Larry's Project 52 - 2015

Lzed

MobiLifer
Mobi Veteran
Real Name
Larry Zasitko
Device
iPad (Generic)
Sounds like the local government works as slowly on your side of the border as it does on ours! It can be so frustrating sometimes. I am glad to hear that the tree not only survived but thrived! When we built our house we had to cut down three pecan tress which made us very sad. The trees were way too close to the driveway which could not be reconfigured to accommodate the trees. It about killed us but we also knew firsthand the damage tree roots can do to a driveway, etc.
So far the roots have not done much to either the driveway or the sidewalks. When we bought this house the previous owners had planted a lot of trees and shrubs but unfortunately made a common mistake of leaving enough room so the area beside the garage and behind the garage now is getting overgrown.
When we bought our motorhome we had to find somewhere to park it so we had a landscape company come in and they took out some shrubs and a couple trees then they brought in a BobCat and dug a strip 14' wide and about 55' long beside the driveway and garage and went about 3-4' deep. We have a lot of clay here and once that was trucked away they filled the bottom with Slag from the steel mill that is not far from where we live, it drains really well, packs good and the mill is pretty much giving it away. The top foot they used what they call Road Mix which is 1/2" or less gravel and sand. It's commonly used around here for the grid roads and it packs good and is pretty cheap. They thought it would settle about 4" over the next 5 years or so and then I would put concrete over it. It has been in for almost 15 years and has settled less then an inch so about 10 years ago I spread dry cement over it all and soaked it, did that about 4 or five times and the top 6" or so is as hard as the driveway.

What a beautiful shot Larry and I love that Hipsta combo! I have something with trees too. You're right Lisa about the damage in the drive way. We have a huge tree beside the driveway. In the summer it's breaches and leave shade the whole driveway but its roots have made the concrete into all kinds of interesting shapes. We now we will have to redo or repair the driveway but it's insanely expensive. Last year one of the trees who was crowding out another had to go, it was big and strong and healthy. It took them all day, I could see the tree from my bed and knew of the squirrels who had heir nests in that tree and I cried my eyes out.
The neighbor took all the wood and it kept them warm throughout the winter. It's still an empty spot there.
Our whole street is lined with trees that have the most extra ordinary colors and shades of red in the fall. Being from Europe I thought the trees at the street were the city's trees. There aren't. They are our responsibility. And so is the sidewalk between our house and the street. Another thing we did not know until we received a notice from the city that someone had complained about a bump in the sidewalk because of the roots from one of the trees at the street. They gave us 7 days to fix it or we would be fined. I was really upset. That's not how we deal with people. If something is bothering me like the stuff people put on the edge or the middle of the sidewalk so my wheelchairs can't get through and I'm stuck, I try to talk with those people first before writing a complain to city council.
We got it fixed and now we know how expensive the concrete replacement is.
Here the setback from the road is considered the cities for planting. It's nice because they come around in the spring and trim the trees. While they plant the trees its up to us to water them. But if something happens and part of the tree comes down the city will come and cut it down if need be. I always thought it needed more trees and I was talking to one of our neighbours and he told me to call the city. I did and it took about a year and a half before they put them in. Sidewalks are fixed by the city and they will do everything from cutting the ridges down or replacing sections. The driveway though is ours so if it needs work we pay.
Are you in a wheelchair? My wife is, has been for about 25 years, our Livingroom is like a wheelchair parking lot. She has an ultralight manual chair, an old hospital style foldup chair, a smaller indoor power chair and a new big powerchair that has a seat with tilt. Our house is a bi-level so half the basement is underground and the first floor is around 5' above grade. We have a lift at the back that takes her up to the same level as the deck. When we bought the house I had to modify a few things. The doors upstairs were to small so I tore everything out and put a 2'-10" pocket door into the main bathroom and handrails and in the past year we changed all three baths so all the toilets are higher. The master bedroom got a 3' door and both other bedrooms got 2'-10" doors. The upstairs was mostly carpet and Karen had trouble getting around on it and it was a nightmare to keep clean so after about a year all the carpet came out and I put in laminate flooring which has held up pretty good.
 

Lzed

MobiLifer
Mobi Veteran
Real Name
Larry Zasitko
Device
iPad (Generic)
30 January 2015

Another picture using the Chivas Lens and Hackney Film. We'd we woke up to some new snow, the big fluffy flakes so pretty light and gets blown around a lot. This is the remains of one of our neighbours flowers with some snow before it blew away.
image.jpg

I really like this combo.
 

toermaline

MobiStar
Real Name
Christine
S
Are you in a wheelchair? My wife is, has been for about 25 years, our Livingroom is like a wheelchair parking lot

Yes I am Larry, so sorry to hear your wife need to use a wheelchair as well. Unfortunately when we purchased this house, our first one because we never stayed in one place/country long enough to warrant the purchase of a house, I was not that ill that I needed a wheelchair and was still full of hope that I somehow was going to recover to my previous state. Had we known we would not have purchased this house. It lies on a hilly neighborhood, which makes it difficult for me to go up the street by myself because it's rather steep. Especially in the fall when there are wet leaves on the sidewalk it's slippery.

The house has steps up to the front door and it's too narrow to easily pass through with my chair. So I drive into the garage and need to take 2 step staircase to get into the family room where my other, indoor chair is. I can only use my chair in the family room and the kitchen(when no one else is in there as well because it's narrow). The living room has a sunken floor and the house has an open floor plan. The hallway that runs next to the livingroom to the bedrooms and the bathroom is so narrow that one slightly wrong move and I end up with my wheel in the sunken part of the room. On the other side of the hallway is a wall so I don't have much room to navigate and once I'm at the end of the hallway I can't go into the bedroom or bathroom because the turn into the bedroom is too narrow and the bathroom too small. My only option to get back to where I came from after having used the bathroom in drive in reverse. With my sense of direction that is an accident waiting to happen. ;-)

When part of the house was flooded 2 years ago because of a leaky dishwasher they had to pull of all the cabinets in the kitchen to get to the wall which were wet and contains mold. The dishwasher had apparently been leaking for weeks maybe even months because it went all the way under the Pergo/laminate flooring in the family and dining room. When my husband walked through the room I saw drops of water appear on the floor. But he thought I was imagining things. Turned out I wasn't. We had to move out, dishwasher water is considered sewage. We lived in the RV for half a year. While everything was off the wall they did not replace some of the cabinets below the countertop so that I now can wheel myself up to the counter and chop some veggies or so on a good day. My chair has a lift so I can reach the counter at a good high. But still if you want to wash something I need to get up because I can not reach the sink or the dishwasher.

We have been thinking about renovating the house but it would so much devalue the resale price that we are skittish to do it. Instead we are planning to go and live on the road full time if we can get things sorted out. My husband needs to be able to work from the road, we need to downsize and purge our belongings and decide what to do with the house, rent or sell it? Before arriving to the USA it was always my dream to travel North America in an RV. We always talked about doing it 'someday'. But I'm not getting better so why wait? We only have now and someday might never come.
 

richardcb

MobiLifer
Mobi Veteran
Real Name
Richard
Device
iPhone 12 Pro
30 January 2015

Another picture using the Chivas Lens and Hackney Film. We'd we woke up to some new snow, the big fluffy flakes so pretty light and gets blown around a lot. This is the remains of one of our neighbours flowers with some snow before it blew away.
Ethereal. :)
 

Lzed

MobiLifer
Mobi Veteran
Real Name
Larry Zasitko
Device
iPad (Generic)
Yes I am Larry, so sorry to hear your wife need to use a wheelchair as well. Unfortunately when we purchased this house, our first one because we never stayed in one place/country long enough to warrant the purchase of a house, I was not that ill that I needed a wheelchair and was still full of hope that I somehow was going to recover to my previous state. Had we known we would not have purchased this house. It lies on a hilly neighborhood, which makes it difficult for me to go up the street by myself because it's rather steep. Especially in the fall when there are wet leaves on the sidewalk it's slippery.

The house has steps up to the front door and it's too narrow to easily pass through with my chair. So I drive into the garage and need to take 2 step staircase to get into the family room where my other, indoor chair is. I can only use my chair in the family room and the kitchen(when no one else is in there as well because it's narrow). The living room has a sunken floor and the house has an open floor plan. The hallway that runs next to the livingroom to the bedrooms and the bathroom is so narrow that one slightly wrong move and I end up with my wheel in the sunken part of the room. On the other side of the hallway is a wall so I don't have much room to navigate and once I'm at the end of the hallway I can't go into the bedroom or bathroom because the turn into the bedroom is too narrow and the bathroom too small. My only option to get back to where I came from after having used the bathroom in drive in reverse. With my sense of direction that is an accident waiting to happen. ;-)

When part of the house was flooded 2 years ago because of a leaky dishwasher they had to pull of all the cabinets in the kitchen to get to the wall which were wet and contains mold. The dishwasher had apparently been leaking for weeks maybe even months because it went all the way under the Pergo/laminate flooring in the family and dining room. When my husband walked through the room I saw drops of water appear on the floor. But he thought I was imagining things. Turned out I wasn't. We had to move out, dishwasher water is considered sewage. We lived in the RV for half a year. While everything was off the wall they did not replace some of the cabinets below the countertop so that I now can wheel myself up to the counter and chop some veggies or so on a good day. My chair has a lift so I can reach the counter at a good high. But still if you want to wash something I need to get up because I can not reach the sink or the dishwasher.

We have been thinking about renovating the house but it would so much devalue the resale price that we are skittish to do it. Instead we are planning to go and live on the road full time if we can get things sorted out. My husband needs to be able to work from the road, we need to downsize and purge our belongings and decide what to do with the house, rent or sell it? Before arriving to the USA it was always my dream to travel North America in an RV. We always talked about doing it 'someday'. But I'm not getting better so why wait? We only have now and someday might never come.
Well you have certainly had your trials. Do you have MS? The last diagnosis for my wife was MS about 15 years ago, poor to that there was no diagnosis outside of an arachnoid cyst around the spinal cord in between her shoulder blades. She had 3 surgeries trying to remove it. It's called arachnoid because it has a central mass (the easiest to get at and remove) but it has tendrils that wrapped around the spinal cord (have proven to be impossible to remove). As the spinal fluid was restricted it built up pressure which causes the cyst to squeeze the spinal cord tighter. First two surgeries went well and she was up walking the next day. Third time there was damage to the spinal cord and initially they said she would never walk again. She spent about 6 months in rehab in Saskatoon which is about 250kms north of where we lived and worked so for months I would pack the kids up, drive to Saskatoon and spend the weekend up there then late Sunday drive back home. At the time we had not sold our house up their so at least we had it to stay in. She had leg braces made which would lock the knee so she could get around with a walker or canes and did that for almost 5 years. She continued to have some degradation of her condition and that's about when they started to look at other causes. She has been diagnosed with Primary Progressive MS which means she doesn't have the remission and relapse cycle that MS normally has.
She has always had a good attitude which helps a lot and tries to be independent as much as possible which sometimes drives me nuts when she will not ask for help.
My background is architecture and I have been drawing house plans since I was 16 and have built and renovated houses but most of that was our houses, most of the time I worked as a draftsman for various companies. After Karen's issues I started doing more work in that area and about 20 years ago I went self employed and most of my work has been in care homes. I am not sure why modifications made for handicapped access would devalue the house or property, I have found that it does the opposite, at least here in Canada.
We bought the motorhome because virtually everyone we know has houses that are difficult to get into or get around inside, we just found it easier with the motorhome so we park someplace and they come see us. I modified the motorhome with the help of my brother in law and added a second wider door and a StrongArm lift. Ours is about 32ft long. We are looking a buying a newer motorhome and maybe a bit bigger.
Like you the other idea with the motorhome is to travel while we are still able to. We have had our motorhome almost 15 years and we average a little over 20,000 miles a year but it seems to be going up, a couple years ago we drove up to northern Alberta and then out to Vancouver, Victoria and made our way back home and make a lot of shorter trips up to the family farm (around 500 miles round trip) so it all adds up in a hurry.
 

Lzed

MobiLifer
Mobi Veteran
Real Name
Larry Zasitko
Device
iPad (Generic)
Week 6 - 6 February 2015

Was just outside, wind has been picking up all morning and it has started to rain, although it's freezing really quick. Not very nice out there. Only took a couple pics while I was out.

image.jpg

Trying some new combos in Hipstamatic. This one is Lucifer Lens, Kodot X-Grizzled Film, no Flash. I tried with the Jollie Rainbo Flash but preferred it without.
 

Lzed

MobiLifer
Mobi Veteran
Real Name
Larry Zasitko
Device
iPad (Generic)
Week 7 - 9 February 2015

Early this week :)

Our icicle is shrinking, only about a half inch thick now. I thought the other day it might break offbeat somehow is still standing.
This is Hipstamatic, Lucifer Lens, Kodot X-Grizzled Film, Jolly Rainbo Flash
image.jpg
 

richardcb

MobiLifer
Mobi Veteran
Real Name
Richard
Device
iPhone 12 Pro
Great image, Larry. I'm not a big fans of flower pictures but I like the luminous quality of this one.
 

toermaline

MobiStar
Real Name
Christine
Well you have certainly had your trials. Do you have MS? The last diagnosis for my wife was MS about 15 years ago, poor to that there was no diagnosis outside of an arachnoid cyst around the spinal cord in between her shoulder blades. She had 3 surgeries trying to remove it. It's called arachnoid because it has a central mass (the easiest to get at and remove) but it has tendrils that wrapped around the spinal cord (have proven to be impossible to remove). As the spinal fluid was restricted it built up pressure which causes the cyst to squeeze the spinal cord tighter. First two surgeries went well and she was up walking the next day. Third time there was damage to the spinal cord and initially they said she would never walk again. She spent about 6 months in rehab in Saskatoon which is about 250kms north of where we lived and worked so for months I would pack the kids up, drive to Saskatoon and spend the weekend up there then late Sunday drive back home. At the time we had not sold our house up their so at least we had it to stay in. She had leg braces made which would lock the knee so she could get around with a walker or canes and did that for almost 5 years. She continued to have some degradation of her condition and that's about when they started to look at other causes. She has been diagnosed with Primary Progressive MS which means she doesn't have the remission and relapse cycle that MS normally has.
She has always had a good attitude which helps a lot and tries to be independent as much as possible which sometimes drives me nuts when she will not ask for help.
My background is architecture and I have been drawing house plans since I was 16 and have built and renovated houses but most of that was our houses, most of the time I worked as a draftsman for various companies. After Karen's issues I started doing more work in that area and about 20 years ago I went self employed and most of my work has been in care homes. I am not sure why modifications made for handicapped access would devalue the house or property, I have found that it does the opposite, at least here in Canada.
We bought the motorhome because virtually everyone we know has houses that are difficult to get into or get around inside, we just found it easier with the motorhome so we park someplace and they come see us. I modified the motorhome with the help of my brother in law and added a second wider door and a StrongArm lift. Ours is about 32ft long. We are looking a buying a newer motorhome and maybe a bit bigger.
Like you the other idea with the motorhome is to travel while we are still able to. We have had our motorhome almost 15 years and we average a little over 20,000 miles a year but it seems to be going up, a couple years ago we drove up to northern Alberta and then out to Vancouver, Victoria and made our way back home and make a lot of shorter trips up to the family farm (around 500 miles round trip) so it all adds up in a hurry.

I never answered you Larry, apologies. I was consumed by this ripping of my darned ligaments. I only took a few steps and that was it.
But on our way back now!
Yes I have progressive MS and Encephalomyelitis its a neuro-immune condition, basically it means inflammation if the brain.
So sorry to hear your wife also has MS. She went through a lot! I did not have surgery, but she has a string will if she overcame all that.
Yes it drives my husband also nuts if I don't ask things. It's very difficult having to give up your independence and having to ask for help with everything.

That comes in very handy that your background is architecture.
In the USA it evaluates the home if there are handicapped adjustments. When the kitchen had to be remodeled because the dishwasher flooded under the Pergo floor we decided to leave out a few cabinets below so I could wheel my chair under it and help with cooking again,
We also widened the entries to the open floor plan and breakfast area. But that was as much as we could do. When we had plans to put the house on the market because of our RV plans the real estate agent told us we had to restore the house it its original state or take a significant price cut. They said no one would be interested in a half build kitchen with cabinets missing. Completely ignoring the beautiful hardwood countertops and shelving underneath them.

We were curious so we asked them about the bathroom. We have 2 very small bathrooms, I can't get in neither if them with my chair and there isn't even space to place a stool so that I can sit. Since both bathroom lie directly next to each other we thought about making one big one with a luxurious rain shower, plenty of room to sit for me, just a total spa thing. Oh no they said, going from 2 bathroom no matter how small or dingy to knee would even more lower the value of the house. Houses nowadays have all 2 or most 3 bathrooms. It's unthinkable that you would have to share a bathroom with kids or guests.
So that option went out if the window as well.:-(

I hate it! When we were expats and always renting our home we could do nothing to it. Now we purchased a home and we still can't do anything to it because of how the housing market is. At times it just doesn't seem fair to me that I have to live my life being uncomfortable because if those silly resale rules. I guess if the housing market had improved much over the last 6 years we wouldn't worry about it. But it hasn't, our house value hasn't gone up according to Zillow, it's still down from the price we paid for it.

We were still in a limbo what to do, maybe rent the house short term to professionals or business people who have to be at Intel or Nike for a few months. We don't think we can sell it without losing money on it.

Watch out with buying bigger RV's :) we wish we had purchased a smaller one. The limit in state and national parks in the USA is 35ft mostly. Since ours is 42ft we don't fit in the most beautiful spots. Rookie mistake that we made thinking bigger was better.:)
 

Lzed

MobiLifer
Mobi Veteran
Real Name
Larry Zasitko
Device
iPad (Generic)
I never answered you Larry, apologies. I was consumed by this ripping of my darned ligaments. I only took a few steps and that was it.
But on our way back now!
Yes I have progressive MS and Encephalomyelitis its a neuro-immune condition, basically it means inflammation if the brain.
So sorry to hear your wife also has MS. She went through a lot! I did not have surgery, but she has a string will if she overcame all that.
Yes it drives my husband also nuts if I don't ask things. It's very difficult having to give up your independence and having to ask for help with everything.

That comes in very handy that your background is architecture.
In the USA it evaluates the home if there are handicapped adjustments. When the kitchen had to be remodeled because the dishwasher flooded under the Pergo floor we decided to leave out a few cabinets below so I could wheel my chair under it and help with cooking again,
We also widened the entries to the open floor plan and breakfast area. But that was as much as we could do. When we had plans to put the house on the market because of our RV plans the real estate agent told us we had to restore the house it its original state or take a significant price cut. They said no one would be interested in a half build kitchen with cabinets missing. Completely ignoring the beautiful hardwood countertops and shelving underneath them.

We were curious so we asked them about the bathroom. We have 2 very small bathrooms, I can't get in neither if them with my chair and there isn't even space to place a stool so that I can sit. Since both bathroom lie directly next to each other we thought about making one big one with a luxurious rain shower, plenty of room to sit for me, just a total spa thing. Oh no they said, going from 2 bathroom no matter how small or dingy to knee would even more lower the value of the house. Houses nowadays have all 2 or most 3 bathrooms. It's unthinkable that you would have to share a bathroom with kids or guests.
So that option went out if the window as well.:-(

I hate it! When we were expats and always renting our home we could do nothing to it. Now we purchased a home and we still can't do anything to it because of how the housing market is. At times it just doesn't seem fair to me that I have to live my life being uncomfortable because if those silly resale rules. I guess if the housing market had improved much over the last 6 years we wouldn't worry about it. But it hasn't, our house value hasn't gone up according to Zillow, it's still down from the price we paid for it.

We were still in a limbo what to do, maybe rent the house short term to professionals or business people who have to be at Intel or Nike for a few months. We don't think we can sell it without losing money on it.

Watch out with buying bigger RV's :) we wish we had purchased a smaller one. The limit in state and national parks in the USA is 35ft mostly. Since ours is 42ft we don't fit in the most beautiful spots. Rookie mistake that we made thinking bigger was better.:)
I've too busy with other stuff and I never saw notifications on this thread. Tonight I thought I would get some more images up.

Quite a lot different between housing markets. With us 'old' people living longer and still wanting to be independant the market has to adapt and that means thinking more about universal design in new construction or retrofitting in existing. Universal means that for the most part it is designed for wheelchairs, ie wider halls, wider doors, blocking inside the walls for handrails etc though handrails are often not installed. Many new kitchens here are more drawer units then cupboards which is easier to remove if need be leaving maybe only the top drawer in place. Here if that work is done it saves either now if they handicapped or easier to make the transition down the road and people here ware willing to pay for it. Retrofitting can be expensive which makes universal designs more appealing. Several houses I have done in the US have been universal and never had any issues. One house in San Francisco was renovations and additions. The guy there also had a diesel pusher and wanted something a bit different for it and his parents. Part of the issue was because of height restrictions in that area and what we came up with was to drop the area where the RV was parked and ramps in the ground at either end and floor of the structure was made to be the same height as the RV's floor. It had a sitting area, a bedroom, office, and bath. Restrictions were that it couldn't have a full kitchen but when I talked to the building reg people they said we could put in a kitchenette like some hotels have, a small frig, sink and a small cooktop. The main house was retrofitted with wider halls, doors, more open floorplans and on the outside landscaped so a wheelchair could get in. The house was a big ranch to start with and we added a new section that just about doubled it. I have videos of it after it was all done. On and off I still do some work for him, I did a mall and a storage unit on land he owned and did some prelim drawing for the marina there.

I guess I just find the thinking some places is a little off. When you build universal the initial cost is quite minor compared to the cost of retrofitting. Maybe I have been lucky with the area I have done houses for because building departments have so far welcomed the changes.

Well I'm tired tonight so will leave pics until tomorrow.
 

Lzed

MobiLifer
Mobi Veteran
Real Name
Larry Zasitko
Device
iPad (Generic)
Week 10 - 4 March 2015

image.jpg

My wife's Sister and Husband were out for a few days and the girls went shopping and found these hoodies with the biggest hoods I have ever seen so my wife was goofing around.
Hipstamatic, Loftus Lens, Dream Canvas Film, No Flash
 

Lzed

MobiLifer
Mobi Veteran
Real Name
Larry Zasitko
Device
iPad (Generic)
Week 11 - 11 March 2014

Playing with Oggl, Vincent Lens, Robusta Flim
image.jpg
 
Last edited:

Lzed

MobiLifer
Mobi Veteran
Real Name
Larry Zasitko
Device
iPad (Generic)
Week 12 - 16 March 2015

Oggl, Salvador 84 Lens, Dream Canvas
Playing with a picture of a covered bridge
image.jpg
 

Lzed

MobiLifer
Mobi Veteran
Real Name
Larry Zasitko
Device
iPad (Generic)
Week 13 - 24 March 2015

Hipstamatic, Chivas Lens, Hackney Film, No Flash
image.jpg
 

Lzed

MobiLifer
Mobi Veteran
Real Name
Larry Zasitko
Device
iPad (Generic)
Week 14 - 29 March 2015
Forgot I had even taken this the other night so...
Hipstamatic, Tejas Lens, Kodot X-Grizzled Film, Jollie Rainbo Flash
image.jpg
 
Top Bottom