Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Apple Blossoms in Fall

I arrived in Lake Charles, LA this afternoon.

Lake Charles, LA Hotel Room

I was supposed to arrive yesterday but due to flight delays, had to return home and try again today.

Dallas, TX

While I was frustrated with the six hours these delays cost me yesterday, I was happy to get another night at the old farmhouse before my travels.  Joe and I took the late afternoon to continue a wonderful weekend, full of really good "deals."

To recap our weekend, Saturday we spent the day completing the leveling of the parking pads upon which, Saturday afternoon, the two new carports were erected.

Skilled workers erect carports in less than three hours!

Carports erected

We wrapped up that operation late afternoon and then headed over to look at an island stove I'd found on Craigslist.  The stove was awesome and the very large cabinet/counter it came in was worth five times what the seller was asking.  New, and without the cabinet, the stove would have cost me $1000, and this one is in very near new condition, with a beautiful custom cabinet.  I did not quibble with the seller's asking price of $100.

Island stove

Of course, Joe, ever in the market for "what ELSE are you selling?" ended up scoring another TON of stuff, including, but not limited to a LARGE bird cage.... for which, together with several sections of vinyl porch railing, several porch posts, several parking cones, a weed eater that looks like a small lawn mower, and other miscellaneous items, he paid an additional $75.

Bird cage, weed eater...more treasures..

When we arrived home with our load on Saturday, I looked up the bird cage to see how well we'd done (I know NOTHING about bird cages)...seems our birdcage is worth over $400 new...and again, this cage is in very close to new condition....will it be blasphemy to use it for chickens????

So, Sunday afternoon, it was with the old beater van we did our dealing. We stopped along the road to look at a box truck being offered for sale. The box truck is an old one, 32 years old, to be precise, but it is in working condition and provides instant, mobile storage...ideal for our operations on the farm.  The guy selling it was not there yesterday, but I put my vote in with Joe and we agreed he'd try to make the deal to purchase it today.

Box Truck...Ancient...but excellent storage!

Meanwhile, the guy next door to where the truck was being sold, was having a yard sale, trying to raise money for his fiancee's medical bills... Me?  I looked at it and saw a bunch of junk.  Joe?  He has an eye for these things.

Junk or Treasures?
He wandered around (we were the only customers this late in the afternoon) and struck up a conversation with the folks.  Before long they had run an extension chord out to the old electric organ for sale and Joe was pleasing the "crowd" with renditions of patriotic tunes!  Did we NEED another organ?  Well, of course not, but, that did not change the fact that, while we arrived at the yard sale with an empty "beater van," we left with a FULL beater van -- including that organ!  (So what else is new?)  I was amazed, as I always am when I shop with Joe, how much "stuff" he can get for such little money.  Sunday's load cost $41 and included TV's, the organ, VHS camcorder, an antique carpet in decent condition, a huge bin of "miscellaneous stuff" and more.  But the REAL find was the guy having the yard sale...turns out he does drywall work....hmmmm another bidder for some of our work!  Well, OK, the bin of miscellaneous items turned out to contain some real treasures too......lots of plumbing, electrical, and carpentry tools and fixtures, as well as half a dozen "collectible" toys....

We returned home with our treasures, and relaxed on the new deck, enjoying the cool evening air.

Deck in Evening

With our BIG van filled on Saturday and our BEATER van filled on Sunday we NEEDED that 14 foot box truck!  And so it was that I left home this morning at 4 AM, leaving the securing of the van to Joe.  Of course, he had other projects to attend to as well, but he was happy to report his success this evening when we chatted.

While I was flying over the US, changing planes in Charlotte, NC and Dallas, TX, Joe was BUSY!  He secured the truck for a "deal" that included the following:

  1. 75% of the seller's asking price
  2. delivery of the truck WITH a pile of lumber from Mr. Yard Sale (an additional $20 for the lumber)
  3. Mr. Box Truck Seller is ALSO picking up my riding mower from the pond house and repairing it
Not a bad negotiator, eh, what?

And, on the way home from his box truck/lawnmower repair negotiations, he stopped to purchase a dozen eggs from a neighboring farm.  While there, he firmed up plans to "harvest" the goat meat from our two goats.  This will be our first foray into the world of livestock raising to put meat on the table, but that's our plan.  The neighboring goat farmer has agreed to come teach us how and also to prepare the meat for us to freeze.  If this works out well, we will likely make the goat purchase, summer brush cutters, fall harvest, an annual process.

Then there was the latest modification to the garage.  Our carpenter guy installed the last of the windows to complete the exterior work of our garage makeover project.  As completed, we erected a 12 X 16 foot deck which doubles as a carport,  and replaced two windows with two doors and five windows.  It has significantly changed the functionality and appearance of the place!  With this last window installed today, Joe had our little carpenter guy bidding on five small projects we have left to complete, hopefully before our California travels in October.

Back of Garage Before Final Window Installation
Final Window Going In
Back of Garage After Final Window Installation
And.... tomorrow the demolition crew will be taking out the original chimney, now non-functional, from the old farmhouse.  The next round of contractors will need it out to proceed with the leveling of the floor, so that will put us one step further on that project... Think Joe is staying busy enough????

Well, he is NEVER too busy to catch a few pictures of the "happenings" around the old farmhouse.  And this evening, when I awoke from my nap in my lovely hotel room, I was greeted with email containing a surprise photo....it seems our "sticks," those pieces of branches Joe pruned from the trees of the seller who sold us the tractor, those seemingly dead sticks we put in tubs of nutrient water three weeks ago, not only produced new leaves, which we discovered last week, but are BLOSSOMING!  What a beautiful sight!

Apple Blossoms in Fall

I will have to ask my daughter, the owner/operator of Sugar Magnolias whether she is aware such beautiful growth can come from "sticks."  She uses plants and flowers natural to the local environment to create her designs....  regardless, this has been another fun experiment and I am certain there are plenty more yet to come!

Now, I must turn my attention back to work, as that is the purpose of my being here in Louisiana.  I am going to really miss all of the excitement at home, but I will look forward to my return that much more!


Feral Female said...

Nice room! Looks like the work is going well!!

Canyon Girl said...

Looks like you guys are having so much FUN! I'm writing to thank you for your comments on my Sunday post. Those were very wise, helpful and caring words, Judy. And I appreciate them so very much. I just wanted to let you know that.--Inger

aswesow said...

That is alot of bargains in one weekend! The apple sticks amaze me.
That's pretty redneck buying a cube van because it can double as storage. That's what I did when we moved here.

Sharon said...

Awesome room!

Now, how come we can never find bargains like that??? Never! We sell something we always lose our shirts! You really lucked out on all your treasure!

Will that apple bloom again in the spring?

Have a good rest of the week, and I hope you get done, what your job needs doing!

mixednut555 said...

Wow, I didn't expect to see a posting so soon after the last one, with you traveling and all. Both you and Joe tire me out with all you two manage to accomplish! Our good news is that Rachel's offer on the house on the Big Island was accepted. She goes over there tomorrow for the inspection and she put the money in escrow today. Hopefully within 45 days from today we will all be moving to our new/old home. Will post a blog and pictures when I have some time.
Today's verification word is nonruck....wondering if that means anything or not.

Judy's Corner said...

Thanks FF.... it is looking wonderful!

Judy's Corner said...

Hey Inger, We are having an adventure, to be sure! I hope you are mending well, and that each day brings a little more strength and confidence.

Judy's Corner said...

aswe, Yes, indeedy! It IS a lot of bargains! And the apple blossoms are a reminder to me that I don't know nuthin' 'bout nature! There is, apparently, a natural desire to LIVE and FLOURISH against all odds!

And I don't mind being a little redneck! I like that storage/cube/box van!

Judy's Corner said...

Let me tell you... left to my own devices, I would NEVER get the bargains...I am not a barterer. Joe IS and he does a really good job of it. Part of it is, of course, not NEEDING to have whatever it is. We can simply walk away if the price isn't right!

Will the apple blossom in spring? Well, I dunno... I suppose I will have to wait and see. If nothing else happens, it at least gave us a showy fall!

Judy's Corner said...

Kat, I am so happy to hear your news on the house. You will have a wonderful adventure too, I am sure. Working hard is something that is a given whenever there is renovating involved and you are not a millionaire!!! So, roll up your sleeves and make those dreams come true. We are, and it wonderful. The experience is its own reward!