Author: gacott

I suck At Blogging

Yep, turns out, we BOTH suck at blogging, but we must persevere nonetheless right? So, things are moving really good with the house. I PROMISE to update more soon, but there is the house in it’s many phases.

Day 1

Harlingen House

After pulling down all of the overgrowth:

full house

Reconstruction of the roof:

Actually becoming a house again:

Construction progress

OMG, painted!! And 99% of inside construction is done as well, just some trims left:


It was LITERALLY, a full gut job. We will get some inside pics coming ASAP.

Drama? Naw, just another day in the RGV

So, we had a bit of a knock-out drag-out with our contractor today. We’ve had one of his guys over here for quite some time, and he has always complained that he’s not making enough from us on this guy. My position is that he’s making about $75 a week from us for doing nothing, basically a rental fee on his guy. And that we are a long haul client, over 7 months now, and most of that with two or more guys. Not a bad deal I’m thinking . . . but he’s still a  bit grumpy about it.

So the worker, Randy, has been telling us that the contractor has been telling him that he should just go on his own and work with us, basically that we aren’t worth the headache to him. Knowing the contractor, this did not seem far-fetched. So we worked out a deal with Randy, told him we would hire him directly but he would have to talk to the contractor about it, make sure everything is clear and good to go, I didn’t want to burn any bridges.

The next day Randy says he spoke with the contractor, told him, the contractor was pissed, but generally he’s pissed no matter what, which is true.

Well, next thing I know the contractor shows up here pissed as hell and looking to kick some ass . . . or something.

To my great detriment, I have always been the kind of guy who thought that that position was mine to take in circumstances like this. Not sure where that came from, my Dad I guess, but I’m thinking it’s not the smartest trait to have.

Anyway, after plenty of yelling, chest puffing, crying (LOL, just kidding), we finally got things squared. No punches were thrown BTW. 🙂

Now on to he fun stuff; the lake!

So the lake is at least at 100% and looks like it’s still taking water on from somewhere. I’m thinking all of the saturated soil is still seeping in that direction and that has to be where it’s coming from. It’s not an issue and won’t be one, we are way too far and much higher than the lake. But the point is, LIFE IS BACK IN THE LAKE!!

Birds all over the place. ducks hatching, on and on. Frogs like you have never seen around here! Get up in the morning and walk around and baby frogs are hopping all over the place, kinda crazy.

So now we are looking at options for getting fish back in the lake. First, we have to do a water test (great idea Vivian) and make sure we don’t have anything like E-Coli in it, and if clear start working on a stocking plan. Exciting times! This was much of the reason for choosing this property.

It may not be fishy, but it sure looked like river city

So, our first real bit of “emergency’ fun since we’ve been here. It’s rained VERY little since we have been here, we’ve haven’t been an official drought but leading into one I guess. So it was nice to know that some water was on the way. They seem to say that quite often but nothing ever really materializes.

Well, it showed up this time, in spades.

It looks like we got right around 15 inches in 48 house, two days of pure haul ass, save what you can, do what you can, keep anything dry that you can. It was pretty crazy.

We did do pretty good in the house, no major leaks.


We were told that this was a hurricane level event, as it related to flooding, so I’m feeling like we made it out of it pretty well. We also now know some more about our property and things we need to do to mitigate future issue like this.

In the good news department, the wonderful lake that sits at the edge of our property in the back, the lake that was about 90% of the reason for moving down here and that has been empty most of the time we have been down here, finally has water!

That’s right, the darn thing filled up from one big ass storm, crazy! We will be waiting for the wildlife to return to the lake now.

All in all, much more work to be done, we are both safe though and have our marching orders.

We don’t need no stinking boarders

So, a really interesting story . . . .

A couple of weeks ago we went to Boca Chica beach for our weekly decompress session, taking our awesome friend Cindy along with us this time. We turned right when we hit the beach and went to the Rio Grande (South) side of the beach. Both Vivian and I love this place. The arrow in the picture is where we park down there.

Boca Chica from the air

That part of the beach is amazing because of the convergence of the Rio and the Gulf. Just amazing really. The way the water flows, the way the sand keeps changing and of course, all of the activity. There is always somebody down there doing some fishing, both in the river and in the gulf.

We pulled up and there was this guy, swimming across the river, pulling this HUGE net. He had a life-vest on but man was he struggling. The net basically was across the entire Rio and the guy looked like he was about to net

Me, being me, says “holy crap, that guy is exhausted”, I reached for a bottle of water, jumped out of the truck and offered it to him.

He starts yelling at me in Spanish and starts walking up the beach. So I’m thinking, “okay, your loss”.

He came back over a couple of minutes later after seeing that I wasn’t following him up the beach. He starts talking to Cindy who is fluent in Spanish. Turns out he thought I was border patrol trying to trick him or something. She assured him that we weren’t and were just trying to help. The guy gladly took the water and started drinking. He was speaking so fast from all of the adrenalin that even Cindy had a hard time following what he was saying, he was so thankful.

thumbs upSo here is the funny part, he leaves to go and swim back to Mexico, tucks the water under his life jacket and makes the swim against the strong current. He finally gets to the other side, rests a bit, stands up and yells at us. Once he sees us looking, he pulls the water from his life jacket, holds it up, and gives us a HUGE thumbs up.

It was cool, made me feel good . . . but it gets better.

He then kicked his head back, held the water to his lips and started guzzling what was left, with the sun framing the entire image for us.coke


It was kinda crazy, made me think of this, really, it did!

We hung out there for a while, picked up and headed to a semi-secret spot on the North side of the park, saw amazing sea life over there, watched the dolphins, watched ships come into port and took some amazing pictures, the best of the day being taken by Cindy below.boat and sun

What is not to absolutely love about this place?

The truth is, I got depressed

Things really slowed on this blog, I haven’t been doing what I planned, what I promised. Losing Dad was quite the blow, but we knew that had to be coming sooner or later. The real blow for me was what happened to Mom, just came out of left field. It was and still is a lot to deal with. Thank goodness she’s come out the other side wonderfully.

The house:

Construction progress

The house is kind of in a strange place, but starting to feel like we are getting much closer. We are now living in the suite; the french doors on the left are to the suite. I’ll post some pictures of it as soon as it’s a little more organized.

So, the suite is about 97% complete, we have to wait to get the main house complete to get the last 3%. But, on top of the suite and extending out on top of the main house a bit, is the office, with is 100% complete. Two rooms, really a very nice office space. I’ve got to tell you, it’s so nice having my own office again. I shut down the downtown office and moved into our office here, so awesome! The stairs that Vivian is standing on in the Life Happens post is the entrance to the office. The house will have an office as well, but nothing like the upstairs office.

The plans for the suite are pretty awesome I think, we plan on making it available for friends and family as they come down and visit. It’s really a very nice suite, living area with dining room and kitchen, separate bedroom, full bath, etc. Much nicer than most suites at mid-range hotels, even some higher end hotels. And totally separate from the house’s living space. We are both excited to have friends and family come and visit.

The main house still has more work coming, but most of the expensive stuff has already been done or addressed. We have a bit of electrical left 90% of the costly stuff is complete. Speaking of, we should have our “official” power this coming week. We have been running on Temp power that I pulled from the barn when we first got here. Years as an electrician going to use there, and throughout the project by the way.

Okay, getting a little long here and have lost a few of you by now, I’ll try to be better about this and ask Vivian to try and do the same. The “trailer living” started to get pretty hard on her. She is an amazing woman and person, she’s gutted it all out and now we are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.

We’ll get this darn thing done, then figure out the plan for the rest of the property, so many ways we could go there, and all exciting to think about.



Life happens

Wow, It’s bee quite awhile since either of us has posted . . . sorry about that. Peace. 🙂


Let’s hits the life happens stuff first. We placed my Dad into memory care in October. He was headed downward pretty fast even then. He ended up passing on the 18th of February. He truly was an amazing person: .

Mom was in the hospital during the same period, it seemed that she was trying to beat Dad out of here. She almost did but somehow decided she wasn’t quite ready yet and decided to fight. We are all so proud of her for doing so. She is now in a group home there in Az, seems to like it quite well and is really doing well.

The house is moving along at a very good clip now, I’ll start updating that more regularly . . . still living in the camper though, still mostly getting along. Mostly. 🙂