Saturday, August 12, 2017

Home From The Rally

We arrived back home yesterday around 4 PM, minus our 5th. wheel.

When we left the FROG Rally, we headed for Recreational Specialties to drop off our 5th. wheel to have them paint the front cap under warranty. Ron, the manager, told me that the paint used in the manufacturing of the cap did not have the ultraviolet blockers added to the paint, and that is why the paint faded.
Taken from the roof of the RV. Notice the white fade of the paint.
He assured me that they will have to completely remove the cap from the RV, sand it down, prime, paint, then re-apply the graphics. It should take them until the middle of next week to complete. Then they will be moving our 5th. wheel to the manufacturer of the RV, Prime Time Manufacturing where they will be removing both slides. Repairing the problem with screws damaging the undersides of the slides. Then as the slide tore the linoleum, the complete floor has to be inspected and repairs made, including new linoleum.
Damaged floor from the slide.
It feels a little weird arriving home without our 5th. wheel, but I feel confident that the problems will be repaired, hopefully once and for all.

Wilma and I both are happy we are home from the Rally. One thing we didn't like was the 2 train tracks within a stone's throw from the Rally. They run both night and day, at least 6 trains an hour, each train traveling very fast shaking the ground for 3 to 4 minutes each. I guess it would be heaven for a train enthusiast but not for us.

Today we start back to our busy lives and preparing for our Kentucky trip leaving this Thursday.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Monday, August 7, 2017

FROG Rally

We are here at the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds in Goshen, Indiana for the annual FROG Rally. FROG equates to "Forest River Owners Group". As our 5th. wheel was manufactured by a company named Prime Time, and are included in the Forest River Group.

We arrived Sunday around noon to a great bunch of volunteers greeting us and welcoming us to this event. We were escorted to our site by a volunteer riding a golf cart. Directed for easy parking of the trailer by two other volunteers. How great is that!

We checked in at the Registration center where we received a packet of information along with our name tags. Next, we hitched a ride from the many volunteer operated "taxies" golf carts designed for 6 riders. We were asked "Where to?" and then taken to the Service registration building. There we checked in with the Prime Time folks and were confirmed of the "free" service work that will be done on our trailer.

Being in the handicapped area, we were able to walk back to our RV after our meeting with the service people. We noticed that another RV pulled in next to ours and we struck up a conversation with them. It's their first time at this rally, and they are from the Ohio/West Virginia border area.

Later they joined us at 5:10 PM for our walk to the area where the dinner will be served at 5:30 PM.
Just a small portion of the line to the dining hall.
Maybe we should have left earlier as the line seemed to never come to an end. We temporarily forgot that with 750 RV's here that should equate to approximately 1500 hungry people to feed.

Once inside we sat at the first table next to the exit. A wonderful breeze was coming in and we figured after eating we would exit as we have heard the "welcome speech" before.
Looking to the left of our seat.

Looking straight on from our seat.

Looking to the right from our seat.

Clicking on the link below will show a video of how many people are here waiting for our meal.

And a great meal of a pork chop, chicken pieces, bbq sauce, baby potatoes, mixed veggies, coleslaw, etc. was enjoyed by all. 

Monday agenda for those wishing to go to any of many seminars:

As Wilma isn't into any seminars, we will probably go for a ride in "Amish Country" and check out the several small towns. 

Or we may want to walk through all of the new RV's being offered for sale, or maybe walk through the Vendor's area and see what kind of great deals on items that we just can't live without. Who knows? That's the great thing about these Rallys. 

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Dad's Kitchen And Basement Floors Complete

I have been so busy with getting Dad's house ready to be put on the market for sale these past few weeks, working 8 to 12 hour days. Wilma mentioned that she will be so happy when the house is sold so she can get her husband back. Even finding time to help my sister with her humongous garage sale, which is how we are selling items of Dad's to build up his savings account.

This past week I've dealt with a flooring installer. I needed to have the kitchen floor updated. The old "peel and stick" tile Dad installed years ago was so unsightly and discolored. A linoleum choice was made by looking at samples on a tablet that was available for immediate installation. It came out looking darker than what I expected, but it's installed now and looks so much nicer than the old floor.

I couldn't find a "Before" photo of the old floor for comparison, but I assure you this is a huge improvement!

Next came the basement stairs and floor covering. I first wanted an indoor/outdoor carpet. Our painter suggested a regular carpet but DO NOT have any padding installed under it. Have it glued down to the floor. The carpet installer agreed with him and mentioned that it would look and feel much more comfortable.
Old tile is what was in the Kitchen. Stairs to the basement before new carpet.

 Basement floor before any repair work was done on the walls.
Basement stairs after carpet installation.

Beams installed, walls painted, and carpet installed. 
Nice comparison on the "before and after" photos above of the basement don't you think? 👌

I just have to install a new bathroom vanity in the bathroom in the basement and the house will be ready to be sold.

Speaking of that.....
Last Tuesday the neighbor next door asked if her sister could contact me as she was interested in purchasing the house. Why of course! Amber phoned me Wednesday and we made arrangements for her and her husband to come and look at the house on Friday at 4:45 PM.

Speaking with my sister prior to the meeting, we agreed on a price we wanted to ask.

Amber and her husband showed up right on time to see the house and seemed excited and was pleased with what she saw. Her husband put on the stern look for me, which I didn't buy. I knew he liked it as much as her! Within a half hour, we discussed prices and they gave me an offer. I told them I would get back with them as it wasn't the asking price. Amber was anxious that I not sell the house prior to getting back with them. That statement made me realize that they wanted the house bad and were willing to go higher.

I arrived back at my home and gave Sister Catherine a phone call with the exciting news that we had an offer. (One not far from our asking price).
She informed me that at the garage sale today she spoke to a lady that said her daughter and her husband were looking for a house to buy. Further discussions with her revealed that the location and type of home the daughter was looking for was exactly what we have for sale! Catherine is making arrangements to show the house this upcoming week.

As Catherine knows the previous offer, she is confident her showing will go well, and we could have a "price war" on our hands. We, Catherine and I, have a strong feeling we can have the house sold within a week. That would be so wonderful and take a huge burden off of our shoulders.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

New Concrete

Thursday July 27th.

The cement company arrived at 8 AM and started removing the old concrete drive and front porch.

Shortly afterward, Rich showed up and together we looked over the work in the basement. Everything was completed as planned. He said he would be back Monday morning with the Warranty paperwork and for the final payment.

It wasn't long and the entire drive and porch was re-located to the concrete recycling plant a mile away.

The crew had a 15 minute break after the removal of the old concrete until the delivery of new concrete arrived. The porch was the first to be poured.

After the front porch was poured, the delivery continued at a rapid pace toward the garage and the rear of the house. The crew worked rapidly to keep up.

By 4 PM the entire drive and porch was removed and replaced with new concrete. 

Tomorrow a crew will arrive to saw cut the joints and remove the forms. 

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Almost Completed

Rich, the owner of Calculus Foundations arrived around noon on Wednesday and gave the order to the crew that this job must be completed TODAY! The crew was not happy as they had to wait almost 3 hours for the inspector to approve the application of material on the outside of the basement wall and the new drain installed at the footer.
Preparation for "tuck pointing" the brick.
Not only on two sides of the house did area's of the brick need some mortar joints repaired, but also on the garage.

There were also 2 "bubblers" needing installed at the downspouts to direct the rainwater away from the new concrete.
Installation of one of two "Bubblers"
The one above, installed at the rear of the house, was easy to put in. But the one at the front of the house was very hard. Because of the huge Maple tree just 30 feet away, there were many roots that needed to be cut for the trench.

The end of the day on Wednesday left just an hours worth of work in the basement that needed to be done. Rich told me he would have Les come back tomorrow to finish, but all the outside work is completed.

Tomorrow the cement company will arrive early to replace the porch and drive way.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Basement Wall Moved

I stepped back and watched as most people never get a chance to witness this.

The first step was to take the weight of the home off of the sill plate (basement wall). Floor jacks were used, a total of 4, each one adjusted carefully one at a time.
The house made it's "normal" cracking noises as each jack added pressure pushing up. Visually you couldn't see it moving up ever so slightly. I was told that it is raised less than a sixteenth of an inch, just enough to take the weight off of the basement wall.

Then the 12-ton bottle jacks were placed between the wall steel beams and the tempory "backer beams" that were later removed. 

Each jack was given a couple pumps of their handles. He watched the wall intensively as it slowly moved making a popping noise several times. 

It only took a half hour and the wall had moved 1 1/4" to nearly perfectly level straight up and down. 
The insulation Dad inserted 30 years ago once again was visible.

It was amazing hearing the wall make those noises as it was moved back to its original position. Almost like thanking us for straightening it.
Beam perfectly level vertically. 
Afterward, the house was slowly lowered back down onto the sill plate. The floor jacks removed along with the backer beams. Then 2X12 framing was installed with lag bolts around the beams at the tops. The bottom of the beams were bolted into the foundation of the house. No possible way they could ever move.

Next on the list of things to do was outside. Installing the new drain pipe next to the foundation and attaching it to the drainage system. 

Then came patching the cracks on the wall with a special cement, then coating the entire wall with tar. 
Tar being applied.
Next, the heavy plastic sheeting was applied and stuck to the tar. 

That about completed a days work for the crew. They told me they would return tomorrow.

After the house was put under such movement, I took a close look upstairs to see if the drywall showed any signs of the movement by cracking. None was found. I'm pleased with the outcome so far. 

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Equipment Breakdown

Day 3 of the work being done on Dad's house didn't go as planned. By late morning the front end loader blew a hydraulic fitting.
Looking close under the front end loader is a pan catching the hydraulic fluid.
That didn't stop the crew. The operator of the front end loader continued with working in the trench and sweeping up the driveway, the operator of the excavator moved into the basement where he started getting the beams ready for installation. 

The small beams are temporary and used as a backer for the jacks that will push the larger beams. When the wall is moved back verticle, the large beams will be permanently installed. The smaller beams will be removed. 

Meanwhile, Les uses a grinder to put the finishing touches on the patches that he made to the cracks in the other walls. 

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Dad's Home Repairs Start

A couple years ago Dad said he needed to get his basement wall fixed. I mentioned to him back then that to fix the basement wall they would have to remove the entire drive. He said he didn't think he could take all that, and would be stressed out about it. I assured him the wall was still safe, the home was not in danger of caving in, and that he should not worry about it.
The worst crack which is on the driveway side.
Now that he has moved out of his house and into an apartment, we have started to inquire about what has to be done to the house to sell it. We were told the Electrical Service needed updating, which has been done. The basement walls must be fixed, and the concrete drive should be replaced. Bids from 6 contractors were received and I chose Calculus Foundations to proceed with the repairs.

Thursday was the start date. A crew showed up to start working on the cracks on the basement walls.
They started working on the cracks on 3 walls. The wall that needs the most work is along the driveway side but that wall has to be pushed back verticle first.
The cracks had the paint ground off then an epoxy product applied with plastic injector fittings attached along the cracks. The fittings are used to pump under high pressure the product that seals the wall cracks. 

Friday, July 21. Day 2:
Two crews arrived around 9 AM. The crew that was here yesterday went into the basement to start sealing the cracks. 
While they worked on the cracks on 3 of the walls, a crew outside was busy unloading the heavy equipment. 

The basement wall on the driveway side is severely cracked and has started to move inward. The plan is to remove the driveway, dig down to the drain tile, replace the drain tile, push the basement wall back to its original vertical position and reinforce the wall with steel beams, water seal the outside area of the wall, fill void with pea stone, then remove the remaining drive and replace with new concrete. 

It was originally planned to remove the entire drive along the house first. But the weather forecast is for rain arriving Saturday and Sunday and they didn't want a muddy mess on Monday. So it was determined to first cut the concrete and partially remove the concrete today.
Cutting the concrete prior to removal.

When the strip of concrete drive next to the house was removed, he started removing the sticky clay down to the drain tile. 
Sticky clay removed.
At the days end a heavy tarp was placed over the opening where the clay was removed and yellow caution tape strung around the area. Plus one piece of heavy equipment was positioned at one end of the area, the other piece of heavy equipment placed at the other end of the opening. Hopefully, no one will be nosey and fall into the area along the basement wall.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Ken's 1st. Visit

Dad has been in his new apartment now for 5 weeks, and Brother Ken has not seen him or his new apartment as of yet.
Ken asked me last Monday if I would take him to see Dad this week. He chose Friday as a good day to go, asked if we could have dinner with him and then suggested we keep it a surprise to Dad.

Dad's dinner time is at 6 PM. We arrived at 5 PM and stopped at the main office to purchase our dinner tickets. Afterward, we headed toward his apartment but noticed on the way to his apartment that he was sitting outside the dining room waiting for it to open.

When Dad first saw us, a huge smile came to his face. He immediately came over to see us. Ken wanted to shake his hand but Dad had his left hand extended and Ken had his right hand on his oxygen tank.
Ken & Dad embrace each other.
As we had almost an hour before the dining room would be open, Dad wanted to show Ken his apartment. (The photo above shows the hall we walk down to get to Dads apartment). 
Unlocking his door, which Dad has trouble doing at times.

Upon entering Dad started showing Ken around the apartment. Ken was really impressed at how nice it was and told Dad several times how much he liked it, and that he was glad he was here instead of his house. 
Showing Ken around his apartment.

After the tour, we sat in the living room and had great conversations. Dad asking Ken how he is feeling, telling us how he is "starting to get used to his new home" and how he alerted the office of a tenant that was having trouble breathing. 

Around 5:50 PM we left the apartment to make the short walk to the dining room. The three of us were directed to the "reserved table" that is used for visitors. There we enjoyed a delicious meal of salad, onion soup, fish, potatoes, and a generous portion of butter pecan ice cream for dessert. 

Ken mentioned several times through the dinner that he "had to stop and catch his breath". I could tell he was having trouble breathing and that he was tiring out rapidly. 

After dinner, I asked Ken if he wanted to go back to the apartment, or head on home. He said he was getting tired and was ready to go back home.

Dad walked us out, through the entry doors of the complex, and waved us a good by as we drove away. My thoughts were, "I only hope this won't be the last time Ken has dinner with Dad". About that time Ken said, "Let's do this again, I really enjoyed this visit with Dad." 

As long as Ken is able, I will be here for him to take him anywhere he wishes.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.