GardenGrrl's WunderBlog

Flood Insurance Buying Tips #11

By: GardenGrrl, 12:24 AM GMT on April 28, 2011

Hi All,

Just got an e-mail from mortgage lender that prospective home is in a FEMA AE Flood Zone.

A month ago the City of Lewisville told me that area was Shaded X 500 yr plain. A bit of research shows that FEMA just issued new flood insurance maps on
April 18th, 2011.

The Seller says they have a variance letter from 1997 stating the whole neighborhood is not part of the flood plain from the nearby creek.

My guess is that the 1997 letter is not valid. I don't want to pay premiums for AE flood zone insurance.

(1)How do I determine if this is actually an AE Flood Zone now?
(2) How does one get a grandfathered variance?

If it stays as an AE flood Zone for insurance rates the deal is off. I was okay with paying the 500 yr rates just in case they have a flood worse than last year..which was the biggest in Lewisville history.
It didn't hit that neighborhood but they had shallow
fast moving water within 20 yards of the back door for a few hours.

Any FEMA insurance experts out there?

Also, was there any way the sellers could have known the zone got changed and didn't put that on their disclosure?

Thanks all.

Nat'l Chocolate Day #33

By: GardenGrrl, 7:50 AM GMT on April 09, 2011

Previously I raved about a really fun time I had learning how to make something on a wood lathe. We ran out of evening before I could finish the project.

Well our buddy with the most amazing home workshop I ever got to play in had a birthday. So with cake in tow we drove up to Sherman to help him celebrate.

It seems a couple of us guests still had unfinished projects so after grilled burgers and cake we all headed to the shop. It's a natural thing to gravitate to because we all like tools and our friend has the ultimate tool collection.

He also has some of the luckiest grandkids ever. There are two smaller wood lathes bolted to custom sized workbenches adjusted to the heights of each grandson. Got to say, watching mini-wood workers is a cute factor that should be posted on a power tool calendar.

We all had a blast. One of the guests finished a decorative bowl made of two types of wood turned, fitted and bonded together. Not an easy task and it came out looking really cool.

I finished my first project, a wooden goblet. It started out as a log of persimmon wood with bark and all. Okay, so I didn't turn down the bark part, our friend the skilled woodworker did that part lest myself being unfamiliar with how the tools and wood meet might end up with a long sharp blade skipping off the bark and perhaps going up my nose.

So here is a photo essay of what it looks like to do a wood turning project.

This is not firewood. This is where the projects come from. A couple years ago when our peach tree died, it was cut up and put in this pile. Our friend made us a neat punch tool using the peach tree wood for the handle.

This shelf has some unfinished projects. The cup in the center is mine.

Here the Master Wood Worker is setting up the small lathe for me and manually adjusting the belt tension to increase speed.

These are some of his wood turning tools. Different blades work best for different applications or types of wood. Choosing and using a blade is an art form in itself.

Here our teacher is demonstrating how to hollow out wood projects.

Now it's my turn. Pressing against the guide bar using my thumb to direct the blade, I also have a good hold on the long brown handle. If you hit a knot or worm hole the blade can skip if the front and back are not held near flat in a firm grip.

You know you have the blade placed correctly when the wood peals off in nice streamers.

Here is the finished cup. I added some detail to the handle then sanded. After it was sanded smooth, I took a stick of wood wax and ran it over the spinning cup. That makes it look nice. To get it shiny, I used a clothe held in place letting friction melt the wax into the wood both sealing it and creating a shine.

And that's it. Special thanks to our buddy in Sherman for letting us all play in his shop.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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