As I prepare for the day that I retire (which is rapidly approaching) I have been getting the final touches on the floor plans for our log home done and we have been painting and working on our current home to get it ready to sell. I have also been biding my time by going to estate sales to look for tools to help when we start to build our log home this next April and for unique items that will give our home that old hunting lodge feel we are looking for. But some times you come across items that are completely off your radar and totally unexpected and that is what happened to me a few weeks ago at a high-end estate sale in Flossmoor Il. I ended up buying some rare wine that was worth $2000.00 a bottle for only $4.00
A 1950 Chateau d’Yquem and a 1966 Chateau De Briante are both French wines
We have all read or heard of someone finding a valuable item at garage sale that they paid next to nothing for and it turns out to be worth 1000’s of dollars like old paintings or some rare vase but I never expected I would be lucky enough to find such an item, until now.
1954 bottle of Chateau d’Yquem a white wine from the Bordeaux region of France. These white French wines turn a beautiful amber color as they age and when I first bought them I thought they were red wines.
The only reason I went to this estate sale was because my wife wanted me to check out some wood carving tools that where for sale there. She wants to learn wood carving so she could carve things like bears and stuff for our log home. At this estate sale the home had a huge wine and liquor collection and most of it was high-end stuff like this wine and Glenfiddich Scotch and other liquors. I had never seen this much booze at a home before, there just wasn’t a bottle or two but cases of the same thing. Much more than just the booze, the house was full of very nice things collected over 60 years by the old couple who had lived there.
Now me, I like a good glass of wine now and then so I bought 15 bottles of wine with the years ranging from 1950 to 1982. When I got home I started looking at the wine and the two Chateau d’Yquem bottles and I noticed the label said it was a white wine but these two looked like they were a very dark red. Well I thought I had just wasted $8.00 bucks because this wine had gone bad, but I thought I would do some research to see what I had. Turns out this wine retails from anywhere between $999.00 to $2300.00 a bottle depending on condition and these fine French wines turn a darker Amber color the older they get. When I found this out I jumped up and headed back to the estate sale as fast as I could because I was sure there was more of this wine left. Sadly when I got there wasn’t anymore Chateau d’Yquem left.
I ended up agreeing to a price of $1200.00 for the pair of Chateau d’Yquem to a guy who sells rare wines on the internet and have since cashed the check and to celebrate I took my little wife out to a very nice restaurant in Flossmoor Il (same town I bought the wine) and splurged on a $10.00 glass of wine with my meal and that’s about as high-end as I get with my wine.
The rest of the wine I bought wasn’t worth very much and should have been drunk when the wine was much younger. We did drink the 1966 Chateau De Briante, a red wine and I must say it was the best tasting wine I have ever had.
1913 Old Town Canoe I bought at an estate sale last week.
We have a canoe that I just bought this past weekend at an Estate sale. Its just not any canoe, this is an Old Town canoe built in 1913 and had been hanging in a garage for over thirty years. The guy had bought it to restore it but just never finished it.
All these old canoes have a serial # stamped into the wood on the bottom and the Old Town Canoe company is still in business and can tell you what year it was built and where it was shipped to. This canoe was shipped to a dealer in Chicago.
I bought this 102 year old canoe not to restore it (which I may someday) but to hang it in the great room of our log home. How cool is that? I figured this would have a lot of interest at the estate sale but no one seemed to be interested in it so we got it for a song.
The canoe is made from mahogany wood that has a beautiful patina.
This canoe would have originally had a green canvas skin on it so it would float but I plan to just hang it like it is because I think it looks great this way. It looks like it should be in a history museum somewhere and it will go great with the old hunting and fishing lodge theme we are going with. I am really excited about it and this will help give our home the wow factor when people come over.
The canoe is 17 ft long and was the Ideal Model.
As promised from my last post, I’ll explain how I wrecked our truck again. We had driven to Des Moines to have dinner with my daughter and our newest grandchild and on the way back it was dark and on hyw 65 just south of Liberty Center, Iowa we hit a deer square on with our truck. The deer was killed instantly and was knocked across the road into the ditch. It did over 2500.00 in damage to our truck and I must say it shook us up a little and from now on will be on the look out when driving at night in Iowa.
We were at our farm this past week and I am very excited because it was the first time we spent the night on our land and we got a lot of things accomplished like getting electric, water, and more rock on our driveway and I want to share how it all come about. Just like any construction job things don’t always go without problems and this trip was no exception.
Until this past week we had never stayed overnight on our land because we didn’t have a camper and I am too old to sleep in a tent (and so is my wife…her words not mine) so we always stayed in Chariton at the Motel 8. We had never experienced a sunrise or sunset on our land before and I wish we had bought this camper when we first bought our farm. It was great sitting around a camp fire and seeing all the stars at night and each sunrise and sunset was truly amazing.
This is our electric pole with our transformer and 220 amp box.
Before we got to our farm this past week I contacted the water and electric companies weeks earlier and had them go out to our farm so they could give us an estimate of what it would cost to have them put electric and water in. I just wanted an estimate and then have it scheduled to be put in when we were going to be at our farm so we could make sure everything was put in where we wanted it. Somehow the electric company didn’t follow our wishes and put the pole in some time before we arrived. When I had talked to the guy in charge of putting in new service I told him I didn’t want a pole up on the building site because I didn’t want to be able to see overhead electric lines because to me it just doesn’t look good with any home but especially with a log home. Anyway, the place where they put the pole turned out to be a pretty good spot so we got lucky there. I ran a temporary electric line on top of the ground with 10-gauge outdoor approved electrical wires to a 30 amp receptacle for our camper.
The water company boring the water line from our neighbors place down the road. This guy is following and controlling the depth and direction of the bore head with the machine in front of him. I thought that was pretty cool how it all worked.
I am so happy the water company didn’t put in the water service before we got there because where they had it marked was too far away from our home and they were more then happy to put it were we wanted it. They also put in a hydrant for us so we can have water on the farm for our camper and we will have water there when we camp with our new camper and when we stay there when we build our home next year.
Water and electric is ready for us to camp at the farm.
We also had 4 dump truck loads of gravel put in to get our driveway ready for all the cement trucks and log trucks that will be coming next year when we start to build so they won’t get stuck on our farm if it happens to be raining.
We hired a local farmer Cody Wright to spread our rock. I was amazed how fast he did the job.
The gravel truck driver had a little trouble staying on our driveway. Cody was able to smooth it all out with his bobcat and we put some rock on it to widen the driveway some.
Our new widened driveway.
That’s it for now, we did wreck our new truck again while we were there on the farm and I will save that for my next post.
We are continuing to plan for when we build our log home, with things like designing our kitchen, planning what we are going to do this coming year and searching for an ATV to name a few.
Actually its my wife Niki who wants to buy a ATV now so when we go to our farm this coming year and camp she can put it to work and we don’t have to drive our new truck on our bottom ground and take a chance of getting it stuck again. The plan is to buy two of them but I think I will wait until after our home is built to buy mine because I won’t be able to use or enjoy it much until then.
We went to Chicago motorcycle show this year to look for one but that was a bust, there was only about 8 atvs at the show and only a two companies had them. We where real disappointed, but we ended up going to several dealers that had most of the atv brands that are sold in this country like Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, Polaris, Artic Cat, and Cam-Am. My wife has decided she wants a Can-Am. I have to admit they seem to be built just a little better then the other brands and their price is also a little higher. So far it has been real disappointing when seeing an advertised price and then going to the dealership and then the dealer starts adding destination, dealer prep and freight charges, it adds an additional 1000 bucks to the price of the atv and its seems all the dealers in the Chicago area do this. We have found a dealer in Chariton Iowa http://www.cc-cycle.com/that says they don’t do that and the price they have listed is the price. Imagine that, a company not trying to deceive you. That’s why we like these Iowans no phony baloney bull. The next time we go to the farm we are going to check them out and let you know how it turns out.
This is a farm for sale only about 13 miles from our farm.
If you are looking to get started in farming, here is in opportunity for you. I get updates on farms for sale everyday from Zillow and every now and then a great deal comes on the market and those are the ones I like to share with my readers, and this is a good one.
This is a 40 acre farm with a house, wooden barn, metal storage building, pond, and pastures with a bit of timber that would make someone a great pasture based farm and only priced at 145,000 dollars. The property taxes are only 1,266 dollars a year and is on a lightly traveled paved highway so you can keep your vehicles cleaner than gravel roads will. These parcels don’t come on the market that often and when they do they don’t last long.
House is livable and with a little TLC would make a great little homestead.
The land is already sectioned off for rotational grazing and has been used for cattle and hay ground.
This farm is already set up for cattle.
This farm also has a large stocked pond for livestock watering or recreational fishing.
You can see here the large pond and hay bales that were made on this farm.
You can see more pictures of this farm http://www.remax.com/realestatehomesforsale/54156-us-hwy-65-lucas-ia-50151-gid700013773045.html. If you are looking for a small homestead, you can’t go wrong with this one, but don’t wait to long to decide. It won’t last long.
We just bought this new camper at the Chicago boat and camper show.
Even though we are not planning to build our log home for another 14 months we haven’t been sitting on our duffs. There are still lots of things that we have to do and plan before that day comes and this is what we are doing now to help us get ready for when that day comes.
We just went to the 2015 Chicago Boat and RV Show at McCormick Place and had a great time. If you have never been there before you should plan to take a trip to Chicago and see it for yourself it is well worth your time and the prices are amazing. It is huge and you would be hard presed to see everything in one day even if you spent the whole day there. All the manufactures there are trying to promote their brand and are selling at wholesale prices. If you are looking at buying a boat, camper or RV you should make the trip to Chicago next year in January and go to this show, you won’t be sorry that you did.
New camper kitchen.
We went to the show to look at pontoon boats because someday that is something we would like to buy when we retire so we can go fishing and take the grandkids tubing. We didn’t have any plans to buy a camper, but once we saw the campers and the prices they were going for we thought would buy one and live in this when we are building our log home. After the home is built then sell it, that way we wouldn’t have to rent a place in Iowa and we can be there right on the job site to look after all our building material.
There are many more things we have been up to that I plan to post but I don’t want to blow all my posting material in this one post, got keep my readers interest up, until then more pictures of our new camper below.
This is a picture of our drive way that we had to have three loads of gravel put down so we could get our concrete poured in our pole barn.
As some of you may have already noticed that my time line for my retirement count down that I have to the right on my site has changed to December 31, 2015. We have also pushed back the date 7 months from when we are going to start to build our log home from Aug. 31 2015 to April 2016. There was several reason why I have changed the time line but there was a main reason and that is what I will explain here.
The main reason why we have changed the start date of our new home was because I am acting as our general contractor and even though we plan on doing most of the work ourselves there are some things that we will not be doing so I have been getting bids for those. Things like the basement, heating and cooling, septic system, and to build the roof with rafters, sheeting and roofing material. Even though we are capable of doing our own roof I thought I would hire some company to do it with us planning to start building so late in the year to make sure we would get it weather tight before winter would set in. The two bids I had sent out came back at around 30,000 and I felt that was at least 10,000 more than what they should have been. We are trying to keep cost down and we are not willing to pay over 20,000 more for something we feel we can do ourselves, so we have decided to wait now until the following spring in April of 2016 to start our log home so we can do it ourselves. The materials are only about 10,000 at the most so we will save a significant amount of money. Since we won’t be building the house until April I didn’t want to be bored and sitting around the house with nothing to do so I thought I would work until Dec. 31, 2015 and this would give us a chance to save up more money.
Believe me when I tell you I am a little bummed that we won’t be starting the house this year, but my wife and I talked about it and we feel it is the right thing to do.