Saturday, December 17, 2011

Come full circle.

We've been stationary going on 2 years now. Originally we were living in our 5th wheel in the driveway and then after receiving anonymous complaints about lowering the property values in the neighborhood, we moved to a local American Legion campground. Now we are back in the house since the kids decided they really needed a bigger house and yard and are currently in a 4bdrm with a nice yard. We're in the process of making upgrades and repairs since we will probably stay here for a at least the next 2 years until the grand kids are in pre-school. We already said we weren't babysitting another baby so if another one comes along they are on their own.

Meanwhile, we've been painting inside, replaced the two toilets with low flush units that we got $100 rebates for each one so the total cost to us was $70. What we thought was a leaking roof around the brick fireplace turned out to be 'brick saturation'. Who knew? In heavy rainfall, which we had in abundance here in the NW last year, the rain striking the edge of the bricks where the mortar is is absorbed by the bricks, plus the cracks in the cement cap didn't help. The water then wicks down through the bricks until the warmer temperature inside the house causes it to evaporate leaving behind a chalky white residue, which I thought was from the drywall in the ceiling. The fix is to grind out the mortar to about 1" deep and re-mortar. It's called 'tuck pointing'. About $1200 later it is done and then in the spring/summer when it's warmer/dryer a sealant will be applied. Hopefully this is the end of it. Already had the ceiling repaired and repainted once and don't want to have to do it a third time. (Haven't done the second time yet.)

Next on the list is upgrading the electric to 200 amp service. Estimates so far put that in the $2300 - $2500 range. Whoopee!! Started off getting quotes for fixing a couple of dead outlets and escalated from there. In today's electronic lifestyle I'm surprised I've gotten by so far.

Next will be the kitchen. Mostly new counter tops and re-doing the cupboards, plus upgrading the appliances so I'll probably be lucky to get through that for less than $10K. We'll see.

That's probably enough to keep me busy for now and it's finally warmed up enough that I should get outside and finish washing the 5th wheel so I can get the cover on before it decides to snow.

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate and Happy Holidays to those so inclined and if you don't you can just disregard this part.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

So far, So good.

We've had a bought of cold weather lately with overnight temps in the high teens and daytime temps in the mid thirties, and lately, snow. The good news is that things have held up well and the only thing I wish I had done was to heat tape and insulate the 3/4" hose from the mascerator pump to the sewer cleanout at the house. Normally I leave the gray water valves open and let them drain continuously but with the cold weather it freezes up. Not a big problem since I have a back up hose I temporarily connect to drain the tanks then remove it and make sure it is drained of all fluids, but the gray water tanks need to be emptied every other day and if the freezing weather last more than a few days, which it hasn't so far this winter, then it does become a pain in the butt.

As for heat, with the furnace and one 1500W electric heater we are keeping warm enough. We both like it a bit on the cool side so we keep the thermostat set to 66 degrees and have comforters to snuggle under while watching TV at night.

Fortunately the weather is warming and things are melting which we are glad to see since it's our grandson's first birthday and we are looking forward to our guests being able to attend.

Next time you hear from me I'll probably be complaing about it being too warm. Sigh...