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Dream House and Recording Studio

(L. to R. Emily, Val, myself, Liz on the porch of our new house)

My adventure begins with a longtime friendship and a plot of land. The friendship is two pronged; one an artistic creative force behind a camera, pen and a microphone; and another a visionary philanthropist collectively known as Val and Emily.

My spouse, Liz and I have both been friends with each of these people in our own endeavors and together! Last year our friends welcomed us onto their homestead right next to the two of them! It comes complete with 420 acres of farmland, trails, camping and canoeing put-ins, gardens, and of course horses. This blog is the evolution of our home. Beginning in late Fall of 2022, EMILY and Val asked me where I'd like to live. I said,

"On the bluff, next to you". Liz, Emily, Val and I then walked the lot where our house would sit. On that walk, a mother dear and her baby where standing on the same spot. (See picture below):

From the moment I saw these two deer I knew it was a place for me. The next time we came up for a visit, the four of us measured off the lot from the house plan we had all agreed on.

We used the Pythagorean Theorem to find the area of the square and then marked off with survey tape the angle in which our house would sit. We used orange tape and staked the ground.

Before Christmas of 2022 my best friend from childhood, Sharon Kirk, ( April) came to visit and I took them both up to the homestead site. We played with the She-REx and then walked the site again. Having my best friend there really made it real for me, and the four us enjoyed the land and a lovely Mexican dinner later.

( L. to R. April McKee, Sharon Kirk and Val Whitcomb standing where our back deck would be).

(Pictured above): me on the She-Rex, and below April getting instruction from Emily. What fun!

After their visit, we had the Christmas season and I spent that Christmas with Mille, our newest granddaughter, and Sara our daughter and Andy her fiance up in Maine. While the winter months plowed on, the construction crew of General Contractor Pendergrass and Son, LLC got to work. On December 21st, 2022, we saw the beginning excavation of our new home! The crew brought in a rock jammer to penetrate the solid bedrock underneath. The excavation produced a graded lot whereby the front of our house is actually at ground level while the back is reflecting a lovely two story home.

(Pictured below: rock hammer sledger 12-21-22)

(Pictured below: Standing at the back of house looking toward front)

February 10th: The Superior walls were constructed off site and were brought in on cranes that fit them next to each other. They are constructed with concrete panels and will give the best support against wind and weather.

This progress from December is most notable! We are seeing a massive change in the structure of our new home!

February 22nd, 2023 Liz stands at the entrance to our future driveway.

This is standing at the back yard looking toward the front of house. This is actually the basement!

(Pictured below is Liz standing where the french doors will be opening to the tracking room, and to her right is her control room.)

A few days later the cement is poured for the foundation and a buffer machine is used to smooth it out.

MARCH 2023

MARCH 8TH, 2023 The floor of our main living area and the ceiling of the basement is being built atop the Superior wall foundation.

( PIctured below) The back of our house with the basement studded in and part of the upstairs living area walls are framed. Two doors on the basement level and up on the living area are directly above each other. The upstairs doors will lead into the living room. The basement doors will lead into the RECORDING ROOM!!

(Pictured above) The construction worker is standing in our front door. The two bedrooms on the right side of the house share a bathroom. The owners retreat quarter is on the left side in the back of the house.

MARCH 18TH 2023

In a matter of a couple weeks, our back deck is already framed in!

The hardie board underlay, (green), is up and covering the entire house, (see also the brick on the pallets that will be installed on the grey concrete foundational walls).

This 50 ft. x 8 ft platform is the centerpiece of our new home! Here we will be eye to eye with the eagle

and hawk; we will witness the flora out on Bluff Field, view the sky and her many seasonal colors and rainbursts.

MARCH 29TH, 2023 Pictured below: The French doors and windows are all installed. Basement recording studio doors open into the tracking room. Doorway on the bottom left is egress from my recording/ writing room. The window bottom right is Liz's view from her control room. Up above: The living room french doors onto the fabulous deck! The upper room on left will be a guest room/ library, and the upper room on right will be our master quarters.

There has been a lot of activity! Construction now has completed the interior stud and framing; the back deck is rockin with a pine board flooring!

Looking off to the left into the ravine from the upstairs deck; the wire mesh rail guard will prevent unintended accidents with children and small pets.

April 2023: Our house has a new tin roof! The material will be helpful in that it allows the rain and (sometimes) snow to run directly off; and there are no shingles to worry about getting blown off in the Charlotte wind! A nice and thoughtful consideration of Emily and Val.

Our front door! The window to the left is over the kitchen sink. The window to the right is our guests' room.


(ABOVE) Our friend Val walks the floor of out living room! This is an angle taken from inside the front door. In the right corner imagine a wood stove!

(below) Construction workers examine their next option while standing in our front room and kitchen. The small window to the left will overlook the sink.

(below) A view from the guest/library room looking down into the tracking room of the basement!

(below) A view from the living room looking into our master quarters. Notice the HUGE window that is in our suite

allowing us a view to the deck and beyond to Bluff Field.

(Below) This will be the kitchen!

(Below) A beautiful view from the guest/ library room!


Stairwell below leads to my writing room. This is the only way upstairs from the studio.

(Above) My writing room looking into the tracking room, ( beyond the stairway); and further into the greenroom/ shelter room, and Liz's control room.

This is the right angle stair from leading into my room. Not pictured but where that 2x 4 is leaning is the outside door.

APRIL 23RD, 2023

Upon today's development we are delighted to find the wallboard completely installed! The next step is to mud all joints and nail holes. It is becoming more and more like a home! The exterior hardie board is now installed, and will be painted soon. Liz and I are busy at out current house painting the interior and gardening, cleaning, landscaping to attract a potential buyer. One who I hope can appreciate the studio we have had built with the talent of Bruce Jon-Brigham.

(Above) Vertical hardie board is in place; new paint coming soon! Hallway to Guest suites and bathroom. Stairwell entrance on the left, washer and dryer on the right (Not pictured).

Front Door! Pantry opening behind door.

Mud boxes in the kitchen. There will be an island in that general vicinity. The stove, and refrigerator will be on that wall. See the plumbing for the sink, which is underneath the window on the left. Our friend Val walking toward the Master Suite.

April 26th, 2023

This is the view of our new house from Bluff field and I imagine, from atop a horse.

My gratitude is overflowing with love and peace knowing I will be in this beautiful home before the year is over. My daughter and her family and my son, will have this vista to look out on, and will have the forest and streams to wander. Granddaughter Mille will be introduced to farming and horse care, motorbikes and canoes. We will be so comfortable Liz and I, knowing how loved we are and how appreciated we are. I could never have imagined the GENEROSITY of my loving friends Val and Emily - how we look forward to being their neighbors!


...more to come!


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