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Building a Dream

Two years ago Kevin and I bought a pretty little house on Lookout Mountain.  It seemed perfect - as if it was built for us with our dream in mind.  And if things had been just a little bit different, we might have stayed there.  In fact, it would have been easier to stay there.  But it simply wasn't right for what we wanted to create.  The dream still called to us. So we're starting over, this time in a foreclosed fixer-upper near the coast in New Bern, NC.  

Kevin and I purchased this house on Nov 2, 2018 with the knowledge that there wouldn't be any heat because the copper pipes from the HVAC system had been stolen. 

We also knew we couldn't use any of the plumbing because of an issue with the septic system so we decided to stay a few more days at the hotel while we tried to get at least one of those issues corrected.  In the meantime, we could start cleaning and moving things in.

After a week of getting nowhere with service people, we decided to go ahead and move in - our comfort being less critical than our budget.  Paying for the hotel, a storage unit, and gas for the hour drive to and from the house every day was adding up.  Every penny needs to go into the house now.  Unfortunately, we created ruts in the lawn and had to remove a couple of overgrown bushes, but Kevin and I managed to get the job done in two trips with a 15' U-Haul truck.

Now the real work begins to get this place "retreat ready!"  There is a lot of basic maintenance that needs to be done (replacing insulation, wiring, ductwork, hot water heater, etc.) before we can get to any of the fun stuff and we're going to try to do the work ourselves whenever possible.  But we've already picked out engineered vinyl planks to replace the sheet vinyl downstairs and new vent covers to replace to disgusting rusty ones!  It's the small things that make me happy!

The HVAC system and the septic pump issues will definitely need to be handled by the pros.

We've had some of the land cleared in preparation for the yurt campsites which will come in the future.  This gave me the opportunity to explore and acquaint myself with the local flora and fauna.  Most of the trees in this part of the country are loblolly pines (Pinus taeda), so named because they grow in loblollies, an old Southern term for a lowland or swampy area.  They have much longer leaves (needles) than the pines I grew up with in New England.  The needles are often used in place of mulch, also known as pine straw.  While beautiful in their own way, I dearly miss Maple trees.  But I'm enchanted by the plethora of squirrel tree frogs!

Another strange discovery is that the frost crystals grow upward like crewcut!  I don't ever recall seeing that in New England.

We're working our way through the difficulties and building our dream.  Even though it's a bit of a mess right now and stressful, there's also so much beauty to be found.  That's what Life is.  Always.  And I'm grateful for it all. 


I'd love for you to connect with me on FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn.  I've been so busy with the house lately that I haven't been on social media as much as usual, but I'll be picking up again soon!  Also, since you're surfing the internet, take a look at my painting collections here.  And please, don't forget to sign up for my newsletter so you don't miss a thing!

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