Monday, May 11, 2020

Five Months...

LaGrange, GA
May 11, 2020

Our last stop as full-time RVers was Freeport, FL.  We stayed at Live Oak Landing (Nov.19-Dec.11, 2019) and had a great time exploring beautiful Florida State Parks on the Gulf and enjoyed some very yummy seafood.

Five months ago today, we backed into the driveway of our Georgia home.  It was a mixed bag of emotions...sad, happy and anxious.  We were sad to be cancelling reservations in Arizona with its beautiful winter weather and adventures, happy to have space to call our own again and a yard for the puppies to enjoy, and uncertain as to what the future would unfold.  

Winters here are rainy, chilly and down right yucky!  In fact I am pretty sure we had record rainfall amounts for January and March.  Good for us the "Must Do" list quickly filled a sheet of legal size paper and our work began. 

So, when the pandemic with its "stay in place" and "social distancing" rules were put into place, it was life as usual for us.   Painting seemed never ending, the list kept growing, and we kept busy.  Today, after all these months, we are beginning to slow down and take the time to enjoy the fruits of our labor.   The downstairs is mostly's roomy (well any space is roomy after living in a bus for 8 years) and cozy, warm and bright, colorful and peaceful, and we have settled into a different way of living than we had when living in Belle. 

Some highlights :
1) The most difficult project was taking out the efficiency kitchen that Joe built when his Mom moved in with us in 1995.  He inclosed the existing garage and made her the neatest little apartment...a MIL suite.  Today, that space is our bedroom-hobby room.
The kitchen counter with sink, under counter cabinets, and overhead cabinets were removed.  In its place, I have a few shelves in the nook and Joe has a hobby space.  

2) The most frustrating project was installing a floating floor in the den, 1/2 bath and small hall floor that leads to our bedroom.  

We chose a ProCore Tudor Oak.  The color is great. But, it didn't float very good and it didn't help that our subfloor was not level.  Live and learn and thank goodness for big rugs !  

3) The most time consuming project for me...painting !  3 bi-fold doors and a glass paned door, 8 ceiling to floor windows, 6 doors and casings, banisters, floor moulding in the foyer, living room, kitchen, den, bedroom, laundry room and on and on. 

I thought it would never end and Joe quickly got the not ask me what I am doing today !

4) The project I am most proud of is the dining room table.  Joe made it !  

I asked for a farm table...simple and plain and he delivered.  

The table gets prettier and has been lightly sanded and varnished at least half a dozen times.  

5) My favorite project was/is the porch.  I primed and painted new screen molding.  

Off with the old...

on with the new.

I painted the floor red...

and voila !  I can't wait for warmer mornings (It is still in the mid 40s when we get up.) and coffee time in the rocker.

The most fun we have had  was taking a few days off and heading in the bus to Gaffney KOA to see this little guy.

That's right, Felix lives in Greenville, SC with his mom (Jena) and his dad (Joe).  It was a great visit the end of February before the pandemic.  We wandered around downtown Greenville and had lunch at Joe and Jena's favorite place to eat.  We went hiking at Paris Mountain State Park and hung out at Felix's house and played.  

Sometimes you just have to show your "Must Do" list who is boss and sneak in a fun project from the "Wish" list.  This past week-end, we added a little comfort and color in the kitchen.  Our $15.00 kitchen chairs were not padded.  We wanted the comfort of some padding so Joe cut seats out of luan, then cut foam to fit the seats and we covered them with fabric.  We had enough fabric left over to use on the window.  Since we left the sewing machine in the storage room in Moab, Joe built a cornice board.   We covered it with batting first and then the material.  What a difference a little color makes.

We were quite proud of the way we matched the pattern on the end pieces.  

It's a ritual to raise the shades every morning...just ask Sally.  

Tah dah...
April has been a good weather month...still cool in the mornings and warming nicely throughout the day.  Perfect combo for getting things done in the yard.  A few days ago we decided to clean the woodsy area on the side of the house.  It was messy with lots of fallen limbs, some downed trees and nasty vines.  It took right at 7 hours to go from the street to the fence (which is on the back corner of the house).  Joe will be able use the weed eater now...whew! 

Yes, I was covered from head to toe and even stuffed my jeans inside my socks.  And yes, I still got poison ivy on my arm. 

We did take Belle for a drive through town to get new front tires last week.  We are hopeful !  And missing Dee and all our friends in Moab.  

I'll close with some more pics.
I planted cone flowers in the backyard...yellow, orange and purple.

Sally says "What? Isn't this vinca here for me?"

Cardinals are the most frequent users of the bird bath so far.

Dover enjoying a sunny day in the middle of all the rainy weather. 

The bottle is under the eve outside the kitchen window.  Carolina Wrens make the best breakfast entertainment.

Our little champion...

I have new front porch on each side of the door.  I planted pink begonias and creeping jenny.  It's the first time I have ever planted pink, but they are very pretty next to the black door.   

Gaffney KOA...a great and much needed get away.

Until next time...



  1. All your hard work has certainly paid off! Your house is gorgeous, the pooches adorable and life is good.

    1. Thanks Janna! The puppies are happy. Life is good!

  2. You've done a wonderful job with the house. There comes a time for varying reasons for all of us to settle back down.
    Be Safe and Enjoy the security.

    It's about time.

    1. Thanks Rick and Kathy! The story of how we ended up back in LaGrange is not what we had planned for 2020. As it turns out, we are very thankful our plans were not the plans we needed to follow. It’s nice to be here during these uncertain times. Anyhow, same to you safe.

    2. Perhaps you'll share that story in your next post?

  3. Every morning I check your blog - ho hum - nothing new, nothing new. Except this morning! Yay, It's great to have you back and to see what you've been up to. No wonder you haven't had time to blog! The work has to be finished by now. Lewis enjoys having a big yard to roam in also and one of his favorite things to do is plop down in the ivy and vinca and watch things unfold in front of him! Go Sally!

    1. I’m very touched. Joe has been asking for weeks and weeks for me to blog. He is the one who enjoys perusing old posts and pictures. I’ve told him I will try to better and reading you comment is just the motivation I need.

      Isn’t it scary how much our lives evolve around our fur babies? I’m so happy for Lewis to have HIS lake, yard and vinca and I can’t wait to see pictures of him fishing with Dave. Sally is our one pup who has really, really enjoys the yard. Jack doesn’t really care where he plays ball and Dover doesn’t really care where she hunts for lizards.

  4. I've wondering what you two have been doing. The house looks great, your hard work is paying off. Your porch looks very inviting, a great place to relax after a meal on the awesome Farm Table Joe made.

    1. Hi Jeff! And thank you! It’s nice to be in the sticks and bricks...especially during this pandemic. Perfect timing for staying busy and staying at home!

  5. You've done a fabulous job with the place! I too am the painter in our house...months of painting the entire inside of the house really hurt my right wrist. It took months after the painting was finished for it to get back to normal...I hope you are feeling all right, painting is hard work! It's really nice to be in a big house and property during this pandemic though, having plenty of space to move around!

    1. Thank you Lisa. Painting is hard work! For me it has been my fingers and swollen knuckles...a bit of arthritis which I hate to admit or claim. I have taken a break for now, but still have four bedrooms, two baths, a hallway and stairway to go. I’m not motivated as we never even go upstairs. I would much rather be hiking! I drool every time I see your FB posts!

  6. So great to hear from you! We've had a few peeks at what has been going on on fb but nice to have the whole story of the work. Your house is just beautiful. That table Joe made is so beautiful. What an a amazing craftsman. Love the chair covers and the curtain! Your porch came out so pretty. Love, love that rural red floor!! My favorite color. I would definitely be spending major time there. Nice that you got to take a little vacation from the work. Your change in 2020 plans did turn out to be for the best with the state of our world now. Good to see the Tan Clan is doing well. Jack is so cute. Sweet to see that he still has his ball. Take care of yourselves.

    1. Thank you Pam. Jack has become very attached to his ball. We had a special cabinet over the sofa in the bus where we always put it when we came in from playing. Here, he insists on keeping it with him all the time...even at night.

  7. Hi Joe and Gay. Was surprised to see that you have given up full timing. I know you really did enjoy your time in the southwest. Are you still going to go RVing from time to time? We went through LaGrange on our way home in March. Once all this stuff happened we decided to cut our vacation short and head home. Home you both are well. If you ever want to visit Canada, we have room for you.

    1. WOW, what a nice surprise to hear from you Ruth. Every time I publish a post, I thank you for showing me how...that was in Feb. 2012. My how the time flies! Next time you are passing through LaGrange, please let us know. It would be great to see you. Yes, we still have the bus and yes, we still have the urge to roll, just not full-time. We are hopeful for a trip to Moab this fall. Tell Ken and Jackson hello and hugs to you, Ken, and Jackson!

  8. There you are at last!! Your home is so beautiful and I love, love the red porch floor :-)) Tessa is so jealous that your pups have greenery to play on! Keep posting and stay safe.

    1. Thank you Jodee. As you well know, this home owners business is lots of work! But we are so thankful to be here and to have things to do. Tessa (and you and Bill) are welcome to come play anytime! I appreciate the guys stay safe a too!

  9. What a beautiful home! I would spend hours on that porch. So relaxing.

    You are one of several fulltimers I follow who seem to have settled down at just the right time. What a crazy time we're going through, but I imagine it's been a perfect time to stay busy with projects and make your home exactly what you want it to be. I'm glad to hear you'll be keeping the motorhome and traveling part time. Hopefully, we'll still cross paths one day.

    Stay well!

  10. Great to see that you both are doing well and obviously very busy. Wish you both good health and happiness.