Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hot Dog Wheels

My dog has wheels.  He hates his wheels.  I suppose this will take some getting used to.  I found this used dog wheelchair through the Best Friends Mobility website.  I don't think it was used at all because the wheels were set up as two left sides and it took a hammer, pliers and WD-40 to loosen the bolts so I could fix it.  I suspect the previous owner of this rig got too frustrated putting it together and sold it.  It took me two hours to put it together and I haven't even adjusted it for my dog yet.  It isn't much good indoors since the wheel span is too wide.  He gets snagged on everything.  I intend to use it for walks so that he can go with us on our usual route.  He isn't paralyzed yet, just very weak in his back and hind legs.  

After researching wheelchairs for a while I decided on this Sitgo model because it is hinged and suppose to allow the dog to sit and lie down.  We will see if he can get the hang of it.

In mobile home news, my tenant ran out of water so I had to ask the neighbor if I could get water from his water meter.  The water meters are a mile away and people who have them will haul water to their homes as needed.  I was planning to use my two 55 gallon barrels to make 2 or 3 trips so that I would not have to bring water out from my house, 30 minutes away.  My very generous neighbor offered to bring 500 gallons of water over in his tank.  It was 100 degrees again and we were all sweating but he brought the water and I was thrilled.  Then he went to start his super-duper water transfer pump which would have emptied the tank in 15 minutes, and the rope broke on the starter.  Ugh.  We managed to get the water out with gravity and my little, slow sump pump.  It took an hour and a half.  I was so fried by that time.  My main reason for going out there was to clear out my stuff from the storage room where the (now dead) mice had invaded.  I only got one box and one bag, my head was pounding, and my nephew needed to be picked up from his school event so I left.  I'll go back in a couple of weeks.  

This week Chase bank updated their website and now I can't access my account.  It is driving me crazy.  I usually check my account a couple times a week.  It's almost the end of the month and I need to move some money around.  A call to customer service got me nowhere.  They put in a trouble ticket 2 days ago.  Still no answer and no access.  I could get to my account on my smartphone briefly, but not today.  It is unsettling to be cut off from my money.  I need to know if I have enough for my extra mortgage payment this month.  Vet bills + wheelchair cost around $2,000.  I can absorb that if I spread it over a couple of months.  Next month is my biggest bill month though because of property taxes.  Sure, I could pay half the taxes now and half in December but December is not a good month for paying bills.  I like to get taxes paid and out of my head for another year. 

Tomorrow I get to visit our manufacturing plant in Mexico.  it is always fun to see the people that I talk to on the phone.  I should bring candy.  Maybe mini-Twix.  Chocolate always helps international relations. :)

Monday, August 15, 2016


Last weekend I did everything I could to avoid doing anything  in public.  Sure, I could have done a million things but I just wanted one day where I didn't have to get in my car and go anywhere.  I got up at 7am, fed the dogs, pulled some weeds, watered the squash plants (free seeds from the seed library!) and went back to bed for a nap.  

Baby squash plants.
The overgrown yard. Nice and green for a change.
My little weed-eating egg producing quail.
Then I got up and made fried quail eggs, bacon and tater tots.  Then there was laundry, the weekly sweeping of my bedroom, and sporadic web surfing.  At 6pm, it was less hot so my nephew and I hacked at the weeds in the front yard so that the neighbors don't think I've abandoned the place.  My nephew is saving his money to buy an Alienware computer so I pay him $10 per hour and he is semi-enthusiastic to help out.  After an hour, I made chicken alfredo for dinner and then I started watching Meet Joe Black because I knew my nephew would be so bored that he would do his Calculus homework (it worked).  It was a pretty nice day besides the heat and the sweating and sneezing from the weeds.

Three more weeks until my next 3 day weekend.  Yes, I am wishing away my life again.  In other news, my niece, the one that helped my fix up my mobile home last year, is going to Austria next week for a semester.  It is the same program that I did 23 years ago.  Wow, that was a long time.  It was an awesome experience for me and I hope she has a great time too.  I am looking forward to her updates since she will have a computer there and wifi.  When I was there we had to use pay phones and no one had a computer.  I even had a camera with film that had to be developed and then it broke and I ended up just buying postcards which really aren't the same as photos.  Technology has changed so much.  

I have no after work chores this week until Friday when we are going to the dinner theater so that my nephew can write a review for his school assignment. It is an amusing play but too long to sit through after a long day at my desk but I will do it for him.  At least they have good pizza so that's a plus.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

If I Do, If I Don't

I took another half day off to take Jimmy-dog to the vet.  He had two appointments today, first at our regular vet for blood pressure and then to the surgery consultation.  They took 5 blood pressures and some were normal and some were high.  I'm beginning to wonder if their machine is broken.  The surgeon was not happy with the grainy ultrasound images that the other vet sent over so he had his own technician check the tumor.  Good news is it isn't invading the vena cava yet.  Bad news is with Jimmy-dog's heart murmur, the surgeon does not think he will survive surgery.  He would be willing to try surgery with an anesthesiologist which adds another $2k on to a $3-5k surgery with no guarantee that he will survive or that is will fix his issues. The cost is high but I had to think, if the surgery was free would I go for it? No, the odds do not sound good.

The surgeon suspects that the weakness in his hind limbs is from a different issue, a degenerative disk in his spine and it may eventually cause paralysis.  He came to this conclusion after feeling Jimmy-dog's spine and at one point Jimmy-dog yelped and turned to bite him.  So, I think we should focus on treating his symptoms.  His lack of mobility is his worst problem at the moment.  It has improved with pain medication.  Maybe there is more they can do to help him with pain management.

So, that's the Jimmy-dog update.  While I was in the vet office it was pouring rain outside.  I emailed the tenant in the mobile home and asked him if the gutters that we put up last Saturday were working.  He said they were 98% good.  It was so hot on Saturday that we just tacked the gutters up and he was going to add more gutter hangers later on.  He hasn't finished yet.  I even got my nephew to get up early on a Saturday to help hang gutters by paying him $10 and hour.  He is saving for an Alienware computer for gaming AND homework.  We only put gutters on one side of the mobile home, approximately 60', but any water collection will help.  Next step, gutters on the small shed, the barn-shed, and the green house.  The water tank that we connected to it was filling up.  It only holds 125 gallons and I told him that he should transfer the water to a larger tank now because we are supposed to get another storm tomorrow.  When I was there on Saturday, I noticed a new stain on the ceiling.  That means water leak.  That's another thing for my to-do list.  I don't have to do it myself per-se but I need to go out there and show him where the roof patch and tools are and perhaps supervise because I don't want him falling off my roof or anything. 

The back storage room where the cats used to be has been invaded by a mouse or mice.  That just kills me because we worked so hard last year to clean everything.  My tenant offered to bring two mouser cats that he had at a friend's barn.  I said an enthusiastic yes.  Maybe these cats won't disappear like my cats did.  So, now I need to organize the storage room again and remove anything that can be knocked over by cats chasing mice.  I want the cats to have easy access to all hiding places.  At first the mouse invasion kept me up at night thinking about what they could be ruining but now I have accepted the situation as helping me downsize.  After all, that was my goal for this year, right?  Get rid of stuff so that I can sell my house and move in to my tiny house after my nephew goes to college next year.  I just hadn't planned to tackle these jobs until it was at least in the 80's again.  But, mice wait for no one and I must go save my stuff and my sanity and get those chores done now.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Price of Compassion

A lot has been going on and I haven't written about it because when I finally get in to bed at night I just want to play Bejeweled and snuggle with the dogs until I go to sleep.

1)  I was so confident that my nephew would get his license (yes, he did) and be able to drive himself to school thus enabling us to stay at the house instead of traveling back and forth to the mobile home so that he could ride the school bus like the did last year, (run-on sentence alert) that I got a new foster dog. 

He is a 12 year old long-haired Chihuahua with Cushing's Syndrome (like my other dog has, or so I thought).  He is a bit of a brat when it comes to food and not wanting to go in the bedroom at night but otherwise, he is very soft and cute and his vet care is covered by the rescue.  Maybe he will get adopted even with his age and issues.  This does mean I will eventually have to take him to PetSmart adoption events.  He got neutered last Saturday so I don't have any more excuses except lack of time.

2)  Someone in the dog rescue group asked me if I could provide temporary housing for a handyman and his 2 dogs who were getting evicted at 1pm that day.  I have been burned before when believing sad stories but I decided to take a risk and help someone again.  He had references and I printed out a standard lease along with some extra rules for the mobile home.  He was thrilled to have a place for himself and his dogs and he has busied himself with the list of projects I gave him for fixing up the mobile home and property.  The biggest challenge has been organizing the projects and finding time (and money) to buy the materials.  After I dropped the foster dog off at his neuter appointment last Saturday, I went to Home Depot to buy gutters and attachments and wood boards for the steps.  Originally, I had planned to drive out to the property immediately but it was so hot I went home, took a nap, picked up the foster dog at 2pm and then my nephew and I went out to drop off materials.  This Saturday I plan to go out and help install the gutters.  We have had a lot of rain this week and none of that water is being collected.  It's a shame.  And also, he needs water to flush the toilet, so, gutters are the #1 project.  I had planned to start these projects in the late fall when it would be cooler but now the gutters can't wait.

3)  My black and tan dog (the one that I did the DNA test on and found out he is a bloodhound, Austr. shepherd, Austr. cattle dog, and chow chow) was diagnosed with Cushing's Syndrome last year.  

He has gotten worse in the last 2 months and can barely walk.  I took him to the vet again yesterday and the vet says he has a Pheochromocytoma tumor which has some of the same symptoms as Cushing's but the best course of action for this tumor is surgery.  I have a surgery consultation next Tuesday.  I have no idea how much that will cost or how much I am willing to spend.  I guess it depends on how long they think he will live if the surgery is a success.  Usually, dogs are diagnosed when they are around 12 years old but he is only 7.  If I could buy him another 5 years, that would be awesome, but I don't want him to be miserable.  One of the reasons I did the DNA test when I did was because I was worried that he wouldn't live long.

So, to sum up, I have no money and no time but I do have someone to work on projects for me.  That is a bit frustrating.  I'll get through it even if it means adding a few months on to my mortgage repayment plan.  That is why my plan is flexible after all.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Mortgage Update for July 2016

I'm running out of time to post this before August.  Made another $1,200 payment towards principal which brings the total mortgage on the house to $30,651.  Last month in the 30's!  I have another 1year and 9 months until it's gone.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

July Winding Down

I was supposed to have jury duty this week but it got cancelled which is a huge relief.  Last week was really busy.  I had multiple stressful events happening every day.  Now, singly, they were not that stressful, but trying to fit them in around work was tough. 

On Monday I got up early to take my mother to the airport for her trip to San Diego.  I made it to work just in time. 

Tuesday, I took my nephew to his high school to pick up his school supplied laptop and pay all the fees.  I got to work an hour and a half late.  After work, we finished up my nephew's required night driving practice. 

Wednesday, my nephew had his driving test which didn't involve me but I was nervous about it anyway since whether we lived in the house or the mobile home depended on his success. He passed!!!  Wednesday afternoon I left early to take both of us to the dentist (no cavities for either one!) and then a friend of a friend needed a place to stay with his two dogs so I arranged for him to stay in my mobile home (more on that later). 

Thursday, I took my nephew to the motor vehicles department to get his official license.  There was a 1 in 5 chance that he would have to take the driving test again since he had a professional driving instructor, the MVD likes to re-test the students to see if they are being taught correctly, but he did not have to, much to his relief.

Meanwhile, at work, the server crashed so that things that we did were not getting saved.  This worked out well for me since no one expected me to do much for the rest of the week.  On Friday, I picked my mother up from the airport and took her home.  Whew, the week was over...but wait, my former college roommate from Texas happened to be in Phoenix with her mother for a funeral so they drove down to my house and stayed Friday and Saturday nights.  It was great to see them and we had a lot of fun catching up on the last 10 years since we had seen each other.  I should really get out there to visit her again.

It's Thursday already and July is almost over. We went to the open house at my nephew's high school to meet his teachers. They seemed a little nicer than last year but who knows. It's only been a week. As I was following him home, I saw the back brake light out. I sent him off to get a new bulb and we changed it together. I am thrilled at his newly found sense of responsibility and interest in keeping his truck maintained. Maybe this weekend I will show him how to take the inner door panel off so that we can fix the remote door lock again.  He would like that since having to remember to lock it manually is a pain.

10 more months of high school! I hope we accomplish everything I have planned and more.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Too Hot to Cook

It's been hot.  105, 107, who cares, it's just hot.  Every once in a while I think, "I should bake something or cook something" and then I remember how hot it is especially with just an evaporative cooler and no air conditioning.  I'm stubborn though.  I won't spend thousands of dollars to get air conditioning.  I just complain about it being hot while loving my low electric bills.

Anyway, I had an abundance of cherry tomatoes from my plants that are as tall as the roof and I decided to make sauce out of them.  I now know why people don't typically make sauce out of cherry tomatoes.  There isn't much to them.  I cut them in half and simmered them until they looked soft.  Then I took my stick blender and chopped them up.  I tasted it.  Too bitter with all the seeds.  So, I strained out the seeds but that also strained out most of the skins and pulp.  I was left with tomato juice.  I added a small can of tomato paste along with spices and I had sauce again.  I'm not sure how much of it was actually from my tomatoes.

Well, at least I used up a lot of cherry tomatoes.  The hornworms attacked the plant and trimmed it down for me.  I only get a dozen tomatoes a week now.  I'm sure it will bounce back when the weather gets cooler and I will be drowning in cherry tomatoes again

My other cooking experiment entailed a bright idea I got while watching a video on Panko chicken.  I bought Panko breadcrumbs a few weeks back but hadn't been brave enough to try them.  I didn't have any thawed chicken so I thought I could Panko some summer squash and zucchini.  It seemed like a good idea until the pan started smoking.

I attempted to eat them anyway but it was like eating tasteless squash with burnt toast.  Luckily, I didn't Panko all of the vegetables.  I tossed the rest with olive oil and JoJo seasoning and it was delicious.  No Panko needed.

I think I will stop trying to be creative in the kitchen until it is under 80 degrees outside.  That might not be until November.  My nephew is returning the day after tomorrow and I will have to plan dinners again.  Idealy he will help me.  I rarely eat dinner and prefer to eat lunch as my main meal.  It should be easier to make meals this school year since we are at the house, not the mobile home with just a 2 burner stove top which couldn't be on at the same time as the microwave.  He has been visiting his grandfather in Minnesota and his aunt in California.  Maybe he will have some new meal ideas.  That's probably expecting too much.  I have asked him what he eats at other people's houses and he can't remember.  I made lasagna from scratch once and served it with Stouffer's lasagna.  He ate them both and couldn't remember which he liked better.  I don't think this is something I can win.  I'll just try to teach him to make a few things so he doesn't end up living on cereal and bologna sandwiches.  One more year and then he can go live on cafeteria food at college.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

What's in a Mutt?

Ever since I got my first foster dog, I have been curious about their breed or mix of breed.  I never had a dog as a child and didn't start fostering dogs until I was 38.  Or maybe it was 37, I can't remember.  Anyway, after getting the first few foster dogs adopted out, I got a 5 month old goofy puppy named Jimbo.  I wanted a dog for myself.  One that wouldn't leave.  One that could show the other dogs the house rules.  The name didn't fit but I wanted to keep it similar so I named him Jimmy.  My mother objected because my father's name is Jim and she calls him Jimmy so, to differentiate, Jimmy the dog became Jimmy-Dog.  That is his official name on his dog tag.  Sometimes we would call my dad, Jimmy-Dad, just to be clear who we were talking about.

Jimmy-Dog all grown up.
I have always wanted to know what breed of mutt Jimmy-Dog is.  The pound had labled him Rottweiler but I didn't think so.  He bayed like a hound, had the neck folds like a hound, had the hair like an Australian Shepherd, and had the coloring of a black and tan Australian Cattle Dog.  DNA tests aren't cheap.  They run around $70 and up.  But Jimmy-Dog won't be around forever and I knew I would regret it if I never found out.

For my birthday this year, I bought a Wisdom Panel DNA test and sent it in.  Guess What?

37.5% Bloodhound
25% Austr. Cattle Dog
25% Austr. Shepherd
And a little bit Chow Chow

I knew it!  Well, I wasn't sure which kind of hound but I had just visited a friend with a pure Bloodhound and I was noticing the similarities.  

It was expensive but I'm glad I did it.  I used credit ard rewards points so it didn't affect my budget and now the question has been answered.  Will I buy another test for my other dogs?  Probably not, even though Wisdom Panel gave me a $15 off coupon.  It's tempting but Jimmy-Dog was the only one I was really curious about.   One less thing on my want list.  Now I can go back to saving for finishing the barn-shed, installing rainwater catchment, and planning an awesome dog yard.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

New Toys

I'm trying out my new bluetooth keyboard for my Kindle today.  First, I forgot my password for this blog.  I know, I know, dementia already.  I had my password saved for my desktop computer, my phone, and my netbook so I rarely had to type it.  Then my netbook started to get slower and slower until it quit working.  I made do by typing blog posts on my lunch break and emailing them to my phone where I would upload photos and the text at night.  And my posts got rarer and rarer because remembering to write a post at work was hard.  Tonight, I decided to try the Kindle for posts and I was stymied for an hour trying to remember my password.  I eventually did though (obviously) and this little keyboard is working great.

Now, for the rest of the story.  After we got back from our trip to Washington state and all of the components arrived for my mother's new computer, I put it all together at her house.  It went together easily.  I went with a Chromebit (which I had never heard of until I started looking for a cheap computer).  It was only $85 and plugs in to either a HDMI port on a TV or a monitor.  I spent $99 on the fancy monitor.  It is used through Amazon and much larger than she needs but it was the cheapest I could find with HDMI.  The keyboard, mouse, and USB hub were $10-$12 each.  

The reason I picked a Chromebit was because my mother only browses the internet, uses email, and watches an occasional news video.  The Chromebit runs Google Chrome and any app that we want.  If any piece breaks it is cheaper to replace than a whole computer tower or laptop.  It has it's own virus protection too so no downloading software or updating or running scans.  The speaker that I bought was not compatible because there is nowhere to plug in audio cords.  I bought a bluetooth speaker and it works ok but there was a big lag when trying to play Netflix or Amazon movies.  I don't know what the problem is, maybe it's her internet speed, but she watches movies on the TV in her living room so that isn't a big problem.  I also gave her my printer which was fancy and brand new last year.  I bought it for my nephew to use at the mobile home but it never got out of the box.  It is perfect for my mother's set up because it is a wifi printer and, after some frustration, I got it hooked up to print from the Google Cloud.

Since my mother has a large computer to play with, she gave the Kindle back to me which I had purchased for $40 for the trip.  After some research, I stumbled on a trick to load the Google Play Store on to the Kindle which basically gives it the same functionality as my netbook.  With the bluetooth keyboard, I have a very inexpensive blogging machine.  Now I have no excuse not to post, except laziness.

And I should mention my other new toy.  My Fitbit Zip.  I saw some Fitbits at Kohl's and asked my nephew if he wanted on for his birthday.  I didn't know much about them and the display was difficult to understand.  I went home and looked them up on the website and then looked for the cheapest one available.  I found the Zip on Ebay for around $35, shipping included.  I bid on one but thought that I had lost it for sure so I moved on to a Buy it Now auction and got that one for my nephew.  It arrived and I went back to Ebay to leave feedback.  I noticed 4 messages that seemed urgent.  Turns out I had won the first auction and the person wanted their money.  I apologized, paid, and they shipped it to me.  

So, that's how I got my very own Zip.  I've been having fun with it, counting steps and logging food.  I've lost 3 pounds already and fit back in a pair of jeans that were too tight. 

When I wasn't researching computer components and buying a million things from Amazon, I was cleaning and organizing.  The pile of cardboard boxes in the living room went to the recycle bin.

This was one of those chores that I couldn't hide from as it grew bigger and bigger every day.

I gave away one bag of clothes and a vacuum today.  It is so convenient to have curbside pickup for donations once a month.  I will miss that when I move out to my property.  I cleaned out my dresser and entry closet.  I have so much more to do but so little time before my nephew comes back next week and school starts again.  I hope to continue the progress.  Maybe I'll have more free time this year since my nephew should be able to drive himself around soon.  Next year I won't have any excuses.  My nephew will go off to college and I will be in home sale mode.  I'll have to get rid of stuff or make it fit in the already full mobile home.

It's after 10pm now and I am tired.  This keyboard and Kindle together are awesome.  I'm so glad I thought of this instead of spending another $150 on a netbook. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Mortgage Update for June 2016

Another $1,200 contribution to the principle of my mortgage for a total of $32,099.  1 year 10 months to go.  It is great to have this break from thinking about my nephew's school progress, but, with the extra room in my brain, I have started thinking about how I can speed up my plan.  Nothing has worked out so far.  When I have to consider another person in my plans, it is best to just continue as I am doing.

Here are some of the things I thought:

Get a cash-out refinance because my current interest rate is 4.5% and the 15 year interest rate is 2.8%.  Take out $20K, fix up the kitchen and master bath in my house and be ready to sell (or rent it out) as soon as he leaves for college next year.

Or, the super-fast forward version:  Take out $50K, pay back my mother for the barn-shed, fix up the house to sell, finish off the barn-shed interior.  Everything finished by the time he goes to college.

But, from what I read, cash-out refinances are not a good choice because of the high closing costs.  Home equity lines of credit are a better choice because there are no closing costs.

Ok, so a home equity line of credit would work for the kitchen and bath remodel.  But then I went out to the property to get the mail and check on the cat food/water.  In the mail was a big packet for BACK TO SCHOOL.  Medical forms, open house, meetings, deadlines, fundraisers, senior, choir and youth group activities, yearbooks, cap and gowns, HOMEWORK!  My brain suddenly froze up and those lofty ideas of doing remodeling while having a full time job and parenting a senior in high school flew away.  I should stick to my plan of paying off my mortgage and downsizing until he is 18 years old and securely planted in college.  One more year and then I can revisit my options for accelerating semi-retirement.   We can do this!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Travels and Travails

I'm back from Washington state!  It was a rushed trip with very little down time but that was good because I wanted to get back home.  Let's start with last Wednesday.  I got my 40 pounds of chicken breasts.  The 40 pounds of chicken thighs which I got last month, arrived flash frozen.  I expected them to be not frozen.  So, I thought the breasts might be flash frozen too.  My plan was to toss them in the freezer at my mobile home and get back to work.  They were not frozen so luckily, I had a box of freezer bags there and I stuffed the chicken in all of the bags.  That was done and I rushed back to work. 

On Thursday, my mother came to my house to spend the night before our trip.  Friday morning, my mother, nephew and I loaded up her car and we drove to the Phoenix airport because Southwest Airlines does not fly between Tucson and Phoenix on the days we wanted.  After not being able to find the economy parking lot 3 times, we ended up in $25/day parking but my mother graciously paid. 

This is how we found our car when we returned. Took a picture of the parking map. It worked well.

 We made it to the gate and my nephew and I went on a hunt for lunch food.  Once on the plane, I pulled out the Kindle Fire that I bought for my mother with this trip in mind.  There is a whole story behind that which I should tell you.  Here's the short version:
Mom's computer dies.
I look for computer alternatives and find a Chrome Bit for $85. (It's a Google computer that runs apps)
I try to buy all of the components on Amazon needed to turn a Chrome Bit in to a complete computer.
I need something to add to my order to get free shipping.
I see a Kindle Fire on sale for $40.
I think this might be good for the trip and as an interim way for my mother to get her email.
I start to think that Amazon Prime might be a good idea.
I sign up for Amazon Prime and cancel my mother's Netflix since she can use mine (I have the 2 screen plan).

Ok, so, I downloaded some movies on to the Kindle.  Unfortunately, I didn't think to buy noise cancelling headphones so my mother could not hear the movie on the plane.  I worked great for me though.  She was able to take it home and get it connected to her wifi so she has email access until I bring her Chrome Bit down tomorrow.

My sister was waiting to pick us up from the airport and drive us another hour and 45 minutes to the rehearsal dinner where we met the groom's family.  The next day was the wedding.  Simple and sweet, the bride bought her dress for $11 at the thrift store.  Sounds like something I would do.  There was a brunch reception and then off to pick up a headstone for my father's grave.  Yes, we mixed a wedding and burial in the same weekend.  That night was a barbeque at my other sister's house.  The next day was the burial and then ice cream and good-bye's to everyone. 

My nephew stayed another night with my sister while my mother and I went home.  It was 112 degrees at 7pm in Phoenix when we landed.  We got home around 9:30pm and I was so happy to be home.  My nephew is now safely at his grandfather's house in Minnesota and I have 3 weeks of not having to think about another person's wants and needs.  Maybe I can get some cleaning and organizing done around the house, that is, if I don't squander my free time watching all the free TV shows and movies that I now have access to on Amazon Prime!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My Enthusiasm for Painting has Dwindled

I had high hopes for last week but, sadly, it didn't cooperate.  Thursday was good.  After work I picked up my nephew and we met my sister for dinner.   Afterwards, we went to her hotel for some lovely night swimming, or I should say "floating" because that is mainly what we did.  I took a vacation day on Friday and my sister gamely met me at 8am out at my property for more painting fun.  I was excited to try out my new paint sprayer.  Unfortunately, I didn't read all of the reviews so I missed the part where it doesn't work well with latex paint.  The description said "thinned latex paint" but when I thinned it, it was so thin that it didn't cover and just dripped everywhere.  After 3 hours of messing with it, I switched to a brush to get the edges covered before I roasted in the sun. 

I still didn't get the upper panel done in the back.  My sister was a big help and painted the groves on the south side of the barn-shed.  That afternoon it rained.  Oh well, The back side is just going to have to wait until I have time to go out there again.  Later on I read all the reviews for the paint sprayer.  The one I bought cost $75 and the one that says it can spray latex costs $130.  I don't think I want to even try another sprayer.  I was just as messy with a sprayer as I was with a brush and I worked at about the same speed. 

I had also scheduled a permit inspection to close out the current permit which is just for the barn-shed to be legal on my property.  I waited until noon but no inspector showed up.  On Saturday, I remembered to check the inspection results online.  It said FAILED.  The reason was that the inspector couldn't find the address and said that I didn't answer my phone.  That is so frustrating!  I never got a call and this was the same inspector as last time so you would think he would know where it was or use google maps or something.  Next time I will have to leave explicit instructions on the recorded message and hope that he can find it.

Besides those two disappointing things, we have been trying to get my nephew's 10 hours of night driving practice done before he goes on his summer travels.  As of today we have 2 1/2 hours left and we plan to do an hour tonight.  He has come such a long way since those first terrifying trips back in February.  A friend wants me to drive around with her son who is learning to drive because she is too nervous.  I can't say I'm eager to do that.

Tomorrow I need to sneak out of work for an hour while I go pick up my Zaycon Fresh 40 pounds of chicken and stuff it in my freezer in my mobile home.  I'll sort it in to smaller bags when I return from my niece's wedding.  Good thing I have 2 freezers because the one at the house is already full of chicken thighs.  So much to do and organize!  I thought my life was going to slow down when school got out but so far it hasn't happened.