Saturday, April 12, 2008

A tasty find

We woke to snow-dusted trees and a half inch of snow this morning. It was beautiful but did not look like spring. Fortunately, the forecast shows temperatures back in the mid 50s by Wednesday so it shouldn't last. Despite the snow, Alex was eager to go to the property and walk around. It was windy with fine snow blowing in the air so I headed for cover in the wooded area east of the building site. I was rewarded with finding a nice large pile of boulders, a few large sugar maples, some trout lily leaves poking through the leaves and....ramps!! I found three or four 2-foot diameter patches of them in the small area I was in. We're headed home tomorrow and I hope to go collect some before we leave. Here are some of the pictures I took today:
The pile of boulders
Alex climbing Lichen spotted boulder
A patch of ramps
The northern side of the buiding site
(Alex and the retaining pond are in the bottom right)
The woods just east of the building site

Friday, April 11, 2008

A blessing

We're up north since Alex had Friday off school. We met with the woman that deals with the kitchen and bath cabinetry and talked about kitchen layouts, cabinet styles and materials and bathrooms. That was a lot of fun but since it was the first meeting it was more about thinking than deciding. I'm far from being prepared to do any deciding on the kitchen anyway. We're also looking to finalize window choices and and doors. We have a bunch of things to look over at home and think about (house and roof colors, front door styles, garage doors).

Later, we went out the land and met with the orthodox priest in the area to have a blessing of the land. Alex was very impressed with the censer and the priest's shawl. He even carried the censer very nicely. The weather had cooled and it was raining and hailing earlier so we didn't walk the land. Alex really wanted to even though he was cold. He has his own little route he likes us to take whenever we visit the property.

When we next come up we should be looking at staking to approve the position of the house and then they can start digging! (Can you hear my internal screams of joy?)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

About the land

Dog Hill is on 16 acres of rolling northern Michigan countryside. About 65% of the land is heavily wooded with the remaining land covered in grassy meadow and brush. There is a low valley that has a patch of white pines and there are several abandoned apple trees around. There are lots of deer signs especially near the blackberry patches when we were there in late summer last year. We are planning on building on a central hill that faces another smaller hill that has a nice steep slope. We've seen lots of signs of snowmobiling this winter, especially on our two biggest hills. We had lots of fun on our trip in December sledding down the hills.

About Dog Hill

For over 5 years now my husband and I have been looking to purchase a piece of land and build our dream house in northern Michigan. There were several near-misses, almosts and quite a few disappointments but we finally found a spot of land we love. This past fall we finally purchased 16 acres of beautiful rolling hills covered in meadow and forest in the midst of cherry orchards and vineyards. Dog Hill is the name that seems to have stuck. Mostly because John, my husband, can't stop talking about how many dogs he wants to have when we move. We have two dogs, Karmal and Roxy.

We've been so ready to move, we quickly found builders we liked and started designing our new home. This occupied most of my brain this winter. Now with Michigan thawing out and our financing settled we're ready to get started! Soon I hope to journal the culmination of our dreams come true. While you and I wait here's some pictures of our property:

My son Alex on our land (08-28-07)
behind him is the retention pond at the end of our road

The home site on (12-28-07)
the small structure in the center is a deer blind left from the previous owners
The white pine valley (12-28-07)

The building site on (04-03-08)
the snow was completely melted on the big hill and
it was strange to see all of the meadow grass flattened down

Our road in and our neighboring cherry orchard (04-03-08)
our land is on the right, I'm standing about 20 feet from the western property line

Alex playing in the retention pond (04-03-08)