To Bee or Not to Bee?


Isn't she _________? (you fill in the blank). Melissa, our youngest, is beautiful, a wedding photographer, a boudoir photographer, a blessing (like all our children), a digital developer at a local winery and a AirBnB marketing genius. See Weddings and more and Boudoir.

Melissa, moved into our home 2 and 1/2 years ago with the condition that she pay the mortgage, plus a few bucks. She immediately converted an outdated bedroom into a boudoir studio saving her $400 not renting a studio 15 miles away. Then the bathroom looked old and she, with our help, remodeled the bathroom and two other bedrooms. Next, she created her AirBnb business and earned enough to pay the mortgage! Melissa wanted to buy the house, but the time was not now. She turned the house back to us and secretly spawned a plan to make the AirBnb earn us so much that we would not sell the house until she was ready to buy it! Very clever. Note that the definition of a secret is "something you tell one person at a time"!

Melissa and Mario enjoyed the last few days at their fire-pit and an evening watching the chickens from the pool deck. We parked the MotherShip at the house and began preparing it for sale.

So here's the hole story. Over the years woodpeckers have drilled a dozen holes in our eaves. We would periodically cover the holes with square blocks. Then the peckers would carve new holes. Renters did not cover the holes and eventually bees took over. This is an evening photo of thousands of bees waiting to enter the eave to go to bed.

We learned that you can't just cover the "bee hole" or the bees will die and honey will rot, smell and drip on your deck for years. So we rented at 26 foot scissor lift and began our mission to eradicate the bees.

Don't get all "ecocrazy" and tell us that we should have saved the bees. We called a dozen bee professionals and asked if they wanted the bees? "Yes, of course, we'll come take a look". But, they never came and we had to make the decision to terminate them. So, terminator Joe came and ran up the lift and terminated the bees (almost).

Joe said Pete did not need a bee suit as the bees would be dead in 4 hours. That was true, but for the guard bees that returned to sting Pete as he approached the hive.

Pete donned a bee jacket, lifted to the hive, cut a hole in the eave to expose a 2 x 3 foot hive. The hive is about 6 inches in depth. Using a wonder bar and vacuum Pete chopped out the hive and vacuumed up the hundreds of remaining bees.

The hives were dry until removed. Then honey dripped out for hours on the deck, on Pete, on his jacket and on the lift. All total, for the two hives here and at the peak of the house, there was about 50 lbs of gunk.

After two hours of de-hiving, a power washer was used to get all the hive "glue" off the wood. It took over an hour of washing at about 1/2 inch from the roof to eradicate the glue. Then the gunk was scooped into the trash.

With cleanup finished a panel was screwed over the damaged eave.

1) The second hive was 26 feet high at the peak of house. Slightly smaller but just as gooey. Oh, did we mention this was Pete's birthday? 2) Using the lift Pete also repaired some water damaged fascia boards.

With our house close to sale ready we had a time to relax. We had a rare chance for Ellen to meet with her siblings: Larry, Janice (Frank), (Ron) Carla, (Kelly) Art, Ellen and (Pete). Meeting is getting harder as Larry is half-moved to Idaho.

Our oldest son John had us over for a birthday dinner. John, Pete and granddaughter Kalonie all have September birthdays.

So we have not written in 6 weeks; what have we been doing? Here are a few projects. We centered our circle drive with lava rock. It took 3 days! It took 2 days to bury the 6-inch tall border bricks into the shale rock around the tree and a day to spread the lava.

The front stairs were made structurally sound when our friends John and Rosie came to help.

A vanity cover was stretched over the pool. It is not a safety cover but a large dog did run across it without sinkng.

The pavement was seal coated and we needed to repaint the lines on the pickleball court.

Our "under deck" shop has had water drips for decades. We found the leaks and sealed them.

1) One leak was under the deck board and we fixed it. 2) The fireplace was cleaned inside and out and painted.

1) The back deck was painted by Rosie and we touched up the walls. 2) Hard to see, but we caulked a dozen cracks between wood trim and the walls.

Stained the inside of the office door which remained unfinished for 25 years!

1) A termite inspection discovered two localized damaged areas. One was these wall boards in the master bedroom. Pete removed them, found minimal damage which was treated and new boards were put up. 2) The termite company told us that we only needed to do a localized treatment. But, we want the new owners to know their house is in good shape. So we opted to tent the house and have it fumigated.

Now that the house is ready to sell, we have posted it on Zillow, Craigslist and Facebook in 5 California cities. And we will hold an Open House on Saturday, October 26, 2009 from 1:00 to 4:00pm.

We're feeling good that we have done our best to make our home as good as it can be without major remodeling.

And Ellen is feeling good that her sister Janice sponsored her to visit the Sensorio field of light in Paso Robles.

This display of solar powered fiber optic lights has 58,800 stemmed spheres of ever changing colors.

1) Janice, Ellen and friend Deedee went together. Ellen took this photo with a couple in silhouette. Surprise! It turned to be Larry (her brother from Idaho) and friend Donna.
2) Sorry, it really wasn't Larry, but didn't that make for an amazing story? But they did run into each other there.

Do you know anyone ready to buy our house? See 40 photos of our house. Open House on Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 1:00 to 4:00pm.

Why is Melissa an AirBnb marketing genius? While Melissa was in the house, her AirBnB income more than paid the mortgage. Since we came home Melissa has continued to manage the AirBnB and we became co-hosts. We have made way more than she was making, whee! So much that we are wondering why we are selling! Hmmm! Is Melissa's plan working?

With love, Pete, Ellen and Mandy

Photos from October 2019

The Full Time Motorhome Living Guide

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