Posted by MrNatch3L on Sunday, March 29, 2009
After nearly 3 years in the building (wow - almost 1/3 of the way thru the mortgage!), any number of setbacks, not the least of which was losing half my income last November, my wife and I are mostly into our new house about 40 km outside St. Petersburg. The place still needs a lot of finishing touches but it's to the point of being livable, and even though Spring has not yet sprung, we have.
A lot of credit for that goes to a small crew of migrant construction workers from Tajikistan who came north early as there were zero work possibilities for them down there. They did a lot of work for us last summer, and are now living in one of their unfinished projects nearby, picking up odd jobs here and there, and awaiting the onset of the building season. They're extremely handy guys, they work like ants, and being Muslims, they don't drink alcohol- something that's been a real problem with some of the Russian tradespeople we've had. Win-win situations are so great, and that's what we've got going with these guys. They tend to get treated like dogs and exploited money-wise around here. We treat them as human beings and pay them the local going rate for skilled trades, and of course we follow thru on what we promise to pay - not everyone who hires them does. It was they who started up the wood burner and kept it stoked several times a day and got the place warm so we could even think to move in. They still do the heavy firewood hauling and splitting of the big logs we burn at night -stuff that my back won't handle anymore. Thanks to them, the garage got finished, bedroom closets got shelves and rods, and some other paint-up fix-up stuff happened so that we could come out and pretty much stay- much to the delight of our 21-year old youngest daughter, who was expecting us to be out of the city apartment long since.
Third time's a charm
One of the few things I've really seriously wanted out of life has been a modest, comfortable house. I've tried twice before and failed, not thru any real fault of mine that I can see in hindsight, but just stuff that went awry in Life. At one point we had this place where I'd hoped to retire (no prospect of that anymore): www.francedreamvacation.com - and it was a wrench when that didn't work out. (Don't plan on paying off a mortgage if you're a technical writer - they get laid off first!) Well, they say third time's a charm. We've tried to play it pretty consrevative with a small, short-term mortgage for the major construction and finishing from income as we go. Of course everything can still happen, but I'm really trying to think positive that this will be the one that finally works out. I could have wished for a locality with shorter and lighter winters, but hey, if this works out I'm not going to kick. It's easier to take the winters in the fresh country air than in the city. Who know, I might even have to take up cross-country skiing - the area all around is ideal and I have some friends locally who are into it and would show me the ropes. So wish us luck. And if any BHO pickers are ever headed this way, well, as you can see from the photo page, I built a real nice pickin' porch. But the thing that really tops it: this weekend the first banjo moved in. I decided to give the honor to the old dog that stood by me so many years while I was learning to pick. The one, the only, The Mutt has moved. And so have I.
Looks like something killed the photos I had showing in this post. If interested go here: http://thirdline.com/nyetbot/zenphoto/index.php?album=house
Sunday, March 29, 2009 @1:48:49 PM
4 bay Federa bldg., interesting
Sunday, March 29, 2009 @5:51:48 PM
nice house were is banjo?
Sunday, March 29, 2009 @10:02:41 PM
:-) Still on the camera which for mysterious reasons known only to Windows stopped downloading and now refuses to connect at all. I guess I'll have to give the memory card to someone who has a reader to get the rest.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009 @12:22:09 PM
Got the camera download working... added The Mutt by firelight.
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