Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Past Few Months

Maybe if I work on this synopsis of the last few months a few minutes a day, I will catch up.

  1. The move: As you know, my mother bought a house and we both moved in mid-August. It has been non-stop activity since and it is still on-going. I am very tired of moving!
  2. My mother's townhouse: We decided to tackle moving my mother's stuff out of her townhouse first because it was smaller than my house and close by. When we had removed most of the personal items, we asked our realtor how much stuff to leave for "staging"and what to take out. The realtor came over, gave some suggestions (less is more) and commented that another realtor in her office had some out of town clients looking in the area the next day. My mother gave her permission to show it even though it hadn't been cleaned and was still in disarray. Surprisingly, the people liked the townhouse and made a full price offer. We were thrilled and made plans to move the rest of the stuff out. It was hot and a lot of work but with a rented Uhaul truck and two rented guys, we got it done.
    Unfortunately, ALL of the stuff, including the trash, was now at the new house. We are still sorting through it.
  3. My house in Tucson: It has been very hot and finding the time to drive to my house, 45 minutes away, has been difficult. I have made a few trips, car loads, pick-up truck loads.
    What remains is the miscellaneous, most of which can be given away or taken to my property. These things are most tools, gardening items, fencing, anything I won't be needing in the suburbs. The new backyard has very little garden space. I've been throwing old seeds out by the drip system emitters. That's the extent of my gardening, at the moment. The new house does have roses and citrus trees so keeping those alive is enough responsibility for now. This week, my handyman has begun the repairs I need to do before I list it for sale. I do want to replace the kitchen cabinets but haven't figured out exactly what to replace them with. Maybe IKEA cabinets if I can take a day off.
  4. The dogs: I got Francis adopted the Saturday before I moved. That was very fortunate as she was the most energetic and the loudest barker. I brought 4 dogs to the new house and talked to all of my neighbors who were home to let them know to tell me if the dogs bothered them. Everyone was fine...until last week. The snowbirds who live on the corner came back and the dogs barked like crazy when they heard new voices. The neighbors complained to the homeowner's association and we got a visit from them. Turns out the neighbors like to eat breakfast in their backyard. So, out came the bark collars and I had a nice chat with the neighbors and gave them my number in case the dogs start barking again. BUT...I also got my last foster dog adopted last week and we finally got solid gates on the fence so the dogs can't see the people who walk down the alley. Big improvements.
  5. Living with my mother: It's a work in progress. Between moving, selling my house, my job, and regular life stuff, I don't have a lot of time. My mother wants to watch movies and I just want to take a nap. She does the grocery shopping and the dishes, which is very nice. I make dinner on the weekends and try to have enough leftovers for the week.
  6. Rental house #1: I got a notice that the tenants were moving out in August. Almost immediately, I got a notice that new people were moving in. There are always repairs and cleaning bills so I waited for the email. The second week in September, I got an email from the management company that said I needed to authorize $2500 in expenses so that the tenants could move in in 3 days. I was like, um, no, you're fired. They were apologetic and re-did the estimate.
    I looked at the property and decided to pay for carpet replacement, got my handyman to clean up the yard, and took a day off work to paint the walls with my handyman which only cost $350 rather than the $1,100 that was quoted to me. I also took down the old window shades and put up shear curtains.
    The tenants decided not to move in but I got to keep their $850 deposit and new tenants have since signed a lease. Hopefully, Rental house #1 will be stable for a while.
  7. Rental house #2: My tenant, the one that was living out in my mobile home and then I bought this little house in town for him to rent, has decided to move to Brazil at the end of the month. He wants me to help him re-home his 2 dogs and 2 cats. Unfortunately, I am not in a position to foster so I can only help with advertising them. Soon, I will need to find a new tenant. I've had a few inquiries but the area of town that it is in isn't the greatest and I don't think either of the single women who inquired would want to live there. Someone will appreciate it though. Hopefully, a responsible person who always pays their rent on time.
  8. My mobile home property: It's being totally neglected. I go out there to collect the mail once a month. The weeds are taking over. I hate seeing it like that but I don't have the time or money to work on it yet. Once my house sells, maintaining the property will be easier.
    Maybe I will even have some money for more improvements like bringing electricity to the barn-shed and building more fencing or walls to keep out the snakes.
  9. My job: It is going crazy. They let one person go from our office and they have asked me to go to out plant in Mexico twice a week. So far, I've only been going once a week because I get so behind on my emails when I go down there. I want to take some time off to work on the house that I will be selling but I just seem to be getting more and more behind every day. I think I will take a half day every Friday anyway because I have some vacation time to use before December. Since I'm going to the Mexico plant, I've finally started trying to learn some Spanish. I downloaded the Duolingo app on my phone and I have practiced every night for 2 weeks. The beginning stuff was easy because I did have Spanish in high school but it is quickly getting harder. The most of the people at the plant speak English but I tell them all that I am trying to learn so they teach me new words. Todays word was carrots: zanahorias. 

There you go. The quick synopsis. My home computer is still dead and I don't have the new laptop they are supposed to be buying me yet. Maybe next month.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Bumps in the Road

I'm still here! Yes, I moved in with mother and everything has been on over-drive ever since.  I have a lot to catch up on but I am trying to type this on my little phone. My home computer is stuck in an automatic repair loop of death. My job has picked up speed, I have to go to our plant in Mexico twice a week now.  They are going to buy me a laptop which should be here at the end of the month so I guess that is good because I won't have to replace my desktop computer just yet. Oh, and our IT guy at work said he would help me recover my data.

Mom and the dogs.

Anyway, I wanted you all to know I am alive and well and I hope to post a real update soon.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Moving In, Maybe

Moving day tomorrow! The wall project got approved by the HOA architectural committee and my handyman has been working on raising the wall from 4' to 6' this week. The sliding glass door isn't installed in my bedroom yet but I am determined to get moved in this weekend. I've been taking bags and boxes to the new house every time I go there but tomorrow I'm taking the dogs and that marks the official move day because I will be sleeping there from now on. Home is where the dogs are. After that, I'll help my mom bring her stuff over.  

On Sunday, I will move the quail and another load of stuff. So far, I'm bringing a lot of stuff but hardly any furniture. I am leaving some furniture for staging the house for sale. My handyman decided that he can't afford to buy my house right now. That means I will have to go ahead with my remodeling plan to get my house ready to list. That's probably for the best. House prices in my neighborhood are going up and up. It almost makes me want to rent but I'd rather just get the money and invest it. Two rental houses is enough for me.

I got a dog adopted! The dog that came back after being adopted as a puppy 5 years ago, she got adopted to a nice young lady who likes to go for runs and hikes. That's exactly the kind of person she needed. I am so glad that I have one less dog to move to the new house.

There are still a lot of projects to do at the new house. On Monday, I'll get the sliding glass door for my bedroom so that I can use my sliding door dog door. Then I'll get a small patio cover over it for rainy days. Then my mother bought a bathroom vanity and sink top and also wants a new toilet, tub, and tile. By then, I should have all of my belonging out of my house and will want the handyman to start fixing up my house. So much to do! I only have $15k to work with so I had better use it wisely.I need new kitchen cabinets and to remodel the master bath just to name a few things. The list is long. Whew, I'm tired. Wish I could sleep in tomorrow but no, I can't put this off any longer! 

Update- I went by the house this evening and the wall is only about 20% complete. How disappointing.  I'm still going to move in tomorrow. If the dogs bark too much with the workmen there, we'll go back to my house during the week when I have to work. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Slow Progress

Yes, I am still here and doing fine. Things are chaotic with the new house and renovations. We finally got the keys on the 14th and I brought a load of stuff down to put in the closet because I thought it didn't need any work but then Mom suggested that we get the popcorn ceiling texture removed while the house was empty. The living/dining room, master bedroom, and half of the closet had popcorn texture. Almost all of the house needed paint so I couldn't bring any more stuff there. So far, 80% is painted, the popcorn is gone, and there is white dust everywhere. The ceilings have been re-textured and I think they got painted today. Mom didn't like the brown light fixtures so last Friday we went shopping for brushed nickel fixtures with white shades. They got installed today. 

Next on the list is painting the inside of the garage and then most likely covering the countertops with something of a lighter color than black. I submitted the application and project plans for raising the wall in the backyard and adding a sliding door and patio cover. The HOA (homeowner's association) has to approve all outside changes. Hopefully, I will get their approval next week so that the handyman can get started. It will be a lot easier to bring the dogs if the wall is high. I don't want them barking at every person walking by.

Our monsoons are in full swing. It is hot and humid and my evaporative cooler only makes it sweatier inside my house. The rain usually dries up by August so I am hopeful that it won't be so humid when I have to move. 10 minutes of breaking down garden fencing left me a sweaty mess last weekend and the only comfortable spot was sitting in front of the fan. I continued to box up my nephew's stuff and the boxes were soggy. 3 more boxes got mailed to his grandfather's house, 3 more to go, and 3 more to be shipped later to college. I asked him where he wanted his stuffed animals to go and he said to college. Awww. That's cute.

My internet went out for 4 days last weekend. It was strange to be away from it for so long. I still had broadcast TV so I wasn't totally cut-off. I tried to get all of the utilities turned on at the new house last week. I accidentally sent in the request to the wrong water company and the water got turned off on Monday. Mom told the neighbor and they turned it on for her. I think that was illegal but the water company was going to turn it on that morning anyway. 

There are 2 internet providers in this neighborhood, CenturyLink and Cox Cable. I wanted to go with CenturyLink since that's who I have now so I have a wifi modem/router but, as the Cox commercial says "We're in a slow zone". They can only offer 5Mbps. Cox can do whatever we are willing to pay for. I signed up for 15Mbps plus TV and phone, took half day off last Friday to wait for the technician and then found out they had rescheduled me for Monday without telling me. I cancelled that bundle and tried CenturyLink. They wanted to give me 5Mbps for $45/month. That's ridiculous. So, I went back to Cox and signed up for internet-only 15Mbps for $35/month. I had to buy a new modem/router but I got a used one off Amazon. I still need to activate it but I haven't had the time to dedicate to that chore. Oh, and I had dismantled my computer and brought it to the new house in anticipation of the technician showing up last week so now it sits in the house alone and I have to rely on my phone and Kindle. 

I unplugged the tiny house people's life support today (2 large extension cords). They are headed up to Idaho in search of permanent parking. It's too bad they didn't want to live on my mobile home property. Tiny houses are legal out there. Having to haul water is a turn-off for many people. They were here for 8 months! It was only going to be one month until they found something better but it turned in to much longer. I wish them the best. Maybe they will come back if Idaho doesn't turn out well.

Whew, we are making slow but steady progress on this moving thing. Maybe I'll be living in the new house in two weeks? It could happen.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

More of the Waiting Game

The rollercoaster ride continues. I don't like writing about things when they haven't been resolved so, forgive me for not writing about making an offer on the house. We did make an offer and then waited, and then the bank counter-offered, and then my mother counter-counter-offered, and we finally heard back on Saturday that they had accepted. Since this house is a foreclosure, there is extra paperwork and extra time for every step. The bank wanted to close on it this Friday, which was really fast, but our realtor told them we needed more time for the inspection so they were willing to stretch it out until July 7. Still really fast. The inspection will be on Friday and I will take the day off for the inspection and another half day for closing.

This is all so weird. I hate moving and change and this is going to take a lot of work at the hottest time of year. But at least the new house has air conditioning, unlike my current house with only evaporative cooling and the small A/C unit that I fit in the sliding door. 

It works great for getting to sleep before midnight but I have to dismantle it if my big dog needs to go out at 2am.

So, that's what's been going on. Just waiting on other people to make decisions. I still get a 4 day weekend for the fourth of July so I am looking forward to that. All of my weekends after that will involve moving or handymen or remodeling my house to put it up for sale. I just want to wave a magic wand and it will all be done.

Friday, June 16, 2017

House Hunting Again

Things have slowed down and sped up at the same time. The day to day things like high school stuff, grocery shopping, making dinner, doctors appointments, college prep, etc... have slowed drastically, which is a relief. My nephew has his class schedule for next semester but he needs to change one class because they signed him up for Survey of Math and he has already taken Calculus I in high school. He is waiting to find out his score on the AP Calculus test (not until July 9) so he will know which math class to add or if he doesn't need anymore math, maybe he can get a natural science core out of the way. 

The big goals have sped up. The porch cover was finished on my barn-shed. Gutters and water collection tank will be attached some time in the future. There isn't a desperate need for it since my water tanks are pretty much full right now and it is so hot that I don't want to go out there to do it. 

My mother and I went to look at houses for sale in the neighborhood close to where she lives. We weren't expecting to find any that would work for us but a couple of them did. We are going to put an offer in on one on Monday. The yard is not as large as I would like but there is a large Arizona room where I can make an "indoor dog park". It connects to the master bedroom and bathroom and then there is a walk-in closet and then the closet has another closet! I think I will have enough storage space. My mother will have the other half of the house including 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen, dining room, and a big living room with a fireplace.  
 Big enough for my indoor dog park. Just needs a dog door.

The walk-in closet has it's own closet. I think that would be enough room.

The kitchen needs some style help but it is big enough.

I'm still looking for new listings though because one of those houses with the extra large lots is going to come up for sale one of these days! I just know it.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Luxury of Time

Nephew update:  He has a job at Mc Donald's.  I shipped 3 boxes and his golf clubs for arrival on Friday (Note to self, never ship golf clubs again.  Too expensive.)  There are 6-8 more boxes but I am going to wait to ship them until he asks for them since some things should be shipped straight to college in August.  His grandfather is trying to convince him to buy a laptop instead of a gaming computer.  I'm staying out of it.  That's about all I know.  He doesn't communicate much so I'm going to assume that no news is good news.    

This was mid-sorting.
Now that I'm not worrying about my nephew's whereabouts, meals, homework, screen-time, etc... my brain has so much time to think about all of the things I've been putting off.  I threw out all of the trash in nephew's room and put 85% of the stuff in boxes on the bed which I have left open so that I can find things.  I cleaned out any food that I bought for nephew and that I don't want to eat like Kraft Mac and Cheese and Hamburger Helper.  I'm going to drop it off at my tenant's house along with a big bag of dog food donated from the dog rescue and a table top bbq with leftover charcoal.  I'm really not the bbq type.

Today I took a half day off to wait for the water delivery truck to deliver 3,500 gallons of water to my new tank at the mobile home/barn-shed property.  The guy filled my 3,000 gallon tank, then put around 300 gallons in another tank.  Then I thought we could empty the truck into the 300 gallon tank but when it was filling, suddenly water started pouring out.  There was a 2 foot crack starting halfway around the tank.  Dismayed, I tried to think of how to save my water and ended up stuffing a plastic grocery bag inside so that it poked through the crack and slowed the leak to a trickle.  I wasn't planning on having to transfer water today but it was clear that it would leak out if I left it so I set up the pump and hose.  I suspect it got cracked when the neighbors helped my tenant get water when he was living here.  They took the tank in the back of their pickup and it looks like it was shoved out too many times.  The tank was very old and brittle so I'm not surprised.  I'm going to try to repair it and still use it for rainwater collection like I had planned.

Crack in tank with temporary plastic bag fix.
 While I was waiting for the water to transfer to the other tank, I dropped off 3 bags of clothes and 1 box of toys with a friend.  She'll find a new home for everything.  I stopped at Dairy Queen for a hot dog and drink and drove back to finish up the water transfer.  As soon as I pulled up I realized there was something wrong with the car and, sure enough, the passenger side tire had a side-wall gash.  Not wanting to use the cheap car jack on gravel, I called AAA.  I figured they would arrive by the time I finished transferring the water.  Unfortunately, they got lost and I ran out of drinkable water (I wasn't expecting to be there that long).  Next time I go out to there I must remember to bring reserves.  It was 105F out there.  Too hot!  I miss not having a refrigerator there since I moved it to the rental house but I will bring the fridge from my house as soon as I find a nicer replacement.  At least I had a window A/C which I stood in front of whenever I wasn't moving stuff around outside.

AAA arrived and changed the tire and I drove slowly to the tire shop.  A coworker picked me up so that I could spend 2 hours going through my email.  I'm going to have a lot to do tomorrow to catch up.  My coworker dropped my off at the tire store on the way home and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the tire was under warranty and they only charged me $10 for labor. That was a relief. I'm glad I am safely at home now and I have crossed a few more chores off of my list.

Here's a layout of my property so that you know what I am talking about.  This is not where I am currently living, it's just used for storage at this point, but it is where I hope to retire someday soon.  I put the water tank on the hill to use gravity to my advantage and for ease of filling.  Eventually, I would like to have all rainwater catchment but I don't have enough roof area yet.

1- Shed. 2- Mobile home. 3- Barn-shed (someday tiny house) 4- New water tank.
This is the memorial tree for my father that my coworkers gave me almost two years ago.  It has more than doubled in size.

Just a reminder that the rattlesnakes are nearby in case I forget. This was under the water tank when we tipped it up along with a fat packrat.

Next Items on the List:
-Bring food and bbq to tenant.
-Dog adoption event.
-Pick a day to go look at houses with Mom.

It's nice to be making progress.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

We're All Graduated!

The week I have been both looking forward to and dreading is finally over. It has been the end goal ever since my nephew came back to live with me two years ago. GRADUATION WEEK! and all that went with it. It began with my birthday, then Mother's Day, the Choir concert, Honor's night, Choir Awards Banquet, Choir Lock-In, Graduation, my sister visiting, and celebratory dinner with nephew, sister and mother. Whew, done. 

My sister went home today after taking my nephew shopping for college clothes. We went to a final doctor's appointment for a booster shot and enough asthma and allergy medicine to hold my nephew over until he goes to Minnesota on Saturday where he will be magically cured of all that ails him. Well, at least, it seems that he doesn't have as many allergic reactions back there which is funny because "the desert" used to be the place for less allergies. But, his grandfather doesn't have pets except for the next door dog which visits and there is less dust although there is more mold. 

For the remaining days until he leaves, we will shovel through his room and make the appropriate piles for immediate use, college use, and storage. Then I will ship his things off to Minnesota including the golf clubs which were shipped here from Minnesota but never used because he lost interest. His grandfather golfs so hopefully they will get some use again.

It's an exciting time of change and possibilities for us. My nephew is excited because he has enough money to buy his own gaming computer now with no parental controls or screen time limits (I keep warning him that he still has to do his homework or reap the consequences). And I am excited to get on with the cleaning out of this house and selling of it so that the mortgage and home equity line of credit can be paid off before my mother and I buy a house together. The weather has moved in to the 100's this week so that puts a bit of a damper on my enthusiasm but at least I will have less to do on the weekends and less grocery shopping. It's time for super-saver frugal mode while I eat all of the leftovers in the house and get organized once again.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

That Day Again

Last Saturday morning was gloriously calm and slow. I was cooking up some late-morning pancakes when the phone rang. Now, I knew there was a possibility of me getting a dog returned but I had hoped that it wouldn't be for a few more weeks since they had to take her to the shot clinic first to get the shots up to date. So, I answer the phone and it's the people with the dog asking when it is a good time to meet. Ok, might as well get it over with. I told them to call me after the shots since that can take hours at the cheap clinic and then we would meet at the dog park. I brought my dog, Toto, because he enjoys car rides and we picked up Sadie, the puppy I adopted out 5 years ago. I also got the rest of the story. The guy had been married when he adopted her but since got divorced and remarried, has a 1 yr old and his wife is pregnant again. Sadie, being a high energy dog, wasn't tolerated well by the new wife. I can empathize but there are things one can do to keep an energetic dog occupied. They just take time and patience. 

So, now I get to do those things to keep an energetic dog occupied until we can find her a new family. Trainers say to tire out a dog, they need physical and mental activity. First off, I don't run. I also like to sleep in. This dog likes to run and likes to get up early. I've been getting up at 6am and taking her and Toto for a walk. It's only 15 minutes or so but it's a huge accomplishment for me and the dogs like it. Then we practice her sit, down, shake. I go off to work and hope she behaves. She isn't a big chewer and hasn't destroyed anything, much to my relief. When I come home, I take the 3 slow dogs for a short walk and then exchange them for Toto and Sadie and we go on a longer walk. I throw the ball around the back yard and then put her in her crate at 8pm with something to chew on like a bully stick or Kong toy filled with kibble and peanut butter. It's worked so far and she has even been staying quiet in her crate until I go get her at 6:30am although I need to get up earlier than that to not be late to work.

I would really like to be able to hitch her to a cart and have her pull me around but carts are too expensive and I don't have the time to design my own. So, I borrowed a bike from a friend and bought a leash attachment bar for $15 on Ebay to keep her away from the wheels. The attachment will be delivered on Saturday and I hope it works. 

I would love to be able to get enough speed on the bike for her to run.

Ok, enough about the dog, even though that's been my main focus all week. Today is my birthday. 45 years old and I am not retired yet or semi-retired. I am still at my same job that is "meh", but gives me adequate money. My new retirement goal is still 2-3 years away although I really like the security that comes with knowing that I could survive if I quit my job today. I want to do more than merely survive though so I will keep working towards that goal. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

More Presents for Me

I like the idea of having a whole birthday month.  I have to work on my birthday anyway, so might as well spread out the fun throughout the whole month of May.  Last weekend, I arranged to have my barn-shed painted.  My handyman has a sprayer and it was just easier to pay him to do it than rent a sprayer from Home Depot 40 minutes away.  It took him and his helper around 6 hours to do it but it is finished and finally completely protected from the weather, even that top back panel I couldn't reach last year.

It still needs the trim painted white but I can do that later myself.

While they were painting, I was inside the mobile home cleaning up after the tenant who didn't exactly leave the place spotless.  Ok, so it wasn't exactly spotless when he moved in last July either.  There was dust on everything and I only got 2/3 of if clean.  I'll go out again next month after I get my water tank, get water delivered, and after my nephew leaves.  

Earlier that morning, at 3am to be exact, I had looked at Facebook after letting my dog out to pee.  I had been checking the garage sale sites daily for a washer and dryer but hadn't seen one.  Now, at 3am, I saw a set within my price range.  There was a phone number to call but, of course, I didn't call at that time.  I left a comment and then waited to call in the morning.  Then I got the cash out of the bank and brought my hand truck, just in case.  Around 10am, The seller replied to my comment that the washer/dryer set were pending sale.  Oh well, I assumed I had lost them.  About 45 minutes later, he posted again that they were still available.  I called immediately but he said another couple was coming to see them so I agreed to wait.  I was sure they were sold for the second time.  He called me back in an hour and said they didn't buy them.  I was thrilled and arranged to switch vehicles with my nephew because he had the truck and begged my handyman to take a break from painting to help me load them.  As you can see, happy birthday to me.  I got them!

I don't have a hook up for an electric dryer yet but my coworker said he would help me install an outlet when I am ready for it.

The washer is temporarily in the living room.  Later, I'll move it to the storage room in the back and hook up water and a grey-water drain that will go to my mesquite tree.

I was so excited to have a washing machine at the mobile home again.  I carried 15 gallons of water by jug and washed the curtains, then hauled the water to the mesquite tree.  I don't have much water out there now so I will wait until I have my new 3000 gallon water tank filled with water and then hook up an inlet hose.  The tank was delivered to the store on the other side of town and I am waiting for my handyman to be available to haul it to my property with his flat-bed trailer.

In other news, I got a new dog.  I know, mother, I'm trying to get less dogs, not more.  Hopefully, I will find a new home for her before I move.  If not, the rescue group will find her a new foster home.  She was one of a mom and pups that I fostered 5 years ago.  It was actually around the same time that my parents and nephew came to live with me.  She got adopted by a family but the people got divorced and remarried and now have small children and she is a very energetic dog.  I think the new wife just didn't like her.  She needs a family that will play with her and take her jogging.

As the only female in a house full of 4 male dogs, she tired of the unwanted attention.  She jumped on the chair with my nephew and booped Jimmy-dog on the head as if to say, "Leave me alone."

This was her when she was a puppy in my backyard.

And this was her mother.  I would call mom a chow chow-cattle dog mix.  Daddy was probably a lab-pit bull mix.

So, I will be trying hard to find her a family.  She doesn't have any medical issues, gets along with large and small dogs and cats, and knows sit, down, shake, and is house trained and kennel trained.  All I need is to find a jogger who wants a partner, bonus points if he/she works from home.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Master List

Let's check the progress on my never-ending to-do list:

Laundry - Fixed!  The handyman found the leak in the wall in the drain pipe behind the sink.  Someone had over-tightened the cap and cracked the pipe which eventually grew to be a big leak.  It's a good thing we hadn't used the toilet in that bathroom because, Eew, it uses the same drain.  The laundry water was leaking under the kitchen cabinets and now I know what was causing the moldy smell.

All fixed now.  I sprayed the inside of the wall down with bleach, and the handyman will come back later to repair the drywall.  It is so nice to be able to do laundry without the added hassle of draining it into a trashcan and then emptying it by bucket in to the sink.

Dog - Adopted!  A family came to meet Sassy at the big adoption event but they needed to wait a week since the wife was out of town.

Last Sunday, I took Sassy over to their house to meet their other dog and cats.  Things went really well and they love her and want to keep her.  It is exactly the kind of family I wanted for her because she is affectionate and loves attention and there are many people in their household to give her attention, plus the parents really like her too.  With my nephew leaving and me moving in with my mother, Sassy would get even less attention from me.  And, she gets 3 walks a day!

Visitors - My sister stopped by on her way through the state.  We had dinner and then floated around her hotel pool and caught up on news.  Then Aidan's grandfather stayed with us Monday and Tuesday nights.  He was in very good spirits and it was a pleasant visit for all.

Glasses - My nephew and I spend 2 hours at the eye doctor getting a new prescription and picking out a new pair of glasses for him.  He will be off of my insurance when he turns 18 this summer so we need to get these things done now.

Truck - The check engine light went on in the truck that my nephew drives.  I switched vehicles with him and took it into the shop.  $400 for a new fuel injector, system flush and oil change.  Hopefully, it will pass emissions testing this week.

Barn-shed- I didn't take stuff out to the barn-shed because I decided to stuff it into the extra bathroom instead.  It worked.  My living room actually looks like a functioning living room now.
 I wanted it to look good when visitors came but they never went in that room.  They didn't know how bad it looked before anyway.  Oh well, it looks better to me.  I plan to take stuff out to my barn-shed and mobile home (once I clean it) on Saturday and Monday (I'm taking the day off work).

Pre-birthday Present - I was tired of spending money on necessities and decided to splurge on a 3,000 gallon water tank for the property.  I would have done this 2 years ago instead of buying the above ground pool as a temporary water tank but I didn't have the money then.  It cost $1,537 with tax and will cost me a little more to have my handyman deliver it with his flat bed trailer in a few weeks.  Then, I will spend $150 to have it filled with water.  That should be enough water to last until I get some rainwater collection systems hooked up.  It will soon be too hot to work on any big projects outside so this is my safety net if/when I sell my house and need to move out to my property before my mother and I find a house to buy together. 

Tiny House People - The tiny house people are staying another month.  I told them that I was planning to sell the house this summer.  I wish I could get their tiny house out to my property but I think the road might be too uneven and narrow.  We are planning to go out there this weekend to evaluate it. 

New Rental house - The new rental house is doing well.  The tenant is paying his own utilities so I am looking forward to a lower electric bill.  The washer is working well and the tenant loves having unlimited water.  I know the feeling.  Hauling one's own water is a tedious and difficult chore. 

May is looming on the horizon.  Only 2 weeks of high school left, then one week of finals and graduation.  The airline tickets were cheapest on Wednesday and Saturday of the following week, so I let my nephew pick.  He chose Saturday so he will have a week to relax after graduation before he moves to Minnesota and gets a job.  I'm trying to enjoy these last days with my nephew but everything is so busy and time keeps marching on. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Moving Things Around

Whew, I took an extra day off to make it a 4 day weekend but there was still so much running around.  One of these days I'm going to get to stay home.  On Thursday, I took Sassy to her vet appointment and dropped my other foster dog at the groomer for a trim.

Got home around 11 and made some breakfast/lunch.  Watched some TV and procrastinated because I was supposed to be doing my taxes.  Worked on my taxes enough to realize that since my nephew turned 17 last year, I couldn't claim the EIC credit for him.  Sadness.  I ended up owing $1200!  That was a shock.  I will have to adjust my withholding again.  And this year is the last year I will get to be Head of Household.  I go back to being just plain Single with the high taxes that go with it.  Plus, I'll have rental income from the second rental.  Taxes galore!  I need to retire soon and reduce my income.

Later in the day, someone wanted to meet my foster dog and that went well.  Then, my nephew had a Fine Arts demonstration at his high school where he sang two songs with his choir.  I was late but made it for the last song.

On Friday, my nephew and I had planned to move the love seat, dresser, dog pool and bike for my tenant, but first, my mother misplaced her keys so we drove over to help her out and she bought us lunch.  Then we went out to the property and loaded up the truck.  We had some trouble keeping the plastic pool inside the truck bed even with a cargo net so I had to stop and stuff in behind our seats.  The stuff made it safely to its destination and the nice neighbors helped us unload.  On the way home we got blocked by a stopped train so we went home the long way but that was ok because we went by the good car wash (the one that costs $5 and actually uses soap) and got the truck washed.  We made it home by 6.

Saturday was the big adoption event at the Tucson Expo Center.  One person came in to meet Sassy and they reserved her pending a visit to their house and their 10 cats. (yes, TEN!)  We shall see how that goes later this week.

 Sunday was Easter and we spent it with my mother and also celebrated her birthday which was the weekend before but she was out of town.  Got home at 5 and took a short nap to try to get rid of my headache.  Then, time to finish my taxes and file them. (Goodbye $1200).  I did get $450 back from the state from prepaying my taxes to public and private schools so I guess that's not so bad.

I don't think I mentioned how the move went last weekend.  It took longer than planned and was a really windy day but we didn't lose anything on the road and my nephew got a lot of experience driving the truck with a full load (the bed, refrigerator, and other belongings) 50 minutes across town.  I am so glad that is over and my tenant is settled in.  He is paying for his own utilities now too so I expect my electric bill to decrease dramatically (and even more so when the tiny house people leave next month).  I do love paying tenants but, oh my gosh, I need to simplify and consolidate some things.

Next steps: 
Take Sassy to meet her potential adopters sometime this week.
Take my other foster to meet the lady's husband and dog (if they are still interested).
Take some stuff from the house and put it in the barn-shed for storage so that I can organize my house.
Clean the mobile home and haul the trash away. 
Get handyman to fix the drip edge on my roof and grease the evaporative cooler because it is embarrassingly LOUD and I am trying not to run it even though it is in the mid-90's here.
Get handyman to rearrange the laundry area so that I don't have to drain the washer into a trashcan and empty it with a bucket anymore.  That is getting old.

Plus, one of my sisters is visiting and Aidan's grandfather is visiting next week.  Only 5 weeks until high school graduation!  We can make it.