a bench with a view

a bench with a view

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Father's Day Surprise

Thanks to all who played along to guess which number was the lie on my True or False post.  #7 was the lie (making an offer on a house in Phoenix).  We did not make an offer on a house in Phoenix (and really I got to give credit to those people who live there because that heat was oppressive; I don't think I have it in me to live in such extreme heat for the amount of months they do, even though I'm sure they somewhat get used to it; heck we lived in extreme cold in Montana for four months a year and did get used to it).

So all others were the truth, including the delightful news that hubby and me are going to be grandparents.  Totally caught us by surprise.

Saturday after we had lunch with a friend and had done some wine tasting, of which I picked up a bottle of wine for son's girlfriend, since she likes wine, we went over to son's/girlfriend's apartment and visited.  Whenever we visit, I always bring something they might need, a gift card for the local grocery store, paper goods, etc.  This time we brought toilet paper, paper towels, and trash bags.  I laughed and gave the girlfriend the wine and said she got the better deal and gave son the paper products.  We had a nice visit and then made arrangements to get together for breakfast the next day since both son and girlfriend had to work later in the morning on Sunday.

The next morning, Father's Day, we were together at the restaurant, having ordered breakfast and had gotten our food.  Halfway through the meal, I picked up my water glass and offered a toast to hubby saying "Happy Father's Day."  Everyone did the same.  Then son said "next year you won't be the only father at the table."  Hubby and me just kind of looked at him, took a few minutes to register what he was saying.  I looked at girlfriend who was across the table from me and she kind of shook her head "yes" and then I got it.  Got tears in my eyes (happy tears) and then got up and went around and hugged her and then hugged son.  I guess the look on my face was priceless, they were saying they wished they had video taped it, LOL.

After it kind of quieted down with all the excitement after such an announcement, I said "oh no, I brought you wine yesterday."  Of course she wasn't planning to drink it until afterwards.  I'm glad the bottle we picked for her the guy at the wine tasting said it would mature in time and actually taste better.  

So a new member of the family.  Totally unexpected but definitely will be loved.  

It is interesting how God works.  A year ago son hadn't even met girlfriend yet (they met last August) but I remember one day last year thinking "I'm going to be the mother of a groom."  He wasn't even dating at the time.  Eventually after they met, they decided to move to this state and then 2 months later we follow.  We'll be about two hours away, but closer than five hours away if we were still in the San Diego area.

Now I just have to figure out what I want to be called........Granny, Grandma, Nana, etc.  Got some time I guess to figure it out.

Monday, June 22, 2015

True or False

Had a fun weekend this past weekend.  Went 2 hours south to the Phoenix area.  Here's some tidbits about the weekend.  One of them is a false statement.  See if you can guess which one (answer on Thursday)

1.  It was 111 degrees in Phoenix.

2.  We got to see Black Jack (son/girlfriend's dog).

3.  We rented a car for the trip and took the insurance this time.

4.  We visited with a friend I met blogging over 10 years ago who we met finally face to face 6 years ago and have been through thick and thin over the years.

5.  We had lunch with said friend and even enjoyed wine tasting in Old Town Scottsdale.

6.  We found out we are going to be grandparents.

7.  We found a home we like in Phoenix and am going to make an offer on it.

8.  We stayed at a nice hotel, Best Western Inn Suites, that had a nice social hour with complimentary beer and wine and nachos.

9.  Had dinner at a delicious restaurant called Feeneys; I had chicken kabobs, hubby had London broil.

10.  We had breakfast with son and girlfriend this morning at a place called Matt's Big Breakfast, delicious food.

11.  I'm sure I gained 5 pounds with what I ate all weekend.

12.  We went to Musical Instrument Museum today.

13. I was glad to get home to Prescott where it was 96 degrees and not 110 degrees.

So which number is the lie?  12 truths, 1 lie.

Like I said, answer on Thursday.

Hope all dads out there had a good Father's Day!

Friday, June 12, 2015

the house

You guys might remember that I mentioned we were going to rent out the home we previously lived in before we moved here to Arizona. We were going to fix it up, get a home improvement loan to do so, rent it out and then eventually move back there upon retirement (when and if, LOL). 

That plan got a bit thwarted by the fact that to get a home improvement loan to fix up the house, one of the stipulations were that you couldn't rent it.  If the bank found out it was rented, they could call the loan and demand full payment then and there.  So there went that plan.

After much consideration, the best decision was to sell the house since we didn't want to leave it empty and we couldn't come up with the money to pay off the loan and then be able to rent it out.  


So this past week we went back to see the work that had been done. We had new windows put in, flooring, painting inside and out, lots of cosmetic work that it needed.  The guy who did the work did a fantastic job, along with the subcontractors who did the flooring and the painting.  I should have taken before pictures before we moved, but it was such a stressful time we didn't.  All the pictures I have that show before have Koda in them and I just couldn't post a picture of him.  Some of you might remember the shag carpeting that was there before.

We were pleasantly surprised at how it all came out.

This is right when you walk into the front door.  Bright and open.



Kitchen.  New flooring.  Counter top and cabinets the same, just spruced up a bit.  New dishwasher (stove was about 3 years old).



Back den area.  Wall to the left of the sliding glass window was where I had my computer area and work area.  



Master bedroom.  New mirror doors on the closet.  



Hubby's music room, actually the second of three bedrooms in the house.  Looks out to garage door that is opened.



Outdoor paint.  The before color was kind of gray.  I kind of liked that better, but the green works. You can see at the bottom of the picture what looks like dirt.  There between the two bedrooms (two windows representative) was a plantar box that was about 3-4 feet high and about 3-4 feet wide.  It was cement.  Problem was it wasn't sealed properly so when it rained, water would seep into the bedrooms.  We thought there would be mold in the walls, but there was not.  Contractor ripped out the whole plantar and assessed for mold or other damage. There was none.  There were 10,000 pounds of concrete and 6000 pounds of dirt there that was dug out (he knew for sure because when he hauled the stuff away to the dump, it had to be measured to assess charge for dumping).  He's going to pour cement in that dirt area.



Since son had known the house from when his grandparents lived there and had helped clear it out and lived there for 2 years, we felt it was fitting he come to see the house before it sold, so that's why he and his girlfriend came along with us (plus we had tons of fun spending time with them).

The house is officially on the market.  So much has changed since the last time we sold a house 9 years ago in Montana. Our realtor here said a lot of people look online first for a house so it is important to get quality pictures online for houses on the market.  They have a professional photographer who comes and takes the pictures with lighting, etc.  She also said that there are people who don't want to deal with realtors and will just purchase a house online without even seeing it in person (that would be hard, I would have to see it).

So this chapter is going to be closing really soon, but excited about the next chapter that will be opening as we'll be more than likely looking for a house here.......and as part of looking a house here......we might be opening up our hearts......to a corgi.............. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I'm back

I am back.  We took a quick trip over to the San Diego area to take care of some business with the house we used to live in (which I'll detail in my next blog post later this week).

We left Thursday, came back Sunday evening.  Son and girlfriend came with us (more about that in the house blog post).  His girlfriend actually drove out on Wednesday and we met up with son on Thursday and he followed us or we followed him, depending on who was in the lead. I got to drive with him for a big part of the trip; good to have a chance to talk with him for a long period of time.

Of course one of the things we had to do when in San Diego was visit a favorite store of ours.   
 
 


and of course we bought some chocolate (which surprisingly we haven't eaten any yet)



In addition to taking care of stuff regarding the house, the other intent of the trip was to go to the San Diego Fair because hubby's brother was going to be performing there on one of the stages (I think there's about four or five small stages for different acts). 

Hadn't been to the fair since the kids were little, pre 9/11 days.  Days when they didn't check your purse or have you go through a metal detector.  I appreciate the safety though hubby had to throw away a pocket knife since they weren't allowed in to the fair (no weapons of any kind).  We could have gone back to the car and left it there but hubby didn't want to.  But interestingly Cutco sold knives at the fair......Not sure if you got to take the knife or if they mailed it to you if you bought one.

The fair was the fair. Typical displays of things and everything expensive.  Not sure how a family could do the fair unless they took out a small loan.


This is the sign for the entertainment on the stage hubby's brother was performing on . Its a bit blurred but maybe that's good for privacy :)


We enjoyed the time there seeing family and a few friends.  Ate too much but don't most people on vacation?

We rented a car for the trip.  Our cars are older and need a bit of work so we didn't want to put on that many miles on them or risk them breaking down.  Eventually we'll be buying a new car this year but in the meantime if we are going on long adventures, we rent a car.

We've been renting from Enterprise and have had great experiences with them. Usually hubby will get the full insurance they offer that if anything happens to the car we aren't liable.  This time we checked into our auto insurance policy and they would cover a rental car plus we have a credit card that as one of its rewards if you use it for renting a car and get into an accident, they'll cover what your auto insurance doesn't.  So we thought we were covered and didn't take the insurance offered by Enterprise.  We picked up the car Wednesday night, thought everything looked good on it.

And then Friday morning we saw this. 

Looked like someone had hit the left back bumper area when they pulled into a parking space.  We thought "oh great" the one time we don't take that insurance.  We knew we would have to pay the deductible for our auto insurance and might get it back.  Of course the deductible was more than the car insurance would have been through Enterprise.  We thought "okay, lesson learned, we will deal with it when we get home."

Turned in the car Sunday night when we got home.  Enterprise was closed, but we just dropped off the keys in their drop box.  Hubby called them this morning to report the damage to the car and to see what the next step was......

.......and then they told him "oh, we already knew about this damage."  It wasn't us. We weren't liable.  Usually they do a thorough walk around with the customer before you get the car. They did, but it was at the end of a long day for them.  They missed telling us this, we missed seeing it (perhaps the way the sun wasn't shining on it).  Whatever, it worked out.  We aren't responsible for it because it didn't happen during the time of our rental period.

However, lesson learned.  We are going to get their car insurance the next time.  Its worth the little bit daily to pay for that piece of mind.

Anyway, I'm back. I didn't read all the blogs you guys wrote during my absence, but tried to read as many as I could.

Probably Thursday night I'll do the blog post about the house.

Monday, June 1, 2015

tight quarters

I have to admit, I am enamored with watching the birds at our feeders.  I find myself when I take my morning and afternoon break at work grabbing a drink of water and just spending a few minutes watching what is going on outside with the birds.  They provide great entertainment.

The doves, who really are too big for the feeders, don't think they are too big.


They manage to even eat seed from it.  Hubby took this shot of them.  I thought he did great with it.  He may not clean, but he sure can get some good picture shots (and cook a great meal).

I got a new camera.  Here's my first picture I took with it.  It was dinner on Saturday night; grilled shrimp with cesear salad, delicious! My old camera broke right before we moved.  I was taking pictures on the tablet, but it was a bit bulky.  Because we are traveling soon (see below) I wanted something more convenient like a small size camera so got one.  Lucky you.  I'm sure I'll be sharing lots of pictures.



Horrors, we saw Saturday what I dreaded seeing since we moved in and the wide open spaces that we had.  It was on our back patio.  It was only about 7 to 8 inches long.  Kind of pencil thin.  It may or may not have survived.  I hope we don't see any more here or I may never go outside again until winter descends upon us.

I am taking off for a few days sometime in the next week.  I may have time to read blogs, I'm not sure.  If you don't see me around, you'll know why.  I'm so looking forward to this trip and can't wait to share it with all of you when we return.  I will have pictures to share of our adventures.

In the meantime, take care of yourselves and enjoy the beginnings of summer.  It is interesting with our first year here.  It starts to get light about 4:40 a.m. here and stays light until about 7:50 p.m. (ish).  Hard to believe we have been here close to six months.  Time flies, especially if one is having fun :)

And I hope you all are having fun!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

if you go on strike.....

Some of you might remember that I went on strike against house cleaning about 4 years ago.  To give a little history with hopefully not a lot of words, prior to that time hubby worked 50 hours a week on average and I worked 40 hours a week.  I had a split schedule on Friday and Saturday so I cleaned house on Friday afternoon so that we had the weekend after my shift on Saturday to play or whatever.  I also did 99.9% of the laundry.

Then he quit his job to move closer to his parents and I kept working 40 hours a week but then we got that pesky mandatory overtime for about 6 months, so I was working 46 hours a week (extra hour a day for every day I worked) and he was working zilch as he was trying to get his teaching guitar student business going.

I had diligently cleaned house before then because he had the more stressful job at the time and was working more hours so I was trying to make it easier for him so I thought it should now be the same. I was working more hours, he should do house cleaning and laundry to free up my time.

He didn't.

I went on strike.

I in my head went on strike.

I stopped cleaning.

For four years.

I think during that time I MIGHT have cleaned the bathrooms once and maybe vacuumed once or twice but I never touched the kitchen or much else.  Laundry was about 60/40, you can guess who had the 60 and if you chose me, you'd be right.

I never told him I was on strike on house cleaning.  I just didn't clean.

I didn't like the situation I was in (okay I hated it, you guys all know that if you followed my blog for any of a time during that time). I distanced myself from that house. I could care less about the dirt. I just rationed it wasn't my house (and truly it wasn't, in name alone it is not my house, he inherited it strictly in his name from his parents).  We rarely had people over. 

Truly the house was not maintained.  It was pathetic.  But I was on strike and I wasn't budging.

Fast forward four years and now the situation is reversed once again, order has been restored to the universe.

He is now working 50 plus hours a week again and I'm back to 40 hours a week except for that pesky overtime that seems to creep in here and there and ruins the best laid plans especially through the A/Z challenge.

So I quietly settled my strike and started cleaning again. We moved here and within a week I had established a cleaning and laundry schedule and exclusively I do it 100%.

However, I forgot one little thing.  What we left behind.

A DIRTY HOUSE.

Extremely dirty house.

That house is in the process of being remodeled (more about that later and our future plans).

The wonderful sweet handyman who is fixing it up is a young married man with two young children, a big heart, a limited budget. Their fridge went out and he asked if he could buy the fridge from our house which we didn't move.  Both hubby and me knew we couldn't sell him the fridge because we had no idea how old it was and we didn't want to sell it to him one week and then have it break the next week so we gave him the fridge.

And then I remembered.

How it looked.

Before we moved.

And sheepishly I thought.

Oh my gosh.

I left a tremendous mess.

For someone else to clean up.

I had a moment of guilt (but just a moment).

I considered messaging his lovely wife on Facebook.

and said "so sorry, this isn't really how I take care of things"

but I didn't.

I just hope they appreciated the gift.

Even if they had to clean it up a bit (lot).

Do I regret the strike?

Nope (maybe 0.00000000001%)

Will I do it again?

If the situation is right, yes.

Am I happy to be cleaning again?

Yeah.....I kind of like it.

So......just be careful......in case you decide to do such a strike.

It could come back to haunt you (but just a bit).

Friday, May 15, 2015

Middle of May Friday Letters

Hooking up with Paula this week for Friday Letters:

Dear Mandatory Overtime:  Enough already!!

Dear American Idol:  You're cheesy, but I'm going to miss you after next season.

Dear Son and Delightful Girlfriend:  So enjoyed the visit last Saturday.  Lunch was fun and loved meeting your new puppy.  Just saying, if he happens to disappear after the next time we come and visit, don't worry, I'm sure he is safe.

Dear Blackjack:  You aren't a corgi, but you are a cute Jack Russell Terrier mix.  I forgot how active puppies can be.  I might offer you an adventure the next time we see you.  Don't worry, you'll be in a loving home without a cat.  You'll do fine.

Dear Weather: Really, another weekend that is cold and rainy?  Three in a row, but who's counting?

Dear Upcoming Trip:  Looking forward to you in more ways than one.  Will have some interesting things to share with my faithful blog readers.

Dear Weekend:  Don't go too fast, okay?