It’s a house!
Lot’s has happened, but I haven’t been posting. Every time I sit down at the computer, which is now all set up in the “almost put away” office, I find something else that needs doing more. I’ve come to the conclusion that will always be the case, and I must ignore the urge to fix it right now. The awning was put in last Monday! And the week before that, the skirting. So, I’m living in a dwelling that now looks like a house, rather than a double-wide on stilts. I’m sure the neighbors are happier … I know park management is!
Next Big Challenge — The Deck and the yard
After Nathan and Brian put in the skirting, I asked Nathan if he was available to do the deck. I don’t know any contractors well, and I’m not really sure what I can afford. And, to top it off, the Skyline rep that came by two weeks ago, said that while he can build a deck well, if he was putting in his own deck, he’d have Nathan do it. Nathan took some measurements, and based on what I thought I wanted, he came up with this preliminary drawing. He gave me a rough idea of the amounts of base materials, and we said we’d talk more about it when he put in the awning.
My nemesis, the tree, is that little round circle by the stairs.
That was Thursday. Then on Monday, Char came up. She is a professional landscape designer, and we did a whole lot of measuring and talking. She had some much better suggestions. First of all, she suggested, that (as the park told me, as long as I stay 3′ from the property line, I could deck the whole front yard if I wanted) we bring the deck out 10′ from the front entrance of the house down to about 2′ past the door. That would give room for a table and chairs. Also, she suggested a much narrower set of stairs coming down from the prow end that would end on smaller platform type deck that would have three steps coming down from the top deck, to a wider couple of stairs that would meet with the path (concrete or pavers) from the sidewalk. This would more clearly delineate the front entrance.
When Nathan and Brian came back a week later to put in the awning, I asked about the deck, and there was some hemming and hawing. He said he’s busy, probably wouldn’t be until the summer, etc. I kinda got the feeling that he was reluctant to do it. But … I have a plan.
Home Depot has this seemingly amazing free deck design software. I say seemingly, because it doesn’t work with a Mac. Even though I have Parallels, and have updated all the Windows stuff, I can’t get it to work. So Tuesday or Wednesday, off to the library I go, and see if I can turn Char’s drawing into a visual plan, with a pricing list. If I can get a better plan, with a list of materials, and work with Nathan via email to get everything onsite and ready for him, maybe I can convince him to come up, for a weekend, and build it. Maybe I should throw in a Sat. night at the Sonoma Mission Inn so he can bring his new bride, too.
I’ve been collecting ideas, colors and materials things on my “Deck Ideas” Pinterest board. Basically, I want a light grey (driftwoody) color for the decking. Seed Pearl (same color as house trim) for the riser boards (so you can see where you’re stepping), and some type of railing, at least at the prow end, that doesn’t obstruct the view. Also, the prow end (street-facing facade), by “new” park rules (within last 10 years, not original homes) must have a stone facia of some type. I found FauxPanels.com that might have the materials to provide that stone facia and/or siding relatively inexpensively … relatively, being a relative term when you’re building something, as I have found out.
More to come …
And now, to the actual living here, the good stuff!
I’ve really REALLY been enjoying my new home. The first time that Sarah came over for dinner, and saw the place mostly put together, (no work, no moving, no organizing) she said “Mom, this place really feels like home.” And it does. I love puttering around. Ok, so maybe I’m not in a rush to put things away, but it’s all good. It feels good.
Vintage House is a Senior Center in Sonoma, and they had a focus group here at the park a week ago. They broke us up into age groups (whew, I was in the younger group), and asked us questions about this “third act” of our lives. I said I hoped it was a six-act play! But they have lots of programs, and some fun things, and it’s definitely worth exploring.
Farmer’s Market: There is a year-round Farmer’s Market at the west end of town, in Arnold Park. It’s more like the Saturday, Larkspur Landing Farmer’s market in Marin; maybe not so many vendors, but there are outstanding quality items that represent the diversity of products grown and raised here … seasonal produce, fruit, eggs, nuts, olive oil, meat (grass-fed, no hormones), fish, and other interesting vendors. A guy drags his own wood-fired oven around, baking fresh bread and pretzels. There is also a company just getting started, called Physis, selling organic soups and stocks, that are delish. I bought this HUGE sweet onion, some grass-fed beef stock, local balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic and made this French onion soup last night. It was REALLY good. Glad I have some for lunch today!