May 2018 – Retirement Begins


Retirement Begins At The Farm

This was a great trip as we stayed 2 weeks–the first weeks of my retirement. Work on the house was transitioning from demo to rough in. We selected light fixtures, ceiling fans, granite slab for the kitchen counters, molding, doors, even toilets. We sprayed many weeds, trimmed 2 feet off the azaleas behind the house, and had to water the flower beds as it was dry at the start and did not rain for the entire 2 weeks. This was also the first time we stayed in the new travel trailer…many memories and good times.

Preface – In the photos taken at the start of this post the field behind the house first is lush green then by the end of the second week, it is dead. The Driskel’s sprayed it, limed, tilled it at least three times then planted it after we arrived. By the time we left, it was dead like after a long winter and the ground was so dry the seeds were waiting for a little water.

Sunday, April 29, 2018 – Arrived about 3 pm and the 50 amp receptacle for the TT was in place by Faith Electric. Set up the TT for the first time with water and power after reinstalling the battery and propane bottles. This was the last day on the City payroll.

Monday – Began trimming the Azaleas down to about 4.5-5 feet and we could again see the field. Found a great slab of granite — at Max Sells’ on Dawes Rd. –for the counter but it did not go with the backsplash we had liked at MainStreet with Van and Jennifer.

The plumber was here with Justice Williamson (Ted’s “son”) as his helper. Robbie Mullen arrived and we walked through the house. We agreed on the windows, Robbie placed a call and said the windows are ordered.

Tuesday – We and Robbie talked about various items. Faith Electric’s foreman Oscar and three younger guys worked all day.

Driveway Camping in the Oak Tree

Robin came out and marked the limits of the island with pink chalk. I suggested it should be shorter to open up the pathway to the living room. Mary got very upset but agreed to shorten each draw set 3″ for a total of 6″ and chamfer the corners. That night I realized if we made the drawers 3″ deeper we only took out 3″ from the family room and kitchen but gained more square inches of drawer space than lost by shortening the island. When I suggested that to Mary, and later when Robin agreed it was doable, my hopes of living inside–not in the barn–improved.

We followed Robbie to a house he is doing to see the doors as Mary is insisting she does not want any “cheap ass doors” like she has seen in homes she and Kelley have recently toured. She liked the doors Robbie had installed, and the shelves his guy had built, and the mantle. Today Robbie released the door order at Ford Lumber in Daphne for the four panel with the long upper section.

The granite counter that was to never be

Wednesday – Picked up a sample of our granite slab from Max then lunch at Kravers. Went to Main Street Flooring and Jennifer helped choose a new backsplash and bathroom tile with an accent strip.

We then went to A&W Lighting but the Mary Carroll-Brown was out. We looked around but they did not have much in the showroom. We were referred to the website. Then went to Sherwin-Williams and picked colors using our collection of samples. All the samples and color chips looked good in the house.

Driskels spread many tandem loads of lime and went over the field again with the bedder(?) after the lime was spread. Spreading the lime took maybe three passes even though the spreaders were not throwing it far so they were leaving a heavy ban of material.

Thursday – Trimmed azaleas along the back of the house and at the kitchen door. Sawed down the plant at the electrical meter…finally after years of wanting it gone. Mary finished cleaning the refer that is now plugged in on the carport.

Driskel’s for the third time plowed the field with the same implement.

Friday – Plumbers, sheetrock crew, and cleanup crew were working today. Talked with Justice about the location chosen for the Renai inline hot water heater on the back outside wall near the AC. Agreed that west of the AC was ok as it will allow quicker hot water to the kitchen.

Went to South Alabama Utilities’ office in Semmes and completed the application form and paid the $70 charge; that is $50 deposit and a $20 application charge.

Robbie had a crew show up with a dump trailer and the loaded all the old sheetrock, debris, and other refuse. The house looked a lot better.

Saturday – Bush hogged the turn row and north end of the pond including behind Peg’s house. Misc yard cleanups and improvements. Grilled chicken on the new little Weber Jeff & Maggie gave me for retirement.

Sunday – Stayed home all day. Spent 3 hours deciding on the pantry layout in the Utility Room and the former shower stall. Drew it to scale and emailed it to Robbie. Then, dug around the double azalea bush behind the den window and pulled it out in two pieces. Drug each stump to the burn pile.

Sprayed a lot of the dollar weed and purple wide-leaf weeds in the yard and barnyard with 2,4-D. Put the little bit left of the fungicide granules on the Brown spot just east of the front door.

Peggy, Mandy, and TS stopped in and toured the debris-free house. TS had to go in the TT potty so I took him. After that everyone sat under the Oak and fig tree and talked.

Monday – May 7

Sprayed 2,4-D+glyphosate along the ditch and adjacent fences as well as on fence along the south end of garden and lane up to the cattle chute.


Fixing 1st BFast in the TT

Sprayed 24D in the backyard and barnyard near the trimmed row of azaleas before and after choosing inside lights as described below. Sprayed to kill the purple broad leaf low growing weed, dollar weed, and others.

Mary Carrol with A&W Lighting was here at 9 AM and toured the house. We then met her at A&W and picked lights and ceiling fans. She made it easy.

Plumbers replaced cracked drain from Master Bath under new vanity and into the hallway. Talked to them about restoring hose bib on the front of the house and they will install on the east end next to the new gas meter. They will also bury the water supply line from the pump to the entry near the window in the Utility Room.


Watered the backyard and cleaned out the bed between the trees. Killed carpenter ants in the “Y” tree at that bed. Sprayed fences with glyphosate. Trimmed trees in the orchard.

Took momma’s china and crystal to the Airport Storage room.

Thursday, May 10th

Tall Tallow sprayed with Remedy

Sprayed Remedy 3:1 with diesel in a chainsaw cut in the large tallow trees along the north side of the ditch up to the property line with Peg and several tallow trees on her side. Also sprayed all scrub trees in the area. Sprayed Glyphosate+ 2,4-D on briars, Johnson grass and other weeds in the pond field.

Sprayed the brown spots in the yard using a hose-end sprayer that did not work well. The instructions are not clear on how to set up the dial or the volume in the reservoir to dispense the right amount. Wasted some on one spot and then filled reservoir with water that could not be right as it has an adapter for bottles that a chemical comes in.

Sprayed Fungi-cide systemic fungicide on all roses. Roses east of front door are in bad condition BUT the ones on the west side are doing great. Mary then watered the beds about an hour after sprayed so washed off some of the fungicides.

From Copeland Island Road looking Southeast toward the barn

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