Monday, November 3, 2014

Closed! Now the work begins...

A very good week!

Monday we closed. It was smooth, no problems or delays popped up. It was probably the least stressful and almost enjoyable closing of all our seven home purchases. I enjoyed the opportunity to hear stories and history of the property and the houses on it. They wished us lots of happiness and love on the property. You can tell they enjoyed raising their kids out there. The fact that there is a history of loving family life on the place probably added to the feel of it when we fell in love with it.

Tuesday, work began. Craig was off to a productive start and replaced two toilets and the kids and I cleaned out leftover stuff in the house, more than two truck loads full! It felt good to get all the junk out. Then we cleaned and cleaned, and cleaned and cleaned!

Wednesday we cleaned some more, brought out a few things to start the slow process of moving in. We deceided to wait to move in much so we have room to move to clean and repair areas that need attention. We had a new rented propane gas tank installed until we can have the older larger on moved and checked out. Craig went tractor shopping.

Thursday we started on utility room. It has extensive water damage apparently caused from a missing gutter outside the door. So the floor needs placement, a little sheet rock repair, trim and door replacement and decking repair. Then a gutter installed.

We ripped up linoleum to assess the damage. If we tile, there will be a slight step up from the adjoining room, which doesn't bother me, especially since there is a slight step to the bedrooms, the door opens out and, let's accept it now, this house will never be "perfect." I don't want it to be. I had a perfect house, it was boring. Craig went shopping for a shed/Connex/shop to have a place for tools since there isn't a garage or shop.
I spent the afternoon Kilz-ing the small bathroom at end of utility room to get rid of the awful pink color.  Nick and Euly spent whatever breaks they had working on Nick's house. Lots of metal to be hauled off and recycled for cash toward repairs. We learned it was a garage apartment from Houston Heights neighborhood and is probably over 100 years old,  solving the mystery of why a house didn't have a front door, only doors off the kitchen and a bedroom, with what I thought was basement access. The kids are excited about it and made a lot of progress!
Hoping that giving a 15 year old boy an abandoned house to build will make him a well rounded man.

Saturday Craig went out early to replace the faucets on the girls bathroom, fixing up the pipes under their sink and repairing the leak.  We debated and measured and discussed possibilities on their shower. I vote for a shower insert over repairing the existing tile, due to water damage. We will need to rip out the tile and maybe rebuild around the shower walls, but it will solve a lot of the problems that exist. There is no point to fuss over it with tile or stone since only the person taking a shower will see it. Clean and neat and repaired are my goals for their shower. Our shower is a different story with the same problems: the shower was built on Sheetrock, not the water protective concrete/green board, so it leaks and therefore has rot. Needs to be rebuilt. We will have some of this work contracted out since my husband actually has a demanding full time job. I have to remind myself of this.

Max came out with me and we visited, walked the property and dreamed. He is at a different point in life, about the graduate college and at first couldn't understand why we want to move out in the country again. But by the end of the end of his visit,  he got it. He also volunteered for four projects he wants to be in charge. 

He grew up in the country in Alabama and Georgia, much of the things we loved about those properties are here with us. He sees why we want these younger set of kids to have the freedoms and opportunities, responsibilities and learning lessons that growing up in the country provides.

He will design our barn/ shop, design the creek flow at the water crossing, he has already drew up terrace gardening around the pond, using the pond water to irrigate the gardens terraced up. I heard mention of hydroponics, but left the project planning to Craig and Max.  And he has a little retreat idea of his own. When will he have time?  What does it matter? This place is for dreams, we are not in a  hurry, no problem if these don't get done or implemented soon, we have time! Which feels like the best gift. It's the journey to learn and live through of all the projects, not the goal of a perfect house or property (kindly remember that when you come visit.)

We didn't get much done... well, I didn't, Craig probably did.

Sunday after mass, CCD and a visit to see Miss Betty and say a quick hello to the dogs, we went out to property to meet my sister, brother in law and nephew. We walked and dreamed with them celebrating the fact we are now county neighbors, living thirty minutes away from each other. I am so happy that we will be able to spend more time together! 

We walked the property learning so much about wildlife. Their family knows so much about local wildlife. We were identifying tree varieties, animal tracts and signs they were there. I'm planning to set up a quiet place to rest in the woods as a retreat to observe what lives around us. We are hoping to obtain an Ag exemption under the wildlife category. 

We celebrated with dinner out at a new to us Mexican food place ending a very fulfilling week.

So what's in a name? We needed to name the property for purposes of farming id#. We had been wrestling with the idea for months, but didn't want to commit to a name until it was ours to name. Then we had to decide in five minutes. We picked Pax Rustica, but the grammar is likely wrong depending if Rustica translates as a noun meaning country villa or only as an adjective meaning rustic. Pax means peace but can also be used as other parts or speech. It may translate a rural like peace or a peaceful ranch. Latin scholars: let me know if we can get away with "Pax Rustica" without insultingly mutilating the Latin language.

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