Saturday, May 31, 2014

Busy morning

Yesterday was a very busy morning. The day started out sunny, but clouded over fairly early. I started my day with month end data entry and paying bills. Was an expensive month, but I got all my plastic bins and a bunch of other stuff for Ody during the month.

Anyway, after I got the computer work done, I got showered and dressed and trimmed and filed my nails while waiting to go to the post office. When the time came, I did my walk along the shore. The only wildlife I saw were these geese.

My fan blade and motor were at the post office, so I grabbed those and stopped at Kingdom Market on my way back to buy a watermelon. Can you imagine..$9 for a whole watermelon, and it wasn't even that big.

I got the fan motor and blade replaced with a minimum of fuss. I did not replace the wiring harness, it didn't need it. But I did have to drill new holes to mount the new motor. I made a bunch of trips back and forth getting tools, etc. Cleaned the screen, tested and reassembled it. 

While I was in screen mode, I cleaned the Fantastic Vent Fan screen as well. I will be ordering the pop out screen as this one has eight screws that need to be removed in order to clean the screen. A little overkill? Only four screws went back in until I can get the new screen.

Since things seemed to be going so well, I moved on to the latch for the screen door. Several more trips back and forth to the house a trip to the hardware store, I had to make do with the drill bits that I had. I wasn't about to pay $17 for a bit that I would only use once. Success. I don't think it is the best solution, but it works. The latch handle itself needs a little modification to make things work a little smoother, but I don't want it to be a duct tape fix, so am pondering it for now. 

I had one more mod to install before I wrapped it up for the day. I have had the screen door bar for about a week, and it was only natural that I would install that too. So I did. Now there is something to grab on to when I want to close both doors, something to push when I want to open them from the inside. 

It's the little things that count. As for the watermelon, very disappointing. Absolutely no flavor. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Reducing expenses

In my quest to reduce expenses, I have decided to try something new with my cell phone. For many years we have had service with AT&T, contracts, etc. Currently I am paying $99 a month for 300 roll over minutes, 5 gig of data and no text or messaging. Every time I send or receive a text, I pay for it. For the amount of usage, I am way overpaying, and have been since the beginning.

I hardly use my phone, and don't use all that much data because it is just faster and easier to use the wifi at home. But that will soon be going away and is a whole other adventure in itself.

After a fair amount of research and a lot of information and opinion gathering from my online friends, I have decide to try Straight Talk. It is $45 a month prepaid. It includes phone, texting, messaging and data...get this..UNLIMITED. Granted, you get choked after 3 gig of data, but there are no extra fees, and it will still work, even tho slow. Plus, I can keep my current phone and number and basically, just change out the sim and activate it.

Unfortunately I live in the sticks. The closest Wal Mart is almost two hours away. I ordered my sim and three months plan online, and am anxiously awaiting delivery so I can change over and dump the outrageous AT&T bill. I will let you know how that whole experience is.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Two new birds

I always like getting photos of birds I haven't gotten before. Here are two new ones.

A Gray Catbird

Spotted Sandpiper

A good day's catch.

I'm off my meds...

I'm off my meds....
I posted that on Facebook and not one snarky comment. I expected several. Oh well. As of this morning, I am experimentally off my metformin for Type 2 Diabetes. When I was diagnosed in early September, my A1C was 10.0. They started me on 850mg of metformin twice a day. Dropped back to 500mg once a day at the end of October. My A1C was 7.5 at that time. In February, my A1C was 6.0, today it was 6.1. Maintaining. So tomorrow I won't take any. I will continue to check my fasting blood sugar and before I leave, will have the A1C checked again. With any luck, I will be able to maintain and not have to go back on the meds. Also, my blood pressure was a little lower than the last few visits, so no BP meds at this time. Yay!

Before I went to the Health Center this morning, I went out to check on Ody after the three inches of rain we got yesterday. Discovered that I had left her big window over the bed wide open. Thankfully, the polar fleece blanket and OEM bed spread absorbed most of the water, and it must not have been coming from that direction. The blanket went thru the dryer and the bedspread is hanging on the porch and will be washed and dried when I do laundry on Saturday. Then I will pack that away for resale time.

Monday was Memorial Day. I wandered down to the Welcome Center to record the ceremony with the wreath and the 21 gun salute, but it started raining in earnest before the parade even started. I had the key to the building next door, so I let myself in and watched the parade from indoors. Here is the link for the video.

The rest of the day wasn't much better. The cookout I had been invited to was also canceled, so I spent the rest of the day reading and watching TV.

Yesterday was miserable. We got over three inches of rain.

It washed out the driveway again, and flooded the whole property...again.

I have actual video.

I wish I could be here to see what happens with the water once this property is developed. They won't leave it the lowest point in town, it will be paved. Then where will the water go? Unfortunately, I won't be here to find out. This happens every time we have a big thunder storm. Surprisingly, being a short timer takes a lot of the stress out of living here when things like this happen. 

Now if I could just get a closing date.

Monday, May 26, 2014

All systems go.

I got a packet via FedEx on Friday. It was from the buyer's title company and was a list of demands for closing. It was all legalese to me, so I took it over to my lawyer, we met, and he is going to handle the details for me. Dan was going to do the closing anyway, so he might as well do the hoop jumping as well. But I am hoping this means there will be a closing date in my near future.

Saturday was chore day. Did fun things like laundry and garbage and the litter box. The weather was nice, so I also got to grill a steak and some sweet potatoes. The steak was nice and tender for a change. I normally can't cook a decent steak. I usually over cook them.

I went to the local campground for information on Saturday and got the name and number of the guy that winterizes the campers that stay at the campground full time. It was actually someone I know, so I called him and he came yesterday morning and walked me thru the unwinterizing process, the water system, etc. I learned a lot and feel a lot more comfortable knowing that much more than I did when I started. Everything seems to be up and running and she is ready to try out. Am thinking of taking her someplace close by for a couple of days as a trial run. I won't be able to take my car because I don't have it setup to tow yet, but if I plan it right, I shouldn't need it. That would be the fastest and easiest way to learn, figure out what I need and don't have, what I have and don't need, etc. Doesn't even have to be a weekend.

Since I had to move Ody so we could de winterize her, I took her down to the school and back. Backed her into the driveway for the second time. Everything pretty much stayed where it was supposed to. The only thing rattling and fell over was the flatware caddy. So I rigged up a mini bungee for it when I got back. It should stop the rattling and it will stay where it is supposed to. There is a cup hook on one side to easily remove and replace the bungee for use and travel. I also trimmed some cedar branches before I moved her back into her parking spot. No more branches hitting the roof or tail end. Gives me more room to work all sides without having to move her.

I did have one Ody fatality yesterday. The vent fan in the bathroom. I was testing it out, seeing how it works and the fan blades blew up. I can replace the blades, or I can replace the whole fan. Not sure what I am going to do yet. There is something called a Fantastic Fan that is supposed to be miles better than the stock fan, but it is pretty pricey and would require going up on the roof and dealing with vent covers, etc. I may try to disassemble it today to see how difficult it really would be. Then decide.

Kali Cat came out to visit at one point. I managed a little video.

Last night, while watching TV, Kali Cat also caught herself a mouse. She had been stalking this little guy for weeks. It gave her a run for her money, had her breathing heavily a couple of times, and eventually got away from her in my desk area. So now I have a mouse in my living room somewhere. I got pictures. He was a cute little bugger.

She is wandering around with the little bugger in her mouth, breathing heavily, thinking things through.

You can actually see his little tail in this pic.

Here he is! Slightly confused. I'm sure I didn't help any with the flashing of the camera in a dark under desk.

Just before he escaped.

she has been stalking again this morning, so I am assuming that means she hasn't found it and it is still roaming free. But it was a little bit of excitement in an otherwise dull evening. For both of us. :)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Another chore almost done.

Today's goal was to get the shelving on the porch cleared off. I have the shelves sold and the buyer is picking them up this weekend. I sorted and relocated pretty much everything. Some to the storage bin out back - the stuff that will live in the car, and the rest went in Ody.

I finished just before the thunderstorms started. Tomorrow I need to separate the two shelves so they can be easily moved. But it is definite progress. 


I woke up cranky this morning. Getting so very tired of waiting and not knowing. I have been waiting for over four years to leave this place. Knowing that it IS going to happen, but not knowing when sucks. Can't make any plans.
Plus, another holiday weekend alone with no plans and no one to do anything with. That gets old too.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Ducklings and a bumble

I have a friend that works at the water treatment plant. He lets me know when the wildlife comes in. 
I got a text from him this morning, so I went up. This is what I got.

A clean awning and a reorganized storage area.

 Still waiting....I had expected to hear something by now. Sigh........

Making progress on getting Ody set up and cleaned up. Yesterday was awning cleaning day. It was really, really nasty. Lots of old and rotten debris, even lichen growing on the edge of the roof. I used the Camco awning cleaner. It didn't get all the stains out, but it did get out the mold and dirt and cleaned up the housing and roof edge. Looks much, much better. When I started the project, it was beautiful out. But sometime during the scrubbing, we picked up gusty winds. I managed to get it done and dried without any major mishaps, but I was very nervous about the wind.

This is what I started with....

By the time I got done, this is how she looked...

No more green awning and roof edge. I know, I should have gotten a better before pic. Sorry. 

Today my storage bins came. I got a dozen of the large 64 qt ones and 16 of the smaller ones. I pulled out the rubber maid stacking bins and replaced them with the new ones. Much neater, much more convenient, and much more efficient. A lot of the bins aren't full and I have several of the larger ones that are still empty and almost all of the smaller ones that are empty. Once I get my craft stuff in there, I will rig up the cargo nets.

From this...

To this...

This is the other side where all my jewelry and craft stuff will go.

The sheepskin pad and attachment for my cordless drill came yesterday. I can now start working on the fiberglass shell and get rid of the chalking. I did a little section by hand the other day and it is making a difference. Even brought back the blue along the bottom. Although you really can't tell by the picture.

I'm keeping myself busy. Gathering things for life on the road, or at least in a very small space. I have researched and figure out what composting toilet I will be buying, tires, tow bar, etc. A lot has to wait until I sell this place and get the money. Will have to camp locally for a little while until I can get all the work done and Ody ready to hit the road. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

One step closer.

Got notification in the mail yesterday that the Dept of Environmental Conservation has approved the permit for DG. I think that was the last hurdle. I should be getting a closing date very soon.

That means I have a lot to do in a little bit of time, but not having the exact target date, I don't know how long. I will try to be patient while I wait to hear from the powers that be.

This was my view on my walk yesterday. The lake was gorgeous! Just look at the reflections. Would have been a perfect day to be out there on the water.  My kayak didn't arrive until later and I don't have it set up yet, so it was a miss for me. Besides, I think the water might still be a bit chilly. There were kayakers out there tho. More experienced kayakers.

Once I get the money from the sale of the property, I will have a lot to do before I will be ready to leave. I need to buy seven new tires for Ody, have her brakes checked and possibly repaired, get her unwinterized and inspected and tested out. I need to get a tow bar on the jeep, and so much more. All waiting for an influx of funds. I also need a backup camera and a solar setup. There will be a flurry of online ordering when I get some cash. In the meantime, I am getting a few inexpensive things here and there. 

I was hoping to spend the month of July in Maine, and then head for Wisconsin in August and spend a little time there. But we will see how it all plays out. 

I do have to say that I am nervous, apprehensive, scared, for a better word. My world is changing in a big way, and it is all based on reading and research, not actual experience. Plus, I have barely left home in the last four plus years, and in a few weeks, I will no longer have a home. What is going to happen? What if I don't like it? I know I don't like to drive in or near cities. There are a lot of strange people out in the world, lots of danger. But other people - single women - have been doing this for years and do it every day. It is reassuring to know there are others out there. What I DO know is that I can't stay here. I'm not happy here without Jake. He is the reason I moved here. I have no family here and very few friends, and I don't want to spend my last years alone and lonely. I can see myself becoming the crazy cat lady if I stay. It is just too depressing to think about not leaving.

The first leg of the journey will be ok. It is all territory that I have driven many times in the past. It is familiar. But once I set off for Wisconsin, it is a crap shoot. I have to drive northwest to spend some time with my brother before I head southwest for the winter. If he hadn't just moved from AZ to WI, I wouldn't be heading north at all, would just head directly southwest. Will be a lot of extra driving. I should be pretty good at it by the time I reach Texas.

Today I am going to try not to think about this too much. Not much I can do until I have more information. I will finish up last week's jewelry challenge piece and start this week's piece. I have several pieces to make for Susan, and I need to start clearing off the chrome shelving because I have all six sold. Three of them are still in use and need to be cleared off, separated and reconfigured for easier moving.

It is supposed to be partly sunny, chance of showers and near 70 today. Not the best weather, but much, much better than it was a couple of weeks ago. I'll take it!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The craft fair on Saturday was quite disappointing. It was more of a social day than a profitable one. A lot of vendors didn't even make a sale. I sold less than $50, and between the cost of the table, food, and the tomato plant I bought, $8 was my profit. This was my third year doing this craft fair. Seems that the people get fewer and fewer each year. I really think it is the location. It is miles away from anywhere on a dirt road, and definitely out of the way. People have to make a special effort to get there. I believe a different location would do a lot better.

My table was a quick and easy setup and an even quicker breakdown. The black display boxes seemed to work well. It worked out that my table was two sided which was even better. If I choose to do any sort of fair on the road, I have an established and tried setup now. That was my main goal and it was a success.

Things are finally starting to turn green and bloom. My jonquils are starting and the bluebells have been going for almost a week now. The snowdrops are just about going by. This morning I noticed the leaves on my lilac have popped over night.

Was an absolutely gorgeous day yesterday. The second in a row that I got to wear shorts and sandals. I'm going to try to wear them again today, but it isn't supposed to be as nice. I would be very happy to put the jeans away for another season.

One of yesterday's many projects was to fix the bottom of Ody's door where it was coming apart. It got slammed in the wind last week and it was just too much for it. Some self tapping screws and some heavy duty duct tape did the trick. Should be good for a while now. Although, I may put a coat of paint on the duct tape.

I wrapped up the day by planting some seed in my singer planter. I planted spinach, collards, bok choy, mustard greens, swiss chard and italian dandelion greens. I need to set up a pot for some radishes and another for lettuce. I don't know how long I am going to be here, and it is greens season. I'm sure I can find a home for them if I have to leave before they are ready.

And last but not least, I got my fountain going yesterday. :) A sure sign of warmer weather. It is about time.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Finally a few minutes to write

I have been trying to find the time for the last three or four days to update. I finally have the amount of time it takes for the washing machine to wash a load of laundry. I am doing my Saturday chores today because tomorrow I have a craft fair that I am doing, and Sunday is Mother's Day and company from Maine.

My tattoo is finally healing up. I lost a lot of it with the infection and haven't decided if I am going to have it repaired or not yet. I am a little needle shy at this point. Again, it was my own fault, I didn't have the proper after care cream to keep it from getting infected and worked with what I had. I will make that decision when it is healed up and see how much is left.

My back is better. No more shooting pain. That was three days on the heating pad in the recliner. The down time was due. But I would have enjoyed it more if I could have been able to move. But I am up and about and have been quite productive the last few days. Kali Cat liked all the extra lap time.

I got all the left over yard sale stuff packed up and the shelving disassembled the other day. It is all ready to go. Just need to find a buyer(s).

The shelving is sold already. I had way more buyers than shelving units. Hoping to get some decent money for the grid wall and all it's shelves and hooks and accessories. Don't have a buyer for the rest of the stuff yet tho, but I have it all listed on craigslist. Here are the links..

Hoping to have this stuff gone soon. I would like to make enough to buy a kayak. I have been wanting one for several years now and haven't spent the money. But I think this is the year. If I can get this stuff sold.

After I wrapped that up, it was so nice out that I decided to see if I could get the awning open on Ody. After watching a you tube video, I decided it was just stuck and got out the step ladder and got the thing open. It is in pretty good shape, very dirty, and needs some reinforcement on the back side, but is usable. I have awning cleaner ordered and on the way. I also got the grille for the door spray painted and installed. Just a little screen reinforcement. I am hard on door screens and this is a little extra insurance to keep the cat in too.


Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day. Sunny, warm...we have been waiting for that for a long time. I spent as much of the day outside that I could. I got the courtyard cleaned up and rearranged for however long I will be here. And this morning I bought some pansies and got them potted up before it started raining.

I am happy to be able to walk the pathway again. I got some awesome loon shots the other day. I still don't have that one great shot, but am happy with some of these. I want to get back out and try again. Maybe if I get a kayak, I will feel brave enough to take my camera with me. I have a waterproof sack that I can keep it in.

Today's walk was a last minute decision as I reached the end of the driveway. I hadn't done the steps since last fall, and since the weather was so iffy, I figured I would go for the effort instead of the view. :) The complete walk is just under a mile, but includes a lot of stairs.

I stopped at the thrift store on my way back. Found two pair of shorts for a grand total of $6. Can't beat the price. I know I shouldn't be buying anything right now, but I was down to one very threadbare pair of shorts to start the season with. I actually only stopped in to say hi to Toni.

The wash is just about done. Once I get it switched over to the dryer, I need to do a dry run for my craft fair table. (I have limited space and need the kitchen to do this). After that, I am trying a new method of etching. It uses a 9 volt battery. That will be my piece for this week's jewelry challenge.

I was hoping to be able to grill my dinner tonight, but it isn't looking promising with the rain. Oh well, maybe Sunday.

As for the status of the sale and if and when I finally get out of here. The application has been submitted to the Vermont Department of Conservation. They have 30 days to determine what to do with the ground contamination next door. Their requirements will determine if DG still wants to go forward with this project or scuttle it due to the cost. I'm hoping it all goes thru and I get a closing date within a few more weeks. I am tired of waiting. It has been over six months since this started. Time for it to happen!