Friday, May 09, 2008

One month later

Today marks one month since I pulled the pin. This is the day of my party and I am looking forward to seeing the guys and gals that worked with and for me for so long.

What a busy month it has been, everybody jokes about how they never found the time while they were working to get things done. It's true! Between catching up on house repairs and updates, turning ground to get some crops growing, running the sawmill, working on the equipment, turkey hunting, and the list goes on I have not done much work for other people.

Now that fuel is so damn expensive and going higher all the time I have to rethink my charges for the work I do. As of right now my thinking is to use my time and money to get my farms into the condition where they will consistently produce what we need to survive in this rocky economic times. I have one long list of projects. On the hill farm Fences, chicken coop, work shop, barn for cattle and horses, water system to all the buildings and gardens. I also want to build a shelter to run my mill in the winter. On top of all that I have to complete my gray water recovery set-up, install the solar toilet, and finish two more sections of the house.

At the flat farm we are having a roof raising on the original section of the old farm house. The upstairs is old school where the children used to sleep, only 4 feet at the walls, with two dormers. The idea is to add 5 more feet to the walls and replace the roof with a modern metal roof and do away with the dormers. It will add a lot of living space plus we will raise the ceiling downstairs to a full 8 feet. Over the years additions were added to the house and not much thought was put into the the roof line. Over two of these the new roof will be a gable that ties into the new raised wall, doing away with three valleys, a chopped up roof line, and creating a covered porch at the same time. It will make a pretty house when it is finished. I will stay with it until the house is closed back in then my youngest son will be on his own for interior work.

Here at the homestead I have to stain the house, the stable, and the barn. We are going at our home with the idea of putting it on the market sometime soon and will work towards developing the all important "Curb Appeal". As it stands now we will be have for some time as long as my in-laws are still able to live on their own as we are close to them. 20 minutes away or 2 hours away when we move to the hill. This house will sell itself, only 20 minute commute to the city, 11 acres, a very nice two story shop that can be converted to a "Mother-in-Law," the shop has all utilities on its own meters, a three stall stable with an upstairs for hay. The house is two bath three bedrooms, new kitchen, radiant floor hot water heat.

My homestead is very historical, one of the few structures to survive the "War of 1812" in this area. It is a true post and beam building that started life as a grain mill and general store with living quarters upstairs. In 1938 it was moved from the corner to its present location using horses and log rollers to pull it up the street. Placed on a full basement and a hip roofed one story addition was added to the front, also over basement. Over the years it got abused a bit, was used as a rental after the people that moved it passed away. It was make into two flats, but at least they only added walls to do do it so the fix was easy. It was covered in cement board siding when I bought it, but underneath was site cut red cedar clapboard in great shape. I sawed about 2000 feet of clap to match and covered the front the same way and stripped the rest of its old paint. All the windows are replaced, electric, water, heat, city sewer all new. The basement has a natural drain, NO Sump Pump to fail! If I have to sell I will miss this house, maybe a grand child of mine will need a house before I do.

The rentals, in a word "GONE." Sold them both for one money, pay the tax, bank the money, end of story.

Now I have to figure out what to wear to the party!

An update:May 12, 2008

The party was one for the ages. We got to the West End Hotel at 4:10 P.M. Several of my mates were at the bar, so we socialized for a while when John the owner informed us our banquet room was ready. Then the crowd started showing up. And what a crowd it was, over 400 of my friends took the time to send me off to pasture. What a great bunch I worked with, something about prison that makes us close. It was a good thing I brought me little pick-up and not the car, the bed filled up with gifts and I needed a wishing well like a bride for the cards.

The party was to run from 4-9 we left at 3:30 am and we were not the last to leave. The jail called and said I better be there after the 3-11 shift lets out, some of the guys want to stop and see me. (29 miles away) So more guys and gals started pouring in at 10 o'clock or so, the sergeant on duty got some out early. I saw guys from 10 different facilities that I had worked with over the years, guys who had retired ahead of me, and folks that did not work for the system but wanted to be there. I still feel honored and proud to be part of "The toughest beat in America", people that put their well being on the line every time they go through the gates!

The guys gave me over $5,000 and a ton of gift cards, plus too many gifts to list here. I am still overwhelmed. They all tell me they already miss me and I have no choice but to believe them.

I wore a surfer shirt, tan dress pants, and my wife put my sneakers in the washer so they were clean. What a fashion plate!


Odat said...

Good to see your post. It's a wonder you had time to type it!!! I know the "busy" feeling well! Like you said, how did we ever get things done when we were working! Granted, it sounds like you have lots more to do than me, and I wish you well on all your projects...just remember...take it easy deserve some time off!! Have a great time at your party and I hope you find something nice to wear! :-)


MarmiteToasty said...

Im sure your gonna have a great time at the party....

Jebus you sound busy, busy is good :)

I wanna buy the house lol....

Just dont forget to take time out for you :)


Ol' Lady said...

Nice to hear that you are keeping busy.
Ol Man and I often wonder how did we ever get anything done when we worked...there is never enough hours in a day to do what we want. I guess that is good though, as long as we have a 'to do' list then we can't be board.
I got tired just reading your 'to do' stuff...
Have a great time at your party :)
BTW your party is probably a formal clothes are required :o

Slip said...

What a party! My friends and coworkers did me proud. Party started at 4 P.M and the wife and I got there at 4:15, Maybe 20 folks or so already there. Then the crowd kept coming, over 400 people showed up to send me off. Most of my career I worked afternoons and midnights so I wondered how many would have to work and miss the party. They cured that problem, they took the night off and the state paid overtime.

Some of the midnight officers had good intentions of stopping in to say hello then going to work. With the party rocking no one wanted to leave so as one last fling they gave me a list of names, I went outside, got on my cell phone, and went outside where I could hear, and called in 19 people off sick for the shift! The sergeant that answered is a good friend of mine and he warned me that I better still be there at 11:30 because a bunch of the guys were stopping after the shift, including him. The party was to be over at 9:00pm. We got home at 3:30 am.

During the course of the evening many folks thanked me for the little things that were no real sweat for me to do, that at the time made real differences in their lives. I was amazed to think that sometimes the simple things make a difference.

It was a good thing I drove my pick-up truck, the box was full of gifts and still is this morning. I have a lot of thank yous to write. Plus a stack of cards to open.

On a side note the prison went on holiday staffing they could not find enough help, so the inmates went with out programs, and recreation leagues on a Friday afternoon. Gee I feel bad for the criminals.

I wore a surfer shirt, tan dress pants, and new sneakers. For me that is dressed to the nines! The wife may be hard to live with for a while, she was HOT! Guys thought I brought my daughter.

Gina said...

Lol, Wow, I'm glad you had such a great time! You deserve it (especially after the sweet comment about your wife! ;-)

And, you have been quite busy-i had been waiting for the first post-retirement entry and I am amazed at all your accomplishments in just one month!!

Your party outfit sounds exactlylike "dressed to the nines"!!

Gina said...

Oops, somehow lost my comment!

It's great to hear about your send-off party. So many people cared!! You deserved the attention and respect (especially after the sweet comment about your wife, LOL!! ;-)

Your party duds sound exactly as a retirement party dress code should be!

i cannot believe how busy you have been in only a months time (I am actually shocked its been a month already!!) Retirement seems to agree with you!

Claudia said...

* giggles * When you are done doing all you have to on YOUR home, will you come and do mine??! ;) Sounds like you have your hands full! Just found your blog thru Bina's!! So glad I did!

Merelyme said...

whew! i need to rest after reading all that you do! my goodness. i hope your party was a great success...what did you end up wearing?

Kati said...

Dang Slip!!! It sounds like you've got a lot of work to do, but your plans sound fabulous!! The houses sound incredible and I do hope you'll post pictures as you can, so we can see what's being done and how things look as you finish them up. The houses themselves sound like incredible places and it's easy to see why you'd miss the one when you do finally sell it.

Glad to hear you've got some firm plans to keep you busy now that you're a retiree. *wink*

Hope the party was a good one!