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Adelaide Shores, Avon Park, FL

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Monday, January 8, 2018

More Updates and Improvements

It’s been another good week around here. It was cold like most of the rest of the country, but our house seems to hold up to the weather pretty well. One of the best things we did was to replace those windows in the park model portion of the place. They were the original windows and didn’t do anything to insulate from heat or cold. We did break down and turn the heat on over the past few days, but it didn’t run a lot. When we replaced the a/c in August, we got one that had a 2.5 ton heat pump with a back up auxiliary heater for when the temps dip below 35 degrees. So that is more than enough to keep us comfortable in the few times that the weather gets like it did the past week.

26733124_10216019605429718_297131806_oWe were talking a couple days ago about the ceiling fans. The one in the bedroom is starting to go. It had three speeds at one time, but only one speed is working now. And they are really dated, of course. It doesn’t seem like any previous owners of this place (I think there were two) were into doing any kind of updating. 26771807_10216019602749651_1495206344_oThen we remembered we had recently gotten a coupon from Home Depot for 18 month interest free financing, so we decided that must be a sign! There was a minimum amount that had to be purchased to qualify, so we threw in the kitchen lights as well.

We ended up only being able to replace the fan in the kitchen area, as the fans we bought turned out to be too big for the bedroom (which was the one we really needed to

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replace in the first place, but we will just have to order a smaller size for the bedroom).

The new one is so much more streamlined. It makes the area look larger! (You can see the old one in the next picture.)

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The other big thing I want to do, (but it’s not going to happen until next winter), is to get a slipcover for that couch.

The shutter-like object standing behind the couch is a room divider. The main function for this area is going to be as a guest room when we have company, so we will use the divider to make it into a more private space.


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We also got the other cabinet for the kitchen. It is a better height for the microwave and also provides some much needed storage space.


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The new lights in the kitchen area…


You can also see my breadmaker in its new spot.


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So far I have made one recipe for white bread, and a Cuban wheat bread. Yum. I don’t think we will ever be going back to store bought bread.

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I bought a cookbook with 300 bread recipes. I see a lot of new types of bread in our future!


We are getting to the end of what we will be doing as far as improvements for this season. Gotta let the bank account recover for a while!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Welcome 2018!

Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t posted since the middle of October! And I was doing so well. Irma threw me off my rhythm, and then I just never got it back. But I’ll do my best to catch y’all up on the last couple of months.

We’ve had mixed reviews from our jobs. Harry’s job at Publix has come and gone. It just wasn’t for him. He was doing bagging and bringing in carts from the parking lot, with a little floor cleaning thrown in on the days that he worked the evening shift. Between having to bend slightly to do the bagging and hefting around rows of carts outside, his back was taking a beating. It got worse and worse, and finally in the beginning of December, he had to accept the fact that he couldn’t keep it up. We decided the job wasn’t worth the toll it was taking on his back. So he is now staying home and keeping stuff caught up around here. His back is still not back to normal, but once it is, he is going to get back to working on our painting and other improvements that we haven’t done anything with for the past couple of months.

My job at Home Depot, on the other hand, has been going great. I really love the work, and the people that I am working with as well. The job is similar to what I did at Amazon – picking product for orders. However, there are a lot of differences. Some of the orders are online for pickup. Those I bring to the service desk, or another location in the store if they are large. Then the customer just comes in and picks them up at some point. Sometimes I will get a call on the store phone I carry that the customer is there, and their product might be back in Receiving or some other place. So I have to go get it and bring it up to the service desk. There are other orders that are delivered. The customer either came in and placed the order, for delivery, like an appliance or some flooring. Or they ordered online and chose the delivery option. So after picking the order, I have to arrange it on pallets and get it wrapped up and ready to go on the truck. I am also being trained in driving equipment – the fork lift and reach truck. It will be at least another few weeks before I feel ready to take the test to get my license. And of course, the other big difference is that there are customers walking around all the time too. So I get asked as I walk around the store where this or that product is located. I am getting better at knowing where stuff is, so I don’t have to pull out my phone and look it up! I am enjoying the challenge, and it’s been a really positive experience. In other good news, I have also found out that they will let me do a seasonal leave of absence when we go north next summer. So I will be going back to work 24130472_10155974997659766_4005320457392482331_oin October when we get back here.

On the home front, we are just loving life here in our little house. This place is the perfect size for us. After the rv, it seems really large anyway. 26513813_10215967934857986_618344258_oWe have bigger plans for coming years, but this year we have just been making small improvements. One of my favorites - we did not like the steps that came down into the Florida room. They were really rough and not made for bare feet. So a few weeks ago, Harry got some wood and made some replacement steps. They look so awesome! I listed the old steps on Facebook Marketplace and they were gone in a day.

I have been really enjoying the kitchen here. I’m not sure 25627127_10215896717717602_6718622221708354313_owhy this kitchen seems more conducive to baking and cooking than the one in the fifth wheel.26025857_10215898940213163_7216558679771935255_o It’s not that much larger, but I guess I’ve been inspired anyway, because I have been doing so much cooking and experimenting. In the past couple of months, I’ve made pizza dough, dinner rolls, pies, and I am about to start making my own bread, as soon as my breadmaker arrives in a few days.

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The kitchen is coming together! That kitchen cabinet at the end is where my breadmaker is going to be sitting by the end of the week. I hope!


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Luckily for my waistline, our exercise is still going very well also. We are training for a half marathon that we will be running in Sarasota in March. So between that and my active job at Home Depot, I haven’t gained any weight from all my baking and cooking…and eating! Phew!


23517791_10215526299097368_8168645118157520559_nWe had a lot of fun decorating our place for the holidays. We got one of those zero percent financing coupons from Home Depot so we used that to stock up on basically everything in the Christmas decorating field.

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So I guess this update is long enough for one day. I shall attempt to get myself back into the swing of things and get back to posting more regularly.


Happy New Year!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Getting Busy

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The traffic around the park is really starting to pick up. The official season starts November 1st, and a lot of people apparently coming in during the weeks right before that. Every day there are more people driving around in their golf carts, and several rvs have come in also over the past days.

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The new grass is really starting to fill in. It’s been a little over a week and already you can barely see the lines between the individual pieces of sod.

The grass is called St.Augustine grass. It’s a very hardy, tough, hot weather grass. It feels weird to walk on compared to what we are used to from up north. We understand it takes 3 to 4 weeks before it will be rooted and ready for mowing.

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Harry replaced the light on the outside a couple days ago. We had another outside light next to the sliding glass door on the inside on what was the older part of the house. When they added the Florida room, they put another light outside but it was very rough looking from 10+ years of being exposed to the weather.

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We weren’t using the light on the inside so Harry removed it and put it up outside. Eventually we are going to get a motion activated light for the outside but this will do for now.


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We have been going for an evening walk every night. The weather has gotten so nice, and the evening breezes are very pleasant. We’ve even opened the windows a couple times.

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We have been doing great with our exercising. Since it gets so warm during the day, we’ve been getting up early and going for our run at 6 am. I love watching the sun come up as we are finishing up. We get to see some beautiful morning skies.


Harry got a call from Publix and he starts work on Tuesday afternoon. I am waiting to get a call from Home Depot, probably on Monday or Tuesday. We are both excited to get going with our new jobs.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Finally!

Well, this blog post title could refer to a few things…finally a blog post!?! Haha I was doing so well with posting every few days before Irma, and then two weeks away just threw us off our game. I’m not sure what we’ve been doing since we got back, but it’s gone by fast anyway.

pmirma2But happily, the title refers to more than just that. We have had some exciting days!

This has been our view of the house since April….sand, sand, sand. The past few weeks we had really gotten sick of it being tracked in all the time.

But last Thursday we had such a welcome sight!

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Yes, our sod finally came in!

Since then we have had great weather for the sod. Not super hot, and quite a few rain showers. Plus our new sprinkler system is working nicely. Love looking out the windows and seeing green grass!


We have had a couple other welcome changes. Last week Harry got a couple calls for job interviews – with Lowe’s and Publix. He had the Lowe’s interview first and then the interview at Publix on Thursday. He had a good feeling about the Publix interview and his instincts were right on, as later the same day he had a phone call offering him the job! Yay! What good news.

Our good news streak continued over the weekend when I got an email from Home Depot about an application I had submitted. They were inviting me to interview for the job of lot associate. I had the interview yesterday. When they heard about my previous job experience, especially the work I did at Amazon, they offered me a job as an order picker. It sounds a lot like what I did as a picker at Amazon, except in a building that is probably a quarter of the size of the Amazon warehouse – and all on one level! So I am extremely happy! And now that we both have jobs, I can take a deep breath and stop worrying about whether we will find work down here. It was a leap of faith for us to give up the sure thing at Amazon and come down to Florida instead, and I am so glad that it has worked out like we hoped it would. We have both taken the drug test and they are doing the background check, so hopefully we will be starting work early next week.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

All Fixed Up

When we got back here and checked our place over, we realized that our repairs boiled down to two pieces of siding and a missing piece of soffit. We have some work scheduled to be done this coming week, and we thought about calling the company to see if they could fix those couple things while the other work was being done. But we realized that would probably add a couple hundred bucks to the bill for only a few minutes of work. So Harry decided that he would try his hand at replacing the siding. On our way home on Tuesday, we had passed a place called Mobile Home Depot, and Harry called them to see if they had siding. Not only did they have the size of siding we needed, but they sold it by the piece. On Wednesday we drove over and picked up the materials we needed, and even an extra piece of siding just in case, for the grand total of $46!

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Yesterday Harry got down to business working on the repairs. The section of siding to go in the front needed to be cut down to size, but luckily the piece that was being replaced was still intact enough to use it as a template.


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You can see the missing piece of soffit on the right side of the peak.


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All done!




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Harry also took the other awning down. It was bent and in pretty bad shape. Some of the slats were already half coming off.



I ordered a couple decorative pieces to go on the front of the house and add some color. Plus getting the grass in is going to make such a difference. Our grass had been scheduled for installation the Thursday before the storm, but the company cancelled. No surprise there. We were actually happy about that because we’re not sure how freshly laid sod would have held up to the winds. The sod farm is waiting for their fields to dry up, so hopefully by the beginning of October we will finally be getting some grass.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Taking a Deep Breath

Well, it’s been quite the few days. We spent from last Thursday through Monday at Harry’s 21739989_10208566110304896_8728492313913450163_nsister’s place in Jacksonville. Despite the fact that we were ready to get home by then, it was nice to have a few days to visit with Linda. On Monday we went to Publix to stock up for a while. We knew that everything in the fridge would have to be thrown out, and we weren’t sure about the state of the local grocery stores. We had brought our cooler with us, so we were able to get all the cold stuff packed away for the night.

On Tuesday morning we left bright and early at 6 am! We were so ready to be home we didn’t want to wait a moment longer. We had an uneventful trip, and only hit a couple small slow-downs. It was good to see our place, and the whole resort, generally looking none too worse for wear.

21908466_10215059522668249_1864423458_oI’ve spent the past couple of days getting some meals cooked up, restocking our freezer with spaghetti sauce and chili.

Last night I made a celebratory meal of stuffed pork chops and acorn squash, and we just took a deep breath, and had a nice meal while we enjoyed being home.



21908782_10215059372384492_730219857_oI took this picture today. Harry has already taken down the awning arms that were left attached when the awning was taken by the wind. It tore out the piece of siding from above the window where the awning had been attached.

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We lost one piece of siding at the very top on the right side. The awning is bent, and Harry is going to take it down.


We had some skirting out, but we were so excited to find it all laying around the house undamaged. Harry has already replaced it.

Today we took a trip to the Mobile Home Depot. I saw it on our way home on Tuesday and saw a sign on the building that said they had siding, skirting etc. We were able to buy replacement pieces of siding for less than $10 each. Harry has never put up siding before, but I guess he is going to give it a try!

(On an aside…when we bought our place, of course we had to buy insurance to cover it. We have all of our other insurance through GEICO, but they don’t cover mobile homes, or at least they don’t in our part of Florida. We found two possible companies to buy insurance from. One offers a higher coverage limit than the other, but of course is more expensive. Both of them cover hurricane damage, but the hurricane deductible is 2% of your total insured value. For us, that is over $1k, and thankfully we don’t have that much damage. To cover floods, we would have to buy actual flood insurance, but we didn’t as we aren’t close enough to water to be concerned about flooding. Our park model policy costs $463/yr. )


21752150_10215048385989839_3089359832955819154_nYesterday we drove over to the storage place. The rig looked awesome. We didn’t even lose our wheel covers as we had expected. I guess they came off but didn’t go far, and the owner put them back on.


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The only damage we had were bolts pulled loose from the roof where the vent covers were attached. Harry has already gone over and caulked the holes. He will replace the vent covers before we hit the road again next year.



Today, in other exciting news, our dresser finally arrived!

Just as a reminder, this is what the bedroom looked like when we bought the place…

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And this is the finished product now…

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I am so happy with the finished result.


Harry wants to get the repairs completed first, and then we will get back to working around here.

Hopefully we can just get back to normal life now.

Friday, September 15, 2017

What a Relief!

We have been so thankful throughout this whole experience to have such great park owners. The morning after the storm, one of the owners, who works in the office, took time first thing out of her day to drive around the park and post video of the park models. Even though our place was not shown, we were reassured to see what great shape the houses were in. A couple days ago I emailed her just to touch base, and yesterday afternoon I got a reply back, and she included pictures of our place.

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The front awning is completely gone. We were going to have it taken down in October when we got the windows replaced, so that is no big loss. Harry will just have to take those hanging brackets down. He thinks he might be able to just snap that siding back together.


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On this side we lost a little skirting towards the back. But it looks like it’s still there on the ground, so we may be able to just put it back up. And if not, it doesn’t look like an awful lot of skirting to replace. We are very blessed to have had hardly any damage from the storm!


We also found out that our power was restored yesterday! Harry signed in last night and was able to see the thermostat for our a/c. It is up and running. Another relief.


We left AL yesterday morning around 8 and traveled to Jacksonville. Once we got to I-10, traffic was a little on the heavy side, but it never backed up at all. We had to stop a few times but the trip was uneventful. We are settled in for a few days probably. Now that the resort is back to normal functioning, we can go back anytime. However, we understand that the grocery stores here are still working to get stocked up, and we will have to buy food here before we head back to the Sebring area. From the updates we have seen online, food and gas continue to be in pretty short supply in Highlands county, so we don’t want to go back until we can bring everything we need with us. Hopefully by Monday we will be able to go home!