Part Two

Where did we leave off?

We have this beautiful barn. We have water, we have electricity, we have a driveable/parkable gravel driveway and parking area. We even have a small cess-pit (don’t freak out my city friends… its not illegal and perfectly bio-friendly) to dump our tanks. 

A few days before we were to move the trailer to our property, I woke up in a state in the middle of the night. I hadn’t checked the clearance of the lowest part of the lean-to. We have vents and A/C units and skylights up there. It’s not all flat with a rubber roof! Was the low point high enough to clear all the crap? Especially since we had one more bit of gravel spread out to even it all out.

We went out the next day and measured from the bottom of the barn: where the walls actually end because they assume that is where the level of the floor will be. It was not 12’6″. It was not 13′. It was not even 12′. it was 11’11”.

Yikes. 7″ too short to accommodate my trailer. Trying not to panic, we thought of our options. We could move gravel from the area under each of the gable ends. Yikes, that is a lot of work. We are in our 60s and in not perfect shape!  We could cut a notch in the first gable end and worry about the second end at a later date. Okay – that is a better option, cuz Bryan is a handy guy! EXCEPT… All of Bryan’s tools are in SA as well as all of our ladders. 

We called our builder to see if we could borrow a few tools and a ladder. He said sure! And we did. That Thursday Bryan cut out a notch in the north end so that we could drive in. 

Great! The next day, we left for a quick trip to SA to visit family and to get my Jeep.

When we returned on Tuesday to move the trailer through the now 13’4″ tall notch we were afraid for the steep gravel incline but excited to finally get onto the property. 

The gravel driveway was loose because we hadn’t had a lot of traffic on it yet. And it had just rained and was still muddy under the gravel. The previous night, our truck (F-350 Diesel) had a hard time dragging the bumper hitch trailer up the steep incline. We lost traction several times and it was very scary.  Bryan had been worried for weeks about this, because of the loose gravel and the loss of traction. Even though it is a 4 wheel drive! I countered each time that with a 5th wheel configuration, there will be more weight on the back axle so it shouldn’t be a problem. I didn’t have any evidence to back this claim up except common sense.  We asked around and the overall prevailing advice we got was “just don’t stop” once we started the way up. 

Armed with that, we headed out from the RV park. If you have never prepped a trailer you’ve been living in for travel – it takes a bit of time…. Before we were living in it for a longer period, we could break it down in about 30 minutes. But all the breakables (dishes, etc) needed to be stowed and foodstuffs stashed so as not to spill. 

We rounded the corner of 142 and EE, the nearest intersection to us and on the east side of our property to afford a better angle of entry. Both of our blood pressures went up. We stopped talking and just started breathing. He turned into our driveway.

Bryan didn’t stop. It was slow and steady. But we got up the drive!!! HOW? WHY?

Apparently, the one more day of dry weather tightened the dirt under the gravel a bit more and it was as I suspected. 10K lbs of weight on that rear axel helped keep the tires on the gravel. In truth, the bumper trailer with the Jeep actually lightened the load off the front wheels and caused them not to purchase good traction.

So, we were up. (I actually teared up for a moment!) 

And now to get it under the notch. The gravel guy was here and helped too. We lined it up… and pulled in….. to hear: SCCCRRRAAAAAPPPPPEEEEE! Oh no! Mistake #2.

and sure enough, we were not scraping the ac unit, but we were impacting the skylight over our shower. so. we. stopped.

We put down the legs and got hooked up. I contacted the barn company, and they will be coming back to take off the gable ends. But that won’t be for a couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, we are moving rocks… Missouri GROWS rocks, putting up our mailbox – without a posthole digger (storage), and did I mention FedEx found us today?

 

Home plans and other things

I suppose I am connected with a lot of you via FaceBook. That’s fine. You can stop reading now. 

Or should you? Some of this you know, some you don’t.

One thing that I have had such an issue with in the past is copyright infringement. At USAA, right after I was hired, I was charged with creating multimedia graphics with photos, art and music without infringing copyrights. I had no idea what all that was about except to say that I knew creations were legally protected from intellectual theft. I learned in a hurry. (Ask me about when I told the CEO of USAA at the time – “no, you can’t use that Rockwell painting with music.” I guess that was the first time I was labeled a trouble-maker! LOL)

Bryan and I had the plans for a beautiful antebellum house drawn up but since our builder had an accident and I had performed the most egregious math error, we cannot build that.  Better to lose the money already invested than to start a build that will never be finished! Time to down size. So many of the builders we interviewed said, “just draw something up on a napkin” or “show me the TYPE of house you like on the internet” and we could go from there. so, we pulled a few pictures we liked and accepted a bid last week from a builder to build a house from a photo on the internet. I felt weird about sharing this information with you guys because I almost felt as if I were stealing someone’s intellectual property. I know though, dormers, porches, front doors, they are all common to homes. Its in the way you put them together. 

Our builder called last Friday to tell me that he was having trouble getting the material list together so was just going to order the plans. Hurrah! I can share now! The house is 2420 sq.ft. with 1320 of porches! And for all of you people who kept asking if the master bedroom is downstairs – YES. We will be meeting with him tomorrow to lay it out!

Nice farm house! This is the front, and it will be facing North.

 

Also, weather permitting, our barn will be erected in about 3 weeks! So that is good!

What isn’t cool is the run around that FedEx has given me pertaining to the delivery of my cat’s prescription food. It should have been delivered last Friday. Would you believe, after 8 phone calls, changing the delivery address from our legal physical address (given to us by the Oregon County courthouse) to the address at the RV park, having the package in Jonesboro, AR all week, been out for delivery 2x this week, due yesterday. At 8:30 p.m., the tracking info told me the driver TOOK IT BACK TO JONESBORO. 

Jonesboro is only about 80 miles from my location. Closer than SA to Austin. On Monday I was told that no, I couldn’t pick it up in Jonesboro – I offered. FedEx has 3 offices in West Plains, nope, not there either. I think they were jacking with me. 

At 9:00 last night, this package was shipped to Memphis. Today, it went to St. Louis. Its due to be delivered tomorrow, (8 days after the 1 delivery date), and I have no confidence it will be here. I called FedEx, and opened a complaint ticket. 

The investigator had the audacity to tell me that I gave them an illegal address first. I blew my top. Nope, Nope, Nope. Just because their databases hadn’t caught up yet. And, oh, btw, our local post office would have gladly accepted the package and held it for me. But, no. FedEX tells me “They don’t do that.” s–t-heads.

Merlin sitting with me while I take photos of mushrooms.

After I blew up at the investigator, I asked to speak to someone who could and would help me get my package. And just so you are on the same page as me, this is not vanity food, or a posh toy for my cats. This is food. This is food that they can eat so they won’t DIE. I actually asked them if the mission of PetFlow was to treat our pets like family, would it be alright if FedEx lost heart medication for a family member? Would they pay the vet bills? She said, well, we do have a claims department. (I would rather have my cats healthy than to have to go through claims because Merlin died.)

So, finally, I backed off of having someone deliver it today. The investigator brought in an agent in Springfield, and she tells me I can pick it up from her tomorrow after 8 a.m. Springfield is a bit further than Jonesboro. She was also surprised that the drivers out of Jonesboro 1) wouldn’t leave it with a rural local PO (they do it around Springfield all the time) or 2) Allow me to come and get the package.

I’m not done with this yet, I will be reporting it to PetFlow and following up with FedEx. I want heads.

so. now. I. just. have. to. chill. 

like Merlin.

a moment of zen

(turn up your speakers.)

 

#FedEx #PetFlow.com

Harder than I thought it’d be…

We closed up the house on July 3. And Independence Day took on a special meaning. We were free. Free of a mortgage and free of the crushing property taxes in SA for a little while. 

We stayed in town because Lauren’s birthday (her 30th!) was quickly approaching and we didn’t want to leave her just yet. We enjoyed a few more visits with her and she and I had a few girls only errand runs that Dad begged out of. 

We moved full-time into our 5th Wheel at a little park just east of the AT&T Center. (I was going to say the Joe Freeman Coliseum – But I don’t think EVERYONE would know the location!) It was pretty nice, there were a LOT of full-timer’s there and we watch many, many Class C motor coaches stay for a day or two. That is definitely the way to travel! The cats were cool with sharing this small space with us almost right away. The Feliway plugin helped, I’m sure.

I was able to get together with some of the girls again, Carolyn, Ramona, Catherine, and Susan. We even ran into Rita! What a treat! I loved seeing their faces.

If we didn’t connect during that final two weeks, don’t fret. I haven’t left the planet. Lets both make an effort when I come back (for Doctor’s visits and family visits!) …

On the 16th, Lauren came over again, since we were leaving on the 17th. And saying goodbye was really hard. 

When I was a girl, we would take road trips up to Iowa at least 1x a year. Always for the 4th of July family reunion, and I remember a couple of times at Christmas time.  We would drive up, and everyone would come tearing out of my grandmother’s house, crying and laughing. Then, at the end of our visit, everyone hugging and crying and hugging some more. I think I was crying because my mom was crying… I moved away when I was 3, and so, didn’t “get it”. 

That last night, when we were walking Lauren to the car, was like that. I am tearing up just thinking about it. But as I keep saying, the tether is just longer now.  And FB does help!

We took 2 nights to get to our new locale, we only drove 6 or so hours a day. We didn’t know what to expect towing the 5er – and the cats. 

We stayed in a nice park just south of Tyler that first night. By going IH10 to here, we missed the bulk of the construction road work. Its name: KE Bushman’s Camp. Not so much camp – but golf course… beautiful. I even went barefoot!

The next night brought us to just east of Hot Springs. Not as nice, we were next door to bikers – 3 Harley’s and a big truck. I think they were full-timing there. They came out to smoke, so, we didn’t like that too much…

At each park, I took Merlin on the leash for a walk. I am pretty proud of him, he’s doing so well! Since we left the big house, we have only had to break up one fight, and that was in the TRUCK! They were fighting because he pooped outside the box, and then took her spot on the other side of the box. So, if she wanted to lay down, she was in it. I cleaned it up at our next stop.

Until we get the basics out at our land, we are parked at Chipmunk Crossing RV Park, 8 miles south of West Plains. I am saying we are on an extended vaca until the address situation gets worked out. I have an address, but it doesn’t work yet. Once we have a driveway, we’ll get that sorted!

Pictures of the park, and our wee kitties…