Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Last Days "On the Hard"

Only a few days remain for this dear boat to be so utterly out-of-place, perched above the grass.
Adam finished the bottom paint.
Then we gingerly pulled the tape away from the line between the blue and red.

I even took a bad selfie in that shiny paint :)
We disliked our boat's previous name ... "Take It Easy" or "Nice and Easy" or some such nonsense. We wanted a better name, and chose "Nocturne" years ago. At last, it was time to put her name on her transom.
Adam printed out two pieces of paper with the name printed on it.
Then he poked hundreds of tiny pin holes, outlining the black letters. He taped the papers to the transom on the boat's stern and dabbed powdered aluminum oxide on the paper so the white powder would go through the holes and stick (hopefully!) to the dark blue paint, leaving just enough of an outline so that the letters could be painted.
Then it was my job to take a very sticky white paint, and a very small brush, and paint her name. It's not perfect, but it turned out okay. I'm not complaining -- it was pains-taking, nervous work. But she's got her name! This week I'll paint "Oriental NC" just below it.
This evening after supper Adam and I clambered up on the boat to look at the just-painted cabin. It's so clean and white. I might even sleep in there now!
 And he painted inside the quarter-berths. These are the two storage spots under the seats in the cockpit, and I think it's quite a stretch to call them berths!
 We're expecting rain, so Adam wanted to get the scupper hoses in there so the water would drain out of the cockpit.
 Let me 'splain. See those two little holes in the floor of the cockpit? They're supposed to allow rain water to drain out of the cockpit easily. The water goes through two hoses and drains out of the boat via the through-hulls. They've never worked very well. The old hoses were decades old, dry and ready to break. The scuppers were clogged. We sailed with very wet feet.
 After inserting the new hoses, Adam poured a bucket of water into the cockpit, and glugglugglug ~~ out it went!
He's varnished the companionway door panels; they are the original teak, and you can tell by how dark they are. The cabin is buttoned up for rain.

Hopefully ... quite soon, the Nocturne will be scooting along on the beautiful Neuse!
Up river ...
...or down river.
This is South Ave., the street along the riverfront in Oriental. I ride my bike here often. What a view! I'll miss living in Oriental when/if we move just a few miles away to our new place, but we can come here easily with bikes and ride the village streets when we care to.
Here's to the  Nocturne!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Few Inside Shots ...

Hi, y'all. Thanks ever so much for the enthusiastic comments and sisterly support in our (hopeful) move! You are the best! My parents enjoyed the outside photos too, but Mother said, "Share inside photos when you can." I do have a few, an odd selection from the last time I was in the house. I didn't take them for blogging purposes, but to remind me later on, of some pertinent nooks and corners. But here they are. Everything will be stripped out of the house, so picture it without the "stuff."
This is the dining room (the largest, central room in the house), looking into the small galley kitchen.
The living room is behind me, as I'm taking the photo above. I have no photos of it.
This is a bedroom. I have no idea why I took this photo :) The house has decent windows, lovely large paneled doors, and high 10-foot ceilings ~ classic for its age, which 93 years old.
Two of the three bedrooms have closets like this -- not deep and not wide. I will be culling out some of my more useless clothes.
I think I took this photo to remind me of how tight the bedrooms are ~ really small.
Julia tried to peek into those upper cabinets, but did not succeed.
Julia wants the smallest bedroom; that ensures that she won't have to share with anyone, ever. (haha!) It has a built-in desk and floor-to-ceiling shelves flanking the desk, with a window in the middle looking out over the back pasture. She's excited. Plus, she gets to sleep on the futon, which for some odd reason makes her happy.
The single bathroom is nothing to write home about. When you sit on the potty, you can reach up and wash your hands. Is that a plus?  It does have a tub and some crazy light fixtures. An elderly man lived here alone for many years, and we all know what kind of bizarre things a single elderly man can install in a house!

The kitchen isn't bad (and has vastly more storage space than my present kitchen!), but it's in desperate need of a Very Deep Cleaning. The last occupant has been dead about two years. There's still a 1/2 gallon of milk in the refrigerator, lying on its side. Eww.
The Frig-in-need-of-Fumigation:
The dishwasher looks sketch, as the young people say. I did find that cabinet door on the back porch, thankfully. Not sure why it was off.
Back porch/laundry. The washer/dryer are under that red blanket. Lots of windows. This is an improvement over some laundry situations I've known in the past.
I'll try to do a better job later of showing you the inside, but for now, this gives you a taste.

Monday, April 27, 2015

And So It Begins ...

We've attempted home-ownership three times in our married life. None of them seemed to end well. Inexplicably, we are trying again! Perhaps the fourth time is a charm? We hope so!
It's a little place, a true-downsizing, a share-cropper style house in the county here. We've been renting/leasing for the past three years and feel ready to settle in.
The house has a shadow of some former charm, but it needs a lot of work. Especially the inside -- oh, the scary things I could show you! But today, we were only outside, so you will see the pretty side :)
There's a yellow rose bush! Yay! It smells so lovely.
The back of the house has a porch laundry room and a deck. The house itself is 1111 square feet.
There's a carport behind the house.
Across the yard is a one-room cement block building. We'll use it initially for storage, but eventually it could be cleaned up for additional sleeping quarters for kids who are home, or even company. It has electricity there, and two windows.
A garage stands behind the house with a shop area inside and a little garden shed affair on the back.
But what's truly fabulous about this property is the land. Let me show you ~~
From the corner of the house, looking back -- there are about 3.75 acres.
That's a little horse barn in the back, and 5 or 6 large pecan trees spread their branches overhead.
The pasture around the horse barn is fenced and has two big gates.
If you turn your head to the right, you see this lovely field stretching across. The property reaches that far tree line of pines.
I could look at this all day. It's so pretty. I can hardly believe that we may own this.
There are still a few things to work out before the closing, but it does look quite promising.
The elderly man who lived here was originally from Brittany on the French coast, and his home is full of French things. This boat graces the front door:
Today we visited the house because the roof leaks, the rain pours in, and the living room ceiling is falling in. Truly. I told you it was a bit scary inside. So Adam and our friend John went to put a tarp on the roof. I mean ... how hard could that be?
They proceeded up the ladder to the front porch roof and soon realized that the pitch of the house roof was steeper than they'd thought. Hmm. No stomping around on that roof was gonna happen!
But they wrangled with that tarp and plotted and planned. They crammed it overhead until it was perched on the front edge of the roof.
At one point Adam removed his too-slippery shoes and slithered on his tummy onto the roof. He was going to conquer this thing! But soon he was back on the porch roof, defeated in that attempt.
Perseverance is a wonderful thing. Equally wonderful are gifted friends. John is one of those. He had a plan for how to work that tarp from the front of the house to the back. We tied ropes to the two back corners and pulled with all our might while John was on the ladder guiding the tarp.
This is the bad spot where the most rain has been getting in and destroying the living room ceiling. Later they slit the tarp and wrapped it around this electrical connection for better roof coverage.
Adam pulls on one back corner. They nailed the tarp down all around its edges.
In the end, the tarp lay smoothly over the roof line. Long enough to cover the house from front to back, it was not wide enough -- but it covers the entire other side, the leaking side, and that's what matters. It was a 30x50 ft. tarp.
This tarp-wrestling was the first real thing we've done at the house, part of the agreement with the sellers to curtail the damage happening so it doesn't get worse before the closing.
Adam has big plans for the property. The deceased owner had a small orchard of sorts, raspberries, cherry trees, and grape vines. The pasture housed small horses and maybe goats. We'll put the bees there, and Adam wants to grow some crops for selling in future years, along with selling bees and queens. I'd like chickens and ducks, and perhaps a couple of little milking goats.

Why such a small house in a rural place? Well, it's a huge money-saver. We need a mortgage we can afford, and one we can pay off quickly on a modest income. Home sizes have exploded in the U.S. in recent generations, but we really don't need houses of 2500 or 3000 square feet, do we? For two people? Our kids are nearly grown, and soon we won't need large rooms. We'll have space for them to come stay if they like. More than that, we'll have a very beautiful place to live, and for them to enjoy. If all goes well, we should close in a little over a month. I'll keep you posted!