Hurricane Irma

Three Sandhill Cranes were across the street from the motorhome, one was kneeling down, which I had not seen before.  They moved about twenty feet and the same crane went down on its knees again. It looked rather sad like that.  Then, when the other two had moved on further, it gave two wing flaps and was standing back up and walking again.

We went to the house twice today, mostly just to get out and about.  Although we did pass some houses with workers, no laborers were laboring at our house on Labor Day.  I think they should all have a holiday.

We have been watching Irma closely.  We were planning to drive the car to Maryland on Wednesday for Joey Cumberland’s wedding.  But, this evening, all the storm trackers and models seem to agree that the storm is going right up Florida.  We can’t wait a few days to see what happens and make it to the wedding. So, we agreed tonight to leave for parts north tomorrow. We’ll watch the storm as we go and, as soon as we decide it is safe, will leave the motor home parked somewhere and then drive the car on to Maryland.



No Work on a Sunday

Sunday; and we were not expecting much to happen at the house so we did not make a morning visit.  We attended Orlando Friends Meeting instead.  This will be our new spiritual home.  After meeting, we took our shopping list to Costco. That may not be the best time to go there; that place was a madhouse.  We stopped by the new house on the way home.

Andy noticed this bug on the garage ceiling. It is an inch or two long. I thought it might be a damselfly, except for those antenna-looking things.

While we were looking up, we noticed this on the garage wall.  There has also been a mysterious blue wire tucked under the fascia board outside, but we forgot to go out and check the other end of the wire.

We only ordered two ceiling fans when we had the “build comm” in March.  Yesterday, new friends Mary and Terry, dropped by in their golf cart and said we really need one in every room, even the master bedroom closet.  This is the one in the family room, the only fan in the house.  The other one is outside on the lanai.


A Painted House

The Sandhill Cranes were making a terrible racket outside the motorhome this morning.  I couldn’t sleep any longer with all that warbling and got out of bed.  They continued.  After a bit, I decided to look outside to see what had them riled up. There were five of them behaving as I have not seen them behave before.  They were walking about in a loose group. They seemed to be wandering aimlessly rather than their normal slow graze across the lawn.

They throw their heads back when they warble.  The closest I can describe it is something like a turkey gobble yet much different.

Then I realized that they were not really a group of five but three cranes seemed to be herding two others.  I thought maybe it was a territory dispute.

The two apparent intruders took off flying and that was the end of the ruckus.

There is a big gap of empty lots between the previous one and our house so we can see it from a good distance away.  We could see that it was a different color well before we got to it. It is still gray, but lighter and brighter.  I had been expecting a darker gray like several others in the area.  I like the way the white trim stands out against the darker gray.  But our house is such a pretty blue/gray that we both like it anyway.

Three men were busy painting with long-handled rollers.

They were on their second coat already.  And, they had painted the columns white as I expected.

We went inside to see if anything else had changed.  The linen closet in the master bath has been spackled and is ready for a coat of paint and the doors.  We didn’t notice anything else.

We went back outside to watch the painters. As with most tasks around here, progress was fast.

The paint color is most noticeable right where they were painting.

At the back of the house, the left side had two coats and the right side had one.

The man painting the edges with a brush enjoyed having his picture taken.  When he finished painting around the front door, he caulked with a bright white caulk.  He gave me a thumbs up after he used that thumb to smooth the caulk.

The other two were making great progress on the east side of the house.

Check out the size of their paint roller pans.  They just dunked the roller, gave it a quick shake and slapped that paint on the side of the house.

They were done in no time.  I looked at the time stamp on my photos and it took them less than fifteen minutes to paint the side of the house.

Boating friend Ross Herbert sent me an email recently asking how I made the pizza topping pie that I have described in my log/blog over the years.  As a result, it has been on my mind and I got the needed ingredients and made one for dinner today.

This is a deep-dish pie plate with one of those Pillsbury rolled-up crusts from the grocery store.  First, I sprinkled a heavy dose of shredded mozzarella cheese in the bottom of the pie shell. That was to keep the bottom crust from getting too soggy. Then I scrambled some Italian sausage in the frying pan and spread it on top of the cheese. Next, I layered in sliced mushrooms, green peppers, and onions, with a little more mozzarella sprinkled in.  I used two cans of diced tomatoes, drained.  Gave that a more-than-liberal sprinkling of Italian seasoning and covered it up with gobs of mozzarella.  The pie pan was full so I put on the top crust.  On the top, I sprinkled parmigiana before laying out slices of pepperoni.  (They work better on top of the crust where they get properly toasted.)

This is a recipe I concocted myself years ago and I think I nearly perfected it today. The only thing wrong with it is that it is a little too juicy. Next time I’ll drain the tomatoes better. I have always called it pizza topping pie, but today thought I should call it “American as Pizza Pie”.

The painters were done and gone when we got back to the house about 4:30.

The white trim doesn’t stand out quite as much as on the darker gray houses.

Andy was admiring the front porch.











It does not show up too well in this photo, but I like the way they painted the columns. The square base is the same gray as the house.  The square top of it is white on the vertical sides and a pale gray on the top.  The round columns are bright white.


Garage Door, A/C, Microwave, Counter Tops, Outlet

There was one truck in front of the house this morning.  The man was at the back rummaging around for something.

We were halfway up the driveway before I noticed a change.

We had a garage door.

We entered by the front door and saw that the microwave had been installed.

The linen closet in the master bath had been trimmed out so they can install the doors.

We looked around and didn’t see anything else new when we heard noise in the garage.  The A/C man smiled and posed for me, but I didn’t have the camera on and missed the shot.  He said he would have the air conditioning running soon.

We saw an electrician’s truck drive into the yard.  By the time I got to the back of the house, he had bashed several holes in it.  They needed to move the outdoor outlet.  He had bashed new hole number one that turned out to be solid concrete. Hole number two was going to interfere with a door.

So he moved to the far side of the sliding glass door and measured to match an outlet inside.

He whacked an exploratory hole with his hammer.

Then using only his hammer, he carved out a new hole for an outlet.

Back inside, A/C man was installing the thermostat.

We went home for lunch. I saw a picture that I missed on our house, on the next street over.  The truck lifted a whole pallet load of roof shingles and two men took them off the stack and placed them on the ridges one pack at a time.

I was beginning to panic over landscaping and called the landscaping company to inquire as to what day they will do our lot. The woman told me it would be September 9.  DARN!!  We are going to be at Joey Cumberland’s wedding in Solomons, Maryland that day. As I feared, I am going to miss the landscaping job.  I don’t know how they will manage to plant trees and shrubs without me here to supervise.

After lunch, we drove over to A Natural Farm to buy the things the developer’s landscaper doesn’t do.  I bought eight small blueberry bushes and one LSU Purple fig tree/bush. Then to make me feel better about sweet cherries not growing well in Florida, I got one avocado and one mango tree. Luc said he would deliver them on September 8. He does sell a Barbados Cherry, but we tasted some and they were very bland.

We went back to the house on our way home.  I had a clue what was going on inside before we got to the door.

Kitchen countertops! The man was so charmed by my excitement he laughed and posed as he greeted us.

I noticed that the white top was on the short wall of the shower stall.  Andy said it had been there in the morning.  I missed it.

The granite man was installing the kitchen sink. He had put glue or caulk on the rim and squeezed it to the underside of the countertop.

Then he got under the sink, put his cell phone on his chest for light, and screwed or bolted the sink in place.

The thermostat was installed and the air conditioning was running. Granite man had the doors open for fresh air.  That glue he was using was powerful.  I love the smell of it.

The bashed-in wall out back had already been repaired.  We had seen the stucco crew at a nearby house as we drove in.  We were surprised to see the old outlet still in place after the new one was installed.

I watched this delightful man drilling the hole for the faucet. He held the drill with one hand and the shop-vac hose with the other.

It made a lot of noise and very little mess.

They had left a piece of granite at the shop.  His coworker returned with it to install behind a counter.  It was just a bit too long.

He took it to the makeshift work table on the front porch and cut it. He told me to go inside because he was going to make a lot of dust.  I opened the parlor window and took a quick picture of him cutting.  Then I closed the window and took a breath.

The granite men were packing their tools to leave when another truck pulled up.  Three men were delivering bathroom sinks.

The granite men left and I took a moment to admire my kitchen.  With the lights on…..

And with the lights off…

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my kitchen!

Two men came in carrying the master bath counter top.

I am very happy with it.  It is Corian since I didn’t want to pay extra for granite in the bathrooms.  I like Corian just fine.  I would have chosen it for the kitchen if the granite had not been standard. The gray countertop is a lighter gray than in the kitchen and looks great with the cabinets and walls.

The guest bath countertop was too wide so they carried it back outside and set up shop behind their truck.  One of them cut a bit off each end of the piece, to keep the sink centered,

and then it fit just right.

Sister Ann inquired about the bathtub drain.  I haven’t kept that up to date.  All the water has been drained and the tub cleaned.  The stopper is still in it though.  There is still no faucet. It is still a mystery.

Here is a closeup of the kitchen countertop.  I do believe I see some brown in there. They call it black and the name is New Caledonia.  It looks like office building lobby floors or walls. I wasn’t sure about it.  I took a chance not going with the marbled style.  I am very happy with the look of it in the kitchen.  It is “the look” I was after.  Andy and the granite man agreed, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”.

Mama’s happy.



The Toilet Drain

There was one bright yellow truck in front of the house this morning.  I thought it was a utility truck of some sort until I read “plumber” on the door.

There was a lot of noise coming from the house and I could not imagine what he was doing in there.  We followed the sound and found the plumber on his knees in front of the master bath toilet drain. (No plumber butt here, folks)

This is how we had seen it last, in the other bathroom.

He had cut the pipe off, flush with the floor.  (Ha ha, I didn’t mean that) He explained that the drain pipe had been set an inch off-center.  I had noticed that it was not quite centered in the WC but did not think much of it.  Someone did and told this guy to install a fixture that would center the toilet and divert the flow an inch over into the drain pipe. All that noise was him drilling through the tiles and cement to accomplish his goal.

The only other change we noted was the master bath shower stall.  A cement floor had been poured, except for one corner.  What’s up with that? Did he run out of cement?

Funny that Elinor should have posted the question today.  We have been talking about not needing a large motorhome when we move into the house. I have been reminiscing about the days when we had a small RV and could park anywhere, fit into state park campsites, and easily stop when we see an interesting place. Andy suggested that we downsize to a Class B, which is a van.  I thought that was a great idea.

Next thing I know, Andy had found a dealer (he thought nearby) and wanted to go look at some. Nothing else was on the agenda so we drove to Lakeland (an hour away). The salesman, of course, wanted to show us new vans, but I don’t want to spend the money.  We did look at some new ones though.  We focused on the older ones. We saw a used one that looked much like this one I found online.

The salesman was eager to give us a “good deal”, but I said we can’t trade-in the motorhome until after we close on the house and move our furniture from Maryland and Virginia. That will be at least a month away. We will look again after that and if this one is still for sale, we might take it.  If it has already sold, we’ll just look for another one in our price range. He said he will stay in touch and let us know when he finds another good deal. So, Elinor, that is the plan.  We still want to take some road trips and spend time in the keys in the winters.

It was the end of dusk when we got to the house on our way home. The only thing that had changed was that the plumber had finished his job. We will henceforth be centered when we use the toilet.

It looks a bit rough close up, but I imagine the base of the toilet will cover that up. They who are concerned about a toilet being an inch off-center will probably patch it to look pretty anyway.

It was quite dark when we left the house.  However, we have a street lamp next to our driveway. I thought it made an interesting picture.


Bathroom Tiles, Appliances and Electricity

The two tilers’ trucks were parked in front of the house and there was also a large delivery truck this morning.  Once inside, we saw that he had delivered a dishwasher and a microwave oven.

You may remember this tile man from the floor tiles in the dining room.

I took a picture of him cutting tiles then and another one today.  I think he is using the same work table. He cuts the tiles in a flash.

The young woman was still working in the guest bathroom. It looked as though she was cleaning cement out of the gaps between the tiles with an Exacto knife.  I suppose that was preparing for grout.

The bathroom by Andy’s office was done. I’m having that warm gray tile and cool gray walls conflict again.  I’m  sure I’m going to be repainting the bathrooms a warmer gray.  I love the tiles though.

We went to the local Sun Trust office to open a checking account.  They said that if we opened an account with their bank and used it for automatic mortgage payment drafts, we would get a $400 reward.  It sounded like a good deal to me, especially since it is a free checking account and the bank is in the shopping center with Publix, our favorite grocery store.

After lunch, we went back to the house and found an electric company truck in front.

Electric Man had that big green box open.  I have always wondered what was inside those hideous boxes.  He was concentrating and did not look up at me so I moved on.

It was obvious the moment we stepped into the laundry room from the garage.

We have electricity.

So, of course, we walked around the house like a couple of six-year-olds flipping light switches.  Not everything worked.  The pendant lights over the kitchen counter did.

They look nice and white from across the room in the photo, but up close they are more amber than ever.  They are pretty though, so I may just keep them that way and live with my perceived brown/gray color clash.

I like the fixtures in the foyer.

I watched Tile Man putting the decorative tiles in the shampoo niche in the master shower. They actually look better in real life than they do in my pictures.  Here you don’t see the browns in the narrow band.

The young woman finished the grout in the guest bathroom and left. I guess I need some shower curtains.

I am beginning to look forward to moving in and living in a house again.

Cement, Chandelier, and Tile

This was the scene as we drove up to the house this morning. Hard-hat, Sun-hat man was shoveling sand out of the shallow gutter in front of our newly paved driveway. It was some of the smoothest cement I have ever seen.

The other man was taping off the front porch to prevent anyone from walking on it. He said they had started the job at 6:30 this morning. See that glob of hardening concrete in the lower left of the picture?

This brilliant orange Gulf Frittilary butterfly was tasting it all over.

We walked around to the back of the house to see the new patio.  That notch in the foreground will one day be my kitchen herb garden just outside the bedroom door. I would like to have had the patio a bit deeper, but it is already to the building setback line.

We went home for lunch and later in the afternoon drove to Besco Electric Supply and Lighting Center to look at light fixtures. I couldn’t help but notice yesterday that there is no light fixture in the dining room. I came home and checked my paperwork, but there was no light fixture mentioned for the dining room.  Then, I vaguely recalled not liking any of the options presented during what they call the “build com”. I wanted a fixture where the lights are aimed down rather than up like ninety-nine percent of the chandeliers seem to be. I had a lovely light fixture over our dining room table in our house but did not like the shadows cast on the table. They had one similar to the style of the kitchen lights.  Ours is going to have plain white glass rather than what I learned is called “tea stain”.  My goal was something traditional, a bit fancy for the dining room, but not too fancy. I still turned on the lights in most of the crystal chandeliers just to look at the sparkle.

Of course, we stopped back by the house for another look. All the new cement was covered with plastic, the same stuff they put under the roof shingles.  There were two trucks parked out front so we knew something was going on inside.

We spotted a generator in the garage.  It was tilers. (I looked that up.  A person who lays tiles on roofs, walls, and floors is called a tiler.) It was not the Russian, but a cute young tiler. She is the one who came and scavenged some ceramic soap dishes from our garage a few weeks ago.

The tiles are beautiful, even though they are more brown than gray compared to the blue/gray walls.

My scale model, Andy stood by the air conditioning condenser/compressor.  I’ve never had one so tall.  The brand is Carrier.

Two Sandhill Cranes were in the back.

The back patio was also covered with the heavy plastic.

The cranes were keeping an eye on us but were not too concerned.