Tuesday, November 17, 2009

House Done Furnished Lived In October 2009

Due to some recent conversations about the ceilings, the hanging canoe, the furnishing and such, I realized that I had photographed the building process and then the close-ups of the furnishings but never really posted a good shot of each entire room or area. This is one attempt to document that on a cloudy day on my way out.
We start by looking from the living room over the dining area back at the entry where the borrowed painting is propped, waiting to return to the gallery. The console table just inside the entry holds keys and such. Be sure to sign the guest book when you visit.
The dining table, handcrafted by Randy, is being used to sort laundry!
The living room features the sleeper sofa whose color sets the golden yellow tone for the rest of the interior accents and a low coffee table works well for games such as Thomas's Scrabble.
Recliners by the gas fireplace make the living room comfy. The wool rug matches that in the dining room.
The kitchen has its own smaller dining area with a matching smaller table made by Randy and visually unobtrusive metal framework chairs.
I love my stone sink with its botanical carving, maple cabinets, black granite countertops, and all the windows.
The area under the stairs serves as a relaxing napping or reading area. This center bay from entry to back has slate tile floor while the side bays have bamboo flooring.
The deck faces the lake, with glass panels in the railing to keep the view open and direct access to the stairs that lead down the steep hillside to the lake and the dock.
The back wall features two stories of windows. The second floor stops six feet short of the back wall to form a balcony so people can converse from floor to floor. The arch of the top window echoes the arch of the truss with its acorn pendant, the artistic flair of Paul Swan of Swan Timber Frame.
Wood ceilings and exposed timber frame make for great expanses of wood.
Back by the entry at the base of the stairs is the first bath, with maple and black granite vanity that matches the kitchen and a small shower. The laundry room is in there along with crawl space access.
From the top of the stairs, you can see the railings that match the balcony railings. Swan provided the wood for the stairs and posts and railings and Randy and Thomas crafted them into functionality.
Looking down to the living room. Randy cut slate floor tiles to use behind the fireplace.
Looking down to the kitchen, you can see details of the framing and how the black railing spindles, black cabinet hardware, and black granite play off each other.
Looking from the 'bridge' to the outdoor balcony that faces the lake. This is a great little balcony for a morning cup of coffee or to read a book on a hot afternoon.
Looking from the bridge toward the small bedroom that is above the kitchen. This opening from first to second floor really makes the spaces flow into each other and keeps things light and airy.
The small bedroom has beds made by Randy and Thomas using some leftover railing material and new posts.
The map shows an aerial view of the lake.
The 'master bedroom' and the 'guest room' share one big space, there by sharing views of the treetops of the woods on the hillside and the night sky.
The canoe hanging against the rafters has a pulley system so that it can easily be lowered to be carried to the lake. The antique quilt is from Randy's mom's family.
Randy and Thomas made the matching beds from railing leftovers and they have wheels so that they can be moved into position for the best views of the night sky or the best morning light.
Toward the front, above the entry, is the 'reading nook' with comfy wingback chairs and a small chess table.
Note those awesome trusses with acorn pendants that Paul designed and carved. Right of the 'nook' is the second bath with a huge bathtub and shower.
The top portion of the bathroom wall is glass to keep the wood ceiling exposed and allow light to fill the spaces.
Both baths have two vessel sinks and showers and ample hooks for towels and such.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Small Kindness

When I am travelling and I pull off at an exit or stop in some small town to fill up the gas tank, if there is a Cenex station, I will choose it over all the other 'big name' stations and here is why:

I was on my way to a meeting once and I realized too many miles out of town to go back and still make my meeting on time that I had no wallet with me. No ID, no credit cards. I drove on but watched my gas gauge and about the time that I decided I had just enough to make it back home, thereby missing the meeting for which a half-dozen people were already assembling, I pulled over at what happened to be a Cenex station. Before I pumped the gas, I rooted around the van for cash, checking in all the usual stash places, but there was none. Too many last minute school lunches and stops for ice cream and a recent thorough vacuuming of the van had depleted it of any cash. I did find one checkbook in the little storage chamber in the door, but it was more than a little warped and distorted from having been dampened when the door was open during a few too many rains. I took that pathetic check book in and gave the people in the Cenex my sad story and the woman behind the counter contemplated how much trouble she would be in for taking a check with no ID and the men having coffee suggested that she'd be in better shape management wise if I could find SOME other document that at least had my name on it like the car registration or an insurance card, both which were in the glove box. So I went out for those, pumped my gas, and then remembered I actually knew my credit card number if I didn't think about it too hard. So I went back in and said "Write this down." and rattled off the number, then explained that was my credit card number and she could use it instead of taking the check if that was better for them. She punched it in by hand, after she looked up the directions for doing that, and an approval number popped up and we were all happy. But they were willing to take the chance and help me out, and so I made it to my meeting only a few minutes late. For that small consideration, I am forever a loyal Cenex fan!

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Aunt Alice was my maternal grandmother's exotic glamorous sister. She was tall and thin and had long wavy hair. She wore pants. In the 60's. She had modern eyeglasses and separate prescription sunglasses. Her smallish efficient house in town was furnished in snappy new modern curving sweeping chrome and glass assemblages. It was not a particularly warm place, nor was she personally, at least not compared to my grandmother and her big house with wooden and upholstered furniture and wood floors and wide arching doorways and cooking smells that constantly radiated from Grandpa's kitchen. Aunt Alice and Uncle Melvin took exotic vacations, probably on airplanes. They talked of their children who lived far away because of exotic jobs. Uncle Melvin had slicked back hair and I remember his clothes as being rather glossy somehow. He had some of those cool shirts that you didn't have to tuck in from some exotic foreign country. Ah, yes, they were the most glamorous couple I knew. And Aunt Alice herself was the keystone of that glamor, I was certain. And one of the most glamorous things about my glamorous great aunt was that she smoked. She had crystal and chrome ash trays everywhere. Enormous wonders that were more a shrine to the glamor of smoking than functional, for she would never ever let any but the tiniest bit of ash accumulate in their massive bowls. Some had lighters build into them. Best of all, next to her sleek accent chairs, even in her kitchen next to the dining table, she had smoking stands. A little shelf or perhaps a small drawer held cigarettes and the top was solely dedicated to the holding of the resting cigarette and the collection of the ashes. I remember a chrome and black smoking stand and another that had a chrome base and chrome bowl separate by a sculptural exotic wood stand. I remember the crystal and silver bowl of another. I remember her gesturing, sometimes broadly, sometimes in little quick movements, with a cigarette in her hand, smoke curling and twisting and rising. I remember her telling some story and the measure of how upset or excited she was about the goings-on could be had by how much her hand shook when she went to flick the ashes into the ash tray. I have vague memories of my sister and I sitting cross legged on the floor, our elbows on our knees and our chins in our hands, doing nothing but watching this exotic creature do her glamorous exotic things with rapt attention, but I am sure we were never quite that blatant in our astonishment and admiration. Ah, it is a wonder I am not a smoker just to emulate Aunt Alice. What accumulation of effects in my childhood made the desire to be good and healthy, to refrain from smoking, overcome the lure of the glamor of Aunt Alice?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Golden Views from the House

The golden mustard color scheme of the decor and the warm golden hues of the woods and bamboo were completed by the third part of the gold triptych, the fall leaves. It was the house's finest moment when out every window there was warm gold.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sometimes A Crow

Sometimes a crow
Is joy on the wing
Flying high
Dipping low tumbling
On the currents of the wind.

Sometimes a crow
Is death dropped down
Dark and glistening, sharp beak
Picking a bloody carcass
At the side of the road.

Sometimes a crow
Is part of a pair
Or a family of more
And tells the sweet story of
Us sharing our lives.

Sometimes a crow
Is warning and fear
Cawing out to tell
Of the terrible dark consequences
Of what we do today.

Sometimes a crow
Is promise and hope
Rising in the sun
Soaring high over the hill
Of rushing drafts in the swift wind.
A crow
Just a crow
Like me.