|The Process Continued Page 36
It is now April and we have not accomplished much in the first quarter of the year. One project was not
planned which was replacing the well pump. Of course in true restoration rules it was not as easy as
replacing the well pump. We started out with a problem with our water softener, so we called the people for
the water softener and they came out and fixed it. $200 great but now I noticed our water pressure tank
was acting funny. So we call a plumber they come out and say it is the bladder in the pressure tank and it
needs to be replaced, OK. $700 later and this is fixed but wait we are still losing pressure and now we are
losing water all together so now what is the problem? You guessed it the well pump. Now this could be a
fairly easy job but if you have been following along you know that our well is under our stone patio. So
there I am outside in the rain in early March trying to guess which stone the well is under. I go out there
and guess the area based on photos and the knowledge that I asked Charlie to put some small rocks over
it so i can get to it if needed. So i am tapping a spike don in the sand expecting to hear a clunk nothing.
So I finally give in and try an area that I think it should be but no luck. One stone dug up from my patio. So
now I call Charlie the guy who built the patio he remembers me telling him to use small stones so he tells
me it should be under a small square stone and another stone. I once again dig up an area and no luck.
Now I have dug up two stones in my patio I am not a happy camper. It is dark out, cold and wet finally back
inside again to look at photos and I say it can not be there why would they put the well at an angle to the
house? Why would Charlie put one of the largest stones over it but before I try I tap under the stone and
clunk. This has got to be it Yes! I found the well but come on n ow after three stones. The plumbers come
out again and replace the well pump this time for $1500. It was an expensive beginning to March.
Charlie came out a few days later and replaced all but one of the stones as that area was still too frozen to
level. We plan on having him come this spring to build a fireplace for the patio (if he is not too expensive)
so he will fix it then.
Besides the well issue we did get a few things done this winter. We installed our pond which has filled up
very nicely but has not helped control the flooding. Best laid plans of Mice and Men.
I have put a picture of the pond below on this page.
We also built a bookcase for the second floor of the Carriage House. This is instead of a railing along the
staircase and helps with storage while it also acts as a barrier from someone falling. This time the plan
Today I finished installing the replacement windows on the North side of the barn so that side is now ready
for me to prepare for painting this summer.
I have a lot of projects on the venue for this summer how many of them I will be able to finish remains to be
seen. As always the only two things I am ever short on when it comes to projects is time and money.
Until next time.
|It is bigger than it looks 55 feet long
and 25-30 feet wide
It has been a cold and wet spring this year. Preventing us from accomplishing many of the planned
projects for this spring. Those projects included continuing the landscaping, painting the front porch ceiling
and floor, building a stone fireplace for the patio and the beginning of residing the large barn. All we can
do at this point is to wait for Mother Nature and find other projects that will keep us busy.
Those projects have included installing the bird house. We finally found a display that everyone liked.
Installing a fountain for the pond and planting some plants along the stone wall.
Pattie bought me a tractor for the front of the barns it is a 1954 Farmall Cub. It is not in great shape but it
looks at home in front of the barns. We also purchased some whiskey barrels to use as rain barrels.
Most of these projects can be found on the landscaping page 9 or click below
It is Memorial Day weekend and for that means three days off in a row! Sunday, Monday and Tuesday now
normally I have to take a vacation to get two days off in a row so you can only imagine the to do list I have
created for myself. First we started with just getting the grass cut and mowed after the monsoon season we
just had. Then it was off to the landscaping Pattie and I worked all day Monday planting over 100 plants to
extend our cottage garden along the back of the carriage house. I also worked on mulching, painting chairs
and building two rose trellis for the new rose plants. Saturday we planted the beginning of our Christmas
tree farm with 25 saplings. Now all we have to do is wait for seven years for them to grow to Christmas tree
Today we will work on running electrical wires under ground from the house out to the pond so I no longer
have an extension cord running to the fountain pump and I will also work on finishing the mulching and
spreading gravel on some of the driveways. It should be a full day of sun, fun and tired muscles. I hope to
have photos up in a few days
We went in to another lapse of rain and poor weather but as of Thursday the weather has finally broken and
it has been a mad rush trying to get caught up from all the lost time. Of course the first project was to find the
lawn again however after that I went to work on the house. I cleaned and scrubbed the mold (courtesy of the
rain) off the front porch and then once the house was dry I started to paint the ceiling on the front porch. We
went with a sky blue and this really added some much needed color to the front porch. Not only is the color
correct to the period of the house but it is very relaxing to look at when on the porch as well.
Charlie is back at Cross point Farm to do more stone work. He is adding a retaining wall to the left side of the
driveway. I have had no luck keeping grass growing on the slope and the retaining wall seemed to be the
only option. I am glad we went with this option as it looks great and is functional as well. We were going to
build a fireplace originally on the patio instead of the wall but after a lot of thought and discussion we decide
to go with the wall instead. I think we made the right choice. While Charlie was there he fixed the step leading
in to the breezeway and we used the old step as a bench by the pond. Waste not want not. You can see all
the photos of these projects on the recent photo page.
It has been almost a year since I have updated the process section of this website. Now while some of it is due
to a decrease in the work we are doing to the house it is not due to a lack of interest in the restoration of Cross
I have continued to work on the house over the past year with several projects although they are not as big as
the original phases they are still important as they add to the details of the property. Over the last year we
have continued the gardens around the back of the house and over to the side of the carriage house. We
added the stone wall up the driveway. I painted the front porch ceiling a sky blue which I feel made the porch
look more time period than the original white ceiling. I have also cleared out some more brush along side the
old barn foundation and cleaned up the dirt to expose a piece of ledge which we then turned in to a small
garden. However the biggest project of the year was the wine cellar.
The wine cellar is perhaps one of my most proud achievements as almost all the work was a project I had never
done before in my life at any level so in this case it was a challenge. The first step was applying real stone to
the cement foundation wall from the stairway down the steps around the corner and in to the wine cellar area. I
did this so that I could make the wall look as if it was a stone foundation. During this project I could not help but
laugh at how ironic it was that I spent all this money to have a stone foundation removed and a cement
foundation installed only to come back and spend a bunch of money and time to make the foundation look like
it was stone. The project challenged me as I had never done any real mason work and learning the correct
mixture for the mortar so the rocks would stay up on the wall was tough. I would sometimes have to hold the
rocks in place by hand for three to four minutes until the setting took place. Even then sometimes I would make
the mistake of trying to fit another stone in the next place and causing all the stones I had just put up to come
crashing to the floor. It was not always a pleasant place to be visiting as my poor Pattie found out on a few
occasions. Once the stone work was finished I then turned to siding the rest of the walls with antique barn
board which I found for sale on Craigslist. It came from an old 1840 barn that use to stand in Pownal. It turned
out I slightly knew the fellow who was selling it. He use to work as a mechanic at Morongs when I sold cars
there. The land and the house he lived in has been in the family for four generations, how cool is that?
Once I had the barn boards up I needed to build doors I decided to go to my 1890 barn and see what I could
find. I found an old interior door which had been painted at one point and cut it down to size so that it would fit
one doorway and then I found an old exterior door with a window in it for the second door and finally an old
barn door which again needed to be cut down to fit for the final door that was needed. Now on to the ceilings. I
wanted to put up tin ceilings and Pattie wanted them to be antique ceilings so once again off to the web and on
to craigslist. I was able to fins some old ceiling panels for sale in Gardiner which came out of a house in
Vassalboro the connection of the two towns to us made it a must have. The connection in case you unaware
was that our apartment building we use to own was in Gardiner and our camp we use to own was in Vassalboro.