Saturday, March 26, 2011

House Hunting in Southern California

Rural Private Roads
Well, another day, and no place found to relocate.  My friend, Karen and I decided to take a ride to another area of the Inland Empire in hopes we might be able to find something that we could both invest in, to get a better place, and one that is large enough for us to have out pets, and each have our personal space when needed.  So far, there really wasn't a lot to be even considered.

We stopped at a couple of real estate offices, and went through the options available there.  We may have to return in order to really drive by a few places which are located out of the main part of town, and that would satisfy our needs for all our pets, such as dogs and cats, and maybe a place I can keep a good milk goat, and that is safe from coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, and rattle snakes, too.

There were several places that were outside of town on some pretty rough roads which are not maintained by the county, and any grading, etc., would have to be for either us to take care of, or if there are neighbors, everyone could contribute the funds for renting the machinery for grading, or hire it done after the rainy season, in order to maintain the road in a drivable condition.

Tracking Game
in Winter
Personally, I like the country life, and don't mind putting up with some inconveniences, in order to live happily, and in peace, away from the hustle and bustle of more urban areas, and freeway noises, and loud music that sometimes can be heard for half a mile when locals party, and don't take their neighbors into consideration.  There would be less chance of people partying until two A.M., and one can also have a clear view of the stars in a night sky, without city lights, that interfere with such wonders as meteorite showers that occur, but that are a rare sight in the city, due to light pollution.

If it means that one might need to have a rifle available in case of mountain lions, coyotes or rattlers coming  onto ones property and threatening your livestock and/or your dogs, then, that's what may be necessary.  Besides, there could also be some hunting one may legally do, when meat may be scarce.

Of course, I'm not one to hunt for sport.  I appreciate the animals in their natural habitat, and would only kill one for food, or if it presented a true danger to my safety, or that of another person, or was  encroaching onto my securely fenced property to attack and kill my animals.
Bloodhound on Alert
If I or those with whom I live, are starving, and in need of food, I would resort to hunting an animal for food.

If I were in danger of being bitten by a rattlesnake, I would not hesitate shooting it, if there were no other option.  Generally speaking, if you leave snakes alone, and give them a wide berth, they would rather leave than bite.  Snakes don't usually seek out humans, and will flea if at all possible, rather than endanger themselves.  A person can usually avoid snakes, by keep a keen ear and a sharp eye out for rattles.

It is also necessary to keep brush cleared on ones property, in order to discourage snakes from seeking shelter, from the strong summer sun in places like southern California's more rural areas.

We may soon return to the rural area we visited today, to check out a few of the more remote places, which were from two acres to five acres in size, and had homes, such as manufactured two or three bedroom homes, some of which were HUD owned, and for sale at reasonable prices.  They might be in need of some repairs, and also be missing the appliances.  But, there are certainly some bargains available, if one is determined and doesn't mind living a slightly different life than what many people are accustomed to.

I like living more simply, and enjoy the open areas, more than I do living in the suburbs.  I have always appreciated more open areas, and not so much the shopping centers and crowded city streets.
Simple Semi-Rural Living

Maybe this is the opportunity I have wished for, a quite place, away from too many people and crime, graffiti, loud honking horns, constant sirens of either law enforcement or ambulances and fire trucks, and screeching brakes and nosy neighbors, too.

An opportunity to have a little garden of fruit trees, and fresh vegetables would be really nice, too.  I could certainly have the milk goat I desire, for fresh, raw milk, and maybe even a burro or two, as well.

Ahhh, dreaming of my most desired lifestyle... More than likely, I or we will more than likely not move that far away from where we are now, since our children and extended families also live in the general area where we both now live.  Our friends are also in the area, and that would also be hard to live without.  So, we will continue to look, and just wait and see, whether we move in together, or live separately, remains to be seen.  We have been friends, for close to thirty years, and we are both needing to relocate, so it just sounds reasonable that we could pool our resources and do a little better than either of us may be able to do alone.

Fine Workmanship is Not Dead

Beloved Classic Cars 
If you love cars and trucks, you can certainly appreciate the attention to detail it takes to bring out every beautiful bit of sparkling detail on a cherished car or truck.

Yesterday, I had occasion to watch the process of adding a protective sheet of clear "plastic" to the front of a new Toyota pickup, while also watching the process of repairing a very small 'pit' in the windshield of my recently purchased Toyota Scion xB.

Customized Toyota Pickup
a real beauty, for sure
I have always appreciated vehicles of all sorts, but especially those of classic design, and the very old ones that someone has taken the time, money and attention to restore to original condition.  There is also a lot to be appreciated about many of the custom designed and custom build cars and trucks, as well.  When a real car enthusiast does work on a cherished vehicle, just to watch them work is enlightening.  They treat that vehicle with love, and are so detail oriented, making sure that not a speck of dust is there that should  not be, as when applying paint, or lacquer or as when the man was applying the clear sheeting to the new sliver Toyota Pickup he was working on yesterday in Corona, CA.  It was as if it was only the special truck and him, and he was oblivious to anyone else around.

There is something to be said about "Rod Runs," that are held in many communities across the country, as each vehicle there, plainly reflects the love and attention of it's owner.  The owner is driven to bring out every square inch of beauty of his car or truck, and heaven help the person who leaves a fingerprint on his work of art.

I just loved my first car, which was an old one that had been my father's work car, until he gave it to me when he bought a new 1961 Dodge pickup truck.

The car he gave me was a 1950 Dodge Coronet, two door sedan.  It was dark metallic green, and had a ivory colored pearled steering wheel, with lots of chrome and wood grained dashboard.  The overdrive was activated by a button in the end of the chrome handle on the gearshift, which was mounted on the shaft to the steering wheel. My beloved car even had a glass packed muffler, which was really cool in the 1960s.

Pristine classic car
I did my own oil changes, and rotated my own tires, too.  I was about sixteen then, and really appreciated fast cars and fast horses, which I still do, by the way. I kept my little car washed and waxed, too.

I had a friend whose father bought him, an old car, one that had a rumble seat, that looked very much like the car on the left.  His had yellow spoked wheels, and was kept pristine by it's proud owner. Mind you, this young man was about eighteen years old, but he had a real love of classic cars.

I really have to hand it to anyone who can do a perfect job on anything, but there is just something special about restoring a vehicle, be it car or truck, to make it a show piece.  If more people cared for their cars in proper manner, more of them would make it to the stage of becoming cherished collector edition, that can be restored and shown, as an example of what cars were "in the day."

Friday, March 25, 2011

What Have I Been Doing Lately?

Please forgive me for missing my posting, as I have been very busy.  Between selling my home, and looking for another place to buy, or possible rent temporarily, until I find just the right place, I have been really occupied, looking, and trying to prepare to relocate.
Optional Temporary Home?

Unfortunately, the real estate market in my area is more depressed than in some other places, and it is actually cheaper to buy, and make house payments than it is to rent.  I have also been looking at the possibility of living in a decent sized travel trailer to have time to look for the place I will buy.  That, too has proved to not be as easy to do that one might think.

I was originally considering a reverse mortgage, but the market is too unstable for getting an appraisal that is acceptable for this option, at least in this area.
Toyota Scion xB
I did replace my Ford Explorer though.  I now have a Toyota Scion xB, or as many people call them, an X-Box.  I have always thought the boxy little cars were absolutely UGLY.  That is, until I actually rode in one that a friend of mine owns.  I had occasion to ride with my friend and her son one weekend, and I have now changed my opinion of these great vehicles.  This car is small in appearance, on the outside, but, there is room inside for five adults, even in the rear seat.  My friend's son, by the way is 6'2", and had no trouble riding comfortably, in the rear seat.  Actually, since the ride was a bit long, he actually curled up in the rear seat, and took a nap.  He was actually still sleeping when we arrived at a restaurant we stopped to eat dinner, when we finally arrived in our home town.

In the meanwhile, I am still looking for a place to move, as I only rented back my home until April 7th, which is approaching pretty quickly.

I am now concerned that I may not be able to rent back my sold property for another month, as the buyers are anxious to get in and start doing the upgrades and changes they have planned.

I really don't want to have to store my things, as that would mean moving twice, so I would rather sell things than move them twice, and/or have to store them, only to move them again.

Of course, having three dogs and a cat also pose problems in renting a place, or even in most mobile home parks of RV Parks, as well.

Life moves on, and things change, for everyone, especially during times such as we are now living in, as there are more unoccupied homes in the US than in any time since the "Great Depression Era." So, I will keep looking and I know that someplace out there, my home is waiting for me to find it, and find it I will.  I just hope it is soon, as I really don't want to stress out the new owners of my old place any more than I want to be stressed.

Monday, March 14, 2011

New Outlook On Life

I have finally sold my property, and am presently looking for a smaller home, or even a park model mobile home.  I just can no longer manage a 1,600 square foot home, and really have no need for a piece of property that is more than 8,000 square feet in size, either.  I am seriously considering moving into a mobile home park for seniors, as long as I don't have to maintain the large property that I have owned for the past ten and a half years.  If I can keep my three dogs, and my cat, that is all I really need.

I have an awfully lot of things to unload, too.  These changes will free me to do more to do my web design and photography, and web master services.

As long as I can have my doggies, and Buddy, work on my favorite things and have time for more personal pursuits, things should fall into place.  Maybe I will even have time to travel a bit, or even take a vacation, which is something I have rarely had time for in the past.

I also plan to take a class on photography, so I can improve my skills, and get a new, more advanced camera, as well.

My pond fish still need a new place to call home, as well.  If you happen to be interested, they are free, along with the under-water filter/pump system.   I may be forced to find a new home for one of my dogs, which really bothers me, but I still must be able to function, and it is really imperative that I simplify my life or I may not have a life left.