Chronicling the cleanup and restoration of our house and property in northern Michigan

Chronicling the cleanup and restoration of our house and property in northern Michigan

Monday, March 29, 2010

March Madness!

As planned, we headed on up this past weekend.  Before we could hit the road I had a 7:00 AM meeting to attend for work, which finished up around 8:30.  I headed back to the house, hitched up the trailer, and loaded up and tarped the sofa bed.  Rain was heading our way, and I didn't want to undo all of the cleaning I had put into the couch.  Shelly arrived home around 9:30 after finishing up her paper route, and we were on the road by 10:30. As I mentioned in the last update, we were being joined on this trip by our good friends Bob & Melanie.  We met up with them in Toledo and rode up the rest of the way together.  One of the Motorola shops I work with in Toledo allowed us to leave Bob & Mel's car in their lot for the weekend...very cool of them.  After dropping off their car and loading their luggage into the Explorer we headed to Tony Packo's for lunch.  Oh, yeah...M.O.A.D. baby!  (Mother Of All Dogs)

After lunch we all hit the road for Shangri La, glad to be together.  We hadn't seen the Novaks since the cruise in January, so we were enjoying getting caught up.  About an hour from Shangri La we stopped for dinner in Atlanta, at a bar that Shelly and I had found on one of our explorations.  The Know Good Bar has the River Burger, and I strongly recommend that you try it if you're ever in Atlanta, MI.  All beef patty, sauteed mushrooms and onions, mozzarella cheese, and pizza sauce.  I know, I know...but it's WAYYYY better than it sounds.

We arrived at Shangri La at around 8:30 PM, unloaded the Explorer, started a fire, showed Bob & Mel around a bit, and then relaxed until bedtime.  Shelly and I had been up since 4:20 AM, so we were set for crashing early.

Up and at it on Friday, as this was to be the work day.  The plan was to bust our butts on Friday, then play all day on Saturday.  :)  Shelly and Mel had a plan to tackle the clearing and organizing of the hallway and bedroom closets.  Bob & I were clearing out half of the basement, and some other odds and ends.

We had hauled up a sofa bed, so Bob and I started by unloading it off of the trailer and moving it into the living room.

In the basement there was still a sizable pile of "stuff" that needed to be hauled off.  With it being Friday the landfill was open, so Bob & I hauled everything out and loaded up the trailer to make a run.  A full load of the trailer pretty much cleared all of the crap out of the basement, and also any junk from the closets that Shelly and Mel were tearing into.  The landfill is less than a half hour away, so Bob & I headed there while Shelly and Mel kept at the closets.  After getting back we gathered the ladies and headed into Rogers City.  Bob & I needed to hit the hardware store, and Shelly and Mel the grocery and dollar stores.

The first thing on the agenda for Bob & I when getting back to the house was to flush out the hot water heater.  Bob and I picked up some clear tubing and a fitting to make a hose for flushing it out into a floor drain.  We hooked it up and got it draining.  Immediately some brown "goo" came out, so we knew we weren't wasting our time.  We left it to drain and started work on moving the pile of lumber from out of the basement and into the rafters in the barn.  We moved all of the wood out, and then separated out the good stuff from the stuff destined for the burn pile.  We then moved it all over to the barn.  Bob then had a good idea that killed two birds with one stone.  We had a pile of planking in the barn that we had no use for, and Bob suggested we use it to make a loft in the rafters of the make piling the wood from the basement that much easier and safer.  Here's the final product of the half of the basement, and of the pile of wood in the barn rafters.

Shelly's brother had brought his 16' aluminum boat up to the house back in October, and we had been storing it in the barn to keep it out of the weather.  It was taking up a bit too much room, so we set to tarping it.  We had bought some 1/2 inch PVC while at the ACE Hardware in Rogers City to make some bows to hold the tarp keep rain from collecting on it.  It came out pretty well, and it's now out of the barn and parked in what is becoming the trailer parking area.

The ladies did a stellar job on the closets.  The hallway closet, which was mostly filled with ammunition and assorted junk, is now our linen closet.  Both of the bedroom closets are completely cleared out as well.  They had also made some taco soup that had been simmering in the crock pot all day long.  OUTSTANDING!

Saturday , and this was our day for play.  The plan:  Geocaching and eating at local dives!  We had a great day of hiking and sight seeing, and some great food at some local haunts.  Manzana's deli in Onaway has some AWESOME sandwiches, and the pizza and salads from Wood Winds restaurant in Onaway were top notch.  We took the pizza back to the house, and had dinner while watching movies.  We took the following pics while we were out and about.

Ocqueoc Falls
Ocqueoc River
Ocqueoc River
Ocqueoc Falls
Melanie and Shelly
Ocqueoc River
Bob at boat ramp in Onaway State Park, on Black Lake
Black Lake
Black Lake

On Sunday we loaded up and headed back to Ohio.  Man, did we hate for the weekend to have to end.  We dropped Bob & Mel off in Toledo at their car, stopped by my office back in Columbus to pick up my new laptop which had returned from imaging, and arrived back home around 6:00 PM.  The boys came out and helped us offload and put the trailer away.  After that...just a nice relaxing evening with the boys.

It's looking like our next trip up will be at the end of April.  Until then...well, that's it.  Until then.  ;) :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Heading Up Next Week!

We're finally heading back up to Shangri La.  It'll be about two months since our last visit, and for me it's loooong overdue.  I'm really missing it.  The more we go up there, the more like a home it becomes.  It occurred to me that my mood about not being up there in so long is a bit over the top, and I really couldn't figure out what to attribute it to.  It just occurred to me that I've felt like this before, whenever traveling for work.  DUDE!  I'M HOMESICK!  That's seriously messed up.  We have a beautiful home in Ohio.  We have great neighbors that look out for us.  We have a number of close friends, and are involved in the community.We're extremely happy!  So, why is it that I'm pining away for that little place in Ocqueoc? 

We're eventually going to move up there, but that's not going to happen for a while.  We need to get Kyle through high school, and figure out what he's doing for college.  Then, unless I win at Lotto, I'll need to find work up there.  I need to cool my jets, and just look forward to and enjoy the visits up there.  The time until when we're moving up there will pass quickly enough.  Cool my jets...yeah...that's what I need to do...

This trip is going to be a bit different, and special.  Our very good friends Bob & Melanie are making the trip with us.  They will be the first of our friends to see Shangri La.  We're going to head out on Thursday and stay through to Sunday.  I have a few things that I want to get done while there, but we really want to have a good time with Bob & Mel while they're there with us.  We're going to show them the area, and probably do some geocaching.  

We were given a sofa bed that'll be making the trip up, and will likely be going in the spare bedroom.  The futon currently in there we'll take apart and store, for eventual set up in the basement once we get it livable.  Because we'll be there on a week day I want to take advantage of the land fill being open.  We have a bunch of "stuff" in the basement that needs to go, so I want to haul off a trailer full.  One other item on the list is to flush out the hot water heater.  When we replaced the toilet wax ring the last time up I removed about an inch deep of sediment from the toilet tank.  It's well water, so I guess that's to be expected...right?  It got me to thinking about the hot water heater, and how much sediment might be sitting in the bottom of it.  Considering how quickly we're running out of hot water, I've got a feeling it's going to be quite a bit.  So, I'm going to hit the Ace Hardware in Rogers City and buy some clear hose and some fittings, to run a drainage hose to run to floor drain.  I want to get clear hose so that I can see what's coming out, and when it's coming out clear.

As usual, I'll report back here with our progress and post pics.  Talk to you next week!