What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Our Vacation Home

our vacation home
Our Vacation Home
May 19, 2010

The last few posts have been focused on vacation homes.  Regardless whether your vacation home is mobile (eg. RV, boat) or permanent (eg. cottage) making it a home away from home is very important.  Pictured is our new vacation home.  It is a 3 year old manufactured home in southern USA in a gated, park-like setting with a lot of very nice amenities including community activities and proximity to entertainment, shopping and restaurants.  The house was purchased based on the pictures and specific location so until our recent trip we had not actually seen what we had bought.  The house has 2 bedrooms, a den that could double as a third bedrooms, 2 baths, utility/laundry room, kitchen, family room and lanai (screened in porch).  There is a small attached shed as well.  The current gardens wrap around the house and are already planted so all we have to do is add our own personal touches.  We own the house but not the land however we are allowed to add landscaping such as trees and small garden beds as we choose.  The only stipulation by the HOA is the area be kept neat and tidy.  They cut and trim the yards so we don't have to worry about that.  There is a programmable sprinkler system to ensure that the gardens stay nice looking.  We are allowed to water on Monday's (county restriction) and garbage is collected Tuesdays and Fridays.  There are bins at the clubhouse for newspaper and aluminum can recycling but nothing for glass or plastic containers.

When we arrived we were immediately impressed over the condition of the house.  It had been sitting empty for about a year and a half so needed interior and exterior cleaning.  Surprisingly some furniture was included - dinette set, patio set, queen size bed, dresser, 2 night stands, couch, chair, automan, television and stand.  The kitchen appliances are Maytag - refrigerator, stove, microwave oven, dishwasher.  The refrigerator needed a really good cleaning as it had been turned off then shut but despite our fears of having to replace it we were able to restore it to norm.  The stove and microwave oven needed cleaning and a small chip repair for the stove.  The dishwasher appears to be missing a part so we will have that checked our next trip.  There is a garburator that will be handy since composting is not going to be much of an option for us.  We had the exterior pressure washed and the carpets steam cleaned while we were there.  We also did a lot of the basic stocking such as towels, kitchenware, and that type of thing.  Surprisingly this took a fair amount of effort as you really don't realize just how many basics you really do need and how much shopping is necessary to round up just the basics.  We bought another queen size matress and box springs for the master bedroom, a desk for the den and four replacement chairs for the patio set as those left behind were beyond salvaging.  Our next trip will focus on a few decorative elements and furnishings as well as the dishwasher repair and finding a washer and dryer.

Garden Gnome