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!
Thursday, March 12, 2015 – Nothing to report on the construction progress. It’s pretty much at a stand still, until the electric company runs the permanent electric lines “early next week”. Hopefully next week will be the actual wrap up week, like I thought this week would be!
We have a couple with children interested in the house, and hopefully they will come this weekend to see it.
Roy’s been under Dora, our RV, all day working on the water tank. It hasn’t been registering the correct amount of water for a while. The sensors inside send signals to the display board showing if it is Empty, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 or Full. When the sensors don’t work correctly it’s difficult to tell if we need water or not. This really only is important if we are boon docking or on the road but while we’re sitting here and nothing is happening at the house he’s getting it checked out. Right now he is doing a complete cleaning of the fresh water tank using a product we bought for that purpose.
The rain we’re currently experiencing hasn’t affected the culvert in the back, thanks goodness! it’s raining pretty steady right now so tomorrow may bring a different story. Roy is waiting for the rain to be over to bring in more cement bags which he’ll use along with a bunch of re-barb he purchased for Plan B!
Social Security Update: I received a call from Social Security in South Dakota yesterday morning. They need me to complete a self employment job history which basically is moving my work for RV Friend Network from the original form I put it on to a new form. They also need a letter from the state retirement group stating my gross monthly retirement amount. I sent a letter to LASERS (because they wouldn’t accept a phone request) asking them to send a letter to SS with the amount. I was able to get in touch with Dr. Noguchi (retina specialist) who is going to send SS a physicians report about my macular degeneration. I have a phone interview scheduled for tomorrow morning with SS in Hammond to apply for SSI which the South Dakota office said I should apply for also. The man I spoke to this morning to schedule this interview said I have an open request in their system already so at least I know something has happened!
I’ve decided to stop publishing my Alzheimer’s blog on a regular basis. I have covered everything I personally know, especially the things that were most important to me to share to help someone. Also, I previously collected a lot of material to use for the blog and somehow I’ve deleted it all and there is no trash bin to recover it from. Since informing others about dementia is an important thing to me I will continue saving information as I see it but doing the research is more difficult for me now so I need to cut back. Getting frustrated about things I cannot do only stresses me so I will not do those things when I have control over it. I won’t completely stop publishing it, just not on a regular basis.
I still do my Wacky Wonderful Wednesday blog and hope to continue that as long as I am able to. Having encouragement and being uplifted is so important to all of us and I enjoy all the funny, heartwarming things I come across so I’ll continue with that. If you haven’t check it out yet, please do by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page!
RVillage is now at 17,336 members and is celebrating its 1 year anniversary today. They are now out of Beta mode which is a huge milestone! Any of you RVers out there who don’t know about RVillage, check them out at http://www.rvillage.com. We are members and love this wonderful new concept which helps so much those who love to connect in their RV life.
My Kindle (the new one) started having charging issues. We tried several chargers and it wouldn’t charge. Roy determined it was the Kindle’s port that is loose or damaged. I called Amazon yesterday to report it and get something done. In an effort to make this story short, I’ll just say that the first man I spoke to was no help. Both Roy and I spoke to him and were frustrated with his lack of knowledge. Thankfully he transferred us to a real technical person, who agreed that the port is the problem so they are sending me a new Kindle and I’ll send back the non-working one. Yay for knowledgeable technical support!
We met the couple that own the property next to the last house down the street from us. They stopped by to see our house and said they would be building on their land. We gave them our contractor’s name and information. They are really nice folks and it will be neat having them as neighbors when we are in town.
Unless something thrilling happens between now and Monday I’ll won’t be posting this weekend.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 – Monday afternoon I went to the grocery. I certainly believe that grocery shopping should be declared an Olympic Sport. First you shop, walking what seems like miles. and you exercise your mind thinking an awful lot. Then you get everything off the shelves into the basket. Then you put everything on the check out conveyor. Then you put all the bags of everything into the car and take out all the bags and haul them into the house (unless you have a helpful husband like mine to help with that.) Then you take each individual item and find a place to hide it. We hide things in the RV because there is just not enough storage to put things in one place. We have many food items stored under the RV even. There really has to be a better way to get food into your home but as of now I don’t know what it is. It doesn’t help any that I bought a rotisserie chicken, turnip greens and friend okra for tonight but before I left home to go to the store Roy said he was going to fr*-y fish tonight and tomorrow night. I thought I did so good but oops! At least the chicken and vegetables will keep.
As I was leaving to go participate in my Olympic activity I saw our plumber, Chris Wrinkles arrive with the two remaining faucets – one for kitchen and one for master bath. Here’s Chris and his handy, dandy side kick doing their work. Chris can be reached at 985-542-9567. He’s from Hammond and is an excellent, friendly plumber to work with.Our air conditioning men came Monday evening to install the outside air conditioning unit. We originally planned to get a 13 SEER rated unit but new guidelines as of January 1st say we must have a 14 SEER so of course we started off over budget on that one! At least it means we’re getting the latest and greatest and it’s now in place! It can’t be fully connected until the permanent electricity is hooked up.
Ronnie, our contractor, said the concrete stainer said the floors are sweating due to the damp weather. He said that the air conditioning needs to run for a while before the floors can be sealed. Don’t want to seal the floor with sweat on it!
My Roy put the glass shelves in our medicine cabinets this morning and I scrubbed up paint and dirt clumps off the floors. Here’s a pic of the inside of the medicine cabinet.
Warning: Big Rant Below…………..
We can’t have air conditioning without having electricity. So I called Washington St. Tammany Electric Cooperative this morning to check on the status of the request we submitted 8 days ago. At first no one could find a record of our request (even though I spoke to an engineer and two other people and completed the request 8 days ago). Roy spoke to the engineer last week and was told it was out of his hands and in the construction department. Because of this I asked to speak to someone in the construction department. Instead I was transferred to the very nice lady Sandra McDaniel who helped me open our accounts several weeks ago. She was able to see in her system that they mailed us a letter last Friday saying we had to pay the $300 for the work BEFORE they put us on the list. That letter has never reached us so I asked if I could pay over the phone, which I did. After getting the confirmation number and calling Sandra back she checked into the status. When she called the news was that we are in line now (8 days later) and the earliest they could get to it is early next week. I know this is not her fault and she was only passing along the bad news so I tried my best not to come unglued. She’s been so helpful all along and I just hope that someone along the line will get something done quickly.
Not only can’t the floors be sealed until the electricity is connected but the final dirt grading can’t be done because the electric company’s work would mess that up, and the electrician’s work can’t be finished, nor the air conditioning work completely finished until then. We had all those folks lined up this week knowing that the time period the electric company originally gave us would have been over with. Now we have to inconvenience these subcontracts, who have been so great, by them all having to come back again. Plus our floor sealer is going on vacation later this week. And the appliances can’t be delivered until the floors are sealed. It’s a confusing order of events but Ronnie had it worked out so well and now it’s all blow apart because the electric company chose to mail us a letter instead of picking up the phone and calling us, or if one of the three people I spoke to last week had told us we needed to pay in advance. Very poor business processes and I asked Sandra to pass that along to someone who could possibly change that for other people in the future.
We were also told that Dottie (the people who mark where there are underground lines running) had to come out and that took three days. Roy told me they already did that two days ago and that is why we have fresh new orange markings on the ground. I called Sandra back and she said she’d check on that but also the other delay is that there are other people ahead of us. Really?????? There wouldn’t have been people in front of us had the company handled it right. The weather was perfect this morning for their work and now we’re facing three days of rain . I’ve worked in business for over 40 years and know well that exceptions can ALWAYS be made, especially when the business’ practices caused the problem.
We have two couples who are very interested and one wants to move in this weekend if possible, so there possibly goes a tenant.
If any of ya’ll know someone high up in Washington St. Tammany Electric Cooperative please let us know so we can contact them.
Sorry for all these rants, you know this is not my usual style. Had to vent fully somewhere and didn’t have enough space on facebook!
Sunday, March 8, 2015 – Sure hope the time change treated you well. I messed up and slept late, late.
Our contractor, Ronnie Glover, warned us that around this time we’d get overwhelmed and really tired of the construction, ready for it to be over with. He was spot on right! Thank goodness everything should wrap up this coming week!
Roy finished up installing the shower rods, bath towel rings, towel bars, toilet paper holders, and window screens this weekend.
He also moved dirt from the pile to behind and around the water well shed where the bulldozer can’t reach. The man DOES NOT STOP!
Monday the painter and trim carpenter will e here to put their finishing touches on. Tuesday the concrete stain man will be installing our Fleur de Lis and sealing the floor. No one comes in Wednesday to give the sealant a chance to cure, dry, or whatever they call it!
We’ve had lots of inquiries about the house for rent but no appointments scheduled, YET!
Monday, March 9, 2015
Here’s Toxey Koehn, 985-634-8856 our painter and his assistant Chris, painting the window headers and touching up what others nicked, dinged, or gouged! And Joe our trim carpenter, 985-969-0533 who installed the bathroom trim this morning and other pieces that couldn’t be done until now. Our plumber, Chris Wrinkles will be back to finish up his work once the new faucets are received. Our electrician, Jerry Joiner, will be back once the permanent electricity is run to the house.
My Macular Degeneration update: I returned to my retina specialist for a very long visit. My eyes wouldn’t dilate and after a second try it dilated. This happened last year with my regular eye specialist but that time they had to dilate them three times. Dr. Noguchi, said my tests showed that the macular hole I have has changed. It didn’t look like it went any deeper but the top and bottom are the same width now. Before the bottom was narrower than the top. Now it looks like an even hole top to bottom. It hasn’t gone through enough to need surgery but it explains the increase in the vision hole size that I see. I’m glad I went before we rent the house and leave town. She said for me to come back in a year, but if I notice significant additional changes she would find a specialist near wherever we are. I love doctor’s who are willing to work with our transient life style.
Social Security Disability update: Filled out the requested job history forms for 2012, 2013 and 2014 (multiple pages each year). Sent those, information about my 1983 income (yes 1983) and Dr. Shamsnia’s report to Social Security in Sioux Falls, SD. Calling Dr. Noguchi tomorrow to get her report and still waiting on LA Dept. of Revenue to send me some information I requested about 2007 taxes. Hopefully that will take care of everything they asked for but I don’t know when we’ll hear anything.
Saturday, March 7, 2015 – FINALLY the counter tops and cabinets are finished being installed and we are happy with them. The crown molding was installed today and the door that was hinged on the right is now hinged on the left. We’ve paid them in full and are happy to have that behind us. This was the only part of the construction part where we chose who to buy from, all the rest were Ronnie’s usual subcontractors. This was the only part that we had problems with. The end result we’re happy with, just getting them to correct all the things they did wrong, along with them NEVER, not once, showing up when they were suppose to, added to a huge communication barrier because of them being Chinese and not speaking much English, was a PAIN!
Roy installed the decorative wood supports under the breakfast bar. After finding out that the studs weren’t where the original pictures showed they were, Roy made some adjustments to get them spaced properly. This is something that I did a lot of research to see what I’d like it to look like and I think what Roy came up with is perfect. The molding behind them is not painted yet.
He also installed most of the door knobs today. They are not exciting to look at so I’ll just show a couple!
I swept the house out again, took boxes to our burn pile and washed out the tubs (love the running water). There is a good bit of sheet rock mud stuck to the tubs but that will wait until we have lights and I can see better what I’m doing. Monday I’ll be spending a good bit of time giving the wall corners and around the door baseboards a good cleaning so that all of the paper bits are up and any construction dust is cleaned away before the floor is sealed.
Roy still has the inside of the medicine cabinets to put together, window screens to install, bathroom towel holders and rings to install and the last of the door knobs. I think he has more than that but he’s off to burn the last couple of days trash pile so I can’t ask!
I got exhausted just writing in the title all the things happening today! It still near freezing today in Southern Louisiana! There was ice all over the yard this morning but the sun is shining so it feels nice now.
Roy and I ate at La Caretta Mexican restaurant in Amite last night where we enjoyed their delicious cuisine and really enjoyed their live music playing oldies all evening. Lots of fun and good food made for a wonderful evening out!
Friday, March 6, 2015 – The counter tops guys did not have the cabinet crown molding on their truck. We also didn’t like how they did one piece of quarter molding at the base of the cabinets. They are suppose to bring those and install them in the next couple of days.
The counter tops were finished yesterday and holes drilled for the faucets and soap dispenser. The pictures were taken after yesterday’s blog post but before they wrapped up their work. We LOVE the counter tops and how they look! Only thing better would have been if they were free!
Okay, all of the above was written yesterday evening.
Today brought with it a slew of issues. One cabinet hinges on the wrong side causing the door to open into the edge of the microwave. There was no wood under the counter top over the dishwasher for the plumber to attach the dishwasher to. The back splash behind the sink is cracked. Not where a seam would be, but a real crack. they attempted to fix it but made it look worse so it was not acceptable. Underneath the front of the bar is a real rough chipped out. We learned that trying to talk to Chinese workers is like talking to a brick wall, so the store rep is coming out today to see it all and discuss corrections to all the issues. Thank goodness we’ve only paid for half of their total. At least we’ll have that remaining amount to get them to fix everything and make it right.
The counter top guys drilled four holes for the faucet and soap dispenser behind the sink. When our wonderful plumber Chris Wrinkles set the faucet set up in the space, the handle turning it on and off banged into the bar top edge. The best option was to install it without the piece on the bottom so he could adjust where the handle so it doesn’t hit the bar top edge. However, this makes two unnecessary holes show up. After much discussion Chris worked with Rachel at Coburn’s (great lady, great company) to come up with a different faucet. After a couple of calls and text messages about options we chose one that will work. We ordered the new one. It will be here Monday and Chris will come back to install it then. Just a bump in the road, but on top of the other issues this morning it kind of put a damper on the day. If you have plumbing needs, Chris Wrinkles is the guy to call!
I can’t tell you how smoothly this construction has gone so far with hardly any problems. I think that trend ended!
We now have toilets installed, tub fixtures installed and running water in the tubs and toilets now. Yeah for running water – the porta potty can go and will be picked up Monday!!!!!
Our stained concrete guys removed the covering from the floor this morning. We still can’t tell what it will look like since it’s not sealed and lots of dust remains even after a good sweeping. It’s nice to be able to look at flooring instead
of paper covering now.
Roy purchased decorative supports for under the breakfast bar.
The counter top/cabinet workers came back this afternoon to correct all the problems which included replacing the entire back splash behind the sink under the breakfast bar. They also smoothed out some rough spots in different places and added a strip of wood for the dishwasher to be screwed into. They ran out of time so they didn’t install the trim or change the door around.
Our closet man, Martin Balisteri with Quality Closets Design and Installation) met with us with us chosing what we wanted for each closet, linen closet, pantry and laundry room. He had lots of options available and he carries his inventory with him as you can see from one of the pictures. He did his work very efficiently, left no trash (very important to me) and wrapped it up in no time at all. Plus his price was right. I highly recommend any one needing this to give Martin a call.
After realizing the decorative bars Roy got for under the breakfast bar were too big we made another trip to Lowe’s in Hammond to purchase smaller ones.
The advertisement to rent the house started yesterday and we’ve already received a couple of inquiries, no appointments set yet but at least it’s started! Here’s a link to the facebook photo album I created for the photos we selected to use for advertisement. You’ve probably seen them all but now they are in one place.