Sunny Blog

Learn about what's going on at the house and at Cedar Creek Lake

Air Conditioning – Update

As we mentioned previously, we have sensors on the doors to detect if they are being opened, and the thermostat will then turn off the air conditioning in order to avoid wasting electricity. Unfortunately one of the sensors was damaged recently, and we have disabled the automatic turn-off of the air conditioning. So we ask our guests to make sure you close all doors as quickly as possible and don’t leave them (or any windows) open while it is warmer outside than inside.

We have also added an additional air vent in the upstairs TV room. This should cool down that room faster. If you keep the door to the bathroom open it will help cool that room as well.


Boat Lift

We have an electric boat lift on our dock so you can bring your own boat while you stay at Sunny Mornings. A few weeks ago it broke, and we had to get the GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter, also known as GFCI) replaced. The lift is now working, but we realized that we should explain a little bit more about how it works.

Ground Fault Interrupter on dock

Ground Fault Interrupter on dock

The electrical power to the lift as well as to the lights on the dock goes through a conduit along the side of the dock. On the land side of the dock, on the concrete wall of the old boat house, you find a GFI and two electrical outlets under a protective cover. If the orange light is on, the GFI has tripped and there is no power to the dock. Press the reset button and you should head an audiable click and the light should go off. Please do not use the switch to the left of it.

On the dock there is a handle that regulates the lift (marked up – off – down). There is also another handle switch that turns on and off the overhead lights. It is located high on one of the horizontal beams. The light at the end of the dock has a light sensor and comes on at dusk and turn off at dawn.


Air Conditioning – Part 2

As mentioned in an earlier post, we have several systems in place to handle the cooling. In the past we have had renters who left the doors open with the air conditioning running full blast. Not only does that use (and waste) enormous amounts of electricity, it can also cause the air conditioning unit to work so hard that it will actually freeze up.

Open/Closed sensor similar to the ones installed at Sunny Mornings

Open/Closed sensor similar to the ones installed at Sunny Mornings

To prevent this we have installed sensors on the doors that will detect if they are opened. After a pre-determined time period (currently 1 minute) the thermostat is automatically turning off the cooling until the doors are closed again. However if the doors are left open for an extended time the air conditioner have to work really hard trying to cool down the house again, and it can take some time, or even cause the system to freeze up.

It is important to note that setting the thermostat to a lower temperature will not cool down the house faster. The system will cool down the air at a fixed speed, the only thing the thermostat is doing is to stop the cooling process when the target temperature has been reached. If you set the temperature too low, the air conditioner will never reach the target temperature and the system will continue to attempt to cool. So please set the target temperature to a reasonable level. Take in consideration that this is an older house with less insulation as well as big windows facing the lake.

SweatingBoyMost air conditioners are not designed/able to lower the temperature more than about 20 degrees. So don’t expect to be able to keep the temperature inside at 70 degrees when it is 100 degrees outside, especially if the doors are being opened and closed constantly.

If the detectors at the door are ripped off, damaged or removed, the computerized system will think the door is open, and the thermostat will keep the air conditioner turned off. If this happens, contact the us at once.

There are also several fans, including a powerful vortex fan in the living room. It will help circulate the air and help cool down the living room area.

So to keep the house as cool as possible:

  • keep the doors open only short times to keep cold air inside
  • try to reduce the times doors are opened as much as you can
  • make sure the doors are fully closed and sensors not damaged
  • use the fans to circulate the air to help cool air reach warm areas
  • don’t over-extend the air conditioning to avoid it freezing up

By following these tips, you will have a nice and comfortable stay at Sunny Mornings!

Inflatable Rowboat

Inflatable rowboat

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.

The Grill

GasGrill_OpenWe 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.

Instant Hot Water

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.

TeaWe 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.

If you like it, you can also order the tea online directly from the tea store in Stockholm or from Scandinavian stores in the US.



Trash Pickups on Monday mornings

BlueTrashCanWe 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! :-)


Air Conditioning

Loft_LakeViewWe 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.

Upstairs_BedroomSmallTo 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.

The story behind the “Throne Room”

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.

ThroneRoomOver 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”.

Directions to Boat Launch

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.

You find the gate key (attached to a yellow floating device) hanging on the hooks next to the kitchen door. Enjoy!