Friday, August 21, 2015

The End (Almost) of a Quarter Century At the Bolt Hole

Made my last trip to the Bolt Hole today. There were a few odds and ends we had left in case I was going to stay there the night before the closing. I also arranged to sever connections with the power company (National Grid) and the phone company/internet provider (Newport Telephone Company). BUT...



The sale of the Bolt Hole is currently on hold as the title company is searching for a warranty deed somewhere deep in the Stone Age. When we purchased the property some 25 years (!?!) ago, we had a title search done. It did not go back beyond 40 years (1950) and no encumbrances were found. Chicago Title Insurance Company tendered a policy that protected us should some long lost ghost of sales past crop up.

[Our title search back in early 1988 DID discover that the seller (K) did not own the 101 acres he thought he did—and on which he was paying taxes. Turns out he only owned 34. The other 67 acres still belonged to the persons he purchased from (R)—and they, too, were paying taxes on those 67 acres! At the time, K lived in New Mexico, R lived on Long Island and I lived in New Jersey. I was the only one with a lawyer in the county in which the property was located. What transpired was a comedy (?) of errors and was the reason we never took possession of the property until spring of 1989.]

In today’s litigious society, I guess they want to be more careful. Forty years would be just me, and the three previous owners a total of just three sales. You can trace things back a bit further using the computer data, but that must be attached to some hard data which, if the county records are anything like I’ve been told, are a labyrinth of unsorted and mislabeled (if labeled at all) boxes and boxes of paper—kind of like my basement.

Anyway...the couple to whom we are selling need a place ASAP. They insisted on the quick closing date (three weeks from acceptance of their offer), I really hope the clerks in the county office work a little faster or that an alternative to a warranty deed can be accepted by both parties.

Today I dropped off the keys with my attorney as well as a not for the new folks detailing where different things are (power line to garage, water line to the house, etc.), how no one has lived in the cabin over winter since...oh...1987 so I don't know what the baseboard heat (only one of which has ever been used) will be like, and so forth. 

Good thing I signed all the papers including a power of attorney the other day when Terry did the same. (She was going to be out of town today; Pittsburgh for a stitching thingy.) Having done so means I can get on with doing what I want to do and do not have to show up at the closing...when ever that will be.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Once More With Feeling!

Another busy two days.

After a trip to the dump on Monday morning to deliver some recyclables and a load of trash, I hauled the utility trailer up to the Bolt Hole.

Mark was there and we started loading all sorts of wood and trash into the Tundra. We also loaded a cabinet that was in the garage that once serve as the base for a radial arm saw and a half ton of various rocks (mostly pretty stuff that could be used for lapidary work and some petrified wood). We came pretty close to emptying out the barn and the garage! What I didn't take, Mark picked through. Some stuff will go to friends and some will go to some enterprising youngsters Mark knows who collect scrap metal.

Terry showed up at dark when all the heavy lifting was finished.

Today Terry and I went down to the lawyers to sign some the papers for the sale. Terry won't be around on Friday when the closing is scheduled but I will attend. I signed the papers anyway just in case the title searchers take too long and the closing has to be postponed. We returend to the Bolt Hole and cleaned almost everything we're taking out.

We were on the road home by 2 PM with both the Jeep and the Tundra loaded to the gills. Ran into a couple of nasty downpours on the way home but once there, we were able to sort out everything from our two vehicles (and the trailer!) into trash (Tundra) and recyclables (Jeep) so we could make a run to the dump again on Wednesday.

It wasn't until I went to park the utility trailer and its load of wood under the deck using the ATV that the rains hit again. And the ATV started acting up. We ended up putting tarps over the trailer and the ATV so I could attend to them tomorrow but by then we were drenched.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Whew! Long day.

First we headed to the dump in two vehicles. Terry emptied the Jeep Compass of all its books and magazines and where I dropped an extra large TV and a bunch of folding plastic & aluminum chairs among bags and bags of trash. (I certainly got my $15 worth this time!)

Then I drove to the Bolt Hole (225 miles) where I got to shmoose a bit with Mark who helped me load the Tundra with boxes Terry and I filled Sunday, a crate seat from This End Up (Are they still in business?) and a cradle I made for Rick lo some 32 years ago.

And then I hauled all that home (another 225 miles) and unloaded the Tundra.

Tomorrow I get to go up again and Terry will follow. We'll stay overnight to do still more sorting and cleaning before coming home on Wednesday...at least I will be coming home. Terry will first stop in Liverpool for a ANG shindig. (That's American Needlepoint Guild.)

With luck, Mark will be there again to help load the large (and heavy!) This End Up coffee table. And we will get to meet the young couple who are going to live (!) in the Bolt Hole.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Busy! BUSY! BUSY!!!

Got a phone call Wednesday night from our realtor up in New York. She had an offer for our camp. It was too low so we counter offered. They counter-counter offered on Thursday and  we agreed. It's a cash as is sale so there shouldn't be any problems.

We got the names to three attorneys in Herkimer who the realtor recommended. Terry made some phone calls Friday morning and we chose the only one that would give us a straight answer as to the cost of handling a closing. (The first went to an answering machine and the second said, "Well that depends....") We still had the title search that was performed way back when we purchased the property in the mid-80s. Plus the deed and tax bills from last year. Could I get to the office before they closed at 4:30 PM Friday afternoon? Hell yeah! IT was only 11:30 AM and Herkimer's only 190 miles away. No sweat!

I got there at 3 PM. And not all those roads between here and there have 60 mpg\h speed limits, you know. All I know is I was still getting passed on the NY Thruway!

Terry joined me at the Bolt Hole later that evening as she left around 3 PM.

I spent much of Saturday morning replacing 10 boards in the middle of the screened porch's floor. Tongue and groove stuff is supposed to be laid from one end to the other. Trying to replace sections in the middle is a...challenge. Especially when that final board is 1/8 of an inch wider than the hole. I didn't have a table saw so I screwed one plant to a longer, wider board from the barn to rip the edge of that overly wide board and then slid it in from the end. Tight fit! As for the other boards, I don't think I used more than six 4d finishing nails (galvanized) to encourage a couple of boards that wanted to bend where they shouldn't.

Meanwhile, Terry was going around bagging clothes (some for home, some for donation), bundling books (again, some for home and a lot for recycling--mostly old Reader's Digest books. Hey! They did add some insulation to the walls.) I went on to clean up the red shed behind the house, and start on the brown shed on the east side. Then joined Terry in sorting stuff for donation, home and trash. I also protected her from the mean old teenage mice she encountered in one closet and fended off that piece of string she thought was a snake skin.

As we worked, we thought about where we would put all the furniture and decided we would rather sell it that have to haul it out. So we emailed the realtor our suggestion and offered all the furniture (except for a few choice pieces) to the buyers. [The realtor would later give me the buyers' phone numbers and tell me to make the suggestion to them. So I called Sunday night and they agreed to the purchase with only a little haggling. They don't have to go shopping and I don't have to figure out when I'll have to haul and where I'll have to store all those things.]

******

In the midst of this all, we learned that my Aunt Doris passed away. She was the youngest of the five Dunn sisters--and one brother. She was also the last survivor of that particular generation. They were all sweet ladies and independent as hell. Each had skills that they applied to daily life while raising families. And they each had the misfortune of seeing their husbands--and in some cases a child--predecease them. They are all missed by, not only their own offspring but their nieces and nephews--many of whom are grandparents now.

******

Sunday, we spent the morning packaging and boxing still more stuff and filled the Tundra cargo area to the brim with trash and the back seat with treasure. Terry's little Compass got filled with books and magazines to be recycled at the dump and clothes of the home-or-donation variety. We packed up most of the Tupperware and dried foods and stacked those boxes in the living area. Ate lunch and left for home. I went one way while she went another and I got home all of 2 minutes before she did.

After feeding the cats, we unloaded those items we wanted for home, and those that we wanted to donate. Tomorrow (Monday) morning, we'll both go to the dump. She to the recycling area, me to the trash area. Then I'll drive north to get those boxes we packed and bring them home.

Tuesday we both go north--in separate cars--and get to work cleaning out the garage (me) and washing down the house (Terry).

Wednesday, Terry goes over to Liverpool (just west of Syracuse) for a dinner with one of her stitching groups and then home. I'll leave a little later than she does but I'll be going home with a load of stuff from the garage.

Thursday I'll be prepping for my fishing trip to Quebec. Joe and I will leave Friday around 3 PM to arrive at Clova (look it up if you can!) in time for our 7 AM Saturday flight to our wilderness camp.

And that fishing trip--and an August 21st closing date is why Terry and I are racing back and forth between the Aerie and the Bolt Hole this week and probably between August 17th and 21st!

Just hope I don't run out of gas like Kyle Busch at Pocono today. Poor guy was leading by a considerable margin (because two others had already run out of fuel!) got the white flag for the final lap...and...ran out of fuel himself!



Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Today's Saga

For those of you new the Pennsylvania-New York border, that blue streak you saw this morning (and again around 2:30 this afternoon) was just me swearing at the fershugina chipper/shredder.

This morning, after spending some time cleaning up the slash and getting ready to chip it all up, I ran into a teensy weensy problem. The damn chipper wouldn't start.

I purchased it two years ago and used it only once. That time it started right up and ran until the gas ran out. I refilled it and it wouldn't start again. I put it under the deck and covered it with a tarp. Then the back acted up and I couldn't have pulled the starter cord if I wanted to. Then there was back surgery and it wasn't until now that I needed to use the darn thing.

Figuring the gas might be part of the problem and since it had been in there for a year, I drained the tank. No water in the fuel that I could see but it was ethanol containing crap so I replaced it with good clean no ethanol unleaded. Followed the directions for starting it and nothing happened.

I checked the spark plug and it was dry. No fuel getting there? So I decided to pull the carburetor and clean the fuel out of that and see if there was any obstruction. But to do that I first needed to pull the air filter. Long story short, I pulled everything but the kitchen sink and saw nothing obviously wrong. (But I sprayed the carburetor with starting fluid anyway and poked a thin wire in all the little holes--just in case.)

Put everything back together again (with no left over bolts!), put a bit of gas in the tank and pulled the cord. It started right up! BUT it was time for lunch so I shut it down and went in to eat.

Coming back outside, I said a few silent prayers, filled the gas tank and pulled the cord. It started on the second pull.

I ran that sucker for over two hours and got about half of the pile done. When the gas ran out, I let it sit for fifteen minutes while I took a break. Filled the tank again and pulled the cord and...nothing. The damn thing wouldn't turn over.

Drained the fuel, pulled the carb (and the air filter) and cleaned the thing again since it seemed to work the first time. This time it didn't. So I pulled the spark plug again. It was slightly moist but when I tested it I couldn't see if it was producing a spark. So off to Lowe's I went to get a new spark plug.

After returning and installing the new plug, I put a little gas in the tank and gave it a pull. Started right up!

Moved it back to where I was working, filled the tank and it took me half a dozen pulls to get it going again. I ran that thing for another two and a half hours before the tank ran dry and I was almost done with the stuff I wanted to chip/shred.

I figure I lost over three hours futzing around with the damn machine. Three hours I could have used to stack the firewood length pieces and/or cut the pieces that are over 3" in diameter for firewood.

Well, there's always tomorrow. Although I still have about an hour on the chipper to finish what I'm doing so jeep an eye to the sky in north central PA tomorrow around 8 AM. If you see a streak of blue, you'll know I'm having trouble with the damn chipper again!