My Best Lunch Buddy

lnchbdyI used to get depressed during lunch as I would leave work and eat in some nearby restaurant all by myself.

I would sit there and look at all the people at the other tables talking to each other and having a good time and slip deeper and deeper down the hole.

Nowdays I keep my Kindle Paperwhite in the car at tall times.  I chose the Paperwhite becuase it’s e-Ink screen  keeps a charge for a long time and is cheap enough to just leave in the car and not be concerned. Now I really look forward to getting away and eating lunch alone so that I can immerse myself in a great book.   If you do something long enough it becomes a habit and the habit of not being lonely during lunch is a very good thing.  Not only that, reading is always a good thing.

 

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I can’t relax

I keep yearning for the weekend to come so I can relax but I never feel like I can do it.

There’s always something to do.  There’s always something to think about.  My brain buzzes with activity constantly and it never lets me rest.  One of my life goals is to take a nap.  I have yet to achieve it satisfactorily.

It’s not, usually, until 12-1 am that I finally go to sleep an I am either woken by the alarm or naturally awake at 6:30.  That’s not much sleep.  The night goes by in a second.

I’m so tired at work and can’t wait to get home.  I get home and would love nothing better than to take a nap.  I might lie down but the nap never arrives. I’m wasting valuable time.  I jump up to do something.

My weekends are a blur of activity as I rush to accomplish all the things that can’t be done on weekdays.  The hands on the clock spin wildly as the sun streaks across the sky.

I don’t like this.  Is there any way to make it stop?  I need time to slow down again and run at normal speed like it did back in the 70s.  Doesn’t anybody notice?  Doesn’t anybody care?  If nobody does anything about it what is going to happen?  I feel so sorry for the kids of today.  There’s not much time left for them.

I guess I’m going to have to fix it for myself.  The rest of you are on your own.  I can’t help you.

Wow.  That got a bit more epic than I had planned.  I just want to relax a bit.

 

Model House Sun Tracking

IMG_1116Today I was sitting outside in the backyard reading in my hammock and enjoying the nice cool fall weather.  I had a brilliant idea to put my model house out in the sun to see where the shadows fall.

I am highly cognicient of the sun here in Texas because it is SOOO hot in the summer.  I have to make a decision on how to orient my house on my new land.  The land kind of dictates the orientation so I want to see how it works with the sun.

Using Google Maps, I oriented the house in the exact same direction it would be and was happy to see that very little of the burning rays would make it through the windows except for late in the evening when it is starting to wear down.  The front porch should be nicely shaded all day long and the evening sun would peek through the bedroom window.

Excellent!  I told you!  Luck is on my side!

It would even work well with solar panels on the roof since they would be pointing SouthWest.  I plan on putting them on the ground though so I can maintain them and get them to track the sun through the day.  Still, it’s an option.

 

 

Winter Front Siding Project

IMG_0018I’ve been patching it and ignoring it for around 10 years now but the siding in the front of my house needs to be replaced.

Right above the roof of the porch, where the rain drips and splashes onto the siding, the rot is beyond repair.   It doesn’t look too bad in the picture but a lot of the surface is caulk and paint.   Fine for me but not good when it comes time to sell the house in a year or so.

The majority of the siding is just fine but you can’t find exact replacement planks so the whole thing has to go.  Major bummer.  I’ve decided that this will be my first winter project.  There’s no way in hell I would do it during the summer because it is 100 degrees and humid as a newly opened dishwasher door right after the wash is done.  Not gonna do it.  Wouldn’t be prudent.

Now that winter has come,  I am ready to tackle it.  I’m going to rip off all the siding, and window trim then put some house wrap on.  Next I will use some Hardie Fiberboard Siding.  Home depot doesn’t sell any style other than the plain white plank shown below and I want a little texture like the old siding does.

hplnkpln

It has surface texture but not really any other look.  The old siding had a simulated shingle look that set my house apart from all the others.  Hardie does sell a simulated shake style but it is significantly more expensive and I would have to special order it.  Bleah.

Fortunately my awesome brain came up with a great plan.  It’s really inexpensive too.

IMG_0017I’m going to take that regular 12 foot long siding plank and use my cut off saw to just cut slots in the board.  I went and picked up a single plank today for experimentation.

First I score and snap the 12 foot plan into three 4 foot lengths.  That way it will be easy for me to handle all alone by myself and should line up with the wall studs.

Next I measured out 6 inch lengths and marked them with a pencil.  (48 inches divided evenly by 6.)  All I had to do is slice on each mark with my cut-off saw.  The blade length automatically determined my 6 inch reveal.  The result pictured above looks pretty damn good.  I’m sold.  What do you think?

Each 12 foot plank costs $6.95 and I calculate the whole side of the house should end up costing me only $344.  Shit yeah!   Totally worth it and it will fit in my Prius.  I guess I’ll just have to get myself psyched up.  The hardest part of a large project is getting started on it.  Once you get going you wonder why you waited so long then suddenly it’s done.

Do I not kick ass?  What would you pay for me now ladies?

The next morning:

OOPS!  There’s a flaw in my plan.  Do you see it?
It came to me last night while I was lying in bed.  The slots are too long and there is about 3 inches of open slottness between each row.  Air and water would go right through slots to the sub-wall. Hmmm.   I’m going to have to recalculate.

I can reduce the reveal from 6 inches to 4.25″ maximum.   That would raise the cost to $410.  Around $100 more.  I guess it’s still worth it.  I won’t be paying labor to anyone so it’s still a steal.  I’m not sure I like the smaller tile look but I’ll let it grow on me.   It’s not too bad.  What do you think?

 

 

My luck is going wild!

<No Jinx> <No Jinx> <No Jinx>

O!M!G!  I told you.  Didn’t I tell you?  I told you!
I said it before and it has always proved to be true. If I ever need something, just wait and it will come to me.  Sometimes the wait is extreme but it always works out.

Today I drove out to the country to take a really good close-up look at the land I am buying.  As I told you before, it is pretty well overgrown but that’s the way I like it.  Privacy!!!

I took come branch cutters and made my way around the property.  I walked up the part where I think I will put the driveway.

I stood at the spot I plan on placing the house.  There is a very nice view from the future front deck of some oak trees where I might place a gazebo.

The land slopes just slightly to the side.  I don’t think that will be a big problem. Otherwise.  I really like what I see.  Once I clear out all the brush where I want openness, it will be spectacular.

I’ll plant some more trees. Pecan and other fruit and nuts maybe.  More oaks.

I walked over to the other part of the land that I wish to sell to check out the stock tank.

It’s pretty nice but it wastes usable land.  I’m not into fishing and it’s not really something you would swim in.  I’d rather not have that part.  The land around it is pretty good but a little more rough.  I’ll stick with the flat on my side.

It was an excellent experience.  I love what I see.  It was nice and quiet and private.  Perfect.  No regrets.

I inspected the fence along the front.  It needs some repair.  Should not be difficult.

As I was leaving, the survey crew showed up to find the spot I want to split it.  Yay!  They are fast.  I just called yesterday with the info.  Good thing I called when I did or they would have split it wrong.  I didn’t want it split in equal parts.

I had just left to drive home when the realtor called.  She told me that another relative from the area is interested in the other part.  Bonus:  He’s about my age and single.  I might just have the friend I’ve always wanted right next door.  Does it get any better than that?  It will really be nice to have someone to talk to so close.  I don’t see that part of the relatives much so I don’t know him but I’m looking forward to meeting him.  I hope we can help each other with stuff.  His family has a history of farming in the area so he might have easy access to heavy equipment if we need it.

I’m excited about the possibilities of change in my life.  It looks like all my decades of difficult patience, saving and suffering is finally paying off.  I’ve already signed the contract but closing isn’t until December due to paperwork.  I’m not sure if I should count it as a win yet or not.  I guess a signed contract is as good as done.

It will feel really good to finally have the base for my future life.  Floating in limbo for so many years has really sucked.  Now I will have a lifeline to pull myself down to earth.  I already feel less stressed out.  I was worried that I was chasing an impossible dream.  More and more people spilling into the US buying up all the land and causing the price to go up beyond my means was a serious concern.  Now that I have it, I can let that go.

Damn. I’m lucky.  Providence is truly a good friend to me and I really appreciate it.

 

 

Land purchase – Let the complications begin.

My realtor has been in touch with me about my purchase.

The bad news is that if I want to subdivide it and sell the other half, it will probably cost me up to $3500.  There is a lot of paperwork and a lot of authorities that need to be involved.  Thanks Government!  Just what the people wanted.  To make everything complicated.  Once upon a time, when you wanted to buy land, you gave the owner money (or cows) and the land was yours.

But, whatever.  Nothing good comes without a struggle.  Still, even at $3500 more, the price is still good.  It is likely that after all the fees, I can still sell the remaining land for a little more and cover some or all of the additional costs.  Maybe a lot more considering the number of people already wanting it.  I’m feeling a little apprehensive but that is to be expected on such a big thing.  I’m sure it will all work out in the end.  It always does.  I have confidence in the system since the same thing has been done by infinite people over time I’m sure it works fine.

The realtor estimates it will cost $4000 for the water tap and $6-10,000 for the septic system.  I don’t know about the electricity yet.  These costs were not unexpected either.  It’s a shame they are so high but what can you do.  I expect everything I do will cost more than I planned.  I planned on it.  Kinda…

Land purchase in the works!

ctnwdsvIt looks like it is happening!

I received the the paperwork via email today, signed it and sent it back.  Closing is on November 10th.  Exciting yet scary!

I’m analyzing the situation in my brain and fortunately am not coming up with any serious cons.  That’s a good sign.    I will be buying the whole 8 acres then reselling the part I don’t want.  This should be extremely easy as there are many people already wanting it.

3.5 acres print at 115%

I’ve been looking at the overview as shown above.  I think I would like to keep 3.5 acres.(Shown above)  That is a dimension of 300 ft by 500 ft.  Just right for space and privacy.  I might even ask for a higher price and be able to make a little money back to cover some of the fees and stuff.

A good thing about being in this area is that I am close to my relatives.  My uncle is a roofer and knows everyone in town.  He knows people who know people so when I need some help, he’ll know who to call.  My cousin has a tractor and also knows people with heavy equipment.  I may get to know my sister better who lives just outside of town.  Maybe we can talk my mom into moving from San Antonio as well.  Unlikely but not impossible.  That would be so great.

So far this has been very positive.  I feel good about it.  The scary part may come in a year or two when I actually shitcan my 8:30-5:30 job and leave town to build my house.  By that time I feel I’ll be even better off financially and it won’t be so difficult.  It’s more of a mental issue anyway.  I’ve got the cash now but more is better.  It’s important to have as big a buffer as you can when you quit working.  I have a lot of preparation to do anyway.  House plans, water, electricity, permits, paperwork, etc..

Now that it is real, It’s time to start doing some work on my current house to make sure it is ready to sell for maximum price.  I think it will sell easily too.  It has great curb appeal and is very nice inside.  I just need to maybe paint and replace the carpeting just before selling so it will have that new house smell.

Life is finally happening.  My dream is beginning to take form.  I’m coming out of limbo!