Monday, December 8, 2008

I am sooooo excited! This weekend we took all the primed pieces of all 5 bays of the bookcases up to the Lodge and got them all nailed together and set in place. Although there is much more to be done to the bookcase wall such as adding the long shelves that will join all these small compartments, adding the electrical outlets to the mopboard parts of the bookcases and the front side trims; not to mention they need their top two coats of paint... they already look amazing. I am not quite sure why I have such a love of library walls. When I see one done nicely, I am instantly transported back to Merry Ole' England and that is just what happened when I stood back and looked at my new wall after stocking it with the books I had already moved to the Lodge.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Burn Baby Burn!

All the cutting that had been done through the fall of 2004 was mounding up fast. We were keeping most of the "burnable size" wood, although it was mostly pine, it would still be a shame not to use it as some form of heat. We piled the smaller trees and all the roots and branches as best we could, but when Larry came with the excavator, it was a small job for him to move our piles and form one gigantic pile in the middle of the field. We would then wait for the perfect day to light it off. I kept bugging Eric ( I prefer the term asking) if we could do it, 'til finally on a day with far too little drizzle for a fire like that, we started her up! We lit both sides of it, probably a mistake, and it began to make the most hideous noise as sparks flew up into the air a good 30 feet! The entire pile burned through in about 4 hours... and I crossed my fingers for most of that, that nothing would go wrong as we still had no water on site just a light drizzle and some old snow banks we used to put out the coals. The satellite maps still show the black mark in the center of the field where this fire took place!

Clearing the Building Site

We were to go with Bill and Lynda to Hawaii in mid-September, but Larry was to begin excavation in October so that Randy could pour the foundation around Thanksgiving and we could hopefully have the building capped off by snowfall. A lot to happen in a short amount of time! Vanessa, Drew and Reid were amazing while we were gone and got most of the building site cleared by themselves! What a wonderful surprise to come home to.

Last night I created the Allen Family Christmas card for yet another year. I was reminded of the year that I had done our Christmas Card while waiting for Erica to arrive in February.... not knowing whether she was a boy or a girl. I was also laughing to myself about how full the mantel at the Lodge would some day be, when all of the girls are there with their significant others and all the babies are born! I then thought that it was a very good thing that the mantel will be 10' as we will surely need every inch of it!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Past Time to Cut the Gardens Back

The last weekend of November is late to be cutting back the perennials in the gardens, but they still added so much interest to the landscape and with all the autumn rains, were still very green. Alas, I brought out my shears and cut much of the plants to their base, knowing that the spring clean up would be made much easier by doing so. Already, I can see the blossoms of spring on the Rhododendrons and Magnolia. The Forsythiabuds look almost ready to burst open and a quick paw at the ground reveals the daffodil bulbs are already looking forward to their mid-April debut. So, knowing that despite the gripping cold of winter is almost upon us, I know the promise of spring is not that far behind. It gives me great pleasure to know that it will be impossible for me to complete all my winter projects before the first signs of growth appear in Oak Hill Lodge's gardens. It is in that spirit that Eric and I built the above ground beds for a more serious attempt at vegetable gardening in honor of Grammie and Grandpa Bartlett late this fall. I have high hopes that a much more bountiful harvest will be had than the one provided by my "Deck Pot Gardens".

Happy and Sad (but not too sad)

On Sunday, Nov. 30, 2008, we went to the tree farm and cut the Oak Hill Lodge Christmas Tree for 2008. It is a perfect combo of 2006 and 2007... taller than 2006 and wider than 2007. We weren't to put her in the stand, then Eric worried it might mishape the branches, so our plans morphed and up she went! No decorations, but gorgeous all the same! We had to disconnect the plumbing as the nights are now getting down in the teens. It is always a sad time as no place is ever quite the same once the water is gone, but the beauty of the Lodge is that it is about a ten minute job to reconnect the water, and despite the wastefullness of dumping a 50 gallon water tank of hot water, I draw a huge comfort in knowing the "turn-off" is not as final as it is at the Cottage at Blackwater Cove.