Wednesday, March 25, 2015 PART 2 – Here’s what’s left of the dirt grading and gravel grading. We had a load of gravel delivered to raise the RV pad, create a second parking space in front of the RV and lengthen the renter’s drive way to beyond the back of the house.
Here’s a couple of pics of getting ready to landscape!
I am behind on my blogging, so much is happening and I’m pretty worn out!
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 – What a day this has been!
The day finally arrived for the final grading. That means we no longer see the infamous culvert and hope to never see it again! The difficult to walk down back hill is now graded and much easier to navigate. The three piles of dirt in the back yard are history! The septic tank is much more covered so it’s not as obvious. The RV pad is at its correct height filled with gravel. The parking space in front of our RV has been doubled to accommodate visits. The driveway for the house was extended to past the back of the house to make it easier to get in the back door with groceries or whatever! The landscaping can be done, getting all the bushes off the RV patio and into the ground around the house. The grass seed can be spread!
We moved Dora out to the street so the dozer could have room to do it’s thing. We also sat outside with our contractor most of the day watching the work being done. At the end of the day our pockets were much more empty but our yard looks beautiful and even.
Ronnie’s contracting work here is done now. He’s been a fabulous contractor with his guidance and all his subcontractors. We appreciate all the great care he took of us and the expertise he showed throughout the whole process. We could never have done this without him.
After that was done Roy and I went to Lowe’s and stocked up on grass seed, mucho many bags of top soil and brown mulch (never have figured out why people would buy the black or red mulch). Tomorrow, Thursday, will be landscaping and grass seed spreading day. This is probably our last step in the whole process, other than watering the seeds every day until we leave so they will germinate and grow well.
Now to get a good renter!!
Here are pictures of some of the dirt work. I took tons of pictures and really want to show them all. I am including 20 pictures today in this post. I’ll create a second post of just pictures with the rest. Feel free to skip most if you want but I know some folks will want to see every one of them and I want to be able to look back at all of them at some point in the future.
Monday, March 23, 2015 – Spent all morning updating the house for rent photo album with current pictures, deleting the ads on 23 Facebook group pages and posting new ads with a link to the updated pictures. Here’s the current pictures (as if you haven’t seen enough pictures of this house!). Click on the link below to go to the album:
Roy went fishing and brought in about 8 perch that he cleaned and fried for our lunch!! What a treat to eat fresh out the pond fish!
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 –
Roy and I sat outside this morning drinking our coffee for about an hour. The beautiful oak leaves are coming in bigger and bigger each day now. The birds were all out chirping and making beautiful sounds. Such a morning reminds me why we love this lifestyle. I’m so thankful that God allowed us to do this and is with us each and every day.
Five years ago mid May of this year I’ll have been using my CPAP for sleep apnea 5 years. That means I’m eligible for new equipment. But we won’t be here in Louisiana then (hopefully!) and our local company Life Care Medical can’t ship to us. This means we have to find a new company to handle this who can ship to us country wide. I began working with LINCARE this morning to make a transition to them. They have all my information and now I’m just waiting for them to contact me with a status of getting set up with them. Just another little thing that has to be taken care of for us to continue living on the road. This equipment is critical in stopping me from having more TIAs so I need to make sure this is in place. This is what my CPAP machine looks like. This may be an older model because when I searched for pictures there were lots of other ones but this was the only one I found. When my 5 years is up I hope to get the latest and greatest.
Elizabeth Halpin Smith came to visit today to bring Roy a back up drive that wasn’t working. Of course my brilliant computer husband got it working and is transferring all the files to a new one. We always love it when Elizabeth visits and we got to show her the new house and this beautiful land. No pictures of our visit, just know that we both had bit smiles on our faces from her visit!
Todd Hampton, our dozer man pulled up a little bit ago and dropped off his dozer to begin work tomorrow morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When our contractor, Ronnie, called to say Todd was on his way was a Hallelujah moment for sure. This is the very last step of work someone else does in this whole house building process. Roy and I will be spreading centipede seed and planting all the plants we purchased when this grading is finished. Then the grass should start growing 2-3 weeks later and finally the yard and landscaping is done!!!
We have to wake up very early so we can move Dora back out into the street so the dozer can deliver more dirt and gravel in the space Roy created with the cross ties last week. Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!
Our dear friends, Pat and Amy, and my sister and brother in law came to visit today. We’ve known Pat since I was very young when she and my mom became close friends. Amy is Pat’s youngest after Julie and Billy. No matter where they have lived we have remained almost like family throughout the years. We showed them the house, had a very nice visit outside by the RV and then took the party to LaCaretta in Amite. It was wonderful to catch up on everyone’s family. Thanks Pat for the delicious lunch and to both you and Amy for a great visit!
When we came back from lunch Lowe’s was delivering the remainder of our appliances: range, refrigerator, washer/dryer. Now our kitchen and laundry room are complete and we’re ready for someone to move in.
Roy got these stepping stones the other day. We will put them from the right side of the front porch to the driveway on the right side of the house.
Now to find the perfect renter! I have an ad going in the Hammond newspaper next Friday, Saturday and Sunday since we haven’t found a renter through Facebook. Also going to put flyers in the local businesses. Our goal is to have it rented by April 1st but time is slipping away so we have to crank it up a bit.
Sunday, March 22, 2015 – The Oyster Festival is this weekend in Amite with a parade and a street party. Roy and I went to it Sunday afternoon. Pics from that to come later.
I slept 15 hours Saturday night from 9 pm Saturday until Noon on Sunday. I seem to get really worn out when visiting and trying to appear to have it all together for a period of time. I thought I did okay Saturday with our guests but sleeping 15 hours after the visit seems to be a recovery thing. Not real thrilled with the changes in me from this brain shrinking thing. But I am more than thankful to still have the really good days I have.
Our property didn’t get graded today like we hoped, but Monday it might!! We bought centipede grass seed to spread when that’s done. Looking forward to a fully finished property and house! And a great renter!
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 – Yippe, yippe, yay! Around noon today Washington St Tammany Electric Co-op pulled into our driveway and in the street hooking up the finishing piece giving us electricity to the house. It was kind of cool watching the man get in the bucket and get lifted way up high to do his thing. Not sure why three trucks were needed but hey we have electricity now so….. Thank you Ms. Sandra for your patience with all my calls!
Now the final fun begins. We will finally be able to turn the lights on to see how they really look and will be able to see well enough inside to clean the tubs, bathrooms, inside of cabinets and everything. I loved being able to see today while I scrapped sheet rock mud out of the bathrooms and scraped the floor getting ready for the floors to be sealed. Also enjoyed the fans being on cooling down the house!
Now that we have power the air conditioner was hooked up this afternoon, another big thing! Now it will run all night to start drying out the air and floors in the house. The last of the money is is flowing – not much more to go!
A wonderful couple came to see the house today and someone is coming tomorrow and another is coming Saturday so hopefully soon we’ll have it rented!
Thursday, March 19, 2015 – Our stained concrete guy, Roy Bankston came this morning to put several layers of floor sealer on the stained floors and put the Fleur de Lis down. We’ll leave it for two days to dry before moving the appliances into the kitchen and laundry room. It needs another coat or two but that will come.
Roy finished putting down all of the cross ties yesterday and promised me he will rest today…………
Only thing left is a little wrap up for the electrician and plumber and the final dirt grading which will include covering the culvert with dirt. Then we can plant the bushes and some grass to wrap everything up ! Whoop whoop!!
Just found out we’ll have Madisyn one night/day next week and a few days during the week after Easter! Fun times! We are having a couple of dear friends from Clinton, MS, my sister and brother in law coming to visit Saturday morning so it’s clean up time around here tomorrow.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 – Woke up to the sun shining and thought I’d see an electric company truck out there hooking up our power – but no! I called the nice lady at the electric company and she checked with the man in charge of making that happen and they won’t be here until Wednesday…………………… So I called our contracted and he had to push everything back another day!
After depleting every bit of anything Roy had in his body yesterday working on the culvert he got just enough rest last night so he forgot how horrible that was. This morning he ordered a bunch of cross ties (railroad things) to make a form around the RV. He says it will help him with backing Dora into the spot and it will help keep the gravel where it’s suppose to be instead of in the yard. I just helped him move the one in the picture above to the other side of the RV in the back to line up with the ones that’s done. He did comment that he thinks he bit off more than he can chew with this project. After carrying around a total of 6400 pounds of concrete yesterday and then tackling these big things, I agree. Anyone who wants to come on out to Amite tomorrow and help Roy will be welcomed!
Here’s what it looked like after he put it into place.
1.5 done, only 5.5 left! We got these at Gabriel’s Building Supply in Amite for around $12 each. They also have them at Abita Lumber in Abita Springs for around the same price. Abita Lumber also has some of a lower quality for a little over $4 each. If you’re working on your spring garden those might be the one’s to buy!
I took my first turn around the yard on our lawn mower as grass and weeds have been growing for a couple of weeks. It looks much prettier now! It’s been quite a while since I’ve had dirt and dust under my eyelids, in my nose, all in my very clean hair and every other place it gets when you cut grass and a lot of dirt! Can’t wait to have grass in the front yard. It was all dug up early in the construction process.
Looking forward to electricity being connected tomorrow, our electrician wrapping up his work and the air conditioner being connected and turned on!
Saturday, March 14, 2015 – Today was showing the house for rent day! I really don’t know what to say except that God is so good! The first young lady who came has three boys and when she left I felt so blessed to have been given the opportunity to meet her. She’s the one we want for our renter, no question. Everything about her checked out great so we asked to be our renter. She’s praying about it, as are we. She visited it again Monday so we are just waiting to hear from her. We haven’t considered anyone else who is interested so I’m praying that it’s God’s will for she and us to be landlord/renter in the near future.
Now if we can just get the electric company to run the line we can wrap up having the floor sealed, lights turned on and final clean up done. Then it will be ready to be moved into! If you’ve followed our blog any length of time you know this is the point we’ve been working so hard to get to.
Monday, March 16, 2015 – The digging part of the electric company just finished their work. Yay for really nice guys showing up and saving the day! Now we are waiting for the crew to put in the electric meter which will either be this evening or in the morning! Here’s pictures of the guys digging today. It was such a joy to see them!
The daily big rains have ceased for a bit, see how high the water in the picture is and how much pollen has started moving in! Roy’s working on his Plan B for the culvert and it involves rebarb, strong wire, lots of concrete bags, some loose concrete and a lot of sweat. Here’s pictures of where he is on this. The plants we purchased are not planted yet but will be after dirt grading is done. Now that the digging up of the yard by the electrical digging is done, we’re ready for Todd to come back and make outside as pretty as inside is! Three of the plants I purchased were Knock Out Roses and they had no leaves on them when I bought them. Now look at them! First picture is a month ago and the second was the morning!
We been looking at what looked like a paddle boat at the other end of the pond. Roy and I walked over there and found this is what it is. The grey smaller boat is now on our end of the pond. Don’t know who they belong to but we’d love to have somethings like this to float around the pond in!
It’s 83 degrees here today and while I know it will return to the 70s for a little longer this is not the temps we like to live in. The RV isn’t as insulated as a house so when the heats beating in we close all the curtains and hope it will stay below 75 in here. Last year this time we were in San Diego, Texas ans the weather was 106 in early April so we know that’s not where we’ll be heading when we leave here. As much as I want to see the southern part of the west we may be heading to the north west or maybe the central west first. If the house is rented out we will be leaving here on April 12th.
This means we have been in Louisiana for almost a year. We do love it here but soon we’ll be on the road we will go out west for as many months as we can do it!
This has been quite a day. Yesterday we thought that there wouldn’t be any construction going on today. Man were we wrong! I have to say the following in big letters, so pretend I’m standing on the roof shouting this to the world:
I ABSOLUTELY LLLLOOOOVVVVEEEE THIS HOUSE WE ARE BUILDING!!!!!!!!!!! WOW, WOW, WOW!!
The transformation from yesterday to today (sheetrock and columns) make the house look much more finished and much more what we dreamed it would look like.
The sheet rock crew showed up early this morning,instead of Monday, and by the time I woke up already had the ceiling sheet rocked! By 2 o’clock they had the sheet rock hung in the entire house! The purple sheet rock in the pictures is where water might affect it so it’s water resistant. We can see rooms take shape and really love it even more. All of the rooms are good size and we couldn’t be happier!
The vinyl siding and columns guys game back this morning so there were trucks everywhere with every one working inside and out! Our contractor Ronnie came to check out things before he leaves for Disneyworld with his family for a week. Our concerns about the window header yesterday have been resolved. We compromised. We kept the headers which will now be painted to match the real white of the window wrapping. Also the space between the header and the large board of wrapping will be caulked to close in that space making it all look like one piece. I wanted the piece along the top of the window to be removed to but the header against the large board but that would cause a problem with water getting behind the header so like I said we compromised. Floyd our vinyl siding guy is on a plane right now heading to Colorado so the “fix” will happen when he return.
Yesterday there were sticks holding the porch up, today there are beautiful columns. I’ll say it again, I LOVE THIS HOUSE! Sure wish the sheet rock trailer wasn’t in the way but you can see how great it’s turning out!
Roy bought some 10 inch massive nails to nail into trees for hanging my new bird feeders on. I just love these feeders and hope they attract lots of happy birds to come visit us!
Madisyn will be here soon so I want to wrap this up and get ready for the fun and activity we’ll have with her! A campfire and Smores are on the agenda!!
Ya’ll have a LOVELY VALENTINES! and Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!
Thursday, February 12, 2015 – I went to a local wholesale nursery, where I use to work, to buy all the shrubs for the front of our house and to hide the air conditioning unit and the water well shed. I bought 6 Encore Azaleas (they flower all summer unlike regular azaleas that only flower for less than a month.) Also bought 3 Knock Out Rose bushes, 6 Camellias and 3 Adagio Grass. The Adagio Grass is the three dead looking tall grass things on the end. The grass plants be cut back shortly and will come out beautiful, green and luscious! All the bushes are all lined up on the RV’s patio waiting for the yard to be graded and beds prepared. We hope to have the grading done soon which will give the freshly planted bushes a while before we leave to take hold.
While I was out I stopped at Brown’s Bakery on Highway 16 where I purchased some bavarian cream stuffed cupcakes. Oh my what a treat that was! I also bought some decorative bird feeders to hang on the trees, including on that is shaped like an old time camper with a pink flamingo out front. That one will be hung by our RV patio!
Roy built the roof for the water well shed and installed it. Probably not something he should have tried to do by himself but he did it well. Tomorrow it should be painted and will be finished.
Friday, February 13, 2015 – The vinyl siding installers came back today. The wall insulation man also came and did his thing. Here’s pictures and a short video of the insulation guys doing their thing!
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Lots of pictures of the vinyl siding guys. They wrapped the windows with an exterior 2 x 4 wood frame which is then covered with vinyl to match the windows. It creates a more substantial looking window than just a regular window. Only the front four at our house are being wrapped because it ain’t cheap! We’re leaving the shutters off because we really like the look we chose. You’ll see the process throughout the pictures and I warn I took lots of pictures of this!
The sun is setting now and the columns are not finished so I’ll not try to take a picture of anything now, but take them in the morning and post the finished result then in the next blog. Earlier, Roy had to ask the guys to stop putting in the window headers since they are narrower than the windows and not connected to the top of the window. They just look weird so we’ll have to wait for larger ones to come in before the whole exterior is finished. There is a picture below that has the weird looking header installed but remember it’s going away! I also took a picture of one of the side windows without the window wrapping so you could see the difference between regular and wrapped. Once the columns are finished, the house exterior will be almost finished except for the correct headers and the porch railings. Roy will be installing the railings soon.
Roy rarely just sits around lately but this morning was so cold and he didn’t want to be in the way of the workers so we built a campfire and I took a shot of him actually chillin! There is also a picture of the flower bed I created next to the RV patio with all the little clippings I brought with us from our Wardline house! There are regular azaleas, orange/yellow lantanas, gardenias, ferns and other random small plants! Most are hidden right now by the pine mulched I covered them all with. By the time we get back here later this year or next they should all be growing well. Might even happen before we leave! Check out the signs of green rye grass starting to FINALLY sprout!
00The sheet rock was just delivered ready to be hung, etc. etc. next week! Yay for walls!
There will be no building going on this weekend but we will have a special visit from Madisyn for Valentines AND she’s going to church with us Sunday! Yahoooooooo!