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Me & Shopping

October 13th, 2007 at 04:27 am

Here I am doing the grocery shopping now for the household. I haven't done this for decades and I still don't like it.

I have no idea when this started, but I sure know it isn't my thing. Any kind of shopping. No danger of me over spending, that is for sure.

With both mom and my aunt needing to stay home and recuperate, I was elected to "run out" and pick up a few things. They had both seen a recipe & wanted that for dinner. Gads, I've never done that. I'm used to working with what is in the pantry/fridge & freezer.....

After all the errands and then the prep and cooking, their recipe isn't all that great. Satay Chicken with Spicy Peanut Sauce. I'd like to give it a go, now that I've got the ingredients, but use a recipe (or a combo of a couple) to get a dish that had a little more flavor. Not quite sure what happened to this, but it just didn't taste Thai to me, just more like chicken with peanut butter on it. Seemed like alot of work for the end result. Mom and my aunt were pleased however, so that is what counts.

Have my week end young man again tonight, so cooking a bit more than typical. My aunt gets picked up tomorrow AM & will be taken to her home, which is a few hours & a ferry ride away. My mom is going to breathe a sigh of relief........as I know it has been difficult for her to feel like resting up when we've had constant company in the house as well as staying overnight type company.

Already looking forward to Monday and having things quiet down here. Smile

My Insurance Decisions

October 11th, 2007 at 04:03 am

Finally came to a couple conclusions re; insurance.......both auto and home/rental.

The dates all came due at the same time, of course! and it's also the same week I've got a pretty full plate here at home. (the twins recuperating, the followup medical appointments for both, as well as the house & ongoing stuff for that)

I did pull my van insurance out and have it all by itself, as it was cheaper that way then adding the van to moms policy. I put myself on her policy as an added driver at no cost. I'll be adding one of my foster dtrs to my van as an added driver as she needs a loaner vehicle for an unknown period of time. I couldn't help her financially, but I was sitting here today thinking about her situation and there was my van, parked......with no need for it here. Duh. Sometimes I'm so slow to figure these things out.

I have to insure my belongings here at moms, with a renters policy, in order to buy the policies on my other 2 rental houses. Never ran across that before. But, it seems to be just too complicated for me to unravel any other option at this point. And, hopefully, all this will be changing within the year anyway, as we begin to sell of rentals and pare down to just one house between us.

Feels good to have made the decisions. Should have done it last week. But, nothing lapsed, no extra charges so all's well.

Some service from the cable company came today and picked up all my equipment I had at the old house. This clears me for my refund, which will be nice.

Have a cash offer on one of my building lots, thinking until Saturday on that......but leaning towards accepting it, although it was not quite what I was asking for it. But, cash talks, and we're not paying a realtor for this one, so it will be part of the down payment on the beach house this way.

Beach House news: We put together our list of things we'd like attended to, that stemmed from the inspection. Amounts to $10,000 of repairs & such.....biggest piece is the general contractor, just fixing little things, a plumber for a small leak, an electrician for a bit of an update on the electrical panel and a roofer to do a creative repair to a roof with discontinued roofing tiles. Hoping the seller does the work, but I'm thinking she might just discount the price and be done with it.

Dr appointment for mom was cancelled today, so we've got that on the list for tomorrow. Looking forward to getting some info on this congestive heart failure bit. I've read on line, and have things coming in the mail....but I'm still not quite sure if this is a new thing for my mom, or if it's been sort of creeping up....

Both Twins Home......

October 10th, 2007 at 05:54 am

Both the twins, my mom and my aunt are home tonight. Moms got congestive heart failure, and the other has a fractured tail bone and a concussion from her fall this week.

And, as if that weren't enough, we had a houseful of company here to visit with both of them........company for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Good for me cooking for a bunch is not a big deal.

Received the inspection report and bid to fix a few issues on the beach house. Will meet tomorrow & do what needs to be done to send this to the seller. Still looking at the first of Nov. to close. Unbelievable!

Did have to make a grocery store run, in between follow up Dr. appointments for the twins. Needed some different types of food here, as I'm just not used to the little dabs of things mom thinks will suffice. She has LOTS of food, just not much that goes together to make a regular meal, let alone 3 a day! I've got the plan figured out through tomorrows dinner; need to remember to dig through the freezer tomorrow before leaving for another round of Dr appointments. (I am getting a ton of knitting done while I'm waiting for all these appointments!)

I think this is the week I'll have to give notice re; my week end young man. I can see my life getting more than complicated and can't figure out how to fit him in 2X's a month. It's been fun to have the extra spending money, but after this week, it doesn't seem worth it.

I've got a long list of things to do........which I'm giving to my nephew tomorrow. Farming out some of this responsibility as quickly as I can. He will be here with the beach house paperwork, and I'm adding to his TO DO list considerably. He offered!

Errands, Banking and a Complaint

October 3rd, 2007 at 08:44 pm

We'd saved up enough errands for a half day; which is just about moms limit these days. With two of us, I can help with 'curb side' service whenever she has to go in somewhere as well as do the errands she doesn't need to do personally.

We needed gas and surprising enough, it didn't cost as much as last time we filled up. Pleasant.

Unloaded the car at the local thrift store which was on the way...with things just too small to give away on freecycle and a couple items no one responded to.

Stopped at the local Fred Meyers so mom could do some banking and then we were going to get the weeks groceries. Not so on the groceries! There was something rotten in the store; I mean really rotten. I couldn't find a mgmt person anywhere, so we just got our soy milk and headed for the car. (I just finished filling out an online complaint form; we'll see if they get back to me on this one......)

Then, Costco again. Mom has a love affair with this place. We did hold the line on everything; she is more inclined not to purchase now that we are thinking of packing up the household. Has nothing to do with budget or finances! Smile

I did find a box of mid size envelopes for the online book sales we have been listing. Took another to the post office on the way this AM... That makes 7 this week! I had some help here this week.......carrying 5 more cases of books up from the basement, so I've plenty to do in this regard. The books I'm working on currently are all out of print which makes them fairly spendy. Dad would be pleased; nothing was more fun for him than getting a bargain and having it appreciate.

Got word from moms tax man, her 2005 taxes are completed; both her personal ones and the trusts. Now.....on to 2006. Just have 2 pieces of info lacking for this to be wrapped up; made some phone calls to get copies of 1099's sent to mom again so we can truly get this done. Can't wait to be on schedule with the taxes; I've had one extension filed in all the years I've paid taxes and I've never filed late.... Can't figure mom out; in fact this bit with the taxes was my first real wake up call re; her. I'm getting myself involved in more of her paperwork/business because of that.

Another meeting with nephew/realtor person this evening. Not sure what the agenda is.......perhaps the inspections have all come back? Listing agreement written up for moms commercial properties ready to sign.... And, some day soon, a final signing or approval or whatever comes next re; the beach house deal. Can't wait for the day when I know for certain what is happening! Smile

Surrounded by my stuff

September 28th, 2007 at 02:25 am

I headed to the old house this AM to supervise the loading of my things......which began to look like stuff right away quick.

By the time the crew was unloading it here, I was thinking of it in terms of junk! What in the world was I thinking about when I saved and carefully packed all this stuff??

Most everything is stored in moms garage at this point, since things feel so temporary right now. I've got a van full of "junk" that the movers didn't want in their truck, will save that to unload in the morning.

The whole day did cost me some money, but it was a job I couldn't do on my own and I've only got one son!!! Smile Nephews are all out of state, or recently injured in a car accident...so they are no help in the lifting and hauling department. So, the money was well spent and yes, I did shop around a bit first.

Now that there is no time crunch and I've got the load of things here.....I plan to go through things with a finer tooth comb this time; getting rid of almost everything! There are some things I just can't part with and what an odd bunch of stuff that is! My great grandmas rocker (really ugly, I keep saying I'm going to paint it and recover the cushion), a rattan doll buggy I had as a little girl (can't possibly get rid of that now can I?), a formal I wore in the late 60's!!! (way too many memories there!) and the list goes on.

The things I want to save and make space for, in addition to paying someone again to haul them to the next house (still crossing fingers it's the beach house), are not very valuable. Just to me. It's been an interesting exercise to notice the items I paid for, or people bought me over the years......aren't really on my list of things to keep. I've freecycled some, gave some to my foster dtr and left some at the old house for the tenants to use... I've truly come to a point where it isn't "things" I want. Nice.

If it wasn't for my piano and my bedroom furniture, I think I could get my really special "stuff" into my van! Smile

Staying Busy While Waiting

September 21st, 2007 at 10:53 pm

We're in the waiting stage again for the house deal. Ordered the title search today and thought I had a friend who would do the inspection, however he has vanished......so haven't got that part nailed down yet.

Ran some errands, picking up last minute things for the little rental, so it is up and running by next week end. Splurged on a big roll of packing tape and a good dispenser thingy.....so I'm set for tomorrow morning. There are some things it is really worth paying a bit more for and this is one of mine. I will have a FULL van load of boxes by the time I meet my son at the old house, and most will be flat....so the tape is going to be handy.

Mom got to the eye DR today, to find out cataract surgery is necessary. She wanted to wait til after the move, but I'm lobbying for sooner, so we don't have to find a new DR, or go back & forth daily on the ferry. Doesn't sound like a good time to me!

Emptied out one of the bedrooms here at moms today. Grandson #5 has just rented his first apartment & mom went nuts packing a truck of things for him. Worked out well for all concerned....we got rid of things we couldn't take with us and he got a furnished apt!

There was a bit of sun here today, so I cleaned out the lettuce beds, as well as the old cucumber vines. The gardens have been so full and productive all season, it seems odd to see bare ground again. We are just now having to purchase veggies again, and not that many yet.....so the garden was definately worth it. I'm always pushing myself to clean out the gardens come fall, as I truly hate that job if I let it get too far into winter. Cold, wet, slimy .........not if I can help it.

I've appreciated all the emails giving pointers and encouragement re; real estate transactions. I don't know if there is anything more stress producing...than buying and selling. I will be happy to be done with it all; mom and I were placing bets as to when we think we will be fancy free!

Not Rose Colored.........but, New Glasses

September 6th, 2007 at 04:23 am

Had my eye exam today and got the new glasses I had picked out Monday. Used the AAA discount, as it was more than the 50% off sale LensCrafters was having.
Since I don't have insurance, this is considered a good deal for me. And, as an aside, I have been doing a fair job of a series of eye exercises for the last couple years, and I do believe it has helped. My right eye had almost no change, the left eye.....a bit more she said. Trying to treat my eyes as muscles & it seems to be making a difference to me.

Did fill up the van with gas while waiting for the lenses........I was almost on empty so I ended up using all of $40.00. Made a deposit of the one rent check that came on time, as well as the payment for my week end young man.

Mom had her physical too today, and got a pretty good report. We managed to get the meds all as generic, with 90 days of each so we can now order by mail. TA DA. Money and time saved and she should squeek in the window of this Medicare business. Have yet to understand the logic of it, but there is a range of money spent on meds that isn't covered. If you go above it, the expenses are again covered......but there is this no mans land in the middle. I'm aiming to come in under, so most of the prescriptions are covered.

And, I'm also aiming to drop some of the meds (with the DR approval of course) by cooking things a bit differently here. So far, moms chlorestrol is back in normal range with just the few changes we have made since May.

My biggest step today was making the schedule for the vacant rental....cleaning starts Friday and I managed to pin down the elusive electrician who promises to meet me there on Friday also!

A long day; but many lines crossed off on the TO DO list here.

And Another Dr Visit

September 1st, 2007 at 04:44 am

Called the DR this AM and yes, wonder of wonders, the faxed referral for mom to see the specialist had actually come through.......

So, off to Seattle we headed to have her nose checked out by the DR that came to the ER this week. She is breathing better now, but we have another routine of stuff to do for her nose, so a stop by the grocery store to restock the kitchen and a quick run through the pharmacy.......not even sure how many dollars that was, but we figure we're set for the week end now.

Came home to find moms twin sitting in our driveway....she was due to come late this evening, but she was here by noon something. She just had eye surgery and has fallen and fractured her wrist.

Getting the idea my weekend is filling up by the minute here?? Smile

Just as we were getting everyone settled, my week end young man was dropped off. Now all 3 rings of the circus are full here! He is pretty taken with the twins, and loves to just look at them. Hopefully they won't get to creeped out as he can get to be a bit much when you're feeling great.....not to mention when these two are feeling a little less than chipper!

We've got 2 weeks now before mom needs to go in for a nose check up......and Tues I'm taking the twins for matching glasses frames. Hopefully I will have time to pick a new pair out for me too. (can't forget one of my goals for 07 was to do things for me!!!) My young man will be back home by then, so it should be easy enough.

I'm tired and getting a touch cranky. If someone asks me what I did on the holiday week end..... I'm not going to be responsible! Smile

Three Book Sale Day

August 21st, 2007 at 11:13 pm

We sold 3 of dads books in one day! I've never done that before, however I've never had this many listed at once either. Apparently there are others who are interested in obscure history as well as math books from the 40's.

The freecycle birdhouses are a hit. I picked them up today and already have one in a tree here.

Did spend some money on the way home.......the local craft store had all their yarn on sale. Prices lower than I could get on line, so I picked up enough for a new afghan for moms living room here......and enough extra to use for my knitting/crochet classes this fall. So, truly, I'll get reimbursed for the yarn and the afghan will be free I believe.

Did get my address changed & the mail forwarded. Left a message for tenant with the post dated check. Working with former room mate person to get her name on the utilities from the old house.....that is harder than it needs to be. We both need to go in person with ID to get this accomplished. Gads.

Not feeling like I'm making much progress on this paperwork issue.

Did get a baby step in on moms tax stuff. Called the tax man....got some more specifics as to what he needed & then left another voice mail with the woman who holds the magic answers re; some property mom sold last year. (she just sold it, didn't file taxes, so all the capitol gains haven't been paid)

Called the electrician who is supposed to be working on the rental. He promises to get the job done by this coming week end. Scheduled him to come disconnect a heater in moms house......it won't turn off. (baseboard) Just runs on hot all the time. Guess which room?? My bathroom! Hotter than it needs to be in there, to say nothing of using power all the time.

Picked 6 cucumbers from the garden this AM, they are so good when they are this fresh. Hoping mom gets into cooking mode pretty soon with a couple of them. She makes a molded cucumber salad that I absolutely love.....slivered almonds in it....& cottage cheese. Very savory type salad and for some reason I've never made it myself. I laid all the cucumbers on the counter this AM....if she doesn't get the hint I'll have to dig out the recipe & add it to the pile!

Off to list more books!




Another Craigs' List Connection Comes Through

August 15th, 2007 at 02:39 am

As I write, there are sounds of drills, saws and lumber being manipulated into the greatest raised garden bed I could have ever imagined. (my version was sort of stacking the largest timbers out back, and hoping I could pound something into the ground on the outside to keep them from coming apart)

My latest Craigs list friend has designed the planter and is starting the assembly of it this evening. In exchange, he is taking lumber from the many stacks out back to construct a small tool shed at his place, just 10 minutes away.

I have had so many more success stories from Craigs list connections, in fact....I can't really think of any negatives. What a great resource!

The frosting on the cake this evening is when this young man began telling my mom about a tradition/ceremony.....not sure what the word was he used, but it was about this week, in Japan. Spirits of ancestors visit I think?? He is difficult for me to understand, because my Japanese is ZERO. Anyway, I think the deal is he is thrilled to be using my dads wood, especially this week.....and to be making something for my mom with dads supplies. Apparently very good for family he says. I don't get the details, but I'm not questioning it! Smile

I do know it feels great to be using some of what my dad spent decades salvaging. The alternative would be to just junk everything if/when the property is sold. That would make me way too sad.......so we're going to continue with my new friend Shin and see how much of this lumber he can use.

On other fronts here.......I did get my walk in today; around Greenlake. What a great day to be outdoors! Stopped on the way home to get gas (using moms car for most of my errands these days, so gas is a different deal for a mazda compared to my van!), and picked up a spreader for the lawn here. I've not done city type lawn care for years; leaving the lawn to the chickens, goat and the occasional equine escapee. There are sacks and sacks of product in the garage for the lawn, but no spreader.......so now I'm in business. Going to discourage some bugs first, then see if I can make a trade and get the moss out and let some real grass grow.

Each task here is connected to a couple others.......if I get the lawn stuff out of the garage, there will be room to move the freezer up from the basement so mom can get to it herself. It will be easier to unload from the car too. If I can get the freezer out of the basement, I will be a bit closer to clearing out a space to start painting the walls and getting a sheetrock ceiling installed. Way too many jobs to think about. Will go back to just tackling one at a time!

Me........At Costco No Less

July 28th, 2007 at 05:34 am

I've been to Costco more times in the last 2 months than I have been in the last 20 years. Mom is a shopping fanatic; as are all the other shoppers I saw at Costco.

We supposedly went for a chicken. A cooked chicken for dinner tonight. We got that, but "picked up" about $70.00 of things we just had to have. I couldn't believe the things people were buying...

Mom is still talking about moving to a beach, which would most likely take us to a part of the state without a Costco quite so close. She was talking about how I'd have to get used to not being able to just run out and get whatever. I reminded her that was herself she was talking about, that I was used to not shopping at all! I would really love being further out; am carefully lobbying for a smaller community than the one we're in.

Other details: Had the Craigslist sewing customer/barter person here this
AM. Everything fit, delivered one more item with only 3 to go now. Will take the items to her in 2 weeks & guess where she lives? Near one of the beach houses on our list to see.! We'll make a day of it & see what mom thinks.

Did spend some money today on vitamins and supplements. I'm a firm believer in them & order online so I feel like I get the best deal possible.

Also paid for a new water heater for another rental. Gads, July has been a pricey month. Things like the pump and the hot water tank make me weigh the plus/minus bit of the rentals. I've had them to use for my retirement, as my job had no retirement plan..... Now, I'd really like to not be thinking about repairs & such all the time. Fortunately, I don't need to decide anything right away. Food for thought.

Made last payment for extreme dental work too. Can't wait to get this all finished up. Sounds like everything is on schedule with original plan, will perhaps be done by the end of Sept.

I'd better put the checkbook away & hold the line for a bit now! Smile

Water Bills vs Well Water

July 24th, 2007 at 12:53 pm

I'm going to have to work on this one. I do believe city water is going to come out the winner..........and I'd wish I was paying a monthly bill, no matter how high.

The well repair/plumber people were here yesterday, after the house was without water for 5 days. The parts were checked in order of least to most important.......and of course, it was the entire pump that had blown out. So hoping it was going to be some stupid breaker box snafoo........but no.

With all the innards of the pump strung out on the driveway, they began to put the new set up back down in the ground. Pretty simple system actually, but way more than I was going to tackle. HA!

A mere $4600 and change later, we have water. Since there is no city water here, this is my only option, but wow, what I'd give to be complaining about a water bill monthly at this point.

Fortunately, there is an ER fund here and the check was written and we're all taken care of. Can't say enough for putting money aside, especially if you're a homeowner. Homes do just suck up money!

Garden Tours Between Showers

July 22nd, 2007 at 11:34 pm

We splurged today and went to our little towns garden tour. Six gardens for $15.00. Not a bargain by any means.

We did get a few ideas and mom realized her new gardens could hold their own in a few years.....there were things she saw and realized hers' were just the baby version. Several of the gardens had live music which was a treat, but it still didn't seem like it was a good value for the money spent. (I'm spoiled with the garden tours from my little farm town; more manure = better flowers I guess!!)

We had a coupon from the entertainment book for a 2 for one lunch at a new Thai place, so we finished off our day with that. Very yummy!

Even the rain held off while we did all this today which was good. Only one garden was tough to navigate due to it being so wet, the others were OK.

Tonight I've got another hobby woodworker showing up with helpers....and I'm giving them a van load of dry wood for turning or carving. All this is stored in this basement, making cleaning the space up impossible. Can't wait to see the difference after this evenings load!!!

Heading for my old house tomorrow, to check on the water/pump situation. Apparently still no water & the electrician friend said it was out of his league, we need a well person. Not wanting to pay week end rates, we decided to "camp" until Monday. Hauling water in from the rain barrels is not the easiest, but the water is on the property, so it could be worse.
I can feel a lesson in wells & pumps coming on!

Time Alone; A New Experience

July 15th, 2007 at 03:54 am

I can probably count the hours I've been alone the last couple of decades on my fingers. Seriously, I would think I had squeezed an hour or two out of the schedule to be alone......I'd shut the door as the last kid left for a home visit or something.........and someone would drive in. Five minutes by myself; Max.

Well, this week end my mom headed to her twin sisters place for 3 days. I'm like a kid with all new toys. I really have no idea how to use up all this ME time. (but I'm a quick learner) I've been more than busy and have loved having the house to myself.

Picked up some freecycle plants this AM, St Johns Wort.....which I've never grown. Actually, would never have recognized it before today. Nice plant, makes a terrific ground cover, but it has yellow flowers & I just can't do yellow in my garden. So, this will be banished to the back 40, where it can just grow to it's hearts content and cover as much ground as it wants. Also picked up a piece of carpet (really did think it was a room size rug, but no...) and not sure what to do with it now. I have a van full of carpet!

Took advantage of not having mom here and have had a virtual parade of freecyclers and craigs listers here for all sorts of junk. Made progress in the yard, basement and the garage. Pretty sure mom won't even notice what's missing....and took care to not get rid of anything I know she is still attached to.

I had waited til today to get a really cheap haircut, with a coupon that began today....only to find out the shop was giving that cheap price to everyone. Wow, were they busy. $5.00 for a haircut and I love it. For being cheap and for being a truly good cut. They also gave out gift cards for $5.00 off the next haircut, a coupon for a family members cut and a great tube of lip gloss. It was a good way to start my morning!

As of tonight........my time alone is almost up. My son called & is coming tomorrow for a visit & to help (I have his list all ready!) So, after my morning coffee, it will be back to normal here. After living with so many people for so many years, I don't think I'll ever get enough time by myself. Odd, I know...........

$160 and change for 20 minutes???

July 3rd, 2007 at 05:23 am

Yes, that is what the plumber charged for our repair. While it sounds like a ton to me for 20 minutes work, there was no way I was going to tackle this project myself.......and going without water in the kitchen and no dishwasher wasn't making life a party here on a day to day basis.

So, the bill sounded terrific to both mom & I. Gladly would have paid twice that (maybe more??) Smile

I was glad we had found the leak first and I did learn lots by watching the guy work. And, yes, I asked a bunch of questions. Enough questions I'm pretty sure I could do the repair myself if necessary. And, no, this man didn't suggest we needed to re do the plumbing (although I do know that is in the cards fairly soon.... or some other option like selling this place and letting someone rebuild on the foundation.)

My son visited today, it's been ages since I've seen him. He had said he had a car (been ages since he's been in a position to own one) and I'm happy to report it wasn't a new car. Was going to have to disown him if he bought new. He even made himself useful by carrying a couple van loads of donated stuff and trash for the dump run up to the garage. Plus he followed me to the recycle part of our local dump and lifted the dead TV out of my van for me. We did have to pay to dispose of this giant (which didn't belong to anyone currently living here), but it needed to be gone, & we had no other option.

A good day. Productive and fairly low cost, all things considered. And, we have water in the kitchen!

Mystery Water Source Found

July 1st, 2007 at 05:40 am

We found it. Water leaking from the outgoing pipes from the kitchen. Of course, it's inside the wall, behind the cabinets........but we found it. The call has been made to the plumber, hoping for an appointment on Monday. No way I'm paying week end rates....week day rates will probably be plenty!

So, we're "camping" here. No dishwasher and no water in the kitchen sinks. Slightly inconvenient, but truly...we're not that bad off. In the next room there is a laundry sink, so we've just moved our little dishwashing center in there. The cupboards have been emptied on the outside wall, in preparation for the plumber and to help dry out the place. No idea how long water has been sitting in there. By the looks of the wood inside the cabinets; a loooong time.

We had to have the plumber back to the apartment this AM, as the tenant emailed and said things weren't "put back right & there was a leak". Bless said plumbers heart, he tightened up everything (at a sink we didn't touch yesterday) and all is dry now.......with no charge for today. Will definately put this guys business card on file!!

Since we were already in town, we were right on time for the farmers market. Spent a bit on a pound of Rainier cherries. Taste like summer! Well worth the expense. Then, in an effort to hold the line on washing dishes, we went out to breakfast. No coupon. Just out to breakfast. Was fun, great food and a nice break from all the plumbing stuff we've been dealing with.

Freecycled a van load of pre school type toys & play equipment this evening. Made more room in the basement, made a couple little kids wildly happy and I didn't have to do a thing.

Listed another stack of books from dads stash on Amazon.com. His are fairly interesting so they might tweak someones interest. I can't even guess yet how many books are in this house. Easily in the thousands. Selling a couple a week isn't going to make much of a dent is it?? Smile

Can't believe how good it feels to just know where the water was coming from. This does, however, bring up a pesky decision. The pipes here are the old copper ones, and they have been here since the early 60's. I've been reading and asking tons of questions, as this is the first house I've lived in where the plumbing is wearing out. Seems to re plumb the place is a nasty solution....and there is a new deal out there, something about blowing a coating on the inside of all the existing plumbing?? Anyone heard of this? The benefit is it can be done without cutting holes in all the walls, etc. (can't imagine that project!!)

I'm sure I'll dream of pipes and water again tonight.......at least I know the problem area & have stopped the source of the leak.

Playing Plumbing Detective Still

June 25th, 2007 at 04:33 am

Still no answers re; the water issue in the basement here at moms. Yuk. The fan has almost dried out the floor, except for under the freezer. And, before you think it....no, the water didn't come from the freezer. It is empty and unplugged.

Every time water runs upstairs for any reason, or it rains, I'm dashing (well....more like dragging myself) downstairs. Still nothing. Very frustrating.

Did the last food bank/gleaner run this AM, as I'm too far away from the facility with the new move. Stopped at the old house & mowed the lawns, met with a tenant, picked the veggies & flowers and gathered eggs.

In between appointments, mom & I did the breakfast out deal again....nice little local restaurant, but almost $20.00 for breakfast. We had a good time, and the rest was great before we hit the rest of the days tasks.

The evening was spent dealing with the produce from the garden and putting the plants I had brought from the other house into the ground. I've got one VERY overgrown garden and one brand new garden. Neither is very attractive!

Found a plumber referral from a friend, so will be calling him in the AM to schedule the appointment ......no not for this place........but for the rental. Still trying to get that guys drains to all work at the same time. I got each drain to at least drain....but, the bathroom sink is pretty slow. Not OK to leave it this way, so that guy gets the plumber first. If we like him, we might let him have a go at our mystery water situation here at moms. I'd sure like to be able to figure it out first, so I wasn't paying plumbers wages to scope out the situation.

Still freecycling every chance I get, and every time mom gives the nod to get rid of something. Todays new event was the wood chunks dad had drying in the basement. (all up on rails, so nothing got wet) I've found a couple wood workers who are interested, so hoping I can clear out the maple chunks this week. I feel like I'm trying to set up the sewing room in a combination storage unit/garage sort of space. Not pleasant!!

Must go to bed......gearing up for a visit from autistic young man tomorrow. We're attempting to clear the remainder of the pile of compost tomorrow (weather permitting) and then have him stay overnight. I'll be dragging by Tuesday!

Freecycle Frenzy

May 24th, 2007 at 03:46 am

Every time my mom gives any hint she could part with something......or a group of somethings.....I box or bag it up and list it on Freecycle.

We have been REALLY busy today, just keeping the people straight. We sent a couch and loveseat to a new home....bless that guy, mom can now park in the garage! A mattress & box spring, lamp, ironing board and iron made their way to a new home too..... A big box of vases, you know the kind that seem to grow under the kitchen sink?? A big bag of chocolates we didn't need here, a light fixture, dahlias that weren't the right color for the new garden and almost anything else that wasn't nailed down!!

I think I'm tiring my mom out! Smile

We broke down & hired a young man from next door for an hour. I was trying to remove some sod prior to the new compost getting spread tomorrow & was coming up OLD! This kid finished the job in an hour (or less). Good decision, definitely a good place to spend $15.00.

Another lunch out today, free to us as we were scheduled to be mystery diners. Had the yummiest salad I've had in ages......grilled shrimp & spinach.

Finacially.......some money out, some will get reimbursed and I made a phone call for mom, getting dads retirement benefits sent again. They have been messed up since 07 apparently & mom didn't notice. First hint I might need to step in a bit more here...

Heading to bed to get ready for a LONG day tomorrow. Bringing the autistic kiddo here to spread compost. Believe it or not, it's one of his favorite things to do. Work boots, huge wheelbarrow and constant moving, everything that floats his boat. We'll see how far we can get on these 8 yards of yummy dirt in the driveway!

I'm Adjusting... But the Dog, Not so Much

May 16th, 2007 at 03:49 am

Being at moms is feeling pretty good. Can't find a negative yet, plus we seem to always have a good time. It will feel great to not be thinking of the day I have to go home all the time.

However, the dog.....is a different story. He hasn't eaten now for over 24 hours, which isn't a big deal for most dogs.....but this is a tiny little guy. Barely 4 lbs, (with his sweater on), so he isn't supposed to go this long with no food. He has been drinking water, but barely nibbles any food offered.....and goes & lays down. He is also obsessed with being outside, since there are so many new smells and sounds. Too much to do I think....he just has no interest in food. Hoping he snaps out of this phase & starts to perk up when breakfast is served tomorrow.

The people at the other house are doing OK, the biggest problem is they have run out of egg cartons to put eggs in. Today they resorted to using tupperware containers, they called to report. I'll get to see how they are holding up when I go back for Fri & Sat this week end.

Spent money today.....needed a haircut, and having forgotten to bring my hairdryer, it was almost a necessity. Now I've got the shortest hair I've had in decades, won't need a haircut for at least 6 weeks this time.

Received notification my first mystery shop passed muster, so I'm eligible to sign up for others now. Have put my name in for one this week, as well as next week.........we'll see. I have no idea how many people are in this pool, so don't know how many I need to sign up for in order to end up with an assignment.

Worked in the garden most of the day, getting beds ready for the truckload of compost coming next Tues. I should be ready by then! I am taking pictures so I have a record of the progress. My camera & moms PC and software aren't well aquainted as yet, so posting may have to wait until I go back to my PC, or pack it all up and move it here.

Definitely more things on the plus side for the move.......and I'm having fun identifying what is important & what I can surely live without...speaking of life stuff, not possesions.

Cranky Today

May 12th, 2007 at 10:27 pm

**Not much related to finances here, using the space to vent about a neighbor/dog issue that has made me more than cranky....

I'm so ticked at a neighbor today I can hardly speak coherently. Her 2 dogs are usually in my yard a couple times a day (they have at least 5 acres, but the dogs always come here!) but the last week or so, there have been 3. And, this new one is a pit bull. I'm truly a dog lover, but these guys all have to stay out of my way, or they are going to be re located.

I tried their phone this past week, disconnected. No real surprise. I went to their house yesterday, no answer at either door. (thought as I was doing this, how stupid I was.........all 3 dogs loose and barking at me the whole time) And, today again, the 3 dogs in our yard.

I got my camera, went out, they were all still hanging around my place......and I got some lovely shots of all of them.

I went next door again, found the dtr home (middle school age) and told her I was NOT happy. I asked for their phone, she wouldn't give it to me. I asked for the grandmothers phone (she owns the place) and was told she had sold it to the woman who used to own my place. (yes, the one that keeps returning, asking to buy this place back) I told her I would call the new owner & deal through her.

As soon as I got home the neighbor called from work, telling me she would have me arrested for harassing her dtr. Gads! By the time she got off the phone she was apologizing. She said she didn't know the dogs were let out.......ever. And, her parents still own the property, and I got updated phone numbers.

I did tell her I had pictures, and if I saw any of the dogs out again, I was turning them all in. Have the county complaint form bookmarked!

Needing to do some deep breathing to calm down....I was so ticked she would try to turn this into my problem. She told me I had bought property in the country and would need to get used to having animals on my property.... What????

I did turn all my angry energy to good use when I got off the phone..... I have cleaned out and organized my clothes...a Freecycle bag on the porch, my clothes packed to go to moms tomorrow and the rest can move over if & when I take the furniture. So, a good job done.

Will need to head to the fabric store later, have a customer needing a replacement jacket zipper. Hate it when they don't bring the parts for the job & I have to go out. The price goes up, that's for sure. I always make a point of telling everyone how I hate shopping, and it would be cheaper for them to go. But, it will be one zipper ....in and out, no other expenses today. (and this one will be reimbursed.)



Dentist, Book Sale & Horses.......

May 11th, 2007 at 02:40 am

Another of my mixed bag sort of days here.

Started off with emails re; 2 books that had sold on Amazon. Packaged them up & took them when I headed out for a days errands. Why is it the books that sell here are the ones I don't have packaging for? Smile

Went to the dentist for a quick check and some paperwork, then off to the only imaging place in the Seattle area for a CT scan thing. Gads, 5 minutes and BIG bucks. What a business. With this scan however, I think I'm heading into the last half of this dental work I had scheduled for this year.

Stopped on the way home for my first Mystery Shop event. Fun, actually. Took a total of 30 min, plus about 15 to log my results after I got home. We'll see if I "pass" now.

New horse lady paid for 2 months ahead. Nice. And, a call arranging a meeting for this evening re; storing a boat and a motorhome on the property.

So, it was a money out.........money in sort of day. Got home soon enough to enjoy some time in the gardens.

Back Home Again

April 15th, 2007 at 03:25 am

Back home from my few days at my moms again. Getting to be routine these days....although it is a bit hard to know which place is more like home. Confusing.

My beginning knitting class went well ...the huge one with the Parks Dept. It was a little chaotic, as there were knitters there who should have been in an intermediate class......so it was like teaching 2 different levels of class in the same room at the same time. No way am I getting paid enough for that. Not sure if I will do it again. Pondering that for a bit.

I do have the crochet class next week......I'm expecting it to be the same way, as I have 2 people attending that I had in class already this week. Not beginners!!! So, I'll think on how best to structure the class.

Got moms lawns mowed; beginning to feel overwhelmed with the 3 yards I'm taking care of now. No renter in sight for her rental house, and of course, the yard needs to be maintained or we will never rent it. Electrical problems to surmount prior to even listing it.....Tons of work.

Spent some of my supply money from last weeks class on supplies for this coming week.......will still come out ahead. I realized I had NO samples of my crochet work here.......so I'm a crocheting maniac this week. On the plus side of this, I'm making sort of a market bag/tote thing.....to use as my own purse/bag over the summer. Black & white slubby sort of cotton yarn....I'm liking it so far.

Did get the taxes in the mail......on time, no extension this year. Small victory. I did have to pay, but only a small bit. I wish I understood this part of my finances more......I'm totally in the dark. I have usually had an income that was non taxable, so this is new stuff to me here. By next year, I am thinking I'll be tossing my paperwork in with my moms, as I'm inching towards handling more and more of her affairs. Her tax prep person is more affordable than mine too!

Spent more money on seeds & starts for the veggie garden. Did get some flower seeds too, as I'm certain the rule about planting flowers in and around your veggies is a good one. Plus, I love it, it makes the garden more fun to work in!

Your Own Free Trial of .....Calf-Vision

April 12th, 2007 at 04:18 pm

Here's my best shot this morning.......took the pics when I thought it was daylight, but obviously, it was still pretty dark, thus the odd white eyeballs!

Mama & twins!



Off to pick up tax paperwork today & then headed to my moms. Hoping the rain will hold off a bit so I can get her place mowed.

Then, a shower & change and off to my BIG knitting class this evening. Hoping I haven't forgotten anything. I have only taught big classes like this in a shop and always had extra supplies there. This will be a bit different, I'm hauling everything with me.

Timing being what it is here, I'm going to miss the Navy pulling out. Will handle the goodbyes via email. Left the newly lined jacket here for him to pick up on his way out. Tough duty he has....6 months in the south pacific, supervising exercises with all the little island nations navy's.

Off & Running Today

April 11th, 2007 at 02:49 pm

I've totally spaced on a commitment made at least a month ago........& today is catch up day.

I had been asked to re line a jacket for Mr Navy's wife..... I hadn't started it, since I was waiting on her answer re; the existing buttons. (seems she shuts them in her car door frequently.....not so good for glass buttons). Anyway, the Navy is shipping out this month and I was asked about the status of said jacket. Status??? Still hanging right where it was a month ago. As of last night, the lining is out, pressed & ready to use for a pattern. Just waiting for the local fabric store to open up..........have always thought all night fabric stores would be a good idea! Smile

I'm hoping the lining just slides into the jacket and I can finish it up before lunch...then, off to pick up the tax stuff & get it in the mail.

I have to leave for moms tomorrow & be in her area for my knitting class tomorrow night, so both the jacket & taxes need to be completed today.

Still fitting in my walk today.....and picking up the free bread for the chickens at the same time. ..I'm determined not to let these additions to my day interfere with my new plan of putting ME on the TO DO daily list.

Here's hoping everything goes without too many glitches today......

A Bit Gun Shy Here in Blogland

April 10th, 2007 at 01:26 am

OK, this is the 2nd try here to post an entry. I had almost finished a long rambling on post about my day & all the details when...........with much internal grinding noises, my PC flipped a few pages instantly and there I was viewing Thrifty Ray's latest post about her new job starting tomorrow.

Now, I'm always interested in Rays new adventures, but I would have liked to have finished my post before reading hers!! Smile

So far, I haven't disappeared again....and all the error messages on my Add Entry page are not included this time.......so I'll do an abbreviated version.

I put ME first today, in line with my 2007 goals. Walked before I got started on the things for others.......and fit in a haircut......even tho I didn't have a coupon or a half off offer.

Interviewed a potential renter for the room here.....a single gentleman who says he loves to split wood. Is there a better way to make points with me???

I'm committing to sending the icky email to the tenants in the house.....the ones who want to reduce their rent by $600. I've checked locally, my rent there isn't out of line. The state hasn't answered yet, about the possible new home, if they do, I'm giving the tenants notice asap.

OK, that's the quick version........still probably more than anyone wants to know.
Will try this and see what happens!

Recovering from Yesterdays Work Marathon

April 4th, 2007 at 06:27 pm

It's a new day & I'm almost a new person; compared to yesterday! Was pretty sure I'd wake up sore & broken from the wood stacking, concrete lifting activities yesterday....but, I'm OK.

Even met my walking buddy this AM and got a couple miles in already. She needed to quit early, as her knee was acting up, so I wasn't even the one to whine first!! Smile We've scheduled another walk on Friday, so we can get back into our schedule...felt great to be walking again.

Picked up day old bread (for free) from the local gleaning group since it is located within blocks of my trail parking lot. Chickens are happy & I'm thrilled to not be buying commercial feed.

Forgot to mention I got my application in to Pinecone when it was mentioned in the blogs a couple weeks ago........and I've completed my first survey & have been paid. What a great company. Pretty much falls into my category of Free Money!!

Paid the usual beginning of the month bills today, including the housekeeper who is working away here today! (Just love Wednesdays!!)

Have a rent glitch on the other house. Two families renting, as they have divided the floors & completed the things I never did, so it is really 2 houses now. One 3 BR & the other a 2 BR. The 3 BR people have paid their rent, the others.....No. And the 3 BR people are saying the amount is a hardship for them & want to lower the amount by $600. The new amount would cover the mortgage but not the taxes & insurance....which was covered in the agreed upon rent when they signed the agreement.

So, the question is.......what to do? I think I will make a call to a friend who wanted to know if & when the house would become vacant, & see if they could swing the higher rental .....and if so, give the 2 families notice. Not my usual style, but these days...I've had to do some things differently. I truly hate being a landlord, but I can't see selling the place either.....although, perhaps a call to my Realtor friend is in order too?

Time to get to work here, my TO DO list gets longer with each phone call!

Can't Get Any More Tired

April 4th, 2007 at 05:00 am

I'm pooped. Feeling old.......and pooped tonight.

I started off the morning finding out I "won" 36 concrete stepping stones....took the gentleman from the back 40 with me & we picked those up....and unloaded them back here. Doing OK at that point....

Then, I knew I was going to have my last kiddo here for the day & wanted to fix him a 'real' meal since he has been eating cup of noodles & potato chips at his new place & he's really a meat & potato kind of guy....so, off to the grocery store for 3 things (and I only bought 3 things) to finish off a big dinner. Started on that during the day.......

Room mate person picked up said kiddo..and when he got here, he & I started stacking firewood until the roast finished. Getting tired by now....

Then, inside to finish up dinner and then back out to the firewood. We did get one big pile stacked, 3 more piles to go. (probably 5 cords or a bit more) Then, back in to pack up a care package for the kiddo and in the van to drive him 25 miles or so back to his house. (thank goodness room mate offered to clean up the kitchen, as I'd used everything at least once!)

By the time I got home.......old & tired is all that's left. I'll be counting pieces of firewood in my sleep!

Off to the Post Office..........& other errands

February 20th, 2007 at 09:06 pm

Three books as of today. Yes, 3. I've sold another book on Amazon from this new batch I've listed. Never have I sold more than 2 a month & here it is 3 days in a row. Not complaining!!! I don't however, have a box to put one of the oversized books in, so will have to spend some of the earnings on the box. Drat. I've been saving boxes and mailers, but absolutely nothing fits either of these 3 that sold....wouldn't you know? Other than that expense, it will be a no spend day here.

I've got a repeat knitting student today, a fun one, she wants to start a sock today on double points.....it's been ages since I had anyone that wanted to do socks. Looking forward to an afternoon of knitting.

Heading to the bank after class.....to make a deposit. I've been rolling change for the last couple days and now have a little over $100 to add to the tax fund. (actually, it all goes in one account here, I just keep the list of the monies, so room mate person knows what her half of the expenses are)

Tonights the last night for the Navy man here............he ships out tomorrow for a month and a half. Will miss him & all his help around here! When he returns in April, he has invited me to bring my mom & aunt to tour his ship.....they are more excited about this event than the trip south I believe!

Saw a new number on my scales again this AM........too exciting! The walking and watching what I eat is really beginning to pay off. So far, still not enough of a change to warrant new jeans however.... Hopefully, that will happen prior to the trip. (starting to call this a trip, not a vacation..........just found out the other sister will be going, so it's me and the 86yo twins and their 88yo sister....beginning to sound like work; or at the very least a labor of love. Not sure how much of a vacation it is going to feel like???)


Getting Paid to Knit

February 13th, 2007 at 05:58 am

It doesn't get much better than that.
I still find it truly amazing I can sit with someone & just knit .........and they pay me by the hour! Too fun. Had 2 new students today, both private lessons......they are quick learners, use yummy fibers and are both wanting to continue to learn new things. Can't wait to meet with them again.

Started my morning off with a walk with my new Craigs list walking partner. We've gone several times now & I think it is going to be a regular thing for both of us. (TA DA for me here, this was one of the items on my 2007 goal list) We're managing to get in a couple walks a week...no idea how far we're going yet, but it is a full hour each time. I'm learning my new friend is a frugal person too...she knits, cans, raises her own chickens, sews and loves to remodel & refurbish her rental properties. We both even used to square dance! Can't get much more alike. Nice to visit with someone that practices the same frugal lifestyle.

Sold another book on Amazon & got it in the mail. Averaging one a month. Need to get some more books from the room mate & get them listed......they won't sell at all unless I get them online.

Went to my moms for dinner, her twin, my aunt was visiting & we had a great time. Reviewed the plans for our March vacation to Palm Springs. I've been invited to drive them down & back......sounds like they want to do the same trip they usually do, so I think it will be a matter of how many casinos they can visit before coming back home in April. They are both pretty good at blackjack & usually pay for their trip plus $$$ to take home. I don't gamble, so I should have time to knit a few pairs of socks! They have a condo arranged for our time in 2 different places for the longer stays.....so it sounds like a fun time for me........no thinking required, sort of time off on auto pilot.

Spent the money to mail the book; although that is covered in the fees that will be added to my paypal account. Still managing to add to that account each month, so it is starting to look like something. Have never taken anything out of it yet......forget it's there, until I get the email saying my funds were deposited from someone.


Magic Furnace Man Visits

January 16th, 2007 at 01:58 am

Amazing but true, I'm listening to the furnace humming away here.....actually heating the house! This is still the old furnace, the same one multiple technicians have looked at and pronounced Deader then Dead.

No charge for todays visit either.......but we're running on prayer here. I did ask the gentleman to give me a quote on putting in a new furnace, since he agreed this one was older than old and parts can't be found to repair anything on it. I'm feeling like it would be money well spent to put in a new one, something that I could rely on, that didn't have questionable wiring or need the planets aligned just right to work.

But, in the meantime, the heat is coming out of the vents for the first time ever! What a concept.... The natives here are going to be wowed! Smile

I braved the roads and actually drove somewhere today. Not bad at all.....and considering we're to get more snow tonight, I was thinking it was now or wait til spring. Spent money & got a haircut...much needed. Was looking quite unkept & I hate that. And, with ME being on my 07 goals list; the haircut was mandatory!

Would have made a bank deposit too, but remembered it was a holiday......Since I no longer have kids in school, I can't tell what day of the week it is without help!

Had a phone call from an old friend who had moved away a couple years ago......we will be getting together for a real visit soon. I think it was the first time I've had to explain to anyone (other than close family) what happened in the last couple years ....the move, the business, etc... Telling something to someone else is an interesting thing....it brings everything back up again, but also puts things in a different light. All good I think. Looking forward to connecting again and continuing to catch up with each other....


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