So, you've been patient ... more patient than I would ever have been.
I appreciate it more than you'll ever know.
The last seventeen months have been filled with unexpected trials and tribulations. If you're interested, here are just a few:
I discovered the reason my father used to do his best to limit my access to the inside of
Just A Small Example Of One Room's Hoarding
the house to only one room. He turned out to be a major hoarder. Piles and piles of items were stacked atop each other until the ceiling in several areas kept them from growing taller. Over a thousand cans of food had to be tossed out as expiration dates going back as far as 1994 were found. Three freezers filled with food had to have much of it hacked away with a hatchet in order to get it removed. Frozen strawberry packages dating back to 1976 were found. Paper goods were in huge abundance including over 200 packages of paper towels, 200 packages of toilet tissue, and over 150 boxes of facial tissue were gathered from several areas around the house. I bagged up and took over thirty-eight garbage bags of brand new clothes, still in their factory wrappings, to a charity mission in the local town. And, all of that was only the start. By the time I finally completed every bit of clean-up by myself, I had filled up five huge roll-off dumpsters. I'll never complain about taking out a bag of trash to the Herbie Curbie, again.
- The house has two garages; a one-car attached to the house and a two-car located
Just One Of Five Roll-Offs Needed
beside the home. Neither of the garage doors would go up or down without giving the person trying to lift them a hernia. So, to give me full access to both, I had new doors installed. (Later, I had another installed to the workshop on the back of the house by the same company.) With these doors operational, it made getting the trash and junk out of the home much easier.
- The house was in bad need of having plumbing work done, so I hired a plumber to do it. His estimate was three days worth of work. Of course, I should have known something wasn't right when he cancelled out the first day and had to review all the work that needed to be done when he finally arrived two hours late on the second. His work ethic was sporadic at best. He constantly showed up late, did little to no work while there, and had to leave several times for other jobs. I stayed an extra day for him to complete the job, but he didn't show until mid-afternoon. So, the work wasn't completed. He left for the weekend without the water being able to be turned back on. Week Two was much the same. I worked my ass off in July/August heat without air conditioning to find that he still wasn't ready to turn the water back on for a couple of days. Finally, on Thursday night, he asked for the rest of his estimated money (I'd already given him half as a deposit) plus another $250 for a pump he said would increase the water pressure substantially. I didn't want to do it, but by this time I just wanted the job done and him gone. Well, to make a long story short, he never came back. He ignored my calls and texts after that, of course. So, I sued him and won. Big deal! Over a year later I still haven't collected a penny from him. I hired another plumber from a reputable dealer who finished the job for $250 in three hours.
I was worried about the electrical system, so I hired electricians to come and inspect
Yeah, Don't Give Me A Hammer
Unless You Want A Mess To Clean Up
what I had, replace an old-style fuse box with a circuit breaker box, and change all the two-pronged plugs into three-pronged. They were done in one day. About a month later, when I finally had enough of the mess cleaned away to see what I had as far as furnace/a.c. was concerned, I called the contractor who had supplied the second plumber to come and install air conditioning. In three hours, they had the job done and the a.c. running cold. I will definitely recommend this company to anyone who needs that type of work completed.
- I discovered an outdoor heating system using wood burning to heat water that ran around the finished basement walls had obviously leaked and ruined the old dark
paneling my father had installed in the house back in the late 60s. Now, as you know, I'm a writer, not a carpenter. Yet, I took on the task of ripping off every piece of old paneling with a crowbar, chisel, and hammer. After putting on two coats of sealer paint on the walls, I reconnected and replaced studs on the outside concrete block walls, decided on a light oak paneling, and put up every piece of it by myself ... no help. Now, I don't know if you've ever attempted to do that, but handling a 4x8 sheet of paneling, lining it up, holding it in place, and nailing it to the studs isn't easy for one person to accomplish. Yet, I proved that it can be done!
- One of the first hints that something was wrong the day I entered the house to find my father passed away in bed was that there was a half-full carton of melted ice cream on the kitchen counter saturated with tiny little bugs that looked like fleas. (I later found out they were flour beetles.) I'd sprayed the house weekly and set off bug bombs each week before going home to Kentucky to try to get rid of them. Well, while tearing down the paneling, I found one section of the wall completely eaten away by termites. So, another battle with them was ahead of me. I kept on spraying and bug bombing, but also called an exterminator to take care of doing his work drilling holes in the ground around the house and spraying poison in them. To this day, I've not seen the first termite or flour beetle. I'm keeping my fingers crossed I don't.
- After having contractors put up some oak molding at the top and bottom of the paneling, I decided to take on the task of putting up additional molding strips to cover the seams between the pieces of paneling. I hadn't realized that the paneling purchased wouldn't hide the brown masonite along the edges of each piece, so I needed something to cover them up. I'd tried wood filler but quickly found that to be slow and tedious work. Plus, you could tell it was a little different than the walls. So, I purchased white strips of paneling, cut and painted them to match the pieces up, and installed them myself. Pretty good for a writer, isn't it? lol
My New Office With The Oak Paneling I Used
- Seeing the old carpeting wouldn't cut it as it had been stained and had molded in certain areas, I knew it, too, would need replacing. So, I first ripped up the old, painted three coats of sealer paint on the concrete floor, and had new carpeting installed. It took the work crew three whole hours and was done professionally. I'd debated on replacing the kitchen floor myself, and had even purchased a jackhammer to chip away at the old glue I was sure was under the linoleum laid when the house was built. But, when I saw how quick and good the crew was, I called them back to lay a new kitchen floor. Even with them moving the appliances, the job only took a couple of hours.
- Of course, before the move took place, new appliances needed to be purchased to replace the ones bought back in the 80s. So, a new washer, dryer, stove, and refrigerator made its way into the home. Yeah, I'm broke. lol
Now, at this point, one might consider me done, right? Wrong! I still needed to move the wife and possessions up to the house. Thinking we'd keep most of the furniture that was upstairs (it was almost brand new as my father only lived downstairs), I decided I could move everything up in my pick-up truck (a 2020 Honda Ridgeline ... one of the best trucks around). I had underestimated how many trips it would take. With my collections of over 10,000 CDs,1500 old vinyl albums from the 60s & 70s, and over 6,000 DVDs/Blu-Rays/4K's (and let us not forget the 550 VHS tapes I've held on to for some reason) I spent weeks just moving those the 250 miles to our new home. Then came the four closets full of clothes (mostly my wife's), as well as all our eating and cooking utensils and such (plates, pans, pots, etc.) In essence, I was making a trip there and back every other day for over a month. In addition, I had to get the old house ready to turn in to the realty company. So, I spent another month painting, cleaning, and taking down all the cables and satellite dishes we'd had installed during our twenty-five years of inhabiting the residence. Needless to say, if we ever move again, I'm hiring a moving company to do the work.
Do we have everything unpacked? Almost. There are still a few boxes left that I've ignored for almost as long as I can. I'll get around to them sooner or late
r. I've rushed enough. It's time I take things easy for a month or two.
|My Music Room Before All The CDs |
And Such Were Put Up
r. I've rushed enough. It's time I take things easy for a month or two.
Which leads me to writing ... the thing you're following me about.
I've written a couple of short stories during this time, but that's about it. If you follow me on Facebook, you've seen the news about them. I'm planning on getting back to the writing grind this coming week. I've a couple of things I wanted to get taken care of first (two trick fingers that lock up on me and make typing difficult), but those look like they'll just have to be taken care of when the doctors decide it's time. My plans are to write two novels and one novella sequel this year. We'll see how they all come out.
Thanks for having the patience you've exhibited. Hopefully, you'll be able to see me here more often in the future.