Project Courtyard: Painting Trim and Making Pretty

Project Courtyard is definitely shaping up. We’re either almost to the halfway point or just past it, I’m not sure which. Shane has the caulking, priming, and first coat of trim paint nearly finished. I’m already astounded by the difference it makes and am so excited to see how the rest turns out.

Here’s a peek at the Motel Possible as of the last week in June:

Day 244: Stream of Consciousness Meets To-Do List

As you may have noticed, I have been struggling to make time for beautifully articulated, picture laden updates. Today’s Motel Possible project journal offers a verbal off-the-cuff glimpse at what is happening at the motel and in our heads at any and every given moment.

Here it goes: Researching and pricing mulch, fascia, trim boards, skirting, bladder tanks, and reservations systems. Caulking. Scraping. Painting. Mowing. Differentiating between commitments and goals, between what we want and what we need. Working our “real” jobs. Having fun. Walking the grounds together every morning and evening. Laughing at our little posse tagging along. Discovering and identifying a variety of winged and non-winged creatures. Telling ourselves we need to write it all down. Taking lots of pictures instead. Cleaning and organizing. Thrifting. Worrying/not worrying about money. Trying not to feel guilty about all the help and support we’ve been given. Looking forward to paying it both backward and forward. Staying in gratitude. Feeling overwhelmed and anxious and, oftentimes, just plain beat. Working through it. Knowing that we are exactly where we’re meant to be at this moment and doing exactly what we are meant to be doing. Working with the people we love. Living the dream.

Mr. Wonka: “Don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted.”
Charlie Bucket: “What happened?”
Mr. Wonka: “He lived happily ever after.”

Jiminy Crickets, I almost forgot the most important part! We are planning a Work Bee / Open House / BBQ / Hootenanny Dance Party with live music on Saturday, July 18th. We’ll fill you in on more info and details as we have them.

June Thus Far: A Pictorial Update

The Motel Possible is really moving along now that Spring has decided to stick around. We’ve been grooming the courtyard, mowing and taking back more of the grounds, painting and furnishing the first guest rooms, and preparing for the biggest phase of the project to date: exterior paint and trim.

It would not be possible for us to do any of it without the continued love, help, and support of our friends and family. We are blessed with the best.

Click on any of the pictures to open a photo gallery.

Project Courtyard: Lava Rock Removal

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Therese gave me a birdhouse that she made. Then we worked so hard, we barely talked the rest of the day.
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Really. We were on a mission to remove lava rock.
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There was no easy way to do it, but combination leaf blowing and shoveling worked best for us.
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After three or four hours, we had made ourselves a fine mess. Perfect time for a burger break.
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Sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better.
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Ol Lady Got (lava) Rocks, that’s me. We are going to repurpose these down the road.
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I don’t hate the colors. It’s more of a texture thing.
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Dave dug up the woody juniper roots and got started raking out the second bed.
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Not a bad day’s work. Much more to come.

Spring at the Motel Possible

February Freeze Out

So, I woke up to a slow flushing toilet yesterday morning. I then had to determine whether it was plugged, the septic was full or worse… frozen! I began by running water in various places and determined it wasn’t just the toilet, so full or frozen.

I was able to locate the clean-outs outside, and realizing there was no snow cover over them, I was leaning towards frozen. But, just to make sure, I ran the sewer machine down through the first one as for as it would go, about half way to the second clean-out and all seemed clear. Upon running it down the second clean-out, I immediately hit an obstruction. For those who have never run a sewer machine, it is quite easy to feel the difference between blockage and a wall of ice. I quickly determined the latter.

Finding and clearing frozen sewer line

My next chore was to figure a way to melt through said wall of ice. Having recently passed a house where they were doing just that, using high pressure hot water or steam, I knew what I had to do.

I grabbed a hose, hooked it to my hot water spigot and shoved it down the pipe. Of course, the line quickly backed up, so I hooked up the pump you hear in the video and discharged it directly into the top of the septic tank, which I had opened previously to see if it was full.

project journal frozen sewer

It was very slow going, but I persevered and after a couple warm up breaks, and letting the water heater catch up, the ice wall gave way. Happy to say, all seems to be in good working order.

Come on Spring!

Day I Don’t Know: Effing February

Dave closed down water to all the motel rooms before winter set in. We have the conditioned space shrunk down to the manager’s quarters, which is just over 1,000 sq ft.

There isn’t much insulation in the attic, so we’ve been keeping the thermostat low and bundling up to stay warm. Mid-fifties are great for cooking, working, and sleeping, but not so much for getting work done on the computer. Not even with my fingerless gloves on.

Since it turned bitterly cold earlier this month, we’ve been spending a lot of time in one of the rooms with an electric wall heater. We have our love, plus Abbie and Number Two, to keep us warm.

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It was 28 below this morning. Here’s Dave, fresh in from brushing off the car.

shining winter

No, really. We’re fine.

Moving Into Motel Possible

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Abbie learned the lay of the land. 
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Bruce from COLI came and hooked up the internet. There was much rejoicing.
First night in the new digs. Hot pizza and the warm glow of the Xbox.
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Classic moving day fare. Dave was simply raaaavenous.
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My housewarming gift from Lexi. What is she trying to say?
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Don’t judge.
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My kitchen table is in. No appliances yet, so it’s more cold sandwiches and deli food for us! 
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We might be the worst selfie takers ever. One of us always gets the crazy eyes.
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Outside work took a back seat during the move and sadly, I think the cold is here to stay. I am grateful to have gotten at least part of the yard taken back before full-on winter hit. And I’m gonna get the hang of this selfie thing yet. 

 

Day 8: Happy Halloween. Here’s some snow.

You know you’re from Michigan when the Halloween costumes have to be large enough to fit snowsuits under them.

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Day 7: Work moves indoors

Dave continued working on the plumbing lines, checking for leaks throughout the main building and first ten rooms. Incredibly, there were only four leaks. While he was off practicing his wizardry, Lexi and I did some Rug doctoring.