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View From the Trail to Mount Colvin

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Monday, January 8, 2018

More Updates and Improvements

It’s been another good week around here. It was cold like most of the rest of the country, but our house seems to hold up to the weather pretty well. One of the best things we did was to replace those windows in the park model portion of the place. They were the original windows and didn’t do anything to insulate from heat or cold. We did break down and turn the heat on over the past few days, but it didn’t run a lot. When we replaced the a/c in August, we got one that had a 2.5 ton heat pump with a back up auxiliary heater for when the temps dip below 35 degrees. So that is more than enough to keep us comfortable in the few times that the weather gets like it did the past week.

26733124_10216019605429718_297131806_oWe were talking a couple days ago about the ceiling fans. The one in the bedroom is starting to go. It had three speeds at one time, but only one speed is working now. And they are really dated, of course. It doesn’t seem like any previous owners of this place (I think there were two) were into doing any kind of updating. 26771807_10216019602749651_1495206344_oThen we remembered we had recently gotten a coupon from Home Depot for 18 month interest free financing, so we decided that must be a sign! There was a minimum amount that had to be purchased to qualify, so we threw in the kitchen lights as well.

We ended up only being able to replace the fan in the kitchen area, as the fans we bought turned out to be too big for the bedroom (which was the one we really needed to

26781400_10216019604349691_1528056895_o (1)

replace in the first place, but we will just have to order a smaller size for the bedroom).

The new one is so much more streamlined. It makes the area look larger! (You can see the old one in the next picture.)


The other big thing I want to do, (but it’s not going to happen until next winter), is to get a slipcover for that couch.

The shutter-like object standing behind the couch is a room divider. The main function for this area is going to be as a guest room when we have company, so we will use the divider to make it into a more private space.


We also got the other cabinet for the kitchen. It is a better height for the microwave and also provides some much needed storage space.


The new lights in the kitchen area…

You can also see my breadmaker in its new spot.


So far I have made one recipe for white bread, and a Cuban wheat bread. Yum. I don’t think we will ever be going back to store bought bread.


I bought a cookbook with 300 bread recipes. I see a lot of new types of bread in our future!

We are getting to the end of what we will be doing as far as improvements for this season. Gotta let the bank account recover for a while!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Welcome 2018!

Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t posted since the middle of October! And I was doing so well. Irma threw me off my rhythm, and then I just never got it back. But I’ll do my best to catch y’all up on the last couple of months.

We’ve had mixed reviews from our jobs. Harry’s job at Publix has come and gone. It just wasn’t for him. He was doing bagging and bringing in carts from the parking lot, with a little floor cleaning thrown in on the days that he worked the evening shift. Between having to bend slightly to do the bagging and hefting around rows of carts outside, his back was taking a beating. It got worse and worse, and finally in the beginning of December, he had to accept the fact that he couldn’t keep it up. We decided the job wasn’t worth the toll it was taking on his back. So he is now staying home and keeping stuff caught up around here. His back is still not back to normal, but once it is, he is going to get back to working on our painting and other improvements that we haven’t done anything with for the past couple of months.

My job at Home Depot, on the other hand, has been going great. I really love the work, and the people that I am working with as well. The job is similar to what I did at Amazon – picking product for orders. However, there are a lot of differences. Some of the orders are online for pickup. Those I bring to the service desk, or another location in the store if they are large. Then the customer just comes in and picks them up at some point. Sometimes I will get a call on the store phone I carry that the customer is there, and their product might be back in Receiving or some other place. So I have to go get it and bring it up to the service desk. There are other orders that are delivered. The customer either came in and placed the order, for delivery, like an appliance or some flooring. Or they ordered online and chose the delivery option. So after picking the order, I have to arrange it on pallets and get it wrapped up and ready to go on the truck. I am also being trained in driving equipment – the fork lift and reach truck. It will be at least another few weeks before I feel ready to take the test to get my license. And of course, the other big difference is that there are customers walking around all the time too. So I get asked as I walk around the store where this or that product is located. I am getting better at knowing where stuff is, so I don’t have to pull out my phone and look it up! I am enjoying the challenge, and it’s been a really positive experience. In other good news, I have also found out that they will let me do a seasonal leave of absence when we go north next summer. So I will be going back to work 24130472_10155974997659766_4005320457392482331_oin October when we get back here.

On the home front, we are just loving life here in our little house. This place is the perfect size for us. After the rv, it seems really large anyway. 26513813_10215967934857986_618344258_oWe have bigger plans for coming years, but this year we have just been making small improvements. One of my favorites - we did not like the steps that came down into the Florida room. They were really rough and not made for bare feet. So a few weeks ago, Harry got some wood and made some replacement steps. They look so awesome! I listed the old steps on Facebook Marketplace and they were gone in a day.

I have been really enjoying the kitchen here. I’m not sure 25627127_10215896717717602_6718622221708354313_owhy this kitchen seems more conducive to baking and cooking than the one in the fifth wheel.26025857_10215898940213163_7216558679771935255_o It’s not that much larger, but I guess I’ve been inspired anyway, because I have been doing so much cooking and experimenting. In the past couple of months, I’ve made pizza dough, dinner rolls, pies, and I am about to start making my own bread, as soon as my breadmaker arrives in a few days.



The kitchen is coming together! That kitchen cabinet at the end is where my breadmaker is going to be sitting by the end of the week. I hope!


Luckily for my waistline, our exercise is still going very well also. We are training for a half marathon that we will be running in Sarasota in March. So between that and my active job at Home Depot, I haven’t gained any weight from all my baking and cooking…and eating! Phew!

23517791_10215526299097368_8168645118157520559_nWe had a lot of fun decorating our place for the holidays. We got one of those zero percent financing coupons from Home Depot so we used that to stock up on basically everything in the Christmas decorating field.



So I guess this update is long enough for one day. I shall attempt to get myself back into the swing of things and get back to posting more regularly.

Happy New Year!