Newest life journey – week one cabin update

Image result for quotes keys

newest life journey
Key to cabin, Photo by slc

Day #2  This key finally opened the locked well-worn cabin door and now I hold the key to my newest life journey!

Today, I pulled thistles, raked and picked up bags and bags of small tree limbs and dry tall grasses before my son-in-law arrived to help with grass trimming around the 3/4 acre property.  He also removed cabinet doors from inside the cabin.  We wanted to open up everything so we could set off a Raid Max Deep Reach Fogger before we left for the day.  Several unwanted creatures live in old, abandoned mountain cabins.  Mice and squirrels have left signs of their visits to my cabin but the most unwanted creatures right now are the black widow spiders; we found two today.

newest life journey
1945 Magazine, Photo by slc

We also found a treasure today: an August 1945 edition of the We The People of North Carolina magazine.  In it are some pretty interesting articles.  One titled “Teachers’ New Salary Schedule” describes “minimum state salary schedule adopted for payment of all teachers next year, both white and Negro.”  A teacher with a graduate degree and two years experience would receive an annual salary of $1,487 which “includ(es) the $120 war bonus.”

Other articles titled “An Overall Picture of War-Time America” and “Federal Spending Down” reflect America’s history back in 1945.  The magazine was in good condition and made for fascinating reading at the end of the day.

Day #3

newest life journey
Permit, Photo by slc

I didn’t get up to the cabin today but I did attend a gathering of Big Thompson Canyon residents to pick up a permit.  The Canyon will be closed October 2nd for winter CDOT construction projects which are necessary to repair damage sustained in the 2013 Big Thompson River flooding.  According to CDOT’s press release the permit will “allow canyon residents living within the closure boundaries access” during the “large-scale closure.”

My cabin happens to be on the other side of the road closure but I was able to get a permit so I at least have limited access through the Canyon.  I can also access the cabin at other times but by a much further route through Lyons and Estes Park.  This closure will cause us to halt most work on the cabin as contractors will charge more to deal with the closure/permit situation.

The Canyon road, Highway 34, will reopen Memorial Day weekend 2018.

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Cabin Day #1 – My Side of the Mountain

cabin day 1
slc

You may remember I put a contract on a “fixer upper” cabin in early August.  These past few weeks I have read various library books about cabins.  Building, designing and living life in a cabin.  My favorite title was Cabin Porn, Inspiration for Your Quiet Place Somewhere by Steven Leckart, but one of the most interesting I read was Cabin Lessons, A Nail-by-Nail Tale by Spike Carlsen.

I have also contacted a credit union for a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) loan, the county building department about future building permits, a structural engineer for an Improvement Location Certificate (ILC), a stone mason to look at the condition of the stone fireplace and foundation, and an asbestos testing company which took 20 samples (one positive).  In between making these contacts, I read extensive government documents regarding fire mitigation, asbestos testing requirements and demolition guidelines.

On September 5th I closed on the HELOC loan and on September 8th I closed on the cabin property.  It was a childhood dream to live in a cabin in the mountains some day.  Ever since reading one of my favorite books My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George.  That day has come.

Today, I drove about 40 minutes from my home in Loveland up to the property in Glen Haven to begin work on my “fixer upper.”  Needless to say, it wasn’t exactly what I dreamed of…

I was a little out of breath in the video from cutting and hauling tree limbs to the slash pile for almost four hours at 7400 feet above sea level.  I also didn’t have cell service to call anyone for help.  More cabin updates to come…

 

“Walk faster to help stay healthy”

walk faster
Click to Get Active 10 App

Older Adults Advised to Walk More Briskly

By Roberta Alexander, Healthline

September 6, 2017

Experts say exercise starts to decline as people surpass the age of 40, so they have some tips on how to make your daily walk more effective.

“An entire industry has grown up around walking, a skill most of us mastered by the time we celebrated our first birthday.

There are coaches, expensive shoes, and digital equipment to measure how hard your body is working, how much ground you have covered, and how far you have gone.

Meanwhile, some public health officials in England have weighed in on the subject of walking speed.

And brisk is in.

Middle-aged people are being urged to walk faster to help stay healthy.

This comes amid concerns that high levels of inactivity may be harming the health of older adults.

Exercise fades with age

Officials at Public Health England (PHE) say the amount of activity people engage in starts to tail off after the age of 40.

Just 10 minutes a day could have a major impact, they say, and reduce the risk of early death by 15 percent.

PHE officials estimate four out of every 10 people from 40 to 60 years of age do not manage a brisk 10-minute walk even once a month.

They want to reverse those statistics.

And, not surprisingly, it turns out there’s an app for that.”

Read more and get the free app today!

Precious heirlooms or just stuff?

precious heirlooms
etsy.com

Three sets of flatware (we called it silverware when I was growing up). Each was service for eight in a wooden box. My daughter inherited these beautiful sets from her paternal grandmother and great-grandmother, but she doesn’t know what to do with them.  One set is silver the other two are sterling silver; one of those is a like new set.  She asked me what she should do with all of these heirlooms.  Should she keep them in the trunk she also inherited to pass on to her children or sell them?

The following article from Tom Verde might provide some answers to those of us wanting to pass on family heirlooms to our children…

Aging Parents With Lots of Stuff, and Children Who Don’t Want It

August 18, 2017, The New York Times

“Mothers and daughters talk about all kinds of things. But there is one conversation Susan Beauregard, 49, of Hampton, Conn., is reluctant to have with her 89-year-old mother, Anita Shear: What to do — eventually — with Mrs. Shear’s beloved set of Lenox china?

Ms. Beauregard said she never uses her own fine china, which she received as a wedding gift long ago. ‘I feel obligated to take my mom’s Lenox, but it’s just going to sit in the cupboard next to my stuff,’ she said.

The only heirlooms she wants from her mother, who lives about an hour away, in the home where Ms. Beauregard was raised, are a few pictures and her mother’s wedding band and engagement ring, which she plans to pass along to her son.

So, in a quandary familiar to many adults who must soon dispose of the beloved stuff their parents would love them to inherit, Ms. Beauregard has to break it to her mother that she does not intend to keep the Hitchcock dining room set or the buffet full of matching Lenox dinnerware, saucers and gravy boats.”

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“Adventure is out there”

I watched the wonderful Disney Pixar movie “UP” for the first time Saturday evening with my three grandchildren. They picked it out.  It is a touching love story about dreams and adventures.  Part way through my almost four-year-old grandson Dylan looked up at me and sweetly said, “I hope you never die Nannie.”  I hugged him and reassured him by saying, “I don’t plan to anytime soon.”

If you haven’t seen this animated movie, here is a preview of the love story that begins the adventure.  Losing a spouse is sad, but life and adventure goes on.  It is an inspirational movie.  (Note:  The book title in English reads: My Adventure Book.)

If you have seen the movie, please leave me a comment with your thoughts.

LLR’s First Anniversary

Retirement is very much about building a new life, mostly from the ground up and usually without much help.  That’s what makes it such a challenge.

Today, is the first anniversary of the launching of the Living Life Retired (LLR) website.  It is also my 58th birthday.  I was reluctantly invited into retirement two years ago when I found myself in an uncomfortable work situation with few options.  I took early retirement as a “way out” and a new challenge began.  first anniversary

Retirement is definitely an adjustment.  The authors of The Retirement Maze: What You Should Know Before and After You Retire describe retirement as having four phases: honeymoon, disenchantment, reorientation and stability.  After two years, I believe I have recently entered the stability stage.

“Through the process of reorientation, retirees eventually come to terms and feel comfortable with the idea of being retired.  At this point, the retiree has developed an alternative lifestyle that does not include work as a primary component.  In addition, he or she will have abandoned the work role as a primary means of self-definition.  New roles and patterns of living are likely to have developed, with routines and goals established to provide meaning and direction to their lives.”

Over this past year as the founder and author of LLR, I have learned more than just WordPress in an attempt to provide inspiration and information to the solo retirement community.  I have learned about myself and I what it means to be happy in retirement.  Spending time making memories with my grandchildren, corresponding with former students on Facebook, helping others in my neighborhood, writing, flowers,

first anniversary<This magnet on my refrigerator says it all.  The simple message is how I am trying to live my life in retirement.

What makes me happy on this special anniversary and birthday? Spending time with my three grandchildren while making memories, writing, photography, corresponding with former students on Facebook, planting flowers, helping people in my community, and hiking.  I thank God for these opportunities and blessings and I look forward to the challenges for growth ahead.

Thank you for being a part of it all!

 

“Do you have the guts to take on a fixer upper?”

Joanna and Chip Gaines begin their hit show Fixer Upper on HGTV each week with that question.  I love their show and others which depict people taking on a fixer upper property and making it into something wonderful.  You might say I’m addicted!

taking on a fixer upper
Photo by slc

So, to answer the question, “Do you have the guts to take on a fixer upper?”  My answer is yes, I do!  This week I successfully negotiated a contract on a fixer upper in the mountains about 40 minutes from my home.

The original cabin with a stone fireplace was built in 1938.  It is a one room structure built on a stone foundation.  In 1989, former owners crudely built an attached two-story addition to the cabin.  This addition was not permitted and later deteriorated beyond livability.  The cabin has electricity but no running water or septic.  It has a primitive outhouse up the hill for the owner’s convenience.

So why am I buying this property?

First, I can afford it and it is a good investment.  The property was listed “as is” for $98,900.  I offered $85,000 and the sellers accepted.  Other fixer uppers we have looked at have been listed around $200,000 with major work needed. Mountain properties in the area typically go for $120,000 and up for smaller lots and cabins.  Once I fix this property up as now planned, we could probably list it for over $200,000.  The financial risk of taking on a fixer upper at this price is fairly minimal.

Second, it could become a source of income.  I am hopeful demolition, rebuilding and restoration will be completed by about August 1st next year.  At that time, I would like to offer it as a Vacation Rental By Owner, VRBO.  The property is near the Estes Park area and I would market it to people who are looking for a quiet place in the woods for their short-term stay.

taking on a fixer upper
photo by slc

Next, the thought of being the general contractor on this project is exciting.  I have already learned a lot from visiting with the planners at the county building department, a structural engineer and visiting websites on codes, permits and even sealed vaults for septic.   Designing the new structure will probably be my favorite part of the process.  I have already drawn a rough sketch of the proposed layout of the new addition.  Fun stuff!

Lastly, I have always (since about seventh grade) wanted a home in the woods.  Since moving to Colorado over 20 years ago I have wanted a  cabin in the mountains.  Since I have a passion for taking on a fixer upper and I have always wanted a cabin in the woods, this one is a pretty good fit.

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