Archive | August 2014

Storm Damage

We had a very localized bit of bad weather yesterday. I suspect it is what they call a micro-burst of wind, along with a lot of rain, but it lasted less than a half hour. We lost some trees, a few neighbors lost branches, and power was out for three hours. When Sharon was out earlier today, she did not see damage except nearby. We think a tree or power lines came down across the road, as traffic yesterday stopped for a while.

screened room and patio mess

screened room and patio mess

I also probably lost the screened room I had on the back patio. The legs were under some big concrete blocks, but the wind just lifted it up and flipped it. A wrought iron bird feeder crook caught one leg and the screen, and was bent flat to the ground, but held onto the structure. Quite a few tears, will have to see if they are repairable, and if the framework has not been too damaged. It is too wet around it yet today (soggy clay) to try to pick it up.

tree down on back property line

tree down on back property line

Everything happened in a narrow path along one side of the property. One small tree between my house and the building next door came down. The biggest surprise was a very large pine in Sharon’s front shade bed, snapped at the ground, missed plants, including the Bradford pear, and cleared the corner of her house by less than 5 feet. And neither of us heard it fall. As seen in the picture, it was a pretty big one to fall. Maybe the branches cushioned it enough not to hit too hard.

pine down in shade garden

pine down in shade garden

side view of tree

side view of tree

I guess we’ll be looking for someone who wants free firewood.

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Thoughts on the Future

This has been a time of getting back to some routine. The cats are still cuddling near, making me feel so guilty at leaving them too much. Cats can act so aloof that it is easy to forget how closely they bond with people.

After much consideration, I am planning on adding another dome to my house structure instead of building another whole home and renting the first. I will just add a master bedroom and bathroom, and living room, with a powder room in the entry/mudroom. It will be a little larger than the current one, as I realize how difficult it is to fit a lifetime of stuff into a tiny space. I really have thrown out or given away a lot, but that still leaves a lot to consolidate from a house of 1100 sq ft, plus basement and attic, to less than 600 sq ft (current dome), plus some storage buildings.

sketchy view of additional dome and entry

sketchy view of additional dome and entry

I am hoping the construction will be much less invasive than a remodel, since the new dome can be connected near the end of construction to the outside of my current living space. Of course the noise will be very close, but I will be nearby for overseeing details. I am probably doing wishful thinking here, but at least it won’t be 24 hours per day.

Another advantage I foresee is keeping a screen door between the main living section (new dome and entry room) and the kitchen (existing dome). Two of my cats jump onto counters when I’m not around, and I really do not like them on counters in the kitchen and dining room. The other cat does not jump on things, and she needs medication, so I would like to be able to separate her feeding from the boys and give her extra.

With only one more dome, no additional kitchen or laundry, I will save quite a bit of money. I have been thinking about some of the luxuries (dream time) I can afford with just adding on, and I should not have to re-finance the mortgage. I miss my remodeled bathroom in Roanoke. I really would like a soaker tub – the kind where you sit and have water over your shoulders. But most I’ve seen are quite expensive, so I will have the bathroom plumbed for a tub, but put the tub on the end of my wish list. I will have room for a separate shower stall.

Cork floors are another item I want to explore. Don’t think of bulletin boards, but a very compressed and durable surface. If not, probably bamboo is my next consideration.

I want a tile back splash in the kitchen, and the space is not too big, so I will have that fairly high on my wish list. It does involve work in my current living space, though.

I will probably run a gas line to the house after all. The cost for the distance from the main line is high, but I want to put in a gas-powered boiler for a radiator system, besides other items, and am not sure if propane is a good choice. Another item to study.

At the very bottom of my wish list is a stairway in my current tiny living room, so I can reach my loft storage myself. I hate having to get someone else to climb a ladder to get stuff. It is a much better storage area, out of easy reach of mice and bugs, than a storage building is for some of my items. The stairs would have to have an angle or two to reach the top, but I’m sure something could be devised. Until then, the function will be pantry, including a freezer.

I have made a list of all my furniture, from both places, and think almost everything can be used. I will see at that time what I can do with extras.

Unfortunately, this is all in the future, as the other house needs to be sold before I can afford to start building again.