Tuesday, September 28, 2021

2021 Catchup

I know, it’s been a long time since I made an entry in our blog. Crazy to think that over 3 years have gone by. Let me recap - My sister died, my mom moved in with us, we built a workshop, we put in a septic system, we are well on our way to building a new house for the 3 of us, I fell off a ladder and got a major concussion, we bought an RV, we had a wreck in our truck and had to replace it, we’ve moved permanently to our property and are living in our RV while we build the house. I’m sure I’ve left off some other major event but for now, that will do. 

Where to begin . . .  

2017, Hurricane Harvey hit Rockport, TX where my family was still living. My dad died the next week so we made plans for my mom and sister to move up here with us. That drug along until 2019 when my sister died suddenly. Mom moved in with us and the house sold about 6 months later just as Covid was hitting full stride. We decided that working from home was nice and that we would rather be out at Point in the woods. December ’20, we sold our house in Arlington and moved out here. We had purchased an RV in the meantime to have some extra room to stay in while we planned and built a new house. Kim and I set up shop in it and mom is staying in the Tiny. 

We built a workshop, 30’x40’, to store the building materials and tools. It will eventually relegate to being a building for the bees, a place to build hives, store bees during the winter, and process honey. 

We also had to put in additional roads and clear a lot of space to build a new house. We decided on a 2 bedroom, 2 bath with an office and laundry room. About 1200 sf plus a screened porch and a front porch. Yes, this is much different from the Tiny (240 sf) that we had built before but we wanted to be in the same house with mom and the extra space will be nice if we need someone to help take care of us as we get older. :)

Here are some pics of our progression:

RIP, Missy Merrett 1970-2019.

Missy (my sister that passed) with our parents on our new property in 2013

Built a nice raised-bed garden. Later, tore it down when we decided we wanted to put the house there! :( 

Cleared the area for the workshop and the house

Starting to clear the brush and trees

Added roads for the RV, Workshop and the house

Got the slab poured for the Workshop

Workshop built, getting ready to pour the driveway for it

Our new (used) RV

Had a blow-out on the way home with the RV the day after we bought it. Tore the floor out of the RV as well as some of the kitchen cabinets and water lines. I made sure we were covered on insurance before we took off with the unit. They totaled it and Kim and I decided to keep it and repair it ourselves.

Moved the RV onto the property

Wiring electrical outlets around the workshop. Installed 5 10,000 lumen lights as well.

Covid wipes out grocery stores

Built a work area in the RV to stay home during Covid

Our cats settled into their new temporary home nicely. :)

View out of the RV from our work area. So happy to be here!

Playing with a skid-steer for the day. :)

Kim, marking out the foundation location for the new house

Trenching for the foundation

Just about ready to pour

Pouring the foundation for the house

Fresh load of steel and we get started laying out the rooms

1st walls up! Really exciting to see it take some form.

Plumbing crew putting in the septic system

Ooops! Not good. Should stay verticle! Kim bruised some ribs but nothing broken. 

Meet the new (used) truck showing off next to mom! Ram 3500 Crewcab with Cummins diesel. Let's keep this one upright! 

A couple of weeks later, I took a fall off a ladder. I hit my head on the concrete slab for the front porch. 5 months later, I'm still not over the concussion but I have more good days than bad. 

Progress continues on the house, just slower now

Joaquin (friend from Kung Fu) working on the framing for the screened porch

Jerry (neighbor and friend) helping cut steel for the joists

Had to replace the instant water heater in the Tiny. Great Rheem unit. Very happy with it!

Had to replace the breaker box in the Tiny to accommodate the new water heater. Oh well, good practice for the new house. I'm not an electrician but I think it came out nice! :)

Used the new truck to help get the replacement AC onto the roof of the RV. It's always something! An hour to get it on the roof. 20 minutes to change it out. Typical! 

Almost finished with the rafters. This has been the hardest part of the build! The house has 10' walls with a 10' attic. A lot of time on ladders but the view is great from up there! lol

View of the attic area. Getting the supports installed for the rafters. 

That about catches us up. The property has changed a lot. Life has changed a lot. I'm so grateful to have the love and support from my beautiful wife, Kim. I'm grateful to have my mom here with us. I'm grateful that my kids are doing well. We want to remind all of you that life is all about change. Some good and some bad. We all just have to adapt and keep rolling, remembering to help each other along the way. Yes, I promise I will update the blog more often. We've still got lots of work to do on the house so I will keep you up to date. Thanks for the positive thoughts and comments! Be good and stay safe!   ~ Jay


  1. Jay. Your post about the meter socket wiring as a Godsend, and I wanted to drop a note. Thank you! I just installed our socket and main breaker on our land, and we passed inspection (thanks in large part to your pictures). Appreciate the post! God bless!

    1. So glad you took the project on. Feels great to step out of your comfort zone and knock one out of the park. :) Every time you do, it just helps your confidence when the next challenge comes up. Congrats!