The Big Campout OR The Big Move – Part 2

24 Aug
Minden or Bust!

Minden or Bust!

When I left you in the last blog segment, BC, Jerri and I were heading north to Minden on July 26.  BC’s Xanax was not working yet and she was in her little crate in the back seat, talking and telling us she was not a happy camper.  About an hour into the trip, Jerri and I began to smell a foul odor and discovered that poor BC had diarrhea and she was really unhappy about that.  So we took the first exit ramp and pulled off the road to take care of her.  Remember that she had her harness on and that we could attach a leash to her to make sure she didn’t run off.  I mean, who would hold her with that type of poop in her long hair?  Anyway, we did get her and the crate cleaned up and off we went.  (Luckily, someone had recommended lining the crate with disposable diapers and they were a lifesaver)

This method might have made it a bit easier

This method might have made it a bit easier

Jerri and I had to make a pit stop at Red Rock State Park and BC was still unhappy.  So we decided that Jerri would drive and I would hold BC in her crate on my lap.  She settled down quickly after that and she rode like that for the next 300 miles until we reached Minden.  I was STIFF after sitting for so long with little chance to move around but it was better that than hearing her cry for that long of a time.

It made me wish that I paid heed to good friend, Dick Schmidt’s recommendation of special handling for BC. This method might have been a lot easier on her and me.

Beautiful flowers from Connie, Shirley, Jan and Dick

Beautiful flowers from Connie, Shirley, Jan and Dick

We arrived a bit after 10 that night and Allan, Jerri’s husband was there to meet us.  We drove right into the garage, unloaded BC, unpacked some basics, and viewed a gorgeous flower arrangement sent to me by 4 dear friends welcoming us to our new home.  I had purchased a bed from the previous owners, so had something to sleep in.  Allan had brought over a couple of camp chairs and there was a coffee table as well as a game table and dining table with chairs the previous owners had left.    So BC and I began our campout until the truck arrived on Monday, August 5.  She slept in the laundry room and I slept in my bed.

As most of you know, there was no landline phone, no internet and no TV as Charter would not hook up those items until the TV was

The campsite in the great room

The campsite in the great room

actually in the house.  So, BC and I sat and waited.  Well, that is not exactly true.  I bought a vacuum and new TV stand because I decided the old one was too big.  So with the vacuum and some borrowed cleaning supplies, I set about preparing for the furniture to arrive. This is how the campsite looked with the new TV stand until the moving van arrived on the fifth.  Other than the refrigerator, I didn’t miss all the other stuff too much.  It’s amazing how little one really does need.  Of course I didn’t stay a minimalist very long because I do enjoy the creature comforts even along with the responsibilities that go with them.

The camping days passed quickly with dinners at Jerri’s and my good buddy, Diana, who

Christina, Dalan, Jolee, Cora, Uncle Bev

Christina, Dalan, Jolee, Cora, Uncle Bev

lives in Gardnerville (a small town adjacent to Minden).   Peeps were watchin’ out for me!  I did and have done quite a bit of walking around the neighborhood to get acquainted with the walking trails and streets in the ‘hood.  Also, our Uncle Bev from Aurora, CO and his granddaughter, Christina from Texas, visited Jerri and me.  It was so great to meet Christina and see Uncle Bev again.  We had lunch and then toured a portion of Lake Tahoe.  As it was Sunday, there was bumper-to-bumper traffic around part of the Lake, but we did manage to find a good place to park to get out and take pictures of Emerald Bay.  Jolee and Dalan joined us for the tour as you can see in the picture.  It was a superb afternoon and evening.

BC was not such a happy camper.  She didn’t like being in the laundry room for several days and then didn’t like being kept in the house.  She showed me her displeasure by leaving little presents in several locations of the house.  Luckily, Jan, a Sacramento friend, had recommended special stuff  called Anti-Icky Poo to rid the carpet of stains and smells.  Such a varmint she is.  Finally, I was brave enough to let her explore the garage and then the workshop.  She loved the workshop and still does.  She first nested on an old piece of carpet the previous owners had left and then graduated to couple of towels I put down for her.  Slowly, she began to adapt to her new environment.

At last, August 5 dawned and the Mayflower truck arrived on Agua Caliente Court about 8:30 AM.  YEA!  Willie, the driver, was met by a helper named Monty.  Together,

Comin' 'round the corner

Comin’ ’round the corner

they unloaded 6920 pounds of Johnson stuff.  Because I had sold off quite a few big items, BC and I had about half of the normal household weight.  Still, I would not have liked to have carried all that stuff on a hot day like August 5 was.

As I had mentioned in the earlier blog, all my stuff fit into the fifth wheel area of the van.  I still am amazed about that.  The goods were loaded from the middle of the truck but unloaded from a smaller door over that fifth wheel.  It was quite a puzzle to find the right pieces to take out first and begin the unloading.  They worked until a little after three to finish the unloading and put things together for me.  As the boxes stacked up pin the house, I began to feel very intimidated about unpacking all of them.   This is going to be a lot of work!!!

Getting into the fifth wheel to unload

Getting into the fifth wheel to unload

The first load

The first load

This shot shows only about half of the kitchen.  There is more to the right.

This shot shows only about half of the kitchen. There is more to the right.

A funny thing happened in the kitchen.  When the refrigerator was moved in, I discovered the dishwasher door does not fully open because the ‘fridge door is in the

Check out the dishwasher door

Check out the dishwasher door

way.  The only way to open the dishwasher door fully is to open the refrigerator door.    Somebody wasn’t thinking about large refrigerators when the kitchen was designed.

Putting the recliner together

Putting the recliner together

Boxes in the bedroom

Boxes in the bedroom

BC was kept in my closet during the unloading and wasn’t happy again.  Finally, toward the last and when doors were beginning to be closed, I let her out to check on matters.  Again, her environment had changed.  I had

Forlorn BC.  You can see she's not happy.

Forlorn BC. You can see she’s not happy.

been hoping that when she began to smell familiar scents that she would become a lot more relaxed and realize this was going to be home from now on.  I’m not sure that theory worked as she reverted back to the present leaving trick that night and she still does it on occasion.  Such a grouchy, finicky old lady!

The job is done and the truck is finally leaving

The job is done and the truck is finally leaving

The two movers finished up with the furniture and then spent some time putting together my tinker toy bookcase for the office.   As I said, they finally finished up a bit after three and the truck pulled away shortly after that.

I took some pictures on my iPad to show folks how filled some of the rooms were before unpacking, but I can’t figure out how to download the pictures from an email.  They won’t open up properly.  So you’ll just have to imagine many boxes in the rooms.  Jerri came over and helped put away the closet stuff and other things.  But, as she says, it’s hard to put away someone else’s stuff as you don’t know exactly how they would like it done.  But she did a good job and I appreciate her work.  Allan has helped me with hanging some stuff and getting stuff organized

Jason, my nephew-in-law, came over and hooked up my washer and dryer. They work great and now Jerri doesn’t have to do my clothes for me.  She’s cheering!

Jason and the laundry room

Jason and the laundry room

It is now August 23, 2013 and all the boxes have been opened and most things have been put away.  The workshop is put together more or less (Bob would have loved this room that is attached to the garage) BC has several little nests in the workshop much to her delight.  I had to get her a bigger water dish because the small one ran dry a few days ago and she was ticked about that too.  She’s happy with the blue dish.

BC and her nests

BC and her nests

One thing that has been bugging me is the front door lock and dead bolt.  Allan told me that he would fix it for me, and yesterday, we went to purchase a new one that works correctly and that I can end up with one key

Allan and the door lock.  What a pain!

Allan and the door lock. What a pain!

for the whole house.  So off to Lowe’s we went and found the perfect hand set for the front door.  We zoomed back to my house and he began to take apart the old lock.  ( I had more or less made arrangements with Diana’s son to do this but Allan insisted on this and it turned out to be a good deal because Jim would have wasted quite a bit of time with this project.)  What happened was that the new lock set would not fit in the routed out part of the of door because modern hand sets only contain the opening lever mechanism, not the actual lock.  My old one has the lock just above the lever with a separate dead bolt above that.  It’s difficult to explain, but suffice to say that the two hand sets we purchased would not work (we also went to Home Depot to try to get one to fit).   Allan spent a long time trying to get the old lock to work properly because the parts were worn and had been Mickey moused several times before.  He finally got it back together and it works much better.  I looked online for the type of hand set I have and discovered I can still get one.  The drawback is that they cost more than $300! I decided to leave the old lock in for a while until it totally breaks.

One thing that has delighted me is being able to get out with some of my tools and do some yard work.  I’ve ripped out some dead bushes, trimmed some other

A long mountain garter snake in the back yard

A long mountain garter snake in the back yard

bushes and then taken out some VERY thorny suckers from a tree.   Some weeding has taken place, too, but I have to ask Jerri which of them are weeds or are some type of plant trying to make a place for itself.  I know that there are rattlesnakes in the area and am careful not to put my hands into bushy areas or little crevices.  I was very surprised one morning to be weeding and see what I thought was some thick black and yellow wire.  Then it moved!  It turned out to be a more than 24” mountain garter snake trying to find a place of refuge amongst the rocks and stones in the backyard.  It was so quiet that I could hear him slithering in the dry leaves.  He quickly found a place to hide in and I haven’t seen him since.

IMG_2290

A portion of the back yard. Note the sunken fire pit

This next picture is of a portion of the backyard.  Please notice the little sunken fire pit in the left foreground.  We’re all excited to have a fire in it and make S’mores and maybe even roast a hot dog in the fire.  A few days ago, Jason and Dalan came over and we checked out the backyard.  We noticed a mama quail acting very nervous around the pit and we discovered two of her tiny babies had fallen into the pit and couldn’t get out.  Dalan and I rescued them and eventually they were reunited with mama.  Now I have a couple of sticks in the pit to offer a way for any other strays to clamber out of the pit.

I also have installed a classy bird feeder along with a finch seed bag and a seed block in the backyard, which is not in the picture above.  My Cerritos neighbors gave me the stand, feeder and a hummingbird feeder to get me started here in Minden.  There are two hummer feeders as another was given to me when I moved here.  I guess people know I like birds.  The seed block is for ground feeders such as quail.  I found the bird bath in an overgrown area in my back yard.  The birds seem to be enjoying it.

The new bird feeder and the smoky skies

The new bird feeder and the smoky skies

Note the difference in the sky from the blue sky in other pictures.  The gray is from smoke from the big fire near Yosemite that has diminished our visibility to about one half mile.  It is eerie with odd colored sunlight trying to peek through the ick in the IMG_2395sky.  Many events have been canceled in the area due to the terrible air quality.  It’s crummy for us, but I surely do feel the pain of the residents and firefighters in the fire area.  It must be terrible.

In addition to the snake and various birds in my yard, I have also seen many cottontails who seem not to be perturbed by the wire mesh fence that lines my split rail fence along the back border of the property.  They love to chomp the grass and leave their little deposits on the lawn.  Varmints they are.  But they are a part of life here.  I’ve seen many, many Canada geese fly over in their V formations.  As Jerri says, they could never sneak up on anyone as they are always honking to each other.  I love to watch them in flight but am careful not to stand under their flight path. I know there are coyotes in the neighborhood as I’ve seen their scat in my backyard, but I have not seen one yet.  That and the snakes and hawks is why BC is a more or less indoor kitty now.

The curious calkf

The calf with the attitude

Back to the inside of the house.  The great room has a large hearth and mantle with a large area above the mantle that cries out for a special picture of some sort.  Jerri and I were in downtown Minden a week ago and found what we think it is perfect picture for this spot.   The little calf has such an attitude and Jerri and I loved the picture.  So it is now mounted above the mantle, thanks to Allan.  It really is hung straight and level but due to reflections, I had to take the picture off center.

Here is a view of the great room with the photo (taken by a local photographer) above the mantle which also gives you an idea of the view I have from the great room.

Here are a few views of the other rooms but there is nothing real extraordinary about them in terms of decorations or art work.  This is just to give you an idea of what the house looks like.  Jerri says I live like a Spartan anyway, so there probably won’t be much more stuff.

The great room with some furniture

The great room with some furniture

The office with too much glare to see the great view of the Sierras from the window

The office with too much glare to see the great view of the Sierras from the window

Jerri loves this bath tub in the master bath

Jerri loves this bath tub in the master bath

A portion of the master bedroom

A portion of the master bedroom

The workshop with little BC in her nest at the bottom left

The workshop with little BC in her nest at the bottom left

Part of the garage.  A neighbor is moving in September and

Part of the garage.

All the boxes in the garage will be going to a neighbor who will be moving in September.  Why I’m storing them, I don’t know.  Just a good guy, I guess.  But soon, it will be clean and uncluttered (hopefully)

The house has a few flaws and needs a lot of work in the yard to get it up to where I want it, but all this is going to take time and money.  All in all, it’s a good place to be.

Except for the present air quality, I’m really enjoying being here in Minden and the Carson Valley.  The people are pretty friendly.  It’s fun being close to the family and doing things with everyone.  The little kids can ride their bikes over here and we can go riding on the trails throughout the community.  Eventually, Jerri and I will be getting quads to ride out in the wilderness (even though the family is not fond of this idea) to do some exploring.  But I don’t see that happening until at least next spring.

The last photo is one that Dick Schmidt put together for me.  I think it is true.  This house is made for me.

Made for me

Made for me

One Response to “The Big Campout OR The Big Move – Part 2”

  1. Jolee September 2, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    I believe the last picture is my favorite!!

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