“Company’s coming!” are two words that stir up a flurry of activity no matter where you live. It is amazing how much the utterance of that simple phrase can effect your vision. 'Vision' You may ask. Yes, once those words have slipped out, or even just been thought, you suddenly see a myriad of things that need to be done around the house that just the minute before had been invisible. And why is it referred to as a ‘flurry’ of activity when a snow flurry is defined as a ‘brief instance of light snow’. Our preparations since we returned home after our Christmas adventure have been anything but brief and light. I think a ‘blizzard of activity’ would be more apropos in our case.
While I have started writing this blog entry while in the midst of our preparations, I am not going to post this until after our guests arrive as I will be including photos of our guest room that I do not want them to see before their arrival. Now I will cover the Five Ws and One H that journalism classes teach are needed to complete factual stories:
WHO Is Coming To Visit?
Our youngest daughter’s family will be our first official house guests. The mice and other critters we occasional heard scurrying around in the attic when we first moved in do not count, they were residents before us, not our guests. Our visitors will include our daughter, son-in-law, toddler grandson and grandson-on-the-way.
WHY Are They Coming?
Besides coming for a nice long visit (about a month) to enjoy the beautiful Ozarks, we plan on putting our son-in-law to work! He is a roofer by trade, and while the roof is one part of the house that does not need work (we think), we will be taking advantage of his carpentry skills for deck repairs as well as dry wall repairs. You may recall that the house had been foreclosed on and vandalized before we bought the property. In fact, the bank selling the property felt the house was in such bad shape they sold the property for the land value alone and the house was considered as having ‘no value’ due to the lack of wiring, heat, water, etc.
|Dry wall nails sticking out of studs currently|
provide lots of convenient hooks.
(clothes drying rack, wood carrying tote,
lantern and oven mitt for the fireplace.
WHEN Do They Arrive?
They will be arriving on January 5th and staying for about a month, assuming off-grid life works for their young family. Part of our preparations have included adding to our off-grid ‘amenities’ to encourage a long visit, such as heat in the guest bedroom!
WHAT Will We Be Doing While They Are Here?
Besides the work projects around the house and property, we want to introduce them to our new life as well as the beautiful part of the country we now live in. And most important are family time and playing with our adorable grandson.
We have been making a mental list of various things we want to do, events we want to attend and places to go to, but there will be more details on that in future blogs as the activities unfold. Unfortunately, we will probably not get to show our grandson some of our favorite wildlife, such as armadillos and roadrunners, as we have not seen any since late fall. We have had a plethora (another of my favorite words) of birds at the feeders we put out this winter, so hopefully he will enjoy watching them as well as the antics of the squirrels that also come to visit around the feeders.
|The guest room awaits.|
In our newly decorated guest room. While it will not be complete when they arrive as the walls will not be painted until after our son-in-law repairs the dry wall, it does look much better from when we first moved in. You may remember pictures of me tearing up the hideously filthy carpet last spring. Well, after the necessary sanitation work to make the house odor free, the two spare bedrooms have been left untouched except to be used for storage for other household projects. But the the guest room is now inhabitable and hopefully comfortable for their stay.
HOW Are We Preparing For Our Guests?
Here is a list of some of our most recent projects:
2. Baby-proofing the rest of the house. We decided it would be easiest to cordon off the laundry/work room with a baby gate. As most of the dangerous to babys stuff is already in that room, we can make the rest of the house safe by moving any other items deemed unsafe to that room a well. Plus, we can install the gate so that there is a few inches of clearance between the floor and the bottom of the gate so the cats can have access to their litter box which is also in that room. It will also give the cats a place to escape to should they for some reason tire of our grandson’s or his dog’s attentions. We also picked up a supply of child-proof drawer latches for various kitchen and bathroom cabinets. I am sure that there will be a couple quick responses to a few missed items soon after our guests arrive, like the oil lantern I just noticed we have sitting on the end table by the sofa. Although we do not need to use the lanterns that we started our off-grid life with, we still use them on occasion for ambiance.
3. Adding another hot water feature in the bathroom. You may recall that Alan installed a hot water heater shower system several months ago as the weather was turning colder and was making room temperature showers an ‘adventure’. Since our grandson takes baths rather than showers, and we thought there would possibly be other needs for hot water where we didn’t want to wait for the time it would take to heat it on the stove, Alan modified the shower’s hot water system to have another option. Besides sending hot water to the shower head, we can now pump water from the storage bottle through the water heater and back into the storage bottle. By cycling the water in this manner we can heat the entire storage bottle of water (about 3 gallons) fairly quickly.
After the ceiling came the floor. Yet another Oops paint, this time a gray floor and porch paint followed by polyurethane (unfortunately not from the Oops shelf but still worth the price for the nice smooth and glossy finish).
|This propane tank feeds the heaters in the two guest rooms.|
So, I have answered the journalistic 5 Ws and a H, which leads to one more W: WHICH aspects of our off-grid life will not be what our first house guests are expecting? I am leaving the answer to that for a guest blog from my daughter which I have asked her to write sometime during their visit. I am just wondering if they are expectations are higher or lower than the reality they will find.
|They have arrived!|
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