Ep 130: What I Did On My Summer Vacation
No, this isn’t an assignment I want you to write about. It’s a theme I will write and talk about.
Yes, I got a TON done on the vacation/bugout home
From the July 23rd post:
Just wanted to give you an update on the Vacation/Bugout House. Wow…what a summer. Full of ups…and downs. I can’t believe all I’ve gotten done on the vacation house, but it hasn’t been without its setbacks.
Since last I left you, I was filling dumpsters with trash and finishing-up the master bath. Well, The master bath looks great but there’s one enormous problem left: The old drain is stuck in and the special tool I bought called a “drain key” broke and is now stuck in the drain. I am in the process of drilling it out, but it’s a time-consuming and frustrating proposition.
On the brighter side, I installed the downstairs bathroom can light housings, vanity, single-surface sink to (very modern) and am in the process of installing the trap/drain. I’ll connect the faucet and the trap tomorrow and the downstairs bath will temporarily done. We’ll temporarily install a shower curtain in the shower. A glass door and panel will be installed eventually, but we like to be here when work is done, so we’ll schedule that work for another trip/visit.
I added two coats of paint to several rooms’ walls and ceilings and am putting in the trim pieces in the can lighting (also called “high hats” or “recessed” lighting. I was painting ’til midnight last night after assembling a table and four chairs for the breakfast nook and replacing the halogens in the security lighting system.
Did I mention I spent every morning last week teaching 4th, 5th and 6th graders at Vacation Bible School? I t was great and my wife got to see me teach. My wife no longer thinks our daughter is weird after a week with today’s kids and being introduced to the “new normal.” I am exhausted because we’d come home every day and work until 11 or midnight. We’ve been doing this for weeks, but it’s coming to an end now.
With just a short time before our return, we HAVE to devote a little of our vaction to a vacation. Our daughter’s birthday is this Sat so we’re planning her party. We’ll add a few mandatory trips to the old favorites and it’s back to our regular work.
I know it doesn’t seem like a vacation to many, but the equity we’re building is worth the effort, especially when I see those just standing still and getting farther behind. Work usually yields success/progress. We’re still grinding away at the house and sweating equity into the building. I won’t be in my 40s or 50s forever, and i’d rather work hard now than in my 70s because I’m broke. The sense of accomplishment we feel is a great feeling and we’re still sneaking in some time with family and friends.
In a little while we’ll pull the plug and then I’ll get to do what I’ve been dreaming about all year:
Rent a canoe and hunt walleye and trout
go to Kennywood or Idlewild amusement parks
Catch crayfish in a nearby stream with my daughter
Take my daughter on a hike to the waterfall behind my childhood home
Take a few hikes in the woods
Explore a cave
Walk around the university district and visit the museums, libraries, and universities of my past.
Watch squirrels gather nuts
Plant some trees (I know, work)
Make lists (one of my favorite things to do)
Visit Steeler training camp
…and that’s about it. There will be other things thrown-in, but if I do half of the things on my list, I’ll call it a good summer.
Already scheduling work on the Vegas home and will be there in no time.
I’ll also probably need to schedule a hernia surgery and train for a half marathon this fall. The neighbor called to tell me the fruit trees back home are gorgeous and the lemon blossoms are heavenly. He said the tomatoes are delicious from my vines, too.
I’ve stopped thinking about vacations as “ultimate getaways” pumped into our heads by the Travel channel, and truly begun enjoying the “repurposed” vacation. Vacations are an opportunity to build sweat equity, work on preps and build for the future. I don’t want to leave my family homeless and penniless. My work for my wife and daughter is joyous labor. God has given me a strong back (after 2 surgeries) and a healthy body. I use it to HIS glory and for my family’s benefit.
Have you stopped spending all of your money on empty vacations that are great for bragging, but bad for your finances and future?
Another truth I’ve come to and realized for a while now is that there will be people who will always make bad decisions and are destined to be without success. I know someone who keeps making bad decisions despite money being thrown his way. If he made a million, he’d spend two. And nobody can help him…and he comes from a family of people who also make the same bad decisions despite people helping them immeasurably. Sad, just sad. Where do you draw the line between helping and enabling? Something to consider…
Well, that’s my report for the day…I have so many wonderful things planned for blogs and podcasts this fall. but the lack of internet access is killing me. This dispatch cost me a 2 dollar coffee at Starbucks–ouch! Should have internet/cable next summer, but not having a tv all summer has been great. TV isn’t and shouldn’t be my life–although with football season coming up, I see a few hours each weekend vanishing into a tv and couch.
Best wishes to all. Thinking of you. Have to admit that with fewer podcasts I’ve gotten fewer emails. Now’s a great time to have a problem or request answered. Tell me what shows you want. Tell me how I can help.
August 13, 2012
No, I didn’t podcast very much this summer. I apologize for neglecting you, but I tweeted my little tail off for you instead. I just didn’t have the time to do much podcasting. I literally had about five days off in two months, and that means i did HARD labor every other day…and put in days until 2 AM on occasion. Well. no pity party for me–just telling you I WAS busy.
I shot some videos and I realized that they are a great way of documenting the improvements you make to your house for the insurance man. I feel better knowing that there’s a record (and a public one in my case) of what I’ve been doing on the house. You need to record your house and its contents for private records as well.
I’m totally bummed that I didn’t spend much time on gardening and permafood. When I got back to Vegas, though, man was I happy to see that my fruit trees were relatively happy and all of the plants were alive. Last summer’s return from vacation was depressing due to a water leak and the shutoff of all water to my plants and trees. It was bad. Fixing up the old cape cod took up the whole summer. What do you want? I’m a prepper. You have to figure I’d spend the summer on some combination of food, clothing and shelter. It so happened I’ve spent TWO summers exclusively on shelter. Oy vay!!
So what great truths have I come away with? What pearls of wisdom shall I cast to my followers…
Get real…I’m a regular guy and that’s why you listen. I worked on making my family’s situation better. Period. That’s it. Sure, I learned some things along the way. I’ll sprinkle them in as I go, but the essence of the matter hasn’t changed one iota:
Keep grinding/keep hustling/keep working/keep prepping/keep on keeping on.
Oh, I will throw out one zen-like pearl of wisdom while I’m thinking about it:
Don’t wait forever to do what you want to do.
I’m 43 and cashed in my old job’s retirement to make our vacation house happen. I didn’t wait. I’m living MY dream.
BUT I had on my to do list another walk behind my dad’s house to the waterfall deep in the woods that I played at with my friend Scotty a million times as a kid. We hid underneath it, caught crayfish, and chased water bugs. I planned on taking a hike back to see it this summer with my daughter. The farmer who owned the property and several neighbors sold all of the mineral rights to the properties. The lad is being strip-mined and after the coal is extracted, gas wells will be dug using the fracking method (fracture drilling). The land is destroyed and the waterfall is lost. I was/am devastated.
Don’t put off your dreams too long. See things and people before they’re gone.(okay, I guess that’s kind of deep)
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being lied to by the investment services industry. Expect another show on it in the near future. Most advisers assume a 7% annual return on your money when you invest it/put it in the market. You averaging 7% ANNUAL returns over the last five or ten years? Didn’t think so. It’s NOT a given, but it’s used to show how inferior other investments are. Guarantee me 7% annually and I’ll start believing what you’re saying