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Archive for June, 2007

Mystery Water Source Found

June 30th, 2007 at 10:40 pm

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.

Water Down the Wall Again

June 28th, 2007 at 06:16 pm

Zipped downstairs today to get the punch supplies from the freezer and checked "The Wall" just to see if it was dry.......and no. All the old water drip lines on the wall were dripping new water. Yuk.

This tosses my theory about the garbage disposal out the window, since we haven't used it since it leaked when we did. This AM it was the dishwasher and the right hand sink in the kitchen....and the leak. Just the dishwasher last week, no leak. And, no water whatsoever upstairs around the sink area. Heck, none in the kitchen.
Once we get the plumber at the apartment tomorrow, we put this job on the list to be fixed. Still no emergency, but a definate must be fixed sort of problem.

I'm noticing mom isn't at all concerned about maintaining this home (or any of the others she owns). Not sure why. Dad was always the one that kept track of things, even tho mom helped and handled any rentals. She would rather not know about the water downstairs.....even tho she does KNOW how water damages anything it comes into contact with.

I've been the only one taking care of my homes for decades, so I'm used to watching for 'stuff that needs doing' as I call all these jobs. I even opened the conversation with mom last night about wondering when to stop putting big money into this home and just do the hold the line repairs. If she ever does sell this house, any new owner would level it and re build on the existing foundation. Or, at the very least, gut it and add a 2nd story. So, it seems to be excessive to put a new roof on (which the house will be needing) or make any big changes.

I have had a stay at home, no spend, no work (almost) sort of day. Moms bridge buddies are here having a great day of it... I did all the last minute cleaning and straightening up this AM and made a dessert for her to serve then have been enjoying a day of just playing around in the sewing room and here on the PC.

Moms bank called & said the funds were being deposited into her account from the bond she had bought earlier this month. The bank found another buyer for the entire order, so mom got all the money back. She thinks she should not invest these funds now and use it for the projects on this house. I guess this is where the conversation started yesterday; I'm just not sure the money would be well spent here. We are certainly making do here, although there are some things it would be nice to update.

This house is in a very well to do neighborhood.....although neighborhood is not the right term. There are houses along this one road, no one knows anyone, no one speaks really. Almost everyone has 'staff' and I'm the only person I know who mows the lawn themself. So, the property is worth more without the house almost! And, mom has a large enough piece she could build & sell the back half....which I think is a better idea in the long run.

This would cut the work in half here (which I'm totally in favor of). She could either move to the new house, or fix up this one. Or, sell the new, lease this and move to the beach house of her dreams. I like that option too.

Heard from the financial planner/accountant and attorney. The decedants trust was funded when dad died, and has the tax number. But, for some reason moms accountant never had her file the taxes on that trust. They all are saying it's no problem.....but, I'm guessing there probably are a few since it's been 7 years with no filing.
I'm sure learning lots...it seems like no day goes by without another huge thing coming into view here. Property, tenants, trusts, investments; all needing attention. No question why I moved over here anymore, that part is certain!

And, There Was Water........drip, drip.....

June 27th, 2007 at 11:26 pm

Yes, this AM on one of my many treks down to the basement......I flipped the light switch and made a quick check of The Wall...... A small trickle of water and a crack in the wall with a drop or two; plus about an eighth of a cup of water on the floor. Hmmm.
Think the culprit is the garbage disposal after all the checking and re checking. Not a typical leak at the disposer however, but something to do with either the incoming water, or the drain behind the kitchen wall. The water is pooling upstairs in the dead space below the undersink cabinet or behind the cabinet. Yuk. Makes it almost impossible to get to.....but, easier now to tell a plumber what is leaking. Our version of taking care of this right now, is to not use the disposer! Temporary fix, but right now, that works.

Borrowed moms car for an errand to the title co, to sign for the re fi. Money will be wire transferred to my acct soon; actually forgot what day they said.
Took the car to the auto parts store, to pick up a tail light bulb, as we have one burned out. I thought I could get someone to show me how to replace said light since I couldn't seem to get to it on my own. (hate to be stupid, but the car must have been built around the light) No one at the store could get to the bulb either! So, it's a trip to a dealership for a lightbulb. I prefer vehicles where I can do at least the minor stuff.

Spent the last 48 hours cleaning and gardening so the house & yard look spic & span for moms bridge day tomorrow. Whipped out a bridge table cover too now that I'm here & understand just what she was needing. (from fabric I bartered for) Looks pretty good if I do say so....and the make shift sewing room worked too. I'm obviously too pooped to be writing....just tried to re read this paragraph and it doesn't even make sense to me! Off to bed!



Bending the Rules Credit-wise & Other Updates

June 26th, 2007 at 07:42 pm

This was a new one for me, however it was explained to us as something being done "all the time" in the mortage business.

Mom was asked to add a family member on to 3 of her high limit cc acounts (all at zero balances) just long enough for the credit reporting companies to add the family persons name & account. This makes the credit of the person in question broad, or varied they explained. As soon as the report is noted, mom can take the person off the accounts. (which she will do) So, there is to be no risk to her.......she feels like she is helping in a family situation and I am just going to watch.

I'm not a betting person, but I'm willing to put money on this family person not being able to maintain a mortage .....if it happens in the first place. Buying isn't always a good choice for some. Although continued renting isn't a great option either, it seems to have so much less risk in this situation.

I'm grateful I don't need someone to work the system as it was explained to us.

Plumbing Update: None. No info. Nothing. Basement floor & wall are still dry. Just too frustrating not knowing how it got so wet, and obviously many times before. Mom said this AM "It's a good day if we don't see water".......I feel just the opposite. I think it is just nasty I can't come up with the problem! Wish I could see some water & nail down where it came from & when!

Historic Happening Here: I turned down money. Yep. Found 3 gentlemen to divide up the first round of cured wood dad had been saving to turn or carve. One of them asked what I was selling it for, and I turned it down. Dad would have shared before selling.....so that is what we did all day again today. There are 3 pretty excited woodworkers here in the Pacific NW tonight!

Racing to Keep Up With the Autistic One

June 25th, 2007 at 10:44 pm

I'm exhausted.

The autistic young man showed up for a visit today around 3PM and I feel like I've run a marathon.

We started with compost moving......and got the new garden completely done. (still have more compost to move, will think creatively tonight so I have a solution when he gets up in the AM)
After dinner, he helped me load up a walk behind mower & we took off for the empty rental. He mowed the place, and for anyone who might have been watching us.......I hope they figured it out. My young man mows; just where he wants to mow. And he loves it. Looks like he has won the lottery while he is working. Had the mower on FAST and was just trotting along all over the yard. I had a hard time getting him to do the whole yard. When he finished, the place did look better than when we arrived, but it was an odd bit of mowing to say the least. He moved a roll of new vinyl into the garage too......so we're ready for the kitchen floor man to arrive ..whenever we get that going.

Back home, we set up a ramp thing my dad had constructed years ago, as a way to move things in and out of the basement without having to go inside and down the stairs repeatedly. Sort of a slide that hooks to the window well and drops off into the rec room. (otherwise known as the storage area) I passed 20 something pieces of dried wood my dad had saved from the 70's up to the ramp thing and my strapping young man picked them up and moved them into the garage. Whew. I was beat and he was laughing hysterically by this point. I'm so grateful for the help but he doesn't even understand that part.....he just had a ball.

Tomorrow a couple more local woodworkers are to arrive & we'll divide up the wood chunks. These are all set for people to either carve or turn them on a lathe. Dad would be thrilled to know the wood was not being used for firewood and mom is pleased I'm locating folks that seem to understand a 'good chunk of wood'.

Resting up tonight.....hoping I can sort of keep up with tomorrows day. Autistic kiddo is sleeping over & we're getting up at 6AM in order to watch Mr Rogers together (his best hero....and no, he doesn't know the man is dead) Then, a big home made breakfast and back to the compost moving outside.

There was so much more this kid did today, now that I think about it. He couldn't have got my mower in the van until he unloaded said van....and hauled everything down into that basement. And those things wouldn't have fit in the basement until he hauled the stuff for the dump up to the garage......

What a day...and just think, we're doing a repeat of most of it tomorrow!!! Smile

Playing Plumbing Detective Still

June 24th, 2007 at 09:33 pm

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!

Why is it Plumbing Difficulties Happen only on Weekends?????

June 23rd, 2007 at 04:57 pm

Is there some sort of Rule of the Universe that makes all plumbing events happen between Friday at 5:30PM and Monday at 9:00AM?? (with extra bonus points if a holiday falls on that week end too??)

I went downstairs here at moms house this morning (can no longer even remember why I went down) to find water on the basement floor coming from under a freezer that is no longer plugged in or being used. Discovered water trickling down the outside wall & could see where it had been doing so over time. (like maybe years??)

There is so much stuff in this basement it is impossible to get to the problem area without moving things........so that became the first job. Trash bags, buckets, rags........all hauled downstairs only to discover we had another layer to the problems in the basement.

Most of the stuff that needed to be moved isn't my moms. It belongs to the other dtr & her kids. Lots of stuff. Nothing of real value, nothing they are willing to come get; but mom won't get rid of it without their go ahead...at least until today.

9 big garbage sacks (the clear kind) were full of llama fleeces. My sister persons; as she was going to clean them, learn to spin and make these up into yarn to knit socks with. Not any more. They are at the dump. I can't tell you how many, nor what kind, of critters that were breeding their own little world in all these sacks. YUK. Think slightly damp animal fur.......infested with thousands of bugs squirming and flying around. We re bagged them and hauled them out to the yard.......then into the van and off to the dump. A great use of $17.00 in our opinion. You should have seen the attendant when he asked what we were dumping. I'm certain no one else had ever dumped llama fleeces.

Now, I'm trying to pinpoint where the slow leak is coming from. Can't see it anywhere. Have a couple possibilities, but want to narrow it down before having a plumber in here this coming week so I'm not paying them to search out the problem.

Most of the cupboards upstairs that cover the most likely problem area have backs that come off, so I'm cleaning cupboards and removing all the backs. So far, dry & dusty/cobwebby. Each time I get into a new area & find it dry, the mystery deepens.

I go downstairs anytime we use water anywhere upstairs & can't see the trickle on the wall yet. We're expecting rain tonight & tomorrow.....thinking maybe it is a clogged outside drain that is allowing water to pool underground near the foundation?? Not likely, as you can see the subfloor is wet so it is definately inside the house in my opinion and not coming from under a 6' eave and uphill under a concrete porch the length of the home.

The downstairs was looking so much better with the sewing room getting organized.......now it is a shambles and damp to boot. I have a fan running and windows open so that is helping dry the cement out.

Upstairs is looking like we're moving or something......cupboards open and emptied into boxes; sitting around everywhere in the kitchen.

I hate mysteries. Especially when they involve water where it isn't supposed to be. And, of course......over a week end where I can't even start to resolve this. (way too cheap to pay week end rates when we aren't in crisis mode)

Catching Up

June 23rd, 2007 at 12:20 am

Been working all the waking hours here.
Making slow but steady progress, clearing out space for my odd collection of things I move over to moms every week end. Things I can't live without, things I won't live without and not much else.

Freecycling things as soon as my mom breathes anything about letting me get rid of something. The neighbors must wonder....if they even notice. Mom lives in an area of homes where I would bet no one freecycles or re uses or anything similar. And, yes, I do feel quite out of place here! Smile

We've been out somewhere every day for what seems like weeks. In my other life, I would go weeks without going anywhere. What a switch. Not sure yet which I prefer.......most likely a decent combination of the two.

The rental issue is still not resolved. The potential tenant came back to the table wanting to know more about the 2 items I couldn't say yes to. Specifically, what percent the increase would be after the 2 year lease.....and what we would charge if he were to add other businesses in the bldg. Of course, I don't know those answers.

The biggie was the bond issue of moms. We did get that sale reversed. Had no idea you could do that......but we did. The firm sold it to other clients & mom has her funds back. In this whole deal, she met with the financial mgr from another firm (where she has had funds for decades) and the one where she & dad had first learned about living trusts. After only minutes of this meeting, I knew we were in deep doo doo. After one person dies, there needed to be a decedents trust set up and funded. This gets a tax ID number & pays income tax separately. Well, can you say no, to all of that? Mom hasn't had any of this done. Should have been accomplished 7 years ago. Much scurrying and phoning going on to see if we can play a grand game of catch up here.
Also found out there are probably no properties in the right branch of this trust, the branch that will eliminate probate, and decrease the estate taxes. Of course, all this needed to be done 7 years ago too.

My brain is tired from all the meetings and my back is tired from all the gardening. At least I can see progress in the gardens! Even worked a deal with the neighbor kid; he needed to borrow my mower & I got him to start my edger! Things are looking tidier after running that around the beds.

Crossing fingers that Monday brings a round of phone calls and no further road blocks re; the trust/will/funding issues. Biggest issue I want to deal with is 'do iris require full sun or filtered sun??' Smile

A Stay at Home, No Spend Day

June 19th, 2007 at 09:37 pm

Stayed home for the first time since moving to moms I think. She is the going-est person. Jump in the car & go here......no problem, just run to the store .......let's go; her favorite line!

Anyway, we both stayed here today. Spent nothing but personal energy. I continued to dig sod out of a new garden bed, taking all the sod to the new pathway to the back lawn and the clothesline area.

Also cleared out a garden bed in front and trimmed up the freecycle iris we picked up yesterday. Have them all in the ground and watered. If even half of them take off, we've got an exceptional bed of cut flowers on the way. (also have 2 more people sharing iris with us this week......must come up with another area for those)

Tomorrow is garbage day here....I've not had garbage pick up ....hmmmm ....in over 20 years maybe. Tuesday night is the regular clean out the fridge or freezer event here. Working on the upright freezer in the basement, food has been in there since ....well, let's say I'm embarrased to say. Another month or so, I'll be done with this project.

Have convinced mom to try a month of eating out of her pantry and freezer, with no trips to the store, with the exception of milk. Now if I can just keep her from going to the store to "stock up" prior to our little contest starting. Smile

Slow Tenant Finally Pays Up

June 17th, 2007 at 02:46 pm

Came to the old house again today; and in my mail was a check for May & June for one of the couples in the other house. Finally.
I had called twice, only able to leave messages........and was trying to figure out what Plan B was.

The group here at 'the ranch' says they will have rent soon........I'm just not sure this is going to work. Giving them til the end of July to see if they can get it together & get rent in on time. I know I jumped ship here with almost no notice, so I can't expect my little group of folks to suddenly be on the ball.

Got a rebate check from the power company, for turning in an old freezer. Also had 6 freebies in the mail, fun when they come in a bunch like this!

Also have the paperwork for the re fi on this house, so I will be paying off the major dental work. I've never pulled out cash, so this is a one time deal for me....but it is the year for me I decided, so here goes.

Have a van full of more 'things I can't live without' to take to moms. Heaven knows where I'll put them when I get there. All on top of the bridge playing table I suppose Smile That way, mom will have to let me get rid of some of the stuff stored in the basement so I can move my things in. Seems to be my best technique yet.

A shares vs. C shares ???????

June 16th, 2007 at 09:34 pm

My alergic to numbers brain cells are having a meltdown this week end. Trying to keep up with mom & her banking/investment business, the meetings where people are explaining stuff to her (and to me) are making smoke come out my ears! I truly do think I have a learning disability when it comes to math. Is that possible???

I was with mom when she decided to take half of an account in an anuity fund and buy bonds with it, thus the A shares. Then, another of her investment people called and said......No, you shouldn't do A shares....let me come explain why. He touts C shares & told mom to call the bank and "bust the deal". Now, doesn't that just sound like something my 85 year old mother is going to do??? Well, she made the phone call, but had to leave a message on voice mail. Monday should be show down day between the two firms......with my mom in the middle and me just barely being able to follow the action.

I'm not the one to be giving mom advice, she has done just fine on her own over the decades, but I do believe I side with the C share guy.

Besides the money dilema here, we have had a great week end. The electrician has begun work on the rental house, we have purchased all the new fixtures & can see inside now. We sent the potential tenant our version of what we can and can't do. (thank you to all who have been brainstorming with me on this one) We are going to: go with the 2 year lease, give 2 months free rent for his labor & materials on the work list and we are paying for the electrical. We aren't going to: put a 10% cap on an increase after 2 years and we aren't going to give him reduced rent after 2 months of no rent. We are not going to allow him to sublet the space to other professionals to share the office, without renegotiating the lease, which would mean they would be paying for this house at commercial rates, by the square foot.
I'm expecting we have just ended the negotiations with this gentleman, but he could surprise me. We are OK with it if he decides we're too expensive. I think the property can pull in twice what we were asking. It has set vacant since Oct of last year, there is no mortage on it, just taxes, so mom is fine with continuing the search.

Have my week end young man with us this week. We packed picnic lunches and took off for a local beach park today. Very nice day. Sold a book on Amazon and got the funds for a Pinecone survey. Not a bad way to finish off the day.

Vandals in the Garden

June 15th, 2007 at 11:10 pm

Yes, there are vandals. The winged types I believe......but I haven't spotted the offenders.

I have been watching the peas (or beans, I can't remember which is which in this new garden) as they began to break through the earth.... And, suddenly, they were all up one morning. Then, the very next day.......I went for my usual stroll throught the garden with the dog in the early AM., only to find the little sprouts picked up out of the dirt and laid on top. All down the row. Whatever did this, only missed 3 or 4 starts. I replanted as many as I could find that weren't all dried out...we'll see what sort of crop I get!

Odd if it was a bird, that they didn't eat the sprouts. Can't think of anything else that would just uproot the seeds and leave them either. Gotta love all the mysteries a garden brings!

On the flip side......tonight was the first brocoli from the garden. Totally yummy! So satisfying growing and then cooking your own food. Tastes nothing like what we get from the grocery store. Also had radishes, but that never feels quite like the TA DA of growing brocoli to me!

A Peek at the New Gardens

June 13th, 2007 at 11:32 pm

Here's a few pictures of the new garden spaces at moms. Most of the bare dirt has been planted in seeds, so you need to use your imagination & fill in all the empty spots with lush foliage and prolific vegetables!



The firewood holder thingy is the container garden I'm copying from the farmers market booth we visited. Still have some work to do on this, but having a tough time getting the rocks to stay put on the ends. Might need another trip to the market!



The refurbished picnic table & benches turned out quite well & even matched the existing umbrella. Gotta love those happy accidents! Free paint too!



New seedlings are up this morning; can see the beets, lettuces, radishes and also the beans & peas! Can hardly wait for a garden fresh salad!



This last picture is a before shot, we'll see what it turns into!

Mystery Shopping Works for Me

June 13th, 2007 at 12:08 am

I'm in my 2nd month now of this and can now be considered a Professional Mystery Shopper I guess. Isn't getting paid for something all it takes to be considered professional??

I had signed up for 2 dining "shops" this month and just this evening finished the last one. The online survey doesn't take long, since the restaurant is the same one, the questions are the same too. It is easier the more I do if it....just like everything else.

This company is paying for the meals as well as paying a small sum for completing the survey, so in my opinion it is a great deal. The latest email from them says there are still more of the "shops" unassigned, so I might offer to do one more......as mom said tonight, "force us to go out to dinner again!" Smile

Spent what seemed like the entire day on the phone. Cancelled several things that had shown up on my CC for some reason, called the companies and the CC & will get it all credited. Hopefully, have it straightened out.
Trying to figure out the history on an account of moms, ended up with more questions than answers today. Her advice was to "look at it again in the morning". Not thinking it is going to be much clearer......think a trip to the bank is in order pretty soon here.

Also trying to weigh the info coming in for moms 2 investment accounts. I'm just barely understanding what she has done with her proceeds from 2 real estate transactions. Both account reps want the money from the other account....and they are putting on some pressure, each trying to say the other account is BAD for one reason or another. (I hate that when companies focus on the bad, rather than impress me with their own positive points)

I've listened and tried to follow so many money trails today....and my brain absolutely fries when it has to try & process numbers. I'm going to try moms advice & think about it all tomorrow!

Still no resolution re; the potential renter. Mom is leaning towards just letting the property sit vacant. I'm thinking of putting together a counter to his proposal; yes to the 2 year lease with the cap on rent increase, Yes to 2 months rent in exchange for the work (extensive work needed, we have a list from the walk through yesterday). No to the lower rent proposed from Sept-Dec and No to him adding additional desks and renting them out himself to get his rent lower.

Hoping I don't dream of numbers, for me that would truly be a nightmare!

Deeper Into Landlord Land

June 11th, 2007 at 10:35 pm

I hate the little bit of landlord-ing I have been doing and now I'm getting in deeper. Mom is quickly turning over all her rental business to me.

Todays lawn mowing event at the empty rental turned into a walk through with the potential renter. Mom sat outside & told me to just handle it. I'm no where close to handling it.

Need to talk with her in the AM & get her opinion on what the renter proposed. I believe the plan will be in everyones best interest. Not sure what mom will think. Renter is excited.

The plan includes free rent for 2 months, actually 2 1/2 months if he starts working on the place tomorrow like he wants. He supplies all the materials except for the vinyl for the kitchen, which I have. We hire the electrician & supply all the materials for that gentleman.

Mom wanted a year lease & an option to increase the rent at that time. The renter wants at least a 2 year lease & a cap on the increase.

Renter wants to add a couple other gentlemen next year, splitting the rent between the 3 of them. Mom won't like that....thinking her rent should go up with other people being added. I have no idea on this part....If I were renting, I'd be thinking of ways I could get the rent lower, so I'm tending to side with the renter.

Will sleep on all this, talk to mom in the AM and then set up a meeting to come up with a rental agreement.

I still don't like being a landlord.

One Tired Update

June 10th, 2007 at 10:18 pm

Pooped here. Got up at what I consider dawn these days.......by 6AM. Took mom and headed to the other house to drop off burning trash from the yard here.
Then, off to the food glean from the local grocery store.

We hauled 750 lbs of produce out of that store, then loaded it in my van, then unloaded it and sorted it at the food bank. Makes me more tired when I think of it again. We have a good time, the food isn't going to waste, but I'm going to have to stop this. I would continue if there was another person to assist with the lifting & hauling, but no....just me. And, I'm deciding it isn't going to work. Emailing my decision in tomorrow.

Headed to the old house, mowed while mom took a nap on the couch. Fed the chickens, gathered fresh eggs to bring back here.

Got back here to moms and the sun was out (first day in what seems like ages), so I planted her 3 new rose bushes......and a couple boxes of plants I had dug up this AM at the old house.

By tonight....I'm feeling like a truck hit me. Heading to bed hoping for a brand new me by tomorrow morning. Smile

Purple Socks & Other Ramblings

June 9th, 2007 at 08:43 pm

I'm finishing up another pair of socks, just about ready to come off the needles. I had mom 'model' these and after I bound off, I gave them to her.
She was thrilled, as purple is her color.



I've already started another sock, or a sample for a sock, to be more exact. I'm teaching a sock knitting class this fall & want to find a childs sock pattern to use for class. Less knitting time required and all the parts of a sock included. Great for a 2 session class.

Had another freecycle sort of day; headed out this AM to dig a box full of hen & chicks (plants for those of you non gardener types). I've got just the rockery for all of these.

Also had a craigs lister here for the trees that were in my proposed walkway to the clothesline. Trees out, I didn't have to dig and the new owner already sent a thank you note. Can't beat that for a days work!

Also have a freecycler coming tomorrow for a couple cribs and preschooler type toys & furniture. Making very slow headway on the basement clear out here. It's hard for mom to decide to get rid of ANYTHING!

A no spend day all round here. Missed connections to meet with potential renter, so no income either!

Heading to bed early, as tomorrow is my gleaning/food bank volunteer morning. Not sure how much longer I want to do this. After moving, I need to start out at 7AM and I'm already resenting that!

Greenhouses: ??'s, $$, ..........Help!

June 7th, 2007 at 11:27 am

We're seriously looking at adding a greenhouse to the back forty here and seem to be collecting more questions as we go along. Fortunatly, we have the luxury of time as it is just now heading into summer in our garden.. Won't need the greenhouse til the fall/winter season.

Historically, our area has greenhouses on special at our 'fair time', which is late August/September, so we're hoping to know what we're doing by then. No point in negotiating a good price if we have no idea what we're shopping for.

With all that in mind, I'm asking for some help here from anyone who has had or currently has a greenhouse.
1) Any tips in general for me?
2) What do you really love about the set up you are working with?
3) What do you wish you had added to your set up?

We're getting ready to visit a local outlet for greenhouse kits and I feel like I'm so out of my element here. I've gardened, but never had a greenhouse. The more research I do on line, the longer my list of questions I have gets.

I do have the dimensions now laid out for a middle of the road sized set up...so we can get an idea of placement, sun exposure, etc. Also, thinking of clearing out the back access road to the place (currently the parking lot for all the relatives vehicles they want to 'save', as well as a couple dead items, camper, old truck, etc) so we can get the delivery truck in as well as a truck to deliver soil. No shortage of jobs around here, that's for sure!

Can't wait to get some of your advice on this new venture!

Coins Everywhere

June 6th, 2007 at 11:32 pm

While moving some of my things into moms house, I've been organizing to make some room. In the process, we've been coming across a container or two in almost every closet & drawer.

Yes, each one of these containers (everything from her favorite cool whip tubs to zip lock bags) is full of coins.

Some all sorted as to pennies, dimes, etc........some all mixed up. Oh, and the odd items too. Best one was a ceramic piece of an angel wing! Several miniature Christmas tree ornaments, bobbie pins (who uses those anymore?), buttons, paperclips, a vitamin, a vintage roll of Certs and a couple items we can't identify. They were apparently special enough to save, but no idea now as to what they are! We have had some laughs......

I've been counting and rolling coins now for 2 days. We're no where near done. I ran out of the paper thingy's and have to make a trip to the bank.

There are so many coin rolls, I have them in a shipping box in the trunk of the car! No way can I lift it anymore, I've been taking them out to the trunk when I walk the dog. I'll have to take them in to the bank over time too.....a handful whenever I make a deposit.

No idea what the total is yet, but it is in the hundreds. Mom wants the money in her newly formed 'greenhouse' fund. That is funny, since she has money already to go purchase one, but her brain is wired to save up for something, so that is what we're doing!

The morning was spent meeting with the potential renter for moms little house. Liked the guy! (he likes yard work!) He is willing to bring the place up to speed, other than the electrical which I have someone working on next week. All this in exchange for a break on the rent as he called it. We are both sleeping on the idea & will talk again tomorrow to see if we can come up with an agreement. We're willing to do 2 months of no rent in exchange for the work, he wants 2 more months with a bit less than the rental amount.

I'm in the middle, as of this morning. Mom told me as she had the notebook ready for the meeting, "you're now in charge of the rentals". She is the one with the experience, I'm the one who hates being a landlord. Doesn't seem like a good fit, but she is not taking the lead role here. So......I jumped in.

Seasons of ones life can be a funny thing when you see them unfold. I would never have imagined my life taking the turns it has over the last couple years.......The older I get, the less I think I'm in charge/control of things. Seems like more stuff just happens & my life is a series of reacting to the stuff. Pretty sure I'm too tired to be making any sense.......should sign off and take care of that! Smile

Another Hard Work = Less Money Project

June 5th, 2007 at 08:05 pm

Elbow grease. That's what it takes to hold the line here regarding spending money......even if the money isn't mine.

I procured a free picnic table and 4 little benches for mom, so she can have her bridge games outside, hopefully. But, the table & benches was old, beat up and all wet. Moved the whole thing into the garage prior to the current week of rain, and started working on the set with a wire brush. Will scrape the nasty places and then tidy up with some sand paper. I've got free paint from the county recycling place and already have the sprayer, so I can see the end of this project already!

We window shopped a local pool/spa/outdoor furniture store this week, and almost died when we saw what they were charging for patio furniture. None of it looked like my mom or her house & yard anyway, so there was absolutely no temptation. Our little set will just fit her patio, is small enough for the ladies to reach across when playing bridge and has benches that aren't attached, so they can all sit down comfortably & safely.

Can't beat all those positives for a free table. So far, the only expense was the wire brush for $4 and change.

Also spent a whole .97 cents on an end cap for a soaker hose. I had picked one up from Freecycle, but it was missing the end. This will be perfect here in the new garden, and will reduce the watering time as well as the cost of the water. (having to get used to a water bill instead of a well here!)

Another splurge today for mom.....we found a hedge trimmer with a rechargable battery so I can try to catch up with the shrubbery gone wild around her 2 places. I have never been able to start the machines with pull starts, so this one has my name all over it. Was about $100 but it will be cheaper than having someone else do the jobs that are on the list here.

Off to watch the baseball game with mom, I will be doing more knitting than watching the game......but it is fun to see her so involved in the game/players and stats.

Mystery Shopping, More Plants & Missing Money

June 4th, 2007 at 11:18 pm

Today was another mystery dining experience for mom & myself....and it again was fun & not more work than it was worth. Our first reimbursement check has come for last months outings and there seems to be nothing amiss. As mom said, "how long do we HAVE to go out to eat like this?" Said in a very sarcastic, joking voice! Smile Pretty fun to have our lunch or dinner outings to be paid for!

We just goofed off after lunch, heading to a nearby waterfront community for a drive. Mom had said this week, she had always wanted to live on a beach....so of course, I had looked up a couple beach cabin/house possibilities. We checked one out and it is a NO. She wants to be able to walk onto the beach from the house...this one had a bulkhead & she didn't like it. But, so help me......I think this woman is ready to move! Smile (I'm thinking of this garden here....and will I dig up all these plants to take with us???) Smile

The other house I had printed info for her is more to her liking, but of course, it could be totally different from the pictures. It is a ferry ride away, so we need to make some better plans to get to this one.....but I do think it's on her schedule within the week. Blew me away!

We passed a cool little nursery with a huge sale sign........and our car always turns off at those. Mom picked out 3 roses for the new garden here, as I had told her she needed something substantial to anchor the space. These are perfect. Will get pics as soon as they are planted. The price for all 3 was less than one at nurseries near our house. We had help squeezing them in her car, since we didn't take the van on this jaunt.

Tried to visit a couple little country antique/junk stores but none were open. Need to remember Monday is not a good day for this! Still need assorted tables for moms house. She bought new couchs & chairs, but for some reason hasn't done any of the tables yet, so we're dealing with country furniture and early american tables. Odd to say the least. Need some wood tables I can paint and we'll be done with the furniture piece of the remodel here. (only area rugs & some accessories remain)

Spent only the money for lunch, which I will get re paid for. I did have to borrow from mom temporarily, as I could NOT find my money anywhere this AM when we needed to leave. I was apparently so tired when I got back here last evening, I had taken my money out of my jeans pocket and.........yep, put it in my sock drawer! Too warm for socks today, I never looked there.....besides I've never kept my money in my sock drawer!
Was uneasy until I got home and then had time to go through the entire house and van until I found the money as well as a paycheck.

Feel so much better knowing I wasn't going to need to ask for a check to be re issued.....as well as short the cash for the month. Going to bed to catch up on much needed sleep apparently!

Back to the Old House for a Days Work

June 3rd, 2007 at 01:44 pm

I hauled the week end boy out of bed at dawn, we hustled to the old house & dumped the entire van full of tree branches I had stashed in there from the projects at moms. Then, off to the grocery store glean and then on to the food bank. Thank goodness I had a helper today, as we moved 640 lbs of produce! Twice! I don't need to lift weights today!

Then, back to the old house, fed the chickens the spoiled food and jumped on the mower. Tired and hot now, since it is 75 outside! (I fade fast after it hits 72)

Now, I'm waiting for the week end boys dad to arrive to pick him up......and I'm packing another van load of things to take back to moms. I've got a list, so it isn't as crazy as last week end when I couldn't remember what it was I needed from her.

Gathered a couple dozen fresh eggs and I'm clipping all the roses & other flowers before I go too. No one here pays much attention to the flower garden & they sure aren't eating the veggies. I'm glad I stopped planting when I did!

Back to work.........I need a different solution on the lawn mowing situation. I can't keep up with 3 places!!!

Farmers Market= Cheap Fun

June 2nd, 2007 at 05:59 pm

Mom & I took our week end boy & headed to the farmers market this AM. What a fun outing, for zero money. Wandering through others booths.....gleaning ideas by the bucket load! Can't beat that. I picked up a great idea for a container garden.......truly 2 clay pots, one of which needs to be broken. Didn't feel like taking a picture, but when I get my copy of it done, I'll post it here.
Very original, and I happen to have a couple broken pots I've uncovered out back!

The sun was out too, so it was a bonus day here. After we wandered through everything from custom made pet snacks to plants, we went to the beach and watched part of the vintage boat display at the waterfront festival.....also free.

Freecycled 10 cases of canning jars from the basement, they are already hauled upstairs and off the property! Gotta love that freecycle. I'm slowly clearing out room for my sewing area....should be done sometime next year! Smile

Shopping; But Not With My Money

June 2nd, 2007 at 12:32 am

Off to the stores we went again this morning. I have shopped more in the couple weeks I've been at moms than I did in the last several years. In and out of parking lots, in and out of the car, stores, elevators, more stores..... Yesterday, we even went shopping twice. Once in the AM and once again later in the day. Gads.

Today started with a meeting at the bank. Mom has a fund she moved around a bit and increased her monthly income.....as well as decreased a bit of the risk. A good move. We are still stalled re; meeting with the attorney re; giving me power of attorney. Not sure what the hang up is......or how many hang ups there are perhaps? I can see mom struggling with decisions as to how she wants her assets distributed after her death....and until she knows the answers, meeting with an attorney will just have to wait.

Went to something easy next; picking up the new cushions for the lawn furniture. (furniture all free....I've been busy!) Hoping to pick up the painting supplies from the old house on Sunday and get the table and benches painted this week. As soon as that project gets crossed off the list, the patio will be pretty close to done.

We had a coupon for Chinese lunch out....so off we went! Came home and tore the fridge apart as there was a foul odor coming from somewhere. Mystery solved: a bowl of leftover cauliflower. Now we've got a sparkly clean fridge and I can tell what's in there. (moms & my housecleaning style/standards are WAY different)

My week end young man is here at moms as of today. He was excited for a change he said! Cute. So far, OK. A new room, new house, we'll see how he does. He will be skipping a week end in June, as he is vacationing in Hawaii, so my paycheck will be only half... but, we've got the details worked out so I'm going to continue caring for him every other week even though I've moved. Some things are falling into place.

One remaining sewing client with projects unfinished.... I must get on this. I'm planning on bringing a bare bones sewing room of stuff with me back here on Sunday.....so I will have no excuse. Challenging myself to get this woman contacted and set up a fitting....forcing me to SEW, SEW, SEW. I truly hate having unfinished things & no deadline, I can drag out a project for months! Let's see what I can accomplish before the end of June?