May 2010

We’ve been looking at houses off and on. Hopefully sometime during the next five years, we’ll find “The One”.

Our house we live in now is fine; plus, it’s paid for but we don’t like it much. It’s like many homes across the land – ranch style with the garage stuck out front and the home part hanging off the back like an afterthought. It’s built on a slope and so I’ve had to deal with water issues as the rain flows down to the house and has nowhere to go. Then there’s the driveway situation in snow and when we have a bunch of cars to park: slopes are not good in those situations.

We bought it hurriedly when we moved here. We wanted to be near Mel’s sister and that has certainly been a good thing but I do wish we had waited a bit until we found a house that we liked more.

When we were house hunting in Ft. Worth years ago, we found “The One”. I remember it well; we both fell in love with it right away. It had issues too but we seemed more inclined to deal with them rather than move away from them.

Our hunt now is enormously complicated by me and my desire to have some sort of workshop. This is not at all common and most homes we find with that sort of thing either end up being way out in the country (not in itself a bad thing) or the “shop” ends up being a derelict shed for lawnmowers.

There are several issues with rural property but there are issues with any property; You have to pick what you are willing to deal with.

I wouldn’t mind a third bay in the garage; I could easily set up shop in such a space and by adding a small air conditioner, I could be there all year long.

So the long search for the perfect home continues, complicated by all the above plus the desired state of not having another 30 year mortgage. I’ve seriously thought of abandoning my beloved woodworking just to simplify things in the short term. Here’s hoping we can arrive at a livable solution.


This is normally the time of year that we get the bad thunderstorms and tornadoes but we seem to be getting lucky this year. Knock on wood.

There were a line of them down near Oklahoma city last night but we got nothing but a little rain and noise. Here’s hoping we escape all the bad stuff and it stays cool into June like it did last year; I still have a fence to complete.

Once again we had one of those weekends where everything happened at once. They were all good but still…

We went to Fayetteville last Wednesday to get all Evan’s stuff but he stayed there with friends to play awhile. While there, somebody actually made him a cake which suggests that girls are among his circle of friends. All the better.

He drove home Friday to meet me for lunch. We then all drove back there on Saturday to attend the graduation of our niece followed by a huge picnic at the park. Actually Erin stayed home to study for her AP tests.

After spending the day in Fayetteville, we decided to spend mother’s day at home. Mel elected to sleep in and let us take care of the grocery shopping and meal prep.

Evan’s birthday fell squarely in the middle of this on Saturday. This happens every year but seldom are his birthday and mother’s day so close. We had cakes from both events; we’re all sick of cake now. On Sunday evening, I drove Evan to a store to get some camping gear for his birthday; he’ll use this on his upcoming mission trip to Colorado.

It was a pleasant weekend but a bit too full of major events that had to be planned for.

All the long hours of the last pay period led to me being able to take the day off on Friday. Of all the productive things I could have done, all I did was firm up some vacation plans and then head over to a friend’s.

He has gotten geared up to produce guitars for sale and had put the finishing touches on his dust collector which I wanted to see. I was duly impressed and then we whiled away several more hours doing similar geeky guy stuff.

He had taken a consulting job once a few years ago for a company that makes laparoscopes and instead of taking money he took a laparoscope just for the coolness factor. We used it to look deep into his grandfather clock which was ultra cool.

We met up with yet another friend for lunch at Tally’s which is an old diner on the old route 66. We left there and went to a coffee shop for dessert and then, because he lives near it, I went to the Whole Foods market to get the kind of oatmeal I like.

It’s fun to have a day off now and then.

Spring is really busting out all over and I had to deal with it in several ways this past weekend.

Saturday was free dump day at the city dump. Sorry – “landfill”. Only a longtime homeowner like me could possibly get excited about something like that but when you have great piles of rotted wood from a project laying around, then the chance to get ride of them for free has a certain appeal.

The weatherman could not decide if it was going to rain or not. In the end, it rained off and on all day which was bad news for all the neighborhood garage sales that were planned. Apparently, the first Saturday in May is “neighborhood garage sale day” at least according to my observation. Perhaps that and the rain kept the crowds down at the dump but I was one of the few to pack my minivan with junk and drive the 20 miles or so to the former quarry and heave my refuse overboard.

I got lucky in that it rained on me all the way up there but stopped long enough for me to jettison my junk, then started again.

Since the car was trashed (heh) anyway, I decided to stop at Lowes and pick up another load of fence material. And of course they didn’t have one of the things I needed which made me have to go to another store. But again, the rain stopped for me long enough to load the car both times. While there, I passed the bedding plants and decided that since we needed some flowers for the mailbox, I may as well get them right then.

After cleaning out the car, I decided to go ahead and plant the flowers since the rain would water them in.

By then it was still early (i had left for the dump really early anticipating crowds) so i decided to start on the fence again. I figured that the storm clouds would keep things cool which they did. In fact the rain stayed away long enough for me to finish all I intended to do as well as burn a few old pickets in my little campfire. When I finished, the rain started in earnest and put out my fire for me. It was all quite convenient.

Then on Sunday, I had enough stuff left over to do another section which I did. I kept looking at the roof and noticing the branches that were touching it so I went for my ladder and climbed up to do some pruning. This was successful except that I then had a pile of brush on the ground and free dump day gone past.

I whittled away at the pile with some clippers until I got tired and then gave it up for the day. I was getting tired and sore so it was inside for me to take an Aleve, grab a drink, and watch a little PBS.

All in all it was very productive and I’m finally getting back in shape after all the back problems and this does not totally put me under the table.

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