We Can See the End (Colorado Springs, CO)

We are finally getting close to being able to put the house on the market.  The carpet is finally done, I guess the adage; “3rd time is a charm”, is true.  The original carpet guy finally just paid a competitor to order and install the carpet at his expense since we had already paid.  Here’s a view of the stairs in progress.


And, here’s a picture of the finished stairs for your viewing pleasure.


The downstairs “family room/game room” looks a little weird with the light brown color carpet (called Honeycomb 201).  It used to have a light blue/gray carpet that complemented the wall colors.  I hope a potential buyer doesn’t “dislike” it.

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This is the bar that we’re including with the house.  I just wasn’t going to remove that back piece off the wall because I anchored it with lag bolts to the studs and ran electrical outlets to it when I originally finished this room.  Removing it would just create too much additional work with drywall, paint and texture issues.


We had new carpet put in the Master Bedroom and walk-in closet along with the stairs and everywhere downstairs except for one of the bedrooms where we decided to leave our King Size Bedroom set.  We just didn’t want to move it again and figured it might add value and an additional incentive to buy the house for the new-owner(s).

This is the chandelier we put in the dining room.  The old one was just fine, but it was brass.  This was no easy chore due to the extremely high vaulted ceilings.  I even had to make another trip to Home Depot to get more black chain so it wasn’t hanging too high.  It doesn’t look too bad I guess.


The driveway concrete repair has been the most expensive task so far.  This is where I used to park the Urban Escape Vehicle and the concrete just wasn’t thick enough to handle the weight.  It had some pretty major cracks and had settled in places.  The concrete guys did all the tear out and re-pour in one day.

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We were finally able to paint the Den after I got the tenant’s stuff out.IMG_5446 IMG_5447

Here’s a view out the front Den window looking up the street.  We haven’t been able to easily look out this window for a while due to the “stuff” I had to move out from the former tenant’s.


We still have to clear the previous tenant’s stuff out of the Master Bath so we can give it a good cleaning and re-caulk where needed.

And there’s some wood-laminate flooring repairs I still need to make in the Great Room… sure glad I kept a couple boxes of the original floorboard.

We still need to finish re-staining the deck also, but that’s contingent on good weather, hopefully it warms up soon.

With any luck, we’ll finally have the house on the market at the beginning of the New Year.

I’ll try to keep you updated.  Stay tuned…


Taking a Day Off (Colorado Springs, CO)

We finally took a day off (Sunday) from working around the house to help our friends Daniel and Monika move their daughter’s belongings back to their house.  Dan keeps up with the blog and knew about the new trailer purchase.  We were happy to be able to help, because as you know – what goes around comes around.


We were able to make quick work out of all the stuff that needed to be moved, the trailer ramp made loading easy.


While we were on the way back to Dan and Monika’s house with the trailer loaded, we stopped by the house of our mutual friend’s – John and Angelika.  The Christmas lights and decorations are looking good Angelika 🙂


We wanted to drop off a Coca-Cola Cooler that we gave them.  It’s much more satisfying to give some of our things to friends or family as opposed to selling them at greatly reduced prices or even taking things to Goodwill or ARC Thrift Stores.  We already gave John and Angelika our “retro” Jukebox that Stilla got for her birthday several years ago.  At least it’s in good hands and getting some use instead of being put in storage.

NSM Jukebox “Digital Thunder” on the wall at our house (pic is a few years old)

While stopped at John and Angelika’s house – I used the opportunity to install the load-leveling hitch that I just got in from Amazon.com.  Their little cul-de-sac is much more level than the one at our house, and it’s important to do the installation on level ground.  With John and Dan’s help, we did some measuring and got the hitch installed at the correct height.  The load-leveling bars take a lot of weight off the hitch ball and distributes it more evenly, I’ve heard it described as functioning in a manner similar to a wheelbarrow.


After we unloaded the trailer, Dan and Monika treated us to lunch at Applebee’s.  Thanks again Dan and Monika!


We visited for a while back at Dan and Monika’s beautiful home and admired their awesome deck while our little dog “Coach” checked out the back yard and probably left his “calling card” somewhere… sorry about that Dan 🙂

Dan and I also made tentative plans.  If the timing is right, Dan offered to help me drive our stuff down to storage in Casa Grande.  With his help, we could drive straight there, drop off a load, maybe spend the night and then get right back in record time.  Dan is a professional truck driver by profession, (after his illustrious Army Career), so he’s no stranger to driving long distances.  We’ll have to see if the timing works out…

After chatting for a while and saying our goodbye’s, we drove straight back to the Urban Escape Vehicle which is safely parked at the Elks Lodge overlooking the pool that is (sadly) closed for the season.  This is the first day in – what seems like ages – that we didn’t spend the day at the house cleaning or painting something.

It was a good day off 🙂

Urban Escape Vehicle at the COS Elks Lodge RV Park


Thanksgiving (Casa Grande, AZ)

Our work on getting the house ready to sell has been progressing fairly well, albeit slowly.  We (Stilla and I), often find ourselves asking things like; “Why didn’t we replace those outdated exterior lamps earlier?  Or why did we wait until now to change out that brass dining room chandelier?”  We’re drawing the line on putting in granite countertops and stainless appliances though ($$).  🙁  Early on in this house-selling escapade, we decided to not upgrade our white appliances and formica (or whatever they are) countertops as suggested by the realtor.  We’ve been just fine with them, and they still look and function great.  Hopefully, a potential buyer feels the same way.


The interior repaint is almost done.  Just a few touchups here and there.  We hired a guy to paint most of the upstairs because of the extremely high vaulted ceilings… the last thing I need is to have another hip replacement because I fell off a ladder:)  The baseboards and trim have been the most tedious of tasks even though I’m only touching up the scrapes and dents for the most part.  By the way – I will never, ever, have another house with high-gloss white paint on doors and trim!  Er yeah… no problem there, the Urban Escape Vehicle doesn’t have  any painted trim – just real wood.

On Monday the 24th of November, the carpet guy that was scheduled to start replacement didn’t come through.  His associate ordered the wrong carpet!  The result is another week delay.  So I used the opportunity to get an early start on my promise to be in Casa Grande for Thanksgiving.

I left in the Silverado around 3 in the afternoon and got to my Mom and Brother Steve’s “dirt farm” by 8AM or so on Tuesday.  Stilla stayed behind in the Coach in order to help oldest daughter Jennifer watch the grandson while she was at work.

Here’s a front-view of my brother’s triple-wide.  My Mom and stepdad Jim have a super-long, single-wide at the front of the property.


I got put to work right away with some fence projects.  Although, I did more supervision than actual physical labor as i’m sure brother Steve would validate.  In the pic below, we are using my stepdad’s Jeep to stretch the fencing.  My brother’s Steven and Ronald look on.


Ron and Steve tacking the fencing to the post.  Ron is visiting from California and plans to stay and help around the “dirt farm” for a couple weeks.


Stepdad Jimmy inspecting the mirror that brother Steve broke.   Just like my Mom always told us kids when we were growing up – “We can’t have anything nice.”


We had quite a gathering of relatives on Thanksgiving day.  It was great seeing everyone.  Only my brother Donald from Florida was missing, however, his two kids Matthew and Christopher were there to represent him 🙂


A good time was had by all.  Great food and great people!  It was also my brother Steven’s long-time girlfriend, Cheryl’s birthday!  That’s her holding the golden goose.  We ate and played games into the night… and then ate again.


Here’s my wonderful Ma and her sister Kathy.  We affectionately call Aunt Kathy “Aunt Squirrely”


On Black Friday, I decided to go trailer shopping.  So with my ever-helpful stepdad Jimmy in tow, we drove North to Phoenix and visited a few trailer businesses.  I did research on line and had determined that trailers seem to be cheaper in Arizona as opposed to Colorado.  We need a trailer to move all our “stuff” from Colorado and mitigate the costs of storage units.  I already have a storage unit in Colorado Springs and hope to be able to start moving stuff to the “dirt farm” as soon as we get the house on the market.  We’re also considering buying a “Conex” with the help of Mom and Jimmy to place on the “dirt farm” towards that end.

So here’s the result of Black Friday shopping:  A 7′ X 16′ dual axle cargo trailer from TrailersPlus.com.  It’s the “LoadRunner” model.  They had one model that was better, called the “ProSeries”, but it also came with a hefty price.  This one was a “Red Tag” special that ended up costing me ~$6,200 after taxes and permanent AZ plate.



After sad early morning goodbye’s… I hit the road by 7:30 AM on Saturday in order to get back for the carpet install which was rescheduled for Monday the 1st of December.

I decided on an alternate scenic route out of Phoenix that saved me about 100 miles off the 900 mile route.  I took 87 East to Florence, then 79 North to connect with 60 East.  However, instead of taking 60 all the way to I-25, I turned north on 117 at Quemado which dropped me off on I-40 just West of Grants.  After that, it was a short interstate drive to Albequerque where I got on I-25.

It turned out to be a beautiful shortcut as the following pictures can attest:












I drove straight through and made it back to Stilla at the Urban Escape Vehicle parked at the Elks Lodge in Colorado Springs by 10:30 PM on Saturday night.  15 hours total travel time.

Of course, on Monday the carpet guy calls and tells me that his associate(s) put in the wrong order AGAIN!  He will give me a $500 refund off the $2800 I already paid and I don’t have to pay the $500 upon completion.  He contacted another carpet company to do the work and they came by in the afternoon to measure everything once again.  So here we go again… I’m scheduled to finally get the carpet replaced next Tuesday.

Meanwhile, I used the time to put Thompson’s Water-Seal all over the wood on the inside of the new trailer.  I also ordered a load-leveling kit from Amazon.com and some E Track components for load management.

Stay tuned for more house selling adventures… hopefully, we can put all this behind us soon and get to warmer climes.  We definitely need to be in Quartzsite for the annual Alpine Coach “Desert Rat Rally” in January.  But I’ll probably be making some trips with the Silverado and trailer to put stuff in storage at the “dirt farm” before then.