Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Ambassador Ave in Deltona, Florida BAD points

(First let me make something clear, The house is insurance to have a winter home when we cannot drive this Motor home. we are in our upper 70's now. WE know our mid 80's, if we live, will be the end of distance travel.......... Posting early storm coming in!))

When you buy a home for less than $50,000, there will be some bad points.  Since I  do enjoy working with houses, this is the sort of thing where work is fun.  Inside my head there is nothing more rewarding than trying to make a purse from a hog’s ear. Is that an old adage?

First, the price is good because the ‘dirt’ it sits on is worth half the price of the house.

So the bad points:
Half the electric is not functioning.  This problem could be from $20 for a breaker or $600 to have a new feed installed. I am betting on less than $200, educated guess.
 (The RED sticker that has been removed from this a sub panel added with new A/C sorta has me concerned, did mr city inspector red tag it? and home owner remove it?  I am hoping not!)

The water lines are run inside the block walls, according to the inspector there is a break in the lines somewhere.  This too can be costly or cheap. Fortunately I do plumbing in any format, metal or plastic. My guess is the final cost for plumbing will be less than $200 materials.

Not sure of the inspectors, a cursory look shows the Hot Water heater is hooked up wrong.  The pop off valve is supposed to function when the H/W heater over heats, they are using it to feed another hot water line.
  (H/W heater also not vented, illegal but  $20 will fix that)

Now this is cute. Up where some kitchen cabinets would normally be is an exposed 18” heating/cooling duct from the new A/C system.  A little odd! This will be hidden with  wood to match the cabinets.
 (Pictures taken thru screen and dirty window!)

(This next picture show the location of the duct in relation to the kitchen stove)

Never being inside, I cannot say about the floors but I see only minor work there.

Probably will repaint the insides just to create a ‘new or refresh’ smell.

 These two shots taken from internet from the inside.

The yard is filled with ‘grass spurs’. A yard man I ain’t! Does that weed and seed stuff work? I will have to do some investigating.

This back wall needs a gutter and possibly a pallet of sod to restore the grass.

Lastly repaint the outside. Sherry will decide the color combo’s later after checking with Mark. I prefer the fascia boards and shutters a different color than the house.

All together not a lot of the Bad stuff.  Added to this I will need to run hookups for the RV, so that when the RV is at our house it will be 4 BR 2 Bath, in case of company.  Hahahahaha!
BIGGEST Problem, I will have to wait a month before starting, BUMMER!

Nite Shipslog

 My first work truck (1950 chevy?) and the first piece of heavy equipment. (8N /ford)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I guess Ambassador Ave is the Charm

Lots of stuff on my mind tonite.

 FIRST WE did it,  they accepted our offer of $42,500 and we signed the contract this afternoon. Now the mystery of closing and how we will handle it.  I am 90% sure the title company cannot do all the research and the realtors get it all together before we are due to leave  this Fri.  My girl says this is a holiday weekend, so that will slow down work a good bit.  Anyway I had planned a Beach entry, but here are some pictures of the house.
 Still looking at the front. The projection on the left is a Bedroom.

Above is the living room window it is on the right hand side of the house from the front. Now below is looking through that window.  The first projection you see on the left is a short wall this side of the entrance door to sorta separate the living room from what will be probably a dining room area. foreground is the living room.The door straight ahead enters the small kitchen the door on the right a small hall to the other bedroom and outside.The far opening to the left is the bathroom. To the left of it is the projection I mentioned above as a bedroom.

From the back yard looking down that right side of the house you see the double gate. We will use it to get the RV in the back for a few days or weeks.

This is the left hand side, it has a single gate. I will remove it later and start putting the RV on the left side.

There are a 'FEW' bad points. But tonight the GOOD points.
1. It is well within budget.
2. It has a new heating and A/C unit.
3. It has a new kitchen stove.
4. Also a brand new dishwasher (besides me)

This is sort of a crazy buy, we haven't been inside this house yet. Our first time will probably be after we buy it, maybe a few weeks after we buy it, if we close remotely from NC.

We have done crazier things. While in Detroit where Sherry's brother Johnny was in the hospital, we bought one over the internet without even seeing it. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THAT AT ALL! We still have the house, it even looks good. But original pictures can sure fool you!  hahahahahaha!

Tomorrow I will give some of the bad points that I am looking forward to encouraging them to become good points. And more Beach maybe, Son Mark ahead, I love the clouds I can't help but see stuff!

Nite Shipslog


Son Mark's first car. This has been the family car. Then we gave it to my dad when we went to GITMO. After dad passed mama returned it to me since she did not drive. I painted it black tricked up the inside and painted flames down the side.
1968 Chevelle(small v8)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Our last try for a house before heading north.

WE have only a few days left here in Florida, then it is back up north for about a month, then back for some more house hunting. So I think this is our last trip down to our house hunting grounds, Deltona.

On the way down we pass this exit to Daytona, it is  LPGA BLVD. But I like the palms and Daytona Beach in large letters. Then on down a little is this hospital bordering I-95. I asked Sherry to get a picture of it, I like the architecture and design, neat.

We Looked at a once beautiful and expensive home, Only $70,000. It is on a small lake and has its own pier on ½ acre of land. Great place for the RV. But it is out of our budget. Purchase and repairs would take it a little over $100K but it would then be valued at $180K. An example of the repairs, here is the back veranda, overlooking the lake. Note the right side has fallen about 4 feet, not good. I want it (of course) but it is out.

This is the last one on which we made an offer. It is a small 2 Bedroom, 1 bath bungalow minor work needed. Room for the RV, They are asking $40,000, we offered $41,500.   For a man from NC that doesn’t make sense. In NC if you were to ask $40,000, offers would be $36/$38K.

I built and sold houses for years, at first I set a reasonable price, but NEVER got it. The first house I built the lady who bought it actually asked, after she owned the house, "Now, why did you sell so cheap?" I learned you had to price your house like car dealers do cars, price it a little above reasonable and folks feel good when they bargain with you.

But like some old song said about California, Florida is a brand new game (for me). So, for the first time,  we offered more than they asked. But Imma thinking someone else will offer more.  If so, we can live with that.  There is another on the horizon, and it will be here when we return from NC.
Do you see photos that folks feel are religious? I saw one the other day that captured a spirit leaving the body at death and one that showed a spirit walking on lake. Soooo here is a picture of the same hospital above when I asked Sherry to get a better picture of the Hospital. This is NOT photoshopped:

Lo and behold, the spirits leaving the hospital, they must have had a rash of deaths.   To be honest when I reviewed the pictures tonight, I was startled, until I realized the ‘spirits’ was a white cloth lying on the dash and reflecting in the windshield. Remember Teleprompters?  Another Mystery solved. SOOOO I will not submit it to the Pope..........

Nite Shipslog

We took this in the Studebaker Museum in South Bend.  It is an early 20's beauty.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

And then there was Jim

Anchor, the mascot, was a good memory from Valdese. The #2 mascot was Jim, a huge crow. Fall and spring when all the windows were open at school, Jim would fly to a window sill, stand and look in. At times (very seldom) he would venture inside and hop on an empty desk. After a while it was just an accepted diversion. Watching the light glisten off his shiny feathers was neat as he would cock his head to the side as if listening to the teacher.

Students would throw scraps, from snacks, to him during recess. I don’t remember anyone getting him to eat out of their hands, but many tried to coax him that close. Both mascots seemed to enjoy recess time.

The past times for students at recess and lunch was hand ball (the ball was a Dixie cup filled with paper and sorta formed a waxed paper ball. The idea was to keep the ‘ball’ in the air as the kids batted it back and forth. The ball was never ‘slapped’ hard, everyone tried to get it to the opponent so it could be returned, mostly hitting it underhanded. The idea being to keep it up as long as possible.

The other was called hand slapping. One guy with palms up the other with palms down on top of them. The one on the bottom tried to be fast enough to ‘slap’ the other guys hands before he could move them. It was fun to watch, the fast guy always left the slower guy with red topped hands.

Being a small mountain school, honesty was expected. Theft was VERY seldom. During my last year there was a rash of thefts. Pens, pencils change, costume jewelry and watches. Some taken while guys practiced football or baseball. At times things were tense with accusations being thrown between the town kids and mountaineers.

Valdese had a lighted ball field. When an electrician was replacing a light high on one pole, the thieving mystery was solved. All the missing items were discovered in Jim’s nest, Jim our crow was the thief. One of the ‘funniest’ things of the school year. The incident spread like wild fire, everyone was laughing.  It was a big relief to staff and students.

Sister Shirl Graduated at VAldese. The only person in my family to have a HS diploma.  She was a smart kid, I do not know what happened to her? ;-)  Don't throw stuff Shirl, it was a joke!!!!!
Nite Shipslog

 The 1953 MG was built while I was in Valdese, I never heard of the MG until about 1965, but it became my dream car. I never did get one.  But I still like the looks of the car.

Maybe this Christmas?  Sherry?

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Anchor, a Good Memory from Valdese

Ideas, some fly by me and I don’t have time to catch them. I just missed one. But yesterday, as I sat behind a stopped school bus, I thought of School!..... (I attended 4 different schools growing up......) 

At the bus stop, I saw parents who had driven their kids from a subdivision to the highway. None of the houses could have been a mile off the highway. Cars and trucks sat there as the kids boarded the bus.
 (All photos from the internet)

Much is said about the changes in lifestyles of this day and time. I was never ‘fortunate’ enough to ride a school bus. We always walked to and from school no matter the temp or weather. I have friends who say they were never ‘fortunate’ enough to be close enough to ‘walk’ to school and HAD to ride school bus. LOL. (Is that one of the ‘grass is greener’ thingies?)

The distance we walked was at a few steps, up to 2 miles. I wonder the determining factor on riding school buses or walking. 

The parents driving their kids’ one block to catch the bus?  But there was never any apparent danger of walking, except maybe a scrap or two between hot headed boys during the walk, or staying out of the road since many places there were no sidewalks.
 (I lived about 100 feet to the right of this photo)

It is HOT but these kids will have A/C on the bus and in school. I remember all our schools had one wall completely lined with windows. They were always open in the summer heat, some rooms had a huge oscillating free standing fan.
  (Faculty minus Principal and coaches)

My mind eases back to the BEST school I ever attended. Valdese, NC. A small mountain town. The toughest teachers I ever had, looking back they were also the best. There were two mascots at the school. One a huge St. Bernard named ‘Anchor’ (I never knew if he belonged to anyone or where he ate). He was allowed to wander in and out of classrooms, kids would pet him as he passed their desks. At times he would spend a whole class time with us. I am not sure if Anchor ever had a bath. Some of us would spend recess untangling his long hair. He enjoyed that.  There was never a more loved stray dog. Anchor was also the only St. Bernard I remember seeing in the flesh. I still wonder about him.

 In Valdese, One step put me on school grounds. Our house bordered on the HS property. I never saw Anchor during summer break, but he was there first day of school. Only 3 years in Valdese, but I met lifetime friends and have great memories.

I hope to talk about Jim tomorrow night the sneaky mascot.
Nite Shipslog

<<<<<<<  >>>>>>>>>>>
 These cars, 1952 & 1953 were new when I attended Valdese jr & HS
The 1951 Buick, dad owned one of these.

Friday, August 26, 2016

I don’t look good naked anymore, but Bewildered I can be.

I don’t look good naked anymore.  I think that means I have gotten Old. Folks tell me I must live under a rock.  I don’t remember seeing that statement until about ten years ago when I attended Rose and Vondale’s 50th anniversary. They had a large picture of him on the wall with that caption under it.

I think that applies to my thinking, I just don’t think good in the woods anymore. I was walking a day or two ago and became bewildered. Davy Crockett was once asked if he ever was lost. His answer was, “No sir, I have been bewildered for a few days at a time, but never lost.”

The trails weave and crisscross all directions on this 200 acres. I walked upon this lake unexpectedly. I had been day dreaming, planning repairs and fixes on a house. I stood, took a picture, turned and jumped a big deer, I didn’t even raise the camera, and I just watched that white flag disappear down the trail.

  I continued on the way it seemed should be back toward camp. In 5 minutes, I was back at the lake, but not the same spot. So I took another picture.

 It didn’t seem I had walked in a circle, but I checked my watch and continued, marking my trail as I always do. In awhile The path widened to a road and  I came to a gate with a residence on the other side. Some ting wrong here!

I checked my watch, I had been walking 10 minutes since the lake. So I reversed and followed my tracks in the sand back to the lake. I then took the safe route and retraced myself, back by the lake again and out of the woods in 30 minutes.

Today I made the same route, this time paying more attention. Ah ha, there are TWO lakes about the same size.  Well that solved some of my bewilderment.

I looked it up even listened to it, the song"I don't look good Naked anymore." I know the musicians on here could sing it, if they stooped that low!
Nite Shipslog

PS: Mary Deqli Esposti, New commenter here on Shipslog  Thanks, I am enjoying your comments, along with the rest of the gang, even if you are a smart aleck, LOL (at times) It is great to have you here.  I think you must be a sweetie! I tried to say thanks, but alas could not figure how.  SO THANKS!

PS2: You must strike when the iron is hot they say, both  houses we liked now have contracts. Yep it is a sellers market here in Florida!


The 1956 Pontiac with continental Kit

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A day out

We took a long ride today. One of our favorite things, a day in the car together.  Sherry and I are together nearly 24 hours a day EVERY day.  I love it, she ‘manages’.  Nah, really she loved it too. WE dropped by the title company today and Kirsten had the check for our earnest money.

I never stop getting addresses of ‘cheap’ houses for sale and since I just happened to ‘bring a list along’ my sweetheart said I haven’t been to Merritt Island in a while, let’s go. (When we first moved to Florida our mail service was in Merritt Island).

Three were trailers, 2 were dumps not worth the $44K they were asking. One got an ok beside it. Then to a HUD (government owned). Ah, a nice block home in a very nice neighborhood. I got out and was greeted by a young 80 lb playful bull dog.  A neighbor came running over apologized for the dog but gave some insight on the house. It needs some structural work, one corner has sunk about an inch. There are no cabinets in the house but it is a nice floor plan. The RV will squeeze in. But the price is $71K. I wanted to see if Kathi was interested in working the house, but it is a long way away

On the way back toward Deltona, my girl was deep in thought. She spoke, how about offering $60K, we agreed to think about it.  I haven’t contacted Kathi about it, we are still unsettled on it.

We looked at 2-3 in Deltona, and re-looked at one our bank has repossessed. It too needs interior work, no cabinets in it either. The work needed on the two that are interesting is my kind of work. I want them both. Hahahaha

But our time in Florida for now is down to about a week then we have to go back to NC. Sherry’s 60th HS reunion is coming up. She and her friend Evelyn say they graduated when they were 8 years old.  They say that some folk find it hard to believe, but that is their story and they are sticking to it.

On our trips, we reassess our lives, we always come up with, “We are two of the luckiest people in the world and we manage.”

I guess that is good I read this somewhere:

You are loved when you are born. You will be loved when you die. In between, you have to manage!

Nite Shipslog
PS:  We will not work on houses for a few weeks, but that won't stop me looking on the net. LOL


Boys managed to sneek a few drinks off of the truck back then, but today I am afraid the driver might lose half his load.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

House hunting UPDATE

Well the last one we made an offer on did not work out. When the Realtor said, “The Oslo street house is out.” My girl said, “GOOD.”  I gave her a dirty look, but it didn’t faze her.
   Oslo was nice fromthe front

Kathi, the realtor, understood what Sherry was saying, there was a lot of work to be done on the house.  BUT that is what I was looking forward to.  Not everyone can look past a disaster and see beauty. Not everyone can look at an unfinished home, even if it only lacks the floor covering, and see a beautiful home.  Sherry could see the finished product there at Oslo Drive, but is sorta like ‘others’ in my family who think I am over the hill. LOL
 (A little different at the back)

When I think ‘over the hill’ my mind wanders. I was once remodeling a home and the owner said, keep an eye out, there is an OLD MAN in overalls who keeps looking at the fence you are installing.

In deed the old guy did show up. When I approached him I realized who he was, Mr. Powell local businessman and builder in Gastonia. One of the few Cadillac dealers in the USA who owned every car on his lots, no program cars. He had built the subdivision where we stood, and at one time owned all of the 125 homes outright.

I introduced myself and we talked a little he was about 85 and sharp as a tack. Some folk thought he was about as rich as God. He had kept the house next door for one of his grandsons. He was checking the property line, to make sure I did not encroach.

There are a lot of stories about Glenn Powell. One or two personal ones. But the one that sticks out is from my BIL Elmer and dickering for a new Caddy. They got down to $50 difference. Elmer said, “Mr. Powell are you going to let $50 stand between you and the sale of a new Cadillac?”

“No offense Elmer, but I would let $5 stand between me and a sale, I really don’t have to sell that car today, I’ve learned someone will buy it tomorrow.”  Elmer did not buy the Cadillac he went to Glenn’s competitor and got a Lincoln.

So in the housing search, this is not our first rodeo, I know something else will come up. I like to think, all things work together, when you try to be one of the Good Guys!

Nite Shipslog
The Chrysler Cordoba.  Every time I see this car I think of Ricardo Montalban 

Welcome to the Real World, Jack, BUT my feelings are still hurt!

Life has been very good to me. Concerning my new adventure, writing, I have had GOOD constructive criticism from proofers of my books. Every one of them spot on.  But even they at times apologized beforehand. LOL.  Bonnie (of Organic Discourse) was the first to really bore in on my ‘errors’.  She was spot on and I learned a lot from her. It had a lot to do with me only knowing her via the internet. She guided me thru ‘Finally Love’ and the book was a success.

My Sherry and friends Evelyn and JoAnn have also corrected me and justifiably so.  So, after 9 books, I decided to shoot for a larger audience. An audience outside friends, who wouldn’t hurt my feelings for anything.  Most folk who read my books, know me, which makes a big difference.

Once, during my AOL Journal time, The Shipslog was ‘Journal of the week’.  That was during the time we first starting hiking the trail. WOW what an honor. Comments sky-rocketed. BUT when my book on the AT was published, I wasn’t ready for this:
 Amazon, yep, Amazon recommended my book “The Appalachian Trail”. WOOPEE!  However when I opened up to a new audience, I was not ready for my FIRST ‘negative’ review”

 ZERO STARS (what? I am used to getting reviews from ‘friends of FIVE STARS!)  Then it got worse……………
Quote: “I will never forgive Amazon for recommending this book (?) It was a complete waste of time and money, etc (and it got worse).” OUCH! Boy that hurt!

There were a few more negative comments, I did actually get some 5 stars, LOL (mostly from friends, of course).

But I sat back to think. I have read negative reviews on books I have enjoyed. Not all of us enjoy the same authors.  But in this case I do understand most of the negative comments (after I cried a little. LOL).

When anyone thinks of a hike on the AT they research and buy books that will help them understand the hike. We did.  Most folk are solo hikers and are interested in the day to day needs, I wrote a short novel and included actual ‘happenings’ on the trail.  It was not a book of advice for hiking the trail.


Many hikers are young and would never think of using vehicles to aid in their hike that would be ‘cheating’, or ‘blue blazing’, as the hikers would say.

My first feelings were, ‘I would like to refund these folks money.’ That is the honest truth, I still would like to. Since I cannot do that, I have to take into account that these folk took time to EXPRESS themselves, they could have just cursed me under their breath and went on. But they took their time to say how they felt, good or bad.


So I says to myself, ‘put on your big boy pants, suck it up, and if you can improve from the comments do it.’ Of course that was after I quit fussing and crying!  LOL

Nite Shipslog

PS:  You gotta love Bonnie, She posted this on a forum we follow:

Well, you've hit the big time when you get 

complete strangers to review your book.

*************   ************
 Ever feel like youare driving the top one, in a race with the one below?  
Life is good!!!!