Thursday, February 9, 2012

dad trivia...

I did some figuring today.

So far dad has sold 59 paintings on etsy since he started in August 2009 (2-1/2 years). This means he sells on average 2 paintings a month.

Out of the 59 paintings, he has had a total of 34 orders (some people ordered more than one painting at a time).

Out of the 34 orders, 18 orders were from unknown people and 16 orders were from family or friends.

AND dad officially has 2 groupies; ladies that have ordered several times and own more of his paintings than any of his family does.

One groupie is in Wisconsin (ordered 6 times and owns 11 paintings) and the other is in NYC (ordered 4 times and owns 5 paintings)...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

a bottle of wine please...

To commemorate our first maintenance call from our new tenants!!!

Yes!  Why is it that we ALWAYS get a first call within the first week of renting this Godforsaken house?!

Last time it was the lack of drainage and water backing up into the utility tub and bathtub because of a tree root.  That was an $1800 fix + a portion of the rent was refunded because she had to move out for a time while the repair was taking place.  Later it became an even more expensive fix, since the $1800 "fix" was not a permanent fix.

The first time we rented out the house, it was to my friend.  She moved in on a Friday and by Sunday she was calling us because a HUGE limb of one of the cottonwood trees fell between my neighbor's house and ours, totally and completely smashing the cute little picket fence we had between our properties and nearly falling on her oldest son while he cut the lawn.  YIPES!  That took a whole afternoon/evening to cut up the limb and then another evening to replace the fence.  I think that was around a $30 fix.

So now it's this set of tenants and the first week they are in the house.  This one at least, was an "easy" fix - right honey?

They had done a load of laundry.  Everything was fine, the washing machine worked fine.  The second load and the agitator no longer spun and the machine was making a grinding noise.  UGH!

We had just bought the washer and dryer set (matching...first time ever) from our neighbor in Romeo. She was moving to an apartment and no longer needed the machines.  Still, they were old and used.

Jerome checked online to see if there were any videos up there that showed how to troubleshoot a washer problem...and of course, there is!  He watched the video, practiced on our washer (since ours is also a Kenmore, only ours is a Series 70 and the one at the rental is a Series 80) and then we drove over to the rental.  Jerome took it all apart while we stood over him and talked and watched (his favorite).  He found that the coupling was broken and decided to take the gear and the motor to our house too.  He would make sure that the only thing that was broken was the coupling by replacing our gear and motor with theirs.

As expected, it was only the coupling that was broken.  Jerome went back over there last night to reassemble the washer, only using our coupling.  Everything worked fine.

When he got home, he ordered a new coupling for our washer; $13.

I'll be able to do laundry next weekend.  

We're so glad it was something small and cheap and easy enough to fix ourselves.  Hoping this will be the only call for a while.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

the path that leads you home...

After 3 years, my son has been Honorably Discharged from the Army.

He and his family moved back to Michigan yesterday.  They will temporarily live with her parents in their basement.  It's not really all that bad; the basement is a walkout so it doesn't have that "basementy" feeling.  Peyton will have a bedroom upstairs - I think even better since then they won't hear her when she wakes up in the middle of the night...but Grandma and Grandpa will!  What Luck!

Sam's mother flew down to North Carolina to help them with the drive back up to Michigan.  Very helpful.

I was able to help out a little myself yesterday by showing up after work to offer assistance emptying the truck.  We were fortunate that the weather was very nice yesterday; in the 50's.

On Monday, Justin will begin working at the same place his Father-in-law works.  His FIL was able to get him this job.  If he hadn't gotten him this job, Justin would have stayed in the Army because he felt good there.  Justin's dad would have preferred that Justin had stayed in the Army (where Justin received the discipline that made him into a man.  Something his father, nor I could do) and not come back to Michigan where the economy is depressed.

Time will tell.  This is a very good job, with good pay and a good opportunity for Justin.  It's in the Auto Industry, as one may have guessed.  This is sort of an apprenticeship.  He will be learning how to program robots.  I think it's right up his alley.

Now I will be able to see my grand-daughter a lot more - and that's always a good thing!

we've got renters!...

We handed over the keys to our income property on Friday, January 27th.

I have good feelings about these people.  They are my age, they are a couple, they are friendly, they don't have little kids, they don't have pets and when I mentioned the kitties, they didn't seem too worried.  Well, at least she didn't.
One issue that I hope won't be an issue.  As they were signing all the paperwork, he noticed that we had on the contract that we do not allow any type of trailer in the driveway or in the front of the property.  That's when he mentioned his big, shiny trailer.

We told him not to worry about it...and then we looked in the Township ordinances and it's the second ordnance that is mentioned.  No trailers or the such in the front or side of the house.

There is no way for a trailer to be in the back of our house - there is not enough room between houses, trees, fences to get something that big into the backyard.

We told him to just do it and if it becomes a problem, we'll let him know.  I said "if we get a fine, we'll send it on to you"...and he laughed.  Not sure I was kidding.

I have checked him out on Facebook and he allows people to read his wall/timeline.  He seemed VERY excited to move in.  A friend of his asked him if he bought a house and he said that would happen next year.  So, perhaps this is only a temporary housing solution for them.

Best part, other than I think we have little to worry about with them, is that we've gotten PAID!  YAY!  That was 5 months of no rent paid and where we had to pay all utilities.  So, we are relieved, for sure.

dialysis days...


We've been at it for a month now; going with dad to hemodialysis.  We're getting the hang of it.  It's been relatively smooth.  Here's what the day brings:
  • I leave home by 12:30pm to get to mom & dad's by 1pm.
  • Once there I get dad's bag ready, coat and open the garage door.
  • Wait for EMS truck to come.
  • Help EMS guys with transfer from wheelchair to stretcher, explaining how it should be done.  Now that we've been at it for a month, we're starting to see the same EMS guys, so they already know the best way to transfer him and I don't have to continue repeating myself.
  • Follow EMS truck to facility in my car.
  • Once at the facility I help the EMS guys transfer dad from stretcher to Lazy Boy chair.
  • I make sure he's got his pillows in the right places and cover him with a blanket.
  • Nurses attend to dad by removing the dressing from the port and cleaning the area and putting new dressing on - they connect him to the machine.  During this time, dad & I have to wear surgical masks.  They attach a blood pressure monitor.
  • I give them all the new information regarding how he's doing, amount of urine produced, if there's been any updates or changes.
  • Then once he's all connected, I set up the iPad (for a while I was using my work PC) - ask him what he wants to watch, put on his headphones (he just got some nice coconuts from my sister Terry) and click "play".
  • I set my timer for the 3 and a half hours that he has to have his blood cleansed.
  • Occasionally my mother will want me to run errands for her during the time that he is having his treatment.  Occasionally my father will want me to run errands for him (Micheal's to get more paint).  Occasionally I need to run to the bank or grab a meal.
  • Otherwise I am sitting with him the entire time, talking, watching the movie, talking with the nurses, having a meeting with the dietitian or the doctor and taking care of anything that he needs at the moment; a tissue, a small drink of water, etc..
  • Once his time is up and the EMS guys are waiting for him (the nurses call them to let them know what time he'll be done.  They are mostly on time, but they have also been a half hour early or a half hour late), we do everything we've done before, only backwards.
  • When he is back comfortably in his wheelchair, I make him a little something to eat.  The dietitian wants him to have a good, protein heavy meal because during the treatment, he loses a lot of protein.
  • I update mom on anything that the nurses have told me/asked me and then I head home.

He has different reactions to the treatment - at least we are under the impression that it's the treatment that is causing the lethargy and the small amount of hallucinations.

Sometimes he is super-tired and other times he is super-chatty.

I have asked my mother to have one of the aides take him on Wednesday's, so that I don't have to take a 1/2 day from work.  Today will be her 2nd time (3rd really, but last week he was in the ER observation area and so, the aide didn't have to go with him to dialysis, but she did go to the hospital to check on things).

The facility and the nurses are really nice.  The place is clean, smells clean and is set up nicely.  The nurses are all very attentive and will talk to him about his interests such as painting and anything auto related.

Most days, the place is packed.  Mostly older people like my dad - a couple of people more my age and on Monday, there was a young person that was checking the place out with his mother.

We purchased an iPad so that we could load it with stuff that he would like.  Jerome has burned all of dad's DVDs and has loaded them onto the iPad.  We have put scans of his paintings and some family photos in the photo album.  We've added an app for Euchre and also an app that will allow him to sketch.  We've loaded the Pandora app and added his favorite musical groups such as Simon & Garfunkel & Dave Brubeck.  Mostly, he uses it to watch movies.  He's a huge fan of Westerns and James Bond.  If the facility had a better Wi-Fi situation, he'd be able to catch up on his Primetime shows.  I overheard one of the head nurses telling the young person on Monday that they were trying to get better Wi-Fi, so that would be awesome!
It's been nice so far to spend this time with my dad.  He tells me that I'm sweet to him.  I tell him it's because he's sweet.  He seems to be a little over concerned that he's a bother.  I tell him that's why they had 5 kids...and if they hadn't had 5...who would be sitting with him now??? (sort of a joke).  So, it's a good thing they didn't stop at 4. :-)