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

Driveway and water

The drillers wear big water galoshes while working. This worker stashed his boots where he could get them fast! I thought it was funny!
Bryan photographing the progress of the driveway from on top of the hill toward the road. (it also looks like I need to clean my lens!)

This week brought about huge landscape changes with the driveway being cut in and the ability to move forward. And we struck water yesterday, although about 100 feet deeper than originally anticipated. (I hope it doesn’t break the budget!) 

 The guys who are doing the driveway work said it would take about a day and a half. They started on Monday, and here it is Thursday and they still aren’t finished. Luckily, they bid this out by the project, not by time! 

Oh! and another bit of news. We received the estimate for the new design of the house to be built from our new builder and its something that we can live with! Bryan and I have always loved large wrap around porches. This amenity is one that we loved in the previous plan and one that we didn’t want to do without.  So, our new house is a little farmhouse style, with porches. The heated space is 2420 sq feet with about 1300 sq ft of porch. And you do pay for that porch. But, we will use it and love it. So, we should be pouring the foundation next week! How’s that for progress?

Flora and Fauna

One of the things I was looking forward to was learning which plant is which in  this new place. In order to really care for the place and the land, I believe I need to know what things are! I started photographing the little seedlings and larger plants last February when we came up for a visit in the hopes of figuring all this out. I continued that activity whenever we came back. I am astonished that there are so many wildflowers blooming and so many active butterflies and bees this late in the season (early August). 

Here is a little gallery of some shots, hopefully you will be able to see the captions as some plants and butterflies are identified. Oh, and help a girl out and feel free to comment, maybe ID a plant or two for me, I am finding myself short of patience for the research! And check back often, I will be adding to this gallery!


Baby steps and one big set back…

Last week (our second week here) had us running around, going to Springfield (twice in one week) for some business and getting more acquainted with our new surroundings. 

We looked at a big old house in Thayer with the thought of buying it and moving it. This beautiful old Victorian (wrap around porches) was built in 1908 but updated about 13 years ago by adding a bathroom downstairs and updating the kitchen to the tune of $100K. I had never stood in a $100K kitchen before. This one was pretty spectacular! Even at the reduced price they wanted ($175K), to move it would be another 100K. So, that was a bit beyond our budget. This house was quite the house at 6100 sq ft. And this wasn’t all. There is a second house on the lot that was going as part of the deal.

But, as I said, it was a bit beyond our budget. 

Wait… “Why?” You ask?

We received a phone call while we were driving here from the guy who we wanted to build for us. He backed out – again. Not sure if it was his health or if our plans were too much for him to handle. (I am not assuming, he said he wasn’t sure if he could handle it!) So, while we were waiting to meet with the next guy on our list we decided to research this option.

We met with the drive way guy (last month) who approved the placement of our new driveway. We called the Mills Bros who will be installing the driveway and called the utility (Mo-1Call) to mark the utilities. There is only one utility out there, Windstream Communications with FO and Tel – cool – looks like I’ll have FO (could this be Fiber optics?) out in the boonies! They marked it the day after I called, but as of today, our driveway isn’t done. I’ve got 2 20ft culvert pipes waiting on them. 

Last week, while going over our budget yet again, Bryan found a huge error. Remember – I am not really a number’s gal. … “I just stayed at a Holiday Inn last night.” Any hoo – suffice to say – this error was not in our favor and we decided to ditch the plans we had designed for us. No to the Oak Alley look alike… just too much moola. In the most secret part of my heart, I think I am pretty relieved. It really was too much house, weighing in at 3200 sq ft. We were supposed to be downsizing.  We had met with this new builder last week and he had our plans to work up a price, but I called him last weekend and said, “Save yourself the effort – it’s off the table due to an error in calculating our budget.” Luckily, I had caught him before he dove into it, so the timing was on our side. 

Yesterday, we dove back into the design phase and came up with something we both like. At around 2400 sq ft, it fits the bill and if he comes back with the numbers he alluded to today, we can do it with room to spare. (Like how I did that little play on words?)

Anyway, we took him to the property today and we discussed where to put the house. And get this: if he comes back with a budget we can live with, he can break ground next week! Woot!!

We just bearly got back to the Chipmunk Crossing park (our home away from home) when I received a call from Shane, the guy who will drill our well. He wanted to meet to place the well! Well! That is good news. So, we headed back out and found an excellent spot for the well head. Water is everywhere under ground, and he feels we will hit a good source at about 320ft. Wow. 

So, next week, I will be writing checks and getting all started. We may not be in the 5th wheel as long as I thought. Good thing, too, as Bryan and I can get a little testy with each other.