Category: House

Welcome home!

By , August 17, 2011 5:34 am

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Sorry for the lack of updates, but we’ve both been super-busy. Most of that has been because we’ve purchased a new home in Jacksonville, FL. It’s a bit of a Fixer-Upper, but we like it and we think it has a lot of potential. I keep telling everyone that “if it was in good shape, we couldn’t afford it”. 🙂

The actual purchase was a bit of a fiasco, mostly due to me traveling and my bank being pretty much useless. I may tell that story later.

Anyway, I just wanted to post a quick update filling everyone in on our status. I’ll probably post more about the house and what we’re doing with the RV (most likely available for sale in a couple weeks)… Things are starting to settle down a bit, so we should be able to keep up with fairly regular posts.

We’ll cover a bit about the house and what’s been involved there, some of the reasons why we’re settling back down, some of the activities over the past few months and what’s next.

‘Till then!

My First Cut

By , June 2, 2010 12:20 am

Today was the first time I have actually mowed a lawn with a push lawn mower. And it’s not even my lawn! Don’t get me wrong,  I do “yard work”. I just have never mowed grass before. I garden, weed, dig, plant, trim and “landscape”. I don’t cut grass, that’s what brothers, husband or lawn service is for. 🙂

My sister and her husband moved into a house some weeks ago and they have been busy improving the inside and have had no time for the outside. Since this is their first house, they don’t have all the tools to properly maintain a yard. So, Dad had stopped by  to mow the grass a few times.

I wanted to be helpful. So, while everyone was at work I took the newly purchased clippers and trimmed the holly hedge by the front entrance (my old electric edger works so much better!). It seemed to take forever!

After I was done with the hedge (it’s in the third picture), Dad dropped by with the lawn mower and accessories. He showed me how to start and operate it. He cut the first half of the smaller side yard and I finished the other half. I was so proud of myself! 🙂 CatherSideYard

Then we proceeded to do the other side of the front yard. Dad started and then he had to leave. I was left all alone with that scary lawn mower. But I “completed” the remainder of that section. It was hard work! There is a tiny “hill” on that side of the yard and I stalled the mower twice! :S

CatherMainYardDad2 CatherMainYardDad

CatherMainYardMe  CatherMainYardMe3 

So, I “completed” only the front section catherGrassHandof the yard. I left the remainder for my brother-in-law (Sorry Seth!). I was hot, tired, dirty and thirsty.  I came in and drank three glasses of water and ate two mangos. I wanted a green smoothie but was too tired to make it.

The guys make this job look so easy. Guys, thank you! We, women, appreciate you mowing the lawn! Even if we don’t say so, we appreciate it. I have a greater appreciation for lawn service. I’ve seen them work our suburban yard. There are usually three to four men; in about five to ten minutes our yard was cut, edged and blown clean.

I must admit,  there was one casualty. I nicked the coconut fiber mat with the lawn mower by the side door. Sorry guys! :SCatherMowingCasualty The lesson for me: Stick to “yard work” and leave cutting of grass to others.

Finally on the way!

By , October 15, 2009 7:22 pm

JeepBullRun

Well, the house is officially rented and we’re out.  We’ve relocated to Bull Run Regional Park, which is about 20 miles away.  We’ll be here until the 23rd, then start working our way south.  We’ve got at least three days of solid rain forecast and temperatures should be dropping steadily.  That’ll make arranging stuff in the RV a bit more of a hassle, but I guess we should probably get used to it. 😉

The park is pretty nice, but since I’m coming off a sinus infection or smthng and I managed to sprain my ankle a few days ago, I’m not really up to checking it out very much.  Hopefully I’ll get some more pictures and info about the park later.

In the meantime, we just wanted to post up and let everyone know that the adventure has actually and officially begun!

My lovely wife has said that I can’t end this post without showing some of our hard work…  Here’s a couple shots of the kitchen and family room.  You might recognize them from a previous post I made…  Just imagine a big fish tank, some rugs, etc. 😉

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Almost… ready!

By , October 9, 2009 12:43 pm

Charged

Whew!  That pretty much sums up everything since the last update.  Sorry for the lack of updates, but we’ve been really busy and that has pretty much left us in a state of perpetual exhaustion.  The result of which is that I’m now kind of under the weather.  Nothing major, just a lot of flu-like symptoms that I won’t go into. 

However, we’ve gotten a lot done and are almost ready to switch our living quarters to the RV.  The FJR is sold and done.  The Jeep is in relatively decent condition, but still needs some minor front-end work (new drive shaft and ball joints).  I’ll get that done fairly soon.  All the wiring and stuff needed to flat-tow the Jeep are done and she should be good to go.  The RV is in pretty good shape.  All the mechanical stuff that I’m aware of is taken care of.  I still need to install the TV and computers, but it’s otherwise livable.

Also, we have a renter!  It turns out that a bunch of circumstances all lined up and we found a friend who needed a place quickly.  All our other potential candidates bottomed out, so everything is good for our friend to move in.  The lease is signed on our part and there are only a few minor details to take care of before we’re out of the house.

The consolidation of our “stuff” is nearly done.  We have two piles of stuff we want to get into the RV, but I’m pretty sure we’ll have to cut them in half before that’s going to work.  There are some minor things in the garage that will also have to be sorted out, but the majority is complete.

We have to be back in the area for personal and family events by the 15th, so there’s basically not much point in us going anywhere.  However, we have to be out of the house before then, so we’re probably going to move into the RV and get a site at a local regional park I found.  It’s big, not too far away and peaceful.  :)  We’ll probably be there for about two weeks before we head off. 

The good thing about that is that it will give us a chance to actually live in the RV and determine what we need to fix or change before we really get out on our own.  I’ll still have tools and friends in the area so I can hammer out whatever needs to be done before I have to “give up” everything and make do with whatever we can fit in the RV.

We’ll post again if anything odd occurs, or when we actually get into the RV… whichever happens first. 😉

Our House Feels Like A Clearance Sale

By , September 12, 2009 12:37 pm

The list of stuff to do is still large, but it’s not as big as it was. Unfortunately, most of the items are only partly done.  Each seems to carry along some other task to complicate things.  Here are a few examples:

  • We’ve set up a new mail forwarding service, but still have to put in change of address stuff with the post office and notify a bunch of companies of the new addresses.
  • The RV has another temp tag and the inspection is done.  Unfortunately, we’re still waiting on a title so we can register it and get a real tag.
  • The basement shelves and most of the furniture are gone, but I still have to get rid of a bunch of stuff that was on the shelves.
  • I ordered new bushings for the Jeep because they disintegrated last weekend.  Unfortunately, they won’t be here until sometime tomorrow and the Jeep can’t really be used until they’re done.
  • We’ve got a lot of stuff to give to friends.  Unfortunately, I can’t get it to them due to the Jeep issue.
  • I’ve got all the hardware needed to get the TV installed in the RV, but I don’t want to do that until we’re done using it in the house.
  • The FJR is sold!  Gone!  Outta here!  No strings attached on this one. 🙂
  • KLRonGOI was planning on getting some errands run with the KLR (my other motorcycle), but it died today so I’ve now got to deal with getting it to a dealer for a factory recall (again, need the Jeep to tow it).   Thanks go out to Charles from OCC for the assist in getting the KLR running enough to get me back home! 🙂

Anyway, you get the idea.  It seems that everything we do gets us closer to rolling out, but also generates a bunch more work to go with it.  Actually, it’s much more likely that I just underestimated the amount of work that was needed in the first place.  😉

Ah well, time to do some more sorting of the garage.  Hopefully I’ll have something more interesting to report in a day or two.

There used to be a table there…

By , August 25, 2009 4:46 pm

BareKitchen

I’m not going to bother showing the other rooms, but we’re now rid of a table, a couch and loveseat set, a bed, a bunch of lamps, a weight set, a treadmill, a patio furniture set, a bunch of pictures, a couple hundred DVDs, and a bunch of other stuff I can’t remember right now.  We’ve got more friends coming over to get some more furniture and rugs and we’re well on our way to emptying out the last ten years of “gathering” we’ve done in our house.

We’ve done some other necessary fixes as well…  deck has been refinished, tile ordered to replace a few cracked ones in the bathroom, problematic electrical sockets rewired, screw holes in drywall respackled, wood repainted and sealed, etc.  Nothing major, just a lot of little stuff to get done before we roll out.

Of course, there are some bigger things that still need to get done…  The huge and heavy bedroom set has to go to Dasy’s brothers’ place, along with the dining room set.  I have at least one motorcycle to sell, maybe two (I’m still waffling on the second one), a camper trailer to find a home for, a set of off-road Jeep tires to get rid of (and probably a ton of other Jeep parts), piles of computer stuff to get rid of, etc.  Oh… and the fish tank.  :S

And finally, we’ve still got some RV stuff to take care of.  There were some issues with the title, so we’re still on temp tags and aren’t registered.  We need to get inspected, install some new vent fans, fix the plumbing (done!), wire up some more electrical bits, clean out the black water tank, replace the black water drain valve (leaks – ick!), replace the screen door handle, etc. 

I did find out one of the sources of our dead batteries though…  someone installed the battery charger backwards, so it was constantly draining the main battery whether it was plugged in or not (that’s now taken care of and the battery is charging as I type). 

So, not much exciting stuff going on, but plenty of work. The goal is to be on the road by mid-September, which is rapidly approaching.  We’ll let you know how it’s working out.  Expect a post or two a week until we actually get going.

Getting ready…

By , August 11, 2009 6:50 am

Not a whole lot of technical info about the RV for you this time… We picked it up from the shop last night and drove it home during a wicked storm.  The front brake caliper slides had rusted a bit and the guys at the shop pulled them apart, cleaned them up, greased the slides and slapped it all back together.  They also fixed the emergency/parking brake for us.  Good timing, because we’re heading out Wednesday for a short trip down to Tennessee to meet up with a bunch of family.  That’ll be a “shake-down” for the RV and should give us a slightly better feel for it and what needs to be done than the three day haul back from Texas.  We’re still having charging issues, but I’ll check on that today and take enough tools and cables to jump it or charge it if needed.

As far as getting ready for everything else that goes along with this…

We’ve pretty much let all friends and family know about our plans.  The reactions were completely from one end of the spectrum to the other.  I expected that, but Dasy was a little taken aback by some of the responses.  We’re fine now though… everyone is different and has their own opinions.  We take a little bit of good advice away from everyone we talk to about our future travel plans. 😉

LockBox We now have a “get moving” motivator…  Our house is now listed for rental.  We had our real estate agent over to get her assistance in renting out our place.  She was incredibly helpful and gave us a lot of details about how to get decent tenants.  In short, the rent we’re asking (for a quite large house) is a bit on the high end of the spectrum.  Add to that a qualification of two incomes and that helps narrow down the list a bit.  Finally, they’ve basically got to have three months rent available to move in (deposits, real estate company fees, etc).  That may rule out some people who otherwise would consider it, but if it ensures a decent family who will take care of the place gets in, I’m all for it.

There are tons of other little things keeping us busy…  Getting rid of furniture, repairing bit of the house, arranging for someone to refinish the deck, power washing the siding, getting the Jeep ready, getting two motorcycle ready for sale, arranging to have the RV windshield replaced (glass is in, just waiting to get the RV back from the shop), getting rid of my fish, etc.  We have a LOT of stuff, a LOT to do and not a LOT of time to do it.  Today’s task is the patio furniture.  I’ll be spending the morning clearing off my trailer to make room for it all.

We’ll keep you posted as we go and I’ll let you know how the RV is when we next get it rolling.

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