Sunday, December 30, 2007

My backyard swan

I looked out the back window today and saw we have a SWAN in the lake. Just when you think the view couldn't get any better!

I'm really enjoying my new house, because now I have furniture and it's getting better all the time. I had a little party on Christmas Eve, with 8 or 9 people, and now it's leftovers daily. You know, the yummy kind!

Here's my table:

You know, if I hadn't divorced I'd still be living in that low-class box my ex calls a house. Thanks Mr Asshat for insisting you wanted the "house". I'd not be where I am today with ya!
In the meantime I'll just sit on the back lanai and enjoy the wildlife show. Happy New Year to one and all!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Nina's new place

Nina officially moved into her first own home, with Tristan, last Friday. This is a huge commitment for her and I know she is thrilled to be there. Of course Nollie and I miss her very much.

Good luck Nina, I love you!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunrise in my back yard

The view from my back window this week was spectacular. Check out this sunrise:

The four large ducks in the middle are the fake ducks for the sprinker intake pipes. The small duck on the left is one of the several real ducks that hang out on the lake. It is beautiful!

We have an abundance of wildlife here, including ducks, rabbits, foxes, too many frogs, egrets, and even one heron that hangs out here on occasion. When it is rainy the lake comes alive with birds. I am loving my view of nature from my back window.

With all this wildlife, what do you suppose Nollie barks at the loudest and longest? The lizards on the back patio of course. Go figure.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

What I'd LIKE to say to some people....

Being a bully doesn't make you right, it just makes you a bully. The Kharma bus will eventually plow you down.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I'm grillin'!

I went outside last night and fired up the grill. No big deal you say? Well, the grill came with the new house and I didn't know if it would work or not. Not to mention how hot it's been. The grate is all rusty (actually the whole thing is rusty inside) and it will be another $50 or so to replace it, but I cleaned it up and it started right away.

You can imagine my surprise! I cranked it up to high and went back into the house to make my meat skewers and a quickie sauce for them. It involved black bean sauce, vinegar and toasted sesame seed oil. Yum, it was tasty but it kept the meat from getting that seared, grilled outside I like so much. I have NO idea how much propane is in the tank. It has one of those stick-on gauges that you pour hot water over. No, it didn't work. Oh well.

This week I had lunch with my SIL and neice, and we had lots to talk about. Nina hadn't seen them to talk to them in over a year and a half, and it had been a long time for me too. It's good to keep up with family.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Make cake, everybody loves it

So, I don't have the kitchen set up yet, but I had a craving to make a cake. I suck at decorating them, but I love to play in the frosting anyway.

My MO is that a kitchen isn't really mine until I bake in it. I love to bake. So, straight from Duncan Hines, here it is, yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Weird yellow decorations. I took most of the cake to work and it was gone in 2 hours, beating out the 50 cent muffins (for charity purposes, ya know)

One little thing I didn't realize, since I hadn't used jar frosting on a layer cake before is that there isn't enough unless you are doing a smaller cake. I used 9" pans and barely had enough frosting to cover the cake thinly. Oh well next time I'll make the frosting from scratch.

Lemon cake, anyone? Practice makes perfect, anyway.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Home at last!

I moved in on June 27 and have been stumbling over boxes ever since. I love my new home, and yes, it is still a work in progress. I wasn't quite ready for the movers, so not all my stuff was packed. So I have been unpacking in the new place, schlepping back to the old place and getting more stuff, and schlepping it back here. Nina helped once when I asked.

Last week the old pink counters were ripped out, and yesterday they put in the granite! Oh wow look at my new kitchen!
It's still a work in progress, but WOW, just WOW.
Now to get all those boxes unpacked....

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Painting in progress

I love the new color, and it smells so much better in here.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Hoo-ray! I'm a homeowner again!

Wow, the closing went well, I just had to wait around an hour to let the money from my lender transfer into the right account.

So yesterday I went to Home Depot to get stuff, and some keys (what a goofus nightmare that is) and today I am messing around with the garage door/security gate remotes. I got two of them, but one of them is not working, the gate button sticks in the "on" position.

I talked to 2 painters and yes, I got some sticker shock. But the second painter said something interesting. She said that she's a smoker, and the odor is more like a wood fire than cigarette smoke. You know, she's right, it smells like a campground, not like an ashtray. Either way it is a pretty powerful smell. I cut a bunch of rosemary and also put out some powerful air fresheners. I will see what it smells like when I go back later to test my universal remote control.

Security gates are a real pain in the @ss. Oh, and get this, I can't put a working set of extra keys together. Of the 4 keys I got yesterday, the doorknob keys don't work on the garage doorknownb, but the deadbolt keys work on the garage door. The doorknob keys work on the front door, but not on the garage doorknob. The doorknobs feel chinzy to me too.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Where to start? What to do first?

So, I close on my place next Friday, May 25th. That is the start of the Memorial Day Weekend. Before I can move into the place it needs to be painted, walls and ceiling. And the carpet in the 2 bedrooms need to be replaced.

The other major big project is the kitchen counters, backsplash and sink. I think I can have this done after I move in, if I need to. My lease on the apartment is up on July 25th, so I will pay that for June and July, but I would prefer not to have dual utilities to pay.

And speaking of utilities, I think I can get dual electric accounts, but what should I do about my phone? I need to have a hard-wired phone in the place in order to let people (workmen!) through the gates. Those gates are a pain in the tush. I don't want to put the phone over completely because then I'll be in my apartment without Internet access and Nina will use excessive minutes on her cell phone.

I am the luckiest woman there is to have such dilemmas. I mean really, just 11 months ago I came to the full realization of what a complete jerk I was married to, and now I am getting my own beautiful home and I am officially jerk-free.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Now the fun begins!

Well, they accepted my counter offer and I will be closing in late May. The owners may want some of this furniture, or they may have said so just because they didn't get the price they wanted for the house.

This was pretty funny, the joke was on me. I saw 4 large ducks on the lake, not swimming anywhere, just kind of hanging out there in the middle.

They were plastic floaters, put there to mark the end of the sprinkler intake pipes. Well, they weren't there the last time. Live and learn, city slicker.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Waiting on pins and needles

I offered a low (really low) price, they came back with a counter offer, and I came back just $5k above my original offer. Now I wait to see. This house has been for sale almost a year.

The location is wonderful, but it smells really bad. At the rate the people are going here in So. FL the lake will be tiny before we get any rain.

For those that asked in person, no it's not a natural lake. It's a storm water retention lake, complete with fountain. In nature, lakes aren't rectangular. LOL.

If they say no, I'll move on to the next house. There are lots of them out there.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

This is more like it.

Isn't this pretty? I am absolutely in love with this house. It looks marvelous on the outside and inside. It has 2 bedrooms and a den, and a patio on the east side overlooking the lake. OOOO let's talk about that lake view. It is the thing that made me suck in my breath and go OH when I first walked in.

Of course I wished I hadn't sucked in my breath when I got a lung full of the smoky odor that lingers there. I know, I know, that can be fixed. More $ on that $ later.

Isn't it funny how much more you see each time you go back to a house you are interested in? My first impression of this place is that it's lovely and kind of dirty in the corners. Cobwebby dirty, dust on the textured ceiling dirty, not food in the sink dirty, KWIM?

So I took my particular friend with me, the one with construction experience, and she pointed out how much love this hou$e will need to suit her specs. My expectations have been systematically lowered over the years, but more on THAT issue later...

Among other things, it will need all new appliances, flooring in the bedrooms, tile cleaning/renovation in the master bath, an accordion shutter on the picture window, new kitchen counter/backsplash, painting throughout, and removal of some seriously wrong trimming.

My second choice house in the same development has a less spectacular view, but it won't need much work. (Just a little paint and replacement of the pink carpet.)

I'm so excited! And scared. Woah.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

See, even the cars are white...

I hadn't even noticed that. Snort.

One of my snarky Internet buds saw these pictures and wondered if the cars started out as colors and turned white after living there. OMG.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Why does Leisureville hate trees?

In my house hunt, I am seriously considering a house in Leisureville. It's a 55+ community in Boynton Beach with homes built in the 70's, mostly. The houses are sturdy, and very economical. "They" take care of the lawns, and paint the houses every 3 years, and the monthly maintenence is kept low because of all the volunteer work and fundraising, BUT they have -0 curb appeal. 1800 homes squeezed into a small space and each and every one of them is WHITE. Seriously white.
Here's the view driving down the street. What street? Well it doesn't matter it pretty much looks like this on all the streets. Trees, if any are situated well away from the houses to cause the least amount of work, and therefore the least amount of shade.

This house actually was the roomiest and nicest on the inside. It seriously looks bad on the outside front. The back is built out as far as the property allows, and get this, there is no back door. No way out in the back! As a plus, the house behind has a lovely trellis with blooming bouganvilla on it. Complete with exotic butterflies.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

We're having a drought.

The lake outside my apartment is down and the trees look awful. In a lot of parts of the country you wouldn't be concerned with bare trees this time of year, but this is south FL.

That loud sucking noise is us, the people, sucking the ground out dry to put it on golf courses and such. Here we are, aren't we proud of ourselves?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Moving is a b*tch.

Even moving my office. My boss said go occupy the office near the front, where the people are. OK, now that I have been there some weeks I understand why he needs me there. There is just so much going on, and the clerks need supervisory support at all times. It is what it is. Plus my new office is quite visible to the public, so I can't just leave a lot of stuff laying about. (Just like my first 9 years as a reference librarian where my desk was out there all the time. I've come full circle.)

Last summer I moved out of my spacious 4 bedroom house into a 2 bedroom apartment with my daughter. I left a lot of stuff behind because there just wasn't any place to keep it. As it is there are boxes piled up in the corner of the living room, the ironing board and sewing are there too, and between my bed and the window is a pile of boxes and stuff 3 1/2 feet high. I'm downsized, but keeping in mind when I get my new house/condo I will have another bedroom and possibly a garage.

My office is similar, but different. I am moving into a slightly smaller office, but one whole wall is taken up with the security camera setup. So I am having difficulty emptying out the old office, trying to keep things tidy but I got a lot of stuff after being in that office 17 years. Old boss liked to keep stuff, new boss does not. Got it.

The person who will move into the old office is coming soon and I can't put it off any longer. Today is another big moving day for me. I will take a bunch of stuff home (to my stuffed apartment) and will just try to squash stuff into the new little office. Too bad I don't downsize my butt at the same time.

My whole library is moving in a few months. I'll get a new office at that time. New boss wants me to keep it clean. Got it. I want to, I really do. Gotta let it go, let it go, it is only stuff, it is only stuff....

Saturday, March 3, 2007

House hunting!

I'm ready! Ready to start hunting for my new home, that is.

Goodbye to this pretty view:

Nina (my dear daughter of 23 years) and I have been mostly comfortable in our rental apartment for 7 months now, but as April 15 looms ahead (soon, real soon) I am reminded that I need a tax deduction. When I got divorced last year my ex-husband kept the house (with an enormous new mortgage), and he also got to keep the entire years worth of interest deductions. (And this is a guy that doesn't even claim all his income.)

So, in the next week or so I will be picking out a realtor and start doing all that involves. I know that the market here is a buyer's market and that suits me just fine.

I told a work colleage that I was looking and another one has been trying to sell me her house. It's beautiful, big and spacious and all that, but it is probably more house than I can afford, even with her reduced price. Real estate isn't moving here in Boynton Beach, FL, and I am hoping to use that to my advantage.

I have the money from my divorce settlement and some that I inherited from my Dad not too long ago. I don't want to be "house poor" like my EX, so, while I want 3 bedrooms and a garage, I also don't want to pay for stuff I don't want, like a big yard or being "gated". I am hoping to get something livable in Boynton for $230k or under.

No, I don't want to live in Leisureville. Although I did just turn 55 and I qualify, LOL.

What do you think? I'll be back to check in!