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Me & Shopping

October 12th, 2007 at 09:27 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Insurance Decisions

October 10th, 2007 at 09:03 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Both Twins Home......

October 9th, 2007 at 10:54 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

Errands, Banking and a Complaint

October 3rd, 2007 at 01:44 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Surrounded by my stuff

September 27th, 2007 at 07:25 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Staying Busy While Waiting

September 21st, 2007 at 03:53 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 5th, 2007 at 09:23 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

And Another Dr Visit

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

Three Book Sale Day

August 21st, 2007 at 04:13 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Off to list more books!




Another Craigs' List Connection Comes Through

August 14th, 2007 at 07:39 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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