Saturday, April 28, 2007

Day 2, Alexe's home

I spent all last evening and night in our new beautiful building. And then was up at 7:20 this morning, pondering things in bed, so after breakfast, and pooch duties, and some laundry, I was back to work a bit before 9. Pictures follow.

I had to quit at 4 to meet Alexe in Oxford for the DoubleDecker festival. They closed off the square and had two huge stages, hundreds of booths with both food and art. A good time.

Back to work tomorrow, after church, and this time with Alexe's help.

(Work was interrupted today by the appraiser, and two of his friends who came back to look at all the old wallpaper left from the Masonic Temple that used to be in the building. The upper half of a huge room, above the false ceiling, is still completely lined in the stuff. Interesting patterns. They tried to take a full square, couldn't ge it off. I told them they could have a single pattern piece when got up to that room, and if the mason's wanted to come remove a full panel (about 6 x 8 ft) I'd consider it if they'd rehab the whole brick wall they took it from. :) )

Oh, and I also got an AARP card pre-filled out for me. A bit depressing.

Friday, April 27, 2007

We closed today

So, we have a big, beautiful building.
Alexe went to see Stinkie this afternoon in Birmingham. She'll be back tomorrow.
I spent the whole evening ripping things apart. So much fun. And so much work to do.

Here are some pictures of the first floor, before I started. I'll post my progress as I go.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Soothing evening

Alexe is reading on the couch across the room.

I'm sitting here in front of the computer, listening to Andy McKee (Go to youtube, listen to this guy. Acoustic guitar, so pleasant and relaxed, and fast. amazing fingers on this guy. Big, bald, with a bushy beard. I have him playing in the background.)

Looks like we're going to close on the building this week. We came to an agreement on the price, attorneys are working, structural engineer has mapped the entire building, bank is ready to cut a check. I'm a bit excited. I should be able to move my workshop in over the weekend while Alexe is in Alabama visiting her friend Stinkie, and probably get to work with the sledge hammer. :) Ok, more than a bit excited.

I'm also shopping for a scissor lift as I sit here. Gonna need it. Found one in Alabama, checking to see if it's under 32" wide, which it needs to be to fit through the upstairs doorways. That's an invaluable tool when it comes to big, high ceilings and possible high sheetrock work on the walls.

So, went to Morgan Freeman's house on Saturday with Alexe and Ace. Alexe was working for the local paper, Ace was an invited local writer, I came on his wife's ticket, as she was at her sister's bachelorette party in NC.

Not a great time. Beautiful ground, but Morgan wasn't there, and while the literary event had some talented writers who read, (including Ruby Dee), each read for about 40 minutes, and we were stuck on folding chairs, with poor food, and no time to mingle.

Ace took us to Ground Zero afterwards, Morgan Freeman's club in Clarksdale, MS. It's a forced version of an old Juke joint. The place is run down, plastered with writing and names all over the wall, dingy, pool tables. It's pretty neat, and we had a good time listening to the band and playing pool, but Ace told us the whole place was designed by a Hollywood-ish crew. They came in, aged everything, and it has a bit of that movie set feel, slightly plastic and fake.

Alexe and I didn't get back for bed until just before 12. It was a shock to the system.

We went to a local church on Sunday morning. We've been commuting up to a small country church, but we thought it's be nice to explore the local, walkable churches. Didn't realize they started at 10:50, walked in the wrong door 10 minutes late. But it was very pleasant, no hate from the pulpit, which makes my stomach clench, and a very welcoming crowd. (I'm always surprised at how many people Alexe already knows. She a celebrity down here, and she's always introducing me to some person she just loves.)

We planted the rest of our seeds, tomato plants, and pepper plants tonight.

We also put on our new Mississippi plates on the car and truck. No turning back now.

Sleep tight everyone, or good morning.

Friday, April 20, 2007


The bmw is back in one piece!

Turns out the thermostat went.

Took the removing of the radiator, fan, fan clutch, belts, water pump, and thermostat to figure that out. (Had I removed the thermostat first, this wouldn't have been the case. Lesson learned.)

After reassembling everything with a new thermostat and a fan shroud that needed some zip ties to hold it together after I finished with it, there was an odd dripping of coolant.

When the thermostat stuck shut, the pressure built up to the point of making the cast aluminum of the goose-neck porous at one of the seams. Not cracked, so I could have seen it before reassembling everything, just porous.

Took a week to get it in the mail.

On to our Friday night.

Have a great weekend everyone.
I'll try to post news on how our thing at Morgan Freeman's house goes over the weekend.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Pressure like a drawn bow.

Last you heard from me, we had put a bid on a commercial building.

The bid was flat out refused. Alexe panicked, I pulled on a chess face.

Monday, after some strategic moves, we are within 10k of where I want to be.

At the same time: We found a perfect farm to buy. Just perfect. Location, land, and feeling. Standing on the porch off the kitchen, as we have done in one of our several trespassing trips, I have a calm feeling that reminds me of my grandparent's porch in Vevey. Just wonderful. With a view.

It's not for sale.

But no one lives in it.

The woman is in her 80s, her husband passed away a little over a year ago, she wants to go home, but is unwell and must live in a nursing home. Her three sons haven't done anything with the house for a couple years.

It exudes love, peace, and quiet removed family life. It's perfect.

Were trying.

Add to these two buildings (which we live exactly between, 3 blocks away in opposing directions) Alexe's manuscripts that are out with agents, the seedlings that are popping up in the garden that Alexe wants to baby to death, the pooches that swing between grinning happiness and early morning-under-the-bed retching, the job stress, the community involvement (Alexe is on the Board of the Main Street Project), the warming weather, the car with a cooling system problem, the job stress (again), the southern fish that won't bite on a cold day, the dinner guests, the gray kitchen linoleum that Alexe hates and scrubs every day, the library fines, my new table saw and wheel barrow, and a new (to us) imac g4, we're having a wonderfully busy time.

Something more sooner than later. I wonder how much of my audience I've lost with the long silence.