Monday, November 26, 2007

survived Thanksgiving. how did you do? our tenants have signed the rental agreement and paid rent. yippee! they will not move in until next weekend, so i still need to do the final cleaning on the place. but it's 99% ready and any tasks i may have left are tiny.

now i must turn my focus to "our" house. the heater may be a carbon monoxide hazard. the windows need screens. the water heater pipes leak (not so much a problem for us, but the tank is beginning to rust out on top). I have been able to focus on smaller issues, such as the need for curtains. i have been making do with tablecloths hung on poles, but makeshift gets annoying after a while. i sewed some incredibly nice Japanese-style curtains for the boys' room, which were desperately needed, but i can't share any pictures because our camera died.

in April, D and i will have been married thirteen years. good gosh we are so old. i've decided that we are going to have a massive anniversary party. lucky thirteen, right? so you're invited. and pretty much everybody we know or have ever known will be invited. it's going to be insane. i'll be warning the neighbors on the other side of the creek. hopefully we will have the junk cleaned out of the yards and they will be prettied up decently. i'm confident i can do it cheaply. because i'm just naturally cheap.

in my fantasy life, i have found my new sofa. our current sofa is older than our marriage. it's served us nobly and faithfully, and i can't stand it's style. i want this one. i normally hate blue, but this is such a cheery, perky blue that my defenses weakened. we made our annual pilgrimage to IKEA last saturday and i sat on it and it is glorious. D did not approve, however. he thinks it is flimsy. his maddening practicality!

Friday, November 16, 2007

ugh, lists. have to make 'em, they're the only way i get anything done. what's your list? here's mine:

1. Get townhouse finished up (renters move in next week).
a. nail trim in bathroom door
b. hang all curtains (fix rods & sew kitchen curtain)
c. figure out how on earth i'm going to get the washer & dryer moved back
d. febreze the stairs - they stink for some reason
e. caulk shower stall & fixtures
f. re-seal the kitchen counter
g. paint wall patch (left a hole when we ripped out the banister)
h. clean the holy heck out of the place
i. pray nothing else needs to be done

2. Clean up the "new" house
a. hack out more overgrown and semi-dead vegetation
b. rent a dumpster for dead vegetation & former tenants' junk (anybody need some marijuana pipes?)
c. wash the walls (yeah, ick)
d. assemble a hazardous waste drop-off (or does anybody need a beaker of mercury? we've got one!)

3. Unpack and get settled in
a. i could use the entire alphabet

4. Pay more attention to the kidlets

5. Catch up on all my d*mned sewing projects
a. an adult solo backpacking quilt
b. family backpacking tent (will be similar to this)
c. play tipi for backyard
d. more baby slings (women just keep getting pregnant)
e. stuffed animals for X-mas gifts (stripey giraffes & elephants, hooray!)
f. frigging enormous canvas shade awning that i hope my machine can handle

6. Survive X-mas
a. C family gifts were bought last year - hell yeah!
b. find a used bike for me (D is on his own)
c. sew them stuffed animals (see 5a)
d. K family gift exchange has been reduced to kids only & books only (thank you G*d, only 2 gifts to buy)

ohh the overwhelming hideous mundanity of it all.

Monday, November 12, 2007

we have tenants. they are a young, fresh-faced, nice-smelling couple who have only been married for a little over a year. the wife is 5.5 months pregnant, which is eerily similar to us when we moved into the place. They are so nice I wish we could lower the rent, but as it is we are barely breaking even. they move in Thanksgiving weekend.

there are a few more landlordy-type things i need to finish up at the old place, but at least now the feeling of frantic panic has subsided. it only flares up when i think too hard about the local and national economies. everybody, get your food storage in order. i know i'm prone to panic, but ugly economic times appear to be coming.

see how i have to balance all good news with a little gloom & doom? i'm so much fun to live with.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Ohh, the landlord saga. I have made so many stupid blunders that it makes me sick to even think about it. We have no tenant yet. I am launching a new ad campaign and we have notched the rent down a bit. I borrowed a carpet cleaning machine from my dear friend Vickie but i simply cannot get the carpet as clean as it needs to be. We'll be bringing in hired guns for that. And the painting, ohhh the endless painting....

In the meantime, the Santiago fire happened. and the Witch fire, and the Slide Fire, and the 13+ other fires. Dan kept getting evacuated from work, we were rained on by ash for a few days, school was closed, and Limestone-Whiting Ranch Park burned to a crisp. Not to mention our poor former neighbors in the canyons, who were evacuated for two weeks and some of whom lost their houses. This fire sucked. They all sucked! We have a view of the Santa Ana Mountains from our new backyard and when the wind was right and the sky was clear, we would watch the helicopters dropping fluorescent orange fire retardant on the hills.

But i can't focus on much except the landlord saga. Basically, i'm exhausted and fear we've made the biggest financial mistake of our adult lives. Keep your fingers crossed for us that this all turns out right in the end.