Thursday, March 27, 2008
1. Dealing with a real estate lawyer - We have been exploring possibilities to solve our problems with our crazy neighbor so we can sell our albatross. At this point, the lawyer's office is researching precedents, so the ball is in the lawyer's court. We are shuffling our feet and dancing around as we wait for the return volley -- fully expecting an ace right on the line. After all, why should anything go in our favor now, after all this time? Financial miracles have not been part of our life-history. On the up side, however, we finally have renters in the house, so we don't have to make two of every utility payment each month; and a little money is actually coming in, cheerily waving hello as it passes all the funds that are going out.
2. Refinancing our mortgage -- Our mortgage banker approached us a couple of months ago about refinancing the mortgage on our current home. We can, allegedly, make smaller payments for a shorter length of time by refinancing at a lower rate. She has been "working" on that for over a month now; so we are again waiting for our opportunity to return the volley. I sure hope we can win this point!
3. Updating our very dated home -- Since we bought this built-in-the-sixties home about two years ago, we have been slowly making it more liveable. So far we have put in a new furnace, painted the sunroom floor, had the outside trim painted, put on new shutters, removed old carpet and had the hardwood floors refinished, put in a new toilet in the guest bath and new fixtures in both showers, and bought and installed a new dishwasher and refrigerator. We have ordered and are set to install, within the next week or so, new countertops, sinks, and garbage disposal in the kitchen. We have removed wallpaper in the hall and the guest bath, and yesterday I bought primer and paint to paint those rooms. The wallpaper removal was simple in the hall (it had been applied over a painted surface.) The bathroom was another story. The wallpaper had been applied to bare wallboard. We finally gave up on getting the wallpaper backing and adhesive removed well, and today we are puttying and sanding walls to apply a primer before painting in there. Actually my dear DH is sanding away as I dawdle at the computer!
4. Trying to figure out how to remedy the damage done in our yard by the drought. All our azaleas are dead, the plants in the box by the mailbox and the natural area in the back are brown and dry. So far, we have just debated and mourned - no time for action on that front yet.
5. Income Taxes - April 15 is fast approaching, so gathering info, filling in blanks, making calls, researching new deductions, etc., have been the order of the day, so to speak. We got it sent off the the preparer this week.
6. Birthdays and family "stuff" - Early Spring holds big days in our extended family, and Easter horned into the schedule early this year. Mother's bday in February starts it off. DH and Biggest Little Brother have theirs in March; both grandsons' come the first week of April. Daughter's family is building a house in our town. They now live two hours away, so we have been doing a little of the local "stuff" on their behalf. G'kid's activities take a lot of time. Today for example, Doc has a tennis match at 4:00, Raye a soccer game at 5:00, and Nat a softball game at 7:30! Jed's 7th birthday party is Saturday.
7. Illnesses - One by one, many of us, including Moi, have suffered through a week or so of this year's prevailing epizudic. Oldest granddaughter, Raye, has had 3 concussions in the last 3 years playing basketball; so she had an appointment with a neurologist today to see if there has been damage that needs to be considered. The CAT scan this AM showed some areas of concern, and they have scheduled an MRI later this month and a follow-up appointment with the neurologist to discuss recommendations. Her basketball and soccer careers may be derailed - perhaps it is time for this very athletic and competitive girl to take up tennis or golf! In an alternate reality, she could actually become a scholar instead of an athlete!!! Sweet Nat hurt her finger playing softball a couple of weeks ago. Her pediatrician has recommended that she go to an orthopedic doc since the finger still hurts even though it has been splinted since the injury. She is going today for XRays.
And more seriously, my dear cousin, Don, has remained in critical condition for several weeks due to cancer surgery with complications from a collection of other weakening conditions. Don and his wife will celebrate, the Lord willing, their 3rd anniversary this week. Other than his wife, his closest relatives are my mother, my siblings, my cousin Jane, and I. I have made a couple of long trips to spend some time with Don while I can.
8. Other leisure choices - I have been reading and doing sudokus instead of writing recently. Neither takes the energy that writing does, and those can both be done sitting in a recliner and dozing for variety. I have read more than 6 novels this month as well as several magazines, and done a lot of research on wall-paper removal, the Lenten season, and other topics. To be perfectly honest, three of those "reads" have been "listens" on my Ipod as I run errands and labor on household chores. I can't write while removing wallpaper or driving to Lowe's, but I can listen to a novel. BTW, I just finished listening to "The Quickie" by James Patterson. It sped up wallpaper-removal time dramatically. I will run errands to "Taken by Storm" this afternoon.
9. I have tried to concentrate on exercise and weight control lately. I am not being very successful, but I have fit in a few walks and a little more healthy home-cooking than usual. Planning, shopping for, and cooking nutritious meals takes a lot more time than just running by the pizza place or going to Applebee's.
10. I have been researching another cruise. After all, we ARE allegedly retired, and one of our goals for retirement was to travel more. I am also looking into an AMTRAK trip to visit Sis in DC. Surprise, Jan!!
11- 13. You name it; I'm your girl. I am childcare giver, personal shopper, chauffeur, errand-runner, researcher on any topic of your need, and general flunkie!