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Get My Parka! We're Experiencing a Cool Down!

July 12th, 2007 at 09:07 pm

Gads, the difference 20 or 25 degrees makes! We were flirting with 100 degrees yesterday (outside...actually no idea what the temp was inside) and today we're at a balmy, breezy 80 & on the way to an expected 75 for overnight.

I can breathe again. There really isn't any air left at 100 degrees I don't think. Being from WA state here, no one has A/C that I know of. Not even the ones that sit in a window. So, there is no expense to this heat that I can think of. One blessing I guess. (can't think of any other positive to it)

We ate at home, since leaving the house would require movement of some sort.....and there was no way I was going to do that. Smile So, we were frugal but HOT. Thank goodness I didn't have anything I had to do. Saved any errands for tomorrow!

Have several freecycle items I get to go pick up tomorrow; convinced people it would be better after the heatwave here. An almost new area rug, which I'm hoping will work in our living room. (need to replace something of moms that is slippery & terribly dangerous here) Also have a couple starts of new to me ground covers to pick up and get in the garden.

Made plans for my oral surgery days; which is coming right up. Supposedly this will be the last big appointment which puts the whole thing done prior to August which was the original date I was told. Nice. One of my 2007 goals almost wrapped up. (will need to dig out my list of the other goals as I can't remember anything but walking regularly) So, the 2 I can remember, I'm doing.

Moms birthday today........we did it pretty low key, as that was what she wanted. Her twins S.O. just found out he has inoperable cancer so the mood here is less than lively. Lots of phone calls between the twins. I do hope I'm as interested in life when I turn 85 as my mom is. What an incredible woman I have as a role model.

We did have a "finance" meeting this evening with the #1 grandson. He is the mortgage person who was tweaking the credit report/score for his mom....and then he will be buying the house from my mom ....this gets really complicated. Anyway, the house is in my moms trust, and there is now differing info coming from the accountant & attorney. Just hate this stuff. We're putting it all on hold until next week; must get the birthday weekend wrapped up first. So, house sale/transfer will have to wait.

Totally looking forward to sleeping all night in a much cooler house!

Catching Up

June 23rd, 2007 at 12:20 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Slow Tenant Finally Pays Up

June 17th, 2007 at 02:46 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 16th, 2007 at 09:34 pm

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

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

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

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

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

Giving Notice

May 30th, 2007 at 06:23 pm

After a bit of soul searching, (and the newest power bill arrival), it is time to give the "back yard people" notice to move on.

They were my mission & I've moved. It isn't fair to expect the others at the old house to try & work with these two. They have had one year next month, & have made much progress. (paying regular rent isn't on the list however)

The idea is to have the property rented, both the rooms inside and the areas out back. This should keep enough monies coming in to cover the expenses, if not make a bit of income.

I know I'll get involved in some sort of mission work, I'll just need to get a bit more creative, or take a bit of a break from it while here with my mom.

Worked outside before breakfast.....as that was the only cool time here today. The yard is coming along nicely and I can see my efforts paying off. I am coming up with some interesting difficulties being in the city. I can't cut a whole bunch of things down with my chainsaw as there is no burning here. So, each week I'm chopping down a van full of brush and taking it to the other house for the burn pile. I can compost here still (although the neighbors complained to mom about the food on her compost pile.......so can only do yard waste) but most of the things are so overgrown it would take years to break down.
And, the real eye opener for me is I'm already running out of room! I've never had a problem, since I've had acreage & could just make gardens until I ran out of energy or daylight. I'm having to hold plants until I can come up with a creative solution as to where they can be planted! (I'm pretty sure the lawn is going to be alot smaller by fall!)

Hoping to harness some freecycler with a strong back; have advertised free trees here this week. I need to clear a path to get the mower to the back forty and there are a couple really pretty evergreens right in the way. Too big for me to dig & transplant and too nice to just cut down and burn. Crossing fingers for some positive (and strong) responses!

A Bit Gun Shy Here in Blogland

April 9th, 2007 at 06:26 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keeping Track Here

April 1st, 2007 at 01:45 pm

First off........the April Fools version pales compared to last years event! Cute, but not even close to the panic that set in last year! Smile

I entered a bin full of books onto Amazon last night and sold one already this AM. Good to get that going again. The new books are all the same theme/topic, so perhaps the rest will get picked up too??

The backyard people brought home a bunch of really ripe bananas from the food bank & asked if I knew how to turn them into banana bread (or anything else??), so I've been doing the Betty Crocker impression in the kitchen today. Smells terrific in here....I hope I can NOT eat any of this.

Been doing OK with the diet changes. Managed to stay the same weight while on vacation. Did get into a different pair of jeans when I got home, so one small victory for me! Can't wait til my walking partner is ready to hit the trail again, thinking we can get back to our schedule as soon as tomorrow...hopefully.

Found a couple gift Cert. for Amazon when I was cleaning my daytimer for this new month.........they are good til the end of the year. Will start putting some thought towards gifts for the year and use them up, just so I don't forget them.

Hard to believe it is April already. I'm ready for spring, but it seems like time is going so much faster than I am these days.

Changes at the Ranch

March 30th, 2007 at 01:29 pm

Much happened in my absence. Most of it I kept up to speed via phone calls and voice mails.......but it seems like a different place than what I left.

The new horses arrived, just 2 and well behaved too. The fence isn't even turned on and they don't care. They are not going anywhere. It's been 3 weeks now and no escape attempts. Love them just for that! The horse owner is terrific, she is planning on overseeding the pastures in rotation this spring/summer & paying for it herself. She is so much easier to get along with, & so far is paid up ahead too. Plus, she pays more than the other person did for half the horses! Her kids are great too, no autistic wonder children to deal with(not that I'm not used to that, but these normal little guys are a treat)

The chickens started laying!!! So exciting to gather fresh eggs again. They were right on schedule.......we had figured they would be laying by Easter. The fridge is full of eggs, as no one here wanted to be the one to use up the fresh eggs....how silly! Fresh custard, egg salad, omelette's, strata's.......I can do almost anything with eggs!

The young couple that was living inside the house has moved. Not willingly either, so there are some glitches. He crossed a fairly serious line so I asked him to move while I was gone, she chose to stay with him (stupid woman). So, there is a small hole in the sheetrock where he shoved the front door open.........and they didn't clean up their room nor their fridge. Easy fixes however.....and they left a perfectly good couch and entertainment center I have already listed on CL, so no loss. They did exchange their interior doorknob and put in a new one with a key lock, so that will be a nice feature for the next person(s) too. Even left both keys! Smile

The garden is doing fine....my seedlings are coming along OK, although I have something mysterious that is eating the leaves. Usually don't have things eating cabbage family leaves here, but they are getting chomped on. Almost big enough now that it won't matter, but I'll slosh them with some leftover dishwater just to discourage whatever is out there.

All but one rental check was here when I returned. Did the banking yesterday and called the tenant with the missing check. He swears he mailed it....will continue to stay in touch with him.

Turned in my income tax paperwork since I got back, this is one expense I'll gladly pay. I have no idea how to prepare taxes and it seems that each year mine are so complicated. I just keep the same woman each year & then don't have to continue to explain my odd situations. I've got 4 pieces of paperwork to find for her today and then I'll be done. Hope to get the filing caught up at the same time, as well as move the BIG file cabinet to the garage with the other BIGGER file cabinet. Tired of having them in the house.

And, the neighbors have a new calf......in the pasture right outside my window. Too cute. One more due any day now too. Calf-vision. Beats TV any day! It is most certainly spring around here.

What I Did on My Spring Vacation..........

March 28th, 2007 at 03:52 pm

I've been working...........and driving.....and driving some more. I'm not even calling the last 2 weeks a vacation any more.

I knew it was going to be a labor of love sort of event before I left, but I had no idea the physical condition of my passengers (other than my own mother.....)

We left 2 weeks ago, to drive to Palm Desert, CA......from the Seattle, WA area. Me, the designated driver and my mom, plus her twin and their older sister. That made two 84 year olds & one 86 year old plus me.

What a trip. Not bad on the way down....not even too bad at our destination.....but the trip home seemed endless at times. By then, the sisters were getting just a touch cranky with each other.

I did keep them talking almost the whole time; everything they could remember from being kids to when they were raising their families. Very fun, interesting and most often VERY frugal type stories. I can see where I got most of my frugal training from!

Most of the scheduled stops were gambling related; all 3 of them love to gamble. Only 1 came out ahead, the other 2 just didn't have the right 'feeling', so didn't do much. No one lost their shirt.

It was so interesting to be with the 3 of them as they dealt with the finances of a shared trip like this. They had appointed one to pre pay the hotels (my mom) and then they will split that cost when they meet up again this coming month to handle the money. The meals were shared and 2 were in charge of keeping those records...again, this will be split up when they meet. Gas had a 'treasurer' of sorts too....and again it will be divided up. We didn't go without......but we sure were looking for bargains. All 3 of these ladies are living more than comfortably these days........not one of them has ever had a mortgage and they are all living in huge, view homes that were custom built.
But, there we were .....most times asking for an extra plate so meals could be divided at least 2 ways! All the hotel rooms we booked had to feature a complimentary continental breakfast too!

So interesting to observe their different habits concerning money & finances.

We had many fun times, a couple brief health scares and one awful moment when my mom realized she had misplaced her wallet. (I tracked it down at a hotel....they overnighted it to our next destination, all the money & ID intact....needless to say, there is a thank you going out to a certain pair of maids this week)

I came home, very grateful I have the best mom out of the 3 sisters. Mom came home determined not to take that long of a trip with the other 2 ever again. The other 2 decided they really aren't up to this kind of travel any longer & are only going to go on short trips, in our own state.

So, much was learned.........some fun was had.........I got lots of socks knit while waiting for them to get the gambling bug out of their systems and we all made it home in good shape.

Will I do it again? Yes. But, I'll make all the arrangements myself next time, so I can be assured of things like easy access, etc.

Oh, and MY finances??? I didn't spend a cent. I'm pretty sure my mom (and the other 2 either) won't let me pay my share of the expenses. They were pretty thrilled about not having to drive at all....and having door to door service.....along with a couple other percs like getting their hair done every day, that I think I'm going to make money when all is said and done.

Glad to be home........love my own bed & pillow.....and tons of changes to the ranch in my absence. Must get to work!!!

Catching Up Here, I think!

March 7th, 2007 at 06:11 pm

I managed to get 3 of the items for todays customer finished before she arrived today......and she was happy. One down.

Almost finished with customer #2, another hour in the AM and that order can be picked up & paid for.

Customer #3.......not started, will get to this one tomorrow night, hopefully.

And, before I could place a vacation setting on the Amazon account, Yes, you guessed it.........sold another book. So, another post office trip is on the schedule for tomorrow. Can't believe the sales the last 30 days. Hope I can pick right back up upon my return.

Finished handing out my strawberry plants, had 4 freecyclers here picking them up. And, in the process, I've got one of the strawberry beds all cleaned out here. That will be nice to come home to.

I had also requested a commercial clothing rack from freecycle and had 4 responses. So, of course I've been running all over picking them up this week.......finished those errands up too, and have a terrific selection of racks now for the sewing room. Looks so much better & I'm WAY more organized out there because everything that was sitting around, is now hung up.

So, my TO DO list for this week......getting ready for The Trip.......does have items crossed off. I am making progress.