The prepping for painting and flooring takes so much time and energy.  I’m sure it’s not as much work as the actual painting but the prepping for it takes quite a while and although satisfying not nearly as much as once we get paint on walls.

Last week we removed most of the carpet and when Lori had to be back up during the week to meet a plumber she got the carpet and pad out of the last room.

Speaking of plumber, he checked everything, re-strapped down the hot water heater and said he would come back and install new toilets after we lay the flooring down.  We also had an electrician out who re-wired a bad switch and fixed the breaker so now the whole house has power.  There was one section that had been out for months.

This weekend we took all of the baseboards out, well 98% of them.  The one behind the refrigerator and the washing machine are still there.  We will take those out when we remove the flooring.  We also removed all of the curtain hardware, we didn’t patch the holes from it yet but we did get it all out of the house.

Lori scrubbed walls, starting at the front door and working all the way around the living room, down the hall, around the bedrooms and bathrooms and back down the hall to the laundry room.  She did think she was quite clever when she told me there was molding in the closet and then hid in there waiting to scare me.  I came down the hall with beverages instead of the hammer and chisel I had been carrying around all day.

I went into the laundry room looking for her, calling for her and then back out and down the hall.  It’s a pretty big house and I thought maybe she was outside.  But she couldn’t stop the laughter any more.  She was hiding in the closet waiting to scare me but I foiled it by not going in for the moulding but instead bringing her water.

That did not stop her from laughing about the “possible trickery”  in fact reading this tomorrow on her phone I’m sure she will be laughing.

We are plugging through the prep work and making progress, it is slow but we will soon be doing the repairing and painting.


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Demo Days

Lori has friends that live in Huntington beach.  Daniel has spent nearly a year working 100 miles away from home.  He leaves Monday morning and has been living in a shared living situation during the week and returning on Friday to his wife and two small girls.  All of this to say that there are not a lot of jobs out there for an archeologist, so one has to go where the jobs are.  Out desert house is only twenty miles from his work and when the living situation he had went south, they asked if he could stay up there while he still worked on the reservation.

The timing was pretty awesome.  After last weeks yard sale we have had way too much attention at the house.  People driving by, pulling in wanting to “unload” the rest of our items.  Lori took fifty boxes to the Salvation Army, Women’s Center and Library this week.  There is still a little to get rid of but people keep coming by and asking.

We went up this weekend to start on removing the carpet and getting the house ready for Daniel to stay in during the week, our low-end security plan.  We took the dining room set to the Salvation Army and Doug our hero of a neighbor took two loads of stuff to the dump.

We started on Saturday by removing the remaining bed from the bedroom and pulling out all of the carpet, pad and tack board from the bedroom.  We then cleaned the room and vacuumed the bed and got it back together.  We cleaned the adjacent bathroom and then pulled all the carpet in the next bedroom and all the way down the hall.

Since we still had a new shower head to install and so much more we wanted to do we went back up on today (Sunday).  We left the house before 6:00 a.m. and stopped at home depot on our way.  We were back to tearing out carpet just after 8:00 in the morning.

We had a goal to get out of there by 3:00 so we could get home and have a few hours before the weekend ended.  Lori finished up the bathroom and I started cutting up the carpet in the living room.  We rolled and tied it, rolled and tied the carpet pad and stacked it all outside.  I worked on pulling staples from the padding while Lori tore out all of the tack board.

We “fixed” up the place as much as possible with our little bits of furniture we had left.  A sleeping space, a sitting space and a dining space.  Not too shabby and certainly not extravegant.

The day flew we did leave just after 3:00 but I watched the clock for the last 90 minutes trying to will it to slow down.  This part is so much more in our wheel house.

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We have one room of carpet left.  Next up an electrician because half the house is without power and a plumber just to check a few things.  There is some damage to the floor when we pulled up the carpet.  It looks pretty old and could be from the laundry room or perhaps the bar sink but before we start painting and putting in flooring we want to address anything that could possible have some demolition involved.

I am excited for next weekend, besides the fact that this work is fun we have an air conditioner there and I didn’t even realize how hot it was until we went to leave…..and got home of course and started up all the fans cause daaaamn.

Non-Sale day

So Sunday we were up early again and back at the house before 8:00 am.  Not soon after we started to gather our thoughts for the day we had the first car waiting outside.  I went out to tell them we were not selling and it turns out they bought a rotisserie the day before and wanted to look for the handles that went with it.

So as they are looking around the table and shed of kitchen stuff another women walked in.  I told her we were not selling today and she mentioned the “yard sale” sign on the corner.  So as I walked down to remove two missed signs she started looking around.  The next three people who came up I told sorry we are not selling, just packaging up the rest for donation.

It was hard to get started packing with the woman going through stuff and making a pile so I drove around looking for boxes.  I could not find any and by the time I got back she had been there about an hour and was negotiating prices with Lori.  Sixty more dollars in sales and she was gone.

The neighbors helped to hang a tarp in front of the tables to block the view from the street.  I moved the yarn out to near the gate for the people who were coming to pick it up.  Then Doug took the $60 Lori had made that morning and drove to Home Depot and bought a couple of packs of boxes.

The two people came for the yarn and brought their small children and although everything was next to the street they wondered around and started going through things anyway.  I had to take a drill away from the diaper clad toddler and Lori had to get ice for the other boy who ran right into a table with his head.

More people showed up and I kept telling them no and trying to pack around the ones who were still looking through stuff.  I was feeling so very bitchy.  I should have just invited them in because they came in any way and I at least would have felt like I had some sort of control.

The froot loop of a woman who bought a refrigerator showed up and finished paying for it.  She brought her sister and they wanted to look around.  I told her no and that I would help her load the fridge…..except she had a small car and would have to come back later in the afternoon for the fridge.  They just wanted to shop, I told her nope and they left.  I think she had told her sister about the sale from the day before.

We went to lunch about 2:00 and still had so very much to box up.  I was hot and sweaty so very cranky.  While at lunch Lori got a phone call from a very convincing young man who couldn’t come to the yard sale the day before and wanted to meet us to go through the stuff.  She said no he gave her another line, she said no, he then told her his friend called from the sale Saturday and told him there was so much stuff and so many people it was impossible to see it all, again no that she was tapped out, again the sales pitch, and then she said give us a half an hour to get back.

I was back to packing up the rest of the craft shed and in walks a couple, I told them so sorry we are not selling anything today.   It seems they have a business nearby and had their own yard sale the day before and heard about our sale.  The young man (who was on his way) had told them he was coming by and that we weren’t really selling but I guess they have some yard sale rivalry going on so they showed up first to try to beat him to the punch.

Lori was polite and talking to them while they looked around.  I was bitchy and passive aggressive packing things as they set them back down right next to them.  When I realized I was the only one who was trying to stick to the decision we had made the previous day and I was so tired of being the bad guy and sending everyone away so instead I joked with the young man that he was lucky he had called Lori as I was the bad guy sending everyone away and then helped him find things and I sold him all the rest of the costume jewelery and then help him load up his truck.

We got rid of more of the stuff and Lori made a few hundred more bucks.  In between all of that, the four of us, Deb and Doug the neighbors along with Lori and I boxed up cases and cases of stuff to donate.  We have a couple piles of stuff for the dump.  We have a bags and bags of linens for the women’s shelter and maybe thirty cases of stuff packed for Goodwill.

By the time we were done and leaving there we had outworked the previous day by 5 hours.  Because there were crazy amounts of rain up in the mountains and the roads were crazy it took an extra hour to get home.  We then stopped for dinner as neither of us were in the mood to cook.

We still have work to do, packing and donating but soon the fun part starts.  The painting and flooring and repair work, the stuff we like to do even thought it is still two hours each way.


It was a mad house

The yard sale is done.  We drove up on Friday night when I got off work and spent a few hours setting up an additional tent that Lori bought (making four tents total) and taking some remaining things out for the sale.  We were way ahead of the game as Doug and Deb the neighbors must have been working all of the days since we had left.  There was an additional pop up tent since we had left the previous weekend and so much stuff was already set up.  Doug had make shift tables set up by using folding tables as legs and putting ply wood on top.  The tents were all connected down the driveway making for a huge covered shopping area.

They had pulled out a lot of the stuff we had priced last week and there was basically the storage units to pull out the next morning.  We stayed in a local hotel so we could get an early start and were up at 4:30 got ready and stopped for breakfast and were working on setting things out at 6:00 a.m.

The yard sale was advertised in the paper to start at 8:00 a.m but a guy wandered in at 6:05.  He got well past the doorway before I saw him and I told him we were not ready for people yet.  He gave me some line about driving from Banning and asked if we had tools as he walked on past me and into the garage.

I wish I could say that was when I realized I had to be firm with our boundaries but it didn’t come until much later in the day.  I did put a sign on the gate that said we were not starting until 8:00.  That really helped after that.  Doug and Deb walked across the street and started to help.  Viki, Mark and Emily who drove in from Irvine to help us got there about 6:30 and Gretchen arrived just before 7:00.  We continued to set things out and pull kitchen ware out of the sheds as people gathered outside the gate and paced and looked at what they could from where they stood.

I opened the gate at 8:00 and about the fourth person past me asked about a settee we had sitting there and I went to look at the price and Lori said it was sold…that lady just bought it.  The first one in the gate.

We were off.  Just as the last of the people waiting got through the gate we had two more friends arrive.  So we were ten against……20 within four minutes.  It did not slow down and it was crazy busy and running around.

My fit bit buzzed at 10,000 steps and it seemed like we had been working for hours and I actually thought it must be noon and I peaked in the house at a clock and it was 9:10 in the morning.  We had only been selling for just over an hour.

Vicki and Emily ran a separate jewelery sale inside the back room that had a door out into where the rest of the sale was going.  The jewelry and shoes were paid for separately in there and Gretchen totaled up and took money for everything else.  That is not as easy as it sounds as every single person there wanted to negotiate on already ridiculously low prices.

I am no good at that part.  I have been saying that all along and fully admit to when I had to have the sale in Washington to pay my property taxes that if it were not for Dale and Vivian I would have made a buck forty because I just can’t do it.

I was completely surprised at just how rude people are.  There was one man who Lori told you’re done you can leave now.  He wanted everything, for nothing and then complained about the condition of things or that he wasn’t getting as good of a deal as “that guy”.  There was also the woman I had to stop from going into the house.  She snarked at me that she wanted to see the house, I told her no and that it wasn’t for sale.  “Its an estate sale” was her response and that she could see cabinets inside.  I told her that everything that was for sale was outside and I closed the door and walked away.

Walking away seemed to be the only thing that got people to stop the barter cycle.  Ask a price, name a price, walk away except I wasn’t very good at it.  Lori ended up with Gretchen to state prices and collect.  People tried to get away with things like filling a box and “hiding” things in it or holding up something and asking how much and then showing up with four of them and claiming she had said a certain price.  She was great at saying “for one, you added three more”  If I negotiated a price I usually marked it on the item but found when they got up to pay they negotiated down even further.  Everything was already an amazing deal and things still in boxes but they wanted an even better deal.

I spent the day pulling more and more stuff out of the sheds onto the tables as things cleared out and loading up people’s trucks as they bought things.

Then the rain rolled in.  It rolled in hard and fast and we were covering things with tarps and pulling items in and we called it a day.  It was 1pm maybe 12:30 but all ten of us would have sworn it was 6pm.

We hung out and visited with our friends for a bit before they all took off for the two hour drive to LA.  Lori and I headed back to the hotel room, showered and went to a Sr. Hour dinner.  We went back today for the “non-sale” day as we had decided before it ever really began that we only wanted to do this for a day.  The “non-sale” day has its own set of stories….most of which show just how Lori is a much nicer person than I am.

But we just got home and I work in the morning so I’ll save those stories for tomorrow.

Beating the heat

We tried the advise to close up the house…..all the doors and windows in the morning until the sun goes down.

However the house is hotter! Much hotter. There is no as in zero insulation, so the stucco house just soaks up the sun. A few days ago I got home and inside the house was 98 degrees, 98. It was only 84 outside.

I opened the door dans windows, put the fan in the window to draw in the cooler air and went outside to sit in the back yard.

Yesterday Lori picked up these screens and put them up. When I got home tonight it had really made a difference.


Rounding Up; Rounding Down

Blogging in itself is easy enough, all theory.  My blog is basically an on-line journal. And by journal I don’t mean anything with any depth what-so-ever.  I learned early on when I was called out and told just how wrong I was.  Wrong for my own opinion.  There were no facts involved to argue, just my P.O.V. which was shot right down.  I don’t think that particular blog stayed up long, I was much thinner skinned seven years ago when this view started.

However my shallow, non-edgy, commentary continues.  Since moving, this has become more of a place to keep my friends and family updated on what I am up to.  The down side of that is and always has been I don’t hear from many people.  Since they know what is going on with me there is a feeling “we are all caught up”   Sometimes it feels a little isolating.  I don’t have any friends here….well except for those I absconded from Lori.  But the place where I tend to make friends (work) I will not be making any friends there.   In fact I’m not even out there and it is both weird and limiting.  Someone recently asked “Does your husband work for us too”  To which I just replied no.  The conversation ended right there.

I realize it’s a two-way street.  I don’t make the calls either.  In our digital world and everyone’s busy schedules, I get tweets and blog comments and emails.  I may think to call and then realize, oh they are a blog subscriber, they already know all that I have to say and then I don’t call.   Seriously, you want to hear about my cucumbers on the phone if you’ve already suffered through the blog…I think not.

With that happy note, here is what is going on:

Yard, front:  Its been a year since it’s all been planted and boy oh boy id it grow more that we thought.  It takes very little water.  Once a month or so this Summer.   It does need some pruning and thinning and general up keep but in the evenings it is sweltering in the front yard until the sun goes down….well then there is no light obviously.

Yard, back:  The garden is growing crazy amounts of cucumbers and I am eating them as fast as possible.  I said no to them at first but was having such trouble getting the lettuce or spinach to come up because of the heat I settled on one single plant that right now would fill the 64 gallon yard waste bin if I were to just pull it.  The rest of the yard is coming along slowly.  We added some gravel last night and Lori has been cutting back and cleaning up a huge cactus plant.  We are going to put it all back in along the back fence.

Desert house:  Yard sale is scheduled for this coming weekend.   There was some hope that someone who called after the ad ran would drive up last weekend and buy the whole lot.  Good thing we weren’t holding our breath for that.  We finished cleaning out the rental storage unit and took six more cases of books to the local library.  One of the cars is 99 percent sold as well.  Lori’s friends drove it off to be checked out and it is a 2003 but only has 20K miles so it shouldn’t have too much to fix.  Working in the heat this last weekend to price all of the stuff for the yard sale I was not doing very well, I think I had a bit of heat stroke and was quite dizzy.  I drank plenty of water, in fact I felt ill from all the water but boy was I light headed and not feeling well.  This weekend during the sale its expected to be 103 again.

Job:  It pays the bills.  It is challenging and dysfunctional…….yep, sounds like every job everywhere.  Nothing more to add.

Mountain home:  My sister and brother both continue to take care of the place and it takes that worry off my plate.  They were pressure washing and staining the deck this weekend.  Della went back to an old job last week and made it three and a half days before deciding the great money wasn’t worth the over three hours on the road every day.  She now has another gig lined up that started today for half the money but only 15 minutes away from the house and that doesn’t include any freeway what-so-ever.   Dale has a new truck which has a long story behind it.   He is driving to Canada each week to visit his dad in hospice.  It is wearing him out as he has been making this 7 hour drive each way for well over a month.

Vistors:  Viv is coming next month for a few days!

What is going on with you?


Cucumbers and Cheesecakes

It has been a very busy week. Work has been crazy and stressful and the rest of the week has been quite packed.

photo(325)The garden is growing like crazy. I can’t keep up with the tomatoes and have made cucumber salad or had an entire cucumber in my lunch every day. The frig is full and there are lots more in the garden. I am not even going to discuss the tomatoes, well except to say I’m ready to pull them out and start over as they are taller than me and there are so many that are unreachable they are starting to go bad.

The house/project keeps moving along. We took a huge box of dog gear to the no-kill shelter in exchange for a donation receipt. They were thrilled. We then took 5 boxes of books to the library and 11 more to another library. The offsite storage unit is down to 6 boxes of books and one broken bookshelf. We will have it cleared out this weekend so we can turn the unit back and.

We also cleaned out the van and vacuumed it.  Lori is still working on getting the cars into her name but we thought for a day that Dale might be flying down to drive it back up.  His car is caput.  He took it in for tires and possibly brakes and it was deemed un-road worthy and they wouldn’t let him drive it off the lot.  He had to have triple-A tow it back to the house.  After quite a bit of back and forth he obtained a truck up in Canada where he is visiting his dad every week.

Lori has taken a few loads to the auction house and just yesterday a load of square dancing dresses, men’s western shirts and 40 some odd ties to the local theater group.

Sunday was an errand kind of day, we fit in Costco, Michael’s so I could pick up cake boards, Ross for a birthday preset, Target, Sprouts grocery and Trader Joes.  Then later in the day I made a couple cheesecakes, one for a tester in our gas oven and another for a co-worker who was paying for it.

The work week started and it seems like I have hardly blinked and it is half over.


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