Sunday, May 22, 2011

Long distance renovations...

My brand-new "Little House on the Edge of the Woods"....

Pickin' WEEDS... not flowers! And all that mint on the left? I'll bet it smells just awesome!!

Don't know if you can quite see it, but that's a pond down on the left...

Looking back up, towards the house...

Not sure what was goin' on here... but we'll git 'er done!

The garage door that is going to be converted to a powered lift up door, leaving this side as a garage... and the other side will have a window put in... because it'll be turned into either a living room or master bedroom.

Future home of the infamous "killer swing"! HA! And Donovan there? Well, he will work for just pizza and beer... how cool is that? Becky will just do it for love...

Can you see the goldfish and koi? Me either, but give it 2 months!
Or maybe in the light of sustainability and growing my own, we should put crawdads in there! lol!!

The field fence will be pulled out, and good ol' white picket will be put in...

Yep, all the flowers are there, none were picked, plucked, or stolen. All accounted for.

He's done a pretty good start all around, with the landscaping! And can't you just see that porch rail all repaired and purty-fied?

It's going to be sad to see the Bay Window go, but it's not as nice as it looks in the photos.
I'm hoping we can either find another greenhouse window like it or a slightly larger Bay window - white, and double paned.

First pond back near the top of pic in the center behind the brush. A lot of promising rock work started... and more that's still buried under years of growth.

End of uncovered path, with another one through that sea of green somewhere.

Part of the reason why this place was listed as a diamond in the rough...

My son said : "Mom, we'll get these cleaned out and probably seal both ponds with a pool type material that can be sprayed, once we trench in a drain. This one has a cascading waterfall that will pump the water back into it shown in the back there under the blackberries."

It's gonna look real nice once we get the irrigation goin', to keep it nice and green.

The background is pretty much solid vinca minor, ivy, and ferns.

And probably some mountain misery, with poison oak thrown in for good measure.

He plans on a stone veneer beneath the fiber cement board siding to cover the ugly footings.

Josh said : This was the shallowest septic I've ever dug but the good news is it's all good!

This is about the property line in the back corner of the little section that needs the siding.... which will come once all the windows are done.

Oh wow...I'm really loving this "long-distance renovations" thing!

My son got in touch with me last week and asked about installing a couple of security cameras down at my new house, so that he (well, we, because I want to see too!) could keep an eye on the place. And I agreed...
We'll go in halves - with me supplying the materials, and him supplying the free labor... and if that isn't a good deal, I don't know what is!

There will be cameras front and back; basically so that they can watch out for break-ins or those damn squatters coming back. But the beauty is, that not only does he get to keep a watch on things when he's at work or at relaxing at home, but I can see it too. (it's accessible by anyone with the password)

I can watch him working on the house, I can watch the wildlife (which also includes the grandsons ;) wandering around, and I can see - and hear - everything that goes on. I can even get on the mike and say "son, is that your second glass of iced tea in 20 minutes? Get back to work... NOW!"
Now really... I ask you - how cool is that?

Josh has been busy as a bee, sourcing materials and supplies, and I can't believe at how fast it's all coming together! I even got a message asking me if I want a dishwasher installed, and pumps put in for the two fish ponds, because he's got an electrican friend in to check what needs to be done wiring-wise.

He's already found me several appliances, (burnished steel) but at this point we just have a white side by side fridge with water and ice-maker.... Handy for those glasses of iced tea on the porch... Know what I'm talkin' about?

And the cost for the electricals and the electrician friend? We're gonna trade for his labor costs, with some extra chicken wire that my son has laying around the place.
The good ol' "barter system" is alive and well!

I am just thrilled to pieces with this place... and although I know it's not everyone's cuppa tea, I can see the potential just sitting there staring us in the face... and I believe it's going to be a wonderful project.

Oh... and the neighbors are wonderful!!! lol!

Friday, May 20, 2011

A day to myself... *sighing contentedly*

A day to myself... Oh, doesn't that sound lovely?

It's something that doesn't happen very often, and at times I've wondered if I would ever see an entire day to myself again - a day completely and entirely to do only what I want to do.
But hallelujah, and pass the potatoes... today is the day!!!

Young Lad has been sent packing to a friends house for the weekend, and the Old Guy has been told in NO uncertain terms that I want the entire - and I mean ENTIRE - day to myself today.

No phone calls, no one dropping in and waking me from a nap and then asking "oh, were you sleeping?", (no, I just like to drool and make guttural snorting noises with my eyes closed, every now and again. It's FUN!) no visitors, no door to door salesmen, and no stress.
I need it... to recoup, breathe deeply, relax, garden or even just nap the day away... and to just put all the stress and worry of the last several months right out of my mind.

Now, I don't know how it ever came about, but people like me for some reason. Which means that they hang around a lot. And I like them too, if the truth be told... but in small doses. I've never been one for constantly talking on the phone, or wanting to live in someone else's back pocket on a regular basis.

Because what most people don't even realize about me is that I'm pretty much of a loner. I remember back when when I was young, and someone once asked asked me what I wanted to "be" when I grew up... and I replied "A hermit".
Or a cat.
Which worried the school psychologist, I think.

But hermit... or cat... either one would do me... as far as I was concerned anyway.
Neither one is very big on idle chit-chat, and neither one feels obligated to put the kettle on for visitors, 4 or 5 times a day.

Both potentially have fleas, (but only one is drawn to licking their bottom - hopefully. Never having actually met an honest-to-goodness hermit, maybe I'm wrong there.) and they both enjoy thoroughly their solitude and "one-ness-with-nature".

Now don't get me wrong... because I want you to know that I do love my friends. I just wish that they could all get together and schedule their visits all at one time, so that we could get it over and done with in one go.Which would at least leave me a regular day or two or three a week to myself.

So on this particular, glorious Saturday, I've banished the boys to their boyish pursuits, put the phone out in the shed where I can't hear it, and I've put a notice on the door saying:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A wee bit anti-climatic - but I GOT IT!

Well... it's official!!! I got the house!

I think I did anyway. Because to tell you the truth, I'm still sort of still holding my breath, until the actual keys are in our hot little hands...

Lordy... you have no idea how hard it is doing real estate business long-distance, especially when the sellers are major p.i.t.a's and seem to relish knocking you for a loop every few days.

We made an offer... they countered.
We made another offer and they refused it, putting more stipulations and roadblocks in our way. So we offered again... and they countered again.
Finally, at long last, I guess they got tired of the whole "back-and-forth-ing" we were doing.... and they accepted the final offer.
At much more than we should have paid, if they hadn't been total idiots about the whole thing in the first place. I mean... what kind of people bid - and buy - a house totally unseen by either themselves or their agent? And then realized that they just bought a hell of a big pig in a poke - and then later expect 'us' to help them profit from their stupidity.

And it didn't help at all that for some reason my son has a life that doesn't entirely revolve around me. He's been kept busy with the grandson's, and getting engaged to our wonderful Becky, on top of opening a new shop in Angels and working late, late nights at the hotel... all while attempting to have a life of his own. Factor in the time difference and his working hours... and it was nigh unto impossible actually having a conversation about things, so we had to rely on missed messages and chats that went along the lines of:

Son: Are you there, Mom? Mom? Well, I guess not, so I'll talk to you later. Gonna get some sleep now. xoxoxo

Me: I'M HERE I"M HERE!! Dang... well, send me a message next time you're on, okay? Love you!

Yet in spite of it all, and the headaches that it caused, my wonderful son was willing to run himself into the ground for his mama and her dream... and he'll be amply supplied with green onion cakes and love in the years to come, let me tell you!

Anyway, enough blathering.... Just feast your eyes on this sweet little sentence!

Sale Pending MLS# 555xxx - 725 Sq Ft. - 0.36 Acres
2 Beds, 1 Baths - Bring your skills
Invest in your future

Not that you'll exactly be feasting your eyes on the house itself, but let me tell ya... it is just what I wanted! And the eventual squatter damage actually worked to my advantage, since I now have a basically clean slate to work with - and a son who can perform miracles with just a handful of tools and a little ingenuity!!

Diamond in the rough

Living room/kitchen area which will be turned into a kitchen/dining area

Garage... which will be turned into a step-down living room, with an additional bedroom and laundry room.

From the current living room (which will soon be a dining area)

Notice the lack of half the cupboards, swamp cooler - and even the kitchen sink?

It's my "home sweet home"... and it's going to be fun sharing the changes with you as they happen. And yeah... most people would call it a dump, but to me, it's perfect in every way because we can renovate/landscape and put our own spin on things!
And to tell you the truth, if you look at the first picture, you can almost see my son's driveway right at the back left corner of the house - so it's all about "location, location, location" baby!!.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

My idea of peace...

I'm currently working on a post and doing my darndest to get my old camera program up and working again... so that I can share pics of my place.
Pics that will require y'all to give me your honest - and I mean honest -even if it makes me cry - opinions on what I need to do to make this place more presentable and "sellable".

Because the sooner I sell, the sooner I can be home... and sitting here:

“The best kind of friend is the kind that you can sit on the porch with,

never saying a word...

and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation that you ever had.”


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