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Well here goes!

Well here goes… My first Blog. We have had an event full last two years. As some of you who have read the Blogs that Tara wrote earlier you know in April of 2010 I was diagnosed with stage 4 head and neck cancer. Well I am about 26 months out from my last treatment and the Surgeon  at Duke assures me that he has never seen a recurrence of this type of cancer after this period of time so from here on out I am cancer free!

We have been busy here at The Pines. Even during my recuperation period I used the cottages as a way to rehab. There is a condition called chemo brain, well I’m here to tell you it’s real. The chemicals in the chemotherapy really diminished my brain function. But as long as I had a hammer and a saw in my hand or anything to do with physical labor I was good to go. I couldn’t do any paperwork or read very well for months but that is finally coming back. It is still more of a chore than a joy but hopefully given time the joy of reading will return.

I must say though even through the trials and tribulations of cancer and recovery we have made great strides here with the cottages and property. Tara and I have put in some very nice flower beds, really just reclaimed some beds that were in dire need of attention and I can’t wait to see how beautiful they will be come spring. We also had a vegetable garden this year. We started small and next year we hope to have a bit better results. It sure was nice having fresh tomatoes this year along with some other fresh veggies. The cottages are in terrific shape, although having a (house Farm) is always an ongoing proposition we completely up cycled 5 cottages this year. And when I say we up cycled 5 cottages we do all of the work ourselves with the help of one part time person, he is a very close friend that helps us out when we need him. I wish I could afford 5 guys like him we would be finished in a few weeks!  We refinished floors and painted everything inside and out new flooring in the bathrooms and even painted the kitchen floors. We found when we removed the old flooring in the kitchens there was beautiful Oak hardwood floors and we refinished them and they turned out beautiful. Also one of our friend’s works for a company that makes samples for a large flooring company and when they rotated their stock we were given several rolls of vinyl flooring perfect for the bathrooms. We are always looking for ways to use and reuse any building materials we can; there is no reason to go to Lowes every time we need something. We put in new windows and curtains and upgraded the insulation and Tara refinished the furniture and did the finishing touches with artwork and linens the places look amazing or as one of our customers say “Old School Awesome”.

Craigslist is my friend! I saw an ad on there for some doors that could be perfect for the cottages and they were from a period correct home in a nearby neighborhood. When I went to get the doors I told the nice lady what I was doing and she sold them to me for $10.00 for 8 doors. I was so happy to get them and she was happy that they went to a good home. Recently there was a building supply place nearby that had closed and they were liquidating all of their old stock and we got some terrific deals from the people that owned the place. We purchased enough shingles to redo at least three cottages for a song! There were moldings and lumber and windows and the deals were unbelievable! I am just glad it did not go to waste!

I the last few weeks we decided to replace our aging vacancy sign so I did some research on the internet on how to build a sign and went to our local metal recycling yard and found all the materials to build the frame for the sign and found the acrylic sheet from another deal I made and with the exceptions of the lights themselves I think I have a total of $8.00 in materials and about $60.00 for the lights and bulbs and stencils and spray cans for lettering that I had to buy. I love building things from up cycled materials I get a real sense of satisfaction that I did it myself and it saves resources and money.

Since we are pet friendly we decided to put in pet waste stations. I have just completed 6 new stations and painted them to match the cottages. They will be a nice addition to the property for our guest’s convenience and to keep the property clean.

Before winter is over I hope to remodel at least one more cottage and my next project are new signs at the entryway to match the new vacancy signs, I will follow up with pictures on that as we progress, the signs are also up cycled from a bank!

Thank you to all our loyal return customers and thank you for reading this Blog and I hope you make The Pines Cottages your choice of lodging while visiting Asheville.

More to come! We are excited about the current and future projects and will post about them as we move forward.

P.S. we know a great deal about the area please contact us so we can help plan your visit. We look forward to seeing you again or meeting you and your family and friends for the first time!