Monday, March 29, 2021

In which I declare Victory!

 It's been a long war!

No, Beans, I'm not talking about Sarge's serial war novel, fabulous though it is.

I'm talking about what I affectionately refer to as "Operation Everyone move one house clockwise".

The operation began its first phase on March 5, 2020 with site preparation for the new house.

This was followed shortly thereafter by "The Feast of the Sainted Slab Pourers".

This phase of the operation, like most military operations, did not end, but was "Declared" over on 30 Sep 2020 when Mrs J and I signed 2,765,412 documents and wrote an enormous check.  Upon handing said check to the High Priestess of Entitlement, she proclaimed that Phase 2 could now commence.

At 0800 1 Oct 2020, an elite special forces unit, operating under the pseudonym "Affordable Movers" arrived on target.  By lunch, they had departed and most of our material things were "in" the new house.

Phase 3 of the operation began at that point.  Mrs J was in command of this operation.  I was in charge of heavy lifting, hanging artifacts on walls, moving said artifacts to a more suitable position (per Mrs J's order countermanding my poor location judgement), and moving "for the time being" things into the attic.  

Where they will be discovered some time in the distant future by some archaeologist who will, no doubt, gain much notoriety for the find.

While this phase was ongoing (and still is), phase 4 of the operation commenced.

The refurbishing of our old house. Which was "supposed" to be, merely ripping out the carpet and tile and replacing it with snap in vinyl flooring.

The ripping part went smoothly, until one of the workers stepped through the floor.

Oplan Phase 4 was then rewritten to include repairing the floor understructure, cabinets and then the vinyl.  

At that point, Phase 5 of the Operation came into play, the Special Operations Team, operating under the same code name, returned to the OpArea and conducted a quick upload and offload of my sister's material goods.

Given that she'd been living in a 640 sq ft cottage on our property, this was a relatively easy phase.  In a stroke of genius, she set up her bed in one of what had been Little Juvat's room.  She then set up her sewing and quilting equipment in the former master bedroom.  I'm a little jealous of the space she now has to go about her hobbies.

In any case, Phase 6 was delayed for about a month due to "Icemageddon". the Valentine's Day winter storm that shut down Texas (there are still a few outlying dwellings without power.  We were lucky in that our power was restored within 5 days, I've got friends that were out for 2-3 weeks and had to move into a hotel in town.)

The storm caused considerable damage to the water supply to our old house as well as the Guest House and my Sister's old house.  All thing's being fair in Love and Contracting, I resorted to a diabolic scheme to get priority with the plumber.

Which, surprisingly, worked!

Now, Phase 6 had a hard end date of March 26 which was when DIL and dog Tex would be returning from overseas to quarantine before returning to a different overseas location. 

March 19th, after cleaning and throwing away several loads of old broken stuff, the living room and bedroom looked like this.

Monday the 22nd, the bed, but not the mattress had arrived. 

That evening, I'm looking through the Oplan for timing considerations.  I recheck DIL's flight itinerary and discover her arrival date is the 25th not the 26th. Somebody had made a mistake in entering it on the calendar!  I'm not naming names, but it wasn't me.  But the plan' execution now shifts into overdrive.

We had purchased this couch from a young couple who were moving into a smaller apartment. It had been in our garage until this point.  Unfortunately, the special ops folks were not available for this phase. Mrs J and yours truly managed the task, later assisted by Motrin. 

Tuesday, the mattress and the rug arrived.  UPS/FedEx LOVE us!

Wednesday, Mrs J spends organizing the kitchen area.

Thursday, we load up some of MBD and SIL's stuff that we'd discovered during phase 2/3 of the plan, and head to Houston.  A bit of excitement in Austin with two pickup trucks engaging in a little high speed road rage in our vicinity added a large shot of adrenalin to my system to combat the fatigue.

After dropping the stuff off and having an enjoyable lunch with MBD and SIL, we're off to Bush International.  
Very shortly thereafter......

Even Tex is happy to be back in the USA (and was even happier to be let out of his carrier).

The following day, we had a hilariously happy trip to the local grocery store.  Mrs J and I had a relatively short shopping list, so I suggested she stay with DIL and assist her with locating stuff while I did our shopping.

Shortly thereafter, I rendezvous with them after completing my circuit of the store.  They were on Aisle 2.

I had to chuckle, remembering a similar episode when I returned from my remote assignment to Kunsan.  

So, it's been a long 13 Months.  I am declaring Victory in OPlan Everybody move one house clockwise.  There, as Sarge will no doubt include in his saga, still will be some "mopping up" operations to accomplish, but I'm going to take some time off and maybe even take a nap.

Lucky Dogs!

Peace out, y'all!


  1. Going without power - triggered a random memory flashback. The Midwest region I grew up in had a huge ice storm that took down power line poles across enough space that crews and trucks from all surrounding states had to come. Power was out for several months. The closest town (pop. 140) had an emergency shelter set up by the Feds, who brought in emergency generators, let the locals know they were open for business, and then waited...and waited...and waited...
    Everybody was used to power outages, so they stayed in their own power-free homes and made do.
    They were also used to winter weather, so that helped as well.

    1. Yep, a lot of lessons were learned/relearned in that episode. Not the least of which is NEVER EVER trust the government. The fact that the advisory board that mandated percentages of power production for each form had several members who were employed in the solar and wind industries says it all.
      Winter down here is usually pretty easy to get used to. Unfortunately, this wasn't a usual winter.

    2. And various Fed agencies not allowing existing Texas power plants to run more due to pollution... Grrrr..

  2. After working for months to repair, replace, and refinish, there's a supreme satisfaction that can't be explained to those that never suffered, fretted, and finally enjoyed the fruits of an event that can only be explained by: "If I had to do it all over....." The accolades of those that admire the work is probably one of the best things. Their compliments are usually followed by long explanations of the tools, methods, and materials involved. To some, it's probably like looking at vacation pictures. To those that know, it's an honor to view the transformation.

    1. Jess,
      I think you nailed it (Get it?). All the effort paid off instantly when DIL walked in and said "OH, I love it!" I'm glad I took some before and after pics just to remind us what was involved.

  3. "Wrote an enormous check" brings to mind Publishers Clearing House physical sized check?!? No? Ah, the amount........:) Lots of photos juvat, good touch there. Sofa looks,(ahem) rather solid eh? Kinda surprised that nobody has come up with an extended grocery cart yet. A well done synopsis juvat. Enjoy your recuperative naps now and Motrin after undergoing your own twelve labors.

    1. It would have been nice if the Publishers Clearing House check had arrived prior to that date, but.....

      It's a very nice sofa, I'm not sure why they didn't keep it. They just said they were downsizing. I gave it a pretty thorough going over and didn't find any discrepancies. So, I guess we just got lucky.

      Naps and Motrin Aye!

  4. It's been quite an adventure, hasn't it?

    Regarding what's behind your DIL and the pile o' luggage in that one photo, I see oddly sculpted pillars. What the heck are those?

    1. Artistic representation of the famous Bush slinky spine?

    2. Well, it kept me off the streets at least. Maybe I can resume woodworking, or since I've updated my currency in it, I can renovate/reorganize my woodshop. Yeah, that's the ticket.

      Since we were outside the secure zone and that thing was facing in, I really have no idea. It's not a pillar as it doesn't go to the ceiling, it's some kind of statue like thing. Some kind of modern "art" I suppose.

    3. Beans,
      Be nice! Bush International is named after the Dad.

  5. Man, that was/is a long drawn out op. A few twists in it to make it scary and expensive. Project management as an aid for retirement...

    I'm hoping for a win on one stage of a project this week. With the relief, I expect to get sick. Always seems to happen when there is a lull...

    That cottage looks really nice! I love how warm wood gets... Especially when pine pumpkins out in color like that...

    1. The pictures don't really show it, but the walls have aged oddly. Where my sister had hung things on the wall, the area behind is much lighter color than the exposed walls. I don't know how to fix that, I'm just hoping they'll darken with time and catch up to the other sections.


    2. (Don McCollor)...just hang new stuff where the old things were...

  6. "...set up her sewing and quilting equipment in the former master bedroom."
    I'm having a bit of envy about a space dedicated to sewing and quilting.
    My wife has so far resisted my plan to convert the little used dining room to a crafting space.
    If only I had a space that was entirely my own. Wait, I forgot about having the use of 2/3s of the entire basement for machine tools and woodworking tools. I feel better now. :)

    What a long haul to get to this point, take a deep breath, enjoy an adult beverage of your choice, and enjoy.
    Of course something else will come up, but not at this second.

    Wrapping up with the sleeping dogs photo makes me smile.

    1. John,
      Yeah, there was a pang of jealousy when I first saw it after she organized it. The room goes the whole width of the house, so so 40' or so wide and probably 15-20 feet deep. AKA as big as her previous house in that room alone.

      As I mentioned in a previous comment, my workshop is going to get a pretty severe going over as my next project.

      After my nap, of course.

  7. Glad to see the fruits of your labors - you must be relieved, but not to worry - with that many buildings, I'm sure new projects will crop up, some unexpectedly, some that are anticipated and planned for.
    I'm a bit jealous, as I have been dithering greatly on some of my projects, all started before I retired and which I always told myself I'd finish once I retired. Well, I retired two years ago and haven't made much progress.... sigh My only excuse is that I'm having too much fun doing other things, but I really have to finish up these things this year... so my wife tells me :-)

    1. Tom,
      Yeah, I'm pretty much the same way. Having a firm deadline for that last phase focused the effort pretty well. I agree that it is entirely too easy to find a reason to postpone a chore or project. Mrs J is pretty good at countering that tendency most of the time.

      Still trying to figure out the retirement thing writ large though.

  8. Replies
    1. Yeah, they're pretty nice, and with the Knots and markings and such, they hide a lot of oop's on them. Nail holes etc. The floors are going to need refurbishing when DIL moves on to their next assignment before we bring the second Guest House on line. But that's in September.

  9. I’ve seen that rug... every day for about the past two years or so.
    Found ours at IKEA.

    I discovered ...about ten years ago ...that when one operation is completed, there’s another sneaking up from another direction.

    1. Not sure where Mrs J got it from. But it wasn't IKEA. I avoid that store like the plague.

      There's a lot of truth in your last statement.

  10. Hey Juvat;

    Congratulations on a successful operation.

  11. Can you say Mission Creep? I know you can. Say it. Saaaayyyy Itttt...

    Looks all very good and tight. Glad most of the moving and taskng has been completed.

    Now you get to work on preps for the next big power outage. Insulated well building. Whole house backup genny, plus some extra portables to run other buildings, unless you go whole house gennys for those, too. An attic lift/hoist of some sort. Omnicrom ED-203 for gate patrol.

    Glad you and your back survived. Glad your DIL and Tex the wonderdog survived Pan-Al (Pandemic Airlines.)

    Now all you have to worry about is what mischief your wife has thought of next (which probably includes well, gennies and maybe an ED-203...)

    1. Beans
      Well house is definitely the next project with alternate power to keep water flowing. The only constraint is the refill rate on the Buck Gun. It's been firing on full auto for quite a while now so....Maybe Sarge will up the pay rate for his tribe of minions.

      One CAN hope can't one?

    2. Took me a while to find a picture that actually looks like you.

      Albeit a younger, much younger, you.

    3. A before I've had my coffee me.

  12. Congratulations on pretty much pulling off a miracle, all things considered!!!

  13. Juvat - Glad everything came together and people got home (and have a place to stay!). The older I get, the more Motrin is my friend.

    But I fully expect a new saga to be developed for my regular Monday devouring. Also, if Sarge is any indication, there are possible two (and maybe three) unexpected turnbacks...

  14. Whew! ...and I think I'm tired out!


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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