Tuesday, July 22, 2008

One Thing, Then Another

If it's not one thing, it's another. Those are the joys of being a homeowner, you say?

We have just a few finishing touches remaining for the kitchen-great room. An area rug has not been found, and the cabinet above the refrigerator has yet to be retrofitted. There are a few smaller things which will require some attention, but overall we are so very pleased with the results of the remodel. Each morning when we head in to get our first cup of coffee, we smile and feel the pleasure of a near completed task. The material used is timeless and clearly will be here beyond our lifetime.

But as one project is done, another raises it's hand to be recognized. That is part of maintaining the value in ones home, is it not? This, however, should prove to be insignificant compared to the renovation.

The ledge around our Koi pond has shown signs of wear over the last several years, a gradual deterioration of the mortar and stone. Upon assessment it appeared that we might get by with replacing about 30 of the stones.

We had a young man who had done stone and tile work take a look and yes, he thought it would take about 2-3 days to remove and repair the damaged pieces, a reasonable task and limited expense. We shopped around at several places and finally found something we felt would tie-in, a petrified seashore natural ledge stone, one similar in value and color and that would complement the existing ones. A ton was ordered and delivered, and work began.

As the first few damaged stones and loose mortar were removed, larger portions of the structure began shifting, falling apart. Well, you know how that goes . . . the best laid schemes. There was no way of salvaging larger sections. . . it all had to come apart. The good news is the majority of the stone cold be cleaned and reused.

My only disappointment is that the slate blue paint color turned out to be more a robin egg blue. When we returned one afternoon, it had all been applied. It looks fine, just not what I had anticipated. For now the color remains. . . perhaps next year we can add the more subdued tone. 7 days later, this project is complete!

You're going to find this hard to believe, but the deck that was on this house we bought 15 years ago and that we moved out into the garden and over which we built a pergola and upon which a wisteria grows (I should say consumes rampantly), well, it's beginning to rot. I suppose if I were exposed to the elements for 25 years, I might be showing some decay too. Don't even go there.

Oh! where are the Koi? They and the goldfish have a new home. Friends of ours have a reservoir with fish of their own and now an extended family.

For years we have struggled with the raccoons and Great Blue Heron, both of whom have considered this their personal feeding ground. It seems the heron would make this a stop along the way for a snack prior to continuing toward the lake. I loved watching him and his maneuvering (that is another story), but the only thing we could do was net the pond for 3-4 months each year in order to keep the fish safe. Now that was attractive!

The gauntlet was brought down this spring. We went to feed them and Mama (the robust two foot plus beauty) was gone! She had been in our care for 14 years and was here when
we purchased the property, although we didn't know she was here for the pond had been neglected and well, I won't describe the condition under which she was living.

So it was time to let them go and be where they could dive to the depths and escape the clutches of their prey. We visit from time to time and say hello to Andros (an orange and black beauty who chose not to participate in this photo op), and oh look, there's one of Mama's offspring in the lower center of the photo.

What joy they bring.