Thursday, December 26, 2013

New Years is a little early

Started my New Years Day project a bit early.  This was the one pattern purchase this year - Gigi R's Letter L.  It is dmc 815 on 28 count antique white jobelan, one over one.  I bought the pattern from Stitch & Frog - https://stitchandfrog.com - She had several patterns of Gigi R - and it seems like it is harder to find a good selection of Gigi R patterns in the United States.  Naturally, I will make a few changes.  I seem to miscount at least once a day when stitching, which is getting old.  And I fix it when it is not a planned change. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Stitching again finally

This is in the hoop now - I feel like I have unstitched more than stitched.  It is the Blackbird Designs.  Stitching it on Dove Gray 28 count jobelan, one over one.  Thought that the gray would work with so many whites and lights.  Like a gray sky evening... and it was the darker of the two grays I have in my stash.
Using the dmc threads except for the tree and a bit of the pine border and that is WDW Dried Thyme.  The color called for was too brown, not green.  There is a crescent moon in white, and lots of snow, but the whites do not show up, and I like the door - but yellow snow is not a good idea.  Will stitch the rest of the parts I do like and maybe then just move on to another pattern.  You can see from the whites in the roof stars that they are just too close in color to show.  I did stitch some areas in white just to really know - like the moon - and that is when the unstitching started.

And this is finished - Lauren's Voice.  I think this may have been my only stitching finish for the year.  Sort of sad to say that.  And I think that I only bought one new pattern this year.  One in, one out.  It only took a couple of nights to finish - I was never wild about the colors of the flowers, I suppose because I always love the fuchsia colored real flowers.
I am stitching with the intent just to enjoy stitching - not to frame what I stitch.  Just to use up what I have in my stash - finish up a few things that I have started.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Resting...

Took a couple of weeks off - just needed a break.  The weather got colder, it lightly snowed.  I stayed home.  After the carpet was installed at moms, my friend and I decided to paint the bathroom walls like the living room walls but satin, not eggshell.  I have two coats of the more brown paint covering the gray paint.  A third coat will be enough.  Depending on the time of day - it still looks gray, and sometimes it looks brown.  It is just regular paint - I don't have a clue why depending on the lighting it changes sooo much.  Brown or gray works, but brown works better now that the flooring is in.
I tried the bathroom paint in the kitchen - and it works.  So the kitchen and the living room will be the same, but since one is eggshell, and the other is satin, the satin reads as darker.  Just a shade or two darker, but actually, I tried the living room paint in the kitchen, and it was wrong, but the satin version works.  I would not have believed that.  Paint is paint, and color is color, and I understand from a gloss to a flat would be different.  And I keep driving across town to get the paint mixed at the same store.  We taped off the third bedroom for painting.  I covered all the carpet with sheets of plastic that you would normally use to cover furniture while painting.  With just me, I don't seem to trip over it so far.  I replaced the baseboard registers to freshen things just a bit more, and I have replaced outlets and switches and the covers of outlets and switches.  We put up some curtains, mostly just valances in the rooms we are done painting. Bought some tile mortar mix to cover the kitchen bricks.  Trying to match what my mom did - or the results of what she did.  I put a layer on - it is like frosting the wall.  My friend put on a thin second coat - and it will need a third coat and paint yet. 
I have not been stitching - I am getting a random list of books listened to while working.  I love Bridget Jones, and wanted to hear her new book, and got that one done.  I loved Upstairs, Downstairs - and listened to two books by the woman that wrote for Upstairs, Downstairs.  Another was called Ghost Man by Roger Hobbs - not about Ghosts, but about robbery and a fixer type guy that you call when the robbery goes bad.  I had to look it up to see what they classify it - thriller / crime drama.  I listened to Jenny Lawsons' book - a blogger after my own heart.  She has crazy stories to tell, and listening to her directly was nicer than reading, and I started out by reading her book, and switched when the library had the audiobook version.  Stephen Kings book Joyland - I heard the NPR interview, so I thought I had the idea of the plot, but it was not what I thought.  Listened to Doctor Sleep, also by Stephen King - I liked The Shining - saw both movie and tv versions, then read the book finally, so Doctor Sleep was a must - and the audiobook kept me painting.  I read the book called Mrs Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill - I wanted to have it completed by Nov 22.  That was an incredibly interesting book.  Clint Hill was the agent that climbs onto the back of the car in the Zapruder film.  He was assigned to guard Mrs Kennedy.  I knew a little about Mrs Kennedy - and if you told me to read a book about Mrs Kennedy, I don't think it would have held my attention, but Clint Hills book certainly had my attention.  You are everywhere Jackie is.  You are in the hospital in Dallas.  You are with her because he is with her.  He doesn't tell things in a way that you feel he has violated her privacy.  He is a story teller that after the first story, you just want him to tell you the next story.  Right down to explaining what happened behind the scenes that made John Jr salute his father's casket - a photo and film that everyone has seen.  Amazing book and not what I expected.  He said he figured he would be stuck at tea partys and fashion shows, and as a reader, I wondered that too, because I would not find that interesting either.  Once you know him - you start to see that he is in every photo of events with her.  Mrs Kennedy is not what I expected - and he gives a great insiders view to her world and that period of history.  I am reading Jeanette Fulda's first book - another blogger.  Read a book about behind the scenes in Las Vegas.  I just read what ever sounds interesting at the time.  But I miss stitching.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Still Painting

Still painting at my mom's house.  As I have said before, it is a 3 bedroom ranch house, that is 50 years old.
My parents were the first and only owners of the house.  I am done painting the living / dining / hallway.  Painted the front door and the outside railing.I have painted two bedrooms, and the bathroom, and have one bedroom to do yet, and the kitchen.  My mom had these fake bricks on the kitchen wall, and it has been interesting to try to figure out that.  My mom eventually mortared over the one wall, which left two other areas of bricks.  I tried putting joint compound between the bricks - it all cracked, so I spent another day chipping out all the cracked stuff between the fake bricks.  Which actually caused a neat effect, but still doesn't match anything else in the kitchen.  I painted the dining room ceiling, which meant I had to paint the kitchen ceiling, since it all is one area.  But when I paint the kitchen walls, they just looked gray.  So I tried a lighter paint, still gray.  Then I grabbed the ceiling white, and painted it on the walls.  It does not look white on the walls either.  It is just weird.  My mom had it painted peach?  It will be a challenge to make something work, when even bright ceiling white does not look white. 
I also have a second basement bath, and a storm shelter yet to paint.  I am bleaching the basement shower, it is painted cement block, and a functioning bathroom / shower, but not a pretty bathroom.
The carpet people come Monday to install the new bathroom vinyl, and the carpet in the living / dining / hallway.  I have painted the ceilings, and the closet in one bedroom.  My helping friend has stained the baseboards and woodwork to get rid of lots of nicks and scrapes and that has helped make it all seem fresh again.  The bedrooms are all hardwood floors, and have been covered up with rubber back carpet most of my life.  The floor were in great condition when we removed the carpet.  My parents never had tack strip around the edges, so it was like wall to wall rug, with some double stick tape to hold the doorway areas down.  I took a can of Pledge, and sprayed the floor and shuffled all around with a towel to wipe it all over, then with a second dry towel again shuffled around.  I am sure it will be crazy slick - but it will look great.

I pulled the upstairs toilet, and will just have a new one installed eventually.  I try to go there every day, for 4 - 6 hours.  I mow to keep the leaves chopped up.  I cleared the leaves off the top of the gutter guards before it rained.  There is always stuff to do.  And I still have a month of work to do.  At this point we are talking about waiting to list the house until spring now.  I don't want to have to go out to keep the driveway cleared all winter, nor do I want people with snow covered shoes walking on new carpet.  He tells me that people don't shop for houses during winter, but that was when I bought my house.  I know after all this time it will not really matter, but part of me knows for my own mental health, it will be best for me to get out from under owning two houses. It is a house for me that no matter what I do, will always contain memories for me.  They are not all good memories.  As a kid, I wanted to get away from that house as soon as I could.  I was buying towels and can openers and pots and pans before I could drive.  Stuff I would need for living on my own somewhere else.  And I knew since I was about 8 years old that I would be stuck clearing out that house on my own at some point.  I hoped that when that happened I would have a husband or my own kids to help me, but it did not work out that way.  It is just me.  And my friend that still comes to help me once a week.  It just never seems to end.  I think - How long can it really take me to paint a house?  Months - seems to be the answer.  Why does it take me that long?  Because I am trying to do a good job, and not paint it on too thick and lose the wall texture.  I was ready to just replace carpet.  Then told to paint.  Then the ceilings looked dirty, and the time to paint ceilings was before new carpet obviously.
And yet whoever buys the house, may just repaint it all anyway -
I don't know what the answer is, I just keep painting.  But it really seems like it is just never going to end.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Catching up...

 Sort of finished up the old project- need to add some dates at the bottom above the birds, but have to decide how the dates will fit, and do a bit of research to find the dates.  I put in the name, and tried to rough draw it out first - and then a couple of the letters were just slightly wider - so it is not perfectly centered, and I could always stick a bird on the ends - again, just not exactly sure.  But overall, I'm happy with it.  Was not sure if the name should be red, it was red on the pattern, so I went with red.  But I will admit, I started because I liked the stars, I was sort of hating those stars by the end.  Well, I still like them, but I don't want to stitch any for a while.
And I had a blogger ask me about Goode Huswife patterns, and this came up in our talks - Our House.  She said she wanted to stitch it, and that got me to thinking with the pumpkins and leaves, it was the thing to stitch in the fall.  It has a stone looking house and wall, so it is sort of slow going changing colors, and just a bit of this and that.  Those black squares are shutters on the windows of the house. and the bottom half of the front door.  Have not been stitching much, but would like to stitch more again.  I never regret spending an evening with my needle in hand.  I do regret spending all night playing some silly kindle game while watching tv, verses stitching and watching tv.

STILL working on my mothers house.  I am painting the inside.
I hired my ex-husband - that lasted three days before I fired my ex-husband.  Oh, and he was really mad when I fired him.  He got sick about the day he started to help me - then I got what he had days later.  But I was sick then for weeks.  I will not complain - better now, then before an auction - or while my mom was sick.  He told me it was basically a summer cold.  He lied, and since I never touched him - just painted near him, I have no clue why I got sick.  And it was not gone in 14 days - it lasted nearly a month.

So I am painting alone.  I am slow.  And after buying paint - I am painting bedrooms, and closets, and ceilings.  My friend helped me pick out the ceiling paint color - ceiling white of course, but who knew that there were so many colors of ceiling white.  I don't mind painting.  I am listening to audiobooks - and am on the fourth book.
I scheduled them to deliver the bathroom vinyl and living / dining / hallway carpet on Nov 4 - so that it sort of backs me up against a time deadline to help me get my butt out there to finish.  I do not have to have the bedrooms done by then, just where they will put carpet, and the ceiling above that vinyl and carpet.

The roofers came and re-roofed moms house, porch, shed, and garage in a single day.
So basically - things are moving slowly forward.

I have my new washer and dryer - I donated all my non-HE detergent to a local womens shelter.  I had more than 10 gallons because I buy it on sale. They were glad to get it, and very nice.  Detergent was at the top of their want list, so it worked out.

And I turned another year older.

I took some before photos of where I am painting.  My mom liked to paint one wall dark - so that wall is always taking more paint.  Usually three coats, sometimes four.  I started painting the bathroom which was pink - the tub is that peach from the 1960's so not every color was good - but I am going to a medium gray.  I have three thin coats on now, and I am guessing it will take eight coats to cover.  But I like the gray.  I picked out the vinyl to match the tub, and then the wall color from another color in the vinyl. 
I keep telling myself that my mom painted all of these rooms, and she painted alone, I can do it too.  And that it is easier for me than her because she had all the furniture still in the rooms to deal with. 
I count how much I have done by the empty cans of paint. 4 so far.
It looks different - that is for sure.  It feels less like my mom's house now.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What will break next?

Pulled the carpet from mom's house - not the pad since there are ten thousand staples and it will be easier to see the staples in the pad as I pull them. 
When we pulled the bathroom rug - it was wet behind the toilet - so now that is added to the list.
After pulling carpet and filling dumpster - went to get new washer and dryer.
Delivery is the 27th - two weeks from now.  The computer wanted to go three weeks for something they have in stock.  I said you won't need my address, I will be the smelly woman in dirty clothes.
I probably could have made it two weeks, but naturally, you don't discover the washer is not working till you already have a weeks worth of laundry. 

Went to get my yearly quilt pin.  On the way there - suddenly there was a doe popping out of the ditch and woods onto the highway - I thought - lovely doe - not usually this close and she really is quite lovely...  before finally thinking - holy crap - I am going 55 miles per hours, and there is a deer in front of my car.  Luckily, the deer was smarter and more used to cars than I was seeing a deer in the road, and stepped out of the way before I even got to the - holy crap - thought. 

Then on the way home decided to drive past my ex-husbands trailer.   I do not go out of my way to do this, just if I am out of town and coming home past there.  We were married in 92 and divorced in less than a year - and then I dated him again in 2007 when he was busted and filing bankruptcy in 2007.  Last time I saw him was then and we were throwing stuff in my front yard and screaming at each other.  But I figured he could replace the stupid wet plywood under the toilet - and I would have to pay him something - but since he always seems to be home, and sometimes is out of work - maybe he needs the money as much as I need the help.  So I drove past, and like the silly deer standing in the road, he was outside - so I rolled down the window and asked him is he ever goes to work....
He asked me to come in to talk, and I did. 
A beer later for me, and two for him, and we went to my mom's house to look at the toilet.
All through this - men will follow me to that house when I show up out of the blue - it is VERY weird.
 
He looked at it, and yes it is leaking somewhere - but till I pull the toilet, it is hard to tell.  It is solid around it, and may be just the wax ring leaking slightly - and we could see the floor from the basement - and it is not wet through the plywood.  But he said if I pull it and it needs to be fixed - he would help me.  But I know that depends on what he charges me. 

But we caught up on everything since 2007.  And he said he was just released from the local version of the psych ward within the last two weeks.  He was drinking with his brother in law with his sister, and probably complaining about paying his bills since he is just working temp jobs and side building jobs.  I am sure he was drunk and said something that hit her as odd, and so she called the cops who took him to the local hospital psych ward.  He sat there for 3 hours - they did not have a room, they shipped him down the road to another town hospital and let him sit there for another 3 hours.  They had room and admitted him for three days.  He got the bill for the three hours at the first place and said it was $2000.  He has not gotten the bill for the second place.  He has no insurance.  He takes drugs for anxiety and depression - and is off his meds because he cannot afford them.  And he has been suicidal before at some point while I was not around him.
So I understand why she did what she did - but by doing that - she buried him in hospital debt.
If he was barely able to cover things before - he is screwed to the wall now and can't cover this at all.
I was around for the last bankruptcy, and sort of curious as the 7 year mark rolled around if he finally would be fine - or it he would be right back to bankruptcy again.  So it was mostly my own curiousity that brought me around to see him.  And like the rest of the men in my life since my mom's death - they show up as I need them.  If he had been inside - I just keep going - and if the local store had the washer and dryer in stock - then I don't go out of town and past him to see him... was lots of combinations to put me there then to see him outside.
He makes his own choices and he chooses to drink beer every day - and smoke.  It is what makes him happy.  And now he is smoking not cigarettes now but small cigar type things.  And today I can smell it -
and if it is indeed in my clothing - I can't wash it out of my clothes for two weeks yet.
Today I am off to pull some staples from the pad and fill nail holes.
Crank up the music and sing to my self with headphones on.  The time will pass quickly.

But with two things already wrong this week - I am waiting for the third thing to break.





Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Two year mark

Got paint for the living room and bathroom at mom's.
The carpet and vinyl is on order.
The roofer has me on his list.
Then my clothes washer decides to stop working on the two year date of my mother dying.
This was not part of the plan.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Still Learning -

Still learning - mostly stuff that I do not need to know on a regular basis.
Needed a new roof at both my house and my moms.  Both ranch houses, different style roofs.
I have learned that men do not agree about roofing.
Have talked to nine different guys that I know at least know something about roofing or have reroofed their own homes, and they agree about nothing.
I picked a roofer that has lots of patience to answer my questions and is willing to do it however I want - even when I am not sure because I have 8 of the guys telling me to do it different than what he is telling me.
I asked him to do mom's house, and I would still think about my house.  My roof is in worse shape - but mom's house is the one that is for sale. 
I think this is how women wear down men. 
I can see that after deciding brand, and style, and number of nails, and which guy to hire, and which guy is lying to me, that by the time it comes to color of the shingle - I tell the woman that helps me that the roofer says Pewter or Charcoal will look best - YOU pick.  Please...
I am out of decisions...  I think this is what we do to men all the time.
The weird part is, we are picking this for somebody else - not her or me.
I tend to look at function - most people are looking for curb appeal and first impressions.  I understand - but it is not the way I think.  You can have lovely dark house shingles - or lighter shingles - but here, if you have dark shingles and switch to lighter shingles - it cut one guys air conditioning bill in half.
Half.
Times three months of summer that you might run that air conditioner...
Times 50 years - or 30 years - or 20 years...
The money that you might have saved having lighter shingles verses darker shingles is enough to buy something nice. Not the next roof or the next air conditioner - but a sofa or lots of cross stitch stuff.
That is function thinking.  But I agree - from a curb appeal - those darker shingles look nicer.
But I am told people do not consider this at all.
They also do not consider the number of nails per shingle.  Standard is 4.  Why?  Because that is how the roofer before taught the roofer now.
Do you know how to get roofing with a higher wind rating?  Better shingles?  More shingles closer together?
Nothing changes - same shingle - same spacing - 6 nails per shingle instead of 4 nails per shingle.
And if you read the fine print legal stuff on the warranty - it says 6 nails - because they know no guy is EVER going to read the fine print on the shingle warranty.  I guess they never have to pay out a claim.
I asked for 6 nails before reading the warranty- he said that was not a problem - that I was only the third person in 17 years to ask for 6 nails per shingle.  I showed him where it says that in the warranty - he read it - and even with 50 year shingles and 6 nails - they will cover for wind damage for 15 years, not longer.
Ah, legal fine print -
But it still beat just 4 nails. 
If women all thought this way - we would all not have dishwashers, and we would all still be pounding clothes on the rocks to get them clean - because that is how the woman before us did it...
Silly men.

Then I repeat this with carpet...  The realtor says this use the cheap stuff, you are selling it anyway - I hate the cheap stuff, even if I am NEVER going to live there.  It was $1.55 a square foot.  What do I get for $1. more a square foot? 
You get better.  You get to at least move up to the middle level if there are three levels.  You can have a plush and not the multicolor carpet that is popular.  I think if you get a much nicer version of that carpet, it doesn't look too bad.  But mostly, I think it will look really dated in about 5 years.  But I can see that is what is popular right now...
But I am never one to follow style...  and I did not think it really looked right in my mothers 50 year old house.  I am choosing a nicer plush, that has a tone, and the shadow of the tone.  In a light/medium neutral.
And I have a paint color - in a light/medium neutral...  And new bathroom vinyl chosen - but in a grey, pink, granite look, and I will paint the walls sort of a gray.  Why all that wildness in the bathroom?  Because the original tub and toilet are in there, and it is that "flesh" color crayon color.  I know that nobody really is that color - but that is the non-politically correct way describe it. 

I knew about the tools, and I am slightly more lost with paint colors, and carpet colors.  I know what I like, and what I would buy for myself.  I paint everything satin - I like satin paint.  I know my mom had told me that is not right.  So I know what the wrong answer is - I just do not know what the right answer is, and when I am told - I can't remember it till the next time I need to know.  And with mom dead, I am deferring all the correct answers to my friend.  I narrow it down to two or three colors or carpets, or vinyls or paint colors, and then ask her - I think it is one of these - or tell me that I need to start over....
She owned the quilt store in my town.  That is how we got to know each other.  I know I already like her color choices or I would not have used the same fabrics to make quilts.  I am sure we do not agree on everything - nobody should - but it is nice trust her, and I do.

Today we worked to fill a small dumpster.  It is about 5 x 5 feet and 5 feet tall.  I am 5'6", I have to tippy-toe to look inside.
She is crazy and willing to get INTO the dumpster and stack the wood planks.  And lay the rolls of carpet that we wrapped and taped into 4 foot sections.  And what filled the floor garage stall - fits nicely into half a dumpster.  It is crazy amazing.  And we are bending over nails so that nothing is propping something next to it up even slightly.  It is a weird puzzle for her, and she did crazy great.  And she put in round posts - not little posts, but 8 inch across the top posts.  And two bedrooms of carpet.  Half a dumpster.

Our prediction is that by the time she is done - they will be able to tip it upside down and she will have it packed so that nothing will fall out - or it will drop out like a complete cube.  It is something men have never seen - they know it is possible - but no guy would ever really bother the load a dumpster this way.
Not even the most picky guy you have ever met.
We put some thought into it and we packed it like you would a suitcase.  A really HUGE suitcase.
This is the stuff that becomes really funny when you have been cleaning for two years.

I am hoping to be done with this part by the end of August.  Like any house, there is always more to do.
But I have the roofer and am on his list - and have chosen carpet and vinyl - and I have chosen paint colors based on that carpet and vinyl.  And there is other painting to do.  I am not a great painter, but I do not mind painting.  I get as much on me as I do the walls.  I am not sure how that happens, but it is the truth.
The house will go to a public listing with the realtor the first of next month - and I am praying that it will sell.  But I am starting high.  And I know that the house will still take the right buyer.  The days are counting down again.




Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tales of the Auction - Part 2

Since we did have all the stuff out by 7:30 and the auction did not start till 10 am - we had some time.
They rearranged.

My guys talked with each other a bit - and we saved a couple of the yard chairs I wanted to keep and a few folding chairs so we would have a place to sit in the living room.
My one friend owns a coffee shop, and she brought coffee.  I do not drink coffee nor own a coffee pot.
The son of my best friend does not function without coffee.  He was very happy to meet her when she came.

I had told my best friend that I wanted him to come that Thursday night - I really wanted to go out for a steak dinner again.  And that Friday we were starting early - and once the stuff was in the yard, I would not be able to leave and would not be able to go out for dinner Friday night.

So Thursday - I mowed at mom's, and had not heard from him.  I was trying to keep clean and took an extra shirt.  I had not heard from him by the time I finished - it was 7:30...  I called his cell...  Are you coming?
Now I was not upset - his refrigerator has busted a day or so before.  Not having a frig beats having an auction every time.  He needed to deal with that - I would understand that without question.  I knew he had been shopping for one - and it would need wife's approval of course - plus delivery time - or him getting it himself...  it could take a few days... 
And his parents have problems from time to time...  again, he should certainly be there, not helping me if that is the problem.   I have other people, but I really want him with me if he can be there for me.

So I decide to just go home since he is not answering his phone or calling me back - I am not sure what is going on... and I really wanted a steak dinner and have not eaten all day.  And I just do not understand why he has not said anything or called.  I know he would not hurt me, and would be there is he could.  But I have enough stress, and not a clue if all of the other guys I have helping me will also abandon me and not show up either.  I am tired and stressed - as I drive home - I cry.

I decide to go visit a friend as a distraction - he has more things going on than I do.  He is building a 13 foot tall retaining wall.  The blocks are 80 pounds each and there are 18 levels of blocks to make the wall 13 feet tall.  He is also getting a new furnace and air conditioning unit, and new water heater.  And he does not like his gas fireplace and wants a new insert for that.
And he moved and is now selling his other place - and the roof has to be replaced on the old house - and the air conditioner was not working - was fixed and then had another problem, and was not working again..
And that is all in just the same week.
He is the only guy I know that has to be under more stress trying to do most of this in a week of vacation trying to get all these people to show up and be done.

It was nearly 8:30 when I get to see him.  My phone finally rings, and I know it is my best friend finally calling me back.  I let it go to voice mail.  We are not going out to dinner now - it would be 9pm by the time we got there even if he is around - and he must not have come or he would have been around long before now.
I do not bother with him.  Talking to this other guy has been good, and I am not upset, and not stressed.
I leave after 9pm.

I check the voicemail.  It is my friend saying - don't worry, have not forgotten you, will see you next weekend....
What?  Next weekend?  The auction is day after tomorrow?  What?
Hey, I am sometimes totally confused about what month it is - so this is possible to think he does not have a clue either.  Still not mad... just trying to figure it out.
I call him.  He answers.
He tells me he thought it would be really funny to tease me about the sale being next weekend.  He is already in town - he has brought his son to help - ( I have never met his son - I know that is crazy - but I have never met his kids, and have only met his wife twice, the first time in 2007 and they have been married for over 25 years...)
So I guess we are not going out for dinner?  Nope - they already ate - we will go Friday night...
No we won't, I have to stay at moms if the stuff is in the yard.
Now it may seem like I am making a big deal out of going out to eat.  But in the 23 months since my mom died, I have been out to eat at a restaurant 4 times.  So for me, getting to go out to eat with another person is a huge deal.  I understand this is common for other people - but for me to get to go out to dinner with a man - does not happen anymore.  It is the closest thing I get to an actual date.  And of the four dinners 2 were with him, and two were with women.  I counted the one woman, and I just had a slice of pie.
So it IS a sort of big deal for me at this stage in life.  I know it is strange, and he is not thinking of it this way.

And he has also just said he has thought I was strong enough that he could tease me that he was not coming and that the auction was not that weekend but the following weekend.... ha ha.
Hummm.  not exactly ha ha in my mind.  And I know that I was not strong enough for him to tease me.  I had just driven home just an hour before crying because I did not understand and was scared that I was on my own, and that this could all still crash and burn.
Strong enough?  Nope - he had thought he knew me, and he had guessed wrong.  What to him was teasing felt like a kick to my core.  Not about dinner - that was something I'd hoped for, but could do without.
As I have said - he has a life - I know that he can not drop it all to help me, and I know there are reasons he would need to attend to other things.
But to tease me at that moment - not his best move ever.
They were staying in a motel that night, since I do not have air conditioning.  Would meet me in the morning.
Okay.

In the morning - I told him not to tease me anymore - that I was basically exhausted and tired.  Not a good combination.  And that at that point my sense of humor is VERY basic.
And that the funniest thing I could think of was to see a man be kicked in his crotch.
I would think that was very funny at that point, and probably for several days till I was caught up on sleep.  And so unless he wanted to see what I thought was funny, he really might not want to tease me at all till after the auction.
And I said it in front of his grown son, then looked at the kid, and said - It's nice to meet you....

My friend was very nice to me, and did not tease me at all.  We talked a lot.  Had some quiet moments.  I got to know his son a bit better.  He learned that to relieve my stress, if anybody stands near me, I will rub their back.  At one point I know I am doing that to his dad several times, and it really does mean nothing.  It is just something to burn the extra stress energy.  I decide that the son needs to understand this too.  So he is standing next to me, and I tell him to just relax and let me rub his back for a few minutes and that it is just because of me stressing out not to read anything else into me touching him.  So he lets me just rub his back for several minutes.  He was a great kid.  He did whatever we needed done.  He didn't whine or complain.  He just went with it.

My parents made a solid ping pong table when I was a kid - we were selling this table at the auction.  I have not gotten to play ping pong for years.  Mostly because there is nobody else around to play games with.  And up to the night before the auction when the guys got the table out of the house, it always had something on the top.  So the guys had it out on the back yard.  it was not level, but it had a net and paddles and a ball.
It was one thing that I had promised myself I would get to do before it was gone.
So his dad went to get them supper, and I asked the kid while his dad was gone if he would just go play ping pong with me - not to win, or by the rules, just to volley it back and forth for a while.
And the kid was willing...  So we played ping pong in the yard as the sun was setting.  Trying not to get eaten by blood sucking mosquitoes.  Neither of us had played for a while - me since before he was born... and it was fun.  We traded sides... so we both had to look into the setting sun.  It got me a bit of practice before asking his dad to play later...  and his dad did come out and play ping pong later.
The neighbor guy even came over - he is over 70 - I tried to get him to play just a bit with my friend.  The neighbor guy was just a pain about just playing for a few minutes... and I finally got him to play.  But he does not like to lose.  So even though my friend and I were just seeing how long we could keep it going back and forth between us, when the neighbor guy played there were suddenly slam shots...
Which my friend understood, but he said it was more fun just trying to keep it on the table with me.
The neighbor guy left after getting his question answered and I got to play just a little bit more.  Then we stopped and went back inside.  It was enough.  And the table did sell the next day.  $2.50
Yep.  the ball probably cost more than that.  But it was gone, and the basement was empty.
But I have a nice memory of that table, and getting to play ping pong outside as the sun set, with a couple of really great guys.  Worth way more than $2.50

Tales of the Auction - Part 1







Okay - so the truth is out - I stink at posting multiple photos.
The top one shows what we ( myself and the woman that was crazy enough to say she would help me ) faced - this is with the hayracks full and pushed back into the garage.

The second two photos show the four - yes four - full hayracks. 
That is just garage items, and not ALL of the garage stuff.  There was stuff still on the benches and shelving.  But it was a large part of it.  And it was all completely sorted at this point.

The next two are closer shots of the hayracks.  Then the auctioneer guys come and sort it better so that they are happier with it.  That takes two of their guys with one of my guys helping them, about 6 hours.
By then we had the stuff that was covered on that four hayrack off of that hayrack, and we managed to refill it with the rest of the items from the garage.  What had been on the fourth hayrack was wall cupboards and trunks, 30 toolboxes and tackle type boxes...  stuff we had to have out of the garage in order to shove the three hayracks back into the garage.

And if you were wondering - nope that is not me - that is the lady that is the organizing, cleaning, energizer bunny woman that has helped me do this for the last nearly two years.

And the bottom photo is the shelf.  From about that sewing machine cabinet forward.  If you look in the other photos - you will see that it divides the two stall part of the garage in half.
The auctioneer promised to try to sell it.  My guys even got it out of the garage...

Wanna guess what did not sell...???  Wanna guess what is now shoved back into the garage???
Wanna guess the one thing that the realtor told me I have to get rid of???
Wanna guess what tools I now need that were sold at auction dirt cheap to bust this thing into pieces that will go into a dumpster???  You know, the tools that I no longer have???
Yep, I cried.

He was doing so well selling everything.  I forgot that I was going to get stuck with stuff at the end.  This was the thing that put me into tears, and had cuss words flying out of me.  I was exhausted, and suddenly realized I should have busted it up, and gotten rid of it in a dumpster when I had the tools and before.  It was a huge mistake that I had missed my opportunity.  And I knew there would be another dumpster after the sale, but I was messed up as far at destroying it easily.

Then one of the guys that has helped me said he would bring something and bust it up for me.  This is why I love the men in my life - and he is the guy that can bust it in just a half hour.  Me it would take a full day, and be dangerous if it fell on me.

I realize I have not mentioned, that the photos are just of the garage items.  No house stuff.  No dishes or furniture.  Just tools.
And there was three grain wagons full of just wood and lumber that the same guy was kind enough to haul away and chip for me because the auctioneer told me it would never sell.
So add that to this mess.
And there was another kid - I say kid be he is married with kids of his own... he hauled metal away in his pickup truck.  He thought there would be a trip, maybe two...  How much metal could I possibly have...
I was willing to let him have the money if he would haul it for scrap.  There were four of us - plus him to load it into his pick up truck - we would fill it in just minutes...
I think he made at least 9 runs just with garage stuff.  He also hauled away a metal garden yard type shed - and all my appliances - two refrigerators, washer, dryer, two dehumidifiers, air conditioner, gas stove, an upright freezer.  ( that left me with just the normal one stove, and one refrigerator.... )

So there was more stuff in this garage.  And my mom and I had taken over several truckloads to the scrap place after my dad died 12 years ago.  Mom had a truck - we made several trips to get rid of stuff then.
I had her truck when she died - I just did not trust that truck - and got rid of it nearly first.

Sold it to the car scrap place - then as we are getting into the final days of this - my mothers truck drives by her house - FREAKED ME OUT.   Turns out the people in some houses behind my mother are probably friends with other people at the car scrap place and probably bought my mom's truck.  But I sold it saying it is dangerous.   The brakes will not hold if parked on an incline.  If you park in on a none flat surface and went into the store - when you came out - the truck may or may not be where you left it parked.
And it sometimes would not shift correctly.  Like going from first to second - it would stick in neutral.  The way to fix it was to have a person in the truck - another person under the hood with a broom stick banging on the shifter linkage.
Bet that the 19 year old kid driving mom's truck will not know that when it locks up for him.
So if you see my mom's truck anywhere near you - even across the parking lot?  You really do not want this truck near you or behind you in traffic.
I took it to the scrap yard telling them to destroy it - they just buy vehicles - they do not have to do what I requested - and instead choose to put this truck back on the road.  Sort of a nightmare.  But it is no longer my truck.  And it is a truck with a standard shift - and power nothing.  No air conditioning.  No power brakes or steering.  The neighbor guy tells me that those people swap parts in and out of trucks so often they could have put a different transmission and brakes on the thing by now...
Yep, they could have - but I am still betting they have not, and bought it cause it was crazy low mileage and dirt cheap.

I have looked for it since - and not seen it again - guess they were just dropping off somebody at the house nearby - but it still freaked me out to see a truck that was my mothers that I had asked to be destroyed for safety reasons, drive past my mothers house when I am outside to see it drive past...
I do not live there - I really do not watch cars that go by much - so what are the chances???

So what else to say about the auction?
We had the Friday before to work on the hayracks - so by 4 pm, that part was ready to go, and they had them moved to the back yard.
The next morning at 6am - I had my guys all showing up to unload the house.
I had eight people - plus my friend and me.
I had six actually - two guys brought their grown boys.  So the youngest was twenty, the oldest was 72.
Most of us were mid 50's.
It was my one huge favor to ask of the men I have worked with.  What I told them was it would sort of be like moving house.  But the best part was that we just had to take all of the stuff and put in on the front yard, and then we could all leave.  We needed to be done by 8am.  So two hours.
Some guys told me that it could not be done.
The auctioneer would bring tables - he was not going to show till 6:30 - My guys will be here at 6 - YOU need to be here with tables at 6.  At 8 am - my guys are gone - I have promised them that I will not mess up their whole day - empty the house - talk with the other guys you used to work with and have a small reunion - stay if you like - but leave when you like once the house is empty.

So the guy bringing the tables did not show up till 6:20.  We waited and had donuts.  They started setting up tables - we started to unload the house.  We bucket brigaded out the boxes of dishes with and other pieces of furniture would come out along between boxes of stuff.
By 7:30 my guys had the house empty.  MY GUYS WERE FABULOUS.
Their one guy decided to help us inside - guess who was the biggest pain in my ....
I should have just tossed him out and said my guys were just fine without him trying to help us.
We obviously had it under control with out him.  And the guys I worked with knew if I said to just stop - they would just stop - their guy was an idiot, and would not listen to me at all.

So if you are ever in that situation - remove the idiot, and shove him back outside of the house - let him work for the auctioneer - he hired and likes the guy - I did not.  It was the only time I yelled all day.  And when I told him to stop - he ignored me.
The man is lucky to have left that house with both testicles.
Really.

I did not take photos other than the Friday setting up the hayracks.  My friend took some - she has tried about 6 times to email me the photos, but they never actually get to me.

I talked to the realtor last weekend - he said that as he was leaving - somebody that brought a china cupboard had not gotten up to highway speed before it had fallen off of the truck and they were picking up the busted stuff to get it off of the highway after the sale.  We had three, I don't have a clue which one it was.

I have a few more stories - but this is a long enough part one of the auction tales...


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

And Even Closer....

Oh good golly....
It is Wednesday pm, and the sale is Saturday...
and 'good golly' is not the words I would like to use...

It is not awful.
Well, today as we were pushing the hayrack into the garage stall, we hit the garage door steel trim around the door.  Oops...  Yeah, it dented -
I do not care.  Neither of us have been hurt, and we have done some stupid things.  I have already said that I know something will get busted or broken getting all the stuff out of the house.  I am fine with that too.
As long as none of us get hurt, and we do not have to call the fire department, electrician or plumber - or make a trip to the hospital before this is over - it is a huge success.  I started all this out with literally watching my mother die before my eyes.  It was not a peaceful passing - not at all.  A dent in the siding is nothing compared to where I started with all of this.

So we have 4 hayracks filled with stuff from the garage.  The fourth hayrack is actually crap that we just needed to get up and out of the way and covered with a  huge tarp.  It is wood boxes, and metal fishing boxes, and crap toolboxes, and cabinets that might only bring $5.  But to fit the other three hayracks into the three garage bays, you need that stuff out of the way.  Once the hayracks are in there, there is no room to walk on either side. There is a divider shelf that runs in between where there the walk area would normally be in between two cars in a two car garage.

A photo - I promise a photo...

Thursday is a day of rest.  I will mow.  Thursday night I am hoping my best guy friend shows up and we get to go out to dinner for steak.  He will stay over so we are ready to start Friday morning.  The lady who helps me - her 2 grown sons will help us Friday.  So five of us to sort of preset up as much as possible - but the hayracks will have to come out, and then I have to stay at that house and can't leave.

The doper neighbors would have it all gone by morning before the auction. 
And since there are 8 or more adults living in that house now - they could probably clean me out faster than I ever thought.

The auctioneer will show up Friday, and see what he is not happy with - and we will change it - or move it or whatever.  We are trying to group stuff, but not too fussy.

There are still surprises around every corner.
Today we moved a steel shelf.  There were sheets of tin behind it.  4 x 8 sheets of tin.  I knew there was one - there were four.  We moved some toolboxes we thought were empty - they were not empty... I think there were 4 or 6 boxes like that.  Not lots in each box or full, just more stuff that we need to catch up to stuff that is now sorted and is setting on a hayrack somewhere.

So it all becomes a puzzle remember game. 
Today it was micro-switches.  It is about the size of a deck of cards with a cord.  They started out on a shelf near the door.  Then were moved to the hayrack - then we find another one - and we know they used to be by the door, but are not there anymore - and which hayrack and where on that hayrack???
Then you do other things, and find another micro-switch - any we have now piled things on top of other things - where and under what was that tote of micro-switches?

And we do that over and over with something new all the time.

And hoes - yes - like garden hoes - we must have 20.  And rakes - like garden rakes - 15 or more.
Axes - how big and how sharp would you like it...
There will be photos...
There just must be photos...

Thursday, July 4, 2013

And Closer...

The Fourth of July is really closer to the July 13 auction date...

We got 2 hayracks on Tuesday.  We did a metal run on Tuesday.  Took everything we had stashed and hoped it was maybe our last metal run totally.  Got $100. and split it as usual.  Good for just a car trunk full of metal.  We were not sure if the hayracks would be there or not when we got back or at all during the day.  The woman helping me said - I wish the guy would show up with the hayracks...
We crested the hill, and there was the hayrack guy in the driveway with 2 hayracks.

Then she said... I wish that I would win the lottery....

I thought she had already blown the wish for Tuesday on the hayracks.
So we measured twice, and figured it out so we would have a plan for Friday.  We should be able to preload them with items for the auction and push them back into the garage.  The garage is 3 stalls, and they will bring us a couple more wagons on Monday.  It will be tight, but it should work.

We unloaded more from the basement last Monday.  Then after twice around the house with the trailer full of basement items, the mower would not restart. 

The house upstairs is packed.  Boxes on the floor full of dishes.  The front bedroom is packed to the doorway, you can't enter it anymore.  The kitchen is clear on the counters.  The path to the bathrooms is good.  The basement is much better, not empty, but we need men to help with some of the stuff that remains.  And the couple of loads we could bring around with 4 rockers, and a small table, and a cabinet... - there just is no place to put it upstairs at this point.  I am trying not to refill the back bedroom,  It is a hallway with a 90 degree corner, and it would have to come right back around the corner again.  A pain.

I wake up in the middle of the night trying to arrange stuff.  Trying to remember what I need to do yet.
I try to sleep some during the day, just a nap, because I know I am awake more than half the night.  Can't nap either.  We are pretty well as far along as we can get.  We do not feel like we are chasing where we should be.  We will be the last couple of days.  That will all depend on the weather, and who shows up.
I am confident in a few of my guys, but not all of the guys I have asked.  Some of them I was reaching just on the off chance they would help if they knew I was desperate, but I have not been around them for 25 years.  My thought was it did not hurt to ask and explain the situation.

I keep telling the auctioneer, that it is just her and I setting most of this up, and we need time.  He needs to have that picture in his head. 

I also live next to neighbors that it would not be safe to leave a hayrack full of tools in the yard.  By morning, it would be empty.  I know I will have to do that the night before the auction, and just have to stay awake to keep an eye on stuff.  And by the time the auction is over, I will be exhausted.  Just am trying to prepare myself to being awake about 48 hours.  And keeping a smile on my face... 

That is the reason to have the men around me that care about me.  To take care of me.
To help me keep my sense of humor.  At this point, I am not going to lose my mind over an auction.  It will work out as it is supposed to work out.  I can stress and fret about it, but I could never have done it alone, and that was the task put before me after my parents were both dead. 
My friend got me this far, and I know she will drag me out the other side.
She gets that I could never have done this on my own.

The goof that wanted to look at the house - never did show up.  I don't care or know what his problem is, but I was offering the house for $210K.  The house the realtor sold nearby sold the first week for $160K.
Then there was a house directly behind my mom's house, but across that street.  It sold for $230K the first day it was listed.  Another house nearby about the same age as my mom's house was sold the first day or week it was listed for $169K.  Selling the first day proves they were under what the market is.  So mom's house is now going to start at $230K.  It will cost me more because it needs a roof yet, and the realtor commission will be more.  He was trying to give me a break if I could come up with a buyer with cash. 
I will still probably net only slightly more by raising the price, and I am not sure how it will do.  But I would be sick to see is go for $210K the first day again.  All the neighbors have had water in their basements.  At least twice so far this wet spring.  My parents house is dry, and I have never seen water in the basement in 50 years.  That alone is worth something.  Need to get past the auction - then deal with trying to sell the house on the open market.  I was trying to get the people that have been my parents neighbors since 1964 people that they knew as neighbors.  We can't always pick our neighbors, so even if the dope sellers next door offer me full price, I will take it and just have to say that it was too bad your buddy was saying he was interested, and basically lying to your face.  He was all talk, and no real interest.  I made the effort, and nothing ever happened, other than him wasting the realtor's time. 
I told the realtor from the beginning that this guy was going to just feel like he has wasted his time.  That is exactly what has happened.  But it kept me from selling the house under market.  I can't really say why the market is so good for that area.  It is a specific lot size that is selling well.  Larger than half acre lots, and is barely outside the city limits in the county.  Which means the taxes are about half of the city taxes.  The house is assessed at $145K.  Still not sure where exactly to start.  I know somebody trying to get financing will get stuck because they lender will say it is too much above the assessed value... so it will take somebody that has money or can buy down to the finance level they need.  I just paid the insurance again.  I can sit on it a while if it does not sell right away.  And it will still need new carpet in the living room.  But that house has really good bones.  Not cracks in the ceilings or walls.  A view.  Not just looking at the house across the street, and the house behind you...
Never sold a house, or bought a house.  It will all be new for me too.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Can feel the tension...

Can feel the auction tension starting to rise.  People saying, it is only three weeks away...
The auctioneer is starting to post photos of my stuff on his website, but not the address yet.
The cell phone photos he took are pretty awful.  

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Men, Stupid Boys, and Maybe

Things are still moving along with sorting stuff for the auction.
Was stitching a bit, not too much more done.

Need to sort and burn old papers and notebooks.  My dad wrote a diary of what he did each day the first year he retired.  Just a couple of paragraphs each day, but I read it as sort of a last effort to connect with my dead parents I suppose.  I don't want to regret not reading it later for example.  It reads pretty quick and just took a few hours to read through the year.  Sort of curious to see how many times I was referenced as his only kid, even as his old adult kid in 1996.  I once went to pick up a pizza for just me, ordered 2, thought I REALLY don't need to eat two, and took one out to my parents house in the country for them instead.  This made his diary as the kid bringing out a surprise pizza, and that it was good.  Something I just would have dropped off and left after calling to make sure they had not already had dinner.  But certainly no big deal either.

Reading it would mean nothing to others, but stuff mentioned I remember.  My dad died in 2000, so it has been long enough that I can read it without being upset.  Some of it helps when he is referencing what year something was done like re-roofing part of the garage.  Stuff the realtor asked, and I had no clue about.
Now I know.  1996.  The pages just get tossed as I read them.  Most of it I will not remember myself in just a few months.  And I burn the paper the next day.  Mom did not write notes on everything.  She printed off recipes from internet sites.  Some worth keeping, some using stuff I never have around to cook with.  So kept some, tossed lots.  Could do that nightly for months to get through all the notes and random papers.

The guy interested in mom's house finally called back to try to see the house again.  The realtor called me because he needed keys, and to set up when or mostly not when... then the guy won't return the realtors call again.  All over just 3 hour time period.
I really did not want to give the realtor keys till after the house is empty of stuff after the auction.  But I took him keys the next day just so he would have them to walk this one guy through - but I don't want random buyers walking thru an area with boxes on the floor everywhere, and tools that can be slipped into a pocket.  After the auction, that is no longer an issue.  But still trying to get this one guy through.

Went to see the realtors other house he built.  Might need him to build for me, so I want to see what he has built.  A one level ranch style, built for a husband and wife where the husband is in a wheelchair.  The realtor is a house contractor, but people buying from his homes asked if he could sell the houses they were moving from... so he got his realtor stuff so he could do that too.  But he doesn't just sell random listings, but for people he knows, or his own homes he has built, or for very goofy old girls that he once liked that need him to help, like me...

My best guy friend called and asked if he could help me a few days this week.  We were in school together, never dated, but did go to junior prom together as friends.  He told me then that his mom wanted him to go, and he was between girlfriends and a couple of other girls had already said no before he asked me, was the story I got at the time.  He completely denies this story now.  Goofy boys.

Anyway, he was coming, then it turned out it was his 26th wedding anniversary... and he would have to be home the very next day... I understand that completely... not a problem... but maybe we just need to delay it a few days.  Nope, coming the day before, will see how far we get.  We moved what still needed to go to the auction in his truck, a dresser and mirror from my house, and then brought some big stuff to my house, or crazy heavy stuff like toolboxes.  There were 2 large chests in the garage rafters that needed to still be taken down.  So I got a second and third guy to come and meet him to help with that.  Took just minutes, but to do it safely, we needed extra guys.

Then the realtor showed up to see my friend because they had been in boy scouts together.  So he ended up helping get the trunks down too.  They had not seen each other for 40 years, but it was a short reunion.  I just got out of the way with the other guy I had asked to help, and showed him what would still need to be moved the auction morning.

By the time we came back out, the realtor was leaving, the reunion was over, and the other guy was just getting there, and the trunks were already down.  But the other guy stayed and talked.  We all worked together long ago, but I am the common connection now since they don't see each other or work together anymore.  They are still always glad to see each other too.

It was sort of an auction preview of having 4 of the men that I have felt very close to and worked with around me.  Men I have known for 25 years or nearly 40 years, and men that had been in boys scouts together nearly 40 years ago.  Really odd.
The boy I liked...
The men I worked with and trusted with my life to never hurt me.
The other boy I knew in school that I later contacted and became my best friend now.

So I expected when I saw them all standing together, it would be very comforting for me, but slightly odd to see them all gathered at my mom's home.

What I felt was just odd.  They all have had such different relationships with me.  They are all very odd men in their own personalities, and even if I say that they are certainly all complete electronics geeks for example, they would never all have enough in common to be friends.  Although they are pairs of friends.  I am just the common connection.
At the auction it will be the same odd thing again just with tossing in a few more people.  
It is a party that none of these guys would every come to normally, nor would I.  But because they understand it is my situation, and not a party, they will show up to help me.  They understand I need them, and would never ask if I was not desperate with nobody else to turn to. 

And on a test run just a few weeks before an auction, I was trying for 2 or 3 guys and got 4 because the realtor wanted to see his scouting buddy, not me, and knew exactly what time he would be with me and where.  He had told me the day before when I dropped of the keys and saw the house that if he was in the area he might stop to see him.  It was not a complete surprise.

So my friend ended up staying the second night with me and going home first thing the next morning.  He spent his 26th wedding anniversary with me.  His wifes parents had reminded his wife, otherwise she had actually forgotten completely about it too till the day before he was supposed to come.

We went out to dinner after hauling the last load and cleaning up.  He said he did not have clean jeans to wear.  I asked what size he was wearing... he said 40 x 30's, I said I have those - he could borrow my pants to wear.  ( I told him I hate him because my current size is two sizes above that... but because my weight has shifted so much I keep pants, and could fit any guy down to a 30 x 32...)  The pants looked nice on him, so I told him to keep them.  Good luck explaining how you go visit the girl you knew from high school and come home with extra pants... her pants...

We had a great time talking about lots of stuff.  It has been a long time since I have had a guy around to support me as well as he does.  Made me miss that again.  It was nice to go out to dinner with a guy again.  Went to a steakhouse and I had the best steak I have had for years.  We got so much done.  All because he was there to help do the things I needed done.  And all I had to do was ask and point him in a direction.
( really better than most husbands because he knows he is only stuck with me for such a short time... )

After all the weird moments talking about my past with the realtor as a boy and our past relationship.  I asked this guy if he remembered when he first met me.  I remember he was the farming neighbor boy of the girl that became my best friend.  She had a slight crush on him... but he always liked other girls, lots of girls.  I really do not remember talking to him much before high school.  We would have talked a bit, but I would not have liked him so as not to step on my best girl friends crush on him.

I really should know that my questions to men that knew me as boys are never going to end well...
So I asked - when did he first remember me from...
He says - Junior High...
Specifically, he told me that he remembered that he had pinned me to the ground at Junior High recess...

Hummm... we didn't have recess in Junior High.... which for us was 7-9 grades...
Yes we did... the girls would stand in groups of 2 - 6 talking and the boys would do the same type thing.
Yep, that's right...
Okay, I don't have any memory of him doing this to me specifically, it is possible.

I do remember that several boys would sometimes grab me and wrestle me to the ground to pin me.
I do remember that after the first couple of times this happened with boys doing this to me, maybe even from kindergarten, that if I did not really resist, and just went to the ground, it was over much quicker and they would let me go and I would not get hurt and they would go away almost immediately.  I made it no challenge for them.  If they were looking for the fight to overpower me, I offered no challenge.  I do not remember the same boy ever doing that to me more than once.  But I do remember it happening sometimes.  They would not sit on me and try to kiss me, or grope me, or even tickle me.  It was just like it was a test, sometimes it was with other boys mostly, a show of dominance or strength.  Sometimes they would grab me instead.  I was a girl of comparable size to most of the bigger boys, I was not the tiny petite girl with long hair that was girly.  I never understood why they would do this sometimes to me, and it seemed completely like a random attack sometimes.  But it was not daily or weekly, just random boys, random times, and over pretty quickly.  It was not something I enjoyed or wanted to happen.  I certainly did not like the boys that did it to me.  And if I had liked them even slightly, them tossing me to the ground would have certainly make me not like them anymore.  I really did not understand if they did it to tease me because they liked me, or because they did not like me.  I understood that they were not tossing all the girls like this, and that I was still fair game even in a skirt or dress or jeans.

So I ask they guy that I worked with and have known for 25 years... hey you were kind of a little guy at 120 pounds in school - and you would have lost a few rounds of this just because of your size alone.  Was this part of just having siblings and putting them in the pecking order?  Were you guys all like tiger cubs learning to play fight before growing up and tossing each other was part of that?  Why did I become part of the game, and did you ever do this to a girl???  A girl you liked or didn't like???  What was the point to pinning a girl to the ground as a pre-teen or early teen boy?
He said he did not do this with siblings, or other boys.  If he had done this to a girl, his parents would have marched him to her house for a very public apology to her and her family.  This never happened in his world.


So I asked my best friend that claimed he had done this to me.
Why?  Even if I do not remember this incident or even if he did it to some other girl and not me, why was he doing this to girls at all?  Give me some insight as to why other boys did this to me at all.

He wrote me back in a text message saying - It was much too long ago, he doesn't remember.

You tossed and wrestled girls to the ground and sat on us, and you do not know why???
Earlier he said that I always seemed to like older boys, even in junior high...  I said yes, they would snuggle and cuddle me and not hurt me.  Boys my age were randomly tossing me to the ground and pinning me to the dirt and you don't get why I would have liked other older boys that would just walk me to homeroom and kiss me slightly then go back to the high school?  And meet me after school to walk me to the buses and slightly kiss me and hug me again...  Gee, I know exactly why I liked the older boys.

 Stupid boys.

I had asked this same guy about my friend and I swimming at his house when just his mom was there, he wasn't.  Because we were not city kids, we did not have swimsuits on hand and just wore t-shirts and short shorts.  But wet t-shirts did not work well, and since it was just her and I alone in the water, we took off the shirts and put them on the pool edge.  We were not back floating for all the world to see.
Then later - we found out that the slightly younger brother of this guy may have been watching us from a bedroom window the whole time.
I am asking all this stupid other stuff from the past, I might as well finally learn if the brother was watching us or not.  Was he there?  Did he remember this?  He might not have known exactly who I was with my friend, but she was the neighbor girl, he would have known her very well.  I am sure 2 girls swimming topless in your parents pool would have been a memory a boy did not forget.  So my friend texts his brother with my question...
He text back nearly immediately...
Maybe ;-)

Maybe with a winking smiley face....  what does that mean?  Did he, didn't he, he wishes he had?
I had maybe before, which is why I really wanted to know the answer truthfully 35 years later.
And I get - maybe - as the answer????

Stupid boys... stupid men...

I would normally have said it was just a moment that he forgot - that seeing girls topless would have not been worth remembering - but I have learned lately that boys never forgot stuff like that in times long before the internet.  We did not do it knowing he was there.  We learned later that he was there... and why would he have been watching us at all?  Because he was a teenage boy... long before cable tv...
So was he there or not???
Maybe...
I told my friend, his brother, that I really would like to know the truth and that - maybe in a text message - was not the truth.  He said his brother would probably tell him if he asked directly, not in a text.
Yes, no, I don't remember, all work as actual answers.  I understand all this is so long ago, that the truth is not even what they remember sometimes, or what I remember.  But the answers to some of these questions about things are really strange.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Stress and other stuff I forgot

If you take the last photo and add about 8 stars to that left side - that's what it looks like now.  Stitched last night, but that has been it.

Things are changing at mom's.  The stress is getting to me.  Signed the realtor papers. Then the guy that wanted to walk through it so bad - will not return phone calls.  Okay, I can live with that.  Any advantage in dealing with him now goes out the window and the price jumps $10,000. for him.  Expensive for men in my life to ignore me.  At one point I was hearing all the plans the guy had for my mom's house.

The auctioneer showed up to get the info for the auction ad.  He forgot his briefcase.  So he had no camera and no contract.  So today I went to where his auction was and signed the contract for my auction.  It will be crazy before that is all over.  He took cell phone photos that day.  I can only imagine.  He looked... he took photos... he made lists...  he has been doing it a long time.  He gets 20% plus the ad.  He will get us 3 hayracks to preload with stuff the week before.  He says to just move this and that - and I say - you understand that there really are no men to help me until the morning of the auction.  So it is really just the woman that has helped me and me...

That is why all this takes so long.  It is really just her and I, and she is the organizing machine.  She is great with the things she knows, but she tossed a bar of metal, and this week we are taking the scrap to the recycler so I look at the bar a little closer.  It is not a bar, it is a gun barrel.  A rifle barrel.
We made 2 trips to the metal scrap yard on Friday.  Each was about 300 pounds in my car.  Got $71 the first load and $49 the second load.  I always split the money with the woman that helps me.  It helps pay for our gas money to get to my mom's house.  We have 2 more car loads and that should be the end of running metal.  At least one more dumpster, but not till after the auction.

And as usual, the realtor that I knew and liked in high school tossed another weird thing at me again.  We were signing the paperwork, and he decides to have a remember when moment.

Okay, as I have said before, we made one attempt at a date.  I attempted to make it unusual by asking him to take me to look at baby furniture.  It was my weird attempt to learn what he saw for his own future.  I was 15 and he was 16.  He like me and was very shy and never ever kissed me.  After this weird date, I remember him not talking to me, or no longer having time for me.  He does not remember it that way.

One other thing.  I asked him a few weeks ago about other women he dated.  He said there was a girl he dated for 4 years... I said, why didn't you marry her?  He said, well, if she had ever answered the door wearing just a towel I might have...

Hummm...okay, she wasn't something he was hoping for...  not sure what I am supposed to get from that answer...

So in his - remember when moment - he says...
Remember when I picked you up for our date and you came to the door wearing just a towel?

What???
Yep.
What?  No!  I  do not remember that at all.  Are you sure this was me?  Yes it was you...

Now suddenly the comment about the other girlfriend not in the towel makes more sense.  I had no idea he was trying to reference something I had done to him.

But then I had to figure out why, I was not the teenage girl to be waiting to greet boys at the door in a towel.  Besides the other boys I knew would have grabbed the towel away from me.  So what had happened?  I can only suspect.  He was probably early, and I was getting ready.  I would have not wanted to leave him outside waiting, and wondering why nobody came to the door.  Or something silly like I forgot or changed my mind and did not want to go...  so in a moments thought it would have seemed easiest to just go let him in to wait inside while I finished getting dressed.   I would have been covered more than girls at the beach, and not let it register too much that I was wearing just a towel before leaving him to get dressed.  He was not the boy to grab the towel.  I was smart enough to have thought it was slightly funny, and known that most boys would be thrilled to catch a girl in just a towel at some point.  I was pretty sure like that dog that chases cars, he was not at the point he would know what to do if he suddenly caught the car, and actually had the girl in front of him.  I was hoping it would make him smile.  I was always doing things to try to get boys to smile or laugh.

For me even this was a non-event that I did not remember at all.
For him, he never forgot.

Then he said, you don't know what that did to me as a teenage boy....

And his voice cracked when he said it now.  I have never heard his voice crack, did I scar the boy for life?   I was not going to treat it like a joke because as women, men can do things they consider a joke or harmless that are not something they should be doing to women or girls at all.
Yet it was something he said he wished his girlfriend had done.  So which is it?

So I called my men friends, to ask if their point of view, and what their reaction would have been when they were 16 year old boys.
I get that seeing the girl in the towel probably caused an instant effect on him.
Here I will use the word - effect.. instead of the actual word.  Asking the 50 year old men, I used the word, which makes them giggle at my questions.

I say, as a woman, I have no point of reference because this was not a problem as a teenage girl.  So how bad did I mess him up?  Do I have to go back to every boy I was ever around that I had an effect on to apologize?  The guys tell me no, they would have never expected any girl to apologize for any effects.

Weren't you all sort of hoping to get the girl in the towel if only for a moment at 16, but then really hoping at 20 or 21 that every girl answers the door in only a towel?
Yep.  Since this guy and the realtor were in boy scouts together he said that the realtor should have been a better scout and asked me if I needed any help in drying or if he could have helped me...  I said if he had offered I would have politely declined the offer.  But that was a pretty funny line.
They said the fact that he still remembers it all these years later meant it was probably not something awful for him and that he would have used the incident as fantasy material.  So I then wanted to learn how that worked for guys.  So even though nothing happened and he saw nothing, he just changes the ending?  Yep.
I have no problem with him thinking of me that way.

So I asked another boy that would have maybe been as shy... what would his reaction have been to seeing the girl in the towel?
'Score!!!!!'
What?
That would have been great fantasy material to last for years in a time long before internet girls were everywhere.  So nothing bad?  Nope.

Both tell me to really know I need to ask him directly.
So I do....
He said he brought it up as - wasn't that just another weird moment between us???

Yes, considering I did not even remember it happened at all.

So now I am just waiting for him to drop the next big bomb of something else I did or said...

But when I felt he would not talk to me after this date, I had to think seeing me in the towel might have been the reason why too.
The poor boy had a day of unexpected girls in towels and looking at baby furniture, and reading my thoughts thinking I did not like him....
It would have had to seem like the worst date ever for a 16 year old boy.  If I was him, I would have thought this girl was a crazy lot of work to deal with on just one date and started to look for a more normal girl.  But on the other hand, I was the girl he never could forget...
But people don't forget floods and tornadoes either...

I said I sometimes did things just to make boys smile.  One of the boys I was fond of liked girls with large chests.  Well endowed girls.  So like Cinderella with her glass slipper I thought he just needed the slipper to know when he found the right girl.
So I went with a friend to the local department store and the ladies department.  We looked for the largest bra we could find.  A sales lady, an older woman, asked if she could help us. I explained honestly to her that it was sort of a joke to help the boy find the girl of his dreams.  We had a limit of cash to spend, we were not expecting anything lacy or fancy, just grandma big as we could find...  she seemed to understand and helped us get what I wanted.  It was white and could have substituted as a small hammock.
The boy was 110 soaking wet.  We gave him the bra and told him to venture forth till he found the girl that fit it...
He thought it was wonderful and it hung in his high school locker the rest of the year.
It was just silly and something to make him smile.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Slowly...

Slowly making stitching progress...
Considering putting a different name and date on the design...
Okay, like the design, but the fun is gone from stitching stars at this point...
I would guess I am more than half done with the stars, but I know there is another whole row of stars across the top. 

Things are still moving along cleaning at my mom's.  The neighbor guy has a buddy interested in buying my mom's house.  But because I have a realtor - the guy won't talk to me directly - and I have not signed papers with the realtor guy because I did not expect to try to sell it till after the auction - so the buddy interested in the house can't do a walk thru till the realtor has signed papers.  The realtor needs his supervisor to do something to get the papers because I am bringing the buyer to the deal, and that guy is sick - plus the holiday.
If the guy would have just talked to me - we could have had this over and done with and he could have walked thru and either been interested or not.  He knows there will be an auction and the house is a mess - it is not a 'showing' by any means, it is a - 'look where you put your foot so you don't fall or step on something' -  walk thru.  Have all the stuff off the bathroom walls to get them ready to fill nail holes and paint eventually.  The bathroom looks like the before of a remodeling show.  The bedrooms are filled with stuff, not usual bedroom stuff, but stuff so the morning of an auction, we are prepped to just grab it and walk stuff outside to be sold.  The dining room floor is covered in flats and boxes of dishes - again so the auctioneer can see them for the flyer, and so the morning of the auction we can set up a bucket brigade and just pass the boxes from one person to the next and right out the door...
And the garage is an accident waiting to happen - stuff all over the floor out there.  We are still sorting.

And it is still a working house - and all the usual yard stuff.
And now the weather is suppose to rain for nine days in a row... and it is cold and damp. 
Roads are flooding in some small towns around us after just 3 days of rain, and some rain earlier last week. 
Locally, it will be at flood stage.  And then we will add several more days of rain on top of that.

And I am already telling the realtor guy that this guy will not be the buyer from mom's house - and he will feel like a waste of time in the end.  I know it has to play out, and he will walk thru - then he will offer or not - and I will say - Thanks for the offer, but no thank you, and you can consider the house back off the market till after the auction.  The realtor has told the guy I will negotiate.  Unless he offers me exactly what I told him the price of the house is - then there is no deal.  He is getting the chance to buy the house before it is listed to the public.  If he would like a few items to stay like a garage work bench - that otherwise might be sold at auction, I will work with him on that...  But I think the price is sound.  And I suppose it is part of the realtor's job to say I will negotiate - but basically at this point - I am not motivated to negotiate.  If the guy thinks I am looking for a 'quick sale' as motivation to get away from that house - it will be about two years by the time the auction is over, and I finally get the house listed for sale, since my mom died.  Two years is not 'quick'.
And I am prepared to sit on if for another year to get the right buyer - what's two years verses three at this point???  Not many people could sit on a house for that long - or take that long to prep for an auction.  And up until just this last week - we are till touching things we have not touched before... because there is just so much stuff, and just me with one person helping me.  Thankfully she is an organizing machine - but it is insane, and we are not done yet.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Bit Of Progress In Life

Well, actually, I am still working on the other design, but this one was a bit further, and easier to take a photo of...
Not lots of time for stitching - I seem to get distracted, and not pick it up as I should in the evenings.  I prefer to stitch - so I must just find the groove again.

We are back to three days a week at my mothers house.  Three days does not sound like much and they are not 8 hour days.  But it can still feel exhausting because everything is a decision.  Keep it?  Sell it?  Toss it?  Scrap Metal?  Burn the paper and cardboard...  Does it stay with the house for the next owner?  Can it be recycled?  Just trash?  and the big question is usually - What is it????
And lots of things come with notes my dad wrote - needs sharpening - doesn't work - does work - new - used - found on the table, but not sure where it came from... -  ( really that was a note today... ) - metal, not sure if I found it on the floor at work or where exactly... - should do this with it - no plans for it...
And the big one - TO BE SORTED....
This was usually a box of mixed items - it usually include several drill bits...and up to 60 other items...
I think my dad never passed a garage sale - so if he could pick up a good hammer cheap - or a box of misc. screwdrivers cheap - he bought them.  I will take photos at some point - it is crazy the just the number of drill bits I have at the moment.  Those shoe box sized totes?  I have at least 6 of those full of drill bits.  That does not include brace and bit auger type drill bits, just electric drill type bits.  Now at auction - if you have only a dozen you might get a fair price - if you have a million drill bits, you don't get more for them...  so I have decided to bring the ALL home with me, and never have to buy another drill bit for the rest of my life. 
I could hand one to every person I meet for years and still not give them all away.  Some women would keep their mothers fine china - or collection of something - not me, I am keeping the tools - clamps - router - sander - chainsaw - gas trimmers and mowers.
The next man I date will tell his friends - she might not cook great - but you should see her drill bits...
I swear she has 150 pairs of needle nose pliers... and 70 pairs of cutters... -
Photos are really required to believe this - I am not exaggerating, if anything, it is way over that...
Next time - I will try to take the camera.  We still have most of the items split between the basement and the garage - and now I have brought some of it home.  But eventually it will all end up at my house.
It all weighs a ton.

Needed to talk to the realtor - who is the guy I wrote about, my unkissed romance.  I had talked to 3 people about buying mom's house - even before it is listed for sale - and I needed to know what to say, or what not to say.  So he was at an open house nearby, and I met him there to talk between customers at the open house.  It was a house that was built about the same time as my mom's house 1964, and it was referred to as a raised ranch house - but it felt very similar to my mothers house - same base boards, same closet doors, same oak floors - it is on an in town lot next to a busy street, but the windows have all been replaced and it is very quiet inside with no traffic noise - $135K.  nice little fenced yard with a garden.  So when I commented to him that it felt like my mom's he said, but the location of my mom's is so much better. 

The realtor and I always seem to end up in odd conversations - part about now and selling mom's house, and part about high school then.  We have met common people through different angles - and I asked if he knew the guy that is my best friend now but we knew each other in high school - I thought maybe they played football or something together?  Yes, he knew him - they were in Scouts together...  oh good grief. 

So we talked about lots of things - I keep saying I know I have got to stop dragging him into our past.  Maybe now it is not us specific.  I asked if he had gone to his senior prom because I was there but with somebody else - yes he had gone...  It seemed like I had seen him there - but I could have easily just remembered it wrong.  At that point there was no connection between us.  I needed to let him date other girls and hoped find him again after he was 18...  I was jealous enough as a girl to not want to watch that too closely, so I had to just let him go, and I had my own lessons to learn with other boys.

And I try to remember that even if we had dated - he still may have ended up exactly where he is, with his wife.  Nothing to say that we would have lasted or not lasted.  Sometimes I don't even understand what the connection is between us.  As a girl - I knew he wanted to kiss me, and I wanted to kiss him - never happened.  I knew once he kissed me I would lose my heart to him forever, and we were too young for that to happen at 15 and 16.  I would have hurt him - and I did not want to hurt him.  I was too stupid with boys feelings, and he was too special to me.

But he sometimes questions me about why I did not ever kiss him.  Especially since I have said I knew he wanted to kiss me, and I wanted him to kiss me.  Why couldn't I have just made the leap first...
I said I always preferred the boy to kiss me first.  And that I always thought our height difference would have stopped me from ever just kissing him unless he was sitting down.  The only time I was next to him while he was sitting down was that math class - either before or after class when we would talk.  Then usually I would stand next to his desk or sit in a nearby desk.  We must have always had a class after because as I have said before - I don't remember walking with him in the hallways or meeting him before an assembly to sit together.  I was the girl he liked, not his girlfriend.  He said if I ever had kissed him while he was in that math desk - he and the desk would have flipped over.... which is so sweet and made me laugh.

But I told him again I felt that I was not tall enough to have just kissed him without standing on the step above him, or he would have to have been sitting down. 
I asked him to just stand still - don't panic - that I was not going to touch him or kiss him, but I wanted to stand close enough to know if that was true or not.  I was in sneakers, and he was in his socks.  I just really wanted to know - it is more than 35 years later - I am tired of wondering and not knowing - I had no intention of kissing him - it was not meant as a tease.  It was like a math theory question - would it have been possible to kiss him... 

So we are both standing and I step very close to him, but not touching him.  And I am looking at how far his mouth would have been from my mouth, and judging it to be about 6 inches from mine.  And that I probably could stretch to make up 4 inches of that - but he would have had to have leaned slightly towards me, and been cooperating.  And that to avoid ever kissing me all he would have had to have done was to tilt his head back, and I could simply have not reached him to kiss him...
It was a true question for me, and that was my thoughts, not sexual - and I am just looking at his mouth trying to figure this out, and he is standing very still, so still that I actually probably lost myself in the question and thinking about it.  So I suddenly can feel that he is watching me look at him while I am silently thinking all this - and I finally look at his eyes and he is just watching me - and suddenly it was all sexual - oh good grief -
I know he is hoping that I have lied and will just kiss him finally - and he is just waiting for me to do something, anything to end this moment of tension for him. 
But I said I would not kiss him or touch him.  And I will never lie to him, he has to never doubt what I tell him.  Things I tell him he has to believe to his core and know he can always trust me.
So I slowly back away from him -
And he said - Well???  It was not as far of a reach as you thought, was it???
Nope, was all I could say...

And we changed the subject -
He was in a good mood - that whole day.  When I got there, he asked me to sit down, and I said I preferred to stand because I have to keep a certain distance between us.  ( The girl inside me gets too excited, and makes me lose focus so I have explained to him that I just have to not stand too close to him. )  He started to smile like a boy teasing me, and he took 2 steps towards me to see if I would stand my ground or try to back away from him...  I backed up nearly automatically - so he laughed and went to sit down away from me on the sofa while I stood.  I know it was just his way of teasing me.

We talked more.  As we were ready to leave - he reached down to grab something off of the floor in front of me.  And I reached out to rub or lightly scratch his back.  It is just a way for me to use a quick burst of energy - I have done this with guys I liked and worked with for years.  If they are open to me touching them - they sometimes get a quick back rub as I walk past or if I know they are having a bad day.  Most men will accept this from me - is comes nearly automatically anymore, and even after not working for so long - it just felt natural to reach out to quickly rub his back - then I realized that I have never done this to him, and he doesn't know that it is completely normal for me to do this to men I am comfortable around, and so I start to explain...
And he says - oh, for pete's sake.... and grabs me and hugs me from the side at an odd angle.  So much so that I can't hug him back.  I was just suddenly smooshed in a hug.  It was like he finally decided he had always wanted to hug me, and that is was just sort of silly not to just hug me.
And there was like a fountain spray of emotion included in the hug -
I have tried to hug him once 20 years ago, he does not remember that, and the day he looked at selling my mom's house, and not as kids.  Both times it was like hugging a tree.  The tree gives you nothing, and neither did he.  So for him to just finally hug me after 35 years with some emotion finally included - it was just really nice and actually felt normal for a change.  He needed to just get that out of his system.  If he wants to hug me - just hug me.  Men hug me.  Even one guy that only touches his wife - and I NEVER touch - elbowed me several times the other day - and it took me a minute but I realized that is his way of hugging me.  He did it in front of his wife - and I got it.  So sometimes a hug comes a way that you don't even realize, and could easily be dismissed.
I am sure at the moment, I come off as very - damsel in distress - because I am in a situation that I do need their help.  And the good guys are stepping up to help - and they all try to reassure me that it will all work out.  But I was just so screwed from the start to be able to do it on my own.  I know at this point it will end eventually, and I will get through it, and it could have been much worse.