Friday, November 3, 2017

Heading for Florida again

October 16 We got a late start after running a few errands in the morning. We ran down Route 33 through Ohio to 77 in West Virginia and motored to Charleston. Steak was on the menu for supper and we bedded down in Beckley, WV at a Walmart. This year we convoyed with Becky and Patrick taking turns driving the blue Impala. P just got his permit and logged quite a few hours.

That's us in there. The semi on the right came in and idled his diesel all night. He was noisy.
 Sights down 77 through WV and Virginia

 Patrick takes the wheel. Scary as _______!!!!

 You may remember a few years ago we went out to Washington and spent a month living at the Law's house. Richie retired from the Navy and moved his family to North Carolina. Our lives are busy and we had time to have dinner with Richie and the girls. Tara wasn't feeling well. Hope you get better sweetie!
Spent the night at the defacto RV park, Walmart.
 Had a small stretch of highway on the way down but most were back roads and nice driving. The arrival times were comparable.
 What that old Alabama song: "Cotton on the roadside, Cotton on the ditch, We all picked cotton and we never got rich."

 Walmart over night south of Ocala after a supper of barbecue.
 We arrived! Back at CB Smith Park for the winter and maybe longer.
 Of course we had to go to the beach! It was really windy. We took our part-time kid with us. He was sure glad we were back!

Even Florida was glad to have us back!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The refurbished apartment

After a month of hard work, the apartment was finally done. We gutted the bathroom and put all new fixtures in and tiled the floors. Changed the location of the bathroom door, installed a new front door to alleviate the problem with it dragging on the floor, changed out the window in the front bedroom so it was up to code and fixed all the shoddy studding and insulation. New carpet and vinyl plank flooring and had the drains snaked and cleaned. Wow! was it a job and it was a lot of fun working with Patrick, Becky and my dad. Patrick was quite the good helper and he is learning valuable life skills. I wish he would work this hard on his school work.

Patrick doing demo. His favorite construction job.

We knocked out the door and wall.

We have the wall studded out and the new door opening framed. The old opening is to the left, lower and narrower. The old door hit the tub wall and would not open all the way. Opening the wall helped get the old tub out and the new in.

All new plumbing behind the tub.

Dad and Becky lay new tile.

We put in shelves between the tub wall and the hall wall.

Finished product.

When I first bought this property, I put on a new front porch and the old overhang was left in place. Some of it had already be taken down. I decided this would be an opportunity to remove the rest of it and make things look prettier. The inside of the overhang was filled with walnuts and a squirrels nest.

The old wall was lacking in studding and the window was not adequately installed. It was very small as well.

New window in, restudded and ready for the plywood.

It was rented before we had it done. Made it easy to jump in the truck and ride to Florida.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Change of Plans

The plan was to leave for Florida after Labor Day. One of my tenants didn't pay rent for the month of August and I went by his place to check on him. The front door was open with the keys in the locks. No one was around but his truck was down the road at his friend's house. After several days of the door being open, I decided he had moved out so I went in to check things out.
Special thanks to my mom and dad and nephew Jordan who helped clean the place out in one day. Becky stopped by for a few hours too. 

 It was all so organized, yet out of date. Rice, beans, and the bags on top were pancake mix and potato flakes. One of the cabinets was also packed with them.

 The back room.
 The front bedroom where he used to sleep.
I was going to clean everything and move on but the more we checked things out the more it just looked like things needed to be made new and whole. I was going to have to do it sooner or later, I chose sooner.
Patrick's favorite day. Demo! Things look pretty gross.
 The door to the bathroom did not open all the way, instead hitting the stub wall for the tub. I wanted to move the door and of course get a new tub into room. We ripped open the wall to find strange construction practices.
 This was behind the medicine cabinet. Who the hell wired that?
I'll post up photos of the new bathroom.

Finishing the circle.

August 25 Friday
More doughnuts! Love that Walmart bakery.
 We stopped here and had no idea what this place was about other than War of 1812.

River Raisin was the site of the fledgling United States' worst defeat in the War of 1812. After Congress declared war, they sent the announcement west via regular mail and by the time Hull received the letter, the British had already seized Detroit, Fort Mackinaw and several other strategic forts in the area. American forces were rushed to the area but the British and the Indians united to fight off the Americans.
Had Oliver Hazard Perry not won the naval battles on Lake Erie (see the monument on Put-in-Bay), Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin might be part of Canada. I highly recommend you read up on the battle and visit the site to learn about a little known part of our history that was not covered up but tried to be forgotten. Nobody likes to lose.
The monument is tearing down several houses and building a replica of the fort and surrounding houses based on British surveys of the post.

We made it home! We were all ready for hot showers and some time off. 

Getting out of Hell and into Detroit, well maybe its all the same...

August 24
We got an early start in the morning, ran back up to Flint to get on I-75 and turned south again. It was almost eleven when we rolled into The Henry Ford parking lot.

 This is a diner that we ate lunch at.

 The bus Rosa Park made her stand, rather sit in.

 Becky is a hotdog. Patrick wouldn't lay down on it.
I was disappointed in this museum. I was hoping to learn more about Ford and his life but it was just stuff. I've been to enough museums and seen enough farm equipment and cars to say the Ford was alright but I wouldn't recommend it based on anything cool I saw there. Maybe I'm jaded.
Our night was spent in a Walmart parking lot in Monroe.