Monday, June 30, 2008

Family Pictures

For a joint Mother's and Father's day gift my brother and I had family pictures taken for my parents. Here is a link if you want to see more of them. They were taken by Loree Sumner of Loree Alayne Photography.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I haven't forgotten

No, I haven't forgotten that I have a blog, and that the blog should be something I update from time to time. Ever since we moved into our house we haven't really had space for an office or wanted computer equipment out amongst all the dust we periodically stir up, so if I update the blog it has to be at work when I have a few minutes, of course I only would do such a thing during my allotted lunch hour :) Anyway we have done some stuff to the house since we have been back from vacation. One of the most noticeable has been the windows, the house seriously looks completely different. And we should have had a new door but Lowe's ordered it with the handle on the wrong side, so that had to be reordered. I will post some pics soon of our changes and then hopefully we will make some serious progress over the holiday weekend coming up.

Thank you blog readers for your faithful readership, that is if any of you still read my abandoned blog!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Leaks and crawlspaces are not friends

So last week prior to the Indiana Flood of 08, Tuesday to be exact, we discovered that we had a leak in our pipes that had left the crawlspace with standing water underneath about 1/2 of the house. The leak occurred in the line that runs to our outside spickets, of course the only plumbing we did not redo prior to moving into the house. The good thing is that we have a turn-off valve for the outside spickets only, meaning we didn't have to turn off the main and could still have access to water inside of the house. Adam and I tag-teamed the mess and he went to pick up a little pump from Sunbelt rentals, while I went to Home Depot and grabbed 2 of the industrial fans (the ones they use to dry carpets and stuff after water damage). The little pump connected to our garden hose and the water got pumped out pretty quickly then we ran the fans all night. We thought we were in pretty good shape but knew we had a lot of rain that night. We looked outside to find this in our front yard the next morning:

We obviously had some drainage issue and the water at its highest point was probably 20 feet into our yard and several inches deep. Well Adam made like a mole and headed back to our crawlspace hoping to find it fairly dry, the look of dismay when he returned inside did not indicate that we had a dry crawlspace. This time it wasn't a leak it was just too much water and not enough drainage to get it away from the house. The drainage in the front of our house obviously runs to our drainage ditch, which was flooded, so it didn't have anywhere to go, I assume we live in a high water table area (close to the river), and it just would not stop raining; thus our crawlspace still had standing water. We used the little rented pump again and then decided this was not something we wanted to have happen anymore so we headed to Lowes to purchase a sump pump. That night as I headed to House Church, Adam sat in our crawlspace with a midget sized shovel and dug a hole about 2 feet deep and about 18 inches wide in the dirt (or mud might be the more appropriate term) and then put in the sump pump. This was making us feel better until our 1st one broke after 5 days and Adam returned it for an upgrade. I think SP #2 is doing ok, but we still need to put in permanent piping to get it out of the crawlspace and into our yard drainage, but the temporary stuff will work for now. We did discover one good thing; there is a drainage pipe in our yard that takes our rainwater across the street and down a hill to a pond. This had gotten covered up due to the house being unoccupied for a time and the storm so we were wondering where the heck our water was supposed to go. Once Adam cleaned it off and pulled some sticks and leaves away the water in our front yard started draining a whole lot faster.

Lessons learned - 1.) When buying an unoccupied 50 year old house replumb the outside spickets even if you might not use them right away. 2.) When buying any home with a crawlspace make sure there is a working sump pump, Indiana is a very wet state.

In the end we were feeling pretty blessed that this is all that happened to us considering that just 3 days later we got a call from Adam's mom that his cousin was being evacuated from his home due to flooding and she couldn't leave her house because none of the roads surrounding them were passable. Our hearts and prayers are with everyone that suffered and are suffering from the flood and especially family and friends in Martinsville.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A little slice of Paradise (Pictures)

As promised I have finally posted some pictures, also here is a link to all of our pics out on Flickr.

Tortola ........

This is one of my favorite pictures. We took a driving tour around Tortola one day and there is a Ridge Road that basically runs along the spine of the island (which is very mountainous), thus you get amazing views such as these!
This little point is called Angel Pointe and was one of 3 areas where we went snorkeling on our day sail. I believe it is a pointe on Norman Island. The snorkeling was great, we saw all kinds of fish and coral. The 4 rocks sticking out of the water are named "The Indians," we also snorkeled here on our day sail and there was this one really tight spot where you felt like you might touch a Sea Urchin, I wasn't a fan of that. I swam all the way around the thing in order to not have to feel like the icky Sea Urchin might get me, Adam in all his tough manhood took the shorter yet scarier route and then informed me that our eyes were deceiving us and we weren't near as close to the black porcupine as we thought we were.
This awesome beach with all the catamarans is White Bay on the island of Jost Van Dyke. Jost is a pretty small island with only a few hundred actual residents. Its beaches are lined with little beach bars and restaurants. Two of the more famous establishments are on this island, Foxy's and Soggy Dollar. Soggy Dollar is actually in this picture you just can't really see it but it got its name b/c the sailboats would come in to the beach, but because there is no dock they would More their boats and then wade to the beach, thus the dollars to pay for their drinks at the bar were soggy. Foxy's which is at Grand Bay on Jost is well known all around the world and hosts a infamous New Years Day party that is supposed to be pretty amazing.
Above is basically our view from the place we stayed in Tortola, Agape Cottages. The bay you see behind us is Cane Garden Bay, it is probably one of the most popular bays in Tortola and has a lot of beach bars and restaurants. We never had to venture very far to get really good food. It also has a really pretty beach that is white sand and relatively flat. The lady in the picture with me is one of the owner of the Agape Cottages, we don't normally take picture of the owners of our vacation lodging but this couple was a really sweet Christian couple and we bonded with them some over our 4 day stay. The cottage that was their home was adjoined to ours.
The blue and white buildings at the top of this picture were the Agape Cottages. As you could see from the previous picture we had a great view but holy moses was that driveway steep to get up there. Lets just say we never walked down to the beach or back up, we were on vacation you know :)

Virgin Gorda.....

So we arrive in Virgin Gorda by ferry from Tortola and we get our rental car. The island isn't too big so we basically just get on this one main road and go until we see a sign for our place. As we round a bend in the road we see this awesome looking resort (picture above) on the pointe of the bay and Adam says lets stop and get a picture, I wanted to see where we were staying and get settled first so I get him to keep on going. We both rave about how great that place is, the location, yada, yada, yada. Shortly there after we both see a sign for Mango Bay Resort and just look at each other, that little piece of paradise we had just oggled at was where we were staying. We knew this place was probably going to be bit more luxury then our last place just on the higher price alone, but we usually stay in someplace that isn't a hostel but definitely not luxury. We felt totally out of our league and just kind of giggled about it like little kids that are used to Walmart and just entered FAO Schwartz.

This our villa at the resort, we are the right hand portion of the building. We had a coverd porch with a grill, a large room that had the living area, dining, and kitchen, an office/hallway, large bathroom, and bedroom. It was pretty spacious and the living area had virtually all glass windows and doors for two for the walls. It was also the place where they didn't give us a key b/c it was so safe.

This final picture is of the famous Baths I think or it might be Spring Bay, they are right next to each other and look very similar. Either way the areas are really cool and there are just these huge boulders everywhere. People that live near here would just have random large boulder formation in their yard. The Baths have caves you can climb through that the boulders have formed. It made for great picture taking.