Sunday, March 30, 2014

2014-3 My Sister Dorothy Moves to Florida

Dorothy, showing off the new ceiling, walls and flooring

Big News.  

Dorothy moves from Lower Michigan to Florida.

The Big Move

Well it’s the last two weeks of March and I’ll be heading out the 1st of April.  I’ve delayed my winter exit since my sister Dorothy has sold her home in Michigan and has purchased a home in the small town of St Cloud Florida.  I thought I could help her with the moving in process but as it turns out it’s more of a how much can me demolish before rebuilding, repainting etc.  Now don’t get me wrong, the carpeting does need to be replaced and the kitchen was very old and dated so those things did need to be addressed.  But it seems I’ve been out of the actual housing market for a while and had no idea how horrifying it is to have popcorn ceilings.  Dorothy’s new home of course has popcorn ceilings.  Perfectly white, great condition, not a stain on them but none the less they are the “old fashioned” popcorn ceilings of the 1960s and simply had to be stripped.  Now for me, I hate replacing or re-doing anything that is still serviceable and works.  I see dollar signs going up everywhere as the ceilings are stripped and will need to be prepped and painted a new and it sounds like she will also have the painters re-paint the walls as well.  Not sure why as they don‘t need to be painted, but it makes sense to her and her family.

pictures before the renovation begins
wall cut out, spraying ceiling to remove popcorn ceiling

When I first visited the new home before demolition started, the walls all had been nicely painted and were spotless.  The ceilings as I say were white and except for some slight popcorn separation along the edges of a few walls, were also in perfect condition.  Those minor defects could have been easily fixed.  Of course everything looks worse after all the demolition doesn’t it.  The carpets are all gone, the kitchen cabinets have been torn out and the ceilings are being stripped of the awful Popcorn.  Big holes have been cut out in the kitchen and former dining room to install more outlets.  One can never have too many outlets.

blue tape where cabinets and walls will be installed or removed

temporary furniture before Dorothy's furniture arrives
Rusty doing electrical work

Kelly and Greg removing carpet strips

Dorothy pulling up carpet

Doug and Greg breaking up wall and bagging it
It’s apparently a new phenomenon that I’m not familiar with in the design of homes these days and it’s the lack of a dining room.  Kelly and Rusty’s home and Dorothy new home renovation will not have a dining room.  Both like to cook and entertain from what I can tell and I’ve been fortunate to enjoy lots of their good cooking.  Instead of the traditional dining room or even a kitchen table, there will be two “bar/counter” areas in Dorothy’s new home.  One will be the grand thick butcher block counter from her old home and will fit in the new enlarged kitchen area where the dining room used to be.  The second counter area will be between the butcher block counter (old dining room) and the new kitchen and will open up onto the living room.  I think that one will be smaller, but we’ll have to wait and see how it all turns out.  Part of the wall between the kitchen and living room has been demolished and really opens up the whole area nicely.

A fairly large storage cabinet in the laundry room is also history as it’s too old looking or out of fashion.  It’s a pretty good size storage cabinet almost reaching the ceiling with a couple big doors covering up all those utility supplies we seem to collect over the years.  Again, being overly practical in many ways, I hate to see a good functioning piece being thrown out, but it doesn’t fit the vision my Sis has for the space.  It will be interesting to see what she has in mind for that space.  Maybe those plastic open shelving units will be the replacement or she may not need to store anything in the laundry/storage room.

I think the only room that will not be touched is the bathroom as it has had a full renovation in recent years and looks very nice.  The only thing in there that will probably be replaced is a gigantic shower head and sprayer which looks just a tad out of place.

I doubt I’ll see the final product as the house renovations will not be completed by the time I leave.  I just know it will look completely brand new.  I’ll be looking forward to seeing some great pictures of the place.  At least I’m hoping Dorothy will post a few good shots of the final renovations. Hint Hint.

Having watched way too many HGTV programs on remodeling, I can’t tell you how difficult it is not to give too much advice on which direction each improvement should go.  Even though Dorothy has asked us all for our opinions on the issues at had, it can be rather overwhelming to say the least.  Since there doesn’t seem to be any design theme for the place at least that part isn’t in consideration.  No mid century modern, no shabby shiek,  perhaps Mediterranean?  Nada, just update to new.  And of course Rusty, Kelly and I all have our own opinions and advice to give, which only adds to Dorothy’s collection of the “what should I do decision making process“.  But that’s part of the fun of renovations now isn’t it.

The furniture should arrive and be moved in at the end of the month.  The ceilings and new flooring should be by the end of the month as well, with only the kitchen cabinets needing to be installed after the fact sometime in April.

And on Sunday, my last day in the area, I was able to help Dorothy unpack a few boxes, put a few pieces of furniture together, have lunch and sadly say goodbye to her and Kelly's family.

A local tour:  Wycliffe Discovery Center

With so little time remaining, I thought I should check out the Wycliffe Discovery Center just on down the street from where I‘ve been staying.  It’s one of over 140 centers world wide that translate the Bible into native languages.  With thousands of languages yet to have the Bible translated into, it is quite a monumental task they have taken on.  Did you know the Old Testament was written over a thousand year period?  Or that the New Testament was not written until 500 years after the Old Testament was completed?  Or that the Old and New Testament were written by at least 39 authors.  Many of the first Bibles to be translated into native languages such as the Spanish and English Bible were considered heretical and their translators were put to death.  And now there are societies all over the world translating the Bible into native languages.  It had never occurred to me that there were centers where the Bible was being translated into other languages. I guess I figured that had all been done many years ago.  In actuality, it's an ongoing project that may never be completed.

As an example, Papua new guinea with over 7 million people has over 800 languages.

the Bible gets translated into many languages

Along with the Wycliffe Center which I might add is quite large, across the way is also the Campus Crusade Center an even larger complex and the Jesus Film Project where recording studios are dubbing/translating the Jesus film into as many languages (1,100+ to date) as they possibly can.  My niece Kim and her family are currently in Belize on a missionary tour for their church so I thought my checking out the Wycliffe Discovery Center was quite apropos.

This area of South East Orlando where Moss Park is located is also home to the huge new Lake Nona community which continues to build out each day.  It is also home to three new large specialty hospitals.  A Children’s hospital, the new Veterans hospital which is almost complete and I believe a University of Florida research hospital.  Needless to say the Lake Nona communities are very much geared to the higher end professional housing market.  It dawned on me the other day that this large housing community which goes on for miles has all underground utilities.  Not a single power pole or overhead power line can be seen in the area.  Everything from exclusive million dollar golfing communities to gated single family communities and what are advertised as “apartment homes”.  Meaning I’m sure, larger units and higher prices.

Back at Moss Park we’ve had a bit of excitement this past week as a filming crew came into the park to do a couple of days of filming a commercial.  I tried to see if I could be an extra, but all they did was feed me breakfast from the catering truck.  Not bad for a days worth of not working…

Film crew for a commercial

equipment trucks

the sound man getting a break before the next shoot

And of course many more photos from this past winter are on PICASA.

I'm back on the Open Road:  

Because of my late exit out of Florida, I've decided to cancel my trip to the Keys.

My first stop heading out of Florida:  Palatka. A small town NE of Orlando.  Then St Augustine and hopefully Amelia Island (if I can get an RV spot there).

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