Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Ladies Lunch in Retama

Every month we have a ladies lunch at a local restaurant but this month we had
something more special...The guys cooked & served us! Not only did they serve us but they were all decked out like we were in a fancy restaurant. I think they were really getting into this role playing.

This is every woman's dream, that their husband would wait on them. We were lucky enough to have it happen to us. There were 65 ladies attending so we had a pretty full house.

First we sat outside in the patio socializing while the busy little beavers were inside getting organized. They served us beverages while we had fun. When lunch was ready we were invited inside where lunch was served. The men prepared salads, rolls, cooked ham & mashed potatoes & kept our glasses full.

When the main course was finished they served us
dessert...lots of chocolate! Then the fun began with an ornament exchange. Each table was called to select an ornament off the table or they could take someone else's if they found one they liked. We had a blast & I think the guys enjoyed making this all happen.

After the ladies were served & were having fun with the ornament exchange the guys were able to chow down on the left overs.

As you can see from the photos we really enjoy life in Retama!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Our new house had a makeover...from boring beige to something better!

After trying to clean the bedroom wall where Shadow sleeps I discovered the
lousy paint & the lousy paint job the contractors used. It was supposed to be a satin finish so it could be washed. Well....it was but it was probably the cheapest paint & watered down. So, when I tried to wash it to remove Shadow's grease...off came the paint but the oil remained.

So....since the walls needed a better quality paint that was washable I decided to do a bedroom (& master bath) makeover. I had a quilt I made back in 1997 & decided to draw
from the colors in the quilt & do an accent wall. Since the walls were done in a basic, boring beige I thought it needed a bolder color & chose a nice color of blue that blended with the quilt. Not only was I thrilled at how it turned out but the painters thought it looked fabulous...especially when they came back the next day & saw it with the quilt on the bed.

I was so excited about the results I decided it was time to give the great room some pizzazz too. It took me several days to figure out which wall to do as the accent wall & then to figure out the color. I knew it
had to be southwest inspired since the room was filled with Kachina's native american pottery & other art so I decided to pull from the turquoise in the Kachina's on the large wall with all the art.

After trying the color I liked but toned down to a lighter tint I thought it was too harsh a contrast with the deep color of the stain in the cabinets. So I decided to stick with the original color without lightening it up. I thought it would work better & I
was right. The painter applied some beside the cabinet & then next to the window & we all looked at it & decided it was a winner.

By the time they had finished painting the one wall in the dining area I knew I had made the right choice.

They really did a good job. For a while there it looked like we were living in a bubble...well, at least our cabinets looked like it. The photo on the bottom left was the work in progress. They did a really good job of making sure paint only went where it was supposed to go. Now if I did it I would have been wearing it!

After the painting was done I ordered some more of the southwest coiled baskets to hang over the cabinets & pantry door. I have 2 hanging over the living room windows & since we have a great room living area I thought it would be nice to tie the room together with some baskets in the kitchen. I ordered 3 with complimentary colors that would work with the walls & cabinets & they turned out to be perfect for the room. It's so nice when a plan comes together. It's hard to see the colors in the photo but the one on the left has turquoise that almost matches the walls & the other two over the cabinet has the same tones as the cabinets so they are all absolutely perfect!


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Al's New Recumbent Trike

Ever since I bought my recumbent trike last summer Al has been wanting one. Now that we are settled into the new house & recovered from spending lots of money on furniture, etc. I figured it was about time.

Unfortunately there are no bike shops in the area that have recumbent trikes so
we had a choice....drive 4-5 hours each way to San Antonio or order direct from the factory. The decision was pretty simple because the shipping was far less than gas, eating out, motels, etc.

Since he wanted the same thing as I had the process was pretty easy & all we had to do is take the X-seam measurements & then make the call. When I called Terra Trike I spoke with Taylor (he seems to answer every time I call). I had learned they were having a special deal that when you buy a trike you can get $200 in free branded (Terra Trike) accessories. Wonderful, so we got almost everything (except for the mirrors) he wanted plus some tire tubes for free. I ordered the trike on Nov 11th & on the 16th I got a phone call from FedEx to set up the delivery time the next day. I was surprised it was already here.

Because the trike comes fully assembled except for the mirrors I was expecting a large box but I wasn't expecting a big Semi with 45 ft trailer to pull up in our cul de sac. The box inside was the size of a large refrigerator box & took Al & the driver to get it out of the trailer.

Al didn't waste any time installing the mirrors & putting on his seat bag before he head out for a test run. He loved it but he needed to tweak the neck rest.

Today we went out on a ride together. It was fun having him along...much nicer than riding alone. When we got back he did some more tweaking then called Taylor to ask for a suggestion on the seat so he didn't "slide" & then more tweaking. While he was tweaking his he also adjusted my brakes for me. I think he now has it just the way he wants it. Now I'm jealous. His is so nice & new & clean & mine is already dirty & worn ;(

I'm looking forward to rides together so it will be more enjoyable than riding by myself. My doctor will also be happy that I am going to be riding more! So now we have his & hers trikes sitting in the garage!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Stray pups in Retama...Again!


September 12th

Two very emaciated pups were found hiding under a table in a neighbor's back
yard. We didn't know how they got there but as I later discovered they were skin & bones & they probably got through their gate because they were so skinny.

Marilyn came over asking for some dog food & guidance what to do. I ran over with her (& some food) & the pups were so starving that they took the food right out of my hand. I told them I would find a place for them & they agreed to keep them back there until I got back.

A couple of hours later & lots of phone calls I found a place to keep them until I could get them into Cinderella....unfortunately no place that we found could
contain them because they could get through the gates. So, I called Suzanne at Cinderella & she agreed to take them if we paid for their spay & neutering. Well, I said I will find a way & sure enough all the loving people in Retama started donating money. Within an hour I called her back & said I have the money can we bring them over. So, the little "starving Armenians" are over there & doing well. They are more calm & eating again. Tomorrow I will go over & help Suzanne with weights, meds, bath & dip.

It's obvious that they are brother & sister because they keep watch for each other. They are very sweet & like people but very scared especially when we
took out a leash to corral them. Once they saw the leash it was like trying to trap a wild animal. Not aggressive it was just that they kept playing keep away. We finally got them both & they settled down in the back of the car. 

Suzanne at Cinderella Pet Rescue was reluctant to take any more dogs in especially since there are 11 dogs already needing to be spayed & neutered & CPR just does not have the funds to take on any more. (already have 67 dogs needing homes). So, I posted a message on our community Facebook page & within an hour our wonderful neighbors had come through to help. I immediately called Suzanne & she agreed to take them in. 


The pups are young & it's obvious they have been on their own for some time because they are starving. They are friendly & ate out of my hands but the minute a leash was brought out the fun began. It was obvious they were terrified of being "captured" & did a great job of playing dodge the puppies. Wither perseverance we got them, put them in the car & got them to Cinderella. We placed them in a nice large kennel under a tree, gave them fresh food & water & tucked them in. I gave them each some treats which they took from my hand & I left them with some extra treats before we left.

September 13th - Meet Moonbeam & Sunbeam

Al & I went over to check on the puppies & the tails started wagging. We went
into the kennel & they already had gotten their breakfast & fresh water. I brought some of Allie & Shadow's gourmet peanut butter training treats & we proceeded to give them treats while helping them learn their new names. We have come to the conclusion that Sunbeam is a pig (much like our Shadow) & while he is a real chow hound he does share with his sister. She prefers eating from our hands but he will eat whatever he can get & wherever he can get it. They are now skin & bones but in a few weeks they will get back on track & looking healthier.

As you can see from the bottom photo these two pups are skin & bones. It's obvious it won't take to long for them to start filling out & hopefully they will be happy, healthy pups that find a GOOD new forever home.

Tomorrow I will meet with Suzanne & we will do intake: weigh, give meds, do bath & dip then clip nails. The next step will be a visit to the vet to check for things we can't.

The top photo is one I got when I first met them. Obviously not camera shy. The remaining photos were taken this morning. Cute little kids aren't they?
I will keep this post updated.

September 14th

We came up with names Sunbeam (for the little light colored girl) & Moonbeam
for the little dark colored boy. When I chatted with Suzanne she liked the names & said it was OK. Since CPR maintains a database she doesn't like to re-use names. So, the little puppies now have adorable names for adorable puppies.

Pups were bathed today & you can see how protective big brother is for his little sister. It is so cute! It was stressful for them but I know they are probably feeling so much
better getting the fleas & ticks off them & feeling clean all over. Life will soon be much better for both of them.

After their bath the two pups slept in the tub for a while & then Suzanne went to work on removing the ticks from them. They were also given meds for worms, fleas & ticks. She agreed that these two little pups are really sweet & it is apparent by the photos of them in the tub that they love each other very much & which one is the "protector" in the
family. You can see Moonbeam keeping a watch over his very scared & tired sister.

After all is said & done both weary puppies are finally sleeping peacefully. These pups are so precious & these photos just tell it all. When we discovered them hiding under a table in our neighbors yard they were bedraggled, worn out & frightened. Now they are a loving pair of pups who are hopefully feeling a little safer than they have been & optimistic about their future knowing that people actually do care about them.

Please say some prayers that these 2 very special pups will find a wonderful new forever home where they will enjoy a blessed life together.

October 1st

These cute little kids are not pups. Turns out they are about 1 1/2 years old & pretty darned smart. Now that they are happy, eating right & healthy they are starting to prove that they are going to make someone great companions. They are doing great on a leash & it seems like they are probably house broken. So, if you know someone who wants two adorable little fur balls, they are just waiting for you to take them home. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Hummingbirds Are Back

Well the Hummingbirds are back & they are hungry. Within an hour of putting
out my hummingbird feeders they were all over our yard. 

It was cute watching them on the swing I bought last year. I never saw a hummingbird on there until this morning. It was really cute watching them at the feeders then sit on the swing for a while just watching.


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Settling In At Retama

Hard to believe but we have been in the new house for 2 months now. We have all our furniture in, all the window treatments are now in, the grass is growing &
green & the bushes are starting to grow & flower.

We finally got the Lazy Boy sleep sofa for our Den/Guest room & thank god it fit through the door. It was a very tight squeeze but they made it & it looks perfect. We have the entertainment center that we brought from New Mexico & we put our old TV in there & we got a nice new TV for the living room.

Here are some photos of the front & back yards. In the big front kidney shaped planter we have Rebellini
Palms (AKA Pigmy Date Palm) on either side & in front there is Mexican Heather & behind it is Firecracker bushes. They actually are blooming nicely although it's hard to see the fiery colored blooms & the purple blooms on the heather.

In the backyard we have Orange Cape Honeysuckle but I can't remember what species. We also have 2 beautiful Pride of Barbados. This is something I had never seen but my friend Coco told me about it & as soon as she showed me one I knew I had to have 1 or 2 ;). Right now one is blooming a lot & the other hasn't yet but it is doing well & growing. I guess it's one of those "late
Pride of Barbados
bloomers". 


We also have some Duranta in the front & back that have beautiful purple blooms that are just starting to show. We also have Red Velvet Lantana & white Lantana in the 2 smaller flower beds.

So, as you might have guessed after living in the desert for the last 8 years I planted for color. It's nice to have green grass again & while it's too hot to sit outside I know that once it cools off we are going to have a beautiful garden to look at.


Pride of Barbados closeup
It's really hard to see the flowers in these bushes but they are really spectacular. We also have a Queen palm in our yard & our neighbor has one in their yard. Each one was planted close to the common wall so once they grow up they will overhang both of our courtyards so it will look like we each have 2 palm trees in our courtyards. Good planning on our parts!

All of the plants in the front & back were planted to attract the birds & butterflies so it should be a lot of fun when they start sniffing around the yard.

Now, if it would cool down a little we would be soooo happy because it's just too
Orange Cape Honeysuckle
hot to sit out side, even at night. 


You know it's hot when the hummingbirds are taking cover in the bushes &
don't want to come out. I finally saw a hummingbird last week so I guess I might have to put a feeder out & bring my bird bath over from the RV lot so they can come by & stay cool...or at least try!

We are going to be having a small party in a couple of weeks & hopefully it will cool off a bit so we can sit out side...if not we get to hang around inside.

One great thing is the dogs LOVE the yard & are out there in the early morning chasing each other around the yard. I really think they love having the grass because they keep rolling around in it...not to mention eating it but it's better than eating rocks.


We are keeping very busy in the community. There aren't that many people here during the summer but you would never know it. We have been having a great turn out at all our activities & everybody is having lots of fun....except for the time we lost our power due to a very bad lightning storm that impacted a major portion of Texas. We were without power for 43 hours BUT the 2nd night we stayed at our friends house. They are gone for the summer & told us to stay there until the power came on. Thank god it came back by dinner time the next day. Wooohooo!!


This photo was taken this month at one of our weekly Friday evening Happy Hour pot luck BBQ's. Not bad attendance considering we don't have many people staying for the summer! Are we having fun yet...You bet we are.








Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Home Sweet Home

July 1st

The construction process is now complete, we closed on the house yesterday & now the fun
begins....making this our home!

We have moved a few things in but have a long way to go. Al and a friend brought over the washer and dryer and hooked it up so we can do laundry. Furniture and refrigerator will be delivered on Friday. My goal is to be able to eat and sleep there this weekend and take our time to move everything in without killing ourselves.

The photo on the right shows Nick Rhodes, Lupita Zamora &
Victor Aguirre. By now you have heard Victor's name a lot. He's the man behind the building process. He's the mover & shaker that gets things done. Nick is the Sales Manager & Lupita keeps the guys in line ;)

The photo on the left is the leather bound book that has our name engraved at the bottom. It contains all the important information about out home. It was given to us at closing along with some books on local birds, butterflies & other wonderful things in the area. Perhaps when we have some free time we will get to read them. We also received a book containing all the manuals, warranty information & future home walk thru's that are done in 30 days & then one year. I really have to admit that Esperanza really does a great job from beginning to end & Victor turned what could be a stressful time into one that was enjoyable.

July 3rd

The furniture, refrigerator & freezer were delivered. We ordered a Lazy Boy sofa bed which won't arrive for 2 weeks bur they were loaning us one. They discovered that they could not get it around the tight corners into the den. Now they have to get their moving guru to figure out what to do when our sofa comes in.

The next issue was this very big refrigerator in. Even with taking the door off it has just a tiny gap on either side that required all 3 of us to navigate....success, we got it in the door. Next hurdle was navigating around the island & he made it. The last hurdle was getting it in the space where is was supposed to go. Turns out that the specs that Samsung had on the refrigerator were off by 2+ inches. BUT he was able to get it in with no room to space so it fits like a glove.

July 4th

Today we had a painter come to stain the cabinet we had put in the guest bathroom then we
went to the community 4th of July dinner. The turnout was great and we had a wonderful time.

To celebrate the 4th of July we spent our first night in the new house. Even with the counters in the kitchen filled with stuff to put away the rest of the house is still free of unpacking "debris". We still have a lot to unpack but we have the boxes marked by priority & that is how we are unpacking.

Our plantation shutters have not arrived yet so we hung a sheet over the bedroom window for privacy. Allie & Shadow were happy to have their dog beds back although after fluffing them up they still didn't sleep in them (nothing new). Allie slept in the dining area on vigil making sure nobody was going to sneak in & Shadow slept in the bedroom on vigil. The best part is that the house was soundproof enough that Shadow did not freak out with all the fireworks.

July 5th

Today is a busy day. We have Dish coming to hook up our satellite service, a painter
coming to paint all the shelves we had made for the bedroom closets. Our neighbor is coming over to help Al install 2 medicine cabinets in the master bath & of course we unpack more boxes.

Tomorrow the internet service will be moved from the coach house to here so I can get back to work.

Most of the furniture has been delivered. We have bar stools & sofa bed on order which are due on the 15th. The living room tables that we originally bought just didn't "fit" in the room so we talked to Craig's & the general manager told us to come out & see if there is something else that will work. We found something & they delivered it a few days later. These tables are just perfect.

We can actually say we have 2 rooms set up & looking lived in but the rest of the house is still a mess but we are working hard to make the kitchen counters visible. 

There is nothing on the walls yet & who knows when that will happen but once we have boxes unpacked, shutters on & the house is "presentable" I will post more photos.

July 10th

The house is starting to look presentable & the master bath but we still have a lot of things
to bring over from storage that we need to unpack. Yesterday Al & a friend brought over our patio table & desk from the coach house. Later in the day Al went back to the storage unit & brought a full load of stuff over to start putting away. We are not rushing to get things put away so one load at a time we will either find a home for it or it will get put in a box for garage sale or donation.

We have used our new Traeger Wood Pellet Grill & we love it. Al has wanted one for a while & since we sold ours when we sold the house in New Mexico it was the perfect time to buy it. Cooking on this grill really gives the meat a wonderful flavor...much better than propane & charcoal soaked in lighter fluid ;). We've only been in the house since the 4th & we've already used it 3 times...it sure beats slaving over a hot stove! Al cooked a steak on it tonight & it turned out wonderful. I guess we have make a brisket & invite friends over to try it.

July 11th

We did a little more shopping to pick up things we need to organize the house. Now that we have the perfect tables for the living room I ordered an area rug & once it arrives I will add a photo of the living room.

We did more unpacking & we can actually see the kitchen counters now. The island is still cluttered with stuff but a few more days & that should look better as well. We really are making great progress & I won't even be embarrassed if company drops in now :)

July 15th

The house is still a work in progress with boxes all over the place & counters still the
launching pad for boxes labeled for kitchen, dining room & living room.

We got the new tables for the living room & they look much better than the ones we originally picked out. It's really hard to envision how things look in the store & until they are in the house you have no way of knowing how they will look. 

The new area rug that I ordered from Amazon also arrived. It actually looks better than expected & brightens up the place.

Now all we are waiting for is the sofa bed & bar stools that were ordered. They are all supposed to arrive by the end of the month. It will be nice to have
all the furniture in the house.

In the meantime we are still unpacking & getting organized. Al is busy getting shelves put in the garage & "shop" so he can get the garage organized. Inside the house is slowly getting organized. Even though we sold a lot of stuff, donated a lot & threw out a lot we are finding a lot more stuff that we should have gotten rid of before we moved it here. So, I guess we start more piles for donation, Craigslist & then our annual garage sale in Retama.

Bob & Barb Goble came by to visit. Well, Bob came by to help Al install the RO unit under the sink. Barb had a good time visiting with Allie & Shadow. Shadow, who is not a lap dog or a cuddler, decided he REALLY liked Barb & wanted to
become BFF's & wasn't afraid to let her know. He never ceases to amaze us with things he does. This shy dog is definitely coming out of his shell.  


July 20th

The house is really shaping up. We've been busy unpacking & the storage unit is almost
empty. Al has been busy putting up shelving to help organize the garage & his shop & things are really starting to take shape. 

We opted to maintain the backyard ourselves so we bought a lawn mower & edger. Al will do the mowing & I will be maintaining the flower bed. The sod is starting to take hold & Al has fertilized so hopefully in a couple of weeks it will really start looking nice. Tomorrow he will do the first mowing so the yard will start looking a little better. All the bushes & trees are starting to show growth & blooms so we're getting a little color in the yard.

Allie & Shadow are really enjoying their new yard & have been chasing each other around & playing which is something they haven't been able to do in a while. It's nice to see them playing again & they seem pretty happy to have grass instead of gravel.

It's hard to believe that has been about 2 1/2 weeks since we moved in & we're getting pretty close to being settled. We discovered that even with all the things we sold, donated & tossed in the trash we still have many boxes of things for our community's annual yard sale.


It really is nice to have a nice green yard for a change, beautiful palm trees & I am really enjoying all the beautiful colors in our yard & our neighbors. I really love New Mexico but having grown up in New England I sure missed the beautiful colors & we get to enjoy it all year round here.

The courtyard now has the furniture set up along with the patio table & new umbrella. While it's way to hot to sit out there now we are ready for the time when it's a bit cooler & we can sit outside & enjoy the yard & entertain.

Aug 15th

We are all settled in & just about everything has been put away. Our Plantation Shutters
have been installed & look great...not to mention they are keeping the house cooler & we now have privacy.

I even decided to break out a quilt I made almost 20 years ago & put it in the bedroom. Turns out it is perfect for the bedroom & looks great...especially with the new shutters.

I splurged & got a new shower curtain. It looked good in the picture on Amazon but I wasn't sure how it would look in the bathroom but it looks pretty nice & the colors work well with the color scheme in the bathroom & in the granite so it's staying.

Our bushes are growing & blossoming & look wonderful & the grass is turning green. I put the hangers for the hummingbird feeders in the back yard but until it cools off I'm not going to put the feeders out there.

Allie & Shadow are loving their new home & have settled right in. They even get to run, jump & play in the yard early in the morning before it gets too hot.

It's far to hot to go out & relax in the courtyard but I am spending time nurturing my plants & watching them grow...LOL. So for now I just go out with the dogs, prune & water the bushes, enjoy looking at all the beautiful colors & then go back into the nice cool
house. I know that cooler days are coming & I can wait.

The bushes shown are a honey suckle (can't remember which species but they are a vibrant orange & yellow) & Pride of Barbados with similar colors.




Saturday, June 13, 2015

It's Starting To Feel Like Home!

June 12th

Well, it is really starting to feel & look like home now. When Victor told me it
would be done in 16 weeks I didn't believe it. Every time he said it would be done the 2nd week of July I didn't believe it...now he's saying July 1st final walk through...WOW!

The exterior is just about done, we have a driveway. The tile is almost done & I'm ready to move in.

Victor told me that today the electrician & plumber will be there to install the AC, water heater & easy water (ionization system), fixtures & faucets. The garage door is also supposed to be installed today. Victor
had expected the door last week but because we ordered an insulated door it had to be ordered.

We drove by at lunch time today & saw that they had delivered the block to build the wall. I guess that is supposed to be done next week & then they can start grading & landscaping.

After the Friday BBQ & Pot luck we drove over to the house. It appeared that most of the light fixtures were installed & some of the light switches. They also installed the bathroom & kitchen faucets & connected
the plumbing. We didn't go around back to check out the AC but will do that tomorrow.

I knew we ordered all the faucets & fixtures to be in brushed Nickle but I didn't know what the ceiling fan & light fixtures would look like. The Dining Room light fixture is actually quite pleasant as is the one in the front entry way. The bedroom, office & other fixtures are nothing special but functional. The ceiling fan in the living room & master bedroom are wood & actually match the cabinets quite well. That was not something we planned!

Week of June 15th

Busy day over at the house but a lot is getting finished. Victor is hoping that the house is finished next week but a lot depends on people showing up to do the
work & mother nature since there is a threat of a big storm.

Since a lot of the work this week will be stuff that won't be significant we are not going to go over every day & inspect & will wait until toward the end of the week & look at it.

Today they are doing the final coat of paint inside the house & putting up the wall on one side of the house. 

Over the course of this week they will be doing a lot of things to finish off the inside including the pantry door framing, installing the light switches, plate
covers & lots of odds & ends.

The electrician will be running all the electric lines to the transformer & installing the AC.

The insulation will be blown in to the attic, the yard will be graded & then landscaped. The cedar fence & gate will be put up on the other side of the house. All the trees, plants & bushes that we are buying will be picked up or delivered by the end of the week.

Once the interior is finished then the kitchen appliances (all except the refrigerator which we bought) will be installed.

When the work is done Victor will go around the house & blue tape things that need to be fixed before we can do the final walk through.

June 18th - Week 11

Jaime (CFO of Esperanza homes) is anxious to close on the 30th so I arranged to meet with Victor this morning to discuss what will be happening over the next
10 days.

Victor is optimistic that he will be able to get everything done & be able to close on the 30th (2 weeks early).

The exterior of the house is finished except for adding the stucco to the front & back wall & then putting up the cedar fencing in the back. Yesterday they added the wooden Corbels (a structural piece of stone, wood or metal jutting from a wall to carry a super-incumbent weight, a type of bracket) under the eaves in
the front of the house (we also have them under the granite counter in the kitchen island. They also have the electric meter installed & the electricity will be on today. Once the power is on Victor will start going around & blue tape anything he finds that needs fixing. He will do this 3 times until everything is as close to perfect as he can get. The photo on the right shows Corbel's under a kitchen island. It is not ours but it will give you an idea of what they are if you don't already know.

What was happening today: The ladies were in there today doing the 1st go around cleaning. They will do 2 more before closing. They sprayed the
insulation into the attic. Exterior doors & hardware are being installed, the painters are going around the house to do the final coat of paint. Electricians are finishing up & the AC will be up & running. They will be installing the towel bars & ring's & of course the TP holders in the bathrooms.

What will happen between now & closing: The cable will be hooked up, the stucco will be applied to the walls, cedar fencing will be put in the back, The appliances will be installed, the yard will be graded, planter beds laid out & the trees & bushes put in. Victor will do more walk thru's checking for things that need fixing, the house will be cleaned 2 more times & I'm sure I'm missing something ;)

Are we getting excited....you better believe it!

June 23rd - Week 12

Ok, we are really getting close now. Carol & I met with Victor this morning to talk about weep holes. She's have a bit of a problem with water in the back yard
so Victor is going to add more to her back yard & will make sure we have extra added our backyard so he doesn't have to come back & fix it later. We also talked about where to plant the trees. Carol has a palm that has to be put in that was removed when they started extending the wall & we are having an ash tree put in the front yard. So, we all decided it would look good to put her palm tree in front of where our 2 planter beds are going to meet & we will put our ash on the other side of the driveway. That will make everything look nice.

The stucco was being applied to the new wall as we were standing there & it is
starting to look nice. Right now the color looks different but that will start darkening as it dries.

Next Victor let us come in & look around inside. The inside is just about done other than a few odds & ends & the last 2 times cleaning. Here's what we saw...the appliances (other than the refrigerator we buy) has been installed & is working. I wanted a gas stove & it is REALLY nice! Victor also had an extra hole drilled in the kitchen sink for our new RO unit.

The pantry door & frame are now finished & you would never know that they
installed a narrower door than it was framed for.

All electricity is done & we have lights. Now I can actually visualize the house filled with our furniture.

The photo on the right shows the front gate & wall leading into our courtyard. Because our lot is pie shaped it widens as it goes back so we have a really nice area behind the wall. Directly in front of the wall will be landscaping & behind it will have a long planter bed filled with all kinds of different flowering bushes & a queen palm.

Due to all the rain we have had it might cause a slight delay in closing but we are ahead of schedule so I'm not worried. Victor had planned to close the 2nd week of July so I'm not concerned but I would love to get in there sooner but frankly I hadn't planned on it so I won't be disappointed if we don't. We've had some rain the last few days & there's a lot of mud which will make it difficult to fill the ditch where the electric was run & then start grading. Victor said he'd let me know on Thursday if there will be any delay in closing.

June 25th

Not a lot of progress due to rain but we are still moving along. The inside of the
house is just about done. The gas company has to come & turn on the gas so that we can do our final walk thru. The electrician has a couple of things to fix & the cabinet guy is coming over tomorrow. Victor is planning to have the 2nd cleaning done tomorrow & the final one the day before closing.

Today Julian was working on the front yard, grading it & laying out the planter beds. He did plant our very first tree today in the front yard. Tomorrow he will be installing the irrigation lines out front & then plant the bushes in the front planter beds.


The closing date is still up in the air because of the rains we have had. They are trying to remove the wet soil from the back & replace it with dry soil. Victor has to call the sod farm to see if he will have a problem cutting sod.

So, maybe we will have an answer tomorrow. The VP of the loan department called me to go over some things & he's trying to get everything done on his end. 

The survey has been complete. The city has done the final inspection & declared that the house is ready to be lived in. The only hold
up is the landscaping. They will be doing the front landscaping but the back is the problem because it doesn't get much sun & it's not drying out. If Victor says they can't do the grading tomorrow but perhaps they can get it done on Saturday (before Sunday's threat of rain) then he will make sure they work on Saturday to get it finished.

Victor is confident we can close next week, which day is what is up in the air! So, everybody say some prayers to the sun gods so we can get the house closed on the 30th so we can start moving things in & arrange for the refrigerator & furniture to be delivered. I am going to work on my "sun dance" tonight...cross my fingers & toes that all goes well tomorrow!

June 26th

My sun dance worked...no rain! They were able to put in the planter beds in
front & back & they spent all day hauling out wet dirt & hauling in dry dirty. 

Jaime came over to look at the house & talk to Victor & I was there so we discussed closing & they both agreed that the house would be finished on Monday & ready for closing on Tuesday....2 weeks ahead of schedule.

Julian & I went over the planter beds before I left to run errands & they got the irrigation in to the beds & all the plants put in the ground & they look very happy to be in the ground.

I worked on all the final arrangements for closing & then we headed out to run errands for last minute things for the house. Lowes is delivering our refrigerator & upright freezer on the 3rd & on Monday I will call the furniture store to arrange for delivery of the furniture. Al is working out the arrangements to move the washer & dryer to the new house & hooking it so the freezer can be installed next to it.

This evening we went over to look at the yard before our Friday night Happy Hour, BBQ & pot luck. We had a great time! Now it's time to rest & recover from a very long week. Only a few more days & it will all be over & then we get to move again...LOL

Monday they will finish the grading & the sod will go in. Julian has to extend the planter bed in the courtyard area which was supposed to extend to the edge of the house & then I wanted it extended an extra 8 feet for things I might want to plant (like the pineapple I've been growing in posts)