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  We (Stilla and I), often find ourselves asking things like; “Why didn’t we replace those outdated exterior lamps earlier?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  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 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.