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The Devil’s in the Details

But the details are coming together. . .

So this will be mostly another visual update, because most of my writing energy has been going into a third round of edits for the book.

The great news, though, is that 2 1/2 weeks-post-vacation (and with 8 days to go before we head back to NC to get Owen moved back in at school), the needle is moving once again.

The front porch is tantalizingly close to being officially done

The front porch is done and painted.

Finished front porch 1

The only bit of work that remains is to connect the electrical for the ceiling fans (they are now temporarily, and, if you ask me, somewhat unsafely) wired into a heavy-duty extension cord that’s plugged into an outlet (yes, it’s a GFI outlet) behind the right side of the porch, in an alcove area where we have a faucet, and sometimes store random tools, coolers, etc.

Ceiling fan wiring
Temporary Wiring Setup for the Ceiling Fans

For now, rather than turning the fans on and off with the switch they’re supposed to be connected to just inside the front door, someone tall has to pull the chains to get them going. Or if no one tall is nearby, I have to climb up on the Adirondack chairs so I can reach the chains. Not the worst thing. First world problems.

It makes my heart happy that my wind chimes are now hanging back in their rightful spot.

Finished front porch 2_LI

The rest of the exterior trim is at least in place now

Even if it might not be painted until . . . I don’t know. I can’t even guess at that.

Last piece of trim in place on back deck
The Last Piece of Trim on the Back Deck
Ceiling done on side door overhang
Side Door Overhang Ceiling is Done (the Phoebes Finally Fledged)

Meanwhile, I’m lobbying for some type of decorative bracket detail to enhance all these plain overhangs we have.

Ceiling done on side door overhang_LI
The Author’s Awful Rendering of Potential Future Bracket Detail, but you get the Idea

And, one last, big surprise

The drawings for the house always had one exterior design element that I knew we’d get to. Eventually.

Well, “eventually,” at least in that context, has arrived.

Behold: cupolas!! Not one, but two. One for the house, and one for the garage. Mama-Cupola and Teenager-Cupola.

Cupolas in the garagePapa and Mama Cupolas

Mama-Cupola is over six feet tall. Teenager-Cupola is about four feet tall.

Me in front of Mapa Cupola
Mama Cupola is TALL

I’ve also ordered two proportionally-sized copper finials, to add a final, crowning touch to their tops. For now. Eventually maybe we’ll find a weathervane we love for Mama, but the finials are going to look really cool. They should get here within the next two – three weeks.

The cupolas arrived yesterday, and Tim started painting them (well, Teenager, anyway) to match the rest of the exterior trim (whenever that gets done) almost immediately, a sign that he’s as excited to see them in place as I am.

Teenager cupola will go up first. Maybe even today. There’s a ladder leaning up against the garage as I’m typing this.

Not for the faint-of-heart

This will be a challenging and potentially dangerous undertaking. Thankfully, each cupola has 3 pieces – the base, the sides, and the roof. Otherwise we’d need a crane to get them in place. The boys are both here to add manpower (and stability), and I suspect we’ll have some help from the neighbors, too.

If I don’t get recruited, I’ll be cringing somewhere, stealing occasional glimpses of the progress through my fingers, which will be clamped firmly over my eyes.



  1. Very impressive work so far. Have you considered solar panels, or do surrounding trees mitigate against that? Is there a lightning risk with the cupolas, or do you have a ground wire for them?

    • Thank you Marco! Solar is very much on our radar – the main house faces south, and the roof plane is high enough, and at the right angle to the trees, to get plenty of sun. We’re a little hesitant about the look of the panels, and may explore setting up an array in the backyard, where we also get a lot of sun – at least in the summer months! As for lightning risk with the cupolas (and their future finials), we assume yes, so Tim is definitely going to run ground wires!!

  2. Glad to see you have it all well thought out. I hesitate to make suggestions.

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