Sunday, May 4, 2014

House Hunting

Staunton/Walnut Hill KOA - Staunton, VA
One of the very nice things about full time RV'ing is meeting up with old and new friends. Earlier in the week, we met up with Ray and Linda. We met them via the Cedar Creek RV Owner's Group. Ray has taken a liking to me. I guess sometimes I can be sociable and nice enough for people to want to meet up again. We went out to Golden Corral and made pigs of ourselves. Golden Corral is buffet style, so as we would go up to choose what we wanted, Ray would pass by the dessert section and pick up a little fudge and pop in his mouth on the way to the main courses.
I like to eat dessert first to make sure I have room! Thank you Ray & Linda for good food, good company and for treating us!
Later in the week, I met up with a friend I've only known from emails and one phone conversation. Rick was a volunteer for Above & Beyond English Setter Rescue. He still has a couple of foster dogs that need homes. We ate outside under our RV awning. I made chicken and beef fajitas. Yum! Rick's fiance' Nancy? brought dessert of home made 5 flavor pound cake. Oh--my--gosh!!! It was soooo good! Lemon, coconut, butter, vanilla and forgot the 5th flavor. Moist, dense, wonderful! She was gracious enough leave the balance of the pound cake for us. Oh what a wonderful "getaway" and pound cake.
Speaking of foster dogs needing homes. Below are the two foster dogs that Rick is caring for that need a forever home.


Ella is a 7 ½ year old, beautiful Tri color English Setter girl being fostered in TN.  She is spayed, weighs approximately 50 pounds and would be considered medium build.  She is a very sweet girl with a gentle nature and tender feelings.
Ella is slightly dominant and she will defend herself if challenged.  She is protective of what she feels is hers.  Ella needs an experienced owner that will allow her to be herself, but not allow her to take run of the house. Even though Ella has a gentle nature and tender feelings, she can get pushy.  She needs an adopter that will be consistent in letting her know what is and is not acceptable behavior, in a firm, yet gentle manner.
She currently lives with other dogs in her foster home and does well if the dogs are submissive; however, there are two dominant males that she does not interact with.  Ella is curious about other dogs, but she doesn’t understand that it is not acceptable to get in another dogs face right away.
Outside, this girl will go after anything that moves.  If it jumps, flies, scurries or blows in the wind, she feels it is her duty to pursue further investigation. Inside, her activity level is somewhat lower, but does enjoy hunting houseflies.  No cats for Ella either, that is another critter to add to her list of fun things to chase.
Ella has completed a beginning obedience class; however, she was on “Ella time” and took her own sweet time in displaying her talents.  Eventually, she caught on to most everything.
Ella does a “grooming” type of nibble, as a sign of affection, when she is excited or happy to see you.  She is an intelligent, eager to please girl that learns quickly.  Ella likes kids, but might be too high energy for toddlers. A fence of some type is required for this girl.


Lou is an 8 year old, Blue Belton English Setter being fostered in TN.  He is neutered and he would be considered a medium built setter.  Lou is a loving and affectionate boy.  He has developed a love for toys and he enjoys playing with them.
If you like all the attributes of a Bench setter, but don’t have the room for a larger setter, Lou might be the guy for you.  Lou has the attitude, disposition and even the “trot” of a Bench, but he is about 20 lbs lighter.
 Lou gets along well with most dogs, but he is also a dominant dog.  His easy nature makes his dominance so subtle, that you would have to sit and observe his behavior to even notice it.  Lou can be aggressive towards other male dogs, and if challenged by male or female, he will not back down.  However, Lou is much more interested in playing and just having a good time, then he is about fighting.
Lou is well behaved and curious; he is sweet and loves attention.  Lou also likes to help with laundry chores so you will need to monitor your clothes baskets and any front loading washers or dryers.  Wouldn’t it be nice if he could be trained to fold the clothes?
At one point Lou was a climber and a fence jumper.  The tree he climbed was cut down and he has not attempted to climb other trees.  Lou’s foster dad had to move and he now has a 4 foot chain link fence in his backyard – Lou has not made any effort to jump or climb the fence.
Lou is a “nibbler” when he wants attention or gets excited.  This is not an aggressive behavior on his part, he simply wants you or wants to share something with you that is exciting to him.  Even though he has this behavior, Lou is great with kids.
No kitties for this guy as he would more than likely think they were part of his toy collection.
If you are interested in adopting either of these babies, please fill out an adoption application.
What to do? Do we compromise?
We've looked at a few houses and TRIED to look at some houses in the Sevierville area. This is definitely a hilly area. These are not rolling mounds, but steep property leading up to the house. One day we were only able to see one house out of four because we couldn't get to the other three because the gravel driveways were so steep, we just kept spinning tires. Our realtor has had to get two new tires since taking us out.
I think I've narrowed it down, to definitely a log home, or at least the inside should look like a log house. We really prefer a more rustic look.
The photo below is very rustic, but that is what we like. See the porch posts are kept in the natural state of the tree? We like that. This house was located on "White Lightnen" Dr. The owner built the house out of mainly trees cleared off his land. Unfortunately, it was very small with additional rooms added that were not attached to the house. It was a beautiful piece of property.

This was a cute house with 6.6 acres and only $145K. You're seeing the sun room. We really liked this house. The main level was small, but open enough to feel comfortable. It had a walk out basement which I want for the dogs. BUT, there was a house within spitting distance. The owner built the neighboring house for their son to live in. Deal breaker. No neighbors that close.

This house has torn us apart. 10 Acres, well built. Nice property with mountain views.
 Stone flooring, front and back covered porches. Lots of trees.
 Open floor plan, outside is bug resistant hickory. Huge master bedroom with french doors to back porch. Two walk in closets off the master bedroom. Spa bath, plus a nice 2nd bathroom. But...
...what is up with the second floor? This walkway spans to each end of the house. A very large room on one side and a smaller room on the other with a 1/2 bath.
The downside is there is no basement. I really want the basement for foster dogs, storage, etc. Sure we could use this second floor for this, but inside the house, it has to be kept more clean and maintained. A basement, even though finished, can be more casual aka sloppy, dusty, etc.
The other downside, is this is in a community with an HOA (Home Owner's Assoc.), which means RULES. In NJ, the HOA rules are absolutely ridiculous. They rule every part of your household. What you can display in your yard. My yard art is whimsical, the NJ HOA would probably call it low-life, poor taste, etc. NJ HOA's have had lawsuits because no flags can be displayed, not even the American Flag. They have rules about size of animals, types of animals, or having any at all. Many times vehicles must be INSIDE the garage. Fahgettaboutit!
The HOA in TN isn't bad, but it is still rules put upon us on our own property. Only a certain type and amount of extra buildings. You can have a certain type of barn for your horses and a building to house your car, RV, etc. But it must be 3 sided with a door, which means enclosed. And all HOA's have an annual fee. In the case of the property in TN, it is a reasonable $275.00 per year and only raised once in 10 yrs. The bad side of the fee, is that our 10 acres is actually two lots, so we would pay $550. per year in fees. That's almost as much as our property tax. And what do we get for those fees? Maintenance of the GRAVEL roads. I would prefer paved. Snow removal, complimentary neighborhood cookouts. Maintenance and taxes for the common land and horse stalls. Yes, this is an equestrian community, so there is a community horse barn that you can keep your horse for $1.00 a day. That's GREAT IF, I had a horse.
There are parts of the house I love, but it is not THE house. Scott wants it, but I'm think I'm going to have to say no. What do you think???
We saw another PERFECT, yes PERFECT house in this same neighborhood. With this PERFECT house, I could probably compromise with the HOA, but the gravel driveway was so steep with hairpin turns, we almost couldn't get our truck up there. This property also had 10 acres, which means double HOA fees, but this property was mainly unusable except for an acre surrounding the house. The house, the view, the acre of yard was beautiful. When we looked through the house, I actually cried. I didn't think we could afford such a beautiful log home. But do I again compromise with the HOA and small unusable land?
Oh my gosh! So many DIY projects! Check out Ana-White. She is always updating and building things and she supplies multi-photo tutorials. I keep gathering her info for when we move into a house again.
This project has been two years in the making. I love "bed dolls". I think because I always wanted one as a child, but could never afford them. So the child in me still wants them.

 Also, if you've been reading my book reviews, I'm in a romance novel phase. I love the flowing dresses from the 1800's. Of course I wouldn't want to have to spend all that time preparing to wear them, and all the restrictive layers underneath, etc. But they are still beautiful. This outfit for a barbie like doll was tedious to make. And the accessories, I procrastinated with. I'd make just one part of the hat, then the next week or month, I'd add the decorative touches to the hat. Then I would make the shawl, another month later, I'd add the fringe to the shawl. I even made a parasol, but can't find where I stored it.
This isn't actually a bed doll, since I need a doll stand to keep her upright, but oh how I love the results.


  1. Keep looking. You will either find the right place, or get tired enough to compromise. The good thing is you can live in your rig anywhere and take a break if you get overwhelmed with options.

  2. Have I told you how much I dislike having to try to type in those characters to publish a comment? It is almost impossible to read sometimes if I don't have my good glasses on. I have given up a few times and did not leave the words I wanted to. Most of the bloggers I follow have stopped using them. We had a big boycott last year.

    1. No more character reads to add a comment. But now I keep getting spam messages.

    2. glad its gone too...... :O)

  3. When the right one comes along, you will know it. Had a friend in NJ who lived in a condo with a HOA. No pickups allowed on site. So there they were all parked along the highway. Dumb!

    1. The HOA rules at this location aren't bad. I think they just don't want junk to build up. You can't even see our house from the road. We're taking a 2nd look on Sunday at one of the houses.

  4. LOVING the log cabin COZY!


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