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Knitting in the Dark .......

October 25th, 2007 at 11:11 pm

Tonight had to be my most frustrating class I've ever had to teach. Beginning knitting is no piece of cake sometimes.....and tonight was a class of 7 beginners, one being a pre teen, and one being a left handed knitter.....so the cards were stacked against me.

Then, just about 15 minutes into the class, the entire room went black. A quick check in the hall and all the lights were on out there (this is held in an OLD grade school, 3 floors, halls, stairs, etc) Everything seemed ON except my room. Headed to the hall to start down to the office to find out what the problem was.......and there was Light! So, back to teaching. And, again they went off, about 10 minutes later.

Second time, I did head to the office (3 floors down) only to find that the little office lady knew all about it, said she couldn't do a thing.....guess what? The lights are set up with sensors, she told me we had to "keep moving" in order to tell the lights to stay on. Gads, knitting as an aerobic exercise!

Two hours of this! The lights must have gone out at least a dozen times. There was nothing I could repeat to get them to come back on. Very random pattern it was. I've sent the Knitting for the Blind email to the recreation director already......as I'm not repeating this next week.

Old Chihauhau Update: He is still alive..but barely. Not the same dog at all. No tail wag, no kisses. Very sad. He is pushing 10 years old....and has wiggled his way into my heart about 9.5 years ago....so this is awful. I'm not sure I'm up to letting him die here at home. I thought I was, as he isn't in any pain that I can tell. But, watching him slowly fade away is killing me. Which is worse? And, at this point......money isn't even factored in here. I can't think of many instances where money/cost/spending isn't at the forefront of my decisions. Not on this one. Will spend another night thinking of nothing but this decision I'm sure!

Middle of the Night ER Trip

October 4th, 2007 at 11:47 am

I'm pooped .... again... Seems to be my regular energy level these days.

Woke up to something during the early morning hours, finally came to, only to realize it was my mom calling for me! Gads, I don't think there is a feeling worse. Kids you expect it, parents, trust me, it comes as a shock.

I have no idea how long mom had been calling my name & I don't want to ask her. I just need to figure out another method of communication, and how to sleep with one ear & one eye open from now on.

Moms OK, I'm more than a little ticked at her. Seems the entire episode of shortness of breath, racing pulse, higher than the usual high blood pressure was brought about due to her just 'not taking some of her pills'. Some lame excuse about needing to wait til the ones I mail ordered came & she could be certain they were the right ones, and that she had enough. Pish Tosh. I'm now in charge of the meds. No need to go through this event again.

Her new supply was here over a week ago, we opened everything and went through them all (6 prescriptions). I have been stepping into her business as needed......rather than bulldoze my way in where she was still doing OK. Mistake on my part. I'll be more pro active from now on.

She is resting, meds are current and the treatment she got in the ER has made her feel downright perky. Almost disgusting, since I'm sooooo tired! And, I've got my first crochet class to teach this evening.... Since I'm supposed to keep an eye on her for the next 24 hours, I've called in #1 Grandson to sit with her for 3 hours this evening, just so we all feel better. I'm hoping for a shower and a bit of a nap prior to my class, or I'll not be able to make my brain tell my fingers what to do........let alone teach others!

I have worked for years in the health care field, in a nursing home situation.......but never truly understood the families side of things until lately. I do need to re evaluate everything here, in light of the medication situation. So much to do.....not alot of time to do it in.....and no real back up.

Grateful mom didn't have something really serious happen, and thankful for the wake up call for me........I will have to get busy figuring out what else I can/should be doing here.

47 Pages of a Title Report Later..........zzzzzzzz

September 29th, 2007 at 07:26 pm

I've slogged my way through all 47 pages of this document........beginning in 1943 no less. I'm no clearer as to the property we're looking at now; in fact it is worse.

There are no recent documents, the last being in 1973, stating 3 parcels share a septic system & 6 share a well. Still no idea where any of this is located......

The easement is mentioned all through the document, however it is in legal property description language, & I can't make it make sense. (doesn't help that I've got my disabled kiddo here this week end; he turns my brain to mush by Sat mornings).

I just want a map. A simple map. One that shows the parcels on this road in question, and any easements and shared items located on the same little map. Shouldn't be too much to ask. Heck, I'd even go with a hand drawn deal at this point.

I can sure tell the difference in county governments and agencies. I've only owned property in a pretty large county, one with a planning department that is usually overly interested in what is going on. The county our potential property is in is pretty rural, doesn't seem like they know or care what is going on with this deal.......and I don't know where to go from here.

I've never really had a real estate deal that got this complicated. ICK, ICK, ICK. If we end up purchasing this house on the beach, I believe it will be it's last time sold. If mom (or I) sell it, someone will come in with tons of money and just do a tear down and put up something fantastic. One of the houses on the street has already been re done into a knock your socks off sort of home, so it's in the cards. Because of this, I'm not too interested in long term anything......I just want mom to get to be on the beach for a few years.

I'm hoping daylight will help my brain cells fire with more accuracy. Mushy brain and tired body tonight. Finally finished unloading this weeks van load of things from the old house. Also finished cleaning up the trimmings from this weeks shrub trimming event. Pooped!

Unsettling Phone Call

September 13th, 2007 at 08:19 pm

We had a great day, crossed the ferry, had lunch out and viewed 2 more beach houses prior to visiting The House we had seen twice before. Sat on the porch there & made a quick plan for tomorrow to list some more things, and come up with an offer to present.

As we got back home this evening, while everyone was saying good bye, and congrats to my mom for her decision re; the house........I decided to check voice mail. I was waiting for the call from the couple we need to get together with to sign the lease for the little rental. (probably the piece of property mom will list for sale too.......not the best timing, however the lease is for a year and any commercial use will have a couple years with the planning stage, so it should work)

Anyway........back to the phone. I did get a call from the young couple, excited out of their minds, this will be their first place. Also got the call from moms DR, her prescriptions are finally ready but they didn't get them faxed in. Drat. Then, there was a female voice, never did identify herself, saying horrible things to my mom re; the little house that just rented.

This woman was very ticked that we had "kicked out" her friend who used to live there. We did ask her to move, last Oct, primarily for her disregard of the lease terms & not paying her rent. It has set vacant until this coming Oct..... But, the woman on the phone was crazy mad that it was being rented to anyone, (there is a for rent sign in the window) as she thought we were selling it as commercial property. And, little does she know.....it will hopefully be sold asap as just that.

She continued to rant at my mother on the voice mail.......about how she was going to tell everyone in town just what mom had done. I'm so glad I was the one to check the voice mail! I deleted her right then, as I didn't want mom to have this spoil her day.

We did decide on the beach house...it is small, but it will work. Mom is on cloud nine. Tired, but still happy with her decision.

Hoping the voice mail lady has a really terrible day, that her negative stuff will circle right back at her. Not nice, but I'm tired and cranky too and that is exactly the way I feel. Sooooo grateful I grabbed the phone as soon as I got in the house!

Icky Mail Day

September 4th, 2007 at 09:22 pm

I have been really angry since Sunday, but unable to do much about it. Spent the time here, shuttling mom & her twin from appointment to errand, & back home for meals........giving all my spare time to a letter I was going to write to former room mate person, now tenant at the old house.

I did get to the computer today & have the letter written and in the outgoing mail for tomorrow. Room mate person had conveniently forgotten several things I had said or asked.......so I wanted to put my communication to her in writing.

Well.......back to the mail. I have now got my mail coming to this address, and in my delightful collection was a rent check from the other house which was nice.......and my contracts for the rec center teaching position for fall quarter........and a letter from the county, letting me know I had 10 days to contact them re; the condition of the old house. (yes, the one with the former room mate person) I had just sent the letter to her, detailing much of what the county has probably got on their list of complaints too..... Called room mate person, just voice mail. Hate that when people just don't answer, or return calls when they know something is wrong.

Not sure what my next step is. I do know this kind of stuff makes me not sleep at night. I feel like I want to hit my head on the wall & knock myself out so I can get to sleep!

I did make some progress with my mom re; her vacant rental. I have a cleaning party with some help coming this Friday, and both Monday & Tuesday of next week. Feels huge to have got that on the calendar. Mom could use the rent from this place & it has now been sitting idle for a year as of next month.

In the conversation to get this plan set up........mom let me know her grandson (not my kid) who is renting another of her houses........is behind 2 months now on his rent. She will not speak to him. She won't allow me to speak to him. I did tout the benefits of putting all our rentals with a management firm, letting them do this part of the job for a fee. Seems cheap to me....and she didn't argue. May be making some progress on this too.

Moms twin went home, so life here is a bit more relaxed. I really need to clean, since I haven't while we had company and truly haven't thought about it while moms been recuperating from her fall. I feel like I'll never catch up with all that needs to be done, here, and our collective rentals.

Pretty sure I'm not going to get the mail for a day or two! Icky things out there! Smile

And Another Dr Visit

August 31st, 2007 at 09:44 pm

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

Moms Health Insurance: The Saga Continues

August 31st, 2007 at 12:00 am

Day 2 of this new journey into health care madness.

Discovered we truly HAD to go see the primary DR listed on moms card, there was no other way to get the referral to go back to the nose specialist on Friday. What a backwards system to have the more expensive method of accomplishing this be the only way to go....so, off we went today.

I did put my foot down.......or my pen to be specific. They asked us to fill out the reams of paperwork as we were a NEW patient. I put moms name on it, she signed it and I told them we couldn't remember any of the other answers. They left me alone. (I'm presuming I looked ticked from the moment I arrived!)

To the DR's credit, all he did was take moms blood presure & tell us he would fax the referral in prior to our Friday appt. Crossing fingers he does just that! Will call in the AM to be sure.

By the time I got the car, mom was pooped........we headed straight home and she went back to bed. Again, what a dumb system to make her do this for what could have been an OK over the phone, FAX or a letter to the insurance co.

Mom's doing OK, but has spent the day having sneezing bouts. Not good when your nose is packed full of what amounts to a teensy sponge. Hoping she looks OK to the DR tomorrow and they return her nose to normal.

I have 2 more medical appointments to go with mom in this coming week.....me, around doctors and nurses. I've had a life long thing with the medical profession in general. I worked in the health care field for a couple decades, and then had to again deal with so many appointment with all my special needs kids.........very few experiences could be classified as positive. I can almost see my mom hoping I keep my mouth shut when we go into these appointments. Smile I have been appropriate, she didn't have to give me 'the look' that all parents seem to know how to do. But, this week is trying my patience to the max!

Nephew person came over this evening (he is also the realtor for anything we are going to be doing) and we talked beach houses again. Waiting for moms nose situation to be cleared up, as well as the last of the Dr appointments off the calendar........then we're heading to another house on the penninsula.

My son also stopped in today, interesting to see him enjoying an actual job these days. He's getting paid very well it seems, however he has made some very bad choices in his young life and owes some pretty big money before any of this can be considered his money.....

No spending today.....other than the stupid DR appt, it was a quiet day; a little gardening, lots of knitting and plenty of time visiting.

Beyond Frustrating

August 29th, 2007 at 04:22 pm

I'm past my tantrum now, but this morning it took all my self control to not scream into the phone!

I was attempting to follow the discharge directions from the ER re; moms fall yesterday. Thought it shouldn't prove to be beyond my capabilities.....HA! Was I ever wrong.

First, called the specialist, whom she needs to get into on Friday. (this being Wed, it didn't seem impossible) Well, not so quick..... We could get an appointment, but it needed to have a referral from her primary care DR.

OK, a quick call to the primary people & speak to the referral dept. (who knew they had an entire dept to deal with just the referrals?) At this point, the logic of any conversation began to seep away fairly quickly....

The insurance co. had made an error on the last membership card, giving mom a brand new primary care DR. We had noticed it last week and called for a new corrected card. (was that ever a mistake...) New card won't be effective until Sept. 1st! (started tearing my hair out about this point)

So, the upshot of the deal is we need to go register as a new patient of the mistakenly listed DR, have an appointment and he will give us the referral.

Insurance co. would be willing to revoke our change of Dr's but that wouldn't help, it would still leave us with the brand new guy. No one seems to know where the difficulty began & I couldn't uncover a trail that led to the switch in the first place.

With almost no patience left, I gave up. I feel so sorry for anyone having to wade through this health care mess. I've just had no experience with this at all until I began working on moms medical with/for her. It is worse than the condition or accident I believe!

We are headed to the brand new Dr. tomorrow morning for a full fledged appointment with someone she has never met and will never see again. Being nice enough just until we get said referral in hand........we're out of there!! Then, we wait til Friday when we have to trek all the way downtown to Seattle (me who doesn't DO Seattle!) for the nose specialist appointment. With luck it will also be a one time deal & she will be on the road to good as new!

Note to self: I will be certain to double check all of the insurance cards coming in.....making sure the DR is the correct one.
Also plan to get all moms meds on a mail order situation, saving as much as possible on each prescription. I just found out there is a 'window' each year, if her total meds go over the line and until they reach the top line, she pays 100% of the costs. This is just so blinking complicated, it is hard for me to follow all the rules, no wonder she had difficulty and was just shoving the paperwork in a closet here!

Hoping for a better day tomorrow!

Mom's Secret

July 20th, 2007 at 08:45 pm

I've been finding out little things since I moved to moms.......like the cancelled health coverage, because she had signed herself up for two of them. Well, todays news topped that one for sure.

Mom asked me to help her find her last check register so she could wrap up her income tax stuff (for 06...and yes, she had an extension). I assumed she was working on the 06 taxes and even tho numbers aren't my gift....not even close...I offered to assist in getting things ready for her tax preparer. I suggested her check register that was missing might be the one in her check book and Bingo! it was the one. We gathered the numbers she needed re; rentals & repairs and I thought perhaps we were done.

Oh, no.......not quite. Mom then says to me "you thought that was bad? There's more!" Seems she hadn't filed her tax forms since 03. (keep in mind, she doesn't think she has ever filed for the trust, which was put into place in 2000)

I suggested we just gather up her paperwork & head to the tax guy...which we did.....and yikes, did I ever get a stress headache there. (and during that meeting, a tenant called & the pump has apparently gone out, or dry or whatever.....the result is no water)

The good news is: the trust did file taxes up until 2003 when mom just stopped going in for the tax appointments. And, she has enough stored up tax credits the sale of some property in 2004 didn't even generate enough income to offset that, so no capitol gains tax there.

The bad news is: the sale of a big chunk of property in 2005 will have capitol gains tax on it, plus interest since the due date. She has the funds, but was under the impression she could sell what she wanted without the tax. Pretty sure it will take awhile until this new info sinks in.

I'm almost scared to get up in the morning, for what I'll uncover here! Between the taxes, the medical plan snafuu, and the lack of upkeep on the house here.......there is enough work for a troop of people. And, now I get to do another plumbing task on top of this......I'm so over the top with little pesky details from all this I'm truly looking forward to going in for my last oral surgery appointment next week. I've scheduled a couple days in town at a lovely hotel & will recouperate there while trying to forget all about pumps, rentals and missed tax deadlines.

I know things will all work out, but wow, I'm amazed mom was holding together as good as she was with all this happening around her. No question about IF I'm moving, it is just about how quick I can get things back & under control here.

Hoping a nights sleep and a fresh new day makes a difference in my outlook (and a phone call from the tenant, or a plumber I've called wouldn't hurt.....here again, it is a plumbing difficulty on a Friday night!)

Since I'm out of commission most of next week, we'll tackle moms issues the end of next week. Mine.......I'll keep trying to get a plumber, or is it really an electrician one needs for the pump, out to the 'ranch'. And, I'll pray it is just a low water situation and it will magically be flowing freely by morning. Smile

Too Hot to Think (or do anything else)

July 10th, 2007 at 09:09 pm

I know it is hotter somewhere in the world, but for this Pacific Northwesterner, anything over 72 makes me tired and just a tad cranky. We've hit 90 something today and are supposed to be flirting with 100 tomorrow. I think I'll get more work done in the basement, as it's still cool down there.

Tenant brought the rent money today...late, but it is now here. I walked a bit this AM, but just couldn't get past 30 minutes with it warming up.

No other spending today.....and didn't accomplish much at all. Heat makes me more than lazy.

I did unpack a soaker hose I had picked up last year some time from freecycle.....and I found the end cap I had to buy to make it functional. Hooked it up here and wow, is it going to be nice. I've never had one of these fancy black things. You sort of bury it in the garden, so it doesn't show and then it does all the watering for you. Now I'm really on my way to being a lazy gardener, not just a frugal one!

Cranky Today

May 12th, 2007 at 03:27 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.)

Can't Think of a Consequence

January 30th, 2007 at 09:05 pm

I have been thinking of how to enforce the equine move out day (tomorrow) and have drawn a total blank. Except for those "too weird, or possibly illegal" sorts of solutions.

The question of the day is.........Since I gave the horse lady her 30 day notice to vacate.........tomorrow is the day......AND, yep, you guessed it........all 4 horses are still grazing away in my pasture. Granted, she could pull up tomorrow, load all 4 critters and drive off...but, there are probably 20 truckloads of her things here on the property that need to be moved too. Way more than 1 days work, even if there was a moving crew of some sort.

Guess what I learned? My boarding & lease agreement isn't all it's cracked up to be. There is nothing in there about not leaving when asked. Zip. Lots of reasons I can ask someone to leave....detailed description of how I can ask someone to leave.......but no help whatsoever about what to do if I wake up Feb 1st and still see the critters outside my window here.

Anyone else have experience with something even remotely related?? I've thought of things like locking the gate to the property, making it very difficult to get in to feed the critters, but not impossible. And, keeping a sense of humor, calling her to ask when she is coming to get the herd & telling her I am primed to post a Free Horses Ad on Craigs list, just to see if I can light a fire under her. But, besides these non solutions; I'm drawing a blank. Telling her I will charge her by the day is a pretty empty threat, as I don't think she has any more money and how would I enforce that anyway....unless I truly did lock the horses in??

I'm so hoping tomorrow brings a positive end to this experience. Can't believe the horses have been here a full year at this point. Boy, have I learned alot (the least of it being the big hole I've got in the boarding agreement!)

On the financial front here.......I finished a sewing order & got paid.....I transferred some pretty big money (at least for me) into checking so I can pay for the dental work I'm getting started on. Another appt tomorrow...and I'm actually excited. I had listed a building lot for sale....got a couple of interested parties....and a phone call today from someone that wanted to buy it last year but couldn't come up with the financing. His message now says he has put together a package & wants to meet. Timing??? Perfect. Contacting him tomorrow; hoping this could be a solution for both of us.

Seems like today has really been two days...I'm tired enough! Attempting to go to bed & NOT think about horses tonight. Smile

On Line Banking Error.........Uncovered & unexplained

December 15th, 2006 at 06:18 pm

I forgot to mention a piece of mail that came on the odd mail day here. I didn't recognize the envelope, it had one of those blind sorts of return addresses, no name, but it was addressed to me.

I opened it and become more confused, not less. There was a form letter from Payment Processing, with a check stapled to it. From me..........to my insurance company, for the amount of my last premium for the rental place. The form letter said to refer to the attached letter to see why the check was returned........ Wasn't made out to my mortage company was the reason.

Now, mind you.........the date on the check was Sept. 15, 05. I had received no call from the insurance co, letting me know I was behind.........so this was the first I'd seen of this difficulty.

Quickly heading to the phone, while grabbing my Bils Folder........I called the number on the letter, which stated I could call for more information. HA, was that an untruth. No one at that number could understand the problem at all. They just kept telling me to get in touch with my mortage company to see why they hadn't taken the check. Then, I'd be transferred to someone else. The only other person that would 'get it' would be my mortage company. They had the sense to send the check back.........it wasn't theirs. Duh.

I finally hung up with Payment Processing and called my bank. Thought I'd try from that end...... Yikes. I misjudged there too. The young lady that took my call continued to push me contacting my mortage company again. Fortunately, my records showed I had called in to pay that months bills, since WAMU was having some bugs in their bill payer system. I knew the bill had been paid, had the confirmation number and knew the error had to be the bank staff person who somehow crossed the amount of the check with the house payment..... I know now how she did it, but that has to be it. My records have the correct addresses for both the insurance and the mortage......I checked first.

Bottom line was........I will have to wait 90 days for my money now. Never mind that it is my money in the first place. Never mind that the problem was bank generated. Never mind that the check never got cashed. I was so frustrated I didn't even know what to say.....and me speechless is truly amazing. I did authorize an investigation into the problem, she asked if I wanted one.......Well, gee.......no, let's just let it slide??? I think not. Yes, investigate the heck out of it. She said they would.......and to top it all off.....if I wanted to know what the answer was (presuming they have one), I will have to call later (couldn't tell me when) to see. They wouldn't be able to call me she said. Hmmm....they forgot how to dial perhaps??

I followed up this unproductive phone call with a quick call to my insurance co, and sent money off to them asap. Noted the error & told them a FAX was on it's way from my bank. (did get them to agree to send this off, taking responsibility for the mess up)

The whole thing makes me a bit unsure about the online banking bit.......not enough to stop using it, but enough I'm more than careful now when updating my hard copy records here. And, I think I'll keep my eyes open for local bank offers to see if there would be another one to try.

Busy & Grateful

November 11th, 2006 at 10:15 pm

It seems like I've been packing 2 days worth of work into each day here......... Sewing has taken up most of the last couple days; I had a huge order that was to be finished by tomorrow. I worked on it all week, then today really didn't do anything but this order. The customer called, said he couldn't get here tomorrow, could he come tonight?? I said yes, sewed faster....and guess what? The time I gave him as the cut off tonight has come & gone & he isn't here, hasn't called....and I'm cranky. His total might go up on the bill before he gets here! He is a first time customer, but will be a regular, as he has a very odd body shape & isn't able to get clothes off the rack. (good for me, bad for him)
Maybe I'll be more tolerant in the AM, after a nights sleep....

Worked a bit the last couple days getting the house a little closer to Thanksgiving-ready. Cleaned, dunged out stuff & Freecycled most of it today. Yeah! Love when piles of "stuff" make their way down the road...

Grateful I am not living in a flood plain. With all our rain here, almost everyone knows someone who has lost their home or the contents of their home. Although I can't understand building where there is a risk of being underwater; I do feel sorry for the folks that are displaced.

Grateful Room mate persons truck is finally back from the body shop. Insurance did cover the repairs; no idea of the damage to our policy at this point. Said room mate person added another $150 to her rent due for Oct tonight. Glad to have something.......hope I live long enough to see her be able to pay her way on a regular basis.

Planning on an off day tomorrow. Not even going to venture into the sewing room. Thinking a yummy pot of coffee, the wood stove going and my knitting.... My version of contentment!

Why Is It?

September 16th, 2006 at 06:42 pm

I must have signs that goes up outside here.............Interrupt NOW, the old woman is cooking dinner!

I can spend the entire day without interruption, no one calling, no one stopping in..........not even one of the many tenants here coming in for bathroom/laundry/or other amenities....

And.........BAM. The minute I toss dinner on the stove (and tonight I was grilling a kitchen full of steaks, in addition to finishing off homemade brownies and frying up garden fresh zuchini slices) everyone wanted something right then.

I have only 1 of the boys this week end, so it was quieter; but not an easy do, as this guy is mentally ill, so can be a handful. Then, let's see.......the horses all got out, the 5th wheel tenant tries to 'round them up', succeeded in just irritating the critters....I had to stop and call the horse owners and call off the wanna be cowboy outside. Then, all the horse people arrived, they came in one at a time; each for something, then at the end all at once to set up a co op pig raising operation here next spring, the Navy stopped in to give me an update on his schedule and the 5th wheel young lady came in with paperwork I needed to sign asap; as her landlord.

The steaks did get done, brownies are cooling. The 1 boy got fed. Paperwork got filled out. Horses got rounded up. Fences got mended. Wanna be cowboy got new instructions; leave the horses alone, no matter what and everyone eventually went to their own little corners of the world.

And..............I ate cold steak. Wasn't the treat I was hoping for. I'll keep my eyes open for those possible signs posted outside.......saying Interupt NOW!

Hard Sell at a Financial Seminar

September 14th, 2006 at 09:23 pm

I have gone to one too many of these financial seminars.....the latest one was yesterday with my mom. She had received a "special invite" and off we went.

I was doing OK with the info presented right up til the end when the bottom line ended up being "pay to attend a 3 day seminar" scheduled in Oct. If we didn't sign up right then, of course the price went up and up! (I hate that tactic, it really makes me cranky in a hurry)

So, we walked out. But, I'm still pretty sure all the info was right on.....I just think I can do much of it on my own, or at least with the collective wisdom here and in the forums.

His basic premise was to include Real Estate/Stocks/Forex and Net commerce to create passive income streams. Not a bad plan at all. But, he needed to sell his 3 day event & then give us all his Free Software package telling us all how to do the income stream.

I have more learning to do........as many of his ideas rang very true, but I'm just too much of a wimp to jump right in. I'll need to do more reading and research prior to making any big moves....but on the other hand, if I don't make my money MAKE some money, I won't ever be in a better position. I do feel like I'm at a financial cross road right now & I don't need to pay anyone for a 3 day seminar to help me figure that out.

I think I'll put all his points on my 2007 list.........as I'm already booked through 2006 with my Landlord 101 program! Smile

My Struggle As a Landlord

September 3rd, 2006 at 01:16 pm

I hate being a landlord. I love owning property and I love to make money with it, but boy.........I hate the landlord role with a passion. I'm not good at it, I end up with tricky little situations because I let stuff slide and hate confrontation.

So........my landlord role needs some work. And, I'm going to write about it so I actually feel compelled to do something about it all.

All of my landlord decisions are pretty directly tied to my finances. So....if I got better at one, the other would benefit, right?

Some things on my initial TO DO list here:
1) Call the horse lady who is boarding 3 horses now but still hasn't paid for August. Also has appropriated a parking space in the carport for hay, not paying for that either. Come to a workable agreement or give her 30 days notice to move 'em out.
2) Review boarding contract with new guy that bought 1 horse from 'horse lady'. He has paid rent through 12.31.06 and has asked to rent one carport space for hay. (need to work that out here, I'm giving one space away as it is, now he wants to rent one....ick)
3) meet with the new RV man & come up with a written rental agreement or have him move. He had agreed to pay rent, but so far I haven't seen it. Many more vehicles than we had talked about have shown up here. Plus a barking dog, no bathroom facilities and a long list of other difficulties. This will definately be my toughest task, as there is a young girl involved and I was in hopes I could assist to see that she got to stay in school.

September will be landlord in training month here.......I've got plenty of issues to work on. Good thing I've got 2 situations that ARE going well, or I'd feel like throwing in the towel.

And, the other goal related to real estate is to make contact with the previous owners of this place. She called last month saying she wanted to buy it back...and I've made 2 attempts to reach her, but haven't connected yet. I want to know if she is serious, so I can start making some headway on that deal. I've had the comparisons done on her current place as well as this one, so I've done my homework, just need to see if she has done hers.

Banking Blunder; Part II

August 30th, 2006 at 07:09 pm

Well, the fall out from my bank deposit last week happened this AM. (I had deposited in error a check from the Dreaded Black Sparkly Blazer customer.........when she had asked me to hold it til the 1st of Sept~ I truly just spaced that out, remembered not to cash the horse lady's check til Thursday....but in went all the checks last week)

Black Blazer lady calls this AM ...early...and crying. Said she was WAY overdrawn at her bank and would I loan her the money back until Friday? I can't imagine getting stuck in that sort of bind. I would never have purchased a custom blazer if I was short on funds.

Anyway, I did it. Not being one to add to the stress in my life......I wrote her a check for a couple of days, supposedly until her paycheck on the 1st. I think I felt worse about the entire transaction than she did; which is really backwards.

I apologized, told her I truly just forgot. I began work on this Blazer of hers in June for heavens sake, and haven't got paid yet. She took the blazer home this month and it seemed like I had been holding the check for-absolutely-ever and I just deposited it with the rest of my Aug checks.

I do expect to get paid. It's a small enough town I will run into her. I do know I won't sew for her again. So, several lessons learned from the experience. (at least on my part. Not sure if she learned anything at all)

Banking Blunder

August 26th, 2006 at 03:39 pm

I just realized when I checked my DayTimer today that I had deposited a check from a customer prior to the date she told me it would be "good". ICK.

For any of you who remember the Dreaded Black Sparkly Blazer event here..........I finally got that customer happy. She had returned the blazer, saying it wasn't what she wanted. I re did the whole thing and then she was a no show to pick it up. Finally she came to get the garment and then she told me not to cash the check until the 1st. (I had not cashed it until I knew she was happy)

But, for some reason her check made it into the bundle of things yesterday for the deposit........... I don't know if I should call her, or what. I don't know if calling the bank is an option, or if they could catch my error at this point. Drat.

I can't blame this on anyone but me......or the fact that she told me to hold the check since she had spent the money she owed me during the time I was re doing the blazer. Or, that it was almost 80 here yesterday......or that I'm old...... Blast.

Disappointing News

August 23rd, 2006 at 06:55 am

I can't seem to get on an even keel here in my little corner of the world. I know that is pretty much the definition of that four letter word L I F E, however. I understand the 'have to have some rain mixed in with the sunshine' bit........but some days!!!!!

I got an email last night, explaining nicely, how the non profit I just started working for, lost the contract with the state of WA...........so Sept 30 will be the last day of that little part time job. I was just starting to feel like I had the routine down on that one. Actually knowing my clients, feeling like I was making that preverbial "difference" that matters so much to me when I'm doing something.

And, now I'm going to be working for the next 5 weeks or so, towards what? Nothing really. Talk about having a difficult time being motivated to actually work!

So, back to the budget drawing board here.........I've got only one more paycheck from this job to count on. I was just getting over being surprised to get it in the mail at the first of the month!

Dollars & Elbow Grease Down the Drain

August 7th, 2006 at 01:22 pm

I just returned from a walk through of my rental property. I didn't cry. Tears would be warranted, that's for sure. Also, tearing out of hair, screaming to the heavens, all sorts of ranting & raving would be totally appropriate when I saw the condition of the place. All the work, as well as the money, I can't even think about it right now. This is one of the times to just close that book and open a new one, otherwise nothing beneficial would happen. I will be attentive through all this, and learn what I can from the experience.

On the flip side, I did take a helper, empty pots & shovels, and did take the time to fill the van with plants. The gardens weren't as bad as the house was; only a bit overgrown, not too many weeds due to the way the beds have been planted with ground covers. The ponds are dry, no one cleaned or kept them filled.........the veggie garden has been allowed to go back to blackberries....

Fortunately, the 2 sets of contractors that have rented it now, had been in the place for 48 hours..........working their tails off. They had removed all the ruined carpets, emptied the trash out (will fill a 20 yard container I'm having delivered on Wed) and started cleaning before I got there this AM. I do owe these folks something huge as a thank you for dealing with this mess.......it isn't theirs, truly isn't mine and we are both left dealing with it.

I will be keeping my eyes & ears open for ways to bless them as we get to know each other over the next couple years.

Adding the entire experience to my 'hard lessons learned'.

Cleaning Up Others Messes....ICK!!!!!!!

August 4th, 2006 at 03:06 pm

I am so full of mixed emotions; ranging from sadness to rage. Disappointment to fear. The whole gamut all at once.

My rental (which was to be vacant as of Sunday the 6th) is in such awful shape, I can't even imagine what the tenants did to trash it to the current state. I'm beyond being mad, anxious enough about the entire project to have not slept well for a few nights and feel like getting a ticket to another country and forgetting I know the place exists.

After ranting and fuming here to myself.......I figure Monday will be the day I take the camera to the place & at least get a visual record in case there is anything I can do to recoup some of the losses. (I know what my avenues are, so pleeeease don't remind me! But, the company isn't going to be able to come up with money, I would be wasting mine to take this that direction)

I have some interested folks, who want to rent the place..........and they have been inside and aren't scared to pieces. They are young, energetic and really think they can get it back into shape. Two families, unrelated both guys own their own construction companies (which will be very handy, considering all the damage!)

We're meeting on Monday to see if we can hash out a deal we can all live with, while the work is going on. They need to be out of their homes (which they have sold to the new mall developer here in our county) by the 14th of this month, so they are willing to work with me......for me......however we decide to move on this.

I feel like taking an ad out in the Seattle Times and putting in pics of the home and sharing the previous tenants name & company with the world. I do know she still has a couple adult homes, as well as a couple bed & breakfast inns here in WA state. I would like to at least prevent others from ending up in my particular pickle here!!! But, I won't.

I really don't mind hard work, in fact, I like it. But, work from others leaving things un done and poorly done is just nasty. We've already scheduled a big wine tasting party on the grounds when we get the house & property back into shape. Hopefully, it will be this year!!! Smile

I'm hoping the planets re-allign pretty darned soon, so my life starts moving in a different direction.............or, I am going to get that ticket to some other country and head to the airport straight away!

Waiting for that Window to Open.....

August 4th, 2006 at 09:45 am

You know the saying, "when a door closes, there will be a window that opens" or something similar relating to opportunities....???

I had another door close here yesterday. Opened my email to find a message saying the non profit co I just started working for part time, is NOT going to be pursuing the contract with WA state, so my brand new job will be done Sept 30. Drat & Darn. I was just getting so I knew what I was doing on my own. And, I confess, I'm not too jazzed about doing a bang up job for the next couple months when I'm not getting to continue. Granted, the reasoning is good, the company didn't think the money was good enough for their independant contractors, so they just passed. We will get to apply to whomever is awarded the new contract...and at this point, I do think I'll do that......but there is no guarantee there will be someone who wants to apply... So, only 2 more paychecks from this source.

As I said, I'm searching for the other opportunity to show up ....now that this door is closing.

WA State Running Late

August 2nd, 2006 at 08:41 am

Good thing I don't have anything I have to do, using my van. As of yesterday, it doesn't have current tabs.

Not because I didn't get right on the license issue the first of July, by taking the van in for some necessary work (or the emission crew wouldn't test me).........and then ran directly through the emission test....and then mailed the fee and paperwork off the next day......... No, not because I was trying to be on time, no.....a little early actually.....

None of those things had anything to do with the tabs not being here yet, more than 3 weeks later! I called the licensing dept yesterday & they checked on my paperwork. Yes, it is all there, no, there is nothing missing, nothing wrong with anything.......... But, the state is running a couple weeks late on tab requests and it could be another couple weeks until they get to mine.

I was told I could either have them mail me a 3 week extension, or go pick it up. Knowing my luck with stuff like this, I opted for her mailing it! Hoping it comes today, as I'm scheduled to do some driving tomorrow. The best laid plans often go amuck is the theme for this entry. I couldn't have started the process sooner than July, as I didn't have the freedom to go without the van for the couple days it took to order parts & work on it. As I said, it is a good thing I work here, and have no need to drive.

If the state were a privately owned & operated business, this type of customer service wouldn't be tolerated. I guess this is why I voted for a business owner for governer last time.....and I guess this is the result from him not winning the election.

Got a Nasty Bit of News Today

July 21st, 2006 at 04:17 pm

Drat & darn. My renters called, and they are all done with the group home, kids were removed today and they will be cleaning the house up and returning it to me by the first week of Aug.

I've quickly emailed & phoned to my little network here, letting everyone know the house is up for rent again. Hoping to keep using it for kids, or disabled adults; either would work really well with all the changes I had made to the place over the years.

Good thing I've got my ever present safety net & can foot the bill on the rent if I have to for a few months. I don't want to....but I can.

Pray, light candles, bow to the East......send all the good karma this direction if you are so inclined. A solid plan for rental by August would be a terrific blessing indeed.

I have a showing of the other house already on Tuesday.......& I'll remember to take pictures then. I don't have anything but the old fashioned hold in your hand pictures of the other place, so I couldn't send any out with the ads I placed on Craigs list already. Getting a small response from that too today. Pics will help.

I'm too hot to do anything but sit & read today. It's 96 outside in the shade, but I've been able to keep the house a bit cooler (although it is climbing as we get to evening here) So far, only 77 inside. Not too bad. But, it's time to go stick my head under a faucet!

No Shopping for Me

July 3rd, 2006 at 12:40 pm

Well, did I ever make out like a bandit. My housemate brought home sacks and sacks of shoes and 6 of them fit perfectly. I've got all sorts of new footwear now....and I think one pair will work for my event I've got to dress up for. Will have to check this out when I try on the outfit....I may need something a tad more summery, but I'm motivated to make this pair work.

I love deals like this! I even got shoes I wouldn't normally look twice at. And, a couple pair to use for walking shoes at least to begin with. I may want to invest in this area......but for now, I'm off, and hmmmm walking (not running)


The day is looking like a no spend day here, doing all the now normal things to keep costs down to the bare minimum here.
I've learned our water heaters are so well insulated I can even leave them off for a whole day & still have enough hot water for us. Usually I remember to turn them on an hour or so every AM.

Sent in a form to be considered for a test panel. If accepted, it says you receive samples and thank you gifts. I could live with that.
Also completed the survey on the freebie list today, for the $10.00 G/C to Amazon. This puts me up to $73.00 just for Amazon now; and I can get that number to go a loooong ways.

I am a tad cranky with my sewing customer of the black sequined blazer fame. She called to say she can't wear it. Too big. Well, yes......it is a bit on the large side (could have something to do with the fact she is at least a 4X) but I made a mock up & she approved that.........now the exact copy isn't right. Drat. And, Darn. It will be just like starting over; except I need to take it all apart first.

Too, Too Hot Here

June 27th, 2006 at 10:09 pm

OK, enough with this weather mix up. Obviously, Washington has got someone elses' weather this week, maybe Texas or Arizona? And, all our rain is falling back east. What happened??

I have become quite productive after dark and almost before dawn. Sprinklers on, laundry hung, cooking happening when most people should be sleeping here. But, that is the only way life is going to continue on without a hitch here, as we keep going with this over 80, over 90 degree weather.

And, to top it off, my little sidebar here from Google, that has the weather for our little town listed.............says that today was 100 here. (down to a balmy 86 right now at 10PM) What sort of trial is this??

I was getting very good at all my frugal habits, keeping things done ahead of time, running things, turning things off.....all those little things we have all added to our days work. Then, with our heatwave, I am doing NOTHING during the day here! We're getting out of whack.

At least the heat isn't costing me anything. We don't have A/C, and we have our own well, so we're not charged for our water (extra showers to stay cool, sprinklers for the gardens, etc) it would really make me miffed if this was uncomfortable AND was costing me $$.

Thankfully, our house is staying cool. A pleasant surprise since this is our first summer here. A couple tips I remember from my dad..........he would take the hose to the roof in the evening, to cool the dark roof off before we all went to bed; helped a bit, we could see the thermometer drop. Also, setting the sprinkler outside for a bit, near open windows with the fans in them..........gave a very nice cool sensation inside. Just hearing the water helped too.

I've pulled out a small interior fountain one of the kids made me a few years ago. Filled with water, the sound inside when it is this hot really does sound soothing.
I'm down to using any possible trick here!!

Ready to trade back with whoever has Seattles rain!!! I'm WAY done with the hot weather already!


June 25th, 2006 at 07:19 pm

I just got a call from my autistic kiddo (who is with his bio mom today) and he was beyond communicating with. Mom took the phone & told me the raft they were in (river rafting down the Wenatchee River here in WA state) tipped over, all the people were in the river, everyone was rescued, mom lost her glasses, my kiddo lost his lunch....but they were safe, aide crews on the scene.

I'm glad I didn't schedule this event, it was moms idea.
I'm glad I wasn't along (no matter how good a swimmer you are, in a river situation, I'm not sure it makes a hill of beans of difference)
I'm glad I was here to answer the phone

I know Mom is going to have a hard time getting this kid to go on any sort of trip for years and years now.

I know I won't hear about anything else until Friday of this week when he moves. This episode will be in his continuous loop for a loooong time.

This whole thing makes me think of a piece I saw on TV this AM. About booking all of kids time (especially in the summer). This is the case with this little guy & his mom. I'm the opposite. We just sort of hang out here.......learning stuff from the things we do on a regular basis here.

His weekend started with taking the train from my place to Seattle to meet mom. Then, they went sailing on Puget sound with a handicapped sailing group she thinks my guy needs to be part of. Went out to dinner. Stayed all night at boyfriends place.
Got up at the crack of dawn, drove to Eastern WA & took the river rafting trip.
Tonight they are driving to meet a friend (fortunately this is the #1 person in my kiddos life). Staying in hotel.
Tomorrow, driving back to Western WA, renting moving truck & ocming here to move everything to Seattle.
It exhausts me to type this. I feel so sorry for him. I did get to talk with him and if he didn't sound so pathetic & sick, it would have been cute. I can't imagine how scared he was, he said he hoped he would 'feel better' tomorrow.

I've promised him some down time this week when he comes back on Tuesday. Cartoons, his videos, feet up as he calls relaxing time!

I'm all for some memorable times during the summers......but not quite like this week!! Everyone remember to just let kids BE. Even being bored is a good thing sometimes; it leads to people learning how to independantly entertain themselves...a novel concept these days.

Tired + Frustrated = ??????

June 16th, 2006 at 06:32 pm

I hate to be the person putting a log jam in someone elses' life, but I'm sure doing it these days. My kiddos mom just called & she is pretty sure the possible move to place is not going to work. That leaves her just 15 days to get her act together & get a spot for this guy to move to. Again, she said she was going to honor my date to quit, being 6.30 but for the life of me, I can't see how this is going to work. She said as she hung up, she just needs to have faith, as God would provide. I have a pretty strong faith too, but I think God expects me to do some work too.......not just sit back and wait on him.

I'm just ticked. All the work I do with this guy to get him prepared for schedule changes, let alone a life change that is upcoming......and now, it's all out the window. He has been to dinner at this possible place, met the 2 other guys & liked "his" room. I'm not sure there is a way to explain the situation as it is currently.......he wouldn't get it.

He & his mom are scheduled to go on a river rafting trip Sun of next week, I'm faxing permission slips to her, gathering up his stuff for the supply list and she is now talking about driving over, skipping the transportation piece; which would change the day they were leaving. She said...."It's a whole week away, lots can happen in a week." I don't consider myself a detail freak, but a week away, I NEED to know how this trip is looking, so I can plan here on our end. Drat and Darn her anyway.

I am counting the minutes til bedtime here.......meds for one at 7:30, then I just have to hang on til about 9PM. My full timer was up at 4-something this AM, so I'm more than beat! (he, on the other hand is going full steam!) Maybe I'll be less mad tomorrow. Maybe I'll get at least 8 hours of sleep and wake up a brand new me. One can only hope.