Sunday, January 15, 2012


No we haven't fallen off the face of the earth or frozen to death...

You are probably wondering where we've been since December 8th - or not!
A lot has happened since we officially move in and we haven't been faithful with keeping up with the blog because frankly, at the end of the day we just crash! So here we go....

Our biggest indoor project, now that we are on our own for the finish work, is the kitchen cabinets. This is the beginning of the upper cabinets. I'm hanging the upper cabinets from this structure so it has to be really stable. This will also give me a place to stand for painting the wall above the cabinets. 

 In the evenings, we pause at about 5 to watch the sun set. They are spectacular from our living room window. In the summer the sun will set in a different location, behind the fireplace wall, so the heat from the summer sun doesn't enter the house. Then we will be watching from the deck, which I haven't built yet. That will be a spring project. 

Matt Vande performing a Blower Door test
 Our biggest news during the last month is that we got our Energy Star rating. We have a score of 38 which means our home is projected to use 38% of the energy that an identical home built to the 2004 International Energy Code would use. We will be using more than half the energy of a typical home that is close to our square footage. That's Awesome. Plus, because we have the Energy Star rating, we get a 5% discount on our electric bill for the life of the home - it transfers to any owner after us. 

Matt has been monitoring our home through out construction to make sure we were on line with the Energy Star requirements. In the photo above he is doing a test to check of the air tightness of our house. All the doors and windows are closed, a fan is placed in one of the door to suck air out of the house. He was checking for leaks. We passed with flying colors. 
Leigha Dickens our green building coordinator with Deltec, posted the test on Deltec's web site. 
click for Blower Door Test
The name of the blog post is Deltec Builds Another Energy Star Home

The blog will also link you to Energy Now. They contacted us through Deltec and interviewed us for one of their shows. Check it out, it has some good stuff. We are in the second story.
Penny, my mother-in-law came for a visit after we went to our nieces graduation. She was the first official person to stay in our "unfinished" guest room and to sign our guest book. (Thanks Bill Brown for sending it, we hope to use it a lot).

We took Penny on a trek to the "western 5". We took the long way around through our neighbors property so she could meet the cows. 

While on the other side of our property we set up some tree branches to make a land mark and see if we could see it from our house. Can you see our house in the background? The mark worked and we could see it when we got back to our house.

Melissa with my brother-in-law Jay and his wife Janine
Congratulations to Melissa on her Masters degree and new job in Atlanta

We spent Christmas Eve at my brother Tom's. His daughter (our niece) Rachel was there with her husband Mike and their 4 kids. Tom is getting ready to take us all for a "hay" ride. We delivered cookies to the neighbors. 
Back to work on the kitchen cabinets. They are really coming along. 

Jane came back to bring in the new year with us. As usual we put her to work. We spent one day marking the north property line which we have been holding off on because it is difficult terrain and dense with plants. We worked with a compass from one corner and marked our line with stakes from one point to the other - it was a straight line but not easy with all the trees and undergrowth. It took several hours to mark the 1800 feet of distance. We didn't have official surveying equipment and to our surprise we were only off about 65' when we got to the other side. We need to have Tom Mulloy come back and help us. He did our original survey. 

This is the west side of our property, an area we hadn't stepped foot on yet. It was nice to visit! We have been to a different spot several time - the top knoll that has some huge rocks. 

Edrianna and Jane in our evolving kitchen.

Jane just missed the snow by a day; she was bummed! 

Building a spice rack for Edrianna - because she loves to cook.

A delicious meal prepared by Edrianna in the new kitchen. She is experimenting with RAW food preparation. Why the he** did I buy that expensive range? 
It was actually very good!!

Now this is what the range is for - PIE!
We worked on this together. It is a vegan pumpkin cheesecake, but we cheated a little and used one tablespoon of butter. We changed the name to Flat Top Mountain Pie because it sounds much better than Tofu Cashew Pumpkin puree Pecan Faux Cheesecake.
Don't let this deter a future visit. We are flex-aterrians and enjoy a good steak once in a while. 
We forgot to mention we sprinkled coconut on top. It was goooooooooooooood!

All the cabinets are built from scratch. Most of the upper cabinets slide out so Edrianna can reach all the items inside.
All the hardware is hand made in Mexico and brought to the US by Glo who has a store by the same name in Franklin, NC. She gives me a discount and I don't even have to ask. I think she likes me. 
Some of the baskets on the shelf were made by my sister Cindy. One was given to us by Jay and Janine. The gecko came up with us from Florida. 

This shows the detail work I'm doing on the lower cabinets.

The fireplace is taking shape. The mantle is almost finished and I still need to add the rock - waiting for a warm day. That might be a spring job as well. 

Edrianna has been busy with projects of her own. She is installing utility room shelves. She stained all the inside doors and still has some work to do on trim and the inside of the exterior doors. 

Now is a good time to invest in Home Depot and Lowe's. We are spending so much there I think the stock should be pretty stable. 
Shelving adds up quick but works great. 

  Edrianna's orchids are doing great in their new home. They enjoy the morning sun. It is nice to have them in the middle of winter.

Can you spot the Bobcat in this picture?
No? Well we can't either but it is there - trust me. 
Can you say camouflage? 
Maybe it was a Bob-Kitten. It was kind of small but definitely there. I saw him walking through the yard and grabbed my camera. Good photographer lesson - always have the GOOD camera at the ready.

It snowed again last night. We are going for a hike to see if we can find animal prints in the snow before the sun melts it. We will let you know how it goes.