Friday, June 30, 2006

Final Walk Through

Well today is the big day! Last night after work I called the real estate agent to set up a final pre-closing walk-through for today. I was a bit surprised that he hadn’t called me yet to set up something, he’s seemed very honest and helpful. He and the mortgage banker have been the best I’ve dealt with so far—but of course it’s not done yet.

The agent seemed startled that I wanted to see the house again right before closing. But of course I do! There were tenants living in the house with pets and little children (no offense to people with either!) and some safety issues that I wanted fixed. So of course I want to do a walk through to make sure the house is clean and the way it looked when I made the offer. I just want to double-check that the tenants haven’t left a mess or wrecked anything, the requested repairs have been made, and the basement hasn’t suddenly flooded or anything. I would go so far as to postpone the closing if I couldn’t tour the house again right before the legalities. I’m investing a lot of money here and although everyone’s been very nice, it’s only smart to check it out before any problems that may have surfaced become MY problems!

Speaking of problems, I still don’t have a firm crew of movers. This is worrisome as the landlady is pressuring me to be out ASAP. It's certainly going to be a rough move if my son and I have to do it all. I've passed the day when I could lug heavy furniture down winding, tricky stairways all day! I've graduated into light furniture and box carrying!

I actually met the new tenants last night! Two girls came to the house as I was barefoot out on the lawn with the dog. They said they wanted to measure the hallway to decided how to move their furniture in, and so they did that first. After that I invited them inside the apartment, as one of them who will be lving there actually hadn’t see the apartment yet. So they measured the rooms inside as well.

Although they were very nice, polite and grateful to be allowed inside, they really aren't pet-oriented at all. During the measuring of the windows, etc. they accidently poked my dog twice with the measuring tape! Good thing she is even tempered and mild mannered. And one bumped into Ricky's (chinchilla) cage, causing him an earthquake. Most people, especially women, go nuts over Ricky, his soft, soft fur and cute little face and form. Not these two girls, he just was in the way for them.

There will be three girls renting the apartment, 18, 20 and 24 years old, none of whom have lived on their own before. This apartment is a nice place for a first apartment. I think they may get spoiled! I had looked long and hard and not found anything as nice in either the new city or the old.

The landlady was supposed to come over last night, but didn’t. I don’t know why she wanted to talk to me. And fireworks were going off all night long. The police radio was full of calls from people complaining about them! I kind of like to hear fireworks except last Thursday night when my neighbors were setting them off between our two buildings. The percussive effect of the fireworks sounded like it was going to shatter my bedroom window! The bright flashes were annoying when I was trying to sleep, too. I think someone finally called the police (I had the police radio shut off by then, when trying to sleep) so it finally became dark and quiet in the wee hours, not long before I had to get up for work.

It’s Friday, yay! Have a good day and a great weekend!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Goodbye to a friend

V-Man's beloved friend and companion, the puppy I gave him 16 years ago has died. He called me last Friday and told me to tell my son that if he wanted to see Dart again, he's better come down to the farm soon. My son worked until Tuesday, and V-Man brought Dart in to the vet on Monday. Dart was failing, couldn't get up and seemed distressed despite everything V-Man could do for him. My son had seen Dart a couple of years ago when V-Man and his girlfriend (now the ex who gave us the washer and dryer) had us over for a BBQ. That was the summer I was on that crazy 300-700 calorie a day diet and couldn't eat anything they had. Dart really liked the BBQ, as you can imagine!

V-Man lives alone and isolated on the farm. Dart was truly his friend and companion and will be missed. He was a good dog. Even as a little puppy he came with us on our early newspaper routes and heeled without a leash. V-Man's best friend went with him to the vet. They brought Dart back home and buried him on the farm beside his doggie friend Ren, who died about four or five years ago. I'll have to get out there soon, after the closing and moving are done, to pay tribune.

I actually found out about it on Tuesday, and this is Thursday. But it's been so hectic and crazy that I haven't had time to really process the fact. It's sad, really sad. I do hope there is such a thing as a doggie heaven, Dart has earned it.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My Life in a File Folder

Yesterday was such a busy hectic day at work, hope today will be better. Among the meetings, and mailings and big must-do-it-right-now projects I also had the mortgage banker calling and asking for this and that. They are going to have my entire life in one of their file folders! I've never had to supply so much information for any loan before.

I did find out the exact time and location of the closing, 2:00 on Friday afternoon. On Friday morning the banker will call me and give me the exact amount needed for the closing. I'll hurry across the bridge to my bank and get a cashier's check. I kind of like that last minute drama, it makes the transaction seem like the huge, life-changing interaction that it really is!

Thanks for the support yesterday about the friend issue. It's painful to lose a friend, especially a best friend of many years standing. But I'm feeling better (not feeling guilty that I didn't do my utmost best anymore) and sometimes people just go in different directions.

I did go to SLA's grandson's first birthday party last week. It was a BBQ and I was invited at the very last moment and had to pick up a gift downtown after work. The park was two blocks away from my new house. I did mention the house in what I thought was a tactful manner but nobody was that interested. SLA's family live next to the park and I'll be fairly near them. They were, however, interested in renting my apartment. So I gave them the landlady's phone numbers to call. I don't know if they did or not.

Last night I came home to son and new girlfriend on the living room couch. He had the day off and knows my schedule but must have gotten preoccupied, ha ha! I'd heard a lot about her but hadn't met her before. She is cute and very nice, easy to be around. And I've seen three tattoos on her so far. I like tattoos but would probably never get one myself. He made us all a pizza for dinner while I made three batches of iced carmel lattes. They watched a movie while I read the 11th Janet Evanovich book from the library. I told him that she fits in well with our family. I don't know if that's a compliment or not!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Snoopy banks and fading friends

I never did think up good stuff for the Human Virun Scanner joke, although a couple of people had some good ones. This morning I was busy gathering stuff for the mortgage bank, so again got a late start for blogging. They seem to be a lot fussier than I remember (of course those were different mortgage banks!) and require documentation about how many times I blink! I've not had to supply my bank statements for every bank that I have money (3), just the amounts in the previous mortgages. It's not really their business HOW I spend my money, just how much I have! I don't really like that, but that's what I have to do. They also wanted the settlement papers from the country house. I've not had to do that before, either. It could be because I just sold the house this year, or maybe because there have been a lot more defaults on mortgage loans lately and they've learned to be more careful.

My friend SLA lost her house last year. Her family (and I, a little bit, probably not enough...) tried to help at first. But it was a lost cause. She had taken several second mortgages to pay off her car and other bills and had a huge sum to pay each month--and she quit her job in February 2005 and hasn't really worked since.

What happened was a loser (yes, that sounds very unkind of me, but I'll explain later) friend of hers from high school made a reappearance in January 2005. The friend had just left her live-in drinking guy, was homeless and needed a place to stay. This friend brought her dog, which was not housebroken and bit SLA when she yelled at it for pooping all over her carpet. The friend encouraged SLA to quit her job, because it was too hard. The two of them went out many times a week to bars, the drinks were paid for because the friend is also pretty cute. Do I sound jealous and bitter? I am. SLA and I were best friends for 23 years and I was replaced by an old high school friend. The worse thing of it was that I could also see that this fun "new" friend was not good for SLA. Houseguest's car was taken back, even though she said she was making payments on it, because it belonged to her ex-live-in-boyfriend. He told her she was lucky that he hadn't reported her for stealing it!

Eventually the bank took back the house. SLA and Houseguest both found free apartments over here through the housing authority because they have no money. They couldn't live together anymore because housing doesn't allow roommates. Houseguest has various "boyfriends" to support her, while SLA's sister and niece give her money. I used to take her out to buy stuff too but quit when she was not interested in the job openings I'd find for her. SLA and Houseguest use her son's car, sleep in until 4:00 PM and they still go out at night. Do I sound disapproving? I am, even though it's judgemental of me. I still see her sometimes but not as much. Houseguest is always there and they're exchanging hard-luck poor-me stories all the time.

I've wanted to write about this for some time, but still feel a bit guilty at doing so. But now I have it off my chest. So, what do you do in a situation like that? I've been poor but always felt that I had to work, nobody owed me free living. They seem to be caught up in a dangerous lifestyle that's going nowhere, but I guess that's their own choice. It's sad. I still do give her job openings, though.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Things to think about

It's the start of a short week for me. But it will probably seem longer than normal. This Friday is the HOUSE CLOSING! It certainly seems like a long time ago that I signed the purchase agreement, but it's only been a bit over a week. So much has happened since then.

My friend Kathy sent me these. Some have been around for awhile and some are new, at least to me:

Here are a few things to think about:

Can you cry under water?

How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?

Why do you have to "put your two cents in".. but it's only a "penny for your thoughts"? Where's that extra penny going to?

Once you're in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?

Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

What disease did cured ham actually have?

How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?

Why is it that people say they "slept like a baby" when babies wake up like every two hours?

If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?

Why are you IN a movie, but you're ON TV?

Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

Why do doctors leave the room while you change? They're going to see you naked anyway.

Why is "bra" singular and "panties" plural?

Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?

If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a stupid song about him?

Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane?

If the professor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio out of a coconut, why can't he fix a hole in a boat?

Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs!

If Wiley E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME crap, why didn't he just buy dinner?

If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?

If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?

Why did you just try singing the two songs above?

Why do they call it an asteroid when it's outside the hemisphere, but call it a hemorrhoid when it's in your butt?

Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride; he sticks his head out the window?

Do you ever wonder why you gave me your e-mail address in the first place?

That is all for this morning, gotta get to work. Have a good Monday!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Good Timing

I've been alternating between great joy at the impending house closing and worry and fear that things won't work out as well as I'd hoped. Yesterday I received a vote of confidence from the government!

I've been worrying a bit about the closing costs, which are always more than you think--even after buying three other houses (shouldn't I know by now? but it always changes in the setup). I have more than enough money but want some left in reserve and also want to put up a garage, if possible. And then there's paying all the movers. We've been paying them more each time as a bribery and now it's up to $100 apiece! Quite a bite for me plus the truck and food and drink and everything else.

I took my little dog outside and sat on the front steps to go through the mail. There were some junk mail pieces, no bills, but a small, flat envelope from my old state. It was my state tax return for $29 over the amount I'd estimated that I'd be needing in cash to pay everything! Well, of course I knew it was coming, did the tax form after all, but the timing couldn't have been better!

Early yesterday I hit some rummage sales looking for some decent living room furniture. I dearly love my vintage rattan couch and loveseat but they're pretty rough around the edges and we plan to put them in the family room and have better furniture in the living room. Living with my Mom spoiled me! Her stuff, while not exactly my taste, looked SO nice in the living room that I was sold. Maybe I don't want the house looking like a college dorm after all!

The trouble is, I have a pretty exact image of what I want in a living room set. Needless to say, I didn't find it yesterday yet. Of course there's new furniture but I'm not about to pay hundreds of dollars for it, what a rip off! My friend SLA has a gorgeous couch and loveseat in a tweedy light blue. That's exactly what I want for our living room! Maybe I could buy it off of her, but I doubt it. She likes them pretty well. Her grown kids found them at a rummage sale and bought them for her.

Anyway, despite the fact we are still couch-less I did find some good stuff: a wheelbarrow for the gardens, a vacuum cleaner (I have one but it's small and not suitable for wide expanses of carpet) and a lounge chair. Don't know if we'll be using the lounger chair much but it might be nice for company. And even nicer is that the people are holding it for me. I explained that we're living in a second floor apartment and that the landlord would probably NOT like a wheelbarrow in the living room when showing it to potential tenants!

We'll have a lot of extra stuff to pick up besides just doing the moving. I hope the V-Man is up for it. I also bought a chain link fence from a woman in another department at work. I'm hoping it looks decent (was cheap), we can install it OK, and that it will be suitable for my little dog. If it doesn't work out, for one reason or another, the V-Man can have it for his country place. He's always needing fencing and stuff like that.

I also took my Mom out for lunch and we hung around and talked for awhile. Her apartment is so beautiful, I really love it--and more importantly, she does! We went next door to her landlord's place who were having a rummage sale. They had some nice furniture (but not a couch) like a coffee table and a rocking chair, but it was too expensive so I just bought a pretty tablecloth and a very nice large platter. My Mom said I could store the platter at her place until I moved, as it was heavy.

Well, hope you are enjoying your weekend!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Human Virus Scanner

Hey! Yay! It's Saturday! Pretty corny, but it's hard not to be happy about that. Here's something I stole from another blog. I can't even give proper credit for it as I forgot from where I took it:

Human Virus Scanner
The virus that have infected you will be show here along with their cures, if known.

Viruses you suffer from:

Eat some real food. Something which you can identify the source of every ingredient, not the point of manufacture.

Stop wearing the stick-on ears.

Life is not a game.Roll 3D6. On a 4 or more go out and do something with your life.

Read "God's Debris" by Scott Adams (yes, the Dilbert guy)

Anything this old must be obselete. Go and install a nice modern operating system. I hear MSDOS has come a long way lately.

Buy a suit. Invest your money. Eat hotdog buns on a friday.

Try MacOS X. It's based on UNIX, it has a smoother UI than Windows and it doesn't suck.As an extra feature the boxes look nice.

Stop caring!

Free love is passe and potentially dangerous, and patchouli smells like cat piss.

Computer Games
Stop staring at the screen and get some fresh air. You should see a doctor about the RSI in your thumbs.

Conspiracy Theory
Face it, the elected government IS in control. Actually that's quite scary.

Consume more stuff! It's easier to buy new stuff than to recycle.

The above idea of "Human Viruses" is really a clever one. But I think lots more could have been done with it to funny it up. In fact I just reread it and it's NOT that funny, just the idea is so intriguing. Any suggestions for Human Viruses?

Friday, June 23, 2006

They are watching you

I barely slept last night, went to bed quite late (listening to the police radio!) and then had a bad dream. I always pay attention to my dreams but every once in a while they come to the forefront, like lately.

I had just gone to sleep when the dream started and went on as a happy, normal dream. Suddenly I was knocked down, paralyzed and a giant creature of some sort was breathing right into my face! The creature was large and roundish and black, it had no body, only a giant floating head. Yikes! I woke up in a start and couldn't go back to sleep until 2:00--and I get up up 5:00. Come to think of it, the creature was sort of like a giant spider. I'm not afraid of spiders but that was an unnerving dream!

I very seldom have nightmares, but maybe listening to the police radio did it, ha ha. There was some dramatic stuff, a six year old girl lost down on the land strip by the big lake. A "little blonde girl in a pink bathing suit." They called out firefighters, police and volunteers to search for her on residential part and on the beach. They even called out the Coast Guard to search the water, that would have been such a sad ending. They did find her after dark, hiding in the dunes and grass along the beach.

There was also a lot of drunkenness and rowdiness, fights, domestics and a call for a chaplain on the police radio. I don't know what the last one was about because it was in code. I'm thinking it might have been a suicide, so sad. But usually they broadcast a threat of suicide and the police and firefighters go to try to save the person (and protect others). But maybe this one was already a done deal.

Besides all of the above horrible things, people also call the police about some really trivial things. Of course I don't know the whole story and it could be more serious than what it sounds. People call the police for a car circling the block, which could be a bad thing--or just a person looking for parking! Police get called for "suspicious person" in a parking lot, tailgaters, speeders, barking dogs, kids in the yard, and all sorts of not-as-serious stuff.

Listening to the police radio has made me think, though. Eyes are everywhere, watching and just waiting to report you to the police for some minor or even imaginary infraction! Happy Friday and be careful out there!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Dream Laundry

The carpet looks much better, thanks to Deni and everyone who suggested Oxy Clean!! I found something called "Oxy Deep" and used it last night. Before that I'd spritzed the carpet with cold water and scrubbed scrubbed scrubbed and then blotted off the water. The water treatments and scrubbing had paled out the color but a stain outline still remained. With the Oxy Deep the stain edge has paled and it's not obvious any more! I'm going to do another treatment tonight to try to remove all of the evidence. The stain was right in the middle of the living room floor and difficult to cover. Angela Marie (Rocks) is absolutely right that if the landlord's husband saw the stain on Friday when he takes the girls through on the apartment tour, he'd insist it was still there even if I get it out completely. He's not a reasonable person, like his sweet little wife. I hope she comes back soon!

I had a weird dream about doing the laundry last night! It was the hands-on tedious way that I have to do the laundry now, and there was piles of it. I had a little girl who was cold and wet and needed clean, dry clothing right away--and there is no right away in doing the laundry both for real and in the dream.

It was weird that I had a daughter in my dream. Do you ever have dream children? Or dream friends? I have people who I've never met in real life reoccur as my friends in my dreams. In fact I have an entire set of dream friends and dream locations, too, regular neighborhoods (in great detail) in my dreams over and over. I wonder where that comes from, is it a place I saw when very little so it's not in my conscious memory, or is it totally a figment of my imagination?

Dreams are very interesting but real life intrudes, money needs to be earned and I need to go to work! Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

My #%&* doesn't stink

I'm crabby today because of the landlord. The one who really runs the building is gone for two weeks and I'm dealing with her husband. Guess I can be grateful that I didn't have to deal with him all along! He called me last night and said, "This is Jim" and I'm racking my brain to think of someone that I know called Jim, or one of my son's friends. He finally says he's the landlord's husband. OK. Then he launches into how I need to clean the ferret cage before Friday because the girls who saw the place want to see it again and they smelled an "animal" smell. (I knew they would want this place! They'd never want the ratty third floor apartment!)

But I'm insulted: clean the ferret cage? I scoop it twice a day, clean it very often, bathe and spray the ferrets daily, put the deodorizer in their water. My ferrets don't stink! I know what you're thinking, ferrets ARE smelly little animals and maybe I just don't realize it. Nope. No one else has ever complained or even mentioned an "animal" smell, and that would include my Mom and some very picky friends who would be sure to let me know!

I think it could be from the hallway, which smelled like a barn for about a week when they took out the old carpet from upstairs. They smelled the stinky hallway, stepped into my place (the husband always enters from the back door, I hate that) and saw the ferrets and thought--aha--that's where the smell came from! But why would he not know that, when he was one of the people taking out that stinky carpet?

The girls want to see the place again. At least this time they're coming later. Last time even though I tried to get the landlord's husband to show the place later in the afternoon (because my son works nights and sleeps in) they came at 12:00 noon when he was in the shower!

But that leads to another problem: no one will be home when the husband shows the place. I don't know how my little dog will be. She might freak out and obviously the girls and the landlord's husband are not animal lovers. I don't know if I can get off from work to come back home for her.

The other problem is our fault. Late last night my son spilled the entire blender pitcher full of iced lattes ON THE PALE BEIGE LIVINGROOM CARPET! Yes, of course it made a stain even though we mopped it up ASAP. There goes our security deposit. And I was hoping to use it for buying a dehumidifier, a smoke alarm, a co2 alarm, and a weedwacker!

So, how is your life going? Better, I hope. Have a nice day!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The weeds are waving at me

I got through the mortgage application last night. When I asked how many times I'd signed my name the banker said, "About eighty" Not sure if he was joking or serious but he didn't smile when he said it. Wish I'd counted but I was sort of distracted in READING all the pages!

Although I've bought three houses on my own and many while married, this is such a big step. All the job and financial worries tried to come crowding in but I tried to keep positive. Like I said before, if it doesn't work out I'll be renting--just like I am right now. And my Mom offered to lend me money too, ha ha. I'd hate to have to take her up on it, but she's there as a resource if needed. So I guess I'm covered. The house is beautiful (I think) and it's getting exciting to be coming so close to getting it! I drove by it on the way home last night, after all of that signing. And I swear that the tall grass and weeds in the raised garden beds were waving at me! It won't be long.

This Saturday my Mom and I went to the library (among other places). One of my friends from the now-disbanded Scone Club was working there so we went up to talk with her. I told her about the house, of course. She told me that a certain "friend" of mine was making a big scene at the library board meetings and was turning out just as I'd predicted and feared. She was talking about BZ, of course. But BZ has been much nicer at work for the past couple of months. Maybe she's moved her contrariness to the library board. I often see her in the library, too, usually with some of her cute kids.

She gave me an interesting assignment yesterday to call up all of our contractors and ask for a letter of intent. I dreaded calling and explaining it to each of them but it turned out to be great fun. I adore yakking on the phone (if I'm not overheard) even though I'm quite quiet in person. Well, that's not totally true as our conventions are the most fun ever! Even though I'm at the registration desk for 15 hours a day talking non-stop to people. I can't wait until our next one, which will be next year. There's this huge surge of energy that makes me keep talking, keep moving until I collapse in bed, to get up the next morning and do it all over again.

What kind(s) of situations bring out that surge of energy for YOU?

It's Tuesday, as if you didn't know! Have a good one!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Fresh Pineapple and a Drive-by

I had a pretty good weekend, hope yours was good, too. I spent Saturday with my Mom. Apparently the King had come up during the week for two days. So I got to hear all about Mighty Tom, over and over. Eight times about how wonderful they were to move some of her furniture and five times about how they cooked two meals for her. O-K. It's bad of me for sure but I am SO glad we are not living together yet!

I did take Mom for a drive-by of my new house. We can't get inside it, of course, until after the closing. She was happy for me and even offered to lend me money if I needed it! That was sweet of her but I wouldn't have signed the offer unless I could afford to buy the house.

Sunday afternoon was spend doing the laundry, a chore which lasted until almost 8:00 p.m. I have to fill the little washer with water from a bucket and cannot leave it unattended. It's amazing how much water goes into even a little washer! And then there's the rinse cycle too. The dryer doesn't stay running either so laundry is a drawn-out, hands-on affair. I will be very glad for the laundry room in the "new" house, with a normal washer and dryer. I'd love to experience the ease of just putting clothes into the washer (or dryer) and walking away to do other things!

Vegetable Man called me yesterday. We had a nice long phone conversation, which we don't often do, because it's long distance. He will be helping us to move but probably not on the 4th of July weekend, which will be right after the closing on the house. I'm gung-ho to move in, of course, and get my hands on/in those overgrown garden beds! I've really missed gardening and puttering around in the soil and working with plants. I'm hoping there's enough of our (short) growing season left to do at least a bit of gardening yet this year.

We also ate fresh pineapple this weekend after waiting for it for days to get ripe enough. Mmmmm, fresh, juicy, ripe pineapple is simply the best! I also made a triple batch of iced vanilla lattes each day. They sure beat hot coffee when the weather was so humid and muggy.

From my E-mail

Boy, or Girl?
A three-year-old boy went with his dad to see a new litter of kittens.

On returning home, he breathlessly informed his mother, "There were two boy kittens and two girl kittens."

"How did you know that?" his mother asked.

"Daddy picked them up and looked underneath," he replied. "I think it's printed on the bottom."

Can’t You Read the Sign (oldie, but goodie)
A young woman who was several months pregnant boarded a bus. Then she noticed a young man smiling at her, and she began feeling humiliated on account of her condition. She changed her seat and he seemed more amused. She moved again and then on her fourth move he burst out laughing.

She had him arrested for harassing her.

Then the case came before the court, the young man was asked why he acted in such a manner.

His reply was: When the lady boarded the bus I couldn't help noticing she was pregnant under an advertisement which read "Coming Soon: The Gold Dust Twins", then she moved under one that read "Sloan's Liniment to remove swelling". I was even more amused when she sat under a shaving advertisement which read "William's Stick Did The Trick". Then I could not control myself any longer when on the fourth move she sat under an advertisement which read "Dunlop Rubber would have prevented this accident."

The case was dismissed.

Sound Familiar?
In March 1992 a man living in Newtown near Boston Massachusetts received a bill for his as yet unused credit card stating that he owed $0.00. He ignored it and threw it away.

In April he received another and threw that one away too. The following month the credit card company sent him a very nasty note stating they were going to cancel his card if he didn't send them $0.00 by return of post. He called them, talked to them, they said it was a computer error and told him they'd take care of it.

The following month he decided that it was about time that he tried out the troublesome credit card, figuring that if there were purchases on his account it would put an end to his ridiculous predicament. However, in the first store that he produced his credit card in payment for his purchases he found that his card had been canceled. He called the credit card company, who apologized for the computer error once again and said that they would take care of it.

The next day he got a bill for $0.00 stating that payment was now overdue. Assuming that having spoken to the credit card company only the previous day the latest bill was yet another mistake he ignored it, trusting that the company would be as good as their word and sort the problem out.

The next month he got a bill for $0.00 stating that he had 10 days to pay his account or the company would have to take steps to recover the debt.

Finally giving in, he thought he would play the company at their own game and mailed them a check for $0.00. The computer duly processed his account and returned a statement to the effect that he now owed the credit card company nothing at all.

A week later, the man's bank called him asking him what he was doing writing a check for $0.00. After a lengthy explanation the bank replied that the $0.00 check had caused their check processing software to fail.

The bank could not now process ANY checks from ANY of their customers that day because the check for $0.00 was causing the computer to crash.

The following month the man received a letter from the credit card company claiming that his check had bounced and that he now owed them $0.00 and unless he sent a check by return of post they would be taking steps to recover the debt.

The man, who had been considering buying his wife a computer for her birthday, bought her a typewriter instead.

Tonight after work I have an interview with the mortgage banker. I’m a bit nervous about it. But in all the phone conversations we’ve had it sounds like everything will come together well. And it's Monday today, try to have a good one!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Moving along

I'm feeling much better today and yesterday. I really do think that the illness was food-related, even though I was feeling a bit sick before that. The onset was immediately after eating, and was sudden and violent. The major (icky) part lasted only two hours. It probably wasn't any sort of food that did it, but how it was handled. Buffets can be bad about that, which is why we always go right as soon as they open. The food should be fresh then and not lying under heat lamps or sitting on warming trays too long. I might have eaten leftover food from the previous day that had been sitting too long, but put out again on the buffet. Who knows?

Anyway, today is better. Last night I spent three hours at the new house! It turns out the inspection guy went to our rural little high school with me and graduated the same year! But he had to think hard to remember me. As a child I was quiet to the point of being mute, and isolated out on the farm. I never saw the other kids except in school. So I didn't know any of them well, and none knew me.

The house inspector was a friendly guy. He was trying to get me to go to our class reunion coming up in July. I've not attended any of them. My childhood and high school years are times I prefer to forget. I couldn't wait to be old enough to escape and go to college. I left home at 17.

But enough of all of that. The house inspection was both wonderful and terrifying. The wonderful part is that I love the house more than even after spending some time in it! The scary part is all the work that will be required of us to get it into shape. The hard work of moving and settling in will be only the beginning.

Speaking of movers, I'm having a time assembling them for this move. Turns out the house closing is right before the 4th of July holiday weekend. That's very bad timing to gather a working group, and it may get delayed. And I had told the landlady that we'd try to be out shortly on or after the 1st of July. Uh oh.

She's showing the (crummy) upstairs apartment today. She called and left a message that they want to see the (our) three-bedroom apartment too. Guess which they will pick? I need to call her back and try to get them to move the time a little. My son will be still in bed at the scheduled time!

I got a late start to blogging this morning as I had to clean the ferret cage, sweep the floor, clean the bathroom and other little tidying up things for the landlord and potential tenant to come through the place. I'll try to hit some blogs at work, if I can. We have a big meeting all morning and afternoon I have another one, plus all the regular work, of course. Happy Friday to you!

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Yesterday was a day to get through, it seemed very long. Of course I was excited about my house and told just about everyone I know! Friends were not surprised, but happy for me. Co-workers WERE a bit startled and said things like, "I didn't even know you were looking for a house." but were also pleased for me. That part was great.

The not-so-great part was that I was sick. My son called in sick to his work on Sunday, and I've been kind of sickish since Tuesday but not enough to call in sick to work. Yesterday I went out for a half-hour lunch with some ex-co-workers who are now friends. Because of the short timing we always go to a Chinese buffet place in-between our two offices. The buffet place had this rather weird meat that was supposed to be chicken but that one friend thought was rabbit. It was gray and had lots of little bones, but was fried up like the chicken bits we always eat there.

I don't know if it was the strange meat, or some other food I ate there, or just because I already had been feeling under the weather, but as I stood in her office talking over the convention theme with favorite co-worker I got into a cold sweat. Then started to feel really ill.

Please skip this paragraph if you're eating or don't like reading gross things! From 12:00 to 2:00 I was quite sick, the saying "puking your guts out" would apply, and from both ends (sorry to be so gross, but I warned you.) I should have just holed up in the bathroom in all of my misery. It's not a private bathroom either, but shared by all the offices on the floor of our building. I was lucky that nobody came in for all the many quick trips I had to make there.

OK, it's safe to read this paragraph and on. I wanted to go home but was too sick to walk up the hill to my car. And I thought of calling someone to get me, or asking a co-worker but I was pretty distracted for those two hours. Amazingly enough I actually did answer calls and do some work in the middle of all of that. But I really shouldn't have, as I made a couple of minor mistakes. At least I'm blaming the mistakes on the fact that I was sick!

I called the inspection guy, who is doing the two-to-three hour inspection right after work tonight. It should be interesting and I hope I'm feeling OK for it. Then I called our insurance guy and the other realtor who was going to show me some more houses (and a couple I'd already seen but wanted to see again) last night. I was making lots of personal calls at work, which I normally try to keep to a minimum.

The last personal call I made, 15 minutes before closing time was to my landlady. I had been dreading the call, but by that time was too wiped out from being sick to get emotional about it. Good thing, as she was upset and angry with me. I probably would have felt horrible about her bad reaction, because she's a very nice person and I like her. But the aftermath of being so sick was that I just felt mildly sad that I had to disappoint her, and very tired. The other good part of all of that was that she is counting yesterday as a 30-day notice. In other words I will only have to pay half of July's rent, not the entire amount as I had feared. She is such a nice person, honest and fair, I hope she forgives my sudden bolting from her very nice apartment, and finds someone else to rent it ASAP.

Well, that was my long day yesterday. And since I didn't sleep well at all it was a long night too. I'm feeling dragged out and tired this morning but will go in to work today. I have to finish the exhibitor's list for our convention. The list has close to 5,000 names to update on it!

I have a pack of raw chicken to cook for dinner tonight but I don't think I can bear to look at it let alone eat some! Last night I only ate ramen noodle soup (with nothing else in it like meat or vegetables) the warm salty broth helped, and lots of Excedrin and Tums.

Off to work then! Have a great day, tomorrow IS Friday! (at least I know what day it is today)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Here we go again

Well, I did it. And no one who knows me will be surprised. I bought a house last night! Rather, I put in an offer and it was accepted. I won't actually own the house until after the closing, of course.

It's house #2 in the lineup in Monday's post. My son and I went to see it last night. He usually chides me for being "too impulsive" but totally concurred with me on this one--it's a wonderful house (for our price range)!

I've never been one to let the grass grow under my feet. If it's something you really want to do, I say, go for it! Life is too short to spend wishing or hoping for a particular, certain situation that may never come (without some prodding!) If this doesn't turn out for some reason, I will be---renting! Just like I am right now.

So we had to drive to our old state to the real estate office and sign all the paperwork. It took until fairly late last night to do all of that as we had gone to see the house at 7:30 p.m. and spent a long time walking through it several times and talking. I had figured in the price of a garage, which it doesn't have, and subtracted that cost from the already reduced price. So I got a price break of a bit over $15,000, which is certainly nice.

Now here's the tricky part, the closing is at the end of the month. Yes, JUNE! Do you know how soon that will be? Yikes, my movers will be running from me in horror, "No, not again. Please noooooooo!" It doesn't seem to matter that I do pay them well, it's just too much moving. This will be move #4 in five months! Two moves for my Mom and now two for us.

I have to cancel the house tours tonight, call the mortgage banker again (talked to him three times yesterday) call the inspection guy, and saddest of all, call my dear sweet landlady. She will not like to hear that we will be moving so soon. She's been an excellent landlord and I do feel a bit bad about that part. I need to let her know right away, and even so since it's not a 30-day notice I will probably have to pay July rent on the apartment.

What day is this anyway? I won't know until I get to the office, but at least it's not Saturday, so I do have to go in to work. Happy whatever-day-this-is to you!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Not so bad

Yeah, I'm going to rethink the neighborhood area in which to buy a house. Thanks for the good advice! We just had a man die from a beating from two teenaged boys who broke into his house. This wasn't in any of the neighborhoods in which I looked at houses, but safety is one of the first considerations for either renting or owning a place.

My oil painting turned out OK. The class was really fun and totally new to me as I've never done anything like it before. I received a painting kit for Mother's Day, opened it up eagerly, but then stopped and looked at the brushes, the paint tubes and the palate--what do I DO with them? I had no idea, have never taken an art class except for art appreciation in college. I think they should require art in high school, but they didn't, and only the kids who were actually good at art took it at my high school.

The class taught us how to use the brushes, work with the colors and some painting technique. I did a dark picture of a sunset and got too much black in the sky and was trying to fix it--and getting broader stripes of black, when the instructor came by. I begged him to tell me how to fix it, and he told me to stop messing with it, that it would be fine--also that there was no way to fix it! I doubted him that it would be fine, as I hated the black stripes in the sky. But actually it all turned out not so bad. Even my son, who has real artistic talent, thought it was a decent effort.

Some people are just artistic by nature. Deni has some beautiful paintings, Fizzy did a wonderful bag and she and Magpie do some fabulous crafts! My Mom took a commercial artist course and has been talented at art from her childhood. My son gets his art talent (also from an early age, I have some wonderful drawings he did at age three!) from both of his grandmothers, as his Dad's mother made and sold art. I however, like art but except for a brief fame as a good drawer of horses and dogs in grade school have no art talent or ability. I think it would be a fine hobby, though.

So now I need to get a couple of canvas and go to work on painting at home! I really like it, playing with the colors and all. It was both relaxing and creative. I have my first painting hung in the spare bedroom; my Mom's former bedroom and where my computer is now.

I'm blogging this from work. I've been back to commenting from work, as there just isn't enough time to read all the blogs I want at home before work in the morning. But I haven't actually posted from work for a long, long time. It's probably not a good idea, but oh well. Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Pick a house

It's Monday yet again, but again, I don't mind too much. It makes a huge difference to have exciting and interesting things to think about. It keeps life from getting too boring and the same day after day. I went to five more open houses, so the total of houses I've seen is nine. Three of them are houses that I like.

There's no substitute for actually seeing a house. The last open house I went to yesterday sounded promising. It's nearby the area of our apartment (considered a fairly "good" area, even though we get quite a few police calls for streets not far from here.) The house had a porch, a deck, and a fenced yard, all things that I'm looking for in a house, but no garage. But the layout was puzzling. There were locked doors and doors that didn't open, so you had to go around. The attic was accessed through the tiny little bathroom! How would you store stuff up there?

The real estate agent was not dressed in a suit and talked on the phone the entire time I was there. Well, he stopped for a minute when I went up to him to shake his hand, but then resumed talking. Not wearing a suit wasn't a big deal, although every other agent I had met was dressed up, but not even bothering to talk with me was pretty rude. I wouldn't want to work with him, and he has the exclusive selling rights to the house. Good thing it was a weird, rather crummy house that I wasn't interested in anyway!

I've quickly noticed, in looking at house in my new state, that there is a line of price/quality in houses. At the top of my budgeted amount are the three houses that I like; at the bottom of that span are the houses (like the house above) that I wouldn't want to own. In the middle are the "maybes" houses that fit my budget but are missing several things that I want in a house. Actually, ANY house in my price range is missing a couple of things that I'd like because my range is rather low!

Anyway, I know you haven't actually seen the houses, and that's the best way to determine if you like them or not. But here's my "possibles" line-up:

House Number One: In a "bad" section of town, traditionally, but they've been doing clean up so there are many remodeled and even some brand new houses in the area. This house is all on one level, has special built-ins for pets! It has a nice, very large yard with apples trees and a garage. It has new carpeting, is clean and neat, and has an open layout. One of the two bedrooms is rather small. In fact the entire house is on the smallish side (not necessarily a bad thing, with heating costs.)

House Number Two: Also in the "bad" section of town. This is my favorite one, but like all the houses in my price range, it has some issues. There's no garage, and it sure would be nice to not have to scrape ice and snow off the car every morning for the six or more months of winter we have! But the house is gorgeous, open, airy, has lots of rooms and even a loft in the living room! It has a small yard, and a neighbor dog barked most of the time I was there. There were plenty of kitchen cabinets but they seemed rather small. Outside the landscaping was grown over and it'd be a lot of work to get it decent again (but I like that kind of work.) The agent is also the owner of the house--which is a bad thing, because he has emotions invested into the house as well as work and money. It's the first house where he and his wife lived when first married. Needless to say, it's the most expensive of the three houses, and actually a bit over what I'd be comfortable in paying for it.

House Number Three: Only a few blocks away from our apartment. It's beautifully kept up, nice paneling, a deck, nice yard, three car garage. I know it's a sales pitch, but this house even smelled good! The downside? It's small. It's a two bedroom house but tiny. The master bedroom is actually a sort of attic with sloped ceiling and tiny windows, but it's fixed up to be really cute. The entire house is cute and the type that I would be proud to show friends and family--not like my house in the country! It has a beautiful, nicely planted with flowers and shrubs, yard, and a nice deck, too. This is the more normal "nice" house and will be snapped up by a buyer quickly.

So, what's your verdict; which house do you think I should pick?

I'm going to keep looking, of course. I'm not in a big hurry to buy something. It sure is fun to think about! Happy Monday to you!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The whole day

Even though I went to bed at nearly 3:00 a.m., I got up bright and early at 6:00 to start the day. Well, maybe not bright...anyway, I've already done some chores, including cleaning the ferrets' cage.

Today is the painting class I signed up for some time ago. The schedule said from 11:00 to 2:00, which sounded like a nice span of time but not the whole darn day. But just a few days ago I found out that we are to arrive early for the class at 10 to 10:30, and that the class usually doesn't get done until 5:00!!!! That's the entire flippin' day!

I suppose one could say that we're getting more for our money, but I don't see it that way. I like short segments of things--leaves time for other things--like I need to go see my Mom, wanted to go to the library for that hour before (I thought) class started. Getting done at 2:00 in the afternoon left time to go to a movie at the cheaper rate. There's many options of how to spend one of my precious days off. Spending the entire Saturday in a class wouldn't have been one of them, if I had known the REAL schedule.

The good part is I haven't taken an oil painting class before. So it should be fun and the price was inexpensive, even with materials included.

Oh, the funeral was very sad. Some of the family were crying and comforting each other. That made even the hardest people in the office tear up too. Co-worker's family was very loving towards each other, so hope that support will be a comfort to them. Co-worker looks just like his Dad and uncles, there's a strong family resemblance, which was poignant.

Co-worker and his wife had been building a house in the country in which his Dad was the major contractor, helper, advisor and builder. I wonder if they will still work on the house now that his Dad is gone. And we all silently wondered where was co-worker's wife? She was not at the funeral, which was rather odd. And she wasn't in any of the photos in a touching family collage they did as a display. So what does that mean? Nobody dares (or is rude enough) to ask him. Maybe there was a perfectly good reason, like she was ill or something.

He has certainly had a year from hell: first major battles and troubles at work with two colleagues from another department, even the police and auditors got involved. Then his Dad got sick, and now maybe something has happened between his wife and himself too. Poor guy. My paltrey work troubles don't even begin to compare with what he's gone through at work.

Well, hope your Saturday is cheerful, peaceful and happy!

Friday, June 09, 2006

It's getting fainter

It's a Friday but I'm not dressed in jeans and casual wear. This morning we are going to the funeral of the father of a co-worker. He wasn't that old, in his 60's and died at home of cancer (after they had done all they could for him) just like my Dad. It's going to be a hard funeral but none of them are exactly happy events, are they? The family farm may have to be sold, mother moved into town. Deaths like his are a big change in the family.

I'm a little nervous about going to a long Catholic mass with my co-workers. I have a history of fainting in church and wouldn't that be the most awful thing, to faint during a funeral? I would be so embarrassed. And then there's the "call the ambulance" thing--which is not necessary, but I since I can't move or speak, I can't tell them that! I may mention it to my favorite co-worker, bring a bottle of water in my purse and try to sit at one of the ends of the pew. I hope that will help.

I think it's being too warm and people all crowded together that do it. I used to get a panic attack in elevators too, but got over it when I worked at a job on the 7th floor! I still don't like being in a packed elevator but then most people don't.

I feel guilty about obsessing about myself and my problems instead of the loss co-worker and his family have suffered. But then again, I don't want to make a scene at such a dignified event either.

A few hours after the funeral we have a graduation party for another co-worker who just got his Master's. It doesn't sound like we are going to get much work done today but that the day may be long. Happy Friday to you!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Puzzle

Exciting times (lol!) I got the border almost done around my new jigsaw puzzle. We're doing one at work as a team-building thing and to my surprise, it's been pretty fun. I especially like sorting the piece out according to color. BZ and I work together well on it, I find pieces and she fits them in! My Mom does jigsaw puzzles and was always trying to get me to work on her latest. But I'd look over the puzzle for five minutes and maybe find one piece. It was too slow-going for me. But after working on the one at my job, I can see that it's both challenging and relaxing. So I bought a puzzle last night (only a 500 piece one--started small!) and starting working on it at home. I'm working on it on a tiny, round coffee table, so that makes it even more challenging.

From my E-mail
(there was a part 1 of this some time ago)
More How To Know You're Ready For Parenthood

NIGHT TEST: Prepare by obtaining a small cloth bag and fill it with 8 to 12 pounds of sand. Soak it thoroughly in water. At 8 PM begin to waltz and hum with the bag until 9 PM. Lay down your bag and set your alarm for 10:00 PM. Get up, pick up your bag, and sing every song you have ever heard. Make up about a dozen more and sing them until 4:00 AM. Set alarm for 5:00 AM. Get up and make breakfast. Keep this up for 2 or more years. Look cheerful.

PHYSICAL TEST (WOMEN): Obtain a large bean-bag chair and attach it to the front of your clothes. Leave it there for 9 mo. Now remove 10% of the beans.

PHYSICAL TEST (MEN): Go to the nearest drug store. Set your wallet on the counter. Ask the clerk to help himself. Now proceed to the nearest food store. Go to the head office and arrange for your paycheck to be directly deposited to the store. Purchase a newspaper. Go home and read it quietly for the last time.

FINAL ASSIGNMENT: Find a couple who already has a small child. Lecture them on how they can improve their child's discipline, patience, tolerance, toilet training, and table manners. Suggest many things they can improve on as well. Emphasize to them that they should never allow their children to run riot. Enjoy this experience. It will be the last time you'll have all the answers.

So, do you have any favorite hobbies?

Parents of small children pretty much have the parenting thing as their hobby, entertainment (little kids can be VERY entertaining and fun) spare time filler and full-time occupation all rolled into one!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The End is Near

06-06-06 will the world end today? At least we can go out with a (small) laugh.

From my E-mail:
The Tate Family
You may have heard of the Tate Family. Members of this family attend every group.

There is Dic Tate who wants to run everything.

Ro Tate tries to change things --- whether they need it or not.

Agi Tate stirs up trouble whenever possible.

She gets a helping hand from her brother, Irri Tate.

Devas Tate loves to interrupt whatever is happening.

And Poten Tate wants to be the big shot.

When new ideas are suggested, Hesi Tate and Vegi Tate are quick to say why they will not possibly work.

Imi Tate would rather copy others than try something new.

Helpful Medicines
Menicillin - Potent antibiotic for older women. Increases resistance to such lines as, "You make me want to be a better person ... can we get naked now?"

Buyagra - Injectable stimulant taken prior to shopping. Increases potency and duration of spending spree.

Extra Strength Buy-one-all - When combined with Buyagra, can cause an indiscriminate buying frenzy so severe the victim may even come home with a Donnie Osmond CD or a book by Dr. Laura.

Jack Asspirin - Relieves the headache caused by a man who can't remember your birthday, anniversary or phone number.

Anti-talksident - A spray carried in a purse or wallet to be used on anyone too eager to share their life stories with total strangers.

Sexcedrin - Bedroom aerosol spray for men. More effective than Excedrin in treating the, "Not now, dear, I have a headache," syndrome.

Ragamet - When administered to a husband, provides the same irritation as ragging on him all weekend, saving the wife the time and trouble of doing it herself.

Got any favorite medications?

Monday, June 05, 2006

Espresso express

I had an interesting (but too short) weekend, how about you? I spend time with my Mom, did quite a bit of house cleaning, walked the dog several times, and drank many cups of my new favorite beverage, Frappuccino!

I’ve figured out how to make this at home. It tastes so creamy and rich that those who drank it thought I was putting ice cream or whipping cream into it, but nope, not a drop!

Home-made Frappuccino
You start by making espresso coffee and quickly icing it without diluting it too much. In the Espresso Yourself class we put the ice cubes directly into the hot coffee to make the frozen drinks, so at first I did that. But soon learned by trial and error that at home it works much better to pour the hot espresso into a plastic or metal cup and set it in a bed of ice.

Chip up some (new) ice cubes (not too many) into the blender and pour the as-yet undiluted but room-temperature-or-cooler espresso over the ice.

Then pour in some cold milk; I use 1% and it works fine.

It will make a good drink just like that but even better is to glug in some Torani sugar-free caramel or vanilla syrup. I like vanilla the best.

Use the pulse on the blender to fluff and mix the liquids, and keep your hand on the top. The object is to have the liquid hit the top of the blender with force each time you push the pulse button (we learned this in the class) to make a thick, rich drink. But don’t overblend.

This will make two coffee mugs plus a little extra, depending on whether you're heavy handed or light with the ingredients. When I needed to make several cups at a time, I would have the batches of espresso in various stages: one in the blender, one on ice, and a batch still brewing. The only thing hard about it was emptying the very hot ow-ow-ow espresso grounds basket to immediately start another batch of coffee! Enjoy. What a wonderful way to drink coffee on a hot day!

The other interesting thing I did this weekend was to go to four open houses! The houses were all in my price range and there was quite a difference in them. Sunday afternoon was my first day of looking and already I have a house I like, but am going to keep looking. Housing prices are dropping around here (guess I sold my little country house just in time!) and there is a large selection to look at and choose from.

The shocker was the high property taxes in my new state! I knew it was going to be higher but 3X my old state’s taxes? Yikes! I’m going to look for houses in my old state, too, of course.

Well, it’s a Monday again. But it doesn’t seem as grim with interesting things to think about—like the houses I saw on Sunday! Wish I had a Frappuccino waiting for me at work, though.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

More photos of the shooting spree

Yay yay it's Friday! The jeep is running well again, thanks for asking. Of course the car-hospital day surgery cost me another $300. And I had just been saying how nice it was to not have car payments. Maybe car payments would be better?

The landlords came over to collect our rent and opened all the windows. I told them it was quite all right, the two windows we could get open were fine, and enough for a good cross-draft. But they were bound determined to get them all (painted shut, by them) open right this very minute. They left them all wide open. And you guessed it, we had a doozy of a thunderstorm right after that. I was running around trying to get all the windows shut again. The kitchen window was stuck open with rain and wind pouring in. I had to climb on top on the kitchen counter to shut it. That was pretty exciting.

Right before that VMan's ex came over to work on the little washer but she needs another part for it. She did apply for one of the two positions open at my firm. I told her that I'm thinking of buying a house over here in the new state.

Today we had a little day party and an evening going away party for a co-worker. She was nice and I liked her. I can take comfort in the fact that she's going to a better place, though.

More photos of the shooting spree.

Here's the forced entry demo, out on the shooting range. It was dramatic but not as much as the one I already told you about where the black clad, masked swat team crew burst into our classroom unexpectedly! I have no photos of that one. They rounded us up and out in 20 seconds.

The beautiful, talking police dog. Who understands only German commands.

The police dog in action. This isn't a great picture of him working, he was so fast that it was difficult to get a photo at all.

I shot several of the big rifles with scopes. I think this one was the M16. Note cute cop guy who just about had to hold me up!

Have a great Friday and a Wonderful Weekend!

Check Engine and Shot Glass

Yawn, sorry. I just figured out that I've had 14 hours of sleep in the past three nights. It sounds like enough until you do the math! And that was actual in-bed time, since I woke up a lot, the real sleep time is much less. I did have some very cool dreams which would take pages to relate, so I won't.

Tuesday morning I was parking and the "check engine" light came on. Nothing seemed to be wrong with the jeep that I could tell. Of course I only know enough to check fluids and the very most obvious stuff. So when I got to the office I called the car repair place. They asked me if I'd just filled the gas tank--I had--and said that jeeps, especially the older ones sometimes do that. So I was to reset the gas cap and see if the light was still on. It was. And driving over the bridge in what passes for our rush hour traffic was scary, I'd really hate to break down on the bridge. There is no walkway or shoulder to pull off on it.

The next morning (yesterday) I had to come back over the bridge with the yellow engine light on but it was early and much lighter traffic. I brought it straight up to the garage and had to sit and wait until they came in. They promised to check it out, so I left the jeep there and walked to work. It's just a couple of blocks further than I normally have to walk.

Yesterday was a busy and not altogether good day at work. When the ordeal was almost over BZ asked me if she could have a ride home. I automatically said, "Sure" then I remembered that the jeep was in the shop. I told her this, but she still needed a ride. I even offered to come and pick her up (since I didn't really want to walk with her) but she said that she'd walk with me up there. The jeep was clean, thank goodness. But it's been clean ever since I moved and stopped having to drive home on a dirt road and carry various things like haybales and trees in it!

BZ was impressed with my walk, but not in a good way. She kept commenting on the "scary" neighborhood. I was glad that no bunches of guys hanging out on the porches we walked by yelled things at us, like they sometimes do at me in nice weather. I think they're bolder when they see a woman walking alone. I just ignore them and keep walking, same with weird street people.

BZ, to her credit, tried to be positive about it, "Well, this would save $600 per year." (in parking fees) as she and several others from our office park across the street from the office in a parking garage. But then again it might have just been being catty as she was very uncomfortable and disapproving of the surroundings, saying things like, "This doesn't even look like ___"(our city) and "I've NEVER EVER walked here before!" I wanted to reply with something like, "It's called POVERTY. Not everyone has money like you do." but I held my tongue. I had to keep my mouth shut to keep from panting, it was hot and we had to walk uphill.

Sadly BZ was proved correct when we finally got to the repair garage. One of the large plate glass windows had been shot and shattered! I'd have to agree, that was kind of scary. Those things don't happen every day but are unnerving and scary even to me, who is used to walking in that neighborhood.

I think BZ might have a different view of me after last night, and it's not positive. But again, it wasn't positive to begin with, so there you go.
Happy Thursday to you!