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Old 07-20-2013, 07:38 PM   #449
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Bought the Verizon data plan with its magic box. It allows us to have internet anywhere there's a cell tower and works pretty well. Our mediocre ISP in Crawford raised their prices from about $36 ten more dollars and they claim more speed, but we don't need that. Verizon costs another $10 or so and gets us internet at both houses and on the road. It is worth it and if someone inquires about the house, we can get back to them right away. We'll be glad to get rid of unreliable and now more expensive Skybeam. Check out reviews of Skybeam on the internet—every one is negative.

On Wednesday we go to Jumbo CG on Grand Mesa for 3 nights of laziness. This is much needed. We're talking about hot springs in August and that means going back to Ouray. Sounds good to me.

The new house—kitchen is repainted. Kitchens are complex and take a lot of time. Barb did most of it. Some time far in the future I want to redo the countertops with tile and make new drawer fronts and cabinet doors (somewhat a skill stretch for me). For now, a finished room. The main floor office is repainted and trim is being removed; new Mission style ceiling lamp. We bought new doors—southwest style—to replace the white slab doors in the house and will install them as we get to various places. Have to get the casing out for the office door (more nails than necessary makes that a chore plus it was installed before the tile, so it is really hard to remove). I'll make southwest style natural wood baseboards, ceiling molding and around the door and window. I've done that on two small walls near the kitchen and it came out well.

The unfinished basement room has had cabinets removed and a door removed upstairs saved for it. We got 4 x 8 sheets of beadboard used or exterior siding. We have sanded and sealed 4 so far and then have a nice sheen after 3 coats of polyurethane and wet sanding. They will be the ceiling (cut these in thirds and they will be wainscoting in hallways). It is shiplap, so seams won't show on most of it except some butt joints which will have lattice over them. A big counter with utility sink will be removed and a smaller utility cabinet with sink will replace it. We got a fan with light and will move a ceiling light from upstairs down there too. Walls need sanding at joints and then primer and paint; floor will be tiled last. The doors to the workshop will be removed and replaced with folding doors to save space. I'll build a closet that will also serve as a passage to the workshop so I can use the utility sink easily. This room will be for exercise machines and sewing.

So, one room finished for now, another soon finished. Preparing the 4 x 8 sheets was done simultaneously so they would be ready when it was time for the ceiling (need to put up nailers for the sheets, wiring for the ceiling light and a wall sconce). Three more sheets to finish plus sanding 1 x 4's for office trim.

It seems like it takes forever. It is quite a test of an old body and by the end of the day we are weak. Barb makes dinner because she has more stamina (always marry a younger woman!) and I moan. Next day, more or less recovered, we do it again. After 4 nights, back to the old house where there is always work to do, but some rest also.

Friends came for a long weekend and that was also a chance to rest and play. We break this up a lot so we can survive. And I'm looking forward to the balloon fiesta and several days before and after in NM. Marriages are always tested by remodeling, but we've survived two previous remodels. This one we are working together on more than ever and that can be a challenge.

Right now no inquiries about the house in some time. Others trying to sell around here with similarly priced houses are not getting any calls either. While sales are booming on the Front Range, it takes a while to get out here. Since interest rates are rising, people better make up their minds to look seriously or they will be paying a lot more for mortgages.

Gene
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Old 07-28-2013, 01:56 PM   #450
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We just spent 3 nights at Jumbo Campground on Grand Mesa. It is only 1 1/2 hours from Crawford and is a good place to rest and unwind.

The fireweed was in bloom. Until our last trip to Alaska in 2010, I never noticed fireweed in Colorado. Now I see it whenever I go up to mountain tops. Fireweed is not fire engine red, but has some pink in it, but close enough.

Back now in Crawford and it has been raining a lot, always a wonderful thing here. Just unhitched and unloaded the truck. Our next trip with the trailer is Aug. 22 when we return to the KOA in Ouray and get some more rest and meet good friends from Denver.

Photos:

1. View of one of the many lakes on Grand Mesa with fireweed in the foreground, from near the Mesa Lakes Resort, not far from our campsite.

2. More fireweed and another lake, shot from across the road from our campsite. Lots of lakes and reservoirs on Grand Mesa, many providing water for towns around it. Grand Mesa gets lots of snow in the winter and we are in its rain shadow, so we get less.

3. Our campsite. A rare view of the awning actually deployed.

4. Sunset from our new house. About a 1/4 mile to the west of our house is Colorado National Monument.

Gene
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Old 07-28-2013, 02:06 PM   #451
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Beautiful pics!

We really enjoyed all the wildflowers in bloom in Colorado last month, and the stands of aspen trees. We don't have those in Illinois.

I would say good luck on the house selling, but maybe should just not. One of these days, it's gonna happen.........


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Old 07-28-2013, 11:19 PM   #452
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Incredible photos!

Thanks for the update, information, and stay safe.
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:33 PM   #453
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HI, I never heard of Fireweed until we went to Alaska. Now I like them.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:01 AM   #454
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Thanks for the compliments on the photos. The camera makes it easy. I just set it on automatic and it takes good photos and can improve them with iPhoto.

WVe go back to the new house tomorrow and I put of ceiling molding, baseboards and trim around window and door + a new southwest styled door. Then start on the ceiling in the basement. I tell myself I can finish those in a few days even though that is impossible for me.

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Old 07-31-2013, 06:56 AM   #455
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NIce to get the reports of things done and travels in context.
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Old 08-15-2013, 08:10 PM   #456
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For the Airstream I have some Rustoleum metallic silver paint that is supposed to be a good match when sprayed on the outside shower door. I will also see how it does on the furnace and water heater doors if it looks good on the shower door. When do I get to it, who knows?

We have been exchanging offers on the adjoining lot with a woman who fell in love with it. Not the money we want and she wants us to finance it. If we can reach a deal, I'll be looking over financial records with the mindset of a mortgage underwriter and then try to be human too. I thought because there are so many lots on the market, we might have to hold onto it for 3 or 4 years (taxes are about $1,150/year, so that will be saved), so this came out of the blue and is a welcome event. Doing counteroffers takes many hours and discussion among us to come up with the right numbers for our offer adds more. Lots of ways to make mistakes on modifying a 16 page contract. We want to bring the negotiations to a favorable conclusion for all of us, but especially Barb and me. I'm not getting a lot of remodeling done as a result, but have been furnishing my office at the new house since we are spending more than half our time there (here, right now).

A toothache (I'm sure I have another root canal in my future) also made me useless for a couple of days last week. Antibiotics have toned it down and I'll have to see my favorite endodontist soon—he is magical and does root canals better than any I've ever had (I have had plenty).

Photos:

1, 2. Some more sunset photos from our new house. We get to see light shows when the thunderheads roll in since we can see them as far as Utah. At sunset, the clouds turn many shades of red to pink to maroon.

3. New southwest style office door with trim shaped with that style. All moldings and trim are natural wood with 3 coats of polyurethane wetsanded after each application. For furniture I might do 5-7 coats to get the mirror finish, but for woodwork, 3 gives it a nice sheen and smooth finish. I have used 400 grit wet/dry paper, but I think for the next room I'll use 600 grit for the final coat and see how that works.

4. I am not good with a coping saw—I can't cut the curves well and get mixed up with ceiling molding because everything feels upsidedown and backwards. It feels that way because it is. So I had an inspiration—rip 1 x 4 into 5/16" strips, basically splitting it in half and then make one strip 1 1/2" high and another 3/4" high. Then nail to a 1 x 4. Easy to do ceiling molding—no coping, no miters. Also cheap compared to the price of ceiling molding and much easier than making molding with a router. Fits the designs we have chosen. I bought a stepped brushed metal Art Deco wall plate for the light switch to match. So the switch plate and the ceiling molding are both stepped. The plates look great and are not cheap. I won't change the receptacles, but the switches that show, yeh, it seems worth the money. I ordered 4 4-gang switch plates like that for the living/dining room (about $70!). When you're doing a whole room, it really gives it a special style, so it is worth it to us. No photo of the switch plates (yet), but the ceiling molding, yes.

Gene
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:44 AM   #457
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Beautiful pics.


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Old 09-02-2013, 02:15 PM   #458
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We spent 3 nights at the KOA in Ouray again—easy getaway from the toils of remodeling, maintaining 2 houses and selling real estate. We met friends from Denver there and had a great time telling stories, soaking in hot springs, eating and then eating some more, and napping.

Great to travel a little. The trailer is functioning well. I made a minor fix in the bathroom. The countertop and the wall to the right of the sink move when we travel and the caulk at that junction comes apart. Seeing a fix on another thread done by Evan (eheffa), I did the same thing—a piece of L shaped aluminum screwed to the wall with caulk under it to seal the joint as best as possible covers the space. The aluminum moves with the wall and covers the gap. Thanks Evan.

We have a contract on the adjoining lot to our Crawford house. It isn't easy to sell a lot here as before the Great Recession lots of people were subdividing to get rich quick and just about all those lots are still for sale. I think we have solved all the issues that always come up with a real estate sale. This is our 2nd real estate deal this year and I am getting better at it. The paperwork is enormous these days and I don't know how some people do it without a lawyer or realtor.

The 4th room in the new house is progressing slowly. I think I have slowed down after months of challenging work—something to do with being ancient. I had to do some electrical work to move some boxes, install a ceiling light in one end and put in the boxes and a switch for a wall sconce. That's the easy stuff. We are using beadboard for the ceiling as it can be finished on the floor and it is lighter than drywall. Once up, I just have to make 1/4" strips of pine on any visible joints and they also can be prefinished. No taping, no drywall compound, no paint, no paint in my hair.

But I couldn't get the shiplap joints on the first pieces to match well. But the wood strips will hide them anyway. The ceiling comes in two levels and those first pieces were about 4' x 5', but we found them difficult to maneuver. That's the ancient thing again. So I'm renting a drywall lift for the rest—2 full 4 x 8 sheets and all sorts of smaller ones.

The walls were taped and one coat of "mud" was put on—badly. It was smeared all over the place where unnecessary. So I got out my drywall knives ("knife" as in "putty knife", but in several sizes). I put on another coat on one wall—slow, tedious work—and it looked good. But when we turned out the lights, it looked terrible. I've done this before and I'm not all that good at it, but never this bad. I tried sanding, but it still looked bad. I'll have to sponge is smooth and put on one more very thin coat. Barb indicted she is willing to try it and I sure hope she does. This takes some experience to get it right, but maybe she'll be better at it. First the ceiling, then the walls. She can work on the walls while I start on ceiling moldings—sanding, cutting, finishing and making those strips. The walls have to be finished, primed and painted first too. We paint together—she does the cutting in and I do the roller. And I have to get a 10' countertop with sink out of there. A built in, it was not only excessively screwed to the walls, but also glued. That'll be fun. We've got a smaller utility sink ready to install.

After all that, tile the floor. We found some really nice tile, but we are going to look for something cheaper so long as it is porcelain to take the abuse of exercise equipment. Also have to cut an opening for a door to a hallway and build a closet with a pass through to the workshop. It is getting time to cut firewood too, go to Pueblo for my father-in-law's 88th birthday and leave for the Balloons in 4 weeks. Still waiting for that smart person who wants to buy the "old" house—it always comes out of the blue just like the lot sale has. I don't seem to have a lot of spare time for some reason.

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Old 09-02-2013, 03:20 PM   #459
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Well, the lot selling is progress, right? Movement in the right direction, meaning that all the positive karma sent your way all this time is having the desired effect.

The work in the new house sounds absolutely daunting, to unskilled folks like us. Cannot imagine taking on what you have. I'm sure it will be a showcase when it is done, and exactly as you want it.

More karma sent.


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Old 09-02-2013, 06:08 PM   #460
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Thanks Maggie. I knew that crossing your toes and eyes would help.

The house project is daunting in my fleeting moments of sanity. After 27 years together, Barb is almost as crazy as me and we somehow keep going. After a day (more like 3-5 hours—no more 10 or 12 hour days anymore) of work I'm sprawled down on a love seat (I don't fit very well) and Barb is making another excellent dinner. I don't know how she does it, but maybe being 10 years younger helps. Selling a vacant lot has a little less paperwork and negotiating than a house, but some days half the day is paperwork—negotiating contract, updating contract, reviewing buyers' financial data, renegotiating, changing covenants, reviewing title work, etc., etc. It can be mid-afternoon before we start physical labor.

Gene

Here is a photo of the bathroom fix with the cool reflection on the wall:
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:36 PM   #461
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene View Post
Here is a photo of the bathroom fix with the cool reflection on the wall:
Very nice.


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Old 09-02-2013, 11:58 PM   #462
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Hi, Gene; It's been too hot to work on my house. My tile floor is done and today I bought the moldings and cut to fit all of the base boards. Now they all have to be sanded, painted, nailed in place, and touched up. Bathroom almost done.
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