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December 2011

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Where the hell I've been!

Someone emailed me the other day and said...."Where the HELL have you been?  You've been MIA for the last month or so on-line."

Yep....I confess....GUILTY!   But I haven't fallen off the edge of the earth, guys, I've just been busy with work and the house thingy.  Lame excuse.....I can see you all shaking your heads at me.

Went to two work-related conferences for a week each.  One was in Orlando and it was fun.  It was just your normal gathering of college administrator type people.  Pretty boring stuff, but necessary.

The other one was better.  It was in Hawaii and totally a freeby because I was invited to be a presenter.  Didn't cost my college and my travel budget a dime.  Nada.  So how could I refuse a freeby trip to Hawaii for 5 days for about a day's work?  It's a presentation that I've done several other times and can do in my sleep.  So I said "hell yeah...send me a ticket and I went to Hawaii....again!  And my colleagues voted my presentation the best one of the conference, so I won an Ipod. Is that cool or what?

The other thing that's been keeping me buried is the house thing.  Well.....the "Architect Wars" are finally over and the finalized blueprints are in my hands.  Yay!  The house is exactly what I wanted and we didn't have to compromise in very many things.  It ended up being about 4000 sq feet - a classic two story American farmhouse with a walk-out finished basement that overlooks the ravine in the woods above the creek and a wrap around front porch.    Ther master bedroom/bathroom suite is in a separate little wing off the 1st floor and the bedroom/sitting room will be about 25 ft long by 16 wide, with a 12 foot vaulted ceiling.  The master bath will be about 18 X 20 , with a corner Jacuzzi surrounded by leaded glass windows and a huge glass shower.  The ceiling in there will also be 12 feet and vaulted.

The front foyer is what I love best about this house.  It has a center gable with a huge circle top window and the foyer will be open all the way to the 2nd story roof - about 20 feet high.  The staircase will open into that foyer and there will be an "overlook" from the second floor down into the foyer.  You'll be able to stand on the second floor overlook and look out the front wondow out onto the pastures in front of the house.  The house itself will be set back about 1000 ft from the road, so we'll have a long driveway and then, will fence in the front for horses....and probably llamas!

There will be a large great room, office space, and a formal dining room, with a sunroom that opens into the great room, a big country kitchen with a breakfast bar and island, laundry room and a second bathroom on the 1st floor.  Upstairs, there are 2 guest bedroomd that share a bathroom, and a loft area that overlooks the foyer.  I may turn that into my library with bookshelves on the walls.

The basement will be finished as a home theater and game room, and a screened in porch, with an additional bedroom and bath suite most likely to become a sewing room.  John will have a workshop down there too, until his detached motorcycle garage and "He-Men Club" is finished in the barn is finished after the house is built.  The house will have an attached 2 1/2 car garage and then we'll build a second garage/barn on the other side of the pasture so he'll have somewhere to store his tractor and "toys".

The builder has been selected (we interviewed 19 different ones!) and tonight, we meet with him to go over the blueprints and start selecting the building materials and colors.  Once that's done, we'll get a detailed building contract from him for our attorney to approve, he gets the building permit and ok from the county, and we go close on our construction loan.  The permits have been approved for the septic system, well and pond, so as soon as the Knox County building inspector ok's the plans, we can break ground.  I guarantee that when this project is done, there will be a hell of a party and y'all are invited! YAY!

So that's what I've been up to...and the fun's just begining!  I have lots of your journals and emails to catch up on. and I see there's been some new STORIES posted!    YAY!

Love ya lots!


Yay! You're back! I figured you were busy with work and the house. Trips to FL and Hawaii??? Nice!! The house sounds absolutely gorgeous! Want pictures when it's done!


Thanks, hun. I'm planning in doing a website of the progress and posting the pics there so we can keep track of it. The last time we built a house, I swore we'd never do it again, and that wasn't a total custom house like this one. With that one, it was a suburban tract house with limited choices. You got to pick from like three things in each category and 3 or 4 different floor plans from one builder. With this one, we started from absolute scratch. There are so many choices that the hardest part is trying to narrow stuff down to a manageable list. We began by looking at literally thousands of plans to get close to the style we wanted, then took the 3 or 4 we liked best to the architect with our wish list. Then we spent the better part of a year tweaking his preliminary drawings to get it the way we wanted it. I could have lived with several of his prior plans, but why go through all this to get something that's not exactly what I want? I did not want a house that just looked like it was stuck out on a piece of land. I wanted something that looked like it belonged on the land, sort of an old farmhouse look that has all the modern amenities. It's all very "big ole white farmhouse" - simple, clean lines without looking ostentatious and out of place in the Amish country. I did not want something that looked like it was better suited to a golf course lot in the suburbs. It was tough to find an architect who "got" what I was after, but we did and he did a great job. He specializes in this kind of house on rural acreage. Our Amish neighbors, some of whom are furniture makers and fine carpenters, will be doing the cabinets and the hardwood floors. They've designed some beautiful cherry Shaker-style kitchen cabinets for me and will be using Bloodwood for the floors. (It's a dark red, mahogany sort of look.) I think the Boss would like the Bloodwood! :)

Love ya...and printed out the Pirate story to read. Yo ho ho!
There you are!!! *Hugs*!!!!!!

You've been missed!!!

Onya (majorly fun Aussie colloquialism) on the Hawaii gig! YGG!!!!! And so glad the Architecture Wars are just about over!!! YAY! Here comes your dream house!!!
Yes, well one was starting to wonder where you'd gone off to, but I figured the house.... work.... and knowing your propensity for travel or even weekend trips....

The house sounds like a project indeed! But, at least one that you will be thrilled with when the headache parts are finished with. Good luck on moving forward with it. Can't wait for the pics to hit th web so we can see!


Where are you?

are you ok?