Waking At Woodstone

When you wake up here on the property as we did today for the first time(we are living in the barn) it gives you a really good idea of just how much goes on in the day! There are landscapers putting in boxwood,people putting in the brick paths in the front of the house, people putting in the front stairs, people finishing up the mudroom, people painting(two bedrooms are painted!),people putting up molding and millwork and so on-crazy!

The yellow in bedroom is C2 Paints Canvas,the brown is London Stone by Farrow and Ball. Exterior house color is Pratt and Lambert Agate Gray. All trim is Ben Moore Wayside Chamber White,which is actually a discontinued color.

 

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Early October at Woodstone

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Lots going on at the barn and at the house.The barn trim is getting painted Agate Gray by Pratt and Lambert (just like the house) and the doors Ben Moore Essex Green. Lights are all installed in the Barn,and my office is basically finished-we are moving there this week to wait out the move into the house in November. The interior windows looking into the rest of the barn are really cool!

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In the house, the tiling and grout are done in all of the bathrooms. Trim is going up on the second floor and they are about to start the first floor. The painters are right behind them. My wonderful wallpaper guy begins in two weeks. The third floor game room is all finished and ready for action!

 

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Woodstone in Early September

 

 

 

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Lots going on-every day is full of fun things to look at.The clapboard on the house is almost finished, the shingles are going up on the barn.Next will be shutters and columns on house. Tiling in all bathrooms-floors and showers. Millwork finished and painted on the third floor. In process of putting in all millwork and painting on second floor. Stone fireplace finished on screened porch.Stone walls going up beautifully. All electrical work done just have some fixtures to pick out!

Mid-July at Woodstone

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Outside lots going on-granite steps just installed,stone walls going in,clapboards starting to go in the back of the house,trim work almost finished.

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Up on third floor all wallboard and plastering done-now millwork going in!

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The tile has arrived and he is getting the showers all ready for the tile man who comes on Monday.

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And the Barn has it’s roof-in red cedar. My office is coming along. The bookshelves are going in,floors are in,windows are coming in the next week or two. The stone veneer along the base is all completed. We are getting there!

Santa Barbara, California

 

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Whether you enjoy hiking, fine-dining, water sports, lazing on the beach, culture, or a great night-life, Santa Barbara has something for you. We certainly went from the very sublime at the Botanic Garden to the crazy but wonderful Summer Solstice Parade!

Santa Barbara is sometimes referred to as the American Riviera. Its beautiful beaches, majestic mountains, and colorful culture make Santa Barbara a premier location.

Santa Barbara is a 2-hour drive north from Los Angeles or a short hop from any corner of the world via the Santa Barbara airport. Santa Barbara’s harbor is home to the world famous Stearns Wharf, a great destination for the entire family. Visiting the zoological gardens makes for a great family day-trip.

 

With sweeping views to the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Santa Barbara Channel Islands and stunning landscapes, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a great place to explore California’s native plant diversity.The Garden’s 78 acres encompass a variety of cultivated displays as well as stands of natural coast live oak and riparian woodlands. We saw redwoods,woodpeckers,beautiful plants and views from almost every corner.

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The next day we went to the Summer Solstice Parade. What a riot!

Summer Solstice Parade began in 1974, as a birthday celebration for a popular artist and mime named Michael Gonzales. In subsequent years, their parade joined forces with a Summer Solstice Music Festival coordinated by Michael Felcher, sponsored by The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, staged at the Sunken Gardens to celebrate the longest day of year.

The Parade and Festival is the largest arts event in Santa Barbara County, drawing crowds of over 100,000 spectators from around the world.

The Summer Solstice Celebration has evolved into creative and original display of floats, giant puppets, whimsical costumes and masks of more than 1,000 parade participants. There is dancing, music, drumming and drama that is fascinating to watch!

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Woodstone in June

Lots going on at the house and the barn-that is for sure! Inside the house the plumbing and electrical have all been installed, inspected and now the insulation is going in. We are using closed cell foam insulation that has a higher R value, will give the house a smaller carbon footprint and is the best insulation you can use right now.

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What a mess when they are finished spraying!

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On the exterior, lots going on as well. The septic field has been finished to the north of the house. In the front of the house they are digging to create the space to put the drainage pipes from the gutters for the rainwater to drain into the field. They are also starting to build the stone wall which will be on the south and west side of the house,as well as a stone wall around an area north of the house. In addition, they are creating a veneer with stones around the base of the barn.

The inside of the barn is moving quickly- we have now finished the wood shop and the garden shed and are working on my office.

The trim is going up on the house and the barn. When that is finished, the barn will be shingled in red cedar and the house will have clapboards that are pre-painted in Agate Gray 2213 (very soft off-white) by Pratt and Lambert. We are waiting for the windows to come for the barn as well. All windows on barn and house are also Agate Gray. The windows on the house came to us pre-painted by Little Harbor in Berwick, Maine. They also made the doors which are already painted in Ben Moore Essex Green.

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The apple trees that we moved last summer…only one has made it. A real bummer-was a very tough winter for them. We did put in 7 new ones too-they are doing great!

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Quacking Up in Pittsburgh!

A great thing to do if in Pittsburgh. Operational after the Duck Boat Tours in Boston were so popular,Pittsburgh has had much success with this tour as well.

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On the tour, they first talk about the skyline of Pittsburgh. It is  the second-largest city in  Pennsylvania, and is home to 135 completed high rises, 29 of which stand at least 300 feet tall. The tallest building in Pittsburgh is the 64 story US Steel Building, which rises 841 feet and was completed in 1970. The second-tallest skyscraper in the city is BNY Mellon Center.

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One of the things they also talk about is about the flood of March 17 and 18, 1936. The city witnessed the worst flood in its history when flood levels peaked at 46 feet. This flood became known as the Great St.Patricks Day Flood.

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Pittsburgh is also a city of many different styles of architecture. There are many beautiful old churches and office buildings and then many new “shiny” buildings. The cluster known as PPG Place is a complex   consisting of six buildings(and are the shiniest!) within three city blocks and five and a half acres. Named for its anchor tenant, PPG Industries, who initiated the project for its headquarters, the buildings are all of matching glass design consisting of 19,750 pieces of glass. The complex centers on One PPG Place, a 40-story office building. Groundbreaking ceremonies occurred on January 28, 1981. The complex buildings opened between 1983 and 1984. Total cost of construction was $200 million ($488.8 million today). The buildings were sold by The Hillman Company to Highwoods Properties in 2011.

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Once you have driven through the city quaking all the way, you dip into the  Monongahela River for a tour from the water. You first see the second of two “inclines”.The Monongahela Incline, built by John Endres in 1870, is located near the Smithfield Street Bridge. It is the oldest continuously operating funicular in the US. It is also one of two surviving inclines from the original 17 passenger-carrying inclines built in Pittsburgh starting in the late 19th century. 

Pittsburgh’s expanding industrial base in 1860 created a huge demand for labor, attracting mainly German immigrants to the region. This created a serious housing shortage as industry occupied most of the flat lands adjacent to the river, leaving only the steep, surrounding hillsides of Mt. Washington or “Coal Hill” for housing. However, travel between the “hill” and other areas was hindered by a lack of good roads or public transport.The predominantly German immigrants who settled on Mt. Washington, remembering the cable cars  of their former country, proposed the construction of inclines along the face of Coal Hill. The result was the Monongahela Incline, which opened May 28, 1870.Earlier inclines were used to transport coal in the Pittsburgh area.

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You next paddle by the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the University of Pittsburgh Panthers which is called Heinz Field ,and then by the beautiful Point State Park which was filled with strolling couples with small children.

 

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There are also many other ways to see Pittsburgh. Another popular one is to take an evening dinner cruise  on the Gateway River Fleet.

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Near the end of the tour the guides play a little game with you. They ask “how many bridges are there in Pitttsburgh?” Of course the answer is one that no one could even imagine….without bridges, the Pittsburgh region would be a series of fragmented valleys, hillsides, river plains, and isolated communities. A 2006 study determined that Pittsburgh has 446 bridges, and with its proximity to three major rivers and countless hills and ravines, Pittsburgh is known as “The City of Bridges”.

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