Hidden Bend Retreat, Romney West Virginia

Romney, WV

Friday, December 13, 2013

Guest Cabin Ready!

Living Room
View from front door
Dining & Kitchen
Back Bedroom
We spent the last couple of days moving furniture in to the guest cabin-
kitchen, dining, living room, and one bedroom are ready to go. We still
have some minor items to finish like some storage and cleaning but we're
ready for our fist visitors. Delores and Paul are due here next week so
will be the first occupants. I'm thinking it might be fun to make sure
we get a picture of everyone that stays in the house?

Here are some pictures of the furnishings.

Satellite TV

Temporary satellite dish
Hooked up the satellite TV today- placed the dish on a temporary pole
until I decide where to mount it permanently. I tried to extend a cable
from the house so we wouldn't need a dish but was just too far. The dish
was only $119 and ordered it yesterday and it arrived today. Here's a
picture of the setup. We used the settings for the dish that were supplied as part of the setup program and it worked very well.

The post is a piece of 6x6 left over from the front porch post install with a couple of 4x4's on the bottom to keep it upright, I put a couple of scoops of gravel over the supports to make it more stable and to help keep it level. Hopefully it will stay put. It looks like I'll be able to mount the dish to the side of the house for a more permanent installation.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Not all Work

It seems like all we've done the last few months is work on the
guesthouse but we have had some nice breaks along the way. A lot of
fires outside and we (mostly Donna) spent a lot of time on the annual
Warm the Children drive that helps provide warm clothes for kids in our

Here are a couple of recent pictures- first is a nice sunrise coming up
over the mountain. The other two show the snow on the roof of the
fireplace pavilion after it started to warm up- it slowly slid down and
made an interesting curve before it finally all dropped off yesterday

Enjoy the holidays if we don't talk before then!
Closeup of snow curl
Snow curl on the pavilion

Moving In

We moved some furniture and kitchen items to the guesthouse today- used
the forklift to carry the furniture up through the snow. Have a steam
cleaner coming today for the furniture and once they are done, will be
able to move in the rest of the furnishings. Here are a couple of
pictures and you can see our high tech moving process. I hope to get the TV
set up in the next few days as well. For now, will probably run a cable over
ground from the house and bury it when the weather improves.

Furniture to be cleaned
Kitchen Stuff
TV read for install

Dishwasher In- Kitchen Completed

Kitchen Complete
The replacement dishwasher arrived on Tuesday and was able to get it
installed. At this point, the kitchen is ready for use with a couple of
minor follow ups.

Porch Posts

Front Porch
It was a bit chilly and you can see all the snow that is still here
after a good day of thawing. We did manage to get the posts for the front
porch added. These will eventually be the framing for a portion of the
porch to be screened but think that will be a spring or summer project.

Bedroom Carpets Are In

Even though we had 6" of snow on Monday, the carpet installers managed
to make it to the house to install the carpet in the bedrooms. They did
a nice job and were very quick- no more than a couple of hours.
Master Bedroom

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cabinets & Appliances

We spent the last couple of days finishing up the install of the kitchen
cabinets and installing the appliances. Have a couple of minor plumbing
issues to sort out but a lot of progress. The dishwasher that was
delivered turned out to be black instead of the white we ordered so it
will be going back and a white one delivered on Monday. Hoping to call
for the final inspection next week after the carpet is installed. Just have a few 
more items to take care of before then. We had a minor flood in the laundry 
area today so will have to investgate what is going on with the laundry center- 
it was full of water and a lot on the floor leaking through to the crawlspace. 
Will try again tomorrow and see what is going on.

From dining area
Bargain sink!
Laundry Center

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Dinner in the WFO

Since we didn't have any visitors this year for Thanksgiving, we decided
it was a good time experiment with cooking our turkey in the wood fired
oven. Turkey was small, about 8 pounds, and we brined it overnight in a
mixture that includes spices and apple cider. We also made Rosemary
Potatoes and Squash. Fist picture shows everything ready for the oven.

Next shot is the turkey after about 20 minutes, oven was at 500 degrees.
We covered the turkey with foil and then added the potatoes and squash

to cook for about another 45 minutes and everything turned out great.
Turkey stayed nice and moist and the potatoes were nicely browned- can't
comment on the squash but Donna seemed to like it!

Kitchen Cabinets Started

Donna and I hung the kitchen cabinets on Tuesday, no real problems other
than the lazy susan unit for the corner doesn't have sides so will have
to make something up for the side that will face the stove. Countertops
are next!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Flooring Finished

Here are a few more pictures of the flooring after the 3 coats of
polyurethane were applied. Looks really good, ignore the dusty
footprints, lol.

Looking towards kitchen
View towards hall and bedrooms
From dining area towards front of house

Porch Ceiling Finished

Donna and I took advantage of the relatively mild weather on Thursday
and Friday to put up the ceiling in the porch. We did the ceiling in
pine, tongue and groove planks. You can also see the vents to allow
circulation in the attic- there will be another set of vents like these
in the soffit on the back of the house. No pictures from that work but
we did get the soffit wood up as well and are ready for the vents. We 
also finished the facia boards on the front and back so we get the
gutters installed soon.

Porch Ceiling Completed
After trim completed on front of house
View from road

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Flooring Install & Finish

Mike Butler is here this week to install and finish the flooring in the guesthouse. Here are some pictures of the install and a shot after the first coat was applied. There will be 3 coats of finish when he's done.

One of the fun things about building this house has been the chance to meet so many of the local business owners and some of the people that work with them.I've had some really interesting conversations along the way about everything from politics to sports to the economy- it's pretty easy to say that my views are probably not fully in synch with a lot of what's been said but the conversations were always enjoyable anyway and I learned a bit and passed on a bit.

BTW- here's a link to a YouTube video that shows Mike (who did the floors) and a song that he wrote- a talented guy and thought it was worth sharing.

 Mike Butler Charm City

First Board
Chad working on front half of room
Mike almost finished

First coat applied

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Bathrooms Finished

Another busy week working on the guesthouse. We were able to get the
vanities and tops set in both bathrooms and all the plumbing connected.
The hot water tank is working as well. Here are a couple of pictures of
the bathroom along with one of the living room where I laid some tile in
the foyer. The area is about 3 1/2' wide so should make it easier to
step in and out without having to step right on to the hardwood floor.
The boxes in the picture are the flooring, ready for install starting on
Monday morning. Will spread the grout on the tile today so it's
completed before the wood floor goes on- will try to get a better
picture once I'm done.

Hall Bath
Master Vanity
Living Room, tile laid, ready for flooring

Monday, November 11, 2013

Painting & Lights

Pictures show a few of the rooms with the painting completed and the
lights/fans installed. We have a couple of lights left to do over the
bathroom vanities once they are in place. Put valves on the toilet and
faucet connections in the two bathrooms and put down vinyl flooring in
one of the rooms. Today, we'll check for leaks and if okay, go ahead and
try to get at least one of the bathrooms working. Will do the utility
room flooring after that so I can get the hot water heater hooked up and
ready to use.
Living Room
Front Bedroom

Main Bedroom

Plans are to finish up the electric, plumbing, and flooring this week so
we're ready for the hardwood floors to be installed next Monday (11/18).
We picked out carpeting for the two bedrooms yesterday at Lowes and
should have someone here to measure this week and get that order
finished up. If all goes as planned, we should be putting in the kitchen
cabinets the week of Thanksgiving with the carpeting to follow soon
after. There will be plenty of small items like working out an internet
connection and tv but that can come later.

More as we progress with the baths and utility room this week.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Moon & Venus

As I was walking back from the guesthouse last night, had a nice view of
the Moon and Venus in the southwest sky above the observatory- here are
a couple of pictures. Venus is just above the cloud below and to the left from the moon.

Interior Painting Completed

Living Arew with pre-painted baseboard

Painters finished up the painting inside the guesthouse yesterday
afternoon- looks good. Here's a picture of the living room area and all
the baseboards ready for use. We'll store these out of the way for now
and I'll plan to put them up when the floors are completed.

Now that the painting is done, we can start installing all the electric
and plumbing fixtures and put down the vinyl flooring in the bathrooms.
Hardwood flooring and wood for the porch ceiling will be delivered early
next week so plenty of work to do now.

Scones from the Oven

On Sunday morning, we used the residual heat from the outdoor oven to
bake scones. These were from a mix from King Arthur Flour. They are
supposed to be made using heavy cream but we used heavy whipping cream
instead and they came out nice and light. Donna and I shared a couple
freshly baked outside by the fire- a nice morning.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Fall Colors

Seems the colors are finally arriving- took this one last night. Looks like the orange is just a day or two late!

Interior Painting Started

Painters were here and applied the prime coat of paint throughout the
guesthouse. This will also be the final ceiling color. They should be
back sometime next week to complete the job.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Siding Progress

We made a lot of progress this week on the siding- we finished the last wall yesterday. We still have the soffits to do on a couple of sides along with the trim but the walls are at least covered. Here's a picture of the final side after we finished it yesterday afternoon.

Siding Completed

Raining here today so will get a break. Hoping the painters will be here today- they have been delayed on another job so we're a few days behind the plan. Have a bathroom vanity to pick up at Lowes so will make that my project for the day.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Siding Started

Donna and I have started putting up the board and batten siding on the guesthouse- good news is that we're still talking to each other after two full days of work. Here are some pictures. First one shows the end of the building while the post jack style scaffolding was in place- the scaffolding was borrowed from the people that did the framing on the house.

Donna checking out the siding install

Next picture shows the end after the soffit and the trim was completed and the scaffolding was taken down.

One end completed!

Here's a shot of the back, we finished about 2/3's of the back and hope to finish more tomorrow.

Siding on back nearly done
Painters are due back either tomorrow or on Thursday and hopefully will be finished this week. We were notified the wood for the flooring is ready as well so will try to get it delivered late on Friday or on Monday so it can set in the house a day or two before we have it installed.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Patti & the Pacas

Patti and Zach were there this weekend for a visit, was nice to have them in town. Next time, they'll be able to use the guesthouse we hope.

Here's a picture of Patti on the deck taking a look at some of the alpacas as they grazed in the back yard- second shot is one of Pepe as he hangs around too.

Patti watching Delorean and Hershey


Patti treated us to a trip on the Potomac Eagle train ride- fall colors were nice but we may have been a week early for the best color?We saw a couple of bald eagles but didn't get any pictures this time.