Thursday, December 3, 2009

Carolina Mudpie for a Crowd

Before I get to the local specialty promised in the title, I bring your attention to the new masthead photo. It's what you see at the driveway entrance as of today. Our imagined concept of seeing a lovely house peeking out of the woods is becoming a reality. The color looks a bit drab now, but it's the effect we were after: a large-ish structure that looks like it belongs in its environment. We will add splashes of bright color to bring it to life after we move in.

The siding guy must have a sadistic streak, because he came the other day and finished the entire job except for the shutters on the room above the garage. The box containing the shutters is there, waiting to be used. It means he'll have to make one more trip all the way out there just to hang two more shutters. We don't get it. He's not paid by the hour. Sadistic, like I said. Has to be.

The piles of brush in the front yard are the leafy, twiggy parts of five trees that had to come down to make way for the septic field. If it ever dries out enough, we'll have bonfires to dispose of them. Outdoor fires are legal here with a permit that is free and downloadable. (All of a sudden we are once again savoring the spicy aroma of burning leaves--an experience I haven't had since the practice was outlawed in my suburban Virginia neighborhood when I was a teenager.) We dodged rain yesterday to get the trees cut into logs; we ended up with at least another cord of firewood, and we decided it was just too much for us--we already have enough wood to last a couple of lifetimes. We found a young couple on Craigslist who needed it to heat their house, so we let them have it for free.


1/4 acre sandy clay
10 dumptruck loads sand

Before rain begins, dig six trenches, each 6 feet deep by 4 feet wide by 50 feet long, in the quarter-acre. Fill each trench halfway with sand, then place porous PVC pipe on top of sand in each trench and surround with heavy-duty styrofoam popcorn held together in huge mesh bags. Cover pipe and styrofoam with sandy clay originally dug from trenches; keep adding clay to come to top of each trench. Smooth remaining clay over entire surface of the quarter-acre and leave to settle. This is a septic system, but that's not the point.

Do a rain dance if necessary to summon 3 (three) days of Biblical, torrential downpour.

Invite friends over. Wallow.


Jenny said...

Love the new masthead photo! It really does look like the house belongs in that woodsy setting. Our house in Kentucky had a similar feel--we cleared just enough trees to fit the house into the woods. Over the 28 years we lived there we cleared away quite a few more when we realized that some of them could easily fall on the house in an ice or snow storm. The "drab" look you mention is a good thing--it helps the house blend into its environment. You wouldn't want an orange metal roof, for example. A couple of homes here at our lake have done that and you can spot them a mile away! :-)

Ralph said...

Thanks, Jenny. We learned our "scenery-friendly" lesson from seeing so much of the opposite as we took boat rids to tour the waterfront developments in Delaware. So many potentially lovely homes blasted their presence at you with too-bright siding and white, obviously-plastic trim. The worst example was a rustic dock given white PVC railings. We decided then and there we wouldn't scar the surroundings with our presence.

The houses in the development here are a bit more tasteful but most are still "loud." It's all about imagination or lack thereof, both on the parts of the owners and of the builders.

Paula said...

Lovely home in a beautiful woodsy setting. When do you get to move into your new home?

nan said...

Oh Ralph - I love it. Just how you pictured it! Serenity - soon!

Cuidado said...

It's gorgeous, Ralph. Next thing you know you won't be in transition anymore. You'll have to change the name of the blog. He house really looks great tucked in there.

Ralph said...

Thanks, Cuidado. Naming the blog: Linda SE PA once suggested "Days of Reflection" for when all this is over. But then again Nan always reminds me "every day is a day of transition." I even added the sentence to the masthead. I'm glad I still have a little while to think about it!

Eclecticity said...

Oh it is looking soooooooo good. E.

Ralph said...

Hey, sorry I never answered some of your comments. I just found out the Yahoo website has been spamming a lot of your blog comments, with no rhyme or reason. I tried to fix it. Please don't give up!

We hope to move in at the end of February or early March--should be getting a more definitive date in a few days.