Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It's finally here!

The big move day is finally here!  Two Men and a Truck (well, actually 4 men and 2 trucks) dwarf the tiny U-haul.

Why a U-haul, you ask?  There are some things the movers won't take, like plants.  I appreciate the hibiscus blooming for the occasion...

Our U-Haul is a tribute to Neil Armstrong and his passing earlier this week.  This is certainly good karma along with the fact that we were able to find the St. Joseph statue we buried for good luck selling the house (lest you think I am totally off my rocker, try an Google search on St. Joseph and selling houses)...

As you might imagine, I labeled everything.  The movers were a bit shocked at this, and my thought was "doesn't everyone do this?".  

Ok, for those of you who know me, I really can't help myself!

Will the hot tub fit through the door?

It was the biggest concern-could they successfully move the hot tub?  For some reason the buyers didn't want the hot tub which meant the moving company had to move it... 

They used a "sled" to move the hot tub through the back yard to the truck.  My brain immediately went to "sleigh" and "come Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen..."  I must say this is the strangest thing I've seen in the backyard...

So we survived the packing.  We are tired and hurting and exhausted and elated about the big move!   We are ready to head the wagon train to Indy tomorrow.

Special thanks to a few people...Adrienne for pushing Two Men and a Truck, Emily for watching over the house the past few months including giving us the "scoop" on the buyers whom she met last week and for John taking care of the house in Indy!

Happy trails to you...♫


Monday, August 27, 2012

Pushing the Reset Button

Vacation is pushing the reset button.  

Here are a few things that surprised and delighted me and got my head out of Iowa:

An 81 year old  grandma successfully driving a white Jeep Liberty off road at the Big Horn Mountains Jeep Jamboree.   My new goal for age 81...

The great performance of our 2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon off road at the Jeep Jamboree.  This was the first time we took it off road, and it handled rock and water obstacles with ease.

Our guide's tricked out Jeep.  Because he can...
Rocky road

I won Bushwacker fender flares at the final dinner of the Jeep Jamboree.  It was so exciting to win!  Then I turned to Mike and asked "what are fender flares"?

Jeeps on trail 186 at the Big Horn Mountains Jeep Jamboree

Moose love Aspen trees
A moose stopped by for breakfast on our friends' aspen trees

Elk love to sit in tall grass and watch the tourists
Two elk at Yellowstone

Grazing land belongs to the sheep and not the Jeeps

Sheep crossed in front of our jeep on Woodchuck trail

Birds like to hang out in dead trees
Bald Eagle at Yellowstone

Birds at Quake Lake

There are 300 geysers at Yellowstone
Geyser field
Old Faithful

Friends doing crazy stunts at Yellowstone...
Mikie 'smoking Old Faithful'

My friend (who shall remain nameless because she will kill me when she sees this photo)  at Old Faithful

Land around geysers is other-worldly

Six 50+ people successfully hiked 7 miles  in Beehive Basin(a tenuous link to my 'retirement' blog) 

Path ahead

Wildflowers abound

Hanging with my sweetie and great friends on vacation-LIFE IS GOOD!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

A change of scenery

Sometimes you just need a change of scenery so we headed out west to visit friends Mel and Cathy in Big Sky, Montana.

We took a late afternoon tour of the Badlands which seemed like a different planet.
Afternoon drive through the Badlands

Badlands spires

Enjoying some camera time
Mike fixing broken hood latch

Driving through Montana

Little Bighorn was an amazing experience.  History books just don't prepare you for seeing the battlefield and the tombstones.  A dark cloudy day set the right tone for remembering battles of land and cultures.
Ominous clouds over the  battlefield
Fallen soldiers
Remembering fallen Indians

Off road trip on Buck Creek Ridge Trail near Big Sky
Montana countryside

Bears are taken seriously in this area.  Our first night here Mel told us how to protect ourselves while hiking, enough so that Mike and I each had bear nightmares our first night...

And we still enjoyed the great outdoors...

Hiking at Ousel Falls

Mike, Diane, Mel, Melanie, Cathy, Chuck at The Corral

Nothing like beautiful scenery and great friends to change your perspective!


Friday, August 10, 2012

Seeing light at the end of the tunnel

Kevin and Kathy

It's been another interesting week starting with a stop at Kevin and Kathy's on our way back to Iowa.  Our plans for an afternoon in the pool were shortened by their well water issues...

Flushing the well 

The problems started with water pressure problems and then intermittent water shut downs.  On the weekend Kevin and Kathy had the "well guy" pull up the old pump which was clogged with iron residue. On Sunday he replaced the pump.  After that came the orange water...and I do mean orange!   This was also caused by iron settling at the bottom of the well.

The next step was to have the entire well flushed with about 9,000 gallons of water to remove the iron.  Very interesting process which seems to have worked..

Touching up the ceiling
 When we returned home Mike began fixing items on the inspection list starting with the garage appeared there had been a leak, and the buyers wanted to insure the boards above the ceiling were in good repair and that the ceiling was "healthy".

Mike cut a small hole in the ceiling, put a camera on the end of flexible conduit and took diagnostic pictures inside the ceiling.  We were relieved to find that things looked good inside the hole with solid boards and no dark spots.   After making a photo/video record for the buyers he started repairing the ceiling.

Ceiling in progress

Sounds easy, but that crazy popcorn texture caused a few foul words and a communication breakdown around whether this could be completed before the buyer's bank appraiser showed up. When we are stressed, our communication deteriorates. We need to get out of this house!

The appraisal seemed to go well, and we "passed" the termite inspection!  A couple more milestones under our belt.

The next inspection task was cleaning and caulking all openings in the siding.  Mike has been cutting pieces of concrete siding(and wearing out saw blades), inserting backing rod and caulking.  Even though this is his least favorite job-it turned out great!


New dryer vent and caulking around A.C. pipe

My jobs this week were mostly paperwork except for grass seed in the backyard which was damaged last week by the septic company's large front-end loader...

Spreading seed

Jeep is NOT guilty of these tracks!

 I spent many hours putting together information for the buyers on warranties, instructions and receipts for all the improvements we made.  Mike said as an engineer, he would "LOVE" to get information like this when he moved into a house.

The past couple of days I've been working on turning off utilities and changing my address.  Again, not too difficult but extremely time consuming!

And it was finally time to gather up all the features signs that were scattered throughout the house during all the showings!

House features signs

Well, time to head out to some fun! I am finally going to upgrade from my flip phone to a "smart phone"!  Nothing like staying current with the technology, huh?

Have a great weekend!