Showing posts from 2017

May 31 2017 - Found our new house

We have been looking in ever increasing circles for our new house.  Remember what we are trying to do here - downsize into a newer, cheaper, no-maintenance house with a no-maintenance yard, and space to store our trailer,  but with  plenty of resale potential.  Well today we found it  -  in Granbury!.  If  you remember a long time ago we came through Granbury on one of our earlier trips and we liked the place... Well today we found this gem for sale by owner.

It meets all the requirements and on the Fort Worth side of Granbury so we can get to DFW in about 1 hour if we need to.

And just in time as we close on our old house tomorrow. We are leasing it back for 1 month to  give us time to close on this one.  It will be strange being tenants in our own home.  We'll look after it though and still cut the grass.  Might stop buying plants for the garden now though.  :)

May 18 2017 - New roof

We arrive back from China (it was great by the way - buy us a beer and we'll tell you more) to find the roofing material stacked neatly on the driveway as promised.  

 Our task was to cut the grass short near the house to make cleanup easier. That was done at first light and then the workers turn up - 18 of them at one point.  They tarp all  of the landscaping and the pool then get on with it.  Its a dodgy day weather-wise, so they do it in stages:  strip - clean - line - shingle.
All  hand nailed (and yes they have all their fingers)

At the end of a long day they tidy all their mess up and even use a long magnet to sweep for nails in the lawn.  Very impressed.   New carpets tomorrow and we are done.  Phew!

April 26 2017 - Who is throwing rocks?

Negotiations for the house sale were going well.
We  were readying for our big China vacation next week.
Rudely awakened at 6 AM by a horrible noise.
Took some time realize that it was massive hail.
There goes the roof!

A few days later the insurance assessor turns up.  Our friendly roofer accompanies him and the verdict is quickly returned - new roof.

From the pictures you can see how they do their work - on each elevation they count the number of "bruises" in a given area.  If its over some threshold they pay.
Sounds good right?  - Well of course the roofer gets paid fully but Joe homeowner needs to come up with the deducible.  We are instantly $7000 poorer.   Learnt a lot about roofs and insurance policies today.   We arrange for the roofing crew to be ready for the day we get back from China.

The good news of course is that now absolutely everything has been replaced on the house so the survey will find nothing wrong and we can get top dollar.

No more from us for a few w…

April 20 2017 - Comfort and Fredericksburg

We took a short drive today to Fredericksburg.  On the way we happened upon the small town of Comfort and had a quick wander around - we like this place!

A lovely low-key town.  Then off the the big F.  We didnt like it as much - just a bit too commercial for us.  But we had fun anyway.
We strolled around the historic district and found a few delights
One store you must not miss is Rustlin Rob's   Hot sauces,dips,spread,jellies - well you get the idea.  And they have hundreds of samples. We grazed in there for a long time and of course brought some goodies home.  We skipped the renowned National Museum of the Pacific War as it was so darned expensive.

On the way back to camp we happened onto Old Tunnel State Park.  As you might have guessed this is on old railroad tunnel. Pretty exciting huh?  This was part of the railroad that used to link Fredericksburg with San Antonio.   They pulled the rails in 1940, but those clever Mexican free-tailed bats found it and use it on their Summe…

April 19 2017 Banderra Texas

Late April brings the annual "Bluebonnet" Casita travel trailer rally in Bandera "Cowboy capital of the world  We have been a few times before, so no pictures of Bandera this time.

Our drive down took us through Lampasas. A sleepy little town with an almost-nice courthouse square.

Then on to Bandera to set up our accommodations. This is our "Clam"screened room - for keeping the sun off - and the bugs off.  We  still sleep in the van.

At these rallies, various activities are organised to keep the rabble amused.  We attend all of those that involve adult beverages..  After a few glasses of wine everything looks a bit like this..

On the last day many folks open their trailers to show off their personal touches.  Continuing the theme above we spotted this very clever way of stopping the wine glasses from breaking in transit...
Just slide them into beer coozies!

April 2017 - Getting the house ready to sell

Remember what we are trying to do here?

Move to a much smaller house (no maintenance)Get a new tow vehicle.Get a travel trailer.Go travel.

Much of April was spent on the finishing touches on the house before putting it on the market.
We have a long planned multi-week vacation to China coming up early next month so the plan is to market the house the moment we get back.

While painting the siding out back, I was being supervised by this little green fellow.
He lives behind the downspout and wasn't going to go far.  I tried to warn him about the wet paint - but would he listen? Now he's the only green lizard with a white racing stripe...

One last burn in the fire pit for old times sake

Last time we will see these Iris..

And last time we will see high water in our river -and hear the roar...

Here is how it all ended up looking - we used Zillow "make me move" to see if anyone was interested
Our old listing.

Mar 31 2017 - Huntsville to home.

Another day in paradise.  First order of the day - make tea!

Then pack up the van and go pay - before coming back in to explore.

After basking in the sun for a while and enjoying breakfast by the lake its off to the Sam Houston monument.
This massive white statue is visible from the freeway - and if you visit it you are pretty much standing on the shoulder with trucks whizzing past at 70 mph. But the flowers are pretty this time of year.

Then off into town for lunch and a look around. Huntsville is a great town.  Its a university town so you know it must be affordable.  Lots of interesting history to poke around at..

Final place we went to was the Texas Prison museum.. We weren't expecting much here but ended up spending a couple of hours.  Lots of famous and infamous folks passed through the Texas prison system and the story of how punishment has evolved over the years is more interesting than it sounds.

Here is old sparky...

And here is a sample "last meal" request..…

Mar 30 2017 - Visas then San Jacinto

After flicking a few more caterpillars we drove into Houston to pick us the Visas.
Would have cost over $400 if we had used an agent.  Our cost? $60.  While waiting in line we watched several 'agents' picking up bundles of passports and putting them straight into FedEx envelopes.  Looks like an easy way to make a living!

After a quick stop in the massive British Store we headed east to the  San Jacinto Monument
This is where Texas and Mexico had a bit of a skirmish during the Texas revolution
At 567 feet tall its the highest monument column in the world.

For a few dollars you can ride an elevator almost to the top.
The view from there is quite big.

Then its off to scramble all over USS Texas - the only ship to see action in WW1 and WW2

Tonight we camp at  Huntsville State Park - wot no caterpillars?