Adirondack chair on the guest cottage porch. (The rock is a weight.)


Adirondack chair on the guest cottage porch. (The rock is a weight.) Adirondack chair on the guest cottage porch. (The rock is a weight.)

Eight days ago when I wrote the last post, the sale contract on Terraphilia had fallen apart.

First thing Tuesday morning (after Labor Day)–as soon as they learned the news, the people in second place re-tendered their offer.

By the end of the day Friday, after working out some small details, we had a contract. And I got an email from the prospective buyers saying they were “over the moon” about my accepting their offer.

Wow! (Much appreciation to my realtor, Kathleen Nelson of Keller Williams Mountain Realty.)

Of course, it’s not a sale until you have the certified check in hand. There is still the appraisal (this is not an easy property to appraise), the loan, and other hurdles.

But something about this contract just feels right–nothing logical, mind you, it’s a gut instinct kind of thing.

Treehouse (foreground) and Creek House (on the right) from the City Trail across the creek. Treehouse (foreground) and Creek House (on the right) from the City Trail across the creek.

I’m also exhausted from the whip-saw of emotions in just a few days from what felt like a sucker punch when the first contract imploded to cautious excitement and relief. (Fingers crossed….)

This contract gives me more time to move. Which is good, because as with every construction project I’ve ever been involved with, the new house and garage/studio are taking longer than expected.

There’s been lots of progress, thanks to my contractor, Dan Thomas of Natural Habitats, and all of the wonderful sub-contractors who have made time in their crazy-busy schedules for my small but not simple project.

On the outside, the first coat of stucco is on (the gray parts of the building exteriors in the photo above). The board-and-batten siding is all up, and after some dirt-work this coming week, the stairs will be built on the outside wall of Treehouse and the second-story deck will appear outside the studio door. (Access now is by ladder, which I enjoy climbing, but I recognize isn’t a permanent solution.)

The kitchen area with cabinets in, before Mackee began building sills and putting up window trim. The kitchen area with cabinets in, before Mackee began building window sills and putting up trim. The cabinet sitting by itself in the foreground is the kitchen island, without its top.

Inside, Creek House is painted (thank you, Alex of Timberline Drywall and crew!) and the kitchen cabinets are in and looking very fine (thanks to Rob and Rachel of Westwood Cabinets). Baseboards and doors are in, and door and window trim are going up–thank you, Mackee and Verlyn of Natural Habitats.

This coming week, the final coat of sealer will go on the floors, and we’ll be ready for plumbing fixtures.

It’s feeling like a house!

Here at Terraphilia, there’s progress too.

Eric Hagen, master of tools, wood, steel, horses and many other things, sorted, organized and priced the contents of the shop and held a shop sale. What he couldn’t sell, he found homes for, all but the big industrial dust-collection system and a wall-mounted veneer-press. Surely someone needs those….

The shower part of the tub-shower enclosure. Thanks to Tom and Lane of Alpha Plumbing, who had to go on eBay to find all the parts to the fixtures! The shower part of the tub-shower enclosure.

(Richard loved tools, plus everything else involved in designing and fabricating sculptures and functional objects from wood, steel and stone.)

And my most ambitious finishing project, the custom tub-shower enclosure in the master bath, is finally done, thanks to a lot of help.

Maggie and Tony Niemann patiently worked with me to finish the walls and trim.

Steve Duhaime of Architectural Glass wrapped the sill and added the “reedy” glass half-walls with their cool steel brackets.

Tom and Lane of Alpha Plumbing scoured the internet to find parts for the shower fixtures (the shower was roughed-in about 14 years ago, the fixtures have long since been discontinued) and invented the black steel shower-curtain rods suspended from the ceiling.

Glass half-walls screening the shower area. Glass half-walls screen the shower area.

Finishing this house and building Creek House and Treehouse feels like the best community effort, drawing on the art and skill of people I respect and appreciate.

When I started this process, I didn’t know I could learn to use and love tools, much less working with wood, steel, stone and glass.

I had no idea that I could dream up a house and be intimately involved in building it. Or that I would find the process fascinating and rewarding.

Yet here I am.

Tonight, as I was writing this post, I made myself a cup of ginger-lemon tea.

And read the tag on the tea bag:

Wherever you go, go with all your heart. Just the words I needed.

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.


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