Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's not ALL fun and games

The Great Land Hunt took a turn early today, when the aging Cabrio refused to start in the cold South Carolina rain. The old girl's distributor cap is real finicky about getting wet. And so began the long walk (see above) to the auto parts store for a quick repair. It wasn't so bad, though, because Mason is the magic man and fixed her up right quick...

While we loved Athens, Ga., the outlying land didn't do much for us. So then it was onto South Carolina. After taking wrong turn after another and arguing about directions, we've surrendered and picked up a GPS to settle the fights and lead our way. And frankly, we could never have found our way without it.

Today we walked two properties at Lake Greenwood that had potential. Nick absolutely loved it, and we liked the idea of a lake community, but we're still thinking we can maybe do better.

So the Hunt continues. Tonight we're in Tryon, N.C., just over the stateline. Tomorrow we've got a long list of properties to check out. If the Cabrio starts, that is, as it's raining like crazy.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Hunt begins

The Great Land Hunt is afoot!!

Spent the past three days in Florida checking out Randy's digs. Mason has serious tractor envy.

Drove today to Athens, GA, where our Land Hunt starts for real! Spent our evening tossing back brews with the college kids and watching some zombie series on AMC.

Tomorrow we check out the Athens, Toccoa areas before moving into eastern SC. Supposed to rain in the upper 30s the next two nights, so screw camping. We're hoteling it until the rain stops.

High(low)lights of the last two days: a confederate flag twice as big as my car flying above a private residence in GA,  the NPR jingle being played on a banjo, our first breakfast at the Waffle House (guaranteed not to be the last)  and drinking with the college kids in Athens...

Stay tuned for more adventure....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The journey east

Wednesday will mark our departure from Texas (finally!) and the start of our big journey east for the Great Land Hunt. First stop? I regret to report it's Florida. Before we REALLY start the Hunt, we're taking a side trip to the Panhandle to visit Mason's buddy Randy. He bought 10 acres a couple years ago, so we're going to go check out how he's tricked out his property. So it's Thanksgiving on the Gulf of Mexico. I'm just hoping Randy knows where we can get something more than beer for our holiday meal.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A window becomes a door

Winding up our last big project for Mason's family, we finished off the French doors today. Of course Mason's never done this kind of thing before, but we're thinking it turned out pretty damn nice. Not to mention that it makes Bart and Angelina's outdoor space way more accessible from their living space. And an added bonus: We only let their manic little Min-Pin dogs escape the yard twice during the whole project. One other bonus: Mason promised me an electric caulking gun for Christmas so when we re/build our next house, my little girl hands don't have to work so hard!!

Countdown to the Great Land Hunt can finally begin. Saturday we head back to Lake Kiowa to see the Williams half of the family for a few days before heading east.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Our work here is done

Gone is Karen's boring white kitchen, and in its place? A gorgeous taupe granite that swirls with white, brown, gold, beige and a hint of gray-green. Painted 1950s wood paneling on the backsplash? I don't think so! Lovely Tuscanesque harlequin tiles that pop with taupe grout (which was quite the chore to do, we might add!).  Karen also switched to an oil-rubbed bronze faucet, with cabinet hardware to match (thank you, spray paint)! Added a new light over the sink for a nice accent of light, and swapped out some dated scalloped cabinet trim for some classic lines.
Our work here is done. Next?

Tonight's the kitchen reveal

Can you feel the anticipation?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mastic and magic

Mastic is the paste-like glue that sticks the cute little tiles to the backsplash. Magic is what gets Mason and I through a day of tiling without killing each other. After six hours on the job today, it's looking pretty good. Nope, no photos yet!! Not till it's done. But here's the before photo:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A window into our future

It took eight long hours, but when we were done, the living room window at Bart's house was gone and a french door was in its place. The brick-wall-busting effort completely exhausted us. When the work fell only on Mason's shoulders, I took on some invading grass in the flower bed.  By nightfall, we were both popping pills for the lower-back pain. And the job's not done yet...  Thought: Maybe we DON'T want to build a house from scratch.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dinner Al Fresca, en November

One tradition of our trips to Texas is dinner at Joe T's, a tourist trap with decent food and margaritas in the Fort Worth stockyards. Here's the Cook families -- that's son Matt in the foreground next to his wife, Joanna, and on the far side is Bart and his wife, Angelina. And yes, we're OUTSIDE. At 9 p.m. Outside, people, in November. And that plate of green on the table? About 2 pounds of damn fine tasting guacamole.