The Process Continued Page 33
March 22, 2010 Day 1,658
Not too much has happened since my last entry. I have been busy raking the lawn since we are having an early
spring. I also have been cleaning up the barns a bit. I hope to get back to painting soon but the weather has
been so nice (70 degrees in March! ), that I have had a hard time buckling down on the interior painting. Add
that to my Marathon training which now takes up a good two and a half hours of my day off and I am left with
tired legs and little ambition. Fear not though I will buckle down and get the house finished so we can move
outside and to the barns with a clear conscience. Speaking of painting  we were able to get Sam's car painted a
weekend ago and those photos are up in the Other Projects section. Sam and I have been working on cleaning
the trim work which will go back on the car now that they have painted it.  Be sure to check out his hot rod.
Pattie and I went to a couple of Home and Garden shows looking for a landscape designer and we have a new
stone retaining wall scheduled for installation this spring.  So while the labor part of the project has slowed a bit
we have not stopped planning and scheduling. Look for more work and excitement to start soon.
April 25, 2010 Day 1,692
With the coming of spring we have started Phase III of the restoration project, the landscaping. The landscaping
will be a project that we work on over the next five years along with Phase IV, the restoration of the barns. I do not
expect to get much work done on the barns or the landscaping this year as both are very big projects and time
and money as always is hard to find. I originally planned on this being a ten year project and we are at four years
and 7 months and I feel we are pretty much right on schedule.
As for Phase III this summer we have planned on a retaining wall to run the length of the driveway and turn in to
front steps in to the breezeway. We are also planning on a stone patio from the French doors off the breezeway
which will connect to the existing stone patio. We also hope to get the landscaping done around the patios and in
a perfect world get a dry pond in for turkey lake.
We have met with two landscape companies and discussed plans and designs. Unfortunately or fortunately we
like them both so now the dilemma of who to choose. I am thinking of using both for a small project each and then
go from there. As anyone can talk a good game and even design something you like but until you work with them
how can you tell if it is a good match?
We have started to work on some of the landscaping ourselves already this spring mostly in clearing away
overgrown areas and then we will work with the professionals on what to plant. I have put some photos in the
recent photo section of our most recent work. Sorry I forgot about before photos.
As for Phase IV the barns I hope to install some railings around the balcony of the second floor in the big barn
and varnish the "stage" area were the band will play at our party.
In other restoration project news Sam's car is back from the body shop all painted be sure to check that out in the
"Other Projects" section.
May 9, 2010 Day 1,706
First off Happy Mother's Day to all you Mother's out there.
It has been a couple of weeks since my last update and a lot has happen. First I will start out with the gutter guy.
When we hired someone to install the gutters originally we met a guy named Lloyd that Pattie knew from the
Pharmacy. He lived here in town right down the road from us and trying to keep business local we hired him. I did
not price shop I was happy with the price and the product and wanted to support the local business. He sells for
Advanced Gutter Systems. So when we decided to add more gutters to the house on the breezeway we called
him again. He came down gave me a price and I said OK go ahead and do the job. So two days later we calls me
at work about ten minutes before we close. John my car broke down and I need some advice. Sure, he wanted to
know if I knew any garages in the area he broke down in that would let him keep his car there for a few days. I
gave him the name of a couple of owners I knew and told him what to tell them. Then he wanted to know what his
car was worth, whether it should be fixed or junked. He did not agree with my estimate of his 2000 Honda with
over 250,000 miles on it so I researched it on line for him and finally he agreed with me that he should just
replace it. So then he asked what I had for used Prius on the lot. I told him we had three. I told him the website so
he could look knowing he was waiting for a tow truck I said check it over and call me tomorrow and I will help you
out. Thirty minutes later we hang up. So he calls me at home that night at 9 o'clock to ask the website again
because he left it in his car. I give it to him again. The next day around 2 in the afternoon he calls me from a
competitors dealership which is 80 miles away and wants to know if the price they gave him on a new Prius was a
good deal? Lloyd we sell new Prius I said and he says yeah but is the price they are giving me a good deal? They
say it is a lost leader and the are selling it at cost. So I look it up and they are selling it at costs. Yes I say but we
can sell you a new Prius right here, well my wife was already talking to them so we came down here. Can you beat
their price? No I can not sell a car at cost that does not make sense but I will sell it to you for $150 over cost and
our fees are less so you will be looking at about a $100 more. So this is a good price then? He asks, yes I said
but I remind him I can be within a $100. This is not going to hurt our friendship is it? He asks. No I said business is
business. Yes he responds business is business. So I get off the phone a bit upset to say the least. He never
even gave me a chance to sell him a car. Just drove an hour and twenty minutes away from his house to go some
where else. So I decide to call another gutter company A-1 Gutters and he gives me a price $577 less than
Lloyd's so I hire him. I call back Lloyd and he does not answer his phone so I leave him a message. Lloyd I
decided after talking to you that I too should shop around and A-1 Gutters will do the job for $577 lease so unless
you can beat that price cancel my order, Yes I think you should cancel my order. I did finally get a hold of him and
all he could say was that he was glad I was able to save some money.
What is wrong with people know a days? How does he think I get the money to buy gutters?
Any how now that I am over my rant I will continue with the other stuff. On the landscaping side we met with
Charlie to go over the rock wall plan and suddenly that cost was no where near what we had planned on. So we
had to re adjust what we were going to do in that area. So now we will be doing the patio area behind the
breezeway and doing the steps leading in to the breezeway from the front. We will have to wait until a later date to
build the retaining wall.
We met with Chris and he is going to design and most likely install the landscaping around the stone patio. The
design cost is waived if they do the work so it might work out just as cheap to do it that way. We also met with
Grant who is designing the back area against the woods and stone wall. I like his knowledge and his quick
answers, but he is a bit expensive for our budget. So we will have to use him sparingly.
We dug a hole four feet deep in the area I want the pond just to see if we hit water or anything. Well it was dry but
within days we had over two feet of water in the hole so hopefully this pond thing will work after all.
Charlie starts on the stone work this week and I am meeting with Grant to start marking trees on Tuesday so the
landscaping is off and running. Now I just have to find time to do the landscaping, work on my Mother in laws
siding, finish the painting on my house, train for the marathon and then get to the work on the barn all before July
25th. I will keep you posted on the progress.
May 16, 2010 Day 1,713
The landscaping is up and running. Charlie has started and finished the back patio and is working on the front
steps. Chris is drawing the plans for the plantings around the stone patio and Grant has mapped out what trees to
remove from the back yard. I have been working on removing those trees and the brush. Last Tuesday I had the
brush hog out and that helped make quick work of the brush but cutting down all the trees in the wooded area and
removing them is a lot of work. Today (Sunday) I was able to convince Sam to help me with the cutting of trees
with the promise of teaching him how to use the chain saw. He did well and practiced all the safety tips I told him.
You can not ask for more than that from a teenager. Below is a picture of the work at the end of the day. On
recent photos you will find photos of the stone work as well.
This is a view from the side looking down the cleared area. You can actually see the stone
wall from the road now. Eventually this will have small plants and wild flowers as well.
May 23, 2010 Day 1,720
Not much was accomplished by me this week as I had to work everyday this week, however Charlie did finish
the front steps and is done with the stone work for this year. Hopefully next year we will have saved some
more money to accomplish more. I hope to get the finished pictures of the stone work later today.
Last Thursday night I ran in to Stacy at a fund raiser who says she is an avid follower of my website so I
thought I would give a shout out to her and say hello! So Hello Stacy thanks for your readership. If you are a
loyal follower or even a part time glimpser please e mail me as I love to know who my readers are thanks again. Look for the recent photos in the next few days of the finished stone