Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Welcome to the Colorado Mountains!

There's an expression around here: "If you don't like the weather in Colorado, wait 15 minutes". OK, things aren't quite that extreme, but we certainly do get a variety of fast-changing weather.

As if to underscore this point, here's a pic from our "move in" day (Thursday, April 23) sitting on the swing in the evening enjoying a glass of wine:

and here are some pics after a snowstorm 3 days later:

Today, the temp will be back up in the 50's and in 2 or 3 days the snow will all be gone. Of course, then we have to deal with mud until it dries out. We love it!

Fortunately, we got most all of our unpacking done before the storm so we were able to stay inside, read and relax while watching it snow outside. We had a power outage for about 4 hours. Tim got out the generator and tested it just in case, but we didn't need it.

Tomorrow (Wed) we should get the barn extension framed in. After that, we put on the metal siding. Once that's done, we should be able to get all our stuff out of storage and put it in the barn extension. We will be glad to get that phase done.

We met with the excavator and have started on the process to get a septic system put in. After that's under way, we will submit the house plans to the county for approval and start scheduling all the construction activity involved with building the house. It's going to be a very busy summer!

Friday, April 24, 2015

We Did It!

Laurie has a beautiful Down Syndrome great-nephew named Charlie. When Charlie does something that he is especially proud of he smiles from ear-to-ear, raises his hands and proclaims "I did it!".

You can just feel the accomplishment!

Well, we feel like doing "a Charlie". We moved all our possessions, closed on the house, loaded up the horses and cat, left Wellington for the last time and arrived at our new Golden Gaits Ranch yesterday (Thursday, April 23, 2015).

We're living in the RV and starting to make plans to build the house. There's SO much to do, but it's a huge relief to just be here and not have to run back and forth (200 miles each way) anymore. 

Tim still has to finish out working for HP (thru the end of May) and then will be retired. He will be working on finishing the barn, getting people lined up to start excavation on the house, fencing for the horses, etc. 

Laurie is busy unpacking and organizing the RV as efficiently as possible, doing address change stuff, getting new bank account set up, etc. She ordered new ducklings which we will be receiving the 1st week of June. Of course, she will be making plans and starting on the new garden as time permits. 

We are so truly grateful to our Father for the years we had at the place in Wellington. We are also grateful for this new chapter near Guffey, CO. We are looking forward to learning more about His Kingdom, forming relationships with new neighbors and seeing what Father has in mind for us here. We know that this whole thing isn't about us, it's about our Father and what He is doing not only in our lives but in the lives of others whose paths we will cross. 

I guess it would be more honest to give God the glory and to say:

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Unhappy with the Happy House Process

In a previous post, we mentioned that we had found a local company to engineer our Happy House using SIPs. Unfortunately, our experience with this company has not been very happy. They are frequently not responsive when we need questions answered or have to supply something to Park County for the permitting process. In addition, Tim has spent a lot of time reviewing their plans and finding mistakes that need to be corrected. We noticed that they can't seem to keep a secretary to answer the phone. We always get their voice mail when we call. Their office in storage facility behind a locked gate. You can't just drop by and expect to find someone there who will open the gate and let you in. The owner/engineer just went thru a divorce and is living at the office in the storage facility. There are just a lot of warning flags about this company that we wish we had paid attention to earlier.

This is all really unfortunate, because we really liked the engineer and thought he had a lot of great ideas. When we tried to express our concerns to him, his response (when he got around to responding) was essentially to blow us off. He would not admit that their quality was inadequate even though Tim has pointed out multiple mistakes that they had to correct on their plans. And he said he had been trying (for several months) to hire an engineer to improve the responsiveness but hasn't yet done so. And he actually wrote this: "You will feel better when the commotion you are personally going through is resolved." So, he essentially said that I was the one with the problem. In psycho-babble, I think they refer to this as displacing blame. One more thing, I initially expressed my concerns in an email and suggested that we get together to talk these thru. He responded that he preferred to write instead of actually talk. How's that for personal customer service?

Another impact of this has been that the Park County planning inspector is now on "high alert" to anything related to this company. He spends extra time going thru their plans and the required on site inspections are done with a very critical eye. This is just making matters more difficult for us.

We have stated that this new adventure is something that God has led us into. And we have been amazed by the way things have all seemed to come together and work out so well. This is our first real negative experience on this journey. It certainly hasn't shaken our confidence in God's leading, but it does force us to keep pressing forward by faith and trying to figure out how to graciously deal with challenging relationships and to see what our Father wants us to learn from experiences like this.

We know it will all work out in the end. I guess if the journey was too easy, there wouldn't be as much of a sense of accomplishment when we get to the end.

BTW, if this post seems to have a bit of different "flavor" to it, it's because Tim wrote this one :) .

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Happy House

Things have been moving right along as we proceed with our move to Guffey.  The main part of the barn is done, and Tim is now working on the extension at the side, which will be our storage area for our furniture while we build the house. The sale of the house on Shoofly continues to move along smoothly. We've gotten an extension on the closing date, which will now be April 23. That will give us an extra weekend plus a few days, to finish our storage area and move our stuff.

The storage area extension at the west side of the barn.
Tim has been working on the foundation for the storage extension (and I've been helping!).  We passed the interim county inspection on that. Now Tim has some more work to finish the floor before we get the panels for the walls and roof installed. We are using SIP's for these, which are being prepared by a local company and will be installed by them. Hopefully, everything will be done in time to move!

Last week we spent about 5 days at the property, and enjoyed our time there. Since our phones only work in the RV, near the internet router, we've gotten in the habit of using the walkie-talkies for communicating from the barn to the RV. Whatever works!

Here's a shot of the property with the barn, the RV, and a sketch of the future "Happy House" on its spot at the top of the hill. This was taken pretty much from the east side, looking to the west, maybe WNW.

I've been sick with a cold the past 4 days, and now Tim's got it. We've been doing a lot of sitting around not doing much, and with so much to do, it's kind of hard! Now that I'm better, we're gonna go into a higher gear and get packing.  We'll live with minimal stuff and out of boxes until we get things moved. (Good luck with that, Laurie!)