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Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Staff,The Cottage and The Incident in Port Jervis

Well, because I have been so shamefully tardy in my blogging, I am just now posting some photos I took last week, or the week before. Who can keep track? Actually, it's kind of amazing if these photos were taken two weeks ago because the unfinished state of the progress is wholly different presently, with the walls painted and floors stained.

As posted previously, this home is 960 sq ft, 2 bedrooms, 2 porches, fireplaces, wide plank floors - the works.

Speaking of 'the works', there was an incident in Port Jervis on Friday. So I had to go to Middletown for one reason or another, and any time I head into civilization via Monticello, Liberty or Port Jervis, I always confront a fast food hankering, that is hard to ignore. Where we live in Eldred there ain't any such food, and I don't even really like it, but anytime I head to these aforementioned towns, I battle internally. So, long story short, I am lured into the McDonalds in Port Jervis, and it is frickin quinessential low-end America with lots of loud overweight families hanging out at he soda machine and ketchup dispenser (I'm partial to outlets that offer ketchup dispensers, and not those damn packets). I mean, it was chaos, but I was determined to enjoy my fast food moment with my Friday times.

When I hear, "Chuck? Chuck, is that you?" And so who do you know is satisfying their guilty pleasure as well, but Jeanne and Deb from Cottage 14 fame. Well, embarrassed at our mutual contempt for rational meal decisions, we spent a minute or two explaining and making excuses for why we are actually in this low end McDonalds, then discussing why the fries seem to be underfilled (is it a directive from corporate?), and so on. So we were caught, our sophisticated and refined palettes and food consciousness tossed into the air of reality, where a quarter pounder meal combo, supersized, has its place on Easter Weekend.

In this small house we put a big window, ... looking out into the woods. Also, in our last two houses we started playing around with cable hand rail systems, and it is turning out pretty cool - sort of a further exploration of modern vintage.

It's components are hand-hewn wood posts with steel cable.

It's a good look, and even better once the floors and walls are colored.

The front porch ceiling has some nice curves and lines.

And the stream that runs through the property, just off the back deck.

And another shot of the front, before the second coat of Cabot's barn red semi solid stain is applied to the novelty siding, and before the standing seam galvanized metal roof is installed on the front porch.

And our friend Chris and Allison traveled up from Richmond VA with their boys to spend a few days. We are putting an addition onto the house, and this is the final foundation pour truck.

Lastly, this is my office, with James and Anouk posing for the camera - Anouk in fore, James in back. Red lamps, sliding barn doors, red blueprint filing cabinets, and some mid-century chairs make up a pretty cool office design. We've come long way from our underfunded beginnings, and I can't but kind of modestly agree with Jeanne and Deb, who said 'we're the only game in town'. I think it's true, and it didn't come easy.

But in the end, the original inspiration that many families would prefer a cool new house that works rather than a cool old house that doesn't, and a committment to keep getting better, and a dedication to continually experiment and push the envelope - well, it's all combined to create a business that keeps on keeping on.
Happy Easter. It's a sunny day up here in the Catskills, with a few birds presently chirping away.