Friday, November 30, 2007

So much is happening now.

I really should post every day from now on. Things have really revved up. The clean-up pros with their big machines have been through here. It's looking pretty amazing and they've only just begun. They couldn't work today because of the rain. The front field is looking really sparse. So many trees have been taken out.

The dumpster didn't get delivered, because of the rain I guess. We've filled up several trash cans. Dad keeps walking around pointing out different things that he wants to take with him. We're all just saying ok, ok, and then he moves on. The packing has been going pretty smoothly for the most part. We have had a couple of Dad incidents but those were about the grader guys knocking down structures. He really got mad when they took out half of the big tree that's next to the driveway. They needed to get the overhanging branches off so they could get through. It doesn't matter what they destroy because it's all going to be scraped away anyway. But Dad doesn't have the capacity to understand so it's pretty traumatic for him.

This morning I went to the RCC HR office to fill out some paperwork. It was a big ol' packet of papers. I had to sign an oath of allegiance! I am now sworn to protect the Constitution!

I never considered that I would ever be someone who would be called upon to protect the Constitution. The president is supposed to do that. Freakin' Nancy Pelosi is supposed to do that. So, what if that was something every American was proud to do, instead of reciting the stupid Pledge of Allegiance? I was so surprised to see that page in the packet that I really slowed down and read the thing. I thought it was a pretty powerful statement.

I have to make an appointment to get fingerprinted. This afternoon I went to Health Services and got a TB test. Everything's on track but I can't help feeling that the whole thing could come to a screeching halt.

Tomorrow Dad is moving to assisted living. That day that always seemed so far off into the future is finally here. This evening Dede found Dad's scrap book from high school. This is something that none of us had ever seen. It was really fun looking through it. His whole courtship with Mom was in there. Lots of little cards and love notes. There was a letter from one of his buddies that was just hilarious! I'll post it here one of these days. That was the find of the day. Y'know, while he was looking through that book he seemed almost normal. He remembered a lot of details easily and discussed them without much fishing for words. He thoroughly enjoyed himself.

I'm so glad Debbie and Bob could be here for this. It wouldn't have been the same without them. I think it's also making it easier on Dad to have them here.

What a time this is.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Shop at Sears

I read the other day that Sears is doing nice stuff for the troops so I decided I'd shop there more often. I've been wanting to get new beds and an electric lawn mower so I stopped in to see what they had. They were having a half price sale on their mattress sets. I didn't want the box springs so they were even cheaper. I bought two queen mattresses. One of them was the floor model. Got a great deal on that one.

Then I went to the gardening department. They had a discontinued, floor model, electric mower. Saved about a hundred bucks there. Boy, today was the day to go to Sears.

I went by Ramona and picked up Paige. When we got home I saw Dad out by the trees that are between our houses. He looked like he was trying to yank a branch down. When I went into the house Lindsay said, "Grandpa wants to talk to you." I went back out just as he was walking back to his house. He was holding his pant legs up and he had leaves and crap all over his back. I caught up with him. He turned and said, "I fell down. I rolled down the hill. I'm all bloody." Both of his ankles were bleeding. I followed him back to his house and had him sit down in the kitchen. I went and got a damp towel and cleaned up his ankles. One of them had a bad scrape, the other one was slightly scraped. He had bled into his new SAS shoes. He wasn't wearing socks.

Of course his attitude towards me was completely different. Everything was just peachy. I gave him his evening pills while I was there. After that I went out to talk to Drew. He was out in the field helping some friends get some trees. While we were talking the guy who's going to do the big clean up came by. They're starting that tomorrow. I was glad he showed up because I wanted to ask him about where we should have the next dumpster placed.

Debbie and Bob will be here soon. I'm really glad they made it out here. I think it will help make Dad's move easier to have us all here together. And I'm glad they'll get to see the farm one last time.

Time to get out of these clothes and relax. I bought new jammies at Sears today!


I was supposed to go to an Excel class at the library. I didn't get out of here on time. Oh well, they have another one next week.

I was getting ready to go when I looked out the kitchen window and saw a van parked in my driveway. We've had a lot of people coming up here looking for trees, even though we've got signs posted saying CLOSED and NO TRESSPASSING. I went out front and found a woman and her kids talking to Dad. He's telling them where they can find a tree. I didn't say anything until the woman walked away. I told Dad we're not giving away any more trees. Of course he immediately got nasty. I told him that Bud is taking the rest of the trees and we're not insured to have the general public up here. He said, "I know that! You've told me a thousand times! Now you've said what you want to say so GO!" I said, "Well, if you already know that then don't keep telling people they can get trees." He said, "Get the shit out of here. Just go fuck yourself! You've always been a piece of shit."

Yep. That's what he said. I said, "Yes, and you've always been an abusive father." I know I shouldn't have said that but hey, I was provoked. Besides, he won't remember it anyway. He laughed and kept telling me to get lost. I came back to the house. The woman's two little girls were looking at the rabbits. Their mother was right there. I told her that we weren't supposed to be giving trees away but she could still have one. Just don't tell anyone else. She was very nice. Dad saw me talking to her and came over to make sure I didn't tell her, like, I dunno, the TRUTH or something. Since the little girls were right there he kept it together. The woman's husband came driving up and they went out to the field to get a tree.

I came in the house and made another sign to put up next to the others. It said "We are closed. The trees belong to another farmer and they're not for sale. There is NO free giveaway. Do not disturb house occupants."


That'll be the next sign I put up.

Anyway, I was late getting out of here so I missed the class. Man, this morning when I went over to do meds Dad was talking about all the people that were here getting trees last night. People we don't know! He was disgusted and amazed that so many people would come up here uninvited. HE'S the one that made the announcement to a whole restaurant full of people! I've been asking people where they heard about the trees and they all say Mr.T's restaurant.

Three more days and Dad is outta here. Our moving day is two weeks from today. I am soooooooo ready.

Monday, November 26, 2007

An omen? A sign from God?

What does it mean?

Just now I was out front looking at the view. I turned and something caught my eye. I looked up at my porch roof. What IS that thing?

It was a duck. There's a duck on my roof. I hurried to the studio and grabbed Lindsay. I told her, "You HAVE to come see this!" She and I both stood there and talked to the duck. It was bobbing its head around, looking at us. But it never moved more than that. I think since it's a bird and it's dark outside it just doesn't have the brain power available to think about being scared. Damn, it's funny.

I'm going to keep Boz inside in case it deicides to try to fly. We'll see if it's there in the morning. If it's injured I'll try to catch it. What is it about this place? Maybe it wants to sell me insurance.

Not much happened today at work

I went to the district office and met with Debbie (my boss) and her assistants. It was very casual, friendly and short. One of the assistants took down some of my info and that was about it. They're going to have the HR people call me later this week. I need to go in for a TB test and they need to do a background check. After that I should start right away. Monday, Wednesday and Friday I work 8 to 12, Tuesdays and Thursdays will be 12:30 to 4:30. I'll be answering phones mostly plus doing some general office stuff. They do want me to know Excel, Outlook and Word so I've got some work to do. The computer stuff does make me nervous. I know it's not too difficult but it's a lot to learn all at once. I already have Excel and Word on this computer. I don't have Outlook. I'll see what I can pick up from the tutorials that Dean sent me.

So there you go. Nothing exciting. They told me that most of the time the office is pretty mellow. It gets crazier during registration but that's about it. I'm glad about that. I'll need some time to get myself up to speed.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Whoa, different day

This morning Dede took Dad to church. He announced to the whole congregation that they could all come get a free tree. So, ok. We decided we'd keep the front gate locked and they could all come up the Central driveway. We also decided to provide saws but they would have to get the trees themselves. We would not be putting on stands.

For those of you who don't know, our stands aren't the criss-cross wood slats they bang onto the end. These are made out of rebar with a dish and a big spike in the center. We lift the tree up onto a special drill, make sure it's perfectly upright and then drill the hole into the center of the tree. Then you stick the stand-dish-spike into the hole and bang it on with a sledge hammer. It's a quick process but if you're doing a lot of trees it eats up a lot of time and manpower. Namely, Drew. I think he put stands on for five hours straight yesterday. We all worked on stands but I don't think Drew did much of anything else. Except for tying the trees onto cars and SUVs. Man, it was a lot of work. Anyway...

Stacey, Scotty and I worked on boxing up the rest of the records. Drew is still recovering from surgery and shouldn't lift anything heavy. We all decided he should hang out down front and help the church people with trees and we'd deal with packing the records and getting them to storage. My truck was already loaded up with my stuff so I took it to storage and then waited for Stacey and Scotty.

When they got there they told me that Dad was on the rampage. He didn't get his chill pill this morning because all his extra meds have already been taken to the new place. He was down front yelling at Drew to open the gate. He was behaving this way in front of the people from church. That was kind of surprising, He can usually fake it with non family members. I didn't get the whole story and it was pretty much over by the time I got home. I guess he was quite sorry and embarrassed. Tomorrow Dede is going to Raincross and get enough meds for the week.

So, we had a lot of people from Hope but then we started getting people from some Baptist church. One guy said he was the son of a waitress who worked where Dad had lunch today. He had announced it to the whole restaurant! These people were not anyone we knew. These people were kinda creepy and not all that nice. I didn't spend much time down front today but what I saw just didn't feel good. Not like yesterday at all.

Today was a lot of hard work. I took three loads to storage and I have a fourth all ready to go. It's really something. Everyone is working so hard. Even the kids (well, not MY kids) have been working.

It's time to make the big butcher paper to-do list. We need Information Central.

Tomorrow is my first day at RCC. Hee! I think I just might take half a Xanax before I go. It's funny, I made this elaborate wardrobe box so I could hang up my nicer garments for the move. I have all my silk stuff nicely packed away. Now I have to unpack it so I can have something to wear to work. And on my very first day I'm going to ask for a day off. Moving day is on a Wednesday. Man, I don't think I have ever felt so nervous starting a new job. Like I'm being thrown into the deep end. But it's also pretty exciting. Life changing.

So, this is how we'll end 2007. Dad goes into assisted living. The girls and I move into our own house and I get a job (a job with exciting potential). The farm will be no more. Man, I feel like we're coming to the end of a book. Ah, there it is. Just take all the blog entries from 2007, hire an editor and BAM! Best seller! Ok, maybe there a few more steps than that.

Anyway, it's been a mind-blowing year.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

What a day!

Whew! It was such a whirlwind! Once we got the gates open people were coming in non-stop. Some people took five or six trees. It was really pretty fun, almost like a party.

Bill and Virginia came with Zoey and two of her friends. Brendan thought it was just wonderful that his teacher showed up at the farm. He really enjoyed goofing around with Bill. Seeing those guys was the high point of my day. Bill and Virginia told me that Zoey's friends' family doesn't have much money and asked if they could get a tree too. No problemo. It felt good to be able to do that. Bill and I delivered their tree. The father seemed very happy to get it.

But the day didn't start out too well. When I called Dad this morning he wanted to know what was going on today. I told him that today was the day when everyone was coming to get their tree. He flipped. He wanted to know who's idea it was. Who made the decision to do that? I told him we all decided. He wanted to know who was invited up here. I told him we all invited our friends and family. It didn't matter what I said to him, he was majorly pissed. He said no one ever tells him what's going on. I told him that we do tell him, he just forgets. He yelled, "I haven't forgotten a blessed thing!!!" And then there was a long pause. "This sounds like something Donita cooked up." Yep. He had forgotten who he was talking to.

After some more yelling I hung up and went over there to do morning meds. He was spittin' mad. I got to hear it all, mostly about what a huge liar I am. I just gave him his pills and left. Then Stacey called me to warn me about Dad being on the rampage. I said, "I know, it's my fault." He called Drew too. Everybody got an earful this morning. When Dede got here she calmed him down and took him to his new place to measure it. He's been wanting to do that to see how his furniture will fit. She kept him away for most of the day. They came back when we had a big crowd of people here. Since everyone was having a good time he just went along with it.

After we closed the gates we went to Olivia's for dinner. I'd had almost nothing to eat all day so I was ready for a good meal. And it was really good.

Some good news. I don't think I want to give the details here, but due to my having a connection at RCC I've been handed a job at the district office. I start on Monday. It's just part time for now, which is ideal. Gonna be a receptionist. I am so thankful for this opportunity. Really, it blows my mind. Getting a decent job was a huge worry for me and this could really lead to bigger and better things. Once I'm able to go full time I'll be eligible for some kickin' benefits. Hoo boy. I just hope I don't fall flat on my face. I really want to do a good job. I want them to keep me! Thank you, SB!

For tonight, a hot shower, jammies and a glass of wine. Tomorrow we do it all again. Well, fewer people getting trees but we still have to pack.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

I hope you all eat too much and laugh just enough.

We're going to Ken and Sherri's today. Tomorrow we'll be at Stacey's. The Lang's always do Thanksgiving the day after so we can have the whole day together and not worry about scheduling conflicts. We'll be grilling steaks (so traditional). Saturday we're opening the farm for a few hours so our friends can come pick up a free tree. We're not selling them this year. After everyone gets their tree the rest will be cut down and mulched. How totally weird will it be to see the hill denuded? No trees after thirty-something years! People are gonna freak!

Ok, ok, gotta go cook something.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

No sleep

Ugh. I'm wide awake. My eyes popped open at 2:45 and now here I am. Any sleep I got was fitful and dreamless. I'll probably get used to it but for tonight sleeping on the air mattress isn't a happening thing. Add to that a big ol' brain buzz swirling up the usual worries and you just have to give up and get up. I might have to resort to a sleep aid.

Here's my brain buzz list:

Do I have what it takes?
Can I make it on my own?
Can I keep a household going?
Am I spending too much money?
Will I get it all done in time?
Will my health hold up?
Should I not get satellite tv?
One mattress or two?
Now or later?
Is this it?

Just get through this. It'll all be what it's going to be after the move... after Christmas... after the first of the year... after I find a job... after I lose some weight... after Paige graduates... after Lindsay graduates...

One day I'll be looking back at all of these afters. Did it turn out the way I thought it would?

Just get through it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Where will we sit? Where will I sleep?

Hoo ha! Today I tore my sofa to pieces. Well, three big pieces. Stacey helped me get it out the door and into the truck and then into the dumpster. It was a sofa bed that weighed a ton, was impossible to open and had been clawed by the cats. It had to go. Stacey and I also carried my mattress out to the truck and then to the dumpster. It was 10 years old and pretty much done. I don't need a king size bed anymore. I'm going to get a queen sized mattress and cut my bed to fit. Jim and I made this bed. Three cuts with a skill saw, a little routing and staining and BAM. Queen bed. I took it apart and carried it out to the back porch. I am woman, hear me roar.

So, tonight I'm sleeping on an inflatable mattress. Just like camping! Wheee! We might move in one of the wicker sofas from the front porch just so we have a place to sit until the move.

Stacey and I made some progress packing up the records. Had to stop because we ran out of boxes. I'll get some more tomorrow. Jeez, moving is one of those things where you work and work but it doesn't look like you've done anything. It just looks like a big mess.

Man, I'm ready for a shower and a snooze.

Monday, November 19, 2007


A good, productive day today. I got the back porch area cleaned. Now I can stack boxes out there and free up some space in the house. The garage is almost done. I cleaned out the broom closet. Boxed up some kitchen stuff. Packed up the truck and took a load to storage.

Paige baked some pumpkin pies yesterday. She actually improved on the Libby's recipe. They were really very good. She was going to take one over to Gabe's this evening but Gracie dragged it off the table and ate the whole thing. Dopey dog. Paige was pissed! I can't imagine eating a whole pie. Guess who's sleeping outside tonight?

Ten days until we move Dad. Ten more days of doing morning and evening meds. It's hard to believe my stint as caregiver is finally coming to an end. I still might have to do stuff like take him to the doctor and get his meds but that's easy and we'll be getting him a doctor here in town. No more driving to Loma Linda. No more sitting for hours surrounded by grumpy old men.

I'm so looking forward to getting into the new neighborhood. Victoria avenue is right there and it's a great place to walk. I'll walk the Vic when I'm not walking the Rube with Jeff. I'll take Bozzie with me. He'll need it now that he won't have 12 acres to roam.

I think I'll go pack some more.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fortune cookie sez...


Damn cookie. Pushing me into doing that which I'm too chicken to do.

Today Virginia and I went to the Felt Club show in LA. Lots of cool stuff but too much of it was the same and too much of it was too expensive. Go to the comments on the previous blog entry and click on the link to her blog. She pretty much says it all. I found a few things to give as Christmas gifts and I bought a necklace for myself. The best part of the day was just hanging out with Virginia and talking almost non-stop.

This evening Jeff and I went to see Beowulf. I would recommend seeing it in 3D if you can. I think the jokes would work better. It's not a great movie but we both enjoyed it. Afterward we went to dinner and had a good, long talk. I haven't seen him much lately because we haven't walked together (my bad back). Now I feel like I need to walk the Rube by myself to get back up to speed. I'm a real weakling right now. After the big move I want to start working on getting my fitness level back up. I'm tired of not feeling good.

The pets are all doing well. The "spend money" light went on in my car today. And so it goes.

Tomorrow I resume packing. I want to get some of this chaos under control. I'm going to work on one area at a time so I can get some things completed and actually see the progress.

Good stuff is happening.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Another nutso day

Ye gollys. It just doesn't stop.

I was planning to get up at 5 this morning so I could be at Ramona by 6. My eyes popped open at 4 so that was it. I was up. So, I paid some bills. That was productive. I went to Ramona and worked for three hours setting up the snack bars and generally doing a bunch of running around. I probably walked the equivalent of Mt. Rubidoux. Then I came home.

Almost right away I went over to Dad's and started helping with the cleaning and packing. We really got a lot done. Another productive activity. Getting pretty tired now. I got a phone message from the vet at around 3. He thought Gracie was ready to come home. I immediately ran over there to get her. The final bill was $360. Not bad considering it could have been much more. She had a vestibular inner ear problem. So there ya go. I brought her home with some antibiotics. She's acting completely normal (barking too much).

I went back to Dad's and resumed the cleaning and packing. Dad was at Drew's all day so we were free to toss stuff like we just didn't care. Wheee! We actually got the dumpster halfway filled with just stuff from Dad's house.

Kyle is here this weekend and he brought the cats. When we finished working at Dad's I unlocked the apartment for Dede and David so they could get some stuff. While I was out there I heard Lindsay yelling for me. Ink had thrown up a few times and the last one looked bloody. So off we went to the emergency vet again. After a couple of hours and some more $ we left there with a round of antibiotics for Ink. The vet thinks she either inhaled something (bad huffing kitty!) or she has pneumonia. Kyle will need to keep her quiet for the next few days. Pretty hard to do since Inky and Spiral play pretty hard together.

So, now I have just enough time to grab a shower and head back over to the school to watch the band's last performance of the marching season. I also have to deliver a mallet to Paige.

And then I shall collapse in a heap of tiredness. But at least I'm not an emotional basket case.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Got 'em bad. Right now. Big ol' air-sucking hiccups. And why not? Might as well pile something else onto this generally shitty day.

This morning I went to the vet to check on Gracie. The vet had come in an hour late so the office was piled up with people. People with boxers. The only empty seat was next to an obnoxious woman with a loud voice and a jumpy dog. The dog (a boxer) actually ended up in my lap several times. She was too busy loudly yapping on her cell phone to be bothered with controlling her saliva-spraying dog. Since she's a breeder she has no problem using the word "bitch" as often as she can in one conversation. "That bitch is one beautiful bitch. That bitch has a wonderful bite. I've never seen a bitch with such a big front. That bitch is one bitchin' bitch of a bitch."

At one point the receptionist had to tell the bitch to keep her voice down. After almost 2 hours (they hadn't pulled Gracie's chart) I finally got to talk to the vet. Gracie has improved a little. She's even showed a little interest in some food. But she's not out of the woods yet. So, she'll stay the weekend. Ka-ching.

Then I went to Mickey's to pick up my paycheck. Actually, two paychecks. Both of them together totaled $40. They stiffed me some hours! So, I had to go back in and talk to the managers, both of whom always look at me like I'm some kind of alien, and tell them my paychecks were short. I left them my pay stubs so they can investigate.

The hiccups have stopped. Now I feel a little sick. So, today was just one of those days. I was ignored by the hostess at the restaurant, I was ignored by the waitress, almost got creamed by a speeding truck, had to go to two Target stores to find the trash cans I wanted.

Yeah, I know. Boo hoo.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I just got back from taking Gracie to the vet. This morning I found her in the kitchen, laying in a puddle of her own saliva. One side of her was completely wet. She was shaking, her eyes were kind of glazed and her muscles were tight. I took her to the emergency vet. They were just closing but they took her anyway. The vet there said he didn't think it was a stroke. He thinks she ingested something. I had to think hard about what it possibly could be. She was fine after our walk last night. I gave her a Rimadyl because she was limping. While I was at the vet I called home and asked Lindsay to look around and see if there was anything laying around that she could have gotten into. Lindsay didn't find anything.

They sedated her and put a catheter in her leg. Then I took her to our regular vet. He thinks it's either a stroke or an inner ear thing. He said we can keep an eye on her for a couple of days and see how she does. After that I could take her to a place in Orange County for some expensive tests or I can have her put down. Shit.

She's 12 years old and already not doing all that well. I don't think I'd be willing to spend a huge wad of money trying to save a dog that's probably on the way out anyway. Well, I don't have to decide anything right now. Good thing, too. I'm not thinking all that clearly.

We got Gracie as a 6-week-old puppy after we lost our dear Sally dog to kidney failure. Losing Sally was pretty hard on us and it took a while before we felt ready to get another dog. One of the first things I said to Gracie, that little ball of black fluff was, "You're going to put me through it someday, aren't you." That's how it is with pets. We don't get to have them for as long as we'd like. They get old so fast. Our cat, Katie (best friggin' cat ever), is 9 1/2 and is not as robust as she used to be. Anyway...

We just don't know about Gracie yet. Maybe it'll clear up in a day or two. But I'm preparing myself. And right now I'm going to lay down and zone out for a while. What a morning.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Still counting

Today they picked up the latest batch of dumpsters. We got another one for all the trash that's going to come out of both houses, mostly Dad's. When the guy was hooking up the second dumpster Dad came out and asked (in a snide voice), "Did Drew say they could take this?" I said no, I'm the one who's been handling the dumpsters. He said, "Then you haven't got a brain in your head." I said, "Thank you. What a kind thing to say". He again asked if Drew said it was ok to take it. I told him it's full. He sort of yelled, "That's not full! Any idiot can see it's not full!" Um, really, any idiot could see there was a bunch of stuff sticking out of the top. Was it floating up there?

At first I said, "Well, you climb up there and tell me if it's full or not." But then I thought he might actually do that. I told him that the driver actually had to re-arrange things because it was a little too full (which was the truth). Dad started to walk away but then he saw where the empty dumpster had been placed. I had the guy put it in a different spot because he had delivered the empty one and then went to get the full one. Normally I would have had him put it in the alley but then he wouldn't have been able to get out. So, yeah, it's in a funky place but it'll be fine for what we're going to do. So, of course Dad had to bitch about it. I didn't tell him that the reason it's sitting there is because we're going to fill it with crap from his house.

It's sitting on a slope. Dad told me to tell the guy he needs to level it. I asked why. Dad said that dumpsters don't work if they're not level. I told him that if the driver thought there'd be a problem then he wouldn't have put it there. I turned around to walk away and Dad followed me halfway home telling me how stupid I am.

We're going to be keeping this dumpster for a while. We'll have to keep the doors closed or Dad will go in there and pull stuff out. We might even have to lock it. He's being such a jerk about throwing things away that I could even see him grabbing a ladder and climbing in over the side to retrieve his precious garbage. Heh! We could keep him in there so he can tell us when it's full.

Yes, Donita is still counting down the days.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Dede was here for a little while yesterday. We took some of the records to Dad's storage. Damn, them boxes were heavy. Records weigh a lot. After that I met Virginia at Panera for lunch. I don't get to see her as often as I'd like. I showed her the photos of the house. We had a lovely chat about the crazy old people in our lives. We've both decided that we won't be able to avoid turning into crazy old people ourselves. Better apologize to the kids early. We're doomed.

More packing today. At some point I need to take Dad to the VA for a TB test. I'd like to try going for a walk. I think my back can handle it now.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

David Lindley

Jeff and I went to McCabe's Guitar Shop to see David Lindley last night. It's the first time in five or six years that I've seen him. He's always been one of my favorite artists to see in concert. It was Jeff's first time seeing him. Last night's show was the most mellow I'd ever seen. It was just Dave and his guitar-like objects. No percussion. Everything he played was new except for Cat Food Sandwich. He told some great stories. Fun show. I'm glad Jeff enjoyed it. Afterward we bought some cd's and chatted with Dave. I asked him if he's ever going to play at the Claremont folk center and he said they're talking about it. It is, after all, just down the street from where he lives. Man, it would be so fun to see him there.

Hey, Michele. Right after the show when we were filing out they put on some music and it was Grey Funnel Line! It was the Silly Sisters recording! Cool, eh?

It's after 3:00 and I've done almost nothing. I guess I could go to the grocery store. I could at least accomplish getting some food in the house.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

House inspection

There are some issues. Nothing major. Still, it'll add up.

We met Pat, the inspector dude, at the house at 9:30 this morning. We liked Pat. He was very thorough. Gammer and Gaffer were there AGAIN. The realtor niece and her husband showed up just after we got there. She's ok, he's a know-it-all. It was kind of hard to stay away from him.

The whole thing took three and a half hours. I was glad to be able to spend so much time in the house. We were so rushed the first two times we were there I felt like I really didn't get a good look at the place. Ken and I measured the rooms for carpet but after some consideration I think I'll keep the old carpet for a while. It's dated but still mostly in good shape. Sherri suggested it might be a good idea to keep it because my animals are getting older. She's right. Gracie has lost control a couple times.

Some of the issues are:

Electrical- Funky DIY wiring to the garage and to the outside lights. A "double tapped" wire in one of the electrical boxes (unsafe). The whole house uses the old two-prong system which, I am told, might be a problem for all the electronics.

Plumbing- Funky DIY plumbing in one of the bathrooms. The shower in the main bathroom doesn't work and the sink faucet is loose. There's a leaky faucet outside. The water heater needs replacing. One of the toilets is loose.

Grade and gutters- In the side yard the grade slopes towards the house. Most of the gutters are kind of shot. Missing downspouts.

Walls and ceiling- Some water damage here and there. There's an iffy panel in the main bathroom. Pat told us that the walls are made of button board. It's kind of a cross between sheetrock and lath and plaster. The walls are plastered. He told me if I want to hang a picture I need to drill a small pilot hole first or else I'll get a big hole if I try to bang a nail in. I appreciated that information. I have a lot of art to hang.

There's a little dry rot in the outside wood but not much.

Many of the windows are painted shut. Some of the doors don't latch. Old house stuff.

The AC and heater are good. The roof is almost new but Pat pointed out that the old roof was gravel and they put the new one right on top of it. If we walk around on the roof the gravel could puncture the tar paper and we could get leaks. So stay off the roof!

Sherri and I sat and chatted about decor and stuff. There are lots of family photos around the house. I noticed one in particular. It was a picture of one of their family members shaking hands with Dick Cheney! EEEK! I'm going to have to do a spiritual cleansing on this house. Burn some sage or something.

Overall I'm very happy. There's so much room. The family room will be perfect for the girl's parties. I'll have a nice-sized art studio with tons of light. The house has lots of storage. All this place needs is a covered patio. Then it'll be perfect. Mostly.

Afterward we went to Ken and Sherri's to talk. We all feel pretty good about the house. I do like the fact that it's the same floorplan as their house, just mirror image. Jim would have liked that.

I went to Michael's and picked up the paintings I had framed. They turned out really well. I'm glad to finally get them framed. Two of them have been sitting in the flat file for 18 years. The other one is the original for Kindalikeamola. They'll all look great in the new house.

Hey! Since we're not getting new carpet we can just move in on moving day! Schweet!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Packing records and eating dust.

Today I have to hang around and wait for dumpster guys. So, while I'm doing that I'm packing up the Ned records. Good golly, it's a lot of records. And they're covered with dust. Puh! I ran out of boxes so I came up here to goof off. I'll grab another pack and get back out there.

I've been through the whole collection and picked out what I want to keep. We've decided to store the rest of them. Once I'm good and settled I'm going to start doing some eBay sales. I'm sure someone out there will want Mantovani, 101 Strings and Longine's Symphonette by the truckload. There's also a LOT of Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Andre Kostelanetz, Bert Kaemfert, Guy Lombardo, Johnny Mathis, ETC! But there's a lot of less schlocky stuff too. Lot's of jazz. TONS of Hawaiian. I'm not sure if it's good Hawaiian, tho. There was a time back in the 60's where everyone and his brother were making Hawaiian albums. Lots of polka records. Lots of country. Some of these albums have great covers.

I can't wait to get the stereo set up so I can start playing the records I chose to keep. That'll be fun. I'd like to add a music feature to my blog and start streaming some of this music. Or start a podcast and call it The Best Of Ned. We'll see. In addition to the records there are five boxes of files that Ned put together. Thet're are all about the music. It'll be fun to go through those, too.

Gotta pack up my outdoor stuff, gotta dig up some plants. I keep waiting for the weather to get cooler so there'll be less transplant shock. This weekend we're going to hack up the sofa and put it in a dumpster. Wheee!!! Packing, packing, packing. Pulling the particles together. So much to do.

Tomorrow is the house inspection. Gonna measure for carpet.


Monday, November 05, 2007

Today is Jim's birthday

Emotions are close to the surface. Doing ok, though.

Heh! The caps lock was on so at first I typed DOING OK, THOUGH. It completely changes the meaning.

I just want to talk to him, y' know? We talked together a lot. For, like, 34 years. I'd like to hear what he'd have to say about all this. Of course, if he were still around all this would be 50% different. I miss the conversations we'd have when he'd get excited about something. Those were fun. Enthusiastic Jim was fun to be with.

I told Kyle a funny Jim story the other day. This happened when we were first going together. I was at his house one afternoon, hanging out in the living room. The Smiths always drank bottled water that came in those big, glass Sparklet's bottles. I was sitting on the couch and he came in holding one of the bottles. He said, "Hey, Doni, CATCH!" and HEAVED the bottle right at me! I screamed and leapt off the couch. The bottle hit the floor and bounced. It was one of the first plastic water bottles!

Funny Jim.

Did some work today with Dede and Stacey. We're going to do one more dumpster weekend and then that's it. You can actually see progress now. The whole place is much cleaner. Still, lots to do.

Dede got my glasses back! Thank you, Dede! Yes, they are scratched and the frame is bent. Oh, well. Still, they're better than the drugstore cheaters.

Drugstore Cheaters would be a good name for a band. A band made up of fifty year olds.

I picked out upholstery fabric today! Eek! I'm getting this really cool, 1960's chair and sofa set reupholstered. It's a retro-looking black and gold fabric. (Did she say black and gold?) Yes, black and gold. It's not what I had envisioned but I think it'll look really cool on the sofa and chair. And when I think about how it will look with my lamps and art it's like, yeah, that's it. I'm getting excited about decorating my new house.

No pets on the furniture!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Big workday

I've noticed that these workdays are slow getting off the ground but once everyone get's their stuff together (tools, hats, music, iced tea, gloves, going to the store, whatever) a LOT of work gets done pretty darn fast. This morning we started in the barnyard. I had called Hector and asked him if he wanted to help us. I also asked him to bring 5 guys to help. We thought they'd be here first thing this morning but they weren't showing up. Turns out he was working his regular job. Duh! Of course.

We worked on the barnyard for a while. David took Dad to breakfast and then to see the assisted living place. Dad loved it! He complained that he didn't like the whole idea but he went along with it and even got a little enthusiastic. He likes the fact that there a lot of women there. I never would have dreamed that he'd like it right off the bat. I really expected a big dramatic scene. I still think one of us should stay with him at first. We can take turns. But man, I never thought he'd take it this well.

Stacey, Drew and I are kinda gimpy from back injuries and recent surgery so we weren't able toget as much done. Still, one dumpster was half-loaded and all of the old tires had been removed. Good progress.

Stacey and Scotty had to leave go to Audra's singing debut (go, Audra!). Dad went with them! Mindy, Dede and I went up to Dad's house and started working on cleaning out closets. Yegawdamighty! Mindy and I worked on the hall closet. Half of it was Mary Alice's old stuff and half of it was tools. Really crazy tools, too. Big, gnarly tools. Then we started on the kitchen drawers. We didn't even get to the drawers with actual kitchen stuff in them. We cleaned out the kitchen office drawers. These were full of smaller tools, hardware and general garbage.

Hector and the guys showed up around 3:00. They jumped in and kicked ASS! They were really fun to work with. There was a bit of a language barrier but we managed to joke around quite a bit. And two of the dumpsters got filled. They're coming back tomorrow.

Stacey came back to work while Scotty kept Dad at their house. We were able to work the entire day without dealing with Dad. What an amazing difference that makes! When we were done we all went to Stacey and Scotty's for dinner. College Man Mike joined us. Fun night. And tomorrow we get to do it all again.

The only snag of the day was when the bees got a bit miffed at David. While he was trying to bat them away he knocked his glasses off and got stung. Now he can't find his glasses and had to wear his prescription shades to watch tv at Stacey's. Maybe we'll find them tomorrow.

It's kind of weird. Everything has to go. Almost everything in Dad's house has to go. So, as we're doing the clean-up today I kept coming home with stuff. I mean, everybody's taking something home. Drew and I have gotten most of it, mainly because Dede and Stacey are interested in just a few things. We're setting some things aside for Debbie. But it just feels weird. I have to remind myself that it has to go.

Strange thing, this shifting of stuff. I've been doing the same thing with Jim's stuff. Everything he owned now belongs to me, right? But so much of it is stuff I can't use. So, out it goes. And that feels wrong. But it's my stuff. What IS this stuff?

Today was a good day.