Are we there yet?

?..are we there yet..?
Construction countdown....

Ever been on a long journey with someone asking "are we there yet?" every five minutes? Does it drive you crazy too? If it does, you will appreciate why I needed to take a blogging break these past few weeks...for I would have surely driven you as crazy as I did a few others. Tahilla Farm is in construction countdown and I have been beside a decision making frenzy.

Our general contractor, Tim, is the lucky man who gets to answer all my questions. Over the past weeks, each day, after the last hammer was struck and the team departed for the day...I turned my attention to every nook and cranny, inside and out. I had a mental checklist going 24/7 and couldn't wait to return each morning to run through my list of questions. I loved it all...even the look of ' oh no, here she comes again' as I rolled up the drive, leaving a whirl of construction dust in my wake (cough, cough). 

Mr. H says that I have a knack for asking the same question ten different ways, as if trying a new angle, will result in the answer I am looking for.  Tim answered with the same steady, calm reply and a simple explanation that made all the sense in the world to me. Until I managed to ask the same question a few days later. The man has the patience of a saint!

It has been a tremendous learning curve...says she, an amateur, a mere babe in the minefield of construction and renovation. I learned the hard way...and the easy way...and am still learning. I do not see a homeowners renovation award in my future, but I do see a beautifully designed and constructed house created by masters of the New Hampshire trade. Each and every one of them, male and female, have been superb. We could not ask for more than that and count ourselves fortunate for the quality of work they have put into this project. 

If you are starting to have that sneaking suspicion that I am going to lead you into a daily recount of the last ten weeks of summer construction (twelve months in total) ...don't worry, I wouldn't do that to you. I did consider another daily writing challenge to get back into the swing of things but left that idea as quickly as it came. I plan to write more frequently than before...which will be easy to do since my last post was written in July. ;)

I am currently tapping away at Chateau Mango in Vietnam. Yes, I have come and gone, sad to leave New Hampshire but happy to back in the swing of life in Saigon. In a few weeks, my youngest son, Connor, will come home for a two week visit and a few trips between the Philippines and Vietnam.

In November I will be New Hampshire bound once again. Thanksgiving and the long awaited Christmas family reunion at Tahilla Farm awaits and there is so so much to do...but first we need to complete construction of the house..which is looking good for the end of October. 

We have literally been 'tucking' the house into the landscape and vice versa these past few weeks. I have a total appreciation for the ins and outs of grading a property...and the many assorted earth movers that make it happen.

It was the summer of stone as they were hauled, lifted and sorted into dry stone retaining walls stretching out to the north, south, east and west sections of the property. I was amazed by the stonemason, Deb. She told me her husband simply describes her job as picking up rocks and moving them. The woman is a marvel, there is so much more to what she much more!

From the entrance of the house...
where two ladders rest,

and a retaining wall stretching to the east.
Can you spot the difference 
between the two photos below, 
the obvious and not so obvious?

 To the the kitchen,
a goshen stone terrace is underway.

and to the south, steps to a view are taking shape.

"Are we there yet?"
There were times when I doubted we would ever get there..


But as days passed, the stone walls came together, 
slowly but surely, just as it should be done.

We would not be here today 
without the creative collaboration,
between our architect, Sheldon Pennoyer (left)
and landscape architect, Gordon Hayward (right).

Sheldon Pennoyer and Gordon Hayward
Hard to believe all this and more started with a few sketches 
on a piece of paper two years ago...and it is still going on.


 Oops, ok...
maybe I did just recount the last ten weeks!
I will leave you here, but before I go,
I just want to say...
for reading along.
I look forward to getting back 
into the swing of blogging again,
I have missed you all!

Jeanne xx

The Tahilla Farm story

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