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WHAT WE'VE LEARNED

Okay, so perhaps we should have called this page "What we are learning" but hey, we're taking the big ol leap-o-faith here, and besides you know at this point that we are innocent babes-in-the-woods right? This will probably end up being the biggest page on the web site by the time we're done.

We don't know a whole lot at this point, but we do know this:

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December 2008

Leave it to a deadline such as a party to light a fire under your @$$ to get things done... so after having the front parlor torn apart for nearly a year, it's done! Check out the Main Floor page, Drawing room section to see pictures. The Opium Den lives!

February 29th 2008, leap year... the day that exists only once every four years. For this special day, I thought I would share some of the quotes which have enriched my life these past few months. Enjoy! Miranda

"It is not a question of whether you "have what it takes," but of whether you take the gifts you have -- they are plenteous -- and share them with all the world."
~Neale Donald Walsch, Tomorrow's God

"Don't let other people's opinions burn holes in your dreams."
~Elsa Joy Bailey

"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship."
~Louisa May Alcott

"There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
~Albert Einstein

"Happiness is not something ready made... It comes from your own actions."
~Dalai Lama

"A humble life dedicated to a great purpose, becomes great."
~Paul Brunton, Perspectives

Sept 07— Whoo-hooo! We have become a city landmark! Read the story on the home page.

Aug 07— Wow, what a long strange trip it's been. Things are happening so fast that we can barely keep up with them. We've made a lot of progress both on the house, in the house and gardens... and it's all reflected in the new updated pictures that are sprinkled thoughout the site (look for the pictures with "Feb 07" denotations).

We put in a lovely gravel driveway that goes from the street all along the side of the house. No more muddy feet, how nice! Now that we finally know the history on the house, we added all that great information into the "History" page. We're also working on becoming a city landmark, so keep your fingers crossed for us.

Dec 06— It’s been three years since we’ve posted (and had time to update our website), but I’m taking some time to dedicate to the website and boy, do we have updates!
Since 2003, many changes have happened. We’ve tracked them all on these web pages, so be sure to check “Above Stairs” to see the latest greatest changes on the main floor (mainly the creation of our Opium Den Drawing room, and the Blue room is now done as well. The “Front Garden” page has been updated with current pictures of the garden (you will not recognize the plants now- they’ve really matured!). The “Backyard” page also has updated pictures, with entirely new sections of landscaping that went in last year. We’ve fleshed out our “Christmastime” page with stunning new photos of the Holidays.
One of the pages not to miss is the new “History” page. We’ve been researching the history of the house, and there’s a whole lot of new information and news!

Thanks again to everyone who signed our guest book. We are amazed at all the folks who visit and love to check out their projects. Birds of a feather…

Dec 03— One would think (foolishly I might add) that restoration activity might slow down in wintertime... oh contraur! We actually kicked it up a notch. See the Main Floor page, then scroll down to the Front Hall, Drawing Room, Master Bedroom and Dining Room to see what we've been up to.... heh, heh feeling pretty sassy about stuff!

Aug 03— I've got to tell you that for a gal that had no garden in her life, I've really turned into a bonifide green thumb. Working in the back yard has put me in touch with the more serene side of house ownership. I love putting on classical music and planting. The back garden is really taking on a life of it's own and is inspiring me to turn the old wood shed into an outdoor Moroccan room for entertaining. Hummmmmm....ideas.

July 03— After rototilling myself into a sling (literally), the front yard is in! Jeff Tucker of Sacred Places Landscape Design was key in helping me choose the right plants for an English Formal garden. He and I put the plants in and the front yard now has a garden that matches the grandeur of the house. Jeff is on the links page, tell him I sent you.

March 26, 03— It's been six months now since we've moved in and I've got to tell ya that things just keep getting better. I've been painting like a mad dog and now dream about trim & ladders. Guess that's what happens when your world revolves around a house. We've been working on the conservatory and it's sporting a lovely "old world" glazing over terra cotta. It was the easiest way to deal with the cracks in the plaster. Hey, people PAY good money for that look! The Master bedroom is next and will be painted a lovely warm rich tan.

February, 03— The painters just packed up the last of their stuff and have driven away. They've been hard at work on the house since November. Through rain and shine these guys burned, scraped, sanded, caulked, patched, primed, sanded again, painted, and laid on the Italian gold leaf. Because of Doug Yeargain and his terrific crew the neighborhood kids are no longer calling our house "the haunted house". Doug Yeargain Painting was awesome and were the easiest contractors we've ever worked with (and we've worked with quite a few!) We highly recommend them. His info is on the links page.

October 3, 02 — We've been in contract for over a hundred days. There were times when we thought the deal had collapsed and we lost the house, but we kept our hope alive. Well today, it all paid off. We did our final walk though and signed papers. Yahoo! The man of the hour is Bruce over at Mountain Coast Mortgage. He made the deal happen on the loan end. He's on our links page.

September 16, 02 — Having a great realtor is KEY to having a good home buying experience. If you need someone that thinks outside the box, knows the area and what neighborhood your dream house is in, get's you into see houses that have not even gone on the market yet, gets your offer into first position (and under the asking price!), guides you through the process with ease and a sense of humor, and sticks by you every step of the way (no matter how many month's it takes to close the deal)... call Rebekah at Benchmark Properties. She even went as far as sending out over a thousand postcards to all the Victorians in our targeted neighborhoods when we could not find what we wanted already on the market. Rebekah Owen email: Rebekah@BenchmarkProperties.com website: www.benchmarkproperties.com (Please tell her we sent you).

September 12, 02 — My new mantra is now "Patience is a virtue..., good things come to those that wait..." hummm, perhaps I should shorten it to:

"think good thoughts."

July 12,02 — During a move, you're going to temporarily lose a lot of things, just make sure one of them is not your sense of humor.

June 29, 02 — Start a spreadsheet outlining the entire restoration process. Keep your running totals of quotes versus actuals updated. Add in formula's that track your expenses to date against your budget. KNOW where your money is going to be spent before it happens.

June 16,02 — Just as the old adage goes "the right tool for the job", I've learned that the "right person for the job" also applies. Ask Victorian homeowners and groups for referrals. Their recommendations can mean the difference between getting ripped off and getting quality craftspeople who understand the needs and requirements of older homes.

June 10, 02 — When a contractor tells you, "Well Miss, you should just paint the word "Pandora" right across the wall there" and laughs... log on to your web site, click on your guest book and reread all the messages from your friends.

June 5, 02 — Shadow the inspectors during their inspections as they will tell you a bunch of valuable things that never end up on the report.

June 1, 02 — The most precious thing in our lives are our friends.

We are overcome by their love, generosity, and support.

May 29, 02 -- Never give up on your Dreams
(and make sure you're ready when they do come true!)

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more as the epiphanies happen...

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