July 14, 2011 § 1 Comment
Today is our 2-week anniversary in Five Islands. We are spending the afternoon at the Patten Free Library (PFL) in Bath because there is a nice young person, Chad, working on the house this week. The PFL is a lovely place to spend an afternoon; it has a quiet and comfortable reading room with a view of the Kennebec River. The church across the street is a real stunner against the blue sky today.
I thought I would take this opportunity to write my first proper blog post since I’m using the library’s wi-fi instead of ours (which is not unlimited or free unfortunately).
We’ve spent the first two weeks slowly unpacking our stuff, doing small projects around the house, shopping for more stuff to fill up the already stuffed house, and getting back to our paid work. The big project this week has been painting the window sashes and trim. Thank goodness it’s a tiny house, because trim takes a long time to paint, especially when there are 2 colors. We are painting the sashes (all the parts of the window that touch the glass) to match the muntins (those thingies that separate panes of glass in the windows). Our muntins are Sandtone, so the sashes will be a sort of light brown. Then the trim, or all the wood that touches the walls, will be bright white. So far, we’ve painted all the sashes in the great room and bathroom and primed much of the trim. Here are some close ups of the Sandtone on the kitchen windows.
For now, the house is a wreck because Chad has been doing finish work in the kitchen. So there are no pictures of the great room all put together. I feel like I’ve been posting nothing but construction shots for months. I’d like to start posting completion shots, so bear with me for a few more days.
We’ve had a little free time to visit some of our favorite spots near Five Islands. On Tuesday, we went to the General Store for our lunch break. On the way home we stopped at Reid State Park for a little stroll. We now have a pass for every Maine state park that allows in a car with up to 16 people. So we can drop by Reid whenever we want to. The park has 2 beautiful beaches and a lagoon. There are paths through the dunes and lots of rocks to climb on. We found a bench and soaked up a little sun before getting back to work.
Yesterday, we stopped in to visit the Coveside Bed & Breakfast on North End Rd in Five Islands. Tom and Carolyn run this gorgeous B&B on Gott’s Cove. They are also the winning bidders on a dinner for four at our house later this month. We donated the dinner to the Georgetown Historical Society’s annual charity auction. So we wanted to chat with Tom and Carolyn about the dinner and other island dining ideas. I couldn’t resist taking some shots of the views from their beautiful patio.
The house is also lovely, as are the gardens throughout the property.
Finally, I should note that all of our various animals made it to Five Islands safely. Admittedly, there were some scary moments the first couple of days. Our cat, Peanut, disappeared the first night and didn’t re-appear for 48 hours. We weren’t sure if he’d somehow escaped or was trapped in between the walls. He now comes out a couple of times a day, usually in the early morning and in the evening. But otherwise he has a very good hiding place upstairs, probably under the floor between the joists. Olive, our other cat, seems quite content. The dogs are lovin’ life on the island. There are exotic creatures such as the elusive chipmunk to keep their walks exciting. And the lack of any bus traffic on Lewis Rd is conducive to lots of relaxation on our little porch. Here they are chilling under the new bar (soon to be Robert’s preferred rest spot).
Well, that’s my report for now. I hope to have some shots of the interior next week to share.
March 1, 2011 § 1 Comment
Well, we finally made it back to Five Islands. We’ve planned to come at least twice since late December and been thwarted by weather. We loaded up a truck with IKEA cabinets and some large furniture and headed up here on Monday morning.
It was a long drive in the truck. We were supposed to get a 10 foot truck, but there were none left when Robert got to the shop. So they gave him a 16 footer. Oy vey! That thing is a monster, with no pick up whatsoever. But the best part of the drive was getting stopped by a police officer on the Saw Mill River Parkway in New York. We saw the “passenger cars only” sign as we entered the on ramp to the parkway. Hello?! Why do they wait until you’re on the on ramp to tell you this important rule?! At that point, it was impossible to Not get on the parkway. Admittedly, we could have exited the parkway at the next exit, but we chose to stay on, and thus knowingly disobeyed the law. After about three exits, a police officer pulled up behind me and stuck close until there was enough shoulder to pull me over. Then he turned on his lights. He informed me that if I had passed one more exit, I would have come up on a bridge over the parkway with an 8 foot clearance that the behemoth I was driving would clearly not fit under. I’ve never been so relieved to be stopped by a cop. He told me that he could give me 5 tickets, but he chose not to. So nice. In any case, he told us how to get off the parkway and detour to 684. That took us maybe 45 minutes out of our way, but at least we weren’t stuck under a bridge in Chappaqua.
We arrived in Five Islands at about 10:30 p.m. after almost a 12 hour trip. Exhausted. The last few miles into Five Islands were icy and treacherous. But even in the dark, we could see how beautiful the house is with the new windows and shingles. The inside is a wreck, but we didn’t care. Robert quickly set up his camp kitchen and made us a little dinner and then we passed out.
Here’s what we woke up to this morning.
One of these days I’ll get around to putting the before pictures up next to the after pictures. But for now, you’ll have to believe me when I tell you that the house is completely transformed. And it looks beautiful so far. The kitchen now has 6 huge windows facing the east and south, so the sun comes in first thing in the morning and lasts almost all day.
The north end of the house faces the gully and is the first side you see as you come up Lewis Road. We’re still trying to decide what to do about that concrete foundation. It’s even more ugly now that the new shingles are up. Perhaps we’ll paint it. We’ll certainly be filling in some dirt around the sides to improve drainage.
The driveway side will be the last to get shingles. But you can see the new sliding glass door and kitchen windows. This is the side that will one day have a screened in porch. Right now, there is a step ladder to welcome you into our little cottage “on the rocks”.
Tomorrow I’ll post some pictures of the inside as well as our progress in putting together those damned IKEA cabinets.
January 16, 2011 § Leave a comment
Bath got 16.5 inches of snow last week in the second big storm of the season. Thankfully, the power didn’t go down in Georgetown. Bob and his crew don’t let a little snow get in their way. They were back out there installing more windows and the new sliding patio door. Here are two pictures from Bob.
Bob put the two windows on the street side in the right place. Looks great.
January 8, 2011 § Leave a comment
Bob and his team have been busy installing the new windows and removing old cedar shingles. Here are the latest pictures from Five Islands.
One small glitch: on the street side of the house, there are supposed to be two windows to the right of the bathroom. Here there is only one. Bob will get that taken care of right away. No big deal. But you can see how nice the new windows look.
All the windows on the back side have now been installed. Bob found some rot under the front door, so we’re going to replace it.
And the downstairs bathroom has a new, larger window.
More to come. . .