"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"-MARK TWAIN

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Busy, Busy!!


Our plans were for you to be reading a post from somewhere between Mississippi and Kansas this weekend.  We’ve had reservations for months at a COE campground near Junction City, KS.  Looking forward to meeting up with many old and new friends of the Casita community at the Kansas Gathering.  A week of fun and fellowship, intermingled with lots of food and drink.  It just wasn’t meant to be.

We did manage a day trip to Natchez last Sunday for the grand daughters birthday.  Had a great Sunday brunch at one of the old antebellum homes.

On Tuesday my brother and I started back on our little house.  This is how it looked that morning.

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We finished our fascia’s and soffit, and by lunch Wednesday, it looked like this.

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We installed the windows and the exterior trim on them, as well as the corners.

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Installed the rear door, along with placing siding on most of the rear so we could mount the electric meter box.

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We also started on the interior wiring.

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And stripped the ceiling to support the insulation which will go in the attic, and make hanging the sheetrock much easier.

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We had a third set of hands from Wednesday on.  A cousin that works offshore, 14 days on and 14 off, helps us when he is in.  I sure was glad to see him drive up.

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Hoping everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend.  I always look forward to Labor Day as it means that Fall can’t be far off.  That’s my favorite time of year…….jc

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Bird Calls


We took a few days off from the house building.  There’s still grass to be cut at home, weed eating, and other miscellaneous duties that need to be taken care of.  We’re also still fighting the War of the Grapes with the local wildlife.  Seems they are becoming accustomed to the scarecrow, and public radio.  I moved up to the live trap, baited with a little cat food and tuna fish.  So far I’ve relocated two opossums and one raccoon.  I haven’t caught anything the past few days, but the grapes continue to disappear.  I’m not sure what the next step should be.

Yesterday afternoon as Wanda and I sat on the porch, enjoying our medicinal wine, we heard a bird continuously calling.  Wanda asked me what I thought it was, and I said I wasn’t sure.  Thought it might be a young hawk of some kind.

This morning, as we poured our morning coffee, this guy/gal was sitting right outside the kitchen window.


As I mowed yesterday, I moved the lawn chairs up under a couple of pine trees to get them out of the way.  They made a great perch to wait on mom or pop.


I kept shooting pictures through the not so clean kitchen window, hoping mom or dad would show up with a treat.



They never showed up, so after five minutes or so, it flew off into the woods.


I don’t have a clue as to what the name of the hawk is.  I’m hoping Judy reads this as I’m sure she will identify it within two seconds.  We never know what kind of birds or animals will show up in our neighborhood.


From deer, wild hogs, coyote's. or birds of prey.  Living in the country is interesting, to say the least…..jc

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Still shooting Nails


A week ago yesterday morning, our building site looked the same as my last report on it. 

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We started laying out walls, changing this, enlarging that, until a floor plan developed that pleased us both.  From there we went into building walls.

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The following day we finished all the interior stud walls, framed the porch, and all the windows and doors.  Also got the tub/shower unit in place.

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We took a day and a half off due to rain and other commitments, but got it all sheathed and wrapped on Saturday.

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We also took another day off yesterday, but hit it hard today.  Thirty three truss’s had to be put up. 

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We finished about 3:30 PM.  Not a bad days work for one old guy. and another one ten years younger.

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Though they weren’t extremely long, or heavy; we raised each one by hand.  The old body is feeling a little stiff this evening.

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If the rain holds off we’ll be working on fascia’s and soffits tomorrow, as well as stripping the truss’s for a metal roof.

John made a comment on the earlier post about loving the idea of building a house from a sketch on the subfloor, with no permits or inspections.

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We live in a part of the Country where “IF” you own the land, have the money, don’t inconvenience your neighbors, and have the ability, you can pretty much do what you want without lots of government interference.  We made a few changes.  Larger overall, bigger bedrooms, a walk-in closet, and lots of windows.  That’s how we work…….jc

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Seven years, 166 sites



We received the renewal for the Casita license plate the first of the Month.  Stopped for a moment to think about it, and realized it was seven years ago that we purchased our little trailer.  That, along with a comment from someone that came across the blog, brought on more reminiscing.  Their comment was something like; “can’t believe all the places you’ve taken that Casita!”

I can’t believe it, either.  I’ve been blogging for about two and a half years.  Many of our travels happened before then. Our little trailer has transported us from Big Bend to the Great Lakes. 

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To the Teton’s and Yellowstone……..

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Crazy Horse and Custer.

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Ruins of different cultures.

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Glaciers, beautiful campgrounds, Banff, and purple mountains majesty.

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We’ve camped along Hwy 101 from Northern California to Washington State, and spent weeks along the forgotten coast of Florida.  Waded the Mississippi River, and stood with a foot on both sides of the Missouri. Yep, that little Casita has been around.

For whatever reason, after our first weekend out with the Casita, I marked the location on Google Earth.  It soon became a habit.  After arriving back home from a trip, I pin the location on my Google Earth home page. At latest count, there are 166 sites where our little trailer has spent at least one night.  We haven’t even touched the East coast, yet.  There’s just something about the West that draws me. And, Alaska keeps whispering in my ear.

I sure hope we’re blessed to add an additional 166 pins to that old map.  There’s just so many experiences you can find on the small roads, towing a little trailer.

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Idle Hands



The picture of Sally above pretty much says it all.  Still hanging out around the old home place.  Wanda’s mom is to have another procedure next week.  We’re hoping that will stabilize her situation and get her back on the road to recovery.  If it does, then we’ll be able to get on the road for the Fall.

As a young boy living in the country back in the last century, there was a phrase I hated to hear spoken by my parents or granddad.  It was that famous statement “ Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop”. It was always followed by “go hoe the garden, chop some kindling, cut the grass, or something else you didn’t want to hear.

As an adult in the Fall or Winter of my life, I find myself once again thinking about those words.  Where once upon a time they meant getting involved in something you shouldn’t,  they now mean if you’re  not being active at something, you are going to pay the price with your health.

While staying home attending to the need of Wanda’s mom, it would be so easy to sit in the recliner, watch television, and waste away.  Read a few books, take a nap, snack on some ice cream and cookies, etc. Especially when the temperatures are hanging around ninety-five or so, and the heat index is over a hundred each day.

With that in mind, I called my brother and said it’s time.  Time to start another house.  Four and a half days work, and we’re ready to start up with the walls.


This one is going to be a little different.  We decided to try and build a Southern cottage type of floor plan.  Better known in the South as a “shotgun” house.  Long and narrow, with a small front porch.


I even had a photo of our latest floor plan, which we had just sketched out in pencil on the sub-floor.  As I selected it to be edited, Picasa did something with it, and I’ve been unable to locate it anywhere on my computer.

We’ll probably change it three or four more times before all the walls are up.

Anyway, now you know what’s going on while the Egg’s not rolling……..jc