Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Year in the Life

Looking back to my blog early this year I was busy putting in the bathroom...seemed to take months to get it done.  It has worked out pretty well....over all.  Did have a couple small leaks I had to deal with. 

Gloomy weather does a number on me...It sets the mood to hibernate...rather than the busy bee I normally am, in the gloomy winter weather I am more like a Grizzle Bear, moody and sluggish. One thing is chocolate! I rarely buy chocolate but then come Halloween, and BAM its everywhere till New Yrs is over. I'm suffering  a chocolate hang over--

I'm trying to make this a look back post..and I was about to say lets "Burn 2016 to the ground!"
 Lost so much this year... my son and his girlfriend of 5 yrs broke UP! That means I lost my step grandchild...and the hopes of his marriage and settling down any time soon...sigh.  But look at what I gained...the year was not an entire wash....actually if I cut myself out of other equations of family, friends, and country my personal year was okay....still I grieve with the collective over certain things. 

January: Had me working in the house, shooting the moon,...and shooting off my mouth about the Malheur take over...what a crock that was!!


February: found me in Florida for 2 weeks.  St Augustine, Merritt Island, Canaveral National Seashore, Ft Myers to see the Flamingo, Big Cypress National Preserve, Shark Valley, the Everglades, and the Crocodile, Casey and I camping along the way!!

American Flamingo

American Crocodile

March: Day Trip!  birding down at Bear Island WMA, had a wonderful day there!  So many shore birds I really couldn't ID them all.

                                                   FLICKR ATE MY PHOTO

 April: zoomed up to NC and along the Blue Ridge Mountains hoping for early spring birds, didn't hit it just right but had a glorious time anyway 4 days of camping and being out in the wilderness, hiking. Did see some awesome birds, rivers, and landscapes!

Gotta Love a Black Throated Green Warbler in early spring!!

yellow prong lower falls

 May: I moved into my house! Still a work in progress but I've had 7 months so far to enjoy settling back into my place...

June: Went to NC to see the Brown Booby another rare bird then we crossed to Eastern NC to wander around Mattamuskeet NWR a combination of camping and one night in a motel.

the brown booby

imm white ibis at Mattamuskeet

July: I found out I was descended from not one, but 2 accused Salem Witches, got my deck built, Mom and I did some Town trips that we hope to get back to doing soon, and then finally my sister came to help out...Annie and I took off for a week after we found out she had a tumor!  

Aug:  Annie and I head  once again up to the Blue Ridge Parkway, the VA section this time for a late summer camping trip, then onto Shenandoah NP, the wild flowers, butterflies, and black bears were amazing, then up to Harper's Ferry WVa, on to the Laurel Highlands of PA for water-falling and camping!  

flowers of the blue ridge parkway VA

Then we went back home for 2 weeks for Annie's surgery and recovery ALL GOOD!

AUG: Later: Soon as Annie was well enough my Sis and I left for a long weekend in TN to celebrate what our family calls Graveyard Decoration, its a get together to remember and celebrate the memory of our past loved ones, and its way to raise money to keep the Cemetery up..

                                                   the Walling Cemetery

Sept:  I went on  the epic Journey that took me through 10 states and added Canada to my Travel List....Since those blogs are fresh in your memories I won't repeat them here!!  The mileage on that trip was about 4,500 and I enjoyed each and every mile...

crossing into Canada 

Oct: We went to Ocean Isle Beach to Celebrate our Birthdays, and to enjoy the ocean! 

                                                             Ocean Isle Beach, NC

November: I VOTED, it didn't count, then I started on ripping the shed down, and the Holidays crept in, I made Thanksgiving dinner for most of the family some of then went AWOL to Colorado, the dogs and I  had our first fire of the season...

                                            Casey enjoys the fire

Dec:  and then before I knew it the Red Kettle was up in front of the Food Lion where I shop for food.  I always give a little, not much, as I am on a tighter budget than you would think!


                                                                               sis's tree

Altogether I camped 56 nights this year, logged about 8,888 miles,  moved into my house and continue to work on the projects I envisioned,  was able to catch up with and visit extended family I hadn't seen in a long time,  added a ton of stamps to my National Parks Passport books, added a whole bunch of turned pennies to my collections, added 14 new lifers to my bird list, and visited some nearby towns I had never been to! All of the above are how I enjoy spending my time,  these small things make me happy and make my life worth living., and I spent another birthday with my mom and my
personally for me, it was a good year. 

I have some goals for 2017, I will try to outline in the coming blogs. 
Happy New Yr. to all!!

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Getting shed of the shed!

Many of you probably awoke to a white Dec 25th, if you got it hope you enjoyed it... I got up and opened the windows!  66 degrees.  I drove, with my son,  over the river, and through the woods up to my sisters house where Mom is until New Yrs, for the day and a meal prepared by my German BIL.  He did a great job! 

                                                                    SHORTS on Christmas

One year we had snow on the 26th...bummer.  So the Holiday is behind us whew...
I asked Santa for a new shed I drool over those catalogs that arrive in the mail with glistening new pole barns and sheds of every description size, and shape,,,,but then I check the price tag....the same ole' thing..."No Sondra, there is no Santa Claus".   Just like anything else in life if you want it bad enough you will make it happen with wit and sweat.  But first I have to destroy the old one!! 

It comes down in the reverse of how it went up..the siding,  then the roof, then the framing...

...then up on the ladder, it was the hardest part taking off the tin roofing...I didn't want to damage it too bad as I plan to re-use it!!  It has a nice patina don't you think? Or you might just call it rust...

...then I noticed in the bushy holly a tap tap tapping! A yellow bellied sapsucker busy making his own world a better place!

those little holes in the tree trunk is what he is busy doing, they drill a little hole, the sap seeps into the holes then bugs and such also get into the its like a juicy sappy bug snack. You can see he has a red throat patch and red forehead, the belly is a buffy yellow and the back is black with white/tan specks and white on his primaries! A very attractive bird!
So I had to get a few shots of him before continuing...soon all the tin was off.  
then I just tied a rope to the remaining frame,  gave 3 hard tugs and down it went!!

                                                  Now you can see the house!

It was easy to pull all this apart with it on the ground...and now Im salvaging what I can of the timbers, the tin is def usable, some of the rafters are good I pulled out the nails, and some of the 2 x 4 's have rot on the bottom end so I'll saw that end off I can make my walls 6 inches shorter.   This is not rocket science...

So Im using my circular saw and cutting the old siding into 12 inch wide pieces and trimming off the rotted parts and Ill use it like lap siding on the back and on the inside wall...nothing will go to waste. 

 one load of debris went to the dump...and Ill probably have one more small load to haul away,  SO a lot is being reused, recycled, and re-purposed!! 

I have removed one of the trees as planned and soon the other one will be on my firewood pile...its not a healthy tree so it will help to heat the house!
I do plan to plant more trees in the wood lot, some evergreens....since my woods never get the benefit of fire...the under-story has disappeared and all the trees are tall and not reseeding very well! Planting some evergreens  like Eastern Cedar and Holly will help give a green under story and replenish my wood lot. 

Next step is to start getting the foundation of the NEW shed in place!! Hope to start that as soon as I get all the 2 x 4's ready to reuse.   And I got a Lowe's Gift card for Christmas!! Yippie!  Later back inside,  I'm trying to perfect biscuit making what tips do you have for me? Don't forget I use only non animal products.   

these were good crispy outsides and soft inside.

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Waiting on the World to Change

My World that is!! most regular readers know I am trying to get my home and grounds back up to snuff after many years of neglect started in 2012 after the divorce decree!  So next on the list (altho it needs a new roof and a new HVAC unit), Im going ahead and doing some of the things I can do on my own or with minimal help and investment.

The shed is an eye sore! This shot shows how close it is to the house...its not normally THIS junky around  it I'm dragging stuff out in prep for the "TAKE DOWN" 

Its currently about 9 x 9...with a lean-to side of an additional 8 ft x 12 ft. an "L" shaped building I dn't need it to be that big. I used to have 2 riding mowers one died so its gone, I have 2 bicycles I only need one, so one is going soon...and there is more of my X's old cast off stuff that is going now that I am ready to tackle this job.  

As the house grew, with the porch addition, the shed got closer, and it blocks the view of the trees out back from the screen I've decided to make it smaller and move it. My new plan is for it to be 8 x 16 and rectangular in shape. One end is only a 3 sided affair as the mower and bicycles, wheel barrows etc go in there, I think a sliding barn style door will enclose that part of it and make it more weather tight.

 This is a big project.  I had hoped to actually rip it back to the studs and pick it up and move it over and turn the door so it is facing East. It currently faces the house! So I removed all the "stuff", the contents, and its now scattered all over the place and it looks like I'm having a huge rummage sale!! Tarps of every size and color are attempting to keep my gotta keep stuff under cover. It is a hideous mess. It may be too rotten to safely move so may have to completely dismantle it. I put most of the Stuff in storage containers to keep it dry. 

The new location is over to the right, and the gable/door end currently facing South will face East it will rotate 90 degrees. I want to keep it close to the house so when  doing yard maintenance or working on projects it's close enough that its not a deterrent from getting chores done.  In other words I don't want to walk a mile to get a screw driver!

when moved it will occupy this space (above).  I have to cut 2 trees, not a problem as one is bent at a funny angle and one is small--- will do that as soon as it quits raining!!  I have made  progress, now we have had several days of rain and drizzle, so Im stuck inside waiting on better weather to work in.


the end is all open now

the front is almost gone

these 2 large camellia trees, will stay although they are blocking some of the view maybe a trim back to shrub size is in order (?), it will be a change for me to get used to as the shed being where it is has also offered more privacy, but I'm ready to make that change and open UP the view around the back.

I can already see daylight!

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Moving Day 1977

Friend Dave asked about the moving of this house way back in 1977.  A little background.  We were getting ready to ask the bank for a loan to build a house on some land we had purchased, when the house my Mom was renting came up for sale to be moved! So we bought it, and the small one behind it and moved both homes...We hired a house moving company and paid them  $3,000 to move the larger house. It was located on a lot in town where 

What they do is this:
They disconnect all plumbing and electrical.  They put large timbers under the house and they start jacking it up!  They put long beams under the house....then they lower the jacked up house onto the 2 long steel beams with wheels attached,  they hook up a big truck and they tow the house!  At the time we purchased the house it was about 60 ft long and 30 ft wide, 

Here it is right before they pull it out onto the highway, 

Here it goes onto the highway the guy on the roof raises the power lines so the house can go underneath without pulling the wires down. 

here it goes down US Hwy 1

Here it is at intersection of East Dekalb and Lyttleton Streets in our town about 10 miles away from the destination on our land.  They send a flag car ahead and stop the allow the house to go through. 

Notice all the old huge cars

The land we had purchased is on this dirt road, here comes the house 

then it's coming down the driveway and turning into position

And here they are setting it up leveling it and they leave it sitting on stack of wood they call blocks.   

my mom posing with the house after the movers left...

 A lot of her furniture was moved in the house! She went to live with my sister in town until her house was ready to be lived in it took about 6 months for that to happen. 

Then we had a block foundation put down and when that was finished and level they come back and lower the house onto the new foundation...rebuild the top of the chimney and we had put up the fence for Sundance's pasture...its now a wooden fence. This was about 3 months after the move. 

here it is in 2014 we enclosed that open porch on the end, that is now my bar room...

Here is the bar and the 3 windows that look out over the acreage

The we added the screen porch and sunroom to the back of the house if you recall the house is FACING the land not the dirt road, and its still a dirt road!!.....its been sitting here for 40 yrs in a couple of months...and here is why we decided to do it this way...we had a mortgage for 10 yrs of only $110 a month!  We borrowed enough money to put the house back together and every year we did something else, like put the new siding on, a new roof, adding the screen porch to the back, putting in central heat and air, and had all the windows replaced with double hung vinyl....and y'all know about the recent things I've done to update it a bit.  I need another roof now and the HVAC unit needs to be replaced.  Those big ticket items will have to wait for now!  Here is the rear of the house as it was in 2017 facing the screen porch. 

the cozy screen porch..

Here is the house from the pasture side...

                              So if you're thinking of building don't... look for a house to move!  So far the demo of the old shed is going good...the weather has not been too co-operative and my new job as head wood gatherer is keeping me busy! I will update on the progress next time.

OH and see this old house here well it was also to be demolished to make way for the Wendys' in town back in 1977 so My Mom bought it, we moved it too, a month later, my mom has lived there since 1978/  We added a second bedroom, and a back screen porch and a deck! 

 This is that house today we put them just a stones throw from each other but left a wooded section between the houses...

This portrait I made of Sundance hangs in my entry memory of my dear friend...

He is buried out in the middle of his pasture he passed in 1996.  

Good memories!

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.