Week 558-561 - Home Work - 05-14-2017
We're back! Actually we never left our house for the last month. In the last 11 years we had okay renters, good renters, angel renters and our last family. While they did only minimal damage in two years, what they did do is neglect all maintenance.
So we arrived home on April 1st and have worked everyday to get things back to normal. First off was mowing. But quickly the mower broke: new battery, new starter relay, new starter and finally new fuel pump. So mowing was stalled for three weeks. Normally, we can mow the 4 acres in about 4 hours. But, the neglected wild grass was anywhere from 2 to 6 feet tall and still green. The mowing took about 4 days as it had to be slowly mowed twice to knock it down to six inches.
Ah, there's that hill in the backyard!
The pool area was next. We had a nice cover on our defunct pool. It was imperative that debris be blown off the cover periodically. That was not done. The weight of leaves, sticks and water collapsed the cover and even bent the side walls inward. We replaced the cover with a safety fence. Now the leaves can accumulate until they are 8 feet tall. That will be fun to clean up.
Ellen spent weeks cleaning the dry creek. On the left, some of the rocks can be seen. Ellen removed all the rocks, laid down weed block and put the cleaned rocks back. Nice job Ellen!
The squirrels, not the renters, collapsed the concrete steps. They lasted 17 years before the squirrels did their damage. We moved these steps, built up the foundation with dirt and bricks and put the steps back where they belong. The top step is 3 foot by 3 foot by 4 inches weighing in at 350 pounds. It took Donnalee, Pete and Ellen to tilt it up against the house.
You can see Ellen's dry creek cleanup below the bridge.
Our daughter Melissa will be the caretaker of our house for the next few years. She is very busy with her photography
business and as the manager of Nino's Grill in Templeton. She still found some time to help us. So the three of us worked for a month to clean up the property. Pete's sister Donnalee also came from Redding for a week to lend a hand. Thank you Donnalee.
Besides the obvious changes shown in the photos, we stayed busy with other projects: fix the mower; paint the laundry room and kitchen and rear deck; replace a dozen lights; power wash the decks and patios; blow the leaves out of everywhere; pick up hundreds of sticks; trim the hedges; weed the flower beds; replace all the broken solar path lights; take a couple trips to the dump and more that we cannot even remember.
All of this comes as no surprise to our good friends, fellow RV travelers and Atascadero neighbors for 20 years, Ben and Sid. They came home every year to spruce up their property until they came to their senses and sold the house. Well, our senses are coming and we intend to sell in early 2019 once the clean up is done.
We did take one break to host a social night. We, along with many church friends from 35 years ago, met John McDaniels and his wife Gail. John was a missionary in Romania for 25 years and was married for the first time at age 67. We were blessed to meet Gail and spend time with both. Thank you to Jean for organizing the event. It was great to see Lorna, Dennis, Lynda, Janice, John, John and Gail.
"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."
With love, Pete, Ellen and Mandy
Photos from May 2017