The inflatable rowboat is perfect for paddling around the water when the water is calm and some light fishing. It has room for four people, an electric pump and fishing rod holders built in. It is located outside the house, adjaecent to the front screened in porch on the east side of the house. Look for the ‘swim at your own risk’ sign on the front of a brown wall. That wall is actually a camouflaged door to a shed that stores outdoor items. There’s a latch on the left side of that wall. Inside the shed is where the inflatable boat and pump is stored, along with its paddles.
Personal Flotation Devices (PFD)
Hanging in the front coat closet you will find personal flotation devices/life jackets. They are required for anyone going out on the water by the US Coast Guard. There are PFDs supplied for small children, youth and adults in that closet. Please return them to this spot so future guests can locate them.
We have 6-burner 65,000 BTU gas grill at the house. It is currently stored next to the garage under a cover. The grill rolls out onto the driveway very easily (just be careful when you lift it up so you don’t break off the side burner and/or work surface). Feel free to enjoy it.
There is a gauge showing the amount of propane available in the tank. Please inform us if the level is low, so we can replace the tank. Instructions to turn on the grill can be found under the lid to the side burner.
Please be sure to turn off the liquid propane tank when you are finished grilling. Please only use three fingers to close or open the tank. You don’t have to tighten it much or the open/close valve could get stuck.
We are also providing a set of grill tools, including several brushes to clean the grates on the grill.
There is an instant hot water dispenser at the kitchen sink. It dispenses very hot water for tea, cocoa or to help with cleaning when dishes need to soak. It’s one of our favorite “extras” to have in a home. We’ve had one in each of our homes together. Be careful because the water is near boiling when it comes out of the tap.
To operate push the handle down to release the child safety latch and then rotate the handle down. Wait a few seconds and the water will dispense.
We love the instant hot water because our family loves hot tea. We collect and sample teas from all over the world. In the glass cabinet above the breakfast buffet area you’ll find our favorite tea, a blend from Stockholm. We left out some for any other tea drinkers who may want to try. It can be found in the glass jar labeled Söderblandning.
Help yourself to some if you are a tea drinker. The little silicon men are tea infusers. You separate the two sections, put a teaspoon of tea in the lower part and join them together again. You then hang it in a cup full of hot water for 3 minutes.
We have three big blue wheeled trash cans that our trash services pick up weekly. We leave them at the top of the hill so that pickups are never missed by accident. If you wish to bring one of them down the hill to the yard you may do so but they must be returned up the hill on Sunday nights for trash collection and before checkout with Sue. Pickup days are on Monday mornings. If Monday is a holiday then trash is picked up on Tuesdays.
We have asked the landscaping service to help keep the beach area on the property adjacent to us clean. We enjoy having the little shoreline right there with the waves that lap the shore but sometimes trash from the lake washes ashore there too. He cleans it for us every Thursday and the adjacent owners’ service also cleans it once a week. When Steve does it for us he puts debris into one of the blue trash cans to be hauled away in our normal trash service. So if you find that one of the bins is full or mostly full it may be due to other guests staying here during that week or the yard service working to keep our view pristine that week. The man who handles our landscaping and yard service is Steve and he typically come by Thursday mornings. Don’t be surprised if you see him! :-)
We all know that Texas can get hot, especially in the summer. While we love all the light that streams in and the amazing water view from the two story wall of windows facing the lake, there is a downside to having so many windows. Heat accumulates and rises in the vaulted area above the living and dining room due to the large windows there.
In 2015 we had all the windows tinted in the living room to decrease that burden and the extra heat there. For that reason we can not use regular cleaning supplies on the windows in the living room, so please don’t clean the windows. Our cleaning crew has special stuff for that.
To make your stay as comfortable as possible, we have added several window units in bedrooms to supplement the central air conditioning. This also allows you to cool the space that you are using. The larger ones are energy hogs by their nature. We ask that you only have them on when someone is in the room.
The central A/C automatically turns off if the doors or windows are left open. As is pretty typical for ac units in Texas if it is asked to run too long at too low a temperature or with doors open, the A/C unit will freeze up. That makes it very uncomfortable in the house. It seems like it is running but it does not cool. You’ll know if you keep dropping the a/c lower but the temperature still rises that the compressor has probably frozen.
If this happens it needs to be turned completely off for at least 30 minutes in order to unfreeze. (At our home in Dallas we have had our AC freeze into a solid block of ice that took 24 hours to thaw out because we kept it running after it froze. This was even in the heat of the Texas summer, which we wouldn’t have believed possible until the a/c technician brought us photos to prove it). You find the A/C controller in the hallway on the main floor, next to the breakfast area.
To keep the a/c condenser from freezing we have put a cooling limit on the thermostat. It can not be set to lower than 72 degrees in the hallway. If the hallway thermostat is at 72 degrees the back bedrooms are likely to reach 3-5 degrees lower than that, as they are generally much cooler than the living room. The downstairs spaces are usually cooler than the rest of the house.
We like to leave the window units all off and the central a/c at 85 degrees between stays in the home. This helps air to continue to circulate and keeps the temperature reasonable without running the electricity bill up too high when the home is vacant.
We struggled with what to do with this room when we bought the home. Originally it was an office for the previous owners. They installed a toilet and a sink inside the room, with no walls of separation. There isn’t enough space in the layout to add a separate room for the bathroom area but it’s a lot of open space. So we left it as a half bath for a while.
Over time we realized there was enough space to add a bed for overflow sleeping space for our guests, even though there’s a toilet inside the same room. We don’t count it as a 6th bedroom, but we have found it to be convenient for us when we host large groups of our own.
Down the line we would like to make this into a full bathroom with outside access from the lake – a cabana bathroom of sorts. But for now we’ve nicknamed it “the throne room” since the room’s limited purpose centers around the toilet, “the throne”.
One of our renters suggested that we add directions to the boat launch, and that is a great idea. The page has already been added to the latest edition of the Welcome Book, but we wanted to post it here too.
The Home Owners Association has a private (locked) boat launch on Lake Drive. You take Tangle Drive westbound back to Hillcrest. Turn right on Hillcrest and then right again on Lake Drive, which is the first road you come up to. Go straight until the road makes a 90 degree turn left. Continue forward a few hundred feet, and the boat ramp with it’s concrete driveway is on your right.
We also added a map and directions to the neighborhood boat launch as well as information how to operate the boat lift.
A hard copy of the Welcome Book can (normally) be found in the kitchen, and we are also happy to mail out guest an electronic copy before the visit.
The range/oven in the kitchen is new in 2015. It is a smooth electric cooktop with flexible dual oven configuration. A special removable divider (the “smart divider”) fits in the middle of the oven to create two cavities – upper and lower – that can heat to different temperatures and cook different recipes at the same time if you wish.
The divider stores in the lower warming drawer if you want to use the whole oven at one temperature.
The different controls for the upper oven and lower oven are clearly marked on the touch screen controls. Both ovens can also do convection bake. The oven automatically adjusts the temperature lower when you select convection bake, as higher temps on convection bake can run hot.
Kitchen Tools & Appliances
The house is stocked with lots of tools and appliances for the kitchen. We have several coffee makers, toasters, blenders, crock pots, microwaves, hand mixers and food processors. We have corkscrews, an electric can opener and several manual ones, baking and mixing sets plus lots of tools like potato mashers and meat tenderizers.
Pots & Pans
We have several different sets of pots and pans in the house – mostly hard anodized and nonstick with a few stainless pans thrown in for the ones who prefer those. There are also baking pans, cookie sheets and pans for cakes and brownies. You shouldn’t have any problem finding what you need to cook for your group. Sorry, our pots & pans are not for use out on the grill, the high heat is too much for them to handle.
We have an extensive set of silverware, containing of large and small spoons, butter knives and steak knives, dinner forks as well as smaller sallad forks, etc. It totals to over 200 pieces, enough even for a large group.
Plates, bowls and cups
You will find an assortment of plastic and porcelain plates, bowls and cups in the kitchen cabinets. There is a set of 40 place settings of regular porcelain plates, salad plates, soup bowls and cereal bowls as well as plastic ones for outdoor dining. The plastic ones in the downstairs kitchen pantry are not single use items, but are intended to be washed (they are dishwasher safe) and reused.