Friday, August 10, 2018

This Renovation is 6 Months Old!

I have been so busy renovating the orange house, that it has been 6 months since I posted! That is just so wrong. So much has changed over that time. The good news is that we are almost finished with the interior work. The bad news is that we are still in the planning stages of the addition, which we desperately need finished before we can move in. The outside is still orange. Not much has changed there. But I can not wait to post pictures of the inside. Tomorrow. I'll post them tomorrow.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Let the Renovations Begin

I'm not sure what I was thinking the day we pulled up in front of the orange adobe. A pocket listing on Zillow led us there. Basically, that means the website said "for sale" and gave an address, but the listing wasn't actually active on the MLS, so it didn't show up on our realtor's searches. There was no sign outside, but there was no doubt it was the right house. You can't mistake a sprawling orange adobe for anything but what it is.

I remember saying to Dave, "What the hell is this place?" Then I followed with, "I'd live here, look at the land!"

We sat in his truck outside for a bit and combed through the pictures on the website. Without much hesitation, I opened the car door and started to get out.

Dave asked, "What are you going to do?"

I answered, "Well, if they want to sell their house they wont mind me knocking on the door and asking for details."

I heard him say, "You're crazy", as I walked toward the front door and rang the doorbell.

Carl, the homeowner, answered the door. Before he had time to worry about why I was there, I explained that I had found a listing online for his house and wondered if it was for sale. He seemed curious, and explained that a realtor friend was getting ready to list the house, but it wasn't active or on the MLS yet, because they weren't really ready to sell until after Christmas. I explained that we were ready to buy now, and wanted to see the inside, and right then would be good. He must have realized the opportunity, because he let us in. I ran back to the truck to get Dave.

"OK, Honey. The house is for sale, but it's not active yet. They said we can come in and take a look. Let's go." I think I remember hearing another, "You're crazy". But he followed me in.

Carl was a former construction engineer. We could tell by the attention to every detail of the house, that he was meticulous. I love houses in general, so I was excited for the tour. I had never witnessed adobe style, and although it was not my taste in the least, I found it interesting; the orange Saltillo tile floors, copper sink, exposed wood beams supporting what felt like ridiculously low ceilings. The house was dark, and small, but very cozy, not worthy of excitement, but felt very comfortable and loved nonetheless. The guest house was a mini version of the main house, one bedroom, living room and a kitchen. Underwhelming. The pool was pretty (but no spa). It would do, I guess. But then we
got to what I was most excited about, the outdoor space, which was what prompted our search for a new house in the first place. (Remember I said I was able to see past the house in the beginning?) Carl started explaining things. In addition to the three car garage on the main house, there was an additional two car on the guest house. (Perfect workshop space for painting furniture.) And then, there was the tack house and stables, the gardens, and the surrounding mountains, and the horses next door that peeked their cute heads over the fence.

This photo courtesy of Zillow listing.
We made our way to the back side of the property toward the tack house that had been converted into a tack-pub. There was even a hitching post outside. This little room was the perfect, tiny little man-cave. I already imagined it decorated with all of Dave's Navy memorabilia, and him and the boys bellying up to the bar for late night conversation, and maybe a little whisky.

Behind the tack house sat five fully outfitted horse stables. And in the last one, just before a goat pen, (yes, a goat pen!), was a cute little chicken coop. For years I had been whining to Dave about wanting to get chickens. In addition to the stalls, there was an open area for horses to run, (or in our case, our kids to run), fruit trees surrounding the perimeter with ripe oranges and lemons, and raised garden beds for growing vegetables. I had totally forgotten about the house by now, and was in love with the property. "I'd totally live here." I said.

If I were to make a list of every house style that existed, adobe would probably be at the bottom. So, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that buying this particular house was not at all in the plans. Not only was the color a huge turn off to me, (orange inside and out), I had made a list one day when I was thinking clearly, of all of the things that our new house had to have if I was willing to move the family...again. The list included such things as:

  • a house that required very little work
  • completely open concept kitchen, dining, family room
  • space for each kid to have their own room, and a dedicated guest room
  • a huge laundry/utility room
  • a pool/spa with a storage closet for chemicals and floats
  • at least a four car garage
  • a good sized lot
  • no HOA

...and did I mention, we didn't want to do any work?

That day I was blind to all practicality. We left that tour thinking this might just be the house for us. After sleeping on it (which was more like me laying awake all night stressing about it), I came to the realization that the orange adobe house checked off very few of the the things on my list. As the days ticked away and our contingency time was almost up, I expressed my concerns with Dave.

  • The house requires a lot of work
  • It didn't have the open concept we wanted
  • We'd have to add a three bedroom addition at the least
  • The laundry room was only a small closet
  • There was no spa and a plastic trunk for pool storage was not the closet I had in mind

However, my initial excitement was too convincing, and Dave was hooked. There was no looking back. We were soon to be the proud new owners of an orange adobe.

"When its all done, this is going to be the perfect compound for our family," he assured me. 

Let the renovations begin!

Welcome to the tack room.

Our next door neighbors.
Some days orange is actually pretty. (Like my positivity?)
Fresh oranges and lemons too.
We don't have these in New England, or Florida.

This photo courtesy of Zillow listing.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

An Adobe House and a Vintage Glamper

So much has been happening that I just had to write, partly to share our news, and partly as my therapy. Dave and I recently became the proud owners of two new really big projects, an adobe style horse property here in Henderson, NV that we closed on a couple of weeks ago, and as of today, a vintage, all original, 22' camping trailer, (or future glamper) as I like to call it. Both were made in the 1970's and are in excellent structural condition. And both are in need of some serious updating...and paint. Especially paint! Take a look at the picture of the house, and you'll understand exactly what I'm talking about. I plan to document every step of the way as we work our magic transforming these beauties into modern spaces that our family can love.
Davison is king of our humble, orange, adobe abode!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

How Much is that Doggie in the Window?

Last night, when I knew I would be at Drop Anchor until the early morning hours, I brought Stella for company and protection. She is the sweetest most loyal pup to me and the kids, but not to strangers. She was particularly neurotic on the ride to Boulder City, jumping all around the truck, trying to escape at the Chilly Jilly's drive through (I may or may not have stopped for a large Dole Whip Float on the way), and then barking at every single person who walked by the store, or anywhere within a 30 foot radius. Stella is not the type who will greet customers with a wagging tail. She finally settled down somewhat anyway, in the store window, where she could get the best view of town. And all night, as I worked, I kept thinking of my Ninie, who always used to sing, How Much is that Doggie in the Window. Thanks for keeping me company last night Ninie. I know you'd be so proud of Drop Anchor, and you'd love Stella too.

Just in time for National Dog Day. Stella in the window.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Before and After: Vintage Military Trunk Transformation

I spied this trunk as soon as I walked in the door of one of my favorite junk stores. "That trunk's been here for a day,' said the clerk, as she saw me looking for a price tag. Then she made me an offer I couldn't refuse. Let's just say it was slightly less than a fountain Diet Coke at McDonald's, something I buy regularly without even blinking. Before Dave even made it through the door, I had the trunk loaded up in my shopping cart. I also tossed in a green-painted, slightly rusty rake too.

"What?' I asked, as he gave me that look.

"I love them both," I whined.

He just smiled, shook his head, and went on his way digging through bins, looking for treasures.

I had had an idea in my mind to transform an old piece of luggage, or a trunk, into a treasure for someone's guest room. Before I got home, I already knew the plan. After a bit of elbow grease; removing the tape, scraping the metal with a wire brush, and a heavy cleaning, I created a sweet treasure, great for storage and display. What a great piece for the foot of a bed in a guest room, or to set on top of an armoire or bookshelf to fill some empty space.


After: Ready to take to Drop Anchor

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Don't forget to call the orthodontist

Last week I finally had a consultation for orthodontics for Rowan, (kid #6 needing braces). I totally picked the doctor based on the location of his office. After doing braces for 5 of the kids already, I know how often those appointments are, and how common it is for a bracket to fall off and need an emergency appointment. It took forever, but the lobby of the office had an arcade, and an ice cream and slushy bar, which made it tolerable. After rounds of x-rays and a meeting with the rather short doctor who didn't look me in the eye when he talked to me, to discuss treatment options, I met with the financial person to discuss cost. Well, I think I know who is paying for that arcade and slushy bar, me! In approximately 24 months, Rowan will have straight teeth, and i'll be $6,700 poorer (just $4,700 after insurance).

I ended up leaving with a slight case of sticker shock, and instead of scheduling the next appointment to start treatment, I pulled the, "I'll need to discuss this with my husband" excuse. When I got home I quickly posted to Facebook to ask the opinions of my friends on the cost of their orthodontic care. Despite already paying for braces for 5 of the kids, I honestly couldn't remember what one of their entire treatment plans actually cost. All I know is that I don't remember the total being more than both Cal, and Landon's first cars, combined.
Answers came from all over the world, (the joys of a military past life), with costs ranging from $2,000 to almost $7,000 for treatment. Because my quote was one near the top end. I had to get a second opinion.

I remembered back to the fall festival that I had attended at my little kids' school when we were just getting settled after moving here. I had bought a few things at a silent auction fundraiser that was part of the event, a craft basket that Lily just had to have and promised she would share with her brothers, and a gift certificate for orthodontic treatment. I paid $150 for the gift certificate which granted me a savings of $1,500 off the total cost of treatment, which was estimated to be approximately $6,000. At the time I thought that seemed super ridiculously expensive, not realizing that that's the going rate in Las Vegas-if the estimate I got from the arcade and slushy orthodontist was any indication of the going rate.

So, I dug the gift certificate out of a pile of papers in a drawer in the office and gave them a call. Three weeks later, our appointment for a second opinion is tomorrow. I'm hopeful for a better price than the first place and a waiting room that is even half as cool would still be good enough. And an orthodontist who looks me in the eye when going over the treatment plan would be good too. What i'm hoping for the most is to leave the appointment grateful that my $150 silent auction investment really does end up saving me $1,500.

(Do not under estimate local businesses that offer services, when soliciting donations for silent auctions and other fundraisers. Window installation, lawn care, pest control, plastic surgery centers, even orthodontists have to grow their businesses too are happy to donate to local charity events.)

Monday, April 17, 2017

This is how the article about the couple traveling to their wedding, that were removed from a United flight, should read...

Couple tries to steal free upgrade from United Airlines in Houston

HOUSTON -- A couple headed to Costa Rica for their wedding Saturday had to be removed from a United flight by a U.S. marshal for not following crew member directives after trying to steal upgraded seats without paying for them.

Michael Hohl and his fiancĂ©, Amber Maxwell, were near last to board United Airlines Flight 1737, headed from Houston to Liberia, Costa Rica. According to Hohl, a man was already in their assigned row napping when they approached their seats. They used this as an excuse to move to higher-fare-seating three rows up, in row 21 "economy plus" seating, without permission and without paying the required fee. 

After explaining to the couple that upgrading was not an option at this point in the boarding process, the couple was told to return to their assigned seats. After multiple attempts to sit in the wrong seats, and refusal to follow the crew’s directives and return to their assigned seats, a U.S. Marshall came onto the plane and asked them to get off.

Unlike Dr. Dao, who made headlines last week for refusing to exit an aircraft when asked first by the flight crew, second by the operations agent, and lastly by law enforcement, resulting in his forced removal, the couple finally cooperated and got off the plane without further incident.

Airline customers do not have a right to take better seats than they pay for. Nor do they have the right to make their own rules. Refusal to follow airline policies and aircraft safety procedures will result in removal from the aircraft for the safety of the crew and passengers and will not result in monetary compensation. 

                        Adapted from USA Today: United Airlines boots couple traveling to their wedding on half-empty plane