Monday, June 30, 2008

She Threw All The Balls At Once

I put this together yesterday afternoon. This is a game that I had never seen before, ladder ball. It looks evil and it is. Those spongy round things are weighted bolos.

My gal pal is trying her hand at throwing the bolos. The object of the game is to wrap the bolo around one of the lateral bars. The orange bar is the desired bar for 3 points.
Gal pal's sister-in-law, looking gorgeous as always, holding skirt down in the breeze, has her turn.

Gal pal's father-in-law throws and scores. He's like that. He is a retired Principal.
Notice my "Feisty Cuss." She threw all the balls at once. She's like that.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

I Am Whole Again

Today I had a vacation day and I did absolutely nothing on the houses.

I woke up at my normal 5:00am and got on with the day. I had a list of errands that needed to be done and I have been putting them off forever because of work constraints and/or working on the houses.

I finally applied for my passport. Paid for and the processing has begun. The lead time is said to be 1-4 weeks with the normal being 2 weeks. I did not have another picture taken. The passport photo shows me with long curly hair. Not the "Bozo the clown" effect I have now. I also have a racing stripe where the hair has grown out with my silvery halo in all its glory.

Next up was a race to Wally World for foam painting rollers, Orange Glo, and all sorts of other stuff that just happened to fall into my basket. New jammies, Summer weight, a new pair of shorts, three new blouses at 1/2 off. I bought the same blouse two weeks ago in a different color for full price.

I then raced to the mall and ran into Dillards. I have two pairs of shoes right now. Work shoes, Clark mules that are falling apart and a pair of flip flops. Both pairs have seen much better days and I used today to get new shoes. I bought two pair. Both on sale. Both really cute. It took a little longer than anticipated because I didn't have my charge card and none of the info I gave seemed to match what the store had on record. The sales associate called the info in and the guy on the other side of the line started off by thanking me for being a loyal customer since 1993. Yeah, yeah, cut to the chase and let me get off and running. I finished the purchase and also changed the mailing address so the wonderful and talented Spousal Unit can pay the bill. Isn't he great?

Next off was Kohl's. I have been losing a lot of weight and my pants are literally falling off me. I am down two sizes and needed a couple of pairs that are acceptable for work.

After that I went to the insurance office and paid for the new policy for the houses. We were dropped by our former insurance for the pool and the fact that we do not now have a primary residence. I set up an automatic payment and off I went.........

To my nail appointment. My lovely nail appointment.

I had to cancel it this past Tuesday because I got heat sickness. I will spare you the gory details but it wasn't pretty.

My one vanity. My nails. They are back to being gorgeous.

I am whole again.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I Still Haven't Figured Out Why I Do This STUFF

My family room/great room. The rugs cleaned up really nice. I didn't have to replace them.

My kitchen with the new counter tops and floor. Why am I leaving?

Oh yeah, to be with the Spousal Unit.

My entryway looking up to the second floor. I had all sorts of Maidens posed on this stairway for Senior Prom one year.
My Breakfast Room. Really this is the room where we ate all our meals for the last eight years. I love the floor and the new plantation blinds and valances.
I still haven't figured out why I do this STUFF for other people and won't do this fix for my own family.
Go figure.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I Never Thought My Toes Would Be Featured On The Internet

"She Who" toes on the old flooring. This area is not too bad. It must be the toes.

This is new flooring. Very similar, but totally different. It is gorgeous. I love it. I just wish I would be here to enjoy it.
I never thought my toes would be featured on the Internet.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Don't Get Me Started, I Might Get All Weepy

As most people in the Midwest are experiencing, the weather sucks. We are having yet another 500 year flood just North of here. The farmers are losing everything.

It is also beautiful at times.

I need to take a day off from my Bitching and Moaning about the CRAP I am going through and do a reality check.

Check out the beauty of the area in the clouds.

Then the clouds get a little ugly.

Back to gorgeous.

I am really, really going to miss this area.

My pals and friends live here and I don't want to think about how I am going to miss them for the next four years.

Don't get me started, I might get all weepy.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Maybe I'm Anxious That Soon I Don't Need To Be So Anxious

I woke up at 2:30 this morning. Monday mornings seem to be following a trend lately with me waking up super early.

I don't know if I am waking up early because I am so stressed out coming off working weekends or what. This is the third Monday the early STUFF has occurred. It is really getting old.

Anyway my anxiety level was off-scale high when I woke up. Maybe a yucky dream. I just don't know.

I am starting to feel that everything is on track with the timeline I created.

I received a phone call from the flooring and carpeting guy today confirming that they would be out first thing Wednesday, as agreed. We discussed what was going on and that we may need make some slight adjustments, which can be worked in.

I have a call in to an electrician to install two GFI outlets around the pool.

My counter top guy agreed to build the safety gates for the stairs to the pool.

The exposed wires have all been covered.

The CRAP oops sorry, STUFF is working on leaving the garage.

Maybe I'm anxious that soon I don't need to be so anxious.

Lord knows that this last anxiety needs to be a - from my lips to Your ears.

Monday, June 23, 2008

One Hand Washes The Other, Hopefully

I have been busy, busy, busy all weekend.

I focused on cleaning the kitchen cabinets and painting the doors in the house.

The painters painted the walls but I negotiated the price to have me paint the doors. The price would have gone up exponentially for having them do all the taping for painting the doors.

What I forgot is that I have a lot of doors. All needing two coats of paint.
I counted 45 doors in the house. Not including the Front Door which will be painted with other than white paint.

I am so covered with paint that I can only hope that I can scrub it all off.

I am not really confidant that I will be able to show up at the office tomorrow in a professional manner.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Carpets and Shane

Today was a day of ups and downs.

The carpet cleaner came this morning and Rita, the gal who cleans for me, let them in. Rita is also the carpet guy's mom so I assume that they had coffee together as they surveyed the damage.

Have I ever mentioned that my sons are slobs?

I am replacing all the carpeting in the lower level because they trashed the carpeting. I have sworn that after they left, I would gut the whole area and call the fire department to have them hose everything out. I have come very close to that prediction.

Well, after surveying the damage to the rugs, the carpet guy called me at work. He said that he had good news and bad news.

In my family this is never a good statement. (As an aside, I say that to the Spousal Unit and hope he wants the good news first. Good news is, "Sweetness, I really, really love you. Let's chat about the bad news at a later time.")

The good news is that the upstairs carpets are OK. The bad news was that the main floor carpets have a wear pattern that carpet guy didn't think he could get out.

I said, "Shane, please try, I am out of money. I have you budgeted for cleaning but none for replacement. Just do your best."

The rest of the day I spent worrying and researching. Worrying about which orifice I could possibly pull the nonexistent money out of to pay for new carpeting and researching where I could find carpeting that could be purchased and laid in a very timely manner.

I didn't come up with many options.

This evening I passed up a very needed night out with some of my coworkers to go check out the carpeting.

Shane is once again "THE MAN." There was one mysterious spot that he couldn't get out. I didn't think he would be able to get that one, but it is not too bad.

The rest of the carpeting is glorious.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The House Flunked

I am starting to slide into the home stretch. I had my occupancy inspection this afternoon.

The house flunked. I knew it would, but I wanted to get a heads up on what I needed to fix sooner rather than later.

The guy was really nice, almost apologetic, about needing to write up some of the stuff. Some of the required remedies I knew about.

Reinstall stove and dishwasher.

DUH. I had them pulled them so the new flooring can be installed.

But, no mention of the live wire sticking out of the kitchen floor where the island was pulled also for the new flooring.

I need to put up some sheet rock on the unfinished walls in the basement to hide exposed wires.

We have a big scary enclosed wire thingee that used to power a hot tub/jacuzzi the former owners installed. The hot tub/jacuzzi was not there when we moved in, but now I need to figure out how to box up the ends.

While having the house painted, I told the painters that the downstairs, the former boy's lair, was being totally re-carpeted and not to worry about drop clothes. They did me one better and cut the carpet about four inches away from the walls. Easier to paint the baseboards.

The inspection mentions replacing carpet. Does that mean re-installing the four inches that was cut away or new carpet?

The biggest issue was to install gates on the deck and at ground level to the pool. I anticipated this requirement and already contracted out to have this work done.

I was worried that I would need to expand the deck all the way around the pool. But, because the pool is so tall the open end is considered a self deterrent.

Last and what I consider least, I need to install 3" numbers on my mail box with the house number. The gal I am staying with is the Postmistress. She says that's her job to tell me if this is a problem.

NOT the county inspectors.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wednesday Bites, OOPS, Bytes

Wednesday bites, OOPS bytes.

Work is really slow. I can't stand slow. The day drags on and I can think of three bazillion things to do other than look like I am being productive.

Son # 2 called eight times today. I know it is his way of saying that he misses me and wants to stay in contact. Just come over and visit on occasion or invite me over.

Work does not like Son # 2 calling eight times in one day.

I listed my house over the weekend and had a family that assured me that they wanted to rent. Tuesday they called me and said that it might be too much work for the wife if.... IF he had to deploy. Have they ever heard of a lawn mowing service, and why did they make me wait??

I decided to list the house with a local management company. The manager viewed the house and sent me an email stating that she was anxious to take the listing. Now she hasn't gotten back to me via email or answered any of my phone messages. I don't know if she is swamped or if her assistant, who needs MAJOR customer service skills implanted somewhere, are the reason.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I Need An Oil Change And A Loan For More Gas

Two weekends ago I hopped into the "Big Red Truck" to start the day. After I started "the baby" up, I looked down and saw the mileage. I like the symmetry.

Last September I had had enough and talked the Spousal Unit into looking for a truck.

We have lived on a "Gentleman's Farm" for eight years. We have all sorts of yard equipment that needs to be fixed each Spring. We have downed trees. We haul in mountains of mulch each year.

We have a couple of rentals that we need to muck out on occasion.

In the past the Spousal Unit just folded my van's seats down into the floor and used the van as a truck. My sweet little van doesn't like to be used as a truck. The poor thing rebelled and said, "No More Momma." I totally agreed with her and started my Internet search for a truck.

Well, I found a sweet deal on a truck and then when we went into the dealership we sweetened the deal even more.

Mr. "I Don't Want a Truck" has used the truck as a needed piece of equipment from the time we got it though we don't usually put on a whole bunch of mileage.

The truck has been a Godsend. As mentioned earlier we hadn't put a whole lot of miles on it up until now. The "Big Red Truck" has been great. It is also the only vehicle we have that is left in the States.

I am freaking over the gas prices and the mileage I am putting on the baby.

With all my running around lately, three tank fulls of gas later, I need an oil change and a loan for more gas.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

More Storm Stuff

Standing outside, watching the storm approach, I pulled out the trusty camera wanting to take pictures of the lightning. The pictures didn't turn out the way I had originally wanted, but I like them.

The lines of light are really interesting.

Fireworks before the Forth.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

After The Rain

Lately we have been having major storms. Tornado warnings with funnel clouds sited in nearby areas. We take shelter and do all the right things as far as the storms are concerned.

A couple of days ago we had storms again.

One day of lovely weather and then pounding rain with hail and tornado warnings the next.

Let's get back to normal St. Louis Summer weather..... HOT, HOT, and more HOT. Throw in a little 100% humidity. I'm fine.

After this storm, I went out and took pictures.

The rose bush, by the side of the walk, cried in the storm and left this behind.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

How to Dance in the Rain

My sister sent this to me. I don't know if it is a true story, but hope there is a true story similar to what follows. Such a beautiful sentiment.

How to Dance in the Rain

It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80's arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am.

I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him.

I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.

While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry.

The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease

As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.

I was surprised, and asked him, “And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?”

He smiled as he patted my hand and said, "She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is."

I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, "That is the kind of love I want in my life." True love is neither physical, nor romantic.

True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.

With all the jokes and fun that are in e-mails, sometimes there is one that comes along that has an important message.

This one I thought I could share with you.

The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have. I would like to think that my Spousal Unit and I have a relationship similar to the couple above. I feel blessed in our marriage. We have had our ups and downs, but I can't imagine my life without him.

I hope you share this with someone you care about. I just did.

"Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain."

Friday, June 13, 2008

Woo Hoo - One Down - One To GO

Last night I signed a lease. I am ecstatic. The new tenants wanted a long term lease.

I am stressed to the max about getting my house ready for renters and then the other foot fell.

My old tenants gave me a 3 day notice and said that the deposit would suffice for the 30 day notice rent. NOT. I have no way to contact them at this time so everything may be a moot point.

They left a cord of wood in the garage so I need to get a termite inspection.

They didn't clean the house or the carpeting or have the fireplaces cleaned or inspected so I get to do all this on my dime.

I am not a slum lord so I will do all that needs to be done to get the house rentable.

I advertised the house prior to having all the tasks done and started showing the house. My Murphy's law luck of course kicked in.

The ceiling downstairs is now being repaired from the toilet overflowing and at this time, for once, I am on task to have everything accomplished in a timely manner.

There was one couple that saw beyond the needed repair and asked to be considered. They gave me a deposit and the credit check money and went home and waited. Their references and credit check came back good. I like them even more, the second time I met with them. A really nice family that just needs more room.

And, they want to stay long term. They signed a 4 year lease, just to stay in the same neighborhood.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

She Is Also My "Feisty Cuss."

16 years ago we move from Germany to Illinois. We moved into a nice subdivision and worked on making friends on the street.

There was one family that moved in on Halloween day and were prepared to hand out Halloween candy that evening.

I was prepared to hate this family immediately. How dare they be that organized?

Well, it turned out that they weren't that organized. They recruited a friend to pass out the candy while they moved in and earned "Brownie" points in the neighborhood. Still too organized in my opinion, but creative.

After the initial "I hate you forever, because you are so organized", we became BFFs. I am staying with her family for the most of my remaining time here in the states.

Her children may as well be my children. I adopted them informally. I love those kids.

They have a son and a daughter. The daughter is my only female link in all the unofficial offspring. She is also my "Feisty Cuss." My nickname for her. Can you feel my pain, for her pain yesterday?

The poor thing still needs her Mother's, Father's and my guidance to come out of the sun.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

He Gets a BYE (Pass) for Today

Yesterday at work, I was so frustrated and frazzled that at the last moment, before the end of the day, I asked if I could take today off. Our work policy for vacation is 24 hours notice for every 24 hours of vacation. My boss was very understanding and said to go for it.

So I took today off. I was up at the normal 5:00 and hit the ground running. I read the responses that Spousal Unit provided to my emails, worked some of the bills, and planned my day.

List in hand, I was out the door by 6:30. I filled up the truck, got some non-Starbucks Colombian Dark Roast coffee, and realized I left the cell back at my friend's house.

I went back to the house, scooped up the cell and went to the the rental house and emptied the dehumidifier. The "godsend" dehumidifier was in our basement, in an area that I told the movers not to touch because it was in the boy's lair area. Totally forgotten and absolutely needed at this time. It is working and pulling the water out of the sub flooring. I took out the trash/crap the tenants left for the garbage man and was off to my house to talk to the painters.

Long story short, I accomplished all the tasks on my very long to do list and even got to speak to the Spousal Unit again. He answered all my emails. He just didn't give the right answers to a couple of them so I needed to talk to him to get the correct information.

He gets a BYE (pass) for today......... It's his birthday.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I Was Able to Speak to the Spousal Unit This Morning

I was able to speak to the Spousal Unit this morning. I sent him a heads up email that I would be calling as soon as I got into the office. I hadn't spoken to him since he left at the end of May.

I know that it is only two weeks, but so much Stuff has happened, mostly Yucky, bad, expensive stuff.

It was sooooo good to hear his voice again. I know he feels bad about what is happening, what I am going through right now. And neither of us can change what is occurring. We just need to deal with it.

I am so frustrated about the time difference. I have to contact him first thing in the morning, because his day is almost over at work. The day wears on and more stuff happens and I can't contact him.

I have six emails in today for his guidance, information, log ins, passwords alone.

I will get through this. Hopefully soon.

Monday, June 9, 2008

I Met a Classy Lady Today

I met a Classy Lady today.

She is one of my Blog friends. And we met face to face for the first time today for lunch.

Her picture on her Blog does not do her justice. Her "voice" on her Blog doesn't really show her true gracious nature. I am so jealous, she is too adorable.

I was really nervous to meet a Blog friend. The net is so anonymous, ya never know what you'll get.

I try to represent myself honestly on my Blog, but will admit to putting on a spin on some "Stuff" at times. Thus, because of the spin factor, I was not sure who I would meet.

I am blown away at how sweet she is. I just met this woman and already miss the friendship that may not be able to bloom because I am moving so far away.

Check out Kim at She is one of my heroes.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

My Last Name Is Not Murphy, but Lately It Should Be

Calamity du Jour - Saturday.

I went over to the other house to clean. The tenants gave me a three days notice that the were leaving. They originally said that they would pay for the 30 days notice. Then Friday they said that they were only going to pay a portion of the rent and to use the rest from the deposit. NOT..... Not per the lease.

They left a lot of crap in the house. Expensive crap, but I really don't need to deal with this stuff right now. They like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods alot so you know the type of crap they left. But I can't use any of this upscale crap right now.

Anyway after we got all the crap out of the house it wasn't too bad. Clean the kitchen and baths. On further inspection, I need to hire a chimney sweep, termite inspector, and rug cleaner.

He also hid that the toilet leaked on occasion.

We are good landlords. As an example: The dishwasher went out and they had a new one the next day.

If they had a problem we fixed it immediately. Why didn't they report this?????

The toilet was leaking and wasn't readily noticeable immediately.

I went in today to show the house and while turning on the lights I went into the bathroom the floor squished.

I spent today shop vacuuming up to close to three gallons of water from the bathroom floor alone. The ceiling downstairs finally stopped running a river of water around 3:00 this afternoon.

My contractor guy was really good and came over immediately. They will start fixing everything starting Monday.

My last name is not Murphy, but lately it feels like it should be.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I Sat on Wet Pants for Several Hours

The rains are upon us. It seems that we can't get away from them. We get to have a day of sun, humidity, and heat. And, then it rains again.

Notice that the windows are up. I wish the windows were up two days ago, when I was going to work.

Mother Nature we need to chat.

I sat on wet pants for several hours before I dried out.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

That's All the Rants for the Night

More frustrations:

We are switching to Vonage. With Vonage we are able to keep our local number so people, including our children, can keep in touch with us without paying long distance charges. The two days of frustrating calls between AT&T and Vonage drove me nuts. And that's a short trip. I was finally able to port a local number to Vonage. The AT&T gal was really yucky. She asked why I wanted a local IL number in Germany? Because I can. Understand???????????

AT&T set us up for a new DSL. Hello.... I am disconnecting.

The mail is now being forwarded. The only reason that I caught wind of this latest disaster is because the Post Office got Spousal Unit and Son # 1 confused. We have a Senior and a Junior. The Post Office sorting software has a problem with JR and SR surnames. Son # 1 is staying for the Summer with the friends I am currently with, and my Gal Pal "The Laundry Queen" (TLQ) also works for the Post Office. I need to head some of this off at the source and really get the addresses changed.

I called AT&T this morning and couldn't get a human in a timely manner. After work I went to the house and called from the house account #. It took an hour on the phone to get the new "DSL WE DON'T WANT OR NEED" turned off. Polite and helpful people this time.

I am getting to the point....I don't need to deal with this CRAP. What happened to any sort of Customer Service?????

That's all the rants for the night. I don't want to deal with it more tonight.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I Guess I Just Miss Him

I am frustrated and at times overwhelmed.

Spousal Unit is in his groove. Getting acclimated to the new job. He has his baggage and can now move about without smelling himself.

I am here cleaning up the dregs. Don't get me wrong, we both signed up for the stuff we are going through. I volunteered to do what I am doing now. Putting together everything that needs to be done. I just didn't realize how hard it would be without the Man around.

I guess I am too spoiled. I miss talking to him every night and fixing dinner together. I miss his logic, to my thinking outside of the box.

I guess I just miss him.

Monday, June 2, 2008

For Rent - Gentleman's Farm, Horses Allowed

Large, very private home, in the country, with neutral decor. Close to everything. Shopping 5-10 minutes away.

6 bedrooms, 4 baths, 2 family rooms, formal living room, formal dining room.

Walk-out basement.

Huge kitchen, with island, breakfast bar, very large pantry, and large breakfast room.

Two fireplaces. Seasoned wood for burning, included with rental.

First floor master.

Lots (think oodles) of closets and storage. Each bath has it's own linen closet.

Screened-in porch.

Pool w/large deck.

Fruit orchard. Various fruits.

On five acres.

Rent me.

For Further Details, email:

Aack, I'm Cleaning

I feel a little like this right now. Cleaning and not accomplishing too terribly much. I am replacing the countertops. The kitchen floor, the downstairs carpet.

I am painting the house on the inside. I am waiting for these tasks to be accomplished.

Aack, I'm Cleaning.

I am also calling in sick tomorrow. I need to do the stuff that is'nt done.

Ya, I'm in crazy mode.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Bye, Bye

This is the container that all my next 4 year stuff is going into.

We were instructed to get inside and have them close us in and do a sniff test.

These containers are supposed to be food grade shipment containers and no smell or light is supposed to show through.

The container passed. In the picture it looks a lot bigger than it is.

I do not photoshop any of my pictures. (at this point, don't have the software or the time.)

This is my beloved desktop. I talk to all of you from this area. They, the movers made me disconnect it. I cried.

For a really long time.

I have a laptop but I really love my desktop, I'm spoiled like that.

The mover guys were really getting serious about getting on with their long weekend.

The holiday weekend was approaching and we were like, hello, we want you to work, in the rain.

What's up with that?

Anyway they got really, really serious about getting our stuff outta here.

Closing up.

Really closing up.

These guys rock.

James, Ryan, Kenny, and Joe.