Nothing Happening Here

The house across the way had painter’s trucks in front of it yesterday and, as that house has been a day or so ahead of us in the sequence of construction, we thought they might come to our house today.

It was late morning before we went to the house.  We had a bit of rain on the way, but it was not raining there.  I took my umbrella inside with me anyway. It looked the same as yesterday from the outside.

And, it looked exactly the same as yesterday on the inside.  We have become so accustomed to seeing progress every day that we were a bit disappointed!

We stopped in Publix for some dinner ingredients (plus a few more things that were not on the list, as usual).  I made a very nice chicken and vegetable dish that I served over angel hair pasta.  Then we took naps.

Later in the afternoon, we went back to the house to see if anything had been done.  It looked just the same as it had in the morning except the clouds had given way to blue sky.

We drove around to the house across the way and went inside for a look there.  The painting was done.  Now we are sure we’ll see paint very soon.

I have been neglecting “Big Creek”  for weeks while we have been watching the house getting built.  The sales are reflecting that.  I can assure you right now:  “Big Creek” is not going to pay the mortgage  I was feeling bad about neglecting my book promotion efforts.  Then I got a notice Facebook:

Lucy Cara Teague Picked up your book yesterday at Big Creek Country Store. It’s wonderful reading and I’m learning about what goes on behind the scenes with our rangers and forestry personnel. Makes me appreciate my visits much more. Also, it’s nice to take a little bit of Big Creek home with me via your book. Almost finished with it so glad to know you have a blog!
Then Kelly of Big Creek Country Store posted this one:
Kelly Sutton
Kelly Sutton · Friends with Lucy Cara Teague

We are having a great response to Ms. Misovec’s book at the Big Creek Country Store! Can’t keep them in stock- need more books Dinata!
That’s enough to cheer up an author!!

Doors and Tiles

We had an appointment with a Geico insurance adjuster in Mount Dora at 0905.  This was to fix the minor damage to the rear end of the car when the guy ran into the back of it at a traffic light in Sevierville, Tennessee on May 11.  We stopped at the house on our way out.

This truck was backed up to the garage.

This smiling man was unloading the truck and placing the doors in the garage.


He also brought door trim and base boards.

We headed on to Mount Dora.  The experience with the Geico adjuster was very good and they already had a rental car there for us.  We had but to sign papers for the body shop, the insurance company, and the car rental company and we were on our way.  Then we turned around and went back for our Sun Pass (electronic toll payer for the car windshield).  Andy wanted to go to Costco to restock our Dr. Pepper supply.  Just down the road a bit from the body shop, we saw a Mellow Mushroom!  A pizza is in our near future.  It took a long time to get to Costco, about twice as long as we had expected.

We got back to the house in the early afternoon and heard sawing as we were walking up to the front door.  We had three door men working inside.  They had the saw set up in the family room.

They were almost done; doors were hanging just about everywhere.

One man was trimming the door to the master bath.

Another was installing the pull-down steps in the garage.  There is a small storage space up there.  I suppose it would be a place for Christmas decorations if they could take the summer heat up there.

A large truck pulled up in the circle.  It took me a minute to figure out that it was tile.  (I read it on the driver’s door.)

The man had a very cool forklift. That’s our white rental car in the background.

He put one pallet full of tiles inside the garage and, then, shoved it back further with another pallet full.

That fork was maneuverable.  He could move it up, down, left, right, in, out, and even tilt it a bit.

That’s a lot of tiles.

The door installers left without installing the linen closet door for the master bath.  I think they just called it a day to get out of the way of the tile delivery man. Else, it could have been the wrong size.

A flock of ibis was ambling across the grass in back of the house.  I noticed one good-looking juvenile.

Knock Down

It is Sunday.  We were not expecting anyone to work on the house.  We drove to Crispers in Clermont for lunch and went to the Home Depot in the same shopping center. I am looking for a trellis to put against the large garage wall near the front door. I want square “window panes”, for lack of a better word.  I also want something large.  This is the closest I came to “exactly what I wanted”.  The only thing I don’t like is those spires. Perhaps I can cut them off.  They did not have the trellis in the store so I’ll have to order it on line.  This one is also meant to be mounted on a wall and not in the ground.  I’m not sure about anchoring into cement stucco on concrete blocks.  Don’t want to chip out that new stucco.

Dura-Trel 96 in. x 57 in. White Vinyl PVC Winchester Trellis

Though we were not expecting anything to be done, we went to the house on our way home.  We could see that someone had been there as soon as we got out of the car.


Well, Darn!!!  I wanted to watch this part.  JR Smullen told me that the spray the stuff on the wall to make the texture before painting.  I missed it this morning. The garage walls and ceiling were whiter than they were before.

Here is a closeup of the concrete block wall.

And, here is a closeup of the interior walls.  I’ve done some Google studying today and have decided that this finish is called “knock down” rather than “orange peel”.  the spots are flat.

The inside of the house is much brighter with this texture spatter on everything but the floor.

They put a heavier coat around doors and windows and we could not see the drywall color through it. Or maybe that is just the extra joint compound over the drywall that makes it so white.

The bunny is still visible, but I don’t think it will be for long.

The only things in the house that are not textured are shower and tub surrounds and the back side of the kitchen counter, which will be covered by cabinets.



Venetian Gardens

We drove to the house mid morning, but no one was there. We walked around a bit anyway and then stopped by the grocery store for some fruit before heading back to the motorhome for lunch. Since there was no one to watch working, we decided to explore Venetian Gardens.  We have passed it a number of times and often said we would have to check it out one day.

Venetian Gardens is a city park in a cove off Lake Harris. It turned out to be quite nice.  Just inside the entrance is a large playground with a water-park for small children.  I didn’t get a good look, but I think it was mostly sprinklers and no water depth.  Good idea for the little ones.

We drove through the park and out the other side looking at the large older homes among gigantic live oaks on the lake front.  Then we turned around and parked in a parking area inside the park.  It is called Venetian Gardens because there are canals and bridges, a la Venice.

We followed the walkway along the big water.

The place is alive with water birds.

Reddish Egret

I was surprised to see an Anhinga.  I think of them as Everglades birds. That is not eggs under the wing; it is a pile of snail shells.


There were several bridges and islands among the canals.

The gap in the trees in the distance is the opening to the main body of Lake Harris.

Tricolored Heron

We found a nice bench overlooking the lake and that ended our walk, except to get back to the car.

Great White Egret

There are a good number of cypress trees in the park.

Cypress Trees

The bird we saw most often today was the Common Gallinule.  This bird is very dark, appearing black to me.  I thought it was a Common Gallinule until I got it on the computer.  It is a Purple Gallinule.  I should have known by the white forehead.

Purple Gallinule


We’ll go back to Venetian Gardens again for future walks.

The Mud Slinger Is Done And the House Has Soffits

We stopped at the house in the morning.  The Lone Mudslinger was still at work.

I went outside to see if the soffit had been installed.  It had, and I hadn’t noticed it on the way in.

I did notice that there was only one box of joint compound in the garage. It must be his last day.

There was one box of joint compound in a bucket, still holding its box shape.

We went to the landscaper’s yard so I could pick out the trees and shrubs that I wanted.  John told me that most people just go with whatever he puts in.  But, I’m a tree hugger, shrub shaker, and flower fan.  I wanted to know what I was getting.  This region of Florida is live oak country.  They are awesome. I’m sorry I didn’t get 40 acres full of live oaks, but I’ll get two with this house.  Unfortunately, they are small and won’t be gnarly, spreading, many-branched, or draped with Spanish moss in my lifetime. He also recommended two magnolia trees, one on each side of the house.  I love magnolias, but the small ones they plant are rather scraggly looking.  I don’t know how many years it will take for them to look decent.  I picked as many flowering shrubs as I could.  I was pausing over what to put in the front of the house, between the garage and front door.  John suggested a gardenia and my heart melted.

My poor farmer grandparents lived in an old house with a tin roof.  Grandma had a gardenia bush just outside a window at one end of the house.  With all the windows open in the summer, the scent drifted through the house. I couldn’t get enough of it.  Now I am going to have my own outside the dining room window.  I can’t wait to smell the gardenias.

When we got back to the house in the afternoon, The Mudslinger had finished all the joint compound in the boxes.  He was putting on a final top-coat, another blend in a few bags.

I loved watching him spread the stuff and making the walls and ceiling smooth as can be.

Andy thought The Mudslinger had forgotten his office and was relieved when he moved to that room.

We sat in our folding chairs out back.  Here is the grove of live oaks bordering the golf course.

We had seen a flock of ibis land on the far side of the 14th tee and, since there were no golfers in sight, we decided to walk over to see if there was water over there.

Andy stood there admiring the view.

I noted the golfer’s-eye view of our house.

Andy wanted to go check the house again in the evening.  It was six o’clock and The Mudslinger was still there scraping up the globs of joint compound that had hit the floor this week.

His job was done and we thanked him for doing a good job.  I’m not sure he understood what we were saying.  He did understand the smiles and thumbs up.

We had some dramatic sky when we walked back out to the car.  There was some thunder, but we never got rain.


More Mud and New Tools

The mud slinger was at it again this morning. I wondered if he had worked all night, or moved in. He just doesn’t stop.  He demonstrated two new tools today. This was a long-handled sander.  He seemed to wander around aimlessly, but I guess he was looking for rough spots. I was happy to see him wearing a respirator today.  He was kicking up a bit of dust.

Our good boating buddy, Ken Wilson stopped in to visit with us this morning.  He was riding his scooter up to the Gainesville area and we are not too far out of the way.  We were not very good hosts, we didn’t offer him anything to eat or drink or a place to sit down. We did give him a tour of the community amenities around the village green.  I’m pretty sure Ken was smiling in this picture.


Ken travels all over the USA and other parts of the world on his scooters.  He often posts photos of “Scoot” in front of interesting places.  This scooter is named “Fred”. So, here are Fred and Ken in front of the Misovec’s house.

The Mud Slinger was working on the family room wall with yet another tool.  This one looked just like one of those dust bins you see them use in fancy restaurants.  It also looks like one of those doggie pooper scoopers for people who don’t want to bend over.  However, he pumped joint compound into it from the bucket.  Then he ran it up

and down the wall. Doesn’t that look like a bunny rabbit on the wall?

I figured out why he has large white spots on both thighs.  That is where the bucket touches him when he carries it.

He reverted to the trowel and pan for the dining room window.  I watched for a moment and realized that the window had a sill in it.

I looked at other windows and, sure enough, someone had been through the house and installed window sills.  Was it The Mud Slinger?  Probably not. It must have been while we went home for dinner.

Andy said I was being silly.

Another Layer of Mud

We had no idea what was going on in the house based on this trailer sitting outside.

Two more mud slingers!  And my screw head/orange peel paint theory was shot down. They were covering the screw heads. Yes, Derrick, the theory was logical.

The kitchen counter got a new look with the vertical stripes.

Here is a headless mud slinger in the pantry.

Then he moved to the bedroom window.  Their movements seem random to me, but they probably know what they are doing.

The action was not very exciting so we only watched for a short while.  We went to City Hall in downtown Leesburg, a place we had not been before. We had been given instructions for transferring the utilities to our name by the closing date.  (Yeah, it is still a long way off) What the instruction sheet did not tell us was that we needed proof of our right to be in the house, such as sales contract or rental agreement.  Oh well, we still have over a month to go back.

We took another trip to the house in the later afternoon, after quitting time.  The taper’s truck was parked in front of the house.

Here is the state of the family room wall.

The pile of sand out front had some beautiful erosion from our regular thunderstorms.

Then, I got a clue what it is for.

That pile of sand and cement is not for our front porch as I had thought.  It is stucco cement for the outside of the house.  I’m looking forward to that.

The Mud Slinger was mixing his mud in the garage.  That huge collection of joint compound boxes had a pre-mixed compound in them.  He poured huge globs of it into two five-gallon buckets. It was very thick, like paste or bread dough. That gray bucket has huge a mixer beater in it. He added a cup of water to the mix.

Then he attached his heavy-duty drill to the beater and began to stir. This stuff was so thick that the bucket danced around a bit. It took a good bit of mixing to get the right consistency.

I took several pictures of the mixing but liked this one the best.

For the first time EVER, Andy declined my offer for him to lick the beaters.

Finally, The Mud Slinger picked up both buckets and walked back in the house.  He might be a small man, but don’t challenge him to an arm-wrestling match.