Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mountain Homes- Bars, Wine Cellars, & Game Room

Welcome to my Carolina Mountain Home Series Part 3. This post will feature a bar, a wine cellar, and a game room in homes built by my son-in-law, Ray Foral, (his company is Ridgeline Construction Group out of Greenville, SC) in The Cliff’s Communities. To view part 1, click here and for part 2, click here.


^Though at first glance one might think this is a kitchen but in fact it is a bar. Those glass front black cabinets are filled with whiskey bottles. Party time!


^I find this wine cellar to be tasteful. Beautiful rich wood and lots of wine bottle storage. Though the photo does not show two of the walls, I hope they have a sink as well as a place for wine glasses. I also hope they have some drawers to hold cocktail napkins, wine openers, and other accessories as well as a pullout trash can.


^The thin counter along the wall with bar stools is very good idea so those playing pool have a place to rest their beverage. It also gives those people watching a place to put their beverages. The room is generous in size so that those playing pool do not feel crowded.  I love the heavy timber beam in the ceiling and the large window panes. I would have preferred seeing the wall mounted phone, light switches, and other switches located under and to the right of the pool stick storage racks on another wall and in a cream finish as opposed to white.  

I still have a couple more posts in this series, so please come back. Let me know what you think of these three rooms!  Blessings.  ..susan

PS  Thanks for all of the speedy recovery and get well wishes. Surgery on Tuesday was successful. In fact, my surgeon told my friend he was quite proud of himself. He said it was more complicated and invasive than the other ear and the amount of pain I am having definitely supports that point. His first degree was in engineering and then he decided to attend medical school. Sounds like his engineering mind came into play. With each heart beat, I am healing. There were times during these past couple of months that I did not know when it would all end and now I see an end in sight! God is good.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Mountain Homes-Kitchens & Dining Rooms

 Welcome to part two of my Carolina mountain home series.  I have moved inside these beautiful homes to show you several kitchens and a couple of dining rooms.  Click here to see part one of this series.

These homes were built by my son-in-law, Ray Foral, in The Cliff’s Communities in the Carolina mountains between Greenville, SC and Asheville, NC. His company is Ridgeline Construction Group, Inc.  201 E. North Street, Ste. 203 Greenville, SC 29601.  864 313-0638


^ I do like the lighter cabinets with the darker island in this particular kitchen. Though not decorated, I like the open shelf at the end of the island. The diamond tile for the backsplash looks nice. Without seeing the space, I may have wanted pendants or a chandelier over the island.  Looking at the top of the photo to the right is a hallway with a door that leads to the garage. As you walk in from the garage, there is a mud room and then a laundry room. On the other side of the hallway is a small office. I like the timber in the ceiling in the hallway.


^The floors, the ceiling, the island , the cabinets, the backsplash shelf under the vent hood, the backsplash, the chandelier over the island are just a few of the details that stand out as I look at this beautiful kitchen.


^Isn’t the back splash under the vent hood a great look.  Wouldn’t you like to be standing in front of THAT window washing dishes on a snowy day?  Thumbs up for the high ceilings.


^The bar stools speak to me! I think they look great though not sure how comfortable they are. Nice wide ovens which are most likely an oven/microwave combination. Again, I might like pendants or a chandelier over the island. 


^Although I do like open spaces between the top of the upper cabinet and the ceilings, in this case the space is a bit tight.  I probably would have taken the cabinets all the way to the ceiling.  I think this is a handsome vent hood.


^Nice timbers in the ceiling. Looks like the Nano doors to the porch which are on tracks and they stack as you open them to the side. They allow you to bring the outside in.  Though definitely a lovely design element, from a functional standpoint I am not a fan of fireplaces in a dining room. The people seated on the side of the table by the fireplace get scorched.


^Though this photo does not give justice to the beautiful timbers in the vaulted ceiling in the living room, trust me they are spectacular. They are generous in size and give the feeling of strength and stability. When fully open, the Nano doors to the decks bring the outside in, I like the fact when hosting a party the guest can flow out to the deck from the living room doors and back in through the dining room doors. I like the window located above the Nano doors which brings in more sunlight.

Please leave me a comment! All of us bloggers love reading comments and need them to know our posts are being read.  Blessings.  …susan

PS My surgery is at noon on tomorrow. Hopefully, it goes well and this is the end of these ear issues. I will be a bit out of it for a few days due to pain meds but will try to get another mountain series post out soon.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Spiritual & Inspirational Sunday July 26, 2009

Welcome to my spiritual & inspirational Sunday post. Having collected quotes and scripture for over 25 years, my hope is that by sharing these quotes it will cause you to pause and reflect. Perhaps you will share a quote with someone who is in need of reading that very quote. 

On many Fridays for the past fourteen months I have assisted my close friend, Dr. Mark Houston, at his medical practice here in Nashville. His long time nurse wanted to cut back the number of days she works so he asked if I would come in on any Friday that I was available to assist. I take his patients from the waiting room, weigh them, find out what symptoms or reasons they have for being there, take their blood pressure, and if it is for an annual physical, I take their pulse and measure their waist circumference. (women should be under 35 inches, men under 40 inches).  

Dr. Houston is board certified in internal medicine, hypertension (high blood pressure), and anti-aging. He has a masters in nutrition. He hosts a hypertension and cardiovascular symposium in October where doctors can obtain continuing medical education. He is a big proponent of vitamins and supplements, often prescribing those to his patients not only for optimal health and anti-aging but to treat various illnesses. He also does hormone profiles and prescribes bio-identical hormones.

Knowing which natural supplements lower cholestrol, Dr. Houston created a product called LipidSirt using those components. LipidSirt became available about 8 months ago. In a three month study performed on patients with high cholestrol (these patients had not taken cholestrol lowering medicines and were given LipidSirt), LipidSirt lowered cholestrol and LDL by 25%.  He has another product that is soon to be released for lowering blood pressure called CardioSirt BP. In a pilot study, it lowered blood pressure by 15/17 mm HG. Athree month study will begin in October to see if those participants who are not on blood pressure medicines but have become hypertensive will see a drop in their blood pressure by taking CardioSirt BP. These type studies excite me especially when they show excellent results.

Working in Dr. Houston’s office is an incredible learning experience and very rewarding. Not only do I learn about the medical world but I get to interact with and learn about a diverse group of human beings. His patients are young and old, skinny and fat, fitness buffs and couch potatoes, healthy and sick, rich and poor, and they represent many different ethnic backgrounds. It is inspiring to actually see patients turn their lives around by changing their lifestyles and following Dr. Houston’s advice.

Yesterday, a husband and wife came in for the results of their physicals. The wife confided in me that she was very worried about her husband as his PSA was six. PSA is a prostate measurement and normal is 4.  Dr. Houston aggressively recommends further tests for most men if their PSA is greater than 4 and in younger men in lower levels if the rate of rise is too fast in a one year period. Her husband will be seeing a urologist on Tuesday.  As she shared her fears with me, I suggested she put them all in a box labeled God’s Box.  She said she tries to give them to God but finds she always wants to help God instead of totally letting go. I told her about my blog and suggested she check it out today as I would do a post on fear. This post is for her. I pray that her husband’s tests are accurate and benign. I pray that she gives God her fears and totally let’s go of them. Please consider saying a prayer for this couple.  Blessings.  …susan


F.E.A.R.  False   Evidence   Appearing    Real

“By expecting the worse, I cut myself off from hope”

“If I am fearful, I am disconnected from God”

“Never measure the height of the mountain until you reach the top.  Then you will see how low it is”  Dag Hammarskjöld

“Negative thoughts dampen my soul and I like sunlight”

If you have a favorite quote on fear please leave it in a comment. Thanks.

Look for the second post in a series on Mountain homes.

The source of these quotes is unknown. Please contact me if you know the source so that I may give credit.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mountain Homes- Front Entry

Welcome! Please forgive me for the sporadic publishing of posts the past six weeks.   Although I have one more day surgery to go, (next week pending keeping the infection in my ear area at bay)  I am preparing a series of mountain home posts ahead of time and hope to get those published while recovering.

I am joining Julia’s Hooked On Friday party because I am Hooked on Mountain Homes!

These homes were built in the Carolina mountains between Asheville, NC and Greenville, SC in a development called The Cliff’s Communities. There are six Cliff’s Communities located within 1.5-2 hours of each other. These are golf communities with gorgeous views. If you live in one area, it gives you the right to play golf at the other Cliff’s courses.  The Cliff’s were able to sign up Tiger Woods to develop his very first golf course in the US in a new development under construction near Asheville.


So many wonderful details! Doesn’t the stone and the timbers shout mountain living? Notice as you look through the windows on the front door, which I think is divine, is a direct view out of the windows on the back of the house.


I think the driveway pavers and border make a nice statement.


I am not as fond of the garage doors facing the street being the main focal point but realize this is so the view off the back of the house can be best utilized.


Doesn’t the home look dreamy at night. Notice the soffit details and the wooden beams accenting the garage doors. I like the arched window on the second level above the front door.



Though I am fond of the doors with the glass window panes, isn’t this a great design.

By the way, the builder of these gorgeous mountain homes is my son-in-law, Ray Foral. Ray is exceptional at pricing a home and coming in on budget. He knows his stuff. He knows how to treat his subs and he pays attention to construction details. Ray grew up in the Vail, Eagle area. With a background in excavating for mountain homes being built in Vail, Beaver Creek, and Arrowhead, he then joined a development company who built mountain homes. That company bought land in some of The Cliff Communities and moved Ray to the Carolina’s to head up those mountain projects. In the four years since marrying my daughter and moving to the area, he has built over 70 single family homes and duplexes ranging in size from 2,300 square feet-8,000 square feet with prices ranging from $800,000-$4 million.

Ray is a big fan of my book, Designing Your Dream Home, believing if all of his clients used my book there would be less change orders and better client understanding of the design and building process.

Ray has joined with two partners and formed his own construction company called Ridgeline Construction Group Inc. 201 E. North Street Ste 203  Greenville, SC 29601  864 313-0638 Though located in Greenville, SC,  they build in the Greenville and Asheville, NC areas.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Spiritual & Inspirational Sunday July 19, 2009

Welcome to my Spiritual  Inspirational Sunday post. Please forgive me once again for being a day late.  For over twenty-five years I have collected quotes and scripture. The nature of these tend to be spiritual, religious, business, relationships, and sports related. My hope is that by sharing these with you on my blog, it will cause you to pause and reflect. Perhaps you will in turn share it with a friend who just so happens to be in need of reading this very quote.

Thank you so much for the emails and for the comments left on my blog wishing me a speedy recovery. The surgery on my left ear was performed this past Tuesday and was a success. Unfortunately, my right ear became infected again the day before surgery so I am faced with another surgery instead of having had both ears operated on at once. As soon as the infection clears I will have the same surgery on my right ear. I am seeing my doctor today as the infection has gotten worse.  I am trying to maintain a positive attitude though there are times when I am run down and negativity creeps in.  I have found if I remember to put it in God’s hands, the negativity vanishes. Knowing I will be having the same surgery again except on the opposite ear is a bit daunting since I know exactly what to expect…PAIN! This is where turning those fears/dread over to God helps tremendously.  I find if I think about our soldiers and the wounds they deal with or friends with cancer, my situation is put into perspective really quick. I believe God is teaching me a lesson through all of this, perhaps one that I will be able to share with others.  Blessings.   …susan


“Trust worthy people have words and deeds that match. They are not afraid to admit mistakes. They treat others with respect. They are consistent over time. If they hurt someone’s feelings they apologize. They take responsibility for their actions. “

“Listen to a person’s actions”

“Words are cheap, actions speak volumes”

One of my faults is to be too trusting. I want to believe what everyone says even though their actions don’t match their words. I want to believe everyone has honorable intentions, everyone operates with a moral compass, everyone tells the truth, and everyone has a conscience. One of life’s lessons learned the hard way and learned over and over again is some people are not trustworthy, some people lie.

With age, the red flags seem to wave a bit more forceful trying to get my attention. My intuition seems to speak louder when things don’t seem right.  I just need to heed the warnings and then apply the quotes I am sharing.  Sometimes I like someone too much to want to face the facts and then I could kick myself.  I hope what I have shared today protects you from an untrustworthy person!

The source of those quotes is unknown. If you know the source and will contact me, I will edit this post and add the source.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Spiritual & Inspirational Sunday July 12, 2009

Welcome to my spiritual & inspirational Sunday post. Having collected quotes for over twenty-five years, I use this post to share those with you in hopes that something shared might cause you to pause and reflect. Perhaps you will share it with a friend who happens to be in need of reading what I have written. 

On Tuesday I will be undergoing day surgery on both ears to remove the preauricular pits which in the past twelve months have decided to become a problem in my life.  The left ear has required three visits to the ER resulting in lancing, drains, and packing performed due to an infection in the “pit'”.  Also, I have been treated in my ENT doctor’s office on a couple of occasions. Additionally, I was hospitalized a couple of weeks ago for four days trying to get an infection under control in the other ear (I guess it felt left out), including minor surgery to clean out the infection. Although I look forward to having this behind me, I am consumed with dread and fear of having the IV put into my arm. I have very little concern regarding the vertical incision from the top of my ear where it connects to my face to the bottom of my ear or any discomfort with the surgery. It’s the anticipation of the IV needle that terrifies me as silly as that may sound. I am working overtime trying to keep my phobia of needles in check.  Prayers are welcome!  I hope to be back to regular posting on my blog real soon. Please check back as I have some great photos and information to share with you in future posts.  Blessings.  …susan

Because I have been dealing with my ear don’t you think some quotes on hearing seem to be appropriate?

“If nobody is listening, don’t talk”

“The attitude of the listener determines what is heard”

“If you have already formed an opinion, you will not hear what a person has to say”

“If you never hear my silence, you will never hear my words”

”Do you listen intently enough to know another persons footsteps?”

The source of these quotes is unknown though I believe they were spoken by John DeFoore at one of the seminars he hosted in Boerne, TX.  If I am mistaken, please contact me so that I can give credit to the correct source.