the front yard.  Down the street you see our dirt pile.  As soon as we can we will scrape the rock off the top of the ground and spread the dirt to get a good base for our sod arriving later the week of  April 15.

Spring is a beautiful time in the Ozarks.  The hardwood trees are starting to leaf out and the Dogwoods (the white blossomed trees) are in full bloom.

More Dogwoods and the plot of ground we have designated the garden site.  This photo and the prior photo were taken from the back deck of the house.

This is the "before" photo.  Our plan is to have a rock border around the two trees in the foreground and another rock border around the three trees in the background.  We also expect to have a rock border in front of the office and sewing room windows.

It's time to get to work -- The rocks have arrived.  What a crazy place we live in, we pay to have rock removed and then pay to bring rock back into the yard.

Unloading the rocks from the truck.  These rocks came from a quarry around Clinton, Arkansas.

This is the front of the house where we plan to have the rock border for shrubs and flowers.

We hope to have enough rocks to at least start a terracing on the area behind the driveway.

Well, this is our first attempt at a rock border around the two trees in the front. 

The garden is ready for planting, but the weather is still an issue for another week or two.  There is still the chance for a light freeze and we will be taking a quick trip to Texas so we will not plant until late April.  I can taste the cucumbers and okra already!!! 

Stay tuned for more updates as we get the LakeviewDream ready for the Parade of Homes 
on May 13 -14.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Home Sweet Home - March 2011

The evolution of the Lakeview Dream was finally completed on March 15, 2011.  We have been living in the house since February 23, but we had to be up early every morning as workers were still completing work inside the house and we needed to be out of the way.  Well, the completed (we still need landscaping and grass) project looks like this:

I don't think I have ever shown the picture of the wood burning stove we have in the living room upstairs.  We have used the stove numerous times since moving in late February.  It will really heat up the upstairs when we get the fire going real strong.

The next two photos are the completed stair railing in the upstairs living room and the staircase down to the basement.

We had some nice weather in late February and I needed to be out of the house, they were not generating on the river, so it was time to catch some trout.  The fishing has been great and I get a limit almost everytime I go out.

Well , a house completed is an open house.  We got to visit with all the kids and grandkids during the first two weeks in March.  Laura and her family were here to help move and Tom (the Dr.) worked three days at Baxter Hospital in the ER.  Brent's family came during their spring break and Ann flew in for a few days during her spring break.  We had a great visit and everyone enjoyed their stay at the house.  A few favorite pics during the visits are included below.

Pictured above is Melissa  (Brent's wife) and their two kids, Hannah (6) and Jake (4).  The second picture is the trophy trout Jake caught on the White River.  We had a great afternoon with the kids catching trout.  Hannah and Jake each caught 3 or 4 trout, Jake even got a nice Brown Trout, but we had to release it since it was under 24 inches long. 

This is Laura and her two kids, Clara (3) and William (17 Mos).  They had a good time at the playground while everyone else was fishing and Tom was working at the hospital.

Not to be outdone by her cousins, Clara was able to land a nice rainbow before we had to leave the river and head home for lunch.

Well, one last picture of the house.  One of the main rooms of the house is Steph's Sewing Room and it is everything she has dreamed of having.  She is busy making a few specialty quilts for family friends and lots of baby blankets for the Prayer Shawl Ministry at our church.

Well that's it for now.  The Dream is open for business and we are ready to receive guests.  If you need a few days of fishing (trout, bass, crappie,etc), sightseeing,  boating, including water skiing and jet skiing then give me a call and get your reservation.  We would love to see and visit with all our friends and family.  The WELCOME MAT is out so come on down!!!