Starting 14 years ago, he built every bit of it himself, clearing the trees, pouring the foundation, building the chimney, the walls, the stairs (made of peeled-clean tree trunks with branches still there), the floors -- all of it his, and all of it originally designed and beautifully crafted. He's still working on it little by little, as he finds the time and the money for each new task -- but finished or not, it's already a beautiful home. Those are barn doors on the first floor behind the scaffolding. They'll open to huge screened window openings, letting light and breezes into the kitchen.
Naturally, Grandma loved it. Here she is inside with Carrie, studying a family photo of Pat with Bill and Nicky when they were impossibly young.
And here are two of Bill and Carrie's four particularly beautiful, soft and affectionate cats, posed fetchingly on top of some of Bill's particularly beautiful craftsmanship. Notice the wood inlay in the countertop and the "tiles" that cover the kitchen walls -- actually recycled roof slates, each one cut to size by Bill.
And here's the kitchen, with cabinets that Bill just finished building, more slate tiles and recycled floorboards from a church.
Here's one of the two big, sweet, happy dogs who live in the little but roomy-feeling house along with the four cats, Bill, Carrie and Carrie's son Kyle. This dog purrs when you pet her. Yes, I said she purrs. Apparently it's something that Rottweilers -- at least happy Rottweilers like this one -- do.
What a good dog.
This was the first warm day of a late, cold spring, and the dogs decided that they'd been waiting long enough for a chance to splash around. After Bill put out the pool, every time we looked outside, there was a smiling, expectant doggie, all ready and waiting in the pool. "Hey, where's the hose?"
Grandma got a chance to model a hat.
And last but not by any stretch of the imagination least, these people have talented animals! The little black cat stopped doing what she had been doing when Bill called her and followed his instructions to hop on and start exercising. Who gets a cat to do what she's told, not to mention to do it on a treadmill? Your Cousin Bill -- whom Carrie calls "the Cat Whisperer" -- that's who.