Thursday, August 31, 2017

Remicing a Picnic April 2016

            I forgot to mention the office chair we had picked up at the yard sale, as the one I have been using seems to be falling apart.  I pushed it across the street with no problems, but got stuck with the loose gravel in our hillbilly driveway and stopped before I got to the paved cement walk that leads to the house.

            I was reminded of when we had first moved in - there were items that had been moved into the house, but the washer, dryer, and dining set were still outside.  Roland had gone to McDonald's and we pulled the chairs around our dining table and had a picnic in our front yard


            Took these pics of the sunset last night:

Non Traditional Return to School

Jenna LOVES to dress up in costume.  I had thought for a while that she had always wished she had blond hair, but she doesn't see it that way, though she did do chores in order to purchase a blonde wig which may look real from a distance, but the fibers themselves are polyester or some other form of plastic.  This is what she wanted to wear to school:

            We had tried another bow - partly to secure the wig, but also to keep the strands off her face.  Long hair is just too bothersome right now, which is why she's had such short hair for almost a year now.  I tied a bow in scarf that Ooki had sent but it definitely did not go with her personality, though it did seem to match her shirt well

            but she did end up wearing the multi-pastel colored scarf rather than the bandana.  She did keep the tutu on all day, but removed the blond wig before school had even started as it felt too hot to continue wearing.

              She cannot wait for Halloween, which is her favorite holiday, and she now has enough costumes to celebrate two weeks of Halloween without wearing the same costume twice.  Last night she dressed as a lady bug for a dress-up barbeque that she had attended.

            But I'm getting ahead of myself.  Just before she returned home from school, a package had been left at our door.  A package with her name on it.  An unexpected package from her Uncle Paul who has a talent for carving wood.  He had made several pencil boxes and had filled one and mailed it to her.  It was the highlight of her day.

Finding a New Home for the Dogs

            On December 24, 2014 my children decided to do white elephant gifts for what would be our last Christmas in Utah (only we hadn't planned for it to be our last Christmas together)  Jeanie recycled at least one gift that they had received, possibly both.


            They weren't wrapped, but left in black garbage bags, both huge.  One a bit bulkier than the other.  For some reason I was drawn to them - not knowing fully which to choose.  I settled on the flat one, figuring it was a painting of some sort. 
            Many people, when drawing white elephants, will allow a person to choose a wrapped gift or swipe an  unwrapped gift from somebody else.  I didn't know until later that Jenna had actually considered "stealing" the painting I had "unwrapped" but wanted the opportunity to unwrap something herself.  She chose what she considered to be the worst of all the white elephant gifts: sour cream and onion flavored crickets.

             My daughter-in-law, Rochelle was the last one to open a gift.  She chose the remaining plastic bag and removed the mushroom.  We all foresaw that it would be a part of her three-year-old's collection - though the stuffed mushroom appeared to be twice as big as Ester.

             Before we packed our gifts to take home, Jenna asked if she could have the painting.  Funny, because I was going to ask her if she wanted it - but I would have asked as a joke.  She was serious.  And so we took that painting and hung it in her room in West Valley.  We brought it with us to Oregon and it hung in her room at  the first house where we lived.  We brought it with us to our second house.  It hung in her room.  She  had even purchased a dog figurine that matched the painting.  It was placed over the painting until the end of June. 
            The painting had been removed by Service Master when they dried out her room.  It lived in the closet in Roland's office for nearly two months while most of her belongings were a in storage unit somewhere in Winston. When they returned, Jenna rearranged her furniture and walls and decided she no longer had room for this large 16X20 framed picture - though she still really likes it.  She was torn.

             She took a picture and sent it to Kylee along with a photo of a chair we had purchased at a yard sale and a more recent treasure: the hiking bag that had never been used. 

Kylee made a trade with her for some unnecessary stuffed animals.  Jenna loves  animals - even ugly ones.  Not to say that Kylee's animals were ugly . . . I hadn't actually taken a good look.  I just know there are a few animals that I didn't find as appealing as she seems to have. Her room is overcrowded with stuffed animals - which surprisingly did not make it to Winston, but have been in her closet this entire time.  I think Kylee got the better deal.  But that's okay.  Jenna is the one who normally makes out like a bandit.  We both love Kylee and are happy to see her get use out of things that Jenna had already retired.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Stop Complaining

The beds are dry

Not all the river beds

not all the way

some have puddles

It's hard to believe that

they were near overflowing

just four months ago.

The haze comes and goes

Lately . . . it lingers

hard to breathe

It's hot.  I think the

smoke is holding in the heat

I'm currently washing clothes

It is hot enough to hang them on the line

But won't the smoke defeat my purpose of

having washed them in the first place.

At least I have a choice to

shut my door and keep the elements

outside.  How horrible for those who

have to deal with Hurricane Harvey

and the mess left behind

They can't close the door and leave

it outside - the water and damage

are still in their houses.

Many possessions and loved ones gone.

Should we have to evacuate, it

will be due to smoke inhalation.  I

don't think the fires will come.

Why can't the elements even out so

there are no floods, no fires,

no damaging winds

Monday, August 28, 2017

Keeping Things in the Neighborhood

          Shortly after we had moved in, a neighbor from across the street introduced himself to me.  He told me if we ever needed anything we could call him.  I think he was genuine in his heart, but his poor body was not in great shape.  He needed a ramp to get in and out of the house and was in no condition to climb our hill to inspect the house.  He had asked what changes had been done.  Because I had never seen the house before it went on the market, there was really no way to compare it but I don't know that he could visualize what I had tried to explain.
         I could see that he was in pain as he hobbled out to the mailbox and back to the house.  I don't remember seeing him after that.  I think his children must have taken turns moving in for a while as I would see others go out to retrieve the mail or be out in the yard or what have you.  They would come and stay for a while and then there would be a new set of people.  He eventually passed away, though I don't know how long ago.  It appears to have been fairly recently though.

          His house and garage contained items - lots of items that the family didn't want.  Some items had never even been used before. The family held a garage sale on Saturday.  From 8-4.  Their intent was to get rid of EVERYTHING - even if they had to give it away - which I believe for the most part they did.

          If there is a Yard Sale sign in our driving path, Jenna and Roland are drawn to it - like the yard sale has some gigantic magnetic force that pulls them in.  Roland did not have that much in cash - though Jenna did.  They must have spent 30 - 35 between them.  I'm certain that we ended up with over 200 dollars worth of stuff.  Actually, I KNOW we did.  We have missed our extra fridge and are in great need of defrosting our freezer right now.  There was a fridge on the back porch which cost 5 dollars.  It works.  Currently it is on our back porch though it is not hooked up. 

          Getting it across the street was the hardest part - from his back porch to ours.  But there were others who had stopped to make purchases who helped Roland with the task.  I think that is awesome.  Jenna said she heard they were from Eugene.  Wow!  That is a long ways to go for a yard sale.

          We have needed a wheel barrow since we moved in and purchased a small rusty one - I don't know the price.  The woman who took the money just gave Roland an entire bag of unopened soil.

Office supplies for 10 dollar included a shredder.  You want the shredder?  Not unless you're willing to take it all. 

We don't want anything left.  Come into the kitchen.  We'll give you every item on every counter for just 7 dollars.  Take it all.

          There have been times in the past when Roland and I have noticed an item at an auction that we think we might bid for and by the time it comes up for bid, it has been toward the end of the auction when other bidders have been drained of money, or else the auctioneers are tired, or something. "I have two boxes - no three for the same price."  We've actually found "treasures" that we have used more than what we had initially bid for.  For example, there was a crock pot among the boxes of stuff we had bid for - though the crock pot wasn't our intent.  We use it more than anything.

          Jenna purchased a boatload of hats and a really nice backpack designed for hiking  - quite brand new.  Roland purchased a box of western themed books. 

More dishes than we will ever need, but most he initially purchased with the intent of giving to neighbors when he is on one of his baking kicks.  "Here, take this plate full of goodies, give it to the neighbors next door, tell them to keep the plate."

          I don't know how many trips Roland made to purchase more stuff.  He said he saw a wooden ladder and purchased a mirror, brought them back and returned again for a painting. 

I know he was thinking of me when he purchased it because I love how the fog rolls over the hills, and this reminded us both of that misty smog.  And I do love seascapes. 

It is now hanging over our bed.  And the mirror in our front room makes the room seem a little bit bigger. 

          Jenna picked through her hats and we ran about a third of them through the dishwasher.  She and Roland hung them on the line as they didn't completely dry in the dishwasher - but still have their shape - so that is good.

They've been removed from the line and added to her wall.

           There had been a piece of furniture I was interested in but had no idea where I'd put it.  But it had been sold already.  The neighbors had evidently reached their goal by 2:30.  I had looked out the window just before 3:00 and noticed the sign and all the cars gone and the house looked deserted.
           We still haven't gone through all of our pictures, nor will I be taking any more pictures, but here are some other free items that we walked away with:

          We had started the morning going to another neighbors to pick apples.  They also gave us cherry tomatoes, onions, cherry jam and apple butter.  

Roland topped the night off by making apple pie.  He is not happy with it however.   

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Renovation and Makeover

We knew there'd be problems before we moved in.  I didn't get that the discoloration on the floor meant water damage.  We called the insurance company who sent a crew out June 28 and stayed with us until July 6 and disappeared.

The insurance company had wired money to our bank in addition to paying Service Master.   okay, additional expenses like the plumber, electrician . . . but wait.  We still need more than just a sub floor. . . Installation 

We finally heard back from Service Master on August 11, I believe.  It was by phone on Friday and they said they'd be out on Monday.  They weren't.  Roland received a call after 6:00 pm on Tuesday.  A representative came to give an estimate, which Roland tore apart and ended up agreeing to dry wall only.  Oh, and let's not forget the furnace that has been in our kitchen the last 6 weeks.  And please return our daughter's possessions!

Dry wall put in.  Furnace installed but not connected.  Jenna's belongings didn't arrive until Friday.  To save ourselves some money, we decided to paint and install the floors ourselves. Some pictures I have posted already.  But here is a synopsis of our lives June 28 through today.

June 27 water damaged floor

floor ripped up and fans dry out

furnace lived in the kitchen along side our dining table

I did try to liven it up a little

didn't always work out though
this would be Jenna's room June 29

Roland on cat walk fixing breaker switch Jun 30

we had pulled out 5 drawers of clothes and 
stored them in the tub - it served as a temporary closet

washer and dryer lived outside

July 3,  Jenna's room

furnace hole, Jenna's room, washer and dryer space

July 6 subfoor

July 6  Jenna's room

furnace still not hooked up

this one appears to be out of order . . . . hmm. 
wall connecting to laundry wall  July 1 probably

washer disconnected Aug 16

Aug 16 wall in Jenna's room

sorting through clothes that Kylee gave her

Aug 16

cutting drywall in our carport

Aug 16 Roland spackling laundry/hall

Aug 16 spackling Jenna's wall

Aug 18 Jenna picked out a really loud paint

August 20, finally set up for moving back in

August 22 quite proud of her green wall
Aug 22, start the flooring project

our back porch during renovation

Aug 24

our kitchen seems to have taken a dive as well

Aug 25 All done.