Thursday, August 30, 2012

stuff going on around here

A dead cat washed up in our irrigation pipe in our front yard today. Gross (and sad, but mostly gross). Dealing with a dead wet cat makes me tear up a little and throw up a little. A big, dead, wet, stiff cat is very heavy and awkward on the end of a shovel. Weirdly, I am familiar with the dead animal pickup service that the city offers. Other odd incidents regarding our irrigation, we had ducks swim in our  irrigation once and years ago we had a catfish (I think) swim into our yard with the irrigation. Imagine its surprise to find himself in the middle of a lawn on a hot summer afternoon.

Rachel was in a car accident last week. Thankfully, everyone involved was fine. Hers was an old, inexpensive car. It's the kind of car you bandage and wire together to get you through college until you can get a decent nice car. It has served her well in the past few years. Four months before graduation, it is totaled.  Weirdly, our family knows the numbers of the towing company, and the auto body shop and the insurance company. I think those numbers are on speed dial. She had the car towed, insurance called, and got a ride home before she even told me what happened.

Brady is still car-less. He devised a system of getting through this semester without the financial burden of a car. He's not loving it, but he is willing to do it to avoid any debt. (yay). Anyway, he is determined to get through school as efficiently as possible and not lose credits transferring schools or having to retake anything.  One of the classes he has to take was cancelled so he had to pick it up at a different college - a different college that is 16.95 miles from the one he is attending. (how awesome is mapquest that I can find out that information in 60 seconds without even knowing the address of either college?) The logistics of this semester are going to be crazy.

Rachel bought a used car from Craig's List yesterday. It seems to be in really nice shape. She's hoping to have a car to last her through the end of her schooling, through student teaching and through the first bit of her real income-earning career. She and Dave both felt like it was a good buy. It has reasonable mileage for the how old the car is. She took it out to the MVD today to get the title transferred and they said there was a discrepancy on the mileage by almost double! That changes everything. Was there fraud? Was there an error? Is it still in as good of shape as they thought? So frustrating.

Roxanne owns her own house now.  She bought a house a couple of years ago with the banker telling her she had everything in order to purchase a house. After MONTHS of looking for houses and investing a ton of time and effort, she found the perfect house to use for a rental (she lives there and rents out the other bedrooms). Then at the last minute, she was told she couldn't finance it under her own name. In fact, her name couldn't even be listed on the financing. (Yes, we asked about this from the beginning with the assurance that it she could).  Dave and I helped her with the financing against every belief that we had about financing things for our children. I have got to say that she has been a perfect financial partner through this and has now qualified to finance her own house under her own name. It was very frustrating because of course there are all kinds of fees involved in financial transactions. And she is buying the house that was already hers!

Dave and I have been looking into investing in a vacation home over in California.  It was a cabin we saw and immediately felt like it would be a good financial investment and a cabin that we could enjoy for ourselves and the family.  We saw it in March and made an offer soon after.  It has been a complicated transaction ever since.  We have had to jump through so many hoops! I didn't know there were so many hoops available to have to jump through.  I think they even made some up for fun. I thought we were done and things were being finalized, but we have come up against a problem that could possibly be a deal-breaker. There have been so many problems, our love for this project has dimmed a bit over the months.

Dave is doing a fire sprinkler installation job that is about to put him in the looney bin.  It is for a company that is beyond - way beyond - reasonable in their safety efforts.  I suppose it serves the company well, because it is a gigantic corporation, but he is doing a 2 or 3 week installation job and he and Brady both have to attend 10 hours of safety training. They have to have a written plan sheet turned in at the beginning of each day. I think it is so specific that if they plan to take off their gloves at 10:15, it better be written on their plan. He can't carry any object over 8 feet long without a second person helping. Dave works alone a lot so this is problematic.  He is supposed to have a bell on his truck if he puts it in reverse, a yellow light on top etc.  It would take our truck out of service for a couple of days to comply, therefore he can't take his truck on the premises. Our truck is our business. If the truck is out of service, we have no income. Dave is trained, certified and licensed in every aspect of his business, but this over-the-top, yellow-reflective-tape-vest-wearing business is making him crazy. He will be so glad to get through this.

Melanie has left for college. Our house is quiet and boring. She is absolutely loving life, but on this end, here is my dilemma . . . Who is going to do the business filing????? Seriously, that is a big concern. She has been a great office help for the last couple of years - organizing the business receipts and filing invoices. Roxanne did it before her. Oh, and the lawn work - who is going to mow the lawn?? I realize Rachel and Brady are here.  Rachel showed me her schedule for this semester. I'm worried for her. I'm not sure she has time to actually eat, sleep or shower.  Brady is usually willing to do yard work. He has always been willing since he was little, but his schedule is crazy too. I'm hoping between him and I we can keep up with the yard. I didn't realize how much I relied on Melanie - "Melanie, bookclub is in 45 minutes. Can you help me with the refreshments and then make sure the bathroom is wiped up?" "Melanie, the missionaries are coming for dinner in an hour. Can you make some biscuits? finish the dessert? set the table? mix up the juice? make a salad? fill the dishwasher? sweep the dining room? warm up the green beans?" Well, maybe I didn't ask her all those things at once, but many of them. She actually enjoys helping around the house. Before she left home, she said she might miss taking care of things around the house.  I didn't tell her she would soon be tired of cooking for herself and cleaning up after herself  day after day after day after day for the rest of her life.

Our blender and our weed eater broke last week. The motors for both were still working fine, just a plastic connection piece on the blender and the bottom cover on the weed eater broke. By the way, why are parts of equipment that are connected to fast spinning motors made of plastic? Anyway, I was able to do some research and buy the parts for a very reasonable price and have them shipped to my door. I kind of like having things delivered to my door. I feel like it's Christmas when the mailman or the UPS man come to my door with a box.

With the kids' car issues this week, we have been sharing 2 vehicles between 4 people.  Actually, Dave's schedule has been busier than normal, so Rachel, Brady and I have been sharing one vehicle, and it's an old mini-van. You can imagine how much Brady enjoys driving it. With their busy schedules, guess who goes without transportation most of the week?

So that is our life right now. It's been a busy and frustrating couple of weeks. I know the stupid things in life are ever-present. I tend not to blog about life's troubles too much. I decided not to post pictures of the dead cat, the smashed car, or the 23 year old driving his mom's mini-van.  I know there a whole lot of worse things than a broken blender. I'll end this post with something pleasant. Suzanne and I and a new friend Abby went hiking up in Sedona last Saturday. Can you believe this is Arizona in August? Such a pleasant day:


Lauri said...

Wow! I don't even know what to say. Just wow!

Oh, and I like you post below about things that bug you. I could add to the list but I can also tell we're sisters because some of the same things that bug you also bug me.

creamy peanut butter? really?

Roxanne Hale said...

Lauri, crunchy peanut butter is so much better. Am I right??

I don't know how our family is doing all of this. If you ever need me to come home for a weekend to help out, you know I will. Love you mom!!

Robyn said...

Wow, I missed a whole bunch of stuff since I checked our blog last! I love that you blog. It's nice to be able to keep up with you even though we don't get to see each other as often any more.