It Starts with a First Step

It’s been a frustrating few weeks for me on the home liquidation front.  Partially, I felt stuck in a rut of analysis paralysis; constantly planning and no action.  However, mostly it just not finding time to get anything done. Between my day job, my side work on Fore & Aft Design and just the stuff that we have to do to keep our lives afloat, there just wasn’t enough hours in the day.

Thankfully, I’ve been able to arrange three weeks off work to get to work on house repairs and to downsize like crazy.  Plus I’ve been able to twist my father’s expert arm and he’s agreed to provide some much needed expertise to this undertaking.  Even the first day, which has mostly been logistical work has felt like more progress than the entire last month.

Today we shopped for lumber, appliance parts, ordered a massive dumpster and did some minor repairs.  It might be a small step, but it really feels like actual progress. Call me excited.

Tomorrow begins the porch rebuild . . .

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A New Dream

For me, it started with a dream of boats and wide open spaces. While growing up in Oklahoma City can’t be described as exactly living in a concrete jungle, it also wasn’t the exactly the great wide open either. I then spent several years in Chicago, which really was the concrete jungle before returning once again to Oklahoma.

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And yet, my favorite memories are of traveling through wide open vistas, whether family camping trips through Big Bend, TX, backpacking in New Mexico or any number of bicycle trips. After seeing quite a few of those American vistas, I thought the next wide open space to visit would be the ocean.

Grace wasn’t so convinced. I mean despite the fact that I don’t know much about sailing, I might have an issue with sea sickness and I don’t have enough money for a yacht, I didn’t see any real obstacles. However, we judiciously decided to set our sights a little bit more conservatively for our next plans.

Grace never had the chance to travel much and while I’ve traveled quite a bit in the US, I’ve never spent long periods of time out in the wild.

So, that’s where this new dream of getting a travel trailer and heading out to see the United States. This blog will tell our story as we start paring down and prepare for our great new adventure.

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Lake Overholser Water Release

This gallery contains 11 photos.

After 3 years of endless drought, we here in central Oklahoma at least, were with desperately needed rain.  It’s gotten so extreme, that our city reservoirs must release water to prevent flooding. After a tip from my Mother, Grace and I took a little photo date down to the Lake Overholser Dam to catch some photos […]

#30DaysofBiking Day 22-23: Back to the Grind

#30DaysofBiking Day 22

I guess the best thing about day 22 was that there was nothing unusual about day 22.  It was the first day in awhile were I just rode to work and back.  The headwind on the way home was a bit strong, but it wasn’t too bad.  Little did I know what the next day had in store for me.

#30DaysofBiking Day 23

Blustery Monday

I thought it was supposed to be spring.  It’s not supposed to be near freezing with drizzle and harsh northerly winds.   Thankfully, I haven’t put my cold weather gear away, but I sure wish I could.  The ride to work was painfully slow with one point where the wind almost pushed me backwards.  However, it was still a nice ride, and as always, after about the first 5 minutes, I got warmed up and it wasn’t too uncomfortable.  I just hope I can quit wearing all of this gear regularly soon . . .

Decked Out

 

After work, I had an OBS board meeting which gave me a chance to take a longer ride down past Lake Overholser, which has been too long in coming.   With a wonderful tailwind and the joy of a night ride on empty streets, I had a blast coming home to a nice warm house.


#30DaysofBiking Days 19 – 21: Progress!

Still haven’t been able to get back completely into the regular posting schedule, but thankfully I’ve been able to keep riding!

#30DaysofBiking Day 19: Just Another Day at Work

I continue to get most of my cycling through my daily commute to work.  The big change I’ve made is to start riding more and more in my work clothes instead of always wearing a change.  My short ride is only 6.5 miles and, at least during the spring, if I take it easy I can arrive at work, refreshed but not horribly sweaty.  I think we cyclists can often make our rides too complicated and think we need more gear and kit

After work, I stopped by the project house to do some painting as we get the house ready to be listed for sale.  It feels better and better as we get closer to getting this house listed.

#30DaysofBiking Day 20: House is Listed!

Photo Apr 20, 12 46 16 PM

Spent the morning getting some last-minute cosmetic stuff finished up on the interior of the house and giving the house a good clean before our Realtor came by to take pictures and let us know if she saw any issues before we listed the house.  Thankfully, she didn’t outside of a little bit of painting in the garage and some landscaping in the back.  We are finally getting closer to getting the house sold.  If you are looking for a cute 1100 sq. ft. house on the northwest side, please give Jane O’Toole a call at 751-4848 or at janeotoole@remax.net.  The house has a new roof, new sewer line and new carpet.  It’s a perfect starter home and is move-in ready!

Took a nice relaxed ride home after we were done.  It felt great!

#30DaysofBiking Day 21: A Laid Back Day.

Stopped by the project house to finish up most of the little punch list items for the house including the painting and the leveling of a little earth settling in the back yard.  Took a wonderfully long nap in the afternoon.  After dark, I took a quick ride around the block in the still of the evening to get my ride in for the day.  A perfect relaxing day.


#30DaysofBiking Days 13 – 18: Failure, Triumph and Baseball

After a very long and tiring week, I’m finally getting a chance to catch up on my #30DaysofBiking posting.

#30DaysofBiking Day 13 – Failure

Not There Yet

Not There Yet

And then I have to start with a failure on my 30 day goal. As I’ve long been reporting, I have toiled away on the replacing of a sewer line. While it has been a great learning experience, a fantastic workout and the source of innumerable Cool Hand Luke jokes, it was also drug on much longer than I would have hoped or dreamed. Saturday was hopefully going to be my last day of moving dirt and finally this long project could start becoming a distant memory.

I got started about 9:00 in the morning after a nice night’s sleep confident that all would be done by mid-afternoon. However, when mid-afternoon came and went followed by late afternoon and early evening, things were looking bleak. By the time dusk rolled around, I knew that even after over 10 hours of solid labor, there was no way I was going to get the job done that night.

That disappointing news left me absolutely slaughtered. I crawled home and found a couch. After dozing off and on, I noticed it was getting close to the end of the day, but so depressed at not getting the job done, I broke my pledge to #30DaysofBiking and took the night off. I feel bad about it now, but at the time it just seemed like the only thing to do.

#30DaysofBiking Day 14 – Baseball

Perfect Day for a Game

Perfect Day for a Game

Sunday, I knew I really needed a day off. Thankfully, I had a perfect way to start making up for coming up short the day before and to get some stress relief. The OBS had put together a great little ride out to a Redhawks game. While the home didn’t come even close to winning, it was a great time out with a bunch of nice folks and with a nice 14 mile laid back ride to boot.

Riding Buddies

Riding Buddies

#30DaysofBiking Day 15 – Back to the Day Job

Monday was the day I had try to get caught up after the last weeks time away. Email backlogs and frantic post-vacation catch-ups don’t usually make for a nice return. Thankfully, I got a nice ride to and from work to help keep me calm and relaxed. After work it was back to the digging, which once again, given the short time, didn’t get done. However, finally, a lot of progress was made which left me with encouragement that in one more day, it would be done!

#30DaysofBiking Day 16 – Ding, Dong the Ditch is dead.

Finally Done

Finally Done

I got a pre-dawn start and while I was very late in getting to work, at least I was finally, at long last, able to finish filling in the ditch. You have absolutely no idea how good it felt to go to work with this weight off my shoulders. It felt even better for the ride home with the ability to a nice evening away from the project house.

#30DaysofBiking Day 17 – Rained Out

A stormy day kept me from commuting today, but I made sure to get back out there that evening for a ride around the block.

#30DaysofBiking Day 18 – Winter Returns

A Cold Morning

A Cold Morning

The morning started off rather cold and extremely windy. I don’t think I made much more than 12 mph all the way to work. All I hoped for is that the wind would hold out till the evening, which it did. Rode back to the project house to help with some painting work. The Realtor will be taking pictures this weekend, so there is a lot to get done in the mean time.


#30DaysofBiking Day 12 – Casual Riding

It was great to be back at work, even though there is much upon which to catch up. I was too tired last night to get all of my stuff ready for my commute back to work, and to top it all off, I slept in a bit too late this morning. No time to find all my ride clothes, pack my lunch, check the air pressure, etc. etc. So instead I did something most unusual, I just hopped on my bike in my work clothes and just rode to work. The temp was about 40 degrees which allowed me to pedal at a decent pace and still arrive to work fresh and happy. It’s an important thing for me to remember that I don’t need to over think my ride to work. Of course, in July when it’s 90 degrees at 6 am, it’s a slightly different story.

After work, I rode back to the grand canyon to continue filling it in. Still slow going, but getting closer. The ride home shortly after dark was a great help to loosen the sore muscles and to cool down. A good day of light riding to be sure.


#30DaysofBiking Day 11: I Can See The End in Sight

We started our little sewer line project with a good amount of enthusiasm thought with a certain amount of trepidation. While progress has been pretty constant, it has for the last couple of days, seemed like the project might never reach an end. While we didn’t finish it today, the project is truly getting close to completion. The first big hurdle was to get the new line laid, which actually went extremely smoothly.

However, with the rain yesterday, when it came time to fill in the trench, things slowed down considerably. What had been loose dirt has become thick clay-filled mud. We were able to get about half the ditch filled in before we finally retreated for the day.

Hopefully the weather will provide a little time to let it earth dry out so I can get it into the ground. In any case, I hope today is the last time where I get home almost too exhausted to ride. I did have enough energy though to make it around the block which is an improvement from going up and back.