Hill House – May 22, 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Well, here it is Thursday; we’ve been in Lead for 10 days and Nan and I have barely done a lick of work on the house. That doesn’t mean that we have been loafing.

After arriving in Lead, we headed to the Neighbor Works to see the status on our refurbishment loan on the house. Neighbor Works is a government agency which helps low income families (and what could be lower income than Social Security?) obtain funding to improve their homes. When we left last fall we didn’t qualify because we had not been residents in the house for a full year but our year was completed the 1st of May.

Since we are living at the hotel, we spent 1 1/2 days cleaning several rooms, vacuuming, and shampooing the carpets in 1 room plus half the hall-way. While I was spending my time running the shampooer Nan was busy washing sheets and towels and rearranging the storage rooms.

On Monday we had our first guests for the season. Rick and Sherry of the S/V Tigger stopped on their way from the east coast to the west coast. We had to show them the house plus tour Mt. Rushmore, Spearfish Canyon along with several hikes to see the falls, and take a trip to Devils Tower to see if the space ship from Close Encounters was still there (it wasn’t). They left this morning.

We had a great day for working; the sun was shining and the temperature was in the 70’s. Nan and I headed to the house and while I began digging a trench in which I will install drain pipes, Nan worked tirelessly on cleaning the yard. I got about 1/3 of my necessary digging done while Nan did a great job on a never ending task of yard cleaning. After lunch we returned to our tasks – me digging, Nan raking and burning. Luckily our first summer storm set in the early this afternoon so we are forced inside. While I write this and play on the computer, we hear lots of thunder along with getting rain and hail.

Friday, May 23, 2014

We are back at the house doing more burning, however, with yesterday’s rain; my trench digging is on hold for a little while until the earth dries out. By late morning I am able to crawl into my trench and dig some more but both the shovel and my boots are getting mighty heavy.

Nan is doing a bang up job on getting the yard straightened and the huge pile of lath burned. We have several trees we had transplanted last year: the 2 small ones seem to be doing alright (except for the eating the deer are doing to them) but the larger 3 trunk tree I had such high hopes for seems to be nothing but kindling. I guess we will pull it out and plant a ‘nursery’ tree when we get the house closer to completion.

Since this is South Dakota, we are seeing clouds coming in from the west and we hear thunder. I suppose we will have rain later on.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

We celebrated Memorial Day (Ya, I know, Sunday) by watching the Indy 500. Being Hoosiers caused living our ‘formable’ years in northern Indiana; we watch the race each year. After the race it was time to head from the hotel to the house to get some more work done.

Last Thursday I called ‘Neighbor Works’ to see how our loan was progressing; it has been in the works for over a week and we were told that we would have an answer by last Monday. I was told the Carol was out of the office but I could leave a message – which I did. Since I didn’t receive a call back on Thursday, I called her on Friday and was told that she had taken the day off to make a long weekend but I could leave a message. I explained that leaving messages didn’t seem to do any good. On Tuesday we headed down to Rapid City to pick up some items for the house and on the way Nan called Carol and was told that they were still waiting for ‘bids’ on the house from our contractor.

Nan was immediately on the phone with the contractor asking about the bids – we said that we would take care of getting the electrical and the plumbing bids – he should simply take care of the general work. I guess ‘over the winter’ didn’t provide enough time to get what he needed!

Well, by today Nan has most of the lath burned (along with lots of other stuff) but I am holding up the show. I have the front 12’ of the ditch next to the house cleaned but the back 12’ is about 4’ deep with much that has washed down from the bank over the winter. Several days ago I was counting the mud haul-out by the 5 gallon buckets. Last night we had a ‘nice’ rain which washed down some more mud so today I am counting the muck clean-up by the globs of mud which I toss out of the ditch by hand.

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