The studio has been roofed.

When we finally woke up yesterday, we had an email from Grigg’s dad asking “How’s the roof working?”  Apparently it had rained and he wondered if we’d been able to enjoy the sound of raindrops on the metal roof (we slept through it). Puddles this morning suggested it rained again last night and again, we slept soundly, the weather muffled by our central air. But Saturday was dry — a bit hotter than many would have liked, but we had dry conditions for working.

Inside the studio, tools and very important water cooler

Inside the studio, tools and very important water cooler, filled three times over the course of the day.

We are relieved to have the building under permanent cover and thankful for all of the help that we had.  Trevor Mitchell and his brother Ben are sons of a professional roofer (who also do roofing work themselves) and brought experience, knowledge, skill and tools. Will Barry-Rec has given us so much of his time for this project (and will likely be helping us with the interior, too), and recently put a standing seam roof on the timber frame addition he and his wife Jessica are building. Will’s roof team included Trevor, Ben, Grigg and Gabe Leasure. Gabe joined us between picking up his mom from the airport and volunteering at the night’s concert at Lime Kiln. Grigg’s cousin Marian Dalke came first thing after a full day Friday in a commercial kitchen helping her dad process apples — she crimped seams, served watermelon and washed all the lunch dishes before heading off for a hike and visit with Grandfather, recovering from a recent heart valve transplant. Grigg/Dad Mullen decided long ago that he’d rather hire someone to put on a roof than do it himself, and he spent all day on the ground with us getting each piece of metal bent before it went up to the roof. He and Cindy have been amazing support in every way, and we couldn’t do this without them.

So, here’s what the day looked like, with the photographs taken from the ground as I tend to avoid roofs and ladders.

Next up is the clapboard siding. We’ll start working on that after we get back from a New England vacation (complete with Timber Framers Guild conference) next week.

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Ready for a roof

Since our last update in March, the little house has sat, wrapped in Tyvek, waiting for the rest of the porch and the roof.

We’ve spent some weekends working on the porch and now have materials for the roof.

Grigg, along with his dad and our friends Will and Brendan, installed the porch frame.  After months of an open deck literally on the edge of a cliff, it was a relief to see a railing in place.

For the railings, we decided to use high-tensile fence wire and ratchets as a simple version of the fancy stainless steel cable railings you may be familiar with (or may have seen in design magazines). Though he’d never done this before, Grigg was confident this would be a good solution and not disturb our view — and, thanks to our friends Will and Jake, this has cost us nothing. The wire came from a fence Will took down and Jake gave us the new ratchets, a $30 value.

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Over two weekends, Grigg and his dad put up skip sheathing on the porch and building roof.  Today they installed the drip edge and roof vents.

Next weekend we have a bunch of friends coming to help install the standing seam roof, bending the pans on site.

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Winter into spring

Not long after the last post, we left Virginia for a New England Thanksgiving.

Fall sunset

Fall sunset

While we were gone, the carpenters finished up with doors and windows and wrapped the house.

This has felt like a really long winter, there hasn’t been much progress on the studio, but it’s pretty:

View at the start of 2014

View at the start of 2014

We have our siding material:

Board and batten under tarps

Board and batten under tarps

And just a week ago, our friends Mez and Will came to start cutting the porch frame.

After the porch frame is raised, it’s time for the roof and siding.

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Walls

It’s been nearly a month since the last update on the studio progress.  In that time, Grigg and I sourced tile for the bathroom, and doors and windows. The carpenters finished putting in the rafters and the decking for the eight foot porch.  Grigg created an in-the-deck doormat which is already helping keep some mud out of the building.

We put in some real work this weekend. Well, not me. I was inside working on a sewing project and cooking for the “crew.” Grigg and his dad and our friend Will worked all day Saturday and Sunday installing the SIPs – for those of you not in the know, those are structural insulated panels.  They ended each day nearly being rained out and are finishing up this afternoon, with our friend Tim helping. The photo gallery below illustrates the process.

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Studio progress so far

We haven’t been sure of what to call this building, almost from the start.  Before the wedding, it was a “gazebo” (sometimes with a fancy fake-French pronunciation) or the “wedding structure.”  Drawings by our architect friend who’s helping with the design of the building call it “Flanamullegan wedding cabin.” And we’ve called it our “little house” or “tiny house.”  It seems that the people in charge of planning and zoning for our county (who also drive by our house to and from work each day) have made the question of what to call this building a bit easier.  It will be a “studio.”  Our property is zoned agricultural, and because of this, two acres are required for each single-family dwelling. A guest house with kitchen is considered a second single-family dwelling, so we would need to have four acres for this to be allowed — and we have three-point-something.  So, a studio is what we’ll have instead.  And the carpenters working on it had a busy week last week.

First, they finished preparing the forms for six concrete piers.

Once that was done, the fun could begin. The whole thing was moved from the trailer onto the foundation.  Grigg was in charge, with help from Shelby in the excavator and Jesse and Dave, the carpenters, and our friend Will.

Then, the frame was put back together, starting with the crucks.

Our neighbor Bill was curious and stuck around until the rain came.  Will (who just raised the frame for a big addition at his house and then was married a week later!) arrived in good time.

Grigg told Will that once it was assembled, there would be a “view adjustment” of 180 degrees.  That is, the side with the view was to be swapped with the side facing our house.  In other words, it had been placed on the trailer backwards, and would have to be lifted up and turned around.

Rotating the building

I have observed several timber frames being cut and raised, and I have attended one and a half conferences of the Timber Framers Guild, but I don’t know all the vocabulary. I ask questions, but there are gaps in my knowledge of what the parts of this building are called. Like this beautiful cherry (I think) timber with our wedding date carved by our dads. Tie beam? (Also – those “sides” above, are they plates?)

The carpenters continued on Friday, making nice progress:

And if you are interested in seeing some more pictures or a video, go here.

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Moving the building

This morning at 7:00 we arrived at Cindy & Grigg’s house to move the timber frame. It awaited us, covered in a tarp that was previously a billboard.

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Ira got there soon after and the guys secured the frame to the trailer – it would be approximately 10 miles on the road.

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I fashioned two “flags” from old t-shirts and scrap wood. Ira and I drove ahead of the truck & trailer.

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We encountered about four other cars on the road. This is Grigg coming down a small hill after the first one passed us in the other direction.

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By 9:00 a.m. we were home, with the trailer parked in our driveway covered up again.20131013-203640.jpg
 
Willie has already been checking it out.

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The next project

It’s been almost five months since our beautiful wedding.  We have been enjoying using the great stuff that we found on our honeymoon.  Our subsequent road trips have been as far north as Burlington, Vermont; as far east as Sandwich, Mass.; as far south as Hillsville and Abingdon, Va., and as far west as Pine Top, Kentucky.

Accacia has been sewing and knitting a bunch — clothes for herself and lately lots of baby gifts as she & Grigg have six friends expecting babies between now and December.  If you are curious, you can see what she’s been up to at punsnneedles.wordpress.com.  Grigg has continued to modify the 8-quart ice cream maker, and has helped his father with Miss Sue, the 25-foot Hooper Island Draketail boat that the elder Grigg finished building about a year ago (it’s won two blue ribbons in the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival. We bade farewell to his friend John’s 1953 GMC truck – Grigg installed new axles with large disc brakes and a Detroit Diesel 4-53T and transmission before it was hauled to Kansas City.  You can see more photos of what Grigg’s been up to here.

But our big project is our backyard studio – formerly the timberframe structure we were married in. We’ve been getting ready to have the frame moved to our house and will be documenting that project at this blog.  So far, we’ve started to prepare the ground for a foundation.

Freshly cleared ground - previously populated with small trees and brush.

Freshly cleared ground – previously populated with small trees and brush.

Accacia standing at the site of the guest house.  Willie is getting ready to run the excavator.

Accacia standing at the site of the studio. Willie is getting ready to run the excavator.

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Honeymoon (or, a roadtrip with Accacia & Grigg)

On our honeymoon road trip

On our honeymoon road trip

Before we were even engaged, I asked Grigg hypothetically, if he’d ever considered a honeymoon and if so, what sort of a post-wedding trip sounded good to him. After his BM’s toast at our wedding, I’m sure none of you are surprised to know that his answer was a road trip in an old truck.  He is in the process of restoring a 1948 Chevy truck and our first honeymoon plan was to take it all around the country for a few weeks.  But as any of you who have restored an old truck know, these projects always take longer than expected.  Being that the truck isn’t done yet, we decided that our honeymoon would be a trip to Wild and Wonderful West Virginia. It fit our criteria – in particular, we found a nice place to stay that was less than 4 hours’ drive from home, it was somewhere mostly new to both of us, and provided some things to do without being too busy.  And, there would likely be antique malls, junk shoppes, and flea markets, which Grigg says, can be “most entertaining.”  The ’round the country roadtrip in the truck is postponed until the truck is finished.

Half-stuffed car parked at Kanawha falls

Half-stuffed car parked at Kanawha falls

So – if we may refer you to the BM toast again, you shall see that our honeymoon met several of the criteria for “A Roadtrip with Grigg.”

#1: We didn’t find any diesel engines, however, we did come back with a new (to us) sewing machine.  Do you remember Grigg’s vows? He vowed to care for me and my sewing machines and sometimes that means buying a pristine 1948 Singer 201-2 in the #42 cabinet for $38 in Parkersburg, WV.

Singer 201-2 in cabinet with stool and box of sewing notions

Singer 201-2 in cabinet with stool and box of sewing notions

#4: I didn’t touch the steering wheel the whole time.  Now, that is mostly because I haven’t mastered the stick shift yet.

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Grigg & our new friend loading a coal/wood stove at a flea market in downtown Parkersburg, WV

#10: On our drive home, the car was packed to the gills – even the roof rack.  Grigg said at one point, “We should have taken the trailer… But if we had, that would be full already, too.”  The below picture shows our new acquisitions — our own luggage is barely in sight on the front porch.

Family photo with our new purchases

Family photo with our new purchases

If you look close you can see versions of our favorite tools, which were the names of tables at the wedding reception: White Mountain Ice cream maker;  Apple peeling/cutting tools.  Most of what you see was made before we were born… The Sellers “Hoosier” Cabinet was probably built before 1930, and is something we now need in the kitchen with all of the wonderful gifts we’ve received from y’all.  We are overcome with gratitude that you all were part of such an amazing event in our lives and we will be in touch personally before too long.

What year did we get married?

What year did we get married?

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You’re on a road-trip with Grigg (a toast)

–Presented  by all 4 of my Best Men, Andrew, Ira, Adam, and Matt.  Matt being the primary spokesperson for the bunch on this occasion.

My name is Matt and I’ve known Grigg since High School. Now, in our capacity as BMs we’ve been asked to say a few words, today… and given the undeniable love for puns in parts of the Mullen Family, there was a lot of pressure to choose our words wisely. Adam here, detests puns, so I decided that he’d be the perfect person to test them on. I tried ten different puns on him, to see, if any of them would get a positive response out of him, but no pun in ten did.

But even without those puns, I’m sure there will be a lot of merriment, today. Grigg has been a friend for many years. He’s solid as a rock, so we were all thrilled when he told us that he had met Accacia and that through that, he got a little bolder and proposed. I’m sure he was very engaging. Apparently the engagement ring is a family heirloom, so it’s clearly not a sham-rock.

Marriage means more than just a new name and address. It has a nice ring to it. Marriage is like a journey, a road-trip if you will, that you, Accacia and Grigg will embark on together.

At different times over the years, all of us BMs have gone on shorter, much less meaningful road-trips with Grigg, but nonetheless, we’ve compiled a number of interesting facts on what these trips are all about.

1.            If you bring back more diesel engines than you left with –
2.            When you wake up in the hotel, and it’s really Grigg’s Jetta –
3.            When your toiletries include a toothbrush, toothpaste and a clean change of work-clothes –
4.            If you’ve driven thousands of miles but haven’t touched the steering-wheel in 3 days –
5.            If you’ve eaten at 6 highly recommended BBQ Restaurants in the last 48 hours –
6.            If the bed of the truck is the bed of the truck –
7.            If your tool bag weighs more than your suitcase –
8.            If the AC is running, but you still need to roll down the windows frequently –
9.            If you’re assisting the windshield wipers with a length of string –
10.          If you’re hauling more with your compact car than most people haul with their trucks –
11.          If you refer to flat dead animals as “Road Pizza” –
12.          If you consider ebay or Craigslist your travel-advisors –

You’re on a road-trip with Grigg

Matt: Ok, it gets a little more serious, now. Accacia, because we live scattered across the Globe, we have had only very little time to really get to know you. However, I speak for all of us, when I say that we feel richer for having met you and that we look forward to catching up on that in the years to come. You have attracted the love of our friend, and our brother, Grigg, and if that is not all the endorsement you could ask for, I don’t know what would be.

I would therefore like everyone to raise their glasses and join us in a toast:

To Accacia and Grigg!

It’s true… Together my BM’s and I  have covered literally thousands upon thousands of miles over the years and country, for better or for worse giving them some authority on the subject.

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We got hitched

We have just gotten back from our honeymoon trip to West Virginia (more on that soon) and wanted to share some bits from our wedding ceremony with y’all since some of you told us it was hard to hear a few parts. Also, if you were wondering about our processional and recessional song choices, they were:
“EmmyLou” by First Aid Kit for the BM processional;
“The Hungry Rock” by Dervish for the Mullen processional;
“All that Matters” by Mark Knopfler for the Flanagan processional;
and
“California Stars” written by Woody Guthrie and performed by Billy Bragg & Wilco for the recessional.

Laurie’s opening blessing:
“All of you today are here to support Grigg & Accacia and in turn, be supported.
Allow yourselves to bask in the gift of Accacia & Grigg’s love,
then turn and share it with someone else.
Today, tomorrow, next week…
With your partner, a friend or a stranger.
Yet, while it’s fresh in your hearts, minds, and spirits.”

Jesse’s reading, from the late Rev. Theodore Parker (1810-1860):
“Men and women and especially young people, do not know that it takes years to marry completely two hearts, even the most loving and well-assorte. Nature allows no sudden change. We slope very gradually from the cradle to the summit of life. Marriage is gradual: a fraction of us at a time. A perfect and complete marriage, where wedlock is everything you could ask for and the ideal of marriage becomes actual, is not common. Perhaps it is as rare as personal beauty. Men and women are married fractionally, now a small fraction, then a large fraction. Very few are married totally.

A happy wedlock is a long falling in love. I know young persons think love belongs only to the brown-haired and crimson-cheeked. So it does for its beginning, just as Mount Washington begins at Boston Bay. But the golden marriage is a part of love which the bridal day knows nothing of.”

Anne-Lise’s reading, an excerpt from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho:
“When he looked into her eyes, he learned the most important part of the language that
all the world spoke – the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding
in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert.
What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in
his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. He was more
certain of it than of anything in the world. Because when you know that language, it’s
easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it’s in the middle of
the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, and
their eyes meet, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment,
and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand
only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world.
Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning.”

Cosmo’s reading, The Heart of Hands Ceremony:
“Our hands are an extension of our hearts, through their movements people know what we are, who we are and how we feel. Take someone’s hand and you will have in that moment- begun the awareness of yourself. That moment has the seed of the creation of love, every time it is done.

Let your hands become the joining together of you and another human being, the extension of your heart, the merging of two rivers, the grafting of two branches, the birth of new life. Your hands are you.”

Our vows:
“I take you, Grigg/Accacia,
To be my husband/wife;
Loving what I know of you,
Trusting what I don’t yet know.
Teaching you and learning from you.
Always having faith in you.
Admiring your industriousness
I will love you when we are together,
And when we are apart.
When life is peaceful,
And as it challenges us.
When I am proud of you,
And when I am disappointed in you.
In loving you,
I will hold your family as part of my own.
I will honor your goals and dreams,
G- I will always care for you and your sewing machines.
A- I will appreciate you and your pursuit of preciseness.
From my heart,
I will seek to be open and honest with you.
I will cherish our relationship,
As it is a precious gift.”

And, the Irish Blessing at the end of the ceremony:
“May the long time sun shine upon you,
All love surround you,
And the pure light within each of you
Guide your way home.”

Thank you all for coming to our wedding. It was an incredibly wonderful and beautiful day for us and we are so very grateful to all of you for being part of it. We have received countless compliments and very nice feedback from friends and family who were there with us. Some of you have said it was the sweetest or nicest wedding you’ve ever been to and it’s the best we’ve been to as well!

Our photographer, Brinn Willis, was also very taken by it. Check out her blog post about the wedding!

We know many of you took pictures that day and we will soon have a place for you to share them.

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Stage is almost set

Stage

That’s all, just a picture to get you thinking about the big day on Saturday, tomorrow!

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The Map

We have updated our Google Map.

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I SCREAM

Icecream-2

Artesian Ice Cream Making

Equipment needed:

1 artesian well drilling rig.

30 feet of well points of the same diameter as a one-gallon ice cream container.

1 ice cream pump

Directions: Find your way to Big Rock Candy mountain. Ask a hobo for directions (since, by definition, there are no neighborhood hobos, look around the closest railroad tracks for one that may be passing through).

Once there, choose your flavor. The strawberry ice cream aquifer can be found beneath the strawberry bushes; vanilla beneath the vanilla bean trees; coffee and chocolate beneath the cacao trees, etc.

Once sited, begin drilling. Ice cream will surge to the surface when you reach the ice cream aquifer.

Install well points into the aquifer.

Attach pump.

Turn on pump.

Eat all the ice cream you want. Scoop and store as much as you can fit in your freezer.

FAQ: What if the hobo passing through my neighborhood won’t tell me the way to Big Rock Candy Mountain?

A: Oh. Sorry. Hobos never tell the way to BRCM. They’re sworn not to. But the rewards would be so great we think it’s worthwhile to keep asking. In the meantime, here’s our alternative.

Motorized Artisan Ice Cream Making on Adair Hill

Cast:

Ice cream maker in chief:

Icecream-9

Grigg Mullen III

Assistant ice cream maker and chief taste-tester:

Will Barry-Rec

Documentarian:

Matt Anderson

Deputy dawgumentarian:

Mark Flanagan

Plot:

To make 10 gallons of ice cream to make cool a party on Friday night that precedes the climactic scene in which the chief ice cream maker marries the girl of his dreams, Nell (aka Accacia, which are not the first two words of a tongue-twister) and they ride off into the moonset.

Icecream-1

Advance preparation:

The ice cream-making event takes place on Adair Hill on Wednesday, May 15. In prior weeks, ice cream maker in chief Grigg has motorized a home ice cream maker by attaching it to a 2 ½ horsepower Witt engine and rigging two pulleys so that it will turn the ice cream maker at the proper speed. The whole kit and caboodle are mounted on a wooden skid which, in turn is attached to a trailer. (Go ahead and try this at home… if you have skills in small engine operation and repair, carpentry and the machinist arts). The trailer is delivered on May 13 to the site of the soon-to-be-cool pre-wedding party on Adair Hill at the home of Grigg II and Cindy Mullen.

Meanwhile, several friends — Jessie Knadler, Susan Guida and Brendan Perry, Mary Abdoney, and Will Barry-Rec and Jessica Miller — cook and pre-mix the ingredients for five flavors totaling 10 gallons of ice cream.

8:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 15:

Ice cream-making begins. Or so they tell me. The deputy dawgumentarian overslept (surprise, surprise, surprise). The ingredients for chocolate spicy ice cream — aka “the best chocolate ice cream ever” — are placed in the container of the ice cream machine. Ice cubes are placed all around the container, with rock salt added strategically. The engine, nicknamed Miss Witt by this writer, is started and takes over the work of turning the container, or churning the ice cream. Assistant ice cream maker Will adds more ice and rock salt to replace what has melted and run off into the overflow bucket.

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9:15 or so:

One of the belts slips off a pulley. No problem, Grigg assures. He shuts the engine down, replaces the pulley and restarts the engine. The ice cream is churning again after a minute or so.

10:13 a.m.: “We’re almost ready to pull the first batch out,” Mullen alerts the now awake (almost) deputy dawgumentarian. He and Will take the container into the house, scoop the delicious contents into another container, which is placed in a freezer. They start work on the second batch (of 5), filling the ice cream machine’s container with the ingredients for raspberry ice cream. The process continues, as in the previous entry, until…

11:02 a.m.: “It can’t be out of gas,” Grigg says as an uh-oh moment arrives. Miss Witt has stopped for no apparent reason other than demanding some TLC. Grigg determines that her ignition points have gone out of adjustment. Fifteen minutes later, she is humming like your 3rd grade music teacher (if your 3rd grade music teacher, like mine, had a little problem with flatulence.)
Icecream-3

11:45 a.m.: The churning of Batch 2 has been completed, along with the transfer from ice cream machine to freezer. The ingredients for strawberry frozen yogurt are placed in the ice cream machine and the churning of Batch 3 begins.

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Noon-ish: We break for a delicious lunch prepared by Cindy Mullen, following which I stop checking the clock and, umh, nap. A couple hours earlier, I had learned from Will that his bond with Grigg is that “he and I both like to get things done.” That seems to be the common denominator here on Adair Hill. Documentarian Matt has been juggling two photo projects with some other work. Between ice cream churnings, Grigg and Will have accomplished three or four other chores while still attending the ice cream machine. Grigg’s father is moving wicked big stuff around with a fork lift. Cindy and five of her friends have been setting up a mock table in preparation for the coming events. Watching all these busy people has made me tired.

3:15 p.m.: Grigg informs me the fifth and final batch is done. I have completely missed batch 4, with the mouth-watering name of Lime Mint Sorbet, and most of the making of batch 5, except for the addition of its namesake ingredient — chocolate-covered almonds — to vanilla ice cream.

I have also missed a couple of Miss Witt’s demands for additional TLC, which Grigg satisfied with finality when he located the set screw which had been causing the stoppages from a hidden vantage.Icecream-4

And even now, seven hours after the start of the ice cream making odyssey, the job is still to be finished. Ten gallons of cold, creamy, flavorful ice cream (in the broad sense, which also includes sorbet) is still to be eaten. And smiled over. Who will rise to that challenge?Icecream-7
Guest Post by Mark Flanagan, Father of the Bride

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Umbrellas and buses

As of today, the weather forecast for Saturday is a chance of thunderstorms with a high of 80 degrees or so. Please bring a parasol or bumbershoot or regular old umbrella with you, if you are able. You won’t be under cover during the ceremony, so an umbrella is your protection from both sun and rain.

Also, you will be riding a 25-seat bus from the parking area to the ceremony (and then to the reception and back to the parking area). The shuttle will begin running at 4:00 and it will take quite some time to transport all 180 guests to the ceremony area. Please plan to arrive at least 30 minutes ahead of time.

We look forward to seeing you this weekend! Contact us with any questions.

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What should we wear?

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You should wear what’s comfortable, keeping in mind that the wedding is on the casual side. Accacia is wearing a dress; Grigg’s wearing a vest and tie. The wedding will be outside, and taking place after the hottest part of the day (average high is 76 degrees in May). During the wedding (and welcome dinner and farewell breakfast), you can expect to walk on uneven ground and some gravel, so ladies and gents alike should choose your shoes accordingly.

That said, it is a wedding and a celebratory occasion – if you want to show off your new suit (or the old one that you fit into for the first time in 5 years) you should!

The welcome dinner and farewell breakfast are casual dress.

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The Wedding Party part two

This is the second (and last) installment of biographies of the people who make up our wedding party. We are so grateful that they are joining us as we get married on May 18. Thanks, BMs!

Melissa Borsting: I’m Melissa (the tall one in the picture). I grew up in southern Oregon and through some twists and turns of life ended up in Seattle for graduate school.  When Accacia and I met we were quick to find that we shared a love of cooking, eating, and creating (creating in those days ranged from knitting and sewing to crafting alter egos who attended the slew of Seattle theme parties that seemed to mark those first few years of our friendship).

I now live in North Bend, WA, about 35 minutes from Seattle with my husband, Curtis, and our 5-year-old son, Soren. I split my time between managing a local farmers market, playing Star Wars, and chatting with Accacia online about projects I wish I had time for (by Melissa).

Melissa, Soren and a Stormtrooper

Melissa, Soren and a Stormtrooper

Kyla Dixon: I met Kyla when we were teenagers attending a Unitarian Universalist summer youth conference at Star Island in New Hampshire. A few years later, we worked together on Star Island and shared a room the size of an average bathroom.  We both survived, and our friendship grew that summer as well as during the years we were both in the Pacific Northwest (Kyla in Portland and I in Seattle, where she has family).
Kyla now lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband Greg and year-old daughter Annabelle.  She works in homeless advocacy.  (written by Accacia)
Kyla and her husband Greg. She's the pretty one.

Kyla and her husband Greg. She’s the pretty one.

Bradley Kramer was born on Kentucky Derby Day, in the year of the horse, and his first word was “horse.”  He adds that Affirmed won the triple crown that year.  He grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and Boca Raton, Florida.  He moved to Seattle to pursue a master’s degree in Public Administration, and while in graduate school, met Accacia at one of the theme parties that Melissa mentioned above.  Brad introduced Accacia to Josh Ritter, and Accacia introduced Brad to Ben Sollee.
Brad lives with his partner Christopher and dog Karsten in a loft apartment in an old brick building in Pioneer Square. He works for the University of Washington Department of Surgery, and is on the bord of directors for Seattle Tilth.  We generally catch up by phone in between our respective board meetings (edited by Brad).
Brad with a horse

Brad with a horse

Hello!  My name is Ira Friedrichs.  I live in beautiful Asheville, NC, with my girlfriend Becca and her dog Ollie.  I happily own and operate a tree service company named Smart Feller Tree Works.   Shortly after naming my business, Grigg was the first to point out the ease of mispronouncing the name “fart smeller.” Perhaps this is due to our history together as teenagers….

I’ve known Grigg since we both attended a very prestigious middle school…Maury River Middle. Oh, legend states that our building used to be a high school named Lexington High!  This is, of course, impossible to verify as any alumni would have surely died from old age by now….
Back then, biking to Grigg’s house proved difficult in the Winter storms, so I would routinely get “snowed in” at the Mullens’ household, sometimes for weeks.  Our bike rides and hiking explorations were eventually replaced by numerous cross-country trips in search of high quality trucks, diesel engines, and barbecue.

My current fleet of humming diesel equipment was haggled and purchased skillfully by Grigg on two recent road trips.

I feel lucky to live a quick 5 hours away, and can’t wait to come up and celebrate with Grigg and Accacia!

Ira at work

Ira at work

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The post about children

Our wedding will be a child-free evening.  We have arranged for childcare at Grigg & Cindy Mullen’s home, adjacent to the wedding site, for out-of-town folks with kids (and local folks, too, if there’s space available). Please contact Accacia (accaciamaxflanagan@gmail.com or 540-817-9398) if you’d like to partake in this.

If you’ll be attending the welcome dinner and/or farewell breakfast, please do bring your children.  If you haven’t, make sure you let us know that you’re coming at our RSVP Form.

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The Wedding Party part one

May we present to you the BMs — the bridesmaids, bridesman, and best men, who are traveling from near and far (mostly far) to stand up with and for us as we make a really big commitment.

Matt Anderson: “Hallo!  My name is Mathieious Eustapherson von Bismarc Anderson (Matt in formal occasions) and I am an abnormally tall German. I met Griggy when I came to the US to attend one of the most prestigious schools in the modern world…………………….Rockbridge High.  Afterwards I also attended a small liberal arts college called VMI to study Civil Engineering and then I moved to England to finish my schooling with a Masters degree in Project Management (although I spent most of the time touring Irish pubs as part of a musical duo called “The Lacking Trio”).  I am married to a wonderful girl named Kit who is Australian!

Currently I travel the world righting wrongs, building toilets, gracing airports with my presence and honing my skills in photography. For fun I ride a zebra through the Masai Mara trying to get good photos of lions and tigers and bears (No luck with Tigers and Bears, yet).”  (by Adam Good)

Matt Anderson riding a zebra

Matt Anderson riding a zebra

Adam Good: “I am Good! Johnny B. Good! I was born somewhere near Broadway (Not the one with the shows). Because of my passion for shining shoes and marching in parades all day, I enrolled at the Virginia Military Institute where I was constantly harassed by Matt Anderson (He still does sometimes and he really likes puns, which I find annoying). I stayed at VMI so long (I really loved it there) that I eventually got assimilated into the Mullen Family (this is pretty normal, apparently).

I have since graduated and decided to head to New Zealand to trace my roots (I’m part Hobbit). I now spend my days riding my trusty motorcycle through the Riddenmark or going spelunking in the Mines of Moria.”(by Matt Anderson)

Johnny B Good on graduation day

Johnny B. Good on graduation day

“Hello! I’m Andrew Mullen. I’ve known Grigg my entire life, minus a year or two when I was a gibbering, unaware infant. Grigg has known me about 3 years longer than that.

(Grigg and I are brothers)

Two unexhaustive lists. Things I’m good at: cooking, reading, walking the dog. Things I’m bad at: autobiographies.

I currently live in occasionally scenic Pullman WA with my girlfriend Melissa and dog Patxi, but am a Virginia boy at heart. Happy to be traveling home for one of the most important events I’ll attend in my lifetime!”(by Andrew Mullen)

Andrew Mullen and small flower

Andrew Mullen and small flower

Stay tuned to learn about the remaining BMs.

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What’s the deal with the clovers?

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Here are some pictures of the clovers that we’ve found.

You may have noticed a “theme” in the save-the-date card and invitation that you received in the mail. We do really like four-leaf-clovers, it’s true. Is it an Irish thing (did you think your invitation was a St. Patrick’s Day card when you saw the green stamp on the envelope)? Not really. Is it about luck? We are not particularly superstitious, though we do both feel very fortunate — lucky? — to have become part of one another’s lives.

The truth is, Grigg is an expert four-leaf-clover, or 4LC for short, hunter. Give him a patch of grass and he’ll find a lucky clover. Or two. Or a fiver, as we like to call the really rare ones with five leaves. Not long into our courtship, I returned to my office from a meeting, and one of my coworkers said, “Accacia, you had a gentleman caller while you were out.” Grigg had been there (he works in the building next to mine) and left a 4LC in a small vase he made from a test tube and some wire. He later took me to dinner for my birthday and waiting for us on the table was another (fancier) test tube vase with 2 four leaf clovers in it. When we left the restaurant, the host let Grigg know that he’d really made an impression on the female waitstaff.

I, too, was impressed. This seemed like a super power — I had never seen a 4LC in the wild, though with all these green gifts from Grigg, I got to see that they exist. I hoped that on my birthday apple picking trip I might find one.

And I did — it was huge. I jumped and shrieked with excitement. I couldn’t believe that I’d found one, and am sure it is because of Grigg’s clover hunting guidance. It was the first, but won’t be the last. As a matter of fact, during a 4LC excursion into our back yard, together we took in a haul of 31 clovers. That was the last time we were out together, looking for clovers, and know that along with spring comes more clovers.

Be ready for a contest at our wedding. Prizes will be given for the person who finds the most clovers that day.

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Welcome Barbecue and Farewell Breakfast

Many of you are traveling a long way to Lexington, and staying for at least the weekend. As you make your travel plans, please know that Grigg’s parents, Cindy and Grigg Mullen, will be hosting a welcome dinner on Friday evening before the wedding.  Additionally, all four of our parents – Cindy, Grigg, and Chris and Mark Flanagan – are hosting a farewell breakfast on Sunday morning before the newlyweds head off.

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