Thursday, March 14, 2013

March 14, 2013 -on the road north!

 This morning, we had some work to do! We had received, from the builder, his work up of the costing for the new addition. After going through it, we had some questions and additions to make. It's really getting exciting! The original home is a colonial, two floors, 26' y 26'. The addition we are adding is 30X33 - much larger than the original house (one floor). Together with the two garages that will be connected to each other and to the house, we'll have a much larger home, and with all the features we are missing from the house where we currently live. Dan will have the basement, for whatever he wants to do with it, a large workshop for all his tools and projects, a two car garage for both our vehicles, a good sized new kitchen/family room, new bedroom and bath for us, first floor laundry/butler's pantry, and plenty of room for guests (hint, hint!). The original house will have all new windows, insulation, refinished wood floors, paint, and new trim. As I mentioned, we now have to get home, get the garages emptied out, the rest of the remaining things in the house emptied out, and get someone on the demolition and excavating. Can't wait to get started! Oh, and the outside (my domain) is pretty much a blank slate. the very large backyard was terribly overgrown from years of neglect. We had a crew come in and clear cut that space. This spring, we'll have to have a stump grinder back there to get ready for whatever I want to plant back there. The front yard is getting a makeover as well. Some huge yews will be pulled out, quite a bit of ground cover eliminated, a dead tree downed and ground to mulch. That part will likely get most of my attention early on, while excavation and building happens in the back. I'll have plenty to do, not to mention the normal upkeep of the yard where we live - no small task that. 

Status on the Sheridan house (aka 'hoarder's house'

OK, now it's March, 2013, and lots of things have changed since we bought the Sheridan house! We spent about six weeks, from end of October through mid-December, cleaning out the house. We actually hired 3 guys, just laborers, who worked pretty much full time during that six weeks. We filled 150 cubic yards of dumpsters, countless contractor bags out for the garbage truck each week. We donated literally about 3 TONS of books to charities who would come to pick them up. Nearly 200 pairs of NEW shoes in the box, plus many bags and boxes of clothes were also donated. We've sent several car loads of collectible things to a shop that gives us 75% of the sales price. We have stored countless items of mostly new merchandise (everything you can think of - think COSTCO) in the two 2-car garages. We uncovered quite a few pieces of nice furniture that we probably will use in the house. Current plans include tearing off the two additions that were added (badly) over the years, tearing down the originally badly constructed (and now rotting) original garage, digging a new basement under a new 1000 square foot addition, re-pinning the foundation under the newer 2-car garage, new foundation and new replacement garage....shall I go on? It's a big project! The original kitchen was only 8X12 - really small. The new addition will include a new kitchen/family room, a master bedroom with walk-in closet and en suite bath, plus a 'powder room'. The old kitchen becomes a first floor laundry room/butler's pantry. After the holidays, we decided we needed a break, so at present, we are in Key West having some lovely relaxation time. We found a company who offered a six-month, zero percent builder loan. The offer was for a limited time - in order to get the loan, they have to be able to build the shell for the addition and garage replacement in May....meaning, we have to get home by end of March, get the garage cleaned out, get the one addition (where we unfortunately stored all the useable furniture) cleaned out,get a demolition crew and equipment on the job, get the new basement/foundation poured and finished - all in April!! Yikes.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

March 2013 - CATCH UP!!

March 13, 2013 I have been reminded by some blogging/traveling friends that I have sadly neglected our blog! So, this is a catch up post that will very briefly touch on our 2012 year. It’s been a very big year! January thru end of March, 2012 we spent in Key West, in our favorite camping spot, Trumbo Point. We did all the usual fun things, sunsets galore, many happy hours at the local watering holes, kayaking, sailing, attending church on Sunday, biking all over the island. Fun in the sun, plenty of relaxing. For the first time, we took our dog, Megan, and she was the hit of the park. Turns out she’s a great traveler, loves the sun as much as we do. We had decided to get married, settling on the date of June 2, we figured, gave us plenty of time to put together our ‘small, simple’ wedding. Even though we only had about 50 people invited, it did turn out to be anything BUT small and simple! We had folks from Seattle, San Diego, Davis (CA), Ohio, Dene ver, Georgia traveling here. We managed to get inexpensive hotel rooms for everyone, planned an outdoor, catered dinner on the night before the wedding, plus other less-planned events as people arrived for the special day. Once all planning was done, it turned out to be wonderful. My Dad (89) and his wife were able to come, and he sang “The Lord’s Prayer” at the wedding. He got to enjoy all the festivities, see most of his grandchildren and all his great grandchildren. He was so happy for us! In late June, he started having a series of events that put him in the hospital multiple times over a 2-3 week period. He passed away on July 8, on my mom’s birthday! He had arranged to have his body donated to the medical school, so there was no funeral. A memorial service was held in late August. Dan and I drove his grandson, Eric, to a 2-week camp west of St. Louis late in June. We actually were able to stop by the hospital to see my dad, as it turns out, one more time. He was in good spirits and very glad to see us. In July, Dan and I drove to Virginia Beach for the annual reunion of his SEAL team, always a fun event. In August, as I mentioned, we had a lovely memorial service in Waverly, Ohio, attended by Dan and me, my sister and her husband, all four of our children and their spouses, and all five great-grandchildren! We all stayed in the same hotel in the little town, and had a nice reunion of our own before and after the service. We don’t often get together, so that was a blessing in itself! In October, we bought a ‘hoarder’s’ home. The owner, who actually lived across the street from us, died. He had another home, a 4 bedroom Colonial, about a mile from our home – it was CRAMMED with stuff. When I say ‘stuff’, I mean everything from many new, in the box items, to literally 3 TONS of books (new), more clothes (all sized for a large man) than anyone could wear in a lifetime, collectibles, furniture, and about 150 cubic yards of trash! In about six weeks, with the help of three full-time laborers, we cleaned out the 4 bedrooms, living room, family room, dining room, 2-1/2 baths, basement, attic. Phew! We are left with some nice pieces of furniture (uncovered in the excavation exercise), and two two-car garages full of useable items. While all this was going on, just for grins and giggles, we remodeled the kitchen where we live, ripped out the ruined cabinets and appliances at the ‘hoarder house’, installed new heating systems at both the house where we live and the ‘hoarder home’ OK, now we are pretty much up to date. I’ll put some pictures and more verbage about the wedding and the hoarder house project. We decided to take a shorter break this winter and drove to Key West for just under a month. As I write this, we’re barreling down the road north, as we head towards our friends’ home in Orlando for the night.