Monday, September 30, 2013

Loa - Monday, September 30, 2013

Loa - Monday, September 30, 2013

I just heard from Annette and Fred - Loa now has her Companion Dog Excellent - CDX - title from the American Kennel Club, placed in all three legs, and is working on her Utility. She has that amazing Icelandic temperament that all of our dogs should have. Yay Loa and Annette!!

                                                     (Clicking on photo enlarges it.)
I went to the files to find this photo; great attention here.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013

Colchicums are not the last flower of the year but I really do look forward to them as a harbinger of autumn; they usually start to bloom around the official beginning of fall. They are pink or white, single or double and so lush, large, and pretty! 

Yes, the leaves are large in the spring but they make the energy necessary for the fall flowers and the leaves do die down and disappear before summer. The flowers appear amaryllis-like without any leaves in early fall.
                       Clicking on the photos will enlarge them.

The water tables are installed; see the gray aluminum and white composite boards on the two photos below. The siding will end up sitting on them. They will be painted the same color as the siding.

The porch light fixtures are ready to be installed in the soffits; if you look closely at the photos of the soffits below you can see the exterior light cavities. There is some wiring done inside the house as well. 

Mary Ramisch came today and stained the soffit wood "hazlenut" brown which had been pre-cut but not installed. She told me that they would have to be done again in two years after the wood had set for a few seasons and 'weathered'. I asked her to remind me! 

The Hardieboard siding came but it was the wrong kind; the boards that arrived were rough cut and Clair (and the lumber company) had specifically ordered the finished version of the boards. Clair called the company; they told him it would be an additional two weeks to make the adjustment; Clair said, "Tomorrow"! (That would be later today.)

When they arrive, Mary will be able to paint them with their first coat of "Gauntlet Gray" before they are hung.

The metal panels are here for the basement and the wood has been put up so facilitate hanging the panels. The 'window' into the crawl space through which the heating ducts will be threaded had to be enlarged; the door into the crawl space has been framed.

The real basement window had been added. Perhaps later that opening will be used to extend heating, plumbing, and electrical into the addition.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Leifur - Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Vinlands Leifur - aka Leroy, Lee, and Lee Lee - has a new ad. Handler Nicki King and Lee always look great. They are both very photogenic, aren't they? (Clicking on photos enlarges them.)
Jennifer Sanders and Lee Lee have adopted another Icelandic Sheepdog, Nella, a beautiful female from Veronica Dowling from Hidow kennel here in Michigan.
Nella is on the right in the above photo looking at her Mum, Thrymheim Dofria, bred by Cathy Lallemand.
This is a recent photo of Nella.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sunna - Major Photo - Saturday, September 7, 2013

Sunna is owned and handled by ML Merrell. On Saturday, September 7, 2013 under American Kennel Club judge Col. Joe B. Purkhiser at the Clermont County Kennel Club Show in Owensville, Ohio Sunna earned another major. Sunna and Mike now have both required majors and are only two points away from 'finishing', becoming an American Kennel Club champion. 

Sunna is just over one year old but they are already looking for mates for her and planning her first litter for next year.

I am so proud of Mike and Sunna; what a great team!
Clicking on the photo will enlarge it.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Clair, Brian, and I met with Mitch and Eric from Schweitzer Lakeshore Improvements from Palms, Michigan and sited the heat ducts and cold air returns around the house for the geothermal system this morning. 

That was actually not as simple as it might sound and they were very patient and took time with us to figure out the best locations. Some heat ducts will be on the floor near exterior walls, one heat duct will be in the soffit in the bathroom, one on the wall in the hall, and still another will be at the base of one of the kitchen counters. We wanted to site the openings so that they would not take up valuable wall space.

Out in the front yard after Eric and Mitch left, the three of us looked at the stones for the fireplace and the porches and compared the shades of colors in the stones with paint colors. We chose "gauntlet gray" from Sherwin Williams for the James Hardie fiber cement siding, the car-door and the person-door for the garage, and chose the stain color "Hazlenut" for the soffit boards.

Later in the day we met with Terry the cabinet maker for the kitchen and bathroom cabinets and counter tops, and the laundry room storage cabinets and laundry folding counter tops. We still have to choose the stain color for the white oak and the color of the quartz counter tops. Terry will also build a medicine cabinet for the bathroom.

Brian later said that perhaps the white oak flooring will not be stained but merely protected.

After everyone had left, the three of us talked about the water table mountings that go at the base of the Hardieboard siding to push water away from the house. Those mountings will be painted the same color as the siding. (Click on photos to enlarge them. Clair is wearing a hat and Brian is 'vested'.) You can see in the second and third photos that the soffits are ready for the boards to be added.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Autumn - Saturday, September 14, 2013

This is the extraordinary view from my bluff looking east towards Canada over Lake Huron. (Clicking on the photos enlarges them.)
The garage door is scheduled to arrive next week (above).

The bedroom, kitchen, and rear porch are near the far end of the house (below). The roof is now finished. The blue wrap is a water repellant layer.
The geothermal pipes enter basement of the house just to the right of the porch and under the kitchen windows. The pipes themselves run about four feet underground from the house all the way to the rear of the pole barn and then back to the house, a distance of over 100 yards to the pole barn. I stood over the pipes to take the above photo.

The vertical window on the left below is in the bedroom. The doorwall and horizontal window open from the kitchen onto the rear porch.

The three photos above show the front of the house which faces east overlooking Lake Huron. The three narrow vertical windows on the extreme left above are in the garage, the gathering room is in the middle, and closest to the camera is the bedroom. The doorwalls and the narrow windows in the gathering room and the bedroom can be opened for cross ventilation.

Last weekend the geothermal pipes were laid and stretch all the way from the house to the pole barn and back. Turning over the soil left a clayey mess that sticks to shoes! Time will fix that - hopefully.

Clair has ordered the porch and chimney stones which should arrive next week. Prepping to protect the metal roof for the outdoor work on the chimney will take at least a day. Brian will be able to inspect the stones as soon as next Wednesday in order to choose the paint color for the siding.

Ron got the septic field for the pole barn fixed and it passed Steve's rigorous inspection. The soil was replaced but left 'rough'. It will settle I was told. Rototilling the soil was not part of the estimate.

Ron and John will deliver clay next week so that the yard around the house can be graded. Perhaps the topsoil will be replaced and the 'lawn' seeded soon after grading.

The siding is here and will arrive next week as well. The soffit wood has arrived and will be stained to show the magnificent xylem patterns in the wood. I'm thinking it will also have to be protected from the elements before or after it is installed. Even the space between the 'grooves' has been carefully chosen to be esthetically pleasing.

Ron went down in the ravine with me and gave me some more ideas on how to help 'heal' the ravine. I may be obsessing about that too much. Ya think?

Last week my southern neighbor arranged to spray (with a chemical approved by the EPA) the phragmites. A second spraying will be scheduled in case the first spraying missed any grass. Finally a controlled burn will further help elilminate any plants.
All the workers have been extremely helpful and patient with me telling me what has happened, what is currently happening, and what is about to happen. And they explain "why". This trip we started over a year ago has been amazing. I have a deep appreciation for the skills that have gone into the planning and building of this house so far.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Lee at Clermont County show

Leifur owned by Jennifer Sanders and handled by Nicki King got a Group 2 placement on Sunday, September 8, 2013 under American Kennel Club judge Col. Joe B. Purkhiser at the Clermont County Kennel Club Show in Owensville, Ohio.
 Lee has earned 15 Herding Group placements including six Group 2s!
(Key: Red = Group 2 placements; Yellow = Group 3 placements; White = Group 4 placements; Gold-Purple = Breed)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sunna - - Redux

Sunna got her third American Kennel Club conformation show major today under AKC judge Professor Douglass C. Taylor at the Clermont County Kennel Club Show in Owensville, Ohio. She now has twelve points out of the needed fifteen. Her parents - AKC Champion Laki and AKC Grand Champion Totty - are justifiably proud of their daughter. Sunna is just over a year old and is still maturing; she is going to be even more amazing.

HUGE congratulations to Mike and Sunna.
Here are two of my favorite photos of Sunna (top) surveying her farm and Sunna, Mike, and Moose (bottom). Life is good!

Her litter siblings (Wodin, Thora, Saga, Miss Timber, and Soffia Arya Grace) are also proud of Sunna!

Saturday, September 7, 2013


Sunna earned her second major today, Saturday, September 7, 2013 under American Kennel Club judge Col. Joe B. Purkhiser at the Clermont County Kennel Club Show in Owensville, Ohio. Sunna has nine points towards her AKC championship now. Yay Mike and Sunna!!
As you can see, she's taking a well deserved rest. I am so pleased that shorter haired Icelandic Sheepdogs are doing well in the conformation show ring. (Clicking on photos enlarges them.)

Congratulations Mike and Debbi!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Starting on the roof today - - Spetember 4, 2013

Both ends are done, starting on the sides now - 
Lots of discussion regarding siding, stone work, tiles, basement walls, septic field, tree trimming, electric lines, pin spot lights, plugs, geothermal, etc. (Clicking on photos enlarges them.)