Five acres of overgrown property + One month with a rented
backhoe + One husband with delusions of lumberjack grandeur = One Very Bad Idea!
Doesn't he look innocent?
In the course of his land-clearing adventure, Lee managed
to destroy a chainsaw (and almost kill our son), flatten a tire on the machine, cut the phone line, drop oak trees into the
road, blow a hydraulic hose, and dig a ditch that I promptly fell into ("Watch out for the little hole, honey!"). Not funny!!
I waited so long for my sign....It meant that things were
starting to happen!!
Our builders, Jim & Maria Arvanits. These people have the
patience of saints!! How many screaming messages have I left on voice mail?
Day 1 - The footers!! We break ground on August 1, 2003.
It looks REALLY SMALL.....
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:11
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely
It took only four different cranes over two days to get the
trusses up!! Quite a pitch!
October 1, 2003. Two months down!!
Here he is, the King of the House!!
is plywood up there now, so Lee doesn't have to hop from truss to truss!
Don't try this at home!!
Meet Red, the first tenant in the house. He would leave every
morning when the subcontractors arrived, and he would walk right up the back steps and into the house every evening. He was
quite tame, and had no problem with us being in "his house!"
Unfortunately, Red became a stray dog's breakfast one
morning...All of us, including the workers, mourned his loss.
The 2003 White Family Christmas card.
to what the New Year will bring!
Here is the famous (or infamous) antique mantel.
found it in a yard sale in Orange Lake, Florida. The owner told me that the mantel was removed from a house that was demolished
in Citra, Florida. The owner also said that the company that built it went out of business in 1860. Lee was a little skeptical
about purchasing it, as he was concerned that it was built in 1950 instead of 1850. However, once we got it home, our good
friend, Mark Schmidt, who used to restore mantels in Naples, Florida, told us that we stole it for the price we paid. He said
that the carving was done by hand, and the screws were done by hand, as well. He could not confirm that it was made in 1850,
but he was willing to say that it was made in the 19th century.
Mark refinished it for us (and did a wonderful job),
and I took the mirror to a glass shop in St. Petersburg, Florida to be resilvered. Do you know how hard it is to find someone
to resilver an antique mirror? Not easy, I assure you!!
The gentlemen who saw the mirror were amazed by it. They said
that it was done by hand, and the bevel is extraordinary, since it is 2-3 inches wide. They concur that it is most likely
the original glass.
This mantel is not without controversy, however.
mantel was the cause of the only major fight that we have had over this construction period. Lee did not like the mantel when
we got it (It was black from age and pretty beat up), so we agreed to put it in the bedroom. However, when the mantel was
brought out of storage and sized to the fireplace in the bedroom, it was found to be too large. My response was to put it
in the family room; Lee's response was to sell it. Wrong thing to say.....Hence the fight.
We finally agreed to put
it in the family room because it will truly be the focal point of the house, especially when the top piece is placed. And
now that Mark has worked his magic on it, the beauty of the wood (solid walnut) has come through, and Lee agrees that it is
a magnificent beauty.
And the lovely decorative tiles on the hearth and surround were a housewarming gift from my parents.
We will also be incorporating these tiles into the backsplash of the kitchen.