Toilet Paper and Tortoise

We don’t expect to see much going on at the house at this point, especially on a Saturday. But, we don’t want to miss anything if someone does do something.  Someone had been there; a light was on in the hall, the laundry room, the garage, and in the small attic space above the garage.  The pull-down stairs were still down. I climbed up to have a look but did not see anything new.

A bird was having an epic battle with itself in the shower stall window. It kept flying into the window and pecking its reflection over and over.

We did find a change.  The toilet paper holder had been installed in the bathroom by Andy’s office.

We saw a huge tortoise (I think it’s a tortoise, anyway) crossing the road in our RV park. I didn’t have a ruler with me and am guessing the shell was fifteen inches from front to back.

When I stood in front of it to take a picture, it would lie down.

Then, it would take off again in a hurry.  This tortoise was no slow poke. That’s a look of determination.


Joe and Linda Coffey, and then John McDaniels

Big Day today.   Joe and Linda were traveling from Michigan to their Florida home in Port Charlotte.  Last night, they took the auto-train from Lorton, Virginia to Sanford, Florida. Then, this morning, on the last leg of their journey, they stopped in to visit us and check out the new house. We had planned to eat lunch in the restaurant here in the neighborhood, but the automatic fire extinguishing system in the kitchen malfunctioned last night.  The restaurant was closed while they cleaned up the foamy mess.  We toured the Village Green and then drove to our house.

It was fun walking around from room to room talking about features, pros and cons, their house, and houses in general.  So, the tour took a while.  Linda presented me with a small house gift which I am going to use often.  It is a little leaf-shaped tray with two small bird salt and pepper shakers. Salt and pepper do not get much cuter than this.

We went to the Oakwood Smokehouse for a nice lunch with more than we could eat.  Slick Joe snapped up the checks and handed them and his credit card to the waitress before Andy could catch him.  Thanks for lunch Joe and Linda.  Now we’ll meet that first house payment!

Andy and I decided to stop back by the house before heading back to the motorhome.  We had just walked inside when Andy noticed that a pickup truck had pulled up in front of the house. I re-opened the front door and recognized the construction supervisor, John McDaniels.

As he walked up the driveway, John bent down to pick up a few pieces of construction debris.  Then he picked up the box containing the trellis for the jasmine next to the garage wall.  I called out, “What are you going to do with that?” He replied that he was going to throw it into a dumpster. “That’s MINE!”  He stopped in his tracks and, apparently was not making sense of the situation. I explained that I had bought it and the landscapers were going to install it for me.  He decided to put it next to the jasmine where it should be safe.

He said he had come to make a few small repairs and I told him I would take pictures of him working.  He objected, saying that if they knew he could do that stuff, he might end up doing it all the time.  He was a master at adjusting the bi-fold closet doors.

In the master bath:

In Andy’s office:

In the sewing room:

He checked them all.  Then he installed the missing hardware on the pocket door to the guest room.

There was a funny episode Andy missed in the garage.  I led John in there to see the breaker panel box. I had pointed it out to Linda earlier.  I could not get the door to latch and stay closed. She tried it and could not get it to stay closed either.  About a second after closing, it would pop back open again.

John closed the door and it stayed closed.  I opened it and closed it again.  It popped open.  He closed it.  I opened and closed it again. It popped open.  Several more times. John started snickering. I declared, “You are laughing at me!!”  He tried to hold it back, “No, I’m not”.  But, then he could not hold it in any longer.  Open. Close. Open, close, pop. Laugh.  Close.  Open, close, pop. Laugh. I WAS squeezing.  I WAS pushing. Finally, John grabbed the frame of the door and pulled it outward.  I closed it and it stayed closed. Both of us returned the house laughing at our private comedy routine.


Painted Patio

I love to see these big trucks in action.  It doesn’t happen very often though.  This is the first time I’ve seen them unloading drywall.

The painter, who had said he would do the job on Monday, finally painted the patio on Thursday. I suppose he was busy at other houses. We did not go out there for fear it might not be dry.

That was the only change we saw today. There is just not that much more to be done.

I noticed this frog on the way out the driveway to the car.  The picture is not in focus.  The frog is gone, but its imprint is still there. It reminds me of the hollows made in the ash from Mount Vesuvius in Pompei.



My alarm clock this morning was a chainsaw right outside my bedroom window.  I didn’t have to look out to know what they were doing. It was the tree fallen between our two RVs during Topical Storm Irma.

One man was wielding the chainsaw and the other two were feeding it into the chipper. I was so surprised how little sawdust was on the ground when they were done. It was not even a pile.


Washing Machine, Shower Heads, Erosion

We could tell someone had been in the house since last night.  Our first spot to check was the laundry room.  Yes, they had delivered and installed the washing machine.  Now the laundry is complete.  This photo makes it look as though the machines are gray of the face and white on top.  Actually, they are white all over.  I guess the vertical panels are reflecting the gray walls.

We looked in the garage and saw that the black post to keep me from crashing the car into the water heater had been installed. That’s a good thing.  I have no poor depth perception. I cannot judge where the front of the car is.  I hope the water heater is safe enough.

I noticed that the shower head in the guest bath had been changed to a hand-held. Notice the brownish tiles at the top and the grayer tiles at the bottom.  It is where the sun is shining through the transom window.

So, I went to check the master bath shower stall, where I was expecting a change. They added the left shower head.  The man told me they would leave the old one in place because that is where the water is coming in.  The shower head from the guest bath worked for that.  That explains the swap.  There is a lever behind the right shower head to divert the water to one, the other, or both. That works for me.

I noticed that they had also installed a grab bar in the shower for us old people.

Oops.  There is a hole in the wall behind the shower head.  I guess they needed access to mount the new shower head.  Not a problem.  The problem is that the pocket door behind that wall no longer pulls out.  Double oops.  I’m sure they will solve both problems by next Wednesday.

When we returned to the house in the afternoon, there was a surveyor’s truck parked in front of the house.

Her transit was standing in the center of the cul-de-sac.

She was confirming the corners of our property.  We thought the landscapers had not covered the whole lot with sod.  When we marked the corner of the lot, however, it was right at the edge of the sod.  When we got back home, we studied our plat some more and realized that the number of feet we had been using is probably wrong on the plat.  They had moved the house over about six feet but did not change that measurement on the new plat they sent us.

There was some erosion under the sidewalk, due to the heavy rains from tropical storm Irma. The landscapers had noticed it and someone had moved the mulch aside.  A few minutes after we arrived, one of the Earthscape guys came back to finish the job.  He shoveled buckets of dirt from the adjoining log and filled the space under the walk.  He also filled the little trench he had dug and then put the mulch back in place.

We discussed the six shrubs he had replaced last week.  They were wilted the next morning. He told us they (like us) thought those plants were not getting water.  They checked the irrigation system and decided it was working properly.  He said they were going to replace them with some other kind of plant if they did not perk up by Thursday.  He also noted that we are missing five plumbago plants that were planted along the sidewalk.  You can see there is only one in the picture above. I don’t know where the other five went.  I was wondering why they had left a big shrubless gap in the mulch along the sidewalk. They are also going to replace two trees.  Two others look sickly.  We are going to watch them for a bit to see if they recover.

It is now one week to closing.




Nothing new at the house today except that we have frogs.

There was one at the front door.

One on a front porch post.

and one at the garage door.


I am so happy to have them.

I am not happy about some other visitor.  It appears that something has been nibbling on my blueberry bushes.  All eight of them have bare stems.  I don’t know if they are going to make it.


Front Porch

I was anxious to check out the shrubbery this morning and did not notice anything different about the house.

The three little bushes the plant set out yesterday are all drooping.  Now, I am wondering if they are getting the water they should be getting from the irrigation system.

The gardenia blossom had opened and I stuck my nose in to inhale it.

Andy pointed out the railing around the front porch.

Andy is so thrilled with the refrigerator; he added ice to his water bottle.

When we returned to the house in the afternoon, I paused to take a picture of the front porch with the railing.

It was cold inside.  For most of the past week, it was hot and the workers had all the windows open. I looked in the garage to see that the Sun Kool man had finished and closed up the unit. We had noted a few days ago that they had installed a new thermostat.

I took more pictures of the front porch on the way out, just because I was so excited about it and thinking of how I would place a few chairs and tables for front porch sitting with the neighbors.

The only thing we can think of that needs doing now is installing the washing machine.  We are almost lamenting the fact that the house is done.  We have become accustomed to a surprise or two every day. What are we going to marvel over now?