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Three Book Sale Day

August 21st, 2007 at 11:13 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Off to list more books!

Beach houses & Bird Houses

August 21st, 2007 at 04:27 am

Figure out that title will you?? Smile

We spent the day looking at beach houses, on an island near us here in WA. Yukky rainy day, so it wasn't terrific, but we got to see the homes in normal condition! Did lunch out, and roamed around the little island. Very fun. I can see myself living there (one of the houses is almost perfect), no problem. Mom, I don't think so. She is just too tied to this house she is in. So, I'm not thinking a move is in the future. Hopefully, I'm dead wrong.

Came home to a voice mail from a freecycle pal......he has 2 bird houses in answer to my Wanted post yesterday. I have been trying to add things to moms backyard, since it was pretty much a blank slate. These bird houses sound oh, so frugal. Made from wood and recycled coffee cans! Can't wait to see them, they sound just funky enough to fit right in here!

So, it was houses of a grand sort.......down to a house made from an old can.

Did get an email from foster dtr today....finally getting some info re; their finance difficulties. I had heard from a friend that there was trouble & I so hoped it was not true. I guess it is. My gal is trying hard to pull them out of the situation she says her husband got them into...... Working several jobs, doing all sorts of things to earn extra......hopefully, it will be enough. Not sure what is worse, wondering if what I heard was true, or finding out they really are having a tough time?

Since I've decided this move to moms is a permanent situation, I began working on the paperwork that needs to be changed or transferred. Thought the auto insurance would be an easy beginning. Not so. Thought I could just add a vehicle onto moms policy, can't do that with State Farm they said. Plus, this would make my insurance almost 4X the cost it is now. Yikes. Tomorrow, I'll call my company & see about doing just a change of address, dropping room mate person from policy and only having a single vehicle. Will be interesting to see the comparison then. Showed mom how much she is paying for insurance, she isn't interested in making a change, they have been with the same company since 36 I think she said. Gads.

Received a rent check from a tenant (who was behind in rent anyway) and it is dated for October! Hopefully, it was a mistake, as the date was right, just the month and date were transposed on the check. But, need to call & get one reissued. Bother. I'm failing at Landlord 101......over & over.

No Money Fun Sort of Day

August 18th, 2007 at 04:28 am

Over the years, with all the kids at my group home........we were used to finding No Money Fun activities. New kids expected to have a budget (or worse, no budget limits) & it was a bit of a shock to them how we spent our spare time. They soon learned we weren't a household that spent without thinking and planning......and then the No Money Fun sorts of events often won out.

Much research went on all the time, with all the kids adding possibilities to the No Money Fun list.

Tonight we did one of the favorites of all time.....just headed to the beach. This is a shot looking west from the little town I grew up in.

The sun was going down, there are ferries to watch, trains coming by regularly and lots of divers at the underwater park. My young man actually seemed like he was having fun.

Mom & I loved the evening. Great weather, no time limit; it was perfect.

Gardened a bit early this AM. I'm keeping up with the watering and the deadheading. No weeds yet to speak of, thanks to the heavy layers of compost all over the place. Gave the lawn a feeding, as it is struggling to grow in all sand. Can't wait for the compost load next spring, I'm going to figure out a way to sift a layer of compost over the entire lawn. No way I'm going to spend time on it again next year like I've had to do this summer.

A great day........

Another Craigs' List Connection Comes Through

August 15th, 2007 at 02:39 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time Alone; A New Experience

July 15th, 2007 at 03:54 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gardening Update

May 30th, 2007 at 02:30 am

I figure I have made it to the half way point on the compost spreading event here. Getting progressively more tired and a tad sore. The rain over the week end made the dirt twice as heavy it seems.

I added a row of beets, along with a couple rows of cosmos from seed. Stuck in a couple dozen onion sets for good measure and transplanted some veggie starts that were apparently in the wrong place. Fairly wimpy versions of brocolli and brussel sprouts. With the new compost, perhaps they will come around.

Planted the cucumbers and zuchinni I had started from seed. Felt very frugal doing it this way rather than purchasing starts at the nursery.

Found stakes for the dahlia tubers that got divided and re planted yesterday and got half of the annuals in the ground.

Made good use of the patio furniture that I'd just put out.......There is nothing like sitting in your garden, viewing all your hard work! Smile

Just when I was thinking I was coming real close to having everything in the ground, a friend drove up with 4 pots of perennials from her garden for us. We had mentioned when seeing her yesterday, that we were putting in a new garden. So, we're blessed with 2 types of iris, a pot of flags, and a great lupine plant. It pays to 'talk' gardening with others..... Everyone needs to divide their perinneals & is usually looking for others to share with.

Crossing my fingers re; the weather & the garden tomorrow. We're supposed to be in the high 80's ....not exactly transplanting weather.

Mystery Shopping: Continued.....

May 18th, 2007 at 01:26 am

I've had a few inquiries re; what exactly Mystery shopping entails.......so here goes with my teensy bit of experience....

So far, I've visited an assisted living center and gone out to dinner. Each one had a survey I could view on line prior to visiting the establishment...so I knew what types of info I needed to look for.

After completion, I fill out a form on line and fax in either a business card or a receipt. Pretty easy stuff.

I do think this is easier if a person is observant by nature, and likes to try new things rather than being a creature of habit.

Naturally, both of my "shops" were odd, in that the forms I had to fill out didn't even get close to including the situations I encountered.... Smile The first one, they called me to have me further explain myself!

I've got another "shop" scheduled for next week, mom & I are doing lunch at what is truly moms favorite local restaurant. Her fav & paid for too. For 15 minutes or so of online work, I would say it's a good deal for us. Mom enjoyed last nights survey almost more than dinner. She was an eagle eye when it came to the details. Wore a watch with a second hand, so she could accurately time the arrival of the food/beverages, etc. Smile

I'll keep posting as I get a little further along with this new hobby! So far, I would have to say it's worth it to me.

Gleaning to Lower Food Bill

May 6th, 2007 at 09:00 pm

I re joined our local gleaning group, mainly to receive the old bread and produce to feed the chickens. However, it is going to be a nice addition to the food budget here too.

I used to be involved with this same group, for almost 15 years, quitting when I had the difficult autistic kiddo move in. (couldn't be involved with anything with him there)

The organization is run differently these days & it is a bit difficult to not keep saying "when I was doing this....." to the leadership team. But, I'll learn.

Today I did my "job" alone for the first time, they think I'm properly trained now I guess. The chickens are all set up with fresh food for the week, as well as the kitchen is brimming with things I brought home for people.

The food often looks perfect. Hard to tell what the store is getting rid of it for.......until you do this for a bit. Let the perfect food sit a day & it becomes pretty apparent.

I spent a few hours this AM chopping, slicing, steaming and freezing......so none of the people food is going to go to waste. I have no idea how much this would be if I had to pay for it, but then, I would never buy this much produce at a time either. Nor, this variety. But, I'm set up for all veggie meals for most of the week.

Food rescue programs are so important for so many reasons.......well worth the time it takes to get involved. Stores save the dumping fee, others get to eat fresh food when they normally wouldn't, and we're saving space in the land fills.

New Numbers

April 15th, 2007 at 10:37 pm

I weighed myself this AM (after being at my moms for a few days) and surprised myself with a brand new number! I knew I was making progress, as I've been able to button the bottom button on a few shirts....that used to be an open type, jacket only situation! All buttoned up these days, and I can sit down without ripping the buttons off too! Must be the walking!

Felt jazzed about the weight loss & started getting busy on the TO DO list around here. I've got laundry out on the line, the burn pile started and the compost dumped. Eggs collected and chickens fed.

I brought home some free wood from my dads vintage wood piles.......I found great stuff to make some roosts for the chickens. Now, I just need to figure out how to mount them to the walls. (these are to replace the almost silly version of a roost that a very helpful someone made for the coop......looks more like a prop for a manger scene in a Nativity)

Now, I'm back to crocheting the first of my samples for this Thursdays class. The purse is done, now I'm working on the handle, then out to the sewing room it goes for the lining and assembly phase. I'm wasting too much time today, thumbing through patterns, when I just need to grab one and start on another item for the display. Thinking small things at this point.....planning on a soap sack, 2 different size hats and a scarf at this point. I can start a small baby blanket after I get these done......

Back to work........

Calfvision: Free Entertainment

April 12th, 2007 at 03:37 am

I've been keeping a close eye on the neighbors pregnant cow, checking the window facing her pasture every time I go past...

This afternoon, I could tell (even with my limited cow experience) that she was standing odd... Best description I could come up with. Looked a little closer and there was a teensy little pile of brown calf on the ground. Not moving yet even.....I must have missed the birth by minutes.

I just pulled the couch around and decided to plug into the local calfvision channel. It didn't take long before I realized there was going to be another calf. And, I got to watch it being born. Sat there for what seemed like ages, watched both calves practicing using all 4 legs at once. So cute. When I finally decided to get back to work, both new little additions had figured out how to walk a few steps and where dinner was located.

Way better than television and totally free. I didn't have watch a calf being born on my life list........but if I did, I could cross it off now!