Open Door

Open Door
Indianapolis, Indiana

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Road Trip! - Now What?

I'm sure a lot of you are wondering what the mystery is and why we aren't posting like crazy now that Amanda (me!) is back from North Carolina. First I'm going to talk a bit about my trip and then I'm going to explain where it is taking us.

So, the trip! I got up and headed South going through Louisville, where I made a side tour to get some pictures of the Ouerbacker-Clement House. I posted a couple of them on FB and will post the rest here later. The first night I spent in Chattanooga, TN with good friends that I haven't spent nearly enough time with lately. The next morning, I headed on to Gail's house in North Carolina, which was another three hours away.

The welcome I received was beyond kindness. I was treated like family; the Andersons are some very special people. Gail and I then spent the majority of three days going through photo albums, scrapbooks, genealogy and other records. The scanner that I had brought with me wouldn't work. Gail's scanner stopped working just a few documents into the process as well, so we resorted to photographing everything.

I returned home with over four hundred photos of different items. A desk that belonged to George Terrill (owner of the house from 1920 until his death in 1934 when his wife, Mary Amelia, inherited it). A day diary written by Mary Amelia in 1932. Three scrap books that were created by Norma Terrill (George and Mary Amelia's daughter. The scrapbooks do not cover any period that she lived in the Horner House). A box of Havana newspapers from the early 1920's. (Norma lived in Havana and wrote for the newspaper). And a few miscellaneous original documents that are pertinent to the house.

Mary Amelia's Day Diary

One of the complications is that when I was there, I didn't fully understand the significance of the Terrill family's time in Irvington. They actually owned more property than just the Horner House, including rental property. How much property - we are still in the process of researching. At one time they even rented the "castle house", aka the Eudorus Johnson House, which Bill Gulde posted about here: 

As we started figuring all of this out, it became clear that Gail has more information that is pertinent to Irvington and there are people in Irvington that are interested in these pictures, documents, etc. that I didn't bring back in digital form. And Gail is worried about her collection finding a permanent home. So we are in conversations with her and it looks like she will be giving more of her collection into our care later in the Spring. This is a big responsibility for us, as it entails proper conservation and final distribution of all materials already in our possession and any added to what we already have.

So what does that mean, proper conservation and distribution? First, let me point out some issues. One, if you haven't noticed, I'm a bit OCD. (I never would have looked twice at this wreck of a house, as a serious venture, if I weren't a little crazy! :D) Two, I have a responsibility to Gail to do right by her collection, so we have to look at things like copyright before posting pictures, etc. Three, there's a ton of research here and I already have three researchers stepping on each other. We need a database. Like yesterday. Or I'm going to lose things. We've already managed to misplace part of the copy of the abstract (which did not come from Gail) and we can't be losing things from Gail's collection. (See #2!) Four, we have to be proper stewards of this stuff and make sure it is in good condition if any library or museum is going to take it from us. (Again, see #2!)

All of this adds up to the fact that we haven't hardly touched the collection since I have been home. Mostly it has been talking to people like Bill Gulde of Vintage Irvington and Steve Barnett at the Irvington Historical Society and getting guidance. I have also spoken to the head conservator at the Indiana Historical Society and we are researching databases as the one she recommended is currently cost prohibitive. To give you an idea of the level of research that is going into this, the "Manual for Small Archives" which is recommend reading for those with little or no experience, is 204 pages long. It's no small task.

A pile of archival product catalogs given to Amanda by the head of conservation at the Indiana State Historical Society. Thank you ISHS!!!

Within the next few weeks we will have a database chosen and begin the process of cataloging what we have. That task will not be a small one. It is going to take months, and thousands of dollars, to complete all of this work. In the mean time, we still have a number of legal issues to finalize. No respectable museum or library will touch any part of this collection if we do not protect the intellectual property rights correctly. And we have a responsibility to Gail (see #2!) and the Horner House to protect ourselves as well! 

Does this mean that it will be months before we begin sharing the collection? I sure hope not! And I'm 100% certain that my other researchers would be after me with pitchforks if I make them wait months! Okay, that's probably a bit of an exaggeration, but not much!

To sum it up, we are working on this, as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. So as to bring you the best of the Horner House!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Road Trip!

About two months ago I was contacted ago by a member of the Terrill Family. They lived in the house in the early 1900's and are one of the formal names on the house on the National Register of Historic Places listing. (I don't have the exact names of the family and the dates that they lived in the house at my fingertips as they are in the part of my abstract that I seem to have misplaced...)

Getting back to the point, I was contacted by a very nice lady by the name of Gail, who is a descendent of the Terrill family. She lives in North Carolina and has quite a bit of historical information to share with us about the family and some about the house. So... Road trip!

I'm headed to Chattanooga, TN to spend a couple of evenings with some very good friends and then on to meet with Gail! In the meantime. I will leave you with this amazing photo she sent me. It's of a painting that Mabel Terrill did when she was living in the house. Enjoy!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October Update

Today has been a crazzzy day! Papa had his second surgery of the summer, this one on his back. I was running late to meet with him and Mom and getting frustrated with the rain and traffic. But then there was a break in the rain and I saw the most amazing sight. Just ahead was a beautiful double rainbow. One on each side of where the hospital was in the distance. And then I knew that Papa was going to have a good day today. So when I got to a stoplight I grabbed my phone and snapped a picture. By then, the second rainbow had already faded, but that was okay. It was more important to be safe!

  Single rainbow in the distance.

Papa's surgery did go very well. He walked out of the hospital, better than he walked in, and is home recovering. The next month or two he will have to go extra easy, but we have high hopes for his recovery!
Three pictures of my most beloved Papa. The first was taken when he was "little". The second picture is from Christmas of 1984(?) and the last picture is more recent. (Sometime after I got married at least. So that would be within the last 16 years. That's recent!)

The one downside, is that he wasn't able to get over and get my yard cut before the surgery and no mowing allowed for at least three weeks. Eric is going to have to try and borrow the truck and mower and get it done. I wonder if the lawnmower has a headlight? Oh, well, the neighbors probably wouldn't appreciate that anyway. The reason that Papa's been taking care of it is that Eric works every day this time of year. But, he'll have to figure something out before the end of the month. We can't have long grass when the kids come to trick or treat!

We've had a lot of
happen these last couple of months. We've been working on the Bungalow again, trying to get it finished off. Mom and I took a quick trip to West Virginia on weekend to Antiques Roadshow. I got bronchitis and ended up with walking pneumonia, and so was down for several weeks. And we've met several more family members of past owners of the house! There's more to blog about in the coming days and weeks.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Testing Natural Weed Killers - Salt Recipe - Try 2

Test 2 was completed Saturday, August 2, 2014 midday.

I used the same recipe as last time:

4 Gallons Vinegar
4 Cups Rock Salt
1 Cup Blue Original Dawn Liquid

It was a hot day this time and before I was even finished the wilting had begun. I did not get one of the two containers as well mixed as I would have liked (one of the challenges of this recipe) and I did find the next time I went to use the sprayers that one had salt left in the bottom. I think it was the second of the two, which I used mainly on the West Wing ivy and the ivy on the bricks.

Catalpa tree and weeds outside dining room.
Ivy outside dining room.
Ivy on West Wing.
Ivy on brick pile.
Ivy on ground. First picture is rotated so that ivy is along right upper triangle of the picture.

Poison ivy outside of dining room. It may actually be dead. It began pulling away from the wall. Since this picture it has gone totally brown, but it will get sprayed again to make sure it is completely dead.

We plan on spraying this area again this week, as long as the weather holds, and my cough dies down enough that I can get out to do it. But as you can see, the salt recipe is working well, so if it waits a few extra day, I'm not too worried about it!

Testing Natural Weed Killers - Salt Recipe - Try 1

This was applied on July 6th, 2014 in the late evening, just before sunset.

I used:

4 Gallons Vinegar
4 Cups Rock Salt
1 Cup Blue Original Dawn Liquid

This was divided in half in two separate two gallon brand new pump sprayers. It worked pretty well, except for the instructions on the sprayer didn't tell me, and I wasn't smart enough, to tighten the nut down on that held the nozzle in place, so they kept popping off while I was spraying. About halfway through, one of them flew well into one the bushes and I couldn't find it. I had to wait until everything dried out the next day before looking for it. :D

It's also a good thing I wear glasses, as I was spraying high over my head a lot. But, I still ended up with the stuff in my eyes. It burns, but, I survived. You can't do that with Roundup. 

Some Things to Remember:

1. It works best in warm weather.
2. It will continue to work over time, but after a few days new growth will begin too.
3. Suggested application times are several days apart and just after trimming, but not before a rain.
4. It's not Roundup and won't work like it. You can't expect those type of results.

So, here's the results:

 Catalpa tree and weeds outside the dining room.

Ivy outside the dining room.
Ivy on the South side of the West Wing.
Ivy on brick stack.

Poison ivy on dining room.
This was only the first spraying. These pictures were taken about two weeks after I sprayed. It was really cold and rainy for the first five days or so and there was very little change. Then we had a heat wave and things changed more.  
The results of the second spraying are even more drastic. They will be posted shortly!

Testing Natural Weed Killers - An Overview

Earlier this spring Mom began using a new homemade weed killer that she seemed to be having some luck with, and I saw several other versions going around on the internet. I also saw a very intriguing version talked about on a television show that I ran across one day by a T.V. personality who styles himself the "Dirt Doctor." 

We had done quite a bit of clearing along the exterior fences before the leaves came out, but were not able to clear around Toad itself. So I decided that this area of the yard would be a great place to experiment with natural weed killers. It doesn't really matter if we use a salt based solution and over salt the ground, as we will have to do some reconditioning of the ground before planting there in the future. I hope to find something that I can use around the dogs and that will work for me and my allergies. And we hope to kill all of the plants that are damaging the foundation and bricks of Toad Hall in the process. It's a win/win.

So, I found two main recipes that I want to try. Mom's and the Dirt Doctor's. So, Mom's first:

Salt Recipe (Mom's):
1 gallon vinegar
1 cup salt (Not Epsom)
1/4 cup Dawn Dish Soap (Must be original blue Dawn)

Orange Oil Recipe (Modified Dirt Doctor's):  
1 gallon vinegar (the D.D. recommends that you use 10% organic vinegar which is not found in regular stores, which is not what I used)
1oz orange oil
1 teaspoon dish soap (D.D. says any will do, I used Dawn original blue)
1 Tablespoon Molasses

Now, the note on the Dirt Doctor's vinegar. I realized later that he says to use 10% organic vinegar. At some point in the future I will try and find some of this and see if I can find a place of comparable weeds and test it out. I looked it up on the net and it sells for about 4x a gallon what regular vinegar does. So, I need to see if I can find it local and do a trial to see if it's really worth the extra hassle/cost of purchasing it.

So far I have used 4 gallons of vinegar with the salt recipe, on two separate occasions, on the same section of weeds, trees, and ivy. And I have used 4 gallons of vinegar with the orange oil recipe, on one occasion, on an area that is more than double the size of the first area (not very good for scientific method) that includes weeds, trees, and ivy. 

My conclusion is this: If you don't mind salting the ground, which means eventually never having anything grow in that area again (which is not our long term plan), then the salt recipe will work with repeated uses. The closer together the better and the more sun or heat that it can get, the better it will do. I sprayed the first pass of the salt recipe in the late evening and it took it until a hot afternoon before really noticeable differences occurred. Upon the second spraying, which was done in the heat of a hot afternoon, wilting began occurring immediately. And with that batch one of my two jugs did not get mixed thoroughly and had salt left in the bottom. 

BUT I BELIEVE THAT THE ORANGE OIL RECIPE IS THE HANDS DOWN WINNER. Here's why: I sprayed it over a significantly larger area, one that had at least three times the trees and twice the area, the same four gallon mixture, and while it on first glance fell short of miraculous, there were two items that stood out upon examination. First, some of the ivy that was orange and burned was drooping away from the side of the house. It took two rounds of the salt recipe for any of the ivy on the other side of the house to show any drooping, but only one of the orange oil recipe. That was startling. And it was multiple different strands that were drooping. Second was that the grass and clover all around the areas where the orange oil recipe had been sprayed were burned. It was a windy day. The picture below is a close up, so you can see what I am talking about. Nothing like this has ever happened either of the two times that I sprayed the salt recipe, or the one time I used a prototype version that Mom sent home with me. These things combined lead me to believe that the orange oil version is stronger overall.

 Grass and clover that were singed by blowing wind.

To make it easier for you to see/conclude for yourself I going to post my blogs as follows: First, this blog will just be an overview of what I have done with my conclusion of how it all worked. Then I will post separate blogs with before and after pictures (example: Salt Recipe Try 1 or Orange Oil Recipe Try 1). I will continue using the same four gallons at a time of each recipe on each area so that you can see how long it takes to entirely kill what is there.

I have ordered a gallon of orange oil that should arrive this week and I hope to start my second spraying of that area. Considering that I became ill between the first and second spraying of the salt recipe and there was a extended gap, that should only help to make the experiment more equal. I know that I messed it up by covering a larger area with the orange oil recipe, but we'll have to use our imaginations to fill in that gap. :) Very scientific, I know.

FYI, both versions burn a little when you inhale them, but unlike Roundup, you can still breathe afterwards!   

Saturday, August 9, 2014

VFW Post 7403

Today I am going to tell you a tale of legend and mystery.

Back in the hazy summer days when we were waiting not so patiently for the city to do its necessary wheel turning and red-tape cutting, Eric and I crept (furtively) again and again to Toad Hall. Watching. Waiting. Bringing others with us to do necessary work, but trying to stay out of site so that the wheel turning and red-tape cutting would not be somehow compromised and brought to a grinding halt. Every trip to the house we practically held our breath for fear that something would go wrong, and on the days that someone saw us there... Well, I'm not sure how we survived stress of it all.

One particular Sunday Mom and I were there, try to be inconspicuous, when two couples who were out taking a walk saw us and came up to have a chat. And one of the ladies related a tale from her memory. She remembered moving to the neighborhood in the early 1940's as a young woman, a young bride at the time, and she remembered the house being used as a Veterans of Foreign Wars hall. And the tale grew stranger the more she talked. She also remembered that they ran a small tearoom from the home. Talk about your stuff of legends!

We must not have stepped too wrong, for the days and then weeks passed, and eventually we were able to purchase the lovely, sad Toad Hall. And the legend of the VFW has stayed with me and bloomed in my imagination ever since that day. So, on occasion I have tried to track down any leads I can to see if it was just a story or if it's real. 

First, I tried calling the closest VFW Post and asking them if they knew anything. I talked to the historian there and was told that they have been at their location for many years and it could not possibly be them. So, after a cursory check of  the Indianapolis City Directories I felt myself to be at a temporary dead end, and moved on other research for the time being, knowing that eventually I would return to this topic.

Then last week I was going through the abstract again and what did I find? That the information I wanted was available to me all along had I read the abstract more carefully. I could have kicked myself!

Case No. 16 Year 1947 - Variance - Records in the office of the City Plan Commission shows that the Board of Zoning Appeals, at its meeting held January 13, 1947 granted a petition for the existing residence into a club house.

So, after kicking myself I went down to the city county building and asked for Variance  Case Number 16 from 1947. It took them about thirty minutes to pull it up. Which was fine with me, as I went down to the Recorders Office and worked on pulling old deeds for the house while I was there. (That's always gonna take some time!) And when I went back upstairs they had a pile of documents for me. It was all still there! We just had to know what to ask for.

Board of Zoning Appeals, Zoning Board, City of Indianapolis, 304 City Hall, Indianapolis, Ind., Gentleman, This letter is to notify you that I am granting Irvington Post #7403, Veterans of Foreign Wars the privilege to file for zoning on property at 410 South Emerson Avenue, as Post Headquarters as Club.
Indianapolis Irvington Post No 7403, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U. S. 501 Virginia Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana, Gentleman: Permission cannot be given you to convert into a club house the existing residence located on the premises known as 410 South Emerson Avenue, as this would be in violation of the Zoning Ordinance. Very truly yours, Chas, E. Bacon, Commissioner of Buildings 

So the city obviously didn't like Mr. McMillin's letter. As the property owner, he had to be the one to file on behalf of the club on the formal paperwork, which you will see below. The city is sooo picky. :)

Approximate Cost of Proposed Improvement $None, Full Statement of Variation Applied for Under Sec. 23 from the Requirements of Sec. of General Ordinance No. 114, 1922 (Detailed description of variance applied for, with reasons), Our Organization has no meeting place of it's own for business and recreational purposes. We are presently using the Irvington Republican Club twice a month. We have been fortunate in obtaining the above property from Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. McMillin for our proposed Headquarters and Clubhouse. Property to be used exclusively for members of organization. Propose the resale of beer and spirited beverage to members only. Total membership at present - 98, all having served overseas in World War II. The above information, to my knowledge and belief is true and correct. Indianapolis, Irvington Post #7403, VFW (Signature something Poland?) Quartermaster, Indpls, Irvington, Post No. 7403Veteran of Foreign Wars of the U. S., State of Indiana County of Marion, Subscribed and sworn before me this 28th day, of December, 1946 (Signature Glenn C. Martin?) Notary Public My commission expires June 27, 1949, A Fee of $3.50 TO BE PAID TO THE CITY CONTROLLER MUST ACCOMPANY THIS APPLICATION TO OFFSET THE COST OF ADVERTISING, (GENERAL ORDINANCE No. 6,1934)

Notice - This application must be TYPEWRITTEN, accompanied by the information specified on the reverse side and filed at least ten (10) days prior to date of meeting. Case No. 16-V-47 U 1A 2 H 1  CITY OF INDIANAPOLIS BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS 304 CITY HALL, Application for Variation from the Requirements of the Zoning Ordinance, Name of Applicant Indianapolis Irvington Post No. 7403 Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, Phone No Fr 2494, Applicant Address 301 Virginia Avenue, Indianapolis, Name of Owner Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. McMillin, Address 530 Kentucky Avenue, Indianapolis, Premises affected, Street and No 410 South Emerson, Between Brookville Road St and English Avenue St, Lot No 1 in Downey and Brouse's Addition, Lot Size 185.55x186.6x138.55.178.3, Fronting on Emerson Avenue St, Date Property was Purchased Option to purchase in one year, nature and size of improvements now existing on lot 3 story house and barn barn - 20' x 26' house 44' x 60'

    This is a blurry map of the corner.    

The above three photos are the application documents for the variance. As you can see, they were asking for the house to be used as a "clubhouse" for VFW Post 7403 and to be allowed to sell alcohol to their members. They had 98 members at the time. Wow! The application had tons of hidden gems of information in it. :)
I'm not even going to try and interpret this thing. Even my copy isn't very legible. The lovely gentleman at the Department of Metropolitan Development said that he believes that it was the notice sent out to the neighbors, but that this is the best copy he could get me. Hey, that's okay! He was very nice and didn't complain once that I was in there at the end of the day!  


The above two photos are what we believe were sent to the neighboring property owners. It's a standard legal part of any zoning change to let adjoining property owners have a chance to remonstrate. Not everyone would want up to 98 people showing up next door drinking. Personally, I understand that the VFW is more than that, but not everyone has spent time researching it so they may not know as much about it as I have learned.
January 15, 1947, 16-V-47, Indianapolis Irvington Post No. 7403 Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. 501 Virginia Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana, Gentleman, The Board, of Zoning Appeals, at its regular meeting January 13, 1947, reviewed your petition for the conversion of the existing residence into a club house at 410 South Emerson Avenue. Being fully advised in the matter, it was the finding of the Board that this proposed conversion is in general keeping with and appropriate to the uses of buildings authorized in the district involved, and the Board, therefor, approved the petition, subject to the following provisions; The building shall be subject to all the requirements of the Building code. Respectfully yours, secretary, BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS

Once the correct paperwork went through they got their club house approval! So the Horner House was used as VFW Post 7403! It's NOT legend! It's HISTORY!!!



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Project Plan

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the “early days” of this project. Between meeting a lot of new people and being asked the inevitable, “How did this all start?” or, “What caused you to buy this/do this?” question, and talking to a friend who is hoping to move home and buy an old house, it’s been on my mind. And one thing became clear to be me. Even though we’ve told the story of Mom running in to the office and telling Eric and I that we were going to be buying a house, it doesn’t really tell the full story of how this project got off the ground.

After Mom first came in and I saw that the Horner House was for sale, I called Chad Lethig and asked him a few general questions about the property and got a bit more information than what was on the Indiana Landmarks webpage. We spoke for less than five minutes and while the information was intriguing, it was still more of a fantasy than anything else at that point. But it stayed with me over the next few days and the fantasy grew into a “what if”, and then a “why not”, and then it blended into the old dream of rehabbing an old house until the really hard question popped up.

How? How do we make this possible?

And when I began to answer that question is when the real trouble started. Because that was the moment we began walking down this road in earnest. The first thing we did was spend several hours crawling all over the property and inspecting every inch of the outside of the house that we could see from ground. We also began researching grants, loans, and other sources of funding, doing what digging we could into preservation as well as making further calls to Landmarks and making an appointment to see the inside of the house.

 Picture taken inside the house on our first trip. This is the upstairs hall looking at the stairs. Notice the pile of plaster on the floor in the corner.

 This picture was also taken on our first trip through the house. This is looking out the door of the upstairs bedroom into the West Wing. Notice the radiator and the refrigerator. Both are now gone. The refrigerator was stolen by scrappers and the radiator was moved to the garage for safekeeping, where it still was when the garage was burned down.

During one of our calls with Chad he mentioned a set of documents that are created and updated by the National Park Service called the Preservation Briefs. There are 47 different documents, all but five having information that was pertinent to the Horner House. (For example The Preservation and Reuse of Historic Gas Stations was not something that we felt would be very helpful to us.) I printed and hole punched all forty-two documents filling three separate three ring binders, which we all passed among us and immediately read through. While these documents don’t tell you how to do the work, they do give a good overview of a lot of the pitfalls that those who are not knowledgeable in preservation will make.

After all of the trips to the site, conference calls, meetings between Eric, me, and my parents, hours of reading and research, we began work on our proposal for Indiana Landmarks. They asked for a comprehensive plan as to how we were going to restore the house and to what condition to be submitted for review before they would intervene with the city. So, we created a 21 page document with a 68 page addendum that included 77 pictures and a copy of a brochure on one of the proposed roofing systems. The almost funny part of this is that this proposal is only a very general one. J

But we did put a lot of thought and man hours into this plan, and while we have already run into quite a few unexpected problems and the timeline has been blown totally out of the water, we are still going to be working toward the same final goal of returning the Horner House to a solid and beautiful addition to the community.


I will be uploading the project plan to its own page, but it might take a couple of days to get the addendum with the pictures added as the formatting on it is not going to translate to this format easily.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Yard Sale - More Details

SATURDAY JUNE 7th 8:00AM to 5:00PM
SUNDAY JUNE 8th 8:00AM to 4:00PM

410 South Emerson Avenue
(On the corner of Brookville and Emerson) 

Architectural Salvage
Miniature Aircraft Models
And More

 Here's some additional things that I can think of:
Two very old front doors. One mostly glass.
Old wood windows and shutters.
Vintage clock.
Very old glass bottles.
Misc. rugs. Some high quality. Some not.
Old phonogragh (non-working).
 Singer sewing machine.

And Much Much More!!!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Yard Sale

On June 7th and 8th we will be have a giant YARD SALE at Toad Hall. But not your average sale. We will start with the architectural salvage and antiques that the prior owner had stored inside the Horner House. Added to that will be some additional architectural salvage, antiques, and other high end items. 

As we get closer to the date we'll have more details and more and better pictures. For now here's a brief look at what's in store:

The picture is a bit blurry, but we have a number of radiators and they are engraved.

 The arched window is a storm window for Toad Hall and will not be sold, but the rest of the panes of glass are all going to be available.  

A lovely claw foot tub!

 This is an old stove. We have stoves of several ages.

We hope to see you all on the 7th & 8th!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

To Mow or Not to Mow...

When I was a child we called our parents Mom and Dad. But we were lucky children whose parents read to them often, and one of my favorites was the Bernstein Bears. Because of that I took to calling my own father Papa Bear which I have done, on occasion, all of my life. Then, when my niece came along, she chose Papa as the designator for my Dad, and I began calling him Papa more often than not.

Well, Papa came over yesterday with his lovely big Dixie Chopper to mow my yards for me. Eric and I are very grateful to him for bringing it over every other week all summer long and keeping our yards mowed for us. Unfortunately, his lovely Chopper had a bit of a mishap and broke a belt. Now the yard looks like it has half a Mohawk, but hey, we’re not winning any beauty pageants any time soon anyway.

From this angle it is hard to see, but the yard in front of the Bungalow is done and there are a couple of stripes on the utility strip clean, but most of the yard is still overgrown.

On another note, we had to have Lee’s Complete Drain Service back out. The main line backed up again, just a week after the first experience. They came out on a Saturday morning, early and got us working again. Our current water use is extremely low and there is some problem with the main line where it runs under the house. So, since Lee’s doesn’t have a camera to see what the exact issue is we have to increase our water use.

Spring has hit with and we are back to long days and longer to do lists. More soon!


Well, I had to leave to meet someone to do some work at the BG house before I could upload the picture and post this. And while I was gone Papa fixed his Chopper and snuck in and mowed. So at least that part is done! The trimming still needs to be done, but with the spotty weather this week it might be a few days before we we get completely cleaned up.