Wednesday, January 14, 2015

In Comes the Arctic

Here it is. The first days of real winter finally hitting. After such horrendous snow last year, we have had a really mild time of it this year, so far.
The last two nights have been brutal; sub zero and windy.

We have relied pretty much on the wood stove for heat, but have just been using the wood that was already lying about. We did finally fire up the furnace just before Christmas, as we were headed out of town to spend a couple of days with my daughters family and the grand kids, as well as two of my other boys.

We had a nice time, got home and settled in for a quiet New Years Eve. We actually stayed awake until midnight. :-) All was well with our little world.

January 2 things changed a bit. We were relaxing and reading after dinner, when the furnace made a strange sound, and blew out some K-1 fumes and expired. We looked at each other with that "you've got to be kidding me" look and jumped to see what was up. We opened the door like something might bite us, and tentatively pushed the reset button. It coughed (literally) it's diesel breath at us and ran for about all of 30 seconds and stopped again. Friday night. Go figure.

We assessed our woodpile to see what was usable and opted to wait until Monday morning to call the fuel company to come back and see what was happening. Of course, they were flat out with calls, as everyone seemed to have a furnace problem at that moment.

The tech got here Tuesday morning  (we were a bit groggy after a night of keeping the wood stove fed) and of course the blasted thing fired up and he just made a minor fuel adjustment. We were very happy campers. Heat with a flick of the wrist. Heaven. Unfortunately, heaven only lasted a matter of hours. Back he came again. This time, the verdict was to replace the pump, as it was the original. At forty five years old, I guess it didn't owe us anything at this point. As it turns out, the tech has his own business on the side, so we opted hire him to replace the unit for us at a much lower price. we are. It came in at nine below zero last night. The pipes partially froze and finally thawed at about two this afternoon. Thank God. We are steadfastly  stuffing only partially seasoned wood into the stove for another day until the tech can come give the ol' Miller furnace a makeover.

Starting to prime the walls. Underneath the filthy carpet
that we took up the sub-floor was in good shape.
A couple of coats of  primer in place and an
inexpensive rug for the time being. We were so
fortunate that this Skandia was already in place.
We've only just begun, I'm sure. Who said that
camping isn't fun?!

Stay tuned for the next update

from.......Our Vintage Villa

Toni and Will

The Journey Begins

Welcome to Our Vintage Villa.  The "Villa" that is about to undergo a complete renovation inside and out.

We purchased the Villa in the last part of October 2014, after a summer spent camping in our 1971 Airstream in a lovely campground on the peninsula where we live in Maine. We are newly married and in our early sixties, so we decided to live as simply and economically as possible going forward. Before we got married, I had in mind to rent a friends house in the fall, but since employment in this tourist area isn't too great in the winter, it would have been an iffy thing to take on. The rent was high, not to mention the cost of heating.

About the time we were getting a bit panicked about the winter, the man that my husband worked with for the summer learned from a family friend of his of a mobile home that would be going up for sale in a small local park. The person, who was a  a realtor,  lived across  from the place, and would be the listing broker.

I admit; my first thought was: no way.  I want to live in a house. After I had a chance to think about it, I realized it was the smart thing  to do, (much to my husband's relief). We could own a home for just a little money and only have a small lot rent to pay.  We would be debt free and able  "get out of Dodge" with our Airstream for a few months  when the real winter hit.  Hm.  Maybe not so bad after all.

We purchased the place as is for $2000.00, and paid the entrance fees and set to work.  The interior of the place was trashed. Unfortunately the previous owner didn't make a lot of good lifestyle choices and it showed. The up side is that is was solid, sat on a really nice lot, and had a garage/workshop that had been built along side. The roof was in really good shape, and a fairly new and solid deck ran pretty much the length of the back also.

The interior, well I really have no words.  The first thing that we had to do is bomb the inside before we could even work, because of flea infestation. Once that was accomplished, we set about ripping out all of the filthy carpets down to the plywood sub-floor, which had been replaced not all that long ago.

The next project was to buy GALLONS of primer and set to work. That was the easy part. Our main criteria was to get it clean enough to be livable before the cold weather hit. There were  a lot of other things such as broken doors, cleaning the furnace (which had been run out of oil) the bathroom (ugh!) etc., as well as getting the grime of who knows  how long out of the kitchen. It's amazing what a difference just the primer makes!

The exterior will be the summers project. Though the battleship gray isn't too attractive, we can certainly get by for the winter. we are and it is January 1st, 2015. We have been in here for a couple of months after a marathon and help from some great friends. We are "buttoned up" for the winter, and now able to pick away at the inside during the cold months.
From here forward I will bring you back to the beginning with pictures (before/after) and as we proceed pecking away at it over the winter and beyond.

Enjoy,  and thanks for tuning in!

Toni and Will