Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Got a call yesterday from a relative who has gotten the idea that wife and I know something about computers. Her new machine, that we set up a couple of weeks ago, has started smoking and shutting down! She called the help line and they are sending her a box to return the machine. We are going up to see about setting up the old computer again (which they were using as a standalone). It's mindless, I know, but it will keep us from thinking about closing on the duplex.

My wife has associated the duplex with her mother for so long that selling it has brought her mother's passing back to life (how's that for lousy writing!). Anyway, now we are just waiting for the closing day and this little adventure will get us another day closer. After the closing, we feel like our new lives will begin. We bought the duplex for her to live in before we were actually married. I took over my mother's affairs when she was diagnosed with dementia on our 12th anniversary. And this year is our 22nd anniversary. It's a long time to be responsible for two little old ladies. It hasn't stopped us from living but it has intruded from time to time and the weight has always been there. Now it's over and we'll just have to figure out how to be responsible for ourselves; or maybe irresponsible!

Have a good one!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Is life returning?

I've begun to exercise again. Hopefully that is a sign that I'm returning to a more normal type of life than we've been living since my mother-in-law died in January. We all know the benefits that regular exercise brings both physical and mental. I've always tried to exercise but in times of stress I lose it. Of course if I had a physically challenging occupation or say a 50 lb kid to cart around, I wouldn't need it! In my professional life, if I had a 5 lb printout to carry it would be a big day, a 8 oz printout and a cup of coffee would be more like it. Anyway, life MAY be returning to normal.

Of course things aren't completely trouble-free; but who would expect that? The tenant in the duplex appears to have left town. He isn't answering his phone and when I was down there late yesterday he wasn't around. Let's hope he returns or we'll have to figure out how to evict someone who isn't there. And God knows what to do with the junk he left behind. Maybe we'll just cross that bridge another day.

Florida is in the news because of the gator attacks; the one described as north of St Pete was within probably 2 miles of our house in a very nice subdivision. What people don't understand is that the gators are in EVERY natural body of water in the state. People think that because the yard is manicured right down to the lake that they are it must be safe. Well, NO! The guys on mowers aren't worried about gators because the mower is a nice defensive tool but some nitwit wading in a pond dreaming about cream puffs would make a nice little snack. Really most gators won't attack a person but if the person seems to be attacking them or is close to their nest; well, it's called self defense. I sure wish I could post pictures (I use a Mac and Blogger+Mac does not equal picture) because I have a picture we took at a local resturant. We were sitting on a deck about 4 feet above the water and there is this gator down below us. I don't know if the drunks have been feeding him or what but you wouldn't want to fall off that deck!

Well, gotta go. Have a good one everyone.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Breathing again!

Well, it looks like we've sold the duplex. A guy is buying it as an investment. He's owned duplexes before and wants another one. Cool! We've been on pins and needles during the negotiation process. And now, it's almost over! Boy, am I ever glad. We've been eating & drinking too much, snapping at each other (and the animals), have been afraid to leave town & more but now all that is behind us. Well, the extra 5 lbs that I've gained is in front of me but we can do something about that. ;-)

The other day I made something called Armadillo Eggs. It was kind of a pain in the ass but different. You take 7 jalapeno peppers & seed them. Grate 1/2 lb of monterey jack cheese. Stuff the peppers - they take about a teaspoon full each. Now mix 1/2 lb breakfast sausage (like Jimmy Dean) 3/4 cp Bisquick & the rest of the cheese. Take pieces of that mix & wrap the jalapeno in it. Now roll the thing in egg then in breadcrumbs. Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. I've got to say, they were only ok. The jalapeno gave it a crunch and some taste but the bisquick kind of overwhelmed everything else. I was surprised that the cheese in the covering didn't melt but it just melded with the other stuff I guess. I was also surprised that the 'eggs' weren't oily with all that cheese & the sausage grease: guess the bisquick took care of that too. Anyway, if you want to fix something weird and filling - there you go!

Dinner tonight is a bbq'd pork loin with brocoli and a salad. Should be quick, easy & pretty healthy. Have a good one!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Two weeks later......

Wow! I am really in awe of those bloggers who have a daily update. I can find so many excuses for not blogging that it isn't even funny! But now that I'm here... I really don't have a lot to say. We do have an offer on the duplex and are hoping that the buyer won't get all weird at the last minute. We had an offer but part was a)that we close on 16 May and b)that we kick the tenants out by that date. We weren't liking part b of that offer because it was only 20-some days notice. Plus the offer wasn't all that great. Not awful but not great. This second offer is good but the buyer has until May 12 to inspect and decide whether or not he needs to re-negotiate the deal. We'll see what happens but we are sure on pins & needles until it clears!

In the mean time, the tenant had a party or something last weekend and broke one of the fence gates and a swing. Bah! This is in addition to letting the grass die so he doesn't have to mow it! And I'm in the middle between him and my wife: she nags me; I nag him; he gives me his excuses; you can imagine the fun. The tenant is also going to be late with the rent this month. I was a fool and let him have a customized payment deal and easy payment schedule: he pays us in cash on first Friday of the month; and it will bite me in the butt until we sell the place. First; I have to go down and collect the rent; second; we sometimes get paid on the first of the month and sometimes on the 13th. That isn't so bad but I don't like Friday & shouldn't have let that happen. Friday is when all the amateur drunks are driving home so I don't like to be out there if I don't have to be. Therefore I often eat downtown when I have to go down there but the resturants are full because it's Friday. And, finally, there are times like this weekend when it's Cinqo d'Mayo. Now that will really bring out the fools. So I'm just as glad he's being late this month.

Paying in cash means that we could avoid reporting the income and paying the resultant tax. I never do that though for two reasons: I don't believe in breaking the law and I'd probably get caught anyway! Every time I get stopped for speeding by a cop I get a ticket. I know people who have been stopped a dozen times and get maybe two tickets. I just wasn't born on that lucky day. On the other hand, I'm healthy, retired early & aren't likely to be eating dog food so I can't bitch. I'll pay the damn tickets AND taxes anyday.

BBQ'ing pork ribs tonight. Florida has given us 3 or 4 days of low 80's and low humidity just when we thought we'd have to be under a/c for the rest of the summer. It's great! So, bbq, salad & wine is awaiting. Gotta go! Have a good one.