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?



Refrigerator, Gardenia, Ice

Two people were cleaning windows when we got to the house in the morning.  I wish I could keep them.

Here is a closer look at the garage floor, for Cas.  It reminds me of linoleum floors from my childhood.  This is some sort of epoxy paint.

Both of us walked by it two or three times before we noticed the refrigerator in the kitchen.  Andy has been anxious about it since we made our choices back in March.  We did not want the standard fridge, or even an upgraded one.  All the builder was offering had the ice dispenser through the door.  We’ve had enough of that over the years.  It gets jammed up or the ice drops out one clink at a time.  Clink………clink………clink. Nope.  We like a bin with a big scoop to fill a glass to the top in two seconds. It is basically the same Samsung fridge we have in the motorhome, just a wee bit bigger. Andy is so happy with his new refrigerator.

Here is how it looks in that spot.

Now the kitchen is complete.

The painter arrived and looked at the floor of the lanai. Then he decided that he would paint it on Monday and left.

I made a pretty good stir-fry for dinner and made Andy his 81-2/12 birthday cake. It turned out pretty well except that the boiled icing was very grainy.  Like eating tasty sand.

A man from Earthscapes was at the house when we returned in the afternoon.  He was replacing some of the dead and half-dead shrubbery. The new ones were much healthier and a bit larger too.

The highlight for me was getting the gardenia bush.  They call it a tree since they have pruned it as such.  It went into the spot marked with an empty pot.

It has half a dozen blooms on it and they smell wonderful.

As soon as the man was done, I went closer and stuck my nose in all the blooms.  Here is a closer look at one that is not all the way opened.  Just smell that!

He also straightened up the red maple that had been leaning over.  I had tried to do it the other day, with no success.

Andy and I were standing in the kitchen, discussing how our furniture will look in the family room when we heard a familiar clunk.  The freezer had dropped ice into the bin.  Our first ice!  Now that calls for a documentary photograph.


Screen Cage, Blinds, and Painted Porch

A painter’s truck and the air conditioning man’s truck were parked in front of the house when we arrived this morning.

The garage door was open so we got our first look at the painted floor. It is speckled. I’ve had garages before but never one with a painted floor.

The painters were starting to put a clear coat on the speckled finish. This one was doing the edges with a brush.

We went in the front door and saw this out the back door.

So we went back out the front door and around the house to see our new screen cage.  It is such a Florida thing.  Ours is small compared to most.

I got a kick out of how many tools the men needed to erect it.

Note the radio antenna.

Of course, I walked down the slope to the golf course to have a look.  The grass they had laid down is brown and crispy now.

It is only eight feet out from the house. It does meet the building set-back line though so it could not be any deeper.

The painters had nearly finished the clear coat on the garage floor.

Two men came in carrying boxes.  Andy and I shrugged our shoulders with palms raised and a questioning expression on our faces.

I looked outside for a clue from a vehicle.  None.  They had arrived in a plain white minivan.

It was window blinds.  And the men wasted no time getting them installed.  One opened boxes and did some assembly.

The painters were preparing to paint the deck of the front porch.

I opened the front door to take a picture. He said, and I could see, that the paint was very thick.

The blind men were almost done installing blinds when I turned around. This is in the dining room.

I liked my picture of them in the living room.  You can see the painter out the front window.

That was also a quick job.  I went back around the house to capture an image. in the nick of time.

The jobs were done and everyone was gone when we returned to the house in the early evening.  I was happy to see the painters had put tape across the porch to discourage footprints.

The screen cage was done.

I had to tilt the blinds a bit to get them to show up in the picture.

Our “back porch” area will be used a lot.  We are accustomed to living outside and this is where we will do a lot of it.  I plan a table for eating and a few outdoor lounge chairs for watching the golfers and cranes. And napping.

Speaking of cranes, we have not seen any at the house since we got back from Maryland.  And, there is only one at the RV park, where we saw three together nearly every day.  We are wondering if it has to do with Hurricane Irma.

Our outdoor seating area will have a view of the pond on the golf course.

This beautiful moth was on the wall inside the screen meant to keep bugs out.

There was a strange object on the front porch.  As near as we can figure, it is to measure pressure in a pipe.



House Cleaning

There was one small car in front of the house this morning.

The garage door was closed and all the debris (plus the box with the trellis for the jasmine) was in the driveway in front of the door. I noticed that the ladder belongs to the electricians.

Inside the house, the door to the garage had purple tape over it.  Ah ha!  The garage floor has been painted.  That bucket in the foreground is another clue.

Out the back door, I could see that they added some grass to the slope down to the golf course.  That is not our lawn; our lawn ends at the stick.  We have very little backyard.

I was so excited, I walked down the slope to have a look from that direction.

They had also patched the bald spot that had been left beside the house.  I may not have mentioned that before.  It is the bluer grass than the rest.

The patch on the back wall where the electrical outlet had been is dry and invisible.

Three women were busy cleaning the house.  They were sweeping, vacuuming and mopping. The one in the dining room had a scrubbing pad under her foot and scrubbed tough spots with it.

The chatty one in the kitchen was using a shop-vac to vacuum out the kitchen cabinets and drawers.  They were littered with sawdust and other bits of trash.

This tiny lady did not speak English.  She was just finishing vacuuming the master bedroom.

Andy’s leg was quite swollen from that fall on the boat in Washington, DC.  I was worried about it and took him to the Urgent Care clinic.  The doctor was a little worried about it too.  She said for him to stay off his feet for the knee/leg to heal faster.  Then she wrote an order for a sonogram to check for blood clots. She said that if they see any blood clots, he was to go directly to the emergency room.  They did not see any blood clots.  Whew!  Andy was relieved.  The swelling and discoloration are a bit scary.  Now it is just a matter of slowly healing.

We went back to the house on our way home.  The door was locked!  We could be getting to the end of the house construction series folks.  Tomorrow, we will stop in the sales office to see if we can get a key. The only things we can think of now are the screen cage out back, a refrigerator, and a washing machine. Oh, and some landscaping improvements.

Blue Front Door

A man was spray painting the garage door as we walked up to the house this morning.  But, I forgot to put the picture disc back into the camera.  I don’t know how to get the pictures off the built-in memory.  I can’t find the camera-to-computer cable.

I was surprised that he was painting the door gray to match the house.  I just assumed it was going to stay white.  What do I know?

The front door and shutters were also painted today. The blue is lighter than I expected.  The color was supposed to be “Nantucket Blue”.  I dunno.  They don’t look like Nantucket to me. I like it though.

This is some funny landscaping.  There is supposed to be a gardenia in this spot between the front porch and garage.  They would not have planted it in a pot, so it must be to mark the spot for the plant.

The kitchen sink sprayer had been installed too.  Andy and I both tried it out.

Here is the dishwasher.

At last!  The linen closet in the master bath has gotten a door.

Here is a closer look at the front door. I noticed when the picture got on the computer: the doorbell button has also been installed.

This has been a tough evening.  High school classmates are posting pictures and comments about the reunion last Saturday.  Marathon friends and neighbors are posting comments and pictures of the devastation they are facing from Hurricane Irma. It has been an emotional roller coaster and I am exhausted.


Almost Done

We are back in Florida.

It was a great trip north even though I was fretting about missing the house construction for so long and fretting about Hurricane Irma going over our RV lot in the Florida Keys, our motorhome, and our new house in Leesburg, Florida.  We were busy.  I sang a couple of songs at a Bluegrass Jam that brother-in-law Tom goes to every Friday night.  Sister Barbara put me up to it. On Saturday, we attended the wedding of Son Christopher’s childhood friend, Joey Cumberland at the Calvert Marine Museum. Christopher was the best man.

Here is the wedding venue.  It was perfect weather for a wedding.

We had not met the bride so this was our first look at her.

You know how the kids who are in your house so much you begin to think of them as one of your own?  Joey introduced me to some guests as his “other mother”.

My son Christopher is the tall one with the skinhead. Mama has not been able to convince him to grow his hair.  He was an excellent best man.

On Sunday, Andy and I took Christopher up to Annapolis for a visit with his grandmother. At 93, she was having a good day and recognized us.  She snuggled with Christopher the whole time.

We also stopped at the Naval Academy to visit Grandpa Moulton.

Fortunately, someone else drove Christopher to the airport on Monday morning so I didn’t have to get up in the middle of the night for that.  We drove up to Rockville, MD to visit Son Andrew and his family.  Since they were all at work and school, we stopped to visit Laura Bender aboard Kindred Spirits at the Gangplank Marina in Wash. DC on the way.  It sure was nice to sit on a boat again.  We had a great visit, including a nice lunch at a nearby restaurant.  Andy slipped and fell on (not off) the boat as we were leaving.  By the time the kids came home from school, I decided that someone should have a look at Andy’s swollen knee.  So we went to a local Urgent Care clinic rather than to watch baseball practice.  The x-ray revealed no break.  They put Andy in an “immobilizer” and prescribed elevation and ice.

On Tuesday, we went to visit Susan and Richard during the day.  Richard is recovering nicely from open-heart surgery and was looking well and rosy, if not robust. It was not enough time to catch up with all the chatter Susan and I needed to accomplish.  We returned to Sister Barbara’s house on Wednesday. She has started back to school, I think this is her last year of nursing school. On Thursday, we visited one of Daughter Jennifer’s childhood friends in Solomons.  Kelly’s baby boy Liam is ten months old and as happy a baby as you are likely to meet.  He loved Andy, as all children seem to do.

A highlight of the trip was my 50th high school reunion, which will require a separate post.  I had so much fun squealing and hugging childhood friends. I talked about it for most of the drive back to Florida. We saw more than a hundred electric utility trucks heading north, their hurricane clean-up work done,

We drove straight to the house when we got back to Leesburg. There is a lawn, shrubbery, and some trees. And shutters, which I had not noticed until I got the pictures on the computer. There are also screens in the windows.

The sod is multi-colored.  This is the west side of the house.

We have a house number.

And baseboards. It is beginning to look finished. There were two or three painters inside putting another coat of paint on the walls and touching up scuffs, chips, and scratches. The walls no longer look as blue.

The master bath has medicine cabinets and a mirror.

I watched two men install the glass on the shower stall.

We have a laundry tub and a dryer in the laundry room but there was no washer in sight.

We solved the mystery of a small PVC pipe sticking out of the outside wall of the garage.  This is the irrigation system controller on the wall.

The guest bathroom also has a medicine cabinet and mirror.

The big excitement was in the kitchen.  The dishwasher was installed, but I did not take a picture of it. The cabinet over the refrigerator finally got doors.

I have a stove with five, count ’em, five burners!  I’ve been trying to cook four-burner dinners on three burner stoves for seventeen years and am beside myself with excitement.

Here is a better look with tiles on the wall behind.

The pantry has shelves.  I can’t wait to get my food out from under the sofa in the motorhome.

Someone drilled a hole in the countertop for the sprayer, which is now under the sink.

The clouds were pretty across the golf course.

This will be a flower bed/ veggie garden. Notice the downed tree in the background, a victim of Irma.

My herb/kitchen garden has a little erosion from the hurricane rain.  The small tree in the background looks dead to me.  It is a dead Live Oak.

The misplaced outside electrical outlet has been removed.

We probably should not have been surprised to see a downed tree next to Sao in the RV park. It had been standing on a neighboring property. We were lucky, it fell between us and our neighbor.


Faucets, Shower Stall, Grading, Garbage Disposal, and Toilets

The painting company truck was in front of the house.  It says Power Washing on the side.

And, indeed, there was a man power washing the garage floor.  I’m sure that is in anticipation of painting it.

Inside, we could see the tile man on the back porch mixing a bucket of mud.  He carried it into the shower stall.  I noticed he had installed a drain fixture.

Toilets and faucets had been delivered.

The tile man was building a corner seat in the shower stall.

Trucks, cars, and tractors were at the house when we returned to the house after lunch. The landscapers were doing the final grading.

The kitchen faucet had been installed. The granite man had not drilled a hole for the sprayer so it was not installed yet.

There was a toilet in the water closet.

The plumber was installing the bathroom faucets.

We saw a garbage disposal under the kitchen sink.

I went out the back door to check the grading back there.  It turned out pretty nice for a place with almost no back yard.  They had added more soil so it was a gentle slope from the back patio rather than a sharp drop I was worried about. I may need to do something to make my herb garden a bit more level.

Here is the view from the golf course “rough”.

Looking west from the patio, there will be a flower bed at the end of the patio to the corner of the house.  I’m not sure what I will plant there yet.

The tile man was cutting the small squares for the shower stall floor.  He made a separate cut for each little square.

I looked in the shower stall and saw that the bench seat was done.  After he built the front wall of it against a concrete block, he removed the block and filled the space with concrete. His lunch was sitting on it.

The bathroom faucets were installed.

And, there was a water heater installed in the garage.

We decided to go home by way of the gas station to fill the car for our trip to Maryland in the morning.  The car had less than a quarter of a tank. There were long lines at all the pumps.  And there was no gas to be had.  We drove to another gas station and they were out of gas too.  We began to worry.  What if took off in the morning and could not find gas before running out? Then we decided that, since we were already packed and ready to go, we would hit the road.  Things would probably be worse the next day.

We loaded up the car with our bags and headed to the Florida Turnpike about six o’clock.  The Okahumpka rest area is just a few miles up the turnpike from where we entered.  There were a lot of cars there, but I found a pump with no one there.  We filled up and drove all the way to South Carolina.

Northbound traffic was not too heavy.  We are in north-central Florida. We were amazed at the heavy southbound traffic on I-75. We got off it at Ocala and took US 301 across the state to I-95. There was not too much traffic there either.  As soon as we crossed the South Carolina border, Andy said it was time to find a hotel.  It was some time between eleven o’clock and midnight before we got our room, watched a little hurricane news on the television, and crashed. I began to worry about the storm track aimed right up the state to where we left the motorhome. Maybe we should have driven it north.

We drove the rest of the way to Sister Barbara’s house in southern Maryland on Wednesday.  I called our RV park in Florida and the woman told me they were filling up with people from south Florida.

As luck would have it. Daughter Kathy happened to be in southern Maryland for work.  She came by after work and took us to Stoney’s Seafood where we all ate one of those famous crab cakes.