Sunday, May 31, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 152/214, 2020 - Sunday

I'm tired. I am trying to get ahead of the curve for tomorrow. They are supposed to be here before 10 AM to start installing the flooring. The plan (as of yesterday) is to do all the vacant areas, and work their way to the garage and master bedroom side of the house. That means I have to clear all the bric-a-brac from all the tables, buffets, cabinets, bookcases (the ones that are remaining), etc., so they can move furniture and then move it all back. I have bought a bunch of file boxes at Office Depot, and I cleaned out a bunch of stuff in the garage today, and I will move Jody's car out of the garage tomorrow and put all the boxes out there. Nothing will be wrapped, I will just put it all in boxes. It will all survive. What has survived the housekeeper for the last twelve years will survive being put in a box for a week or two. I have a suspicion that, when the re-shingled the roof, they messed up the dryer vent...on the roof. I do not need to do laundry very often, but the last two times I did laundry, the dryer did not seem to be drying as quickly as it used to. Tonight is the big test. I am paying attention. PLUMBAGOs. I spied some this afternoon, and stopped and bought three small plants that I will put in the ground tomorrow or the next day. I love the color. There is another plant that I am on the lookout for...they kind of favor plumbagos, but it is not them. Is there a plant that is commonly referred to as 'snow balls?' Do they come in different colors? I think I have seen them in pink, blue and white. Will they grow in Texas? Give me some help here, people.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 151/215, 2020 - Saturday

This is what it looks like when a rat snake believes you have violated its' personal space. No harm done. I am kind of tired of whining like an old granny, but that is about all I have to do these days. The painters DID NOT show up today as planned, but the people doing the texturing did, so that is a little bit of progress. The painters are supposed to be here tomorrow morning. Whatever. The flooring did get delivered this morning, and I have to go find some storage boxes tomorrow, because I have to clear off all the table tops, clear out all the cabinets, etc., in preparation of them starting the flooring installation on Monday. That is supposed to take two days. I had reached out to the folks that are supposed to come back and 'unpack' the containers, and they are tentatively scheduled to arrive Thursday or Friday (I think). I am going to reschedule that, because I have to be in Austin for those days, now that I think about it. Maybe I can get it scheduled for Monday, the 8th. It is all a work in motion. Otherwise, it was a nice day today, and I won't be holding my breath to see if the painters show up tomorrow or not...

Friday, May 29, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 150/216, 2020 - Friday

I really don't know why I look forward to the weekends anymore, all the days just seem to run together, and I really can't see definitions between one day from another, or one week from another. We were all excited about the three day weekend last week, but it did not really feel like anything special to me. The sheetrock people finally showed up today. they were late, but they showed up. I suspected there was some more mold in one area of the hallway, and I had them take down more sheetrock, and there it was. Luckily, it was not anywhere close to 25 contiguous square feet, so we were able to remediate it ourselves. I have documented it all because, at some point I expect to sell the house, and I will need to disclose all of that. I expect they will finish the texturing and painting tomorrow. The flooring is also supposed to be delivered tomorrow, so I think it will be kind of a busy day, again. Flooring installation is supposed to be on Monday, and I called the people that put all the furniture in the containers in the driveway, so maybe I can get started with the furniture being put back in the house late next week. That seems like a really long way away, but I will be really happy to have the house back together again.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 149/217, 2020 - Thursday

I can generally cope with challenges, if all the challenges for an entire day do not happen within thirty minutes of each other. If the challenges could spread themselves out say, over the course of four or five hours, I could remain much more calm, cool and collected. Today was a day fraught with challenges, the least of which was the (bad) neighbor's goats breaking through the fence and going on a walking tour of the property. That was nothing. And, at this late time in the day, all the other challenges are not worth bothering with, and again, tomorrow is another day that I fear has many opportunities to repeat itself. My first zoom meeting is tomorrow at 8:30 and there are two (not one), TWO contractors scheduled to show up at the same time. I have decided it is not my job to babysit the contractors, they are supposed to know what they are contracting to do. Maybe I am expecting too much. This is all building up to a crescendo of work, which is (currently) scheduled to peak on Monday, when the new floors are scheduled to be installed. The insurance company ponied up for some more money, and now we are only about $1,900 apart. It will at least be worth my sending one more e-mail to see if I can get the rest of it out of them, you never know. The one salvations is, tonight is Coke-Float night, but I am down to my last five gallons of Blue Bell. Note to self:

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 148/218, 2020 - Wednesday

I fear the photo from last night and the photo I am using in this post are very similar. We just finished a little rain squall...lots of lightning, lots of thunder (that was fun), and the power went off twice. I waited 'til it was done, and I still have to set a few more clocks. The temperature has cooled off nicely, it is 68 degrees right now, but the humidity is pretty high. We have managed to escape the worst of it...points east and north of us got some bad hail and winds and rain earlier this afternoon, so hopefully everyone is okay. I am very disappointed that the sheetrock people did not show up today. Now they are supposed to be here at 8:30 in the morning. They still say they can get it all done before Monday, which is when I have the flooring people scheduled. I am still anxious about not being able to move furniture, but it is what it is. I spent most of the day working on 2019 income taxes, just gathering information and getting everything ready to take to the CPA. I am hoping to have it all to him by the 15th of June. I cannot put it off longer than that, it HAS to get done.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 147/219, 2020 - Tuesday

Sitting here at home, composing this journal entry, I can look out into the front yard and watch a hummer working over some of the cannas down the path. It could be my imagination, but the hummers are much more apparent this year. maybe not. If we get some more rain tonight, we may break 3 inches for the month. Austin has had a lot more than we have, but we are not complaining. They have downplayed the forecasts for the rest of the week, but there is still a possibility that we could get another two inches by the weekend. Of course, I left the Edge of Nowhere just in time to get into a torrential downpour while driving in IH-35. I have that skill, leaving at the worst possible times. But the clouds were kind of interesting while I was heading towards the Interstate. After the rains, it turned out to be a really nice day, no complaints, climate wise. Tomorrow they are supposed to start the sheetrock repair and painting...a four day chore. I am beginning to get a little anxious about the floors being replaced on June 1st...I am not prepared, I cannot move the remaining furniture and I am not even going to pretend that I will. I told the flooring people to just add it to the invoice. But, I will still dwell on it until it all gets taken care of. I sound like a little old lady, and I think that is probably just because I am just a little old lady.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 146/220, 2020 - Monday - Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day! I did not do much of anything today, although I had big plans for the day. I should not have even bothered to get dressed, but I did. I did take the garbage can up to the road, and indeed the garbage collectors picked it up, even though it is a Holiday. I usually take it to the road on Sunday night, but we were expecting storms, so I decided to wait until morning. It worked! I was not nearly as busy as these birds have been all day, feeding their young ones. Back and forth, back and forth. All. Day. Long. We have never been too finicky about these birds, they have six or eight mud nests here and there abound the house. They will be gone soon, and I will wash the nests off the house, and they will be back again next year. No real damage done by them. It did rain overnight, and we are supposed to have another round overnight tonight. Then a slight chance for the rest of the week. This will likely be the best opportunity for rain again until fall. We will have a little, but not much, and pretty soon everything will go from green to brown. At least there is water in the tanks right now, so the cattle are not getting city water.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 145/221, 2020 - Sunday

So far, the predicted rain and storms have not materialized. We had a couple showers today, maybe a tenth of an inch, but there may be something headed this way now. I think Austin has been hit pretty hard, and Bastrop County has been hit again, but so far, all we have had is some wind. I should go move some furniture from around the pool, I'll be right back... Okay, I'm back. I moved a couple chairs and two umbrellas from by the pool. It is interesting that I never think to move that stuff until it is almost too late. It is sprinkling a little bit now, too. I was able to cross five things off my list today, that still leaves three things. I think I will get two of them crossed off tomorrow, but the home office closet is just too big of a task right now, I fear. I did go shopping this afternoon, and the refrigerator looks like people are actually living here. I am still befuddled about cooking, and miniature donuts and stuff like that are filling in for real food. Dinners for one are just not that appealing to me, but I am confident that I will figure it out pretty soon. I do want to go in to the office tomorrow, and then make another stop at Home Depot. I want to replace the ceiling fan out on the patio, and I don't think that will be too much of a challenge. Then I will go in to the office on Tuesday as well, and hopefully they will start fixing the sheetrock and painting beginning on Wednesday. Fingers crossed.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 142/222, 2020 - Saturday

I had ten things on my 'to done' list, and I only crossed two of the things off the list. I did more than two things today, but still only crossed two things off the list. There is always tomorrow. I still may do the laundry tonight, since it would be nice to have some clean clothes tomorrow. Maybe. We have some storm possibilities overnight tonight, and decent chances of rain for the next seven days. The rain could hamper some of my plans for tomorrow, but we will just have to see. There is always Monday, if worse comes to worse. I bought a few more plants to be potted today, and I am pretty sure that will be it for a while. I also dead-headed the geraniums at the front porch. Tomorrow I will pot some stuff I have left to do, clean the chicken coop and maybe vacuum. I have a closet that I would like to get cleaned out, but every time I look at it, I just close the doors back and walk out of the room. I just took another look, and just closed the doors again. It will get done eventually. In case you were wondering, this is what the well dressed gentleman farmer is sporting these days. You're welcome!

Friday, May 22, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 143/223, 2020 - Friday

I only had two zoom meetings today, but they were both really good meetings. A good bit of information and planning was shared at both meetings. I just figured out, I did not go ANYWHERE today, even though I thought about it. Tomorrow, I may go back to the little local nursery in Georgetown and get some more plants for a couple more pots I want to fill up. Then maybe to Tractor Supply (there is always a good reason to go to Tractor Supply), just for the hell of it. I have another idea to make the chicken run a little bit better, and I need to get some supplies. My Pride of Barbados are just beginning to bloom, and I love the looks of them, coupled with the fact that they will bloom all summer, they are one of my faves. I noticed the other day that, some of the seeds I put in pots last year are even making a comeback, so they are tough little boogers.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 142/224, 2020 -Thursday

The day started out pretty well, and it ended pretty well, too, so that is always a 'win' in my book. The morning events were choreographed like an exquisite ballet. First, another bid for sheetrock and paint. Then, off to Georgetown: Get Jody's car washed, stop at Walgreen's because I forgot to bring a mask, and I would ultimately be at the Tax Assessor's Office, and did not know if they would require a mask or not. They had masks AND Lysol Disinfecting Wipes. They had a limit of two per person, and they only had one, so that was a moot point. Then I went and got Jody's truck inspected, just in case. Then I went to another Walgreen's where I scored another bottle of Lysol Disinfecting Wipes, and a little package of wipes to keep in Jody's car. Then I got gas in Jody's truck, and headed off to a CVS (since I was on a roll), but they had no disinfecting wipes. Then to the Tax Assessor's office, where I showed up five minutes early. The appointment that I made (and received a text confirmation of one hour before my appointment), we just pretend according to them, they were not recognizing appointments. I think it was just their way of keeping the riff-raff out of the place. All in all, I was in and out of the place in about 45 minutes. There were several MORE forms that needed to be completed, but all is well that ends well. I am particularly happy about the disinfecting wipes. I should be set for a couple weeks now!

NEWS: The sheetrock and paint should start next Wednesday, and the floors are scheduled for Monday, June 1st. Something is bound to go wrong!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 141/225, 2020 - Wednesday

The plan is to go get Jody's truck transferred into my name tomorrow. This takes a little bit of planning. The county offices are closed, but I was able to make an appointment on-line for tomorrow at 11:30 in the morning. I have a confirmation and everything, so we will see if that will work. Then, I needed to find the title to the truck. I could have sworn that it was in the safe deposit box at the bank, but nope, not in there. After a little more detailed searching through files at home, I was able to find it. The truck has an inspection sticker that is good until the end of June, but I am planning to go by first and get a fresh inspection before I transfer the title. The insurance is also paid up through the middle of June, but I contacted my agent this afternoon, and he is supposed to add it to my other policies, and send me an insurance certificate be e-mail. The only question is...I wonder if they will give me new tags for the truck, and if so, does that make the inspection invalid. I'm thinking that, since there is no inspection sticker anymore, the inspection is tied to the vehicle and not to the license plate. I am sure I have err'd in this decision, and I am also pretty sure that something is going to go wrong. Whatever. It is what it is. I had lunch with Michael and Lynda this afternoon, at the duck pond bu the Arboretum. It was great, and we talked for a long time. It was very nice to see them, and I am so glad they invited me to do it. I love them both.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 140/226, 2020 - Tuesday

I am pretty sure this guy was pulling in to HEB after the service (there was nothing in the back), and I am pretty sure there was no disinfecting wipes in the HEB. I had already checked. I was working up the courage to ask him if I could take a selfie, laying prostrate (is that the right word? I always get prostrate and prostate confused) in the back, but the operator got out of the conveyance and did not look like he was one to be easily amused, so I deferred. It would have been a great picture, too. Whatever. I went in to Austin this morning, did an 11 o'clock zoom and made it home in time for a 2 o'clock zoom, and made a bunch of calls in between times. I have a 9 o'clock in the morning, then going to lunch with Michael and Lynda (observing social distancing), and then back home with maybe a couple stops along the way. Then a 9 o'clock on Thursday, and Friday is pretty much filled up already. It was HOT today, 97 degrees, light breezes and high humidity. Is everybody ready for summer? I am threatening to go test the pool water temperature after I finish the journal entry. Maybe.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 139/227, 2020 - Monday

The only thing I accomplished today was being repeatedly distracted so I could really not concentrate on anything that I was doing. Even with the distractions, I did manage to get a couple things accomplished, but nothing that was on my to-done list. I even passed a wreck on the IH-35 service road, and chose not to document it photographically, since I am relatively certain that there will be other opportunities in the very near future. The 'new normal' seems to be giving way to an even 'newer normal,' and I am really not sure what that is going to look like. I can guarantee you this, I did not get to be this old by being totally stupid. This is at least my second pandemic, and I learned a few things from the last one, specifically, do not be a dumb ass! Enough of that. I went in to the office today, and I will going back in tomorrow. I can't really think of any errands that need to be taken care of tomorrow, but I expect I will come up with something. In the meantime, just admire these lovely geraniums I got yesterday to adorn the front porch. I remember when Jody and I went to Provincetown one fall, the geraniums were magnificent, and they can be here, too, we just have to pay more attention to them and not let them bake in the sun.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 138/228, 2020 - Sunday

I went to Home Depot late this morning, and stood in line for a while to be allowed passage inside. I was on a mission; I had on my mask (the people in front and in back of me were mask-less), but I did not have on rubber gloves. I did have a bottle of hand-sanitizer in my pocket, which made me feel immensely more attractive to those around me. I was on a mission to buy some color for around the house. I got some color for the front porch and a good bit of color for around the pool. Now the watering routine will go into full effect in the next day or two. I have a few things that need to be re-potted, and I want to get a couple more hanging plants that are attractive to butterflies and humming birds. That should keep me busy for another 20 minutes or so. I got all my chores done with the exception of taking the girls for a ride. I will make it up to them another day. I took some eggs over to Hubert and Pauline, and they sent me home with some of Pauline's cookies that I like very much. Tomorrow and Tuesday I will be going in to Austin, and that is pretty much all I have on my schedule for the coming week. I was supposed to have an e-mail from the insurance appraiser, but so far, nothing. I will check in with him tomorrow. I have taken to setting the alarm at night after the girls have been out for their final time. I've done that about four times now, and I have set the sirens off three times when I let the girls outside in the mornings. I am leaving myself a note tonight.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 137/229, 2020 - Saturday

The day will come, too soon enough, when I will be posting photos of wrecks and traffic jams, so in the meantime, I will just regale you with more cloud photos. I think this one is pretty interesting. Apparently it rained overnight, and stormed too, as evidenced by the 1.42" I emptied out of the gauge this morning. It was still raining a little bit when I woke up, but nothing major. Lots of people in Austin were without electrical service, and it might have been lightning that caused a condo fire in South Padre Island. But, I slept through the whole thing. I took the girls for a ride this morning, and that was fun, and then I went down for the first of a couple naps. After naps and some serious consideration, I went into the HEB in Taylor this afternoon, not because I needed anything, but just because I wanted to go somewhere. When I got home, I went down for another nap. After dinner, I got a phone call from the 'independent insurance appraiser,' who said he would send in his report to the insurance company tonight or tomorrow. You may recall, I had a text message from the insurance company last week that they were sending me a check for $416. I had another text this morning that they were sending me another check. I think it is interesting that the appraiser has (apparently) not sent in his report yet, but they are sending me checks. Just keep the checks coming and I will keep quiet! There is no more rain in the seven-day forecast, and so far this month we have had less than two inches of rain. May is supposed to be one of our rainiest months, so it better get into gear!

Friday, May 15, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 136/230, 2020 - Friday

The morning was a little bit stressful, and the afternoon was a little bit stressful in a different kind of way. This morning was the National Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors meeting, and it was held virtually. We have been meeting all week, virtually. There were several things to vote on  at the BOD meeting, and we had two test runs over the last week or ten days, to make sure everything was working correctly. At the first test run, I was confused, BUT, I finally figured it out at the end. I participated in the second test run, just to make sure I knew what I was doing, to the best of my ability. Everything worked, and it was good. I voted on all the issues, and at the end of the meeting, I think I could consider myself a pro at virtual meetings, BOD meetings and vote casting. After the BOD meeting, I had one more zoom meeting with one of our elected officials, and that was a pretty relaxing, winding down exercise.

The second half of the day was stressful for a different reason. There were (once again) people everywhere. The landscape folks were here (four of them), the guy was here to give me a bid for sheetrock repair, tape, float, texture and paint. Then I had a delivery (I seem to be hoarding wine now). I had an offer through my Southwest Credit Card to join kind of a 'wine of the month club, and so I did. SURPRISE, now you all know what you are getting for Christmas!
In the middle of all this, I had a couple TR Ombudsman cases assigned (one resolved, one not resolved). That makes three cases in the last three days, and I am not even the Primary Ombudsman right now. Then a couple work related issues with a tenant v HOA challenge that has been going on for three days as well. AND, to top it all off, the delivery guy backed into the truck of the guy that was giving me the estimate for the sheetrock work.

Time to call it the end of this day, we are expecting storms overnight, high winds are the biggest issue. Wish us all luck!

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 135/231, 2020 - Thursday

It is later than I usually post these journal entries, and I almost forgot to do this one. It was kind of a busy day. I am not involved in nearly as many zoom meetings as some of my friends and colleagues are, but after the last one today, I was walking around in the house, considering picking my nose. I hesitated, and started looking around the room to see where the camera was. Zoom meetings are interesting; you are home, but you have to be careful not to embarrass yourself in from of a virtual room full of people. Honestly, I forgot I was at home for a while, and was checking out my own house to see where I could go to be private. It is kind of like 'Big Brother.' I used to be fascinated by that show on TV, and I expect that, pretty soon, we will all have cameras embedded under our skin, and all our movements will be recorded for all time. I had an e-mail from the insurance company this morning, they are sending me a check for $416 for damaged goods. Crickets. I am not saying anything. Anything I can can and will be used against me. Do insurance companies have to give you your Miranda Rights? Hmmm. Here's a question: What are we going to do with all the masks, gloves and disinfecting wipes we are all now hoarding? This is disgusting. If you are wearing gloves, be responsible enough to dispose of them properly.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 134/232, 2020 - Wednesday

No more rain overnight, but there are rain chances every day for the next four days. No progress on the house. I am not good at sitting and waiting. I have two more sessions tomorrow morning, and I have a 1 o'clock appointment tomorrow afternoon in Austin, so I expect I will be bombarded with information from a variety of sources. I have the bids for replacing the flooring, I have a contractor coming out on Friday afternoon to give me a bid of replacing sheetrock, taping, floating and painting. I would really like to know what the procedure is going to be from the insurance company. I would like to get on with this, but there is this gnawing uncertainty that I am just kind of shy about trying to push the envelopes. I think I have trust issues with the insurance company, even though they have never really given me any reason to distrust them. I think it is the perception. The cactus are beginning to bloom, and the garlics are blooming nicely too. A few of the canna are blooming, and the New Mexico Birds of Paradise are showing promise. It was a pretty nice day here in central Texas, the sun finally came out this afternoon, which is typical. Cloudy mornings, sun comes out just in time for dark.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 233/233, 2020 - Tuesday

While I was involved with all the NAR Virtual Meetings this morning, we started having weather alerts, and the Internet was spotty, at best. After the second meeting, I headed in to Austin for some power real estate. There were a couple (Maybe 6?) tornados that touched down in Bastrop County, close to the Red Rock farm we used to have. By the time I got onto the Interstate, the rains were getting worse. Imagine your 90- year old granny who can barely see over the steering wheel, driving down IH-35 in a monsoon. Paste my face on that picture, and there you have it. I have (for years) proclaimed that I am an old lady when it comes to driving in the rain. Especially driving in the rain after dark. After I got my stuff done in the office, I high-tailed it back home, and made it with no real problems. Once I got closer to home, the rains let up, and all was good again. We got about 0.32" of rain since this morning, and I think we are clear for the rest of tonight. The next several days are being forecast with a chance of 3 to five inches of rain. That will be good for the tanks, but bad for the farmers in the area. Oh, and I took  one of the loaves of banana bread into the office, and it was well received. I am up to here with banana bread. BUT, I have the ready-cooked-meals-for-several programs pretty much figured out. I have one more day of mashed potatoes!

Monday, May 11, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 132/234, 2020 - Monday

I am very much looking forward to quiet. When I go out of town (as I should be right this very minute), I am never bothered by the sounds of sirens, garbage trucks, or other sounds of the cities I visit. I really believe I could be happy in a large urban area, but right now, I prefer the silence of the Edge of Nowhere. It is usually very calm and peaceful here, but the constant drone of these fans and dehumidifiers and what-not are about to get the best of me. I was very much hoping that the scheduled 3 o'clock visit would mean an end to the racket, but it was not meant to be. Dammit. There is another visit scheduled for 9 o'clock in the morning, so I am hoping for the best. It was great to sleep last night with the windows open in the bedroom, it was cool and the northern breezes were very dry. Now, the winds are back from the south, the humidity is high, and these freakin' machines put out a lot of heat, and the HVAC cannot keep up. I actually have the thermostat very high on that side of the house, there is no real reason to try and compete. Last Friday, the grass fields were cut, and today the grass was raked and baled.I got 58 bales with this cutting, good, firm, large bales, too. That will keep our cattle in hay for a couple years, so I can sell off last years hay. With any luck at all, we can get two more cuttings this year, and that will make life really good, if you happen to be a cow.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 131/235, 2020 - Sunday - Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all y'all. I got most of my chores done today, but I did get a lot of things done that were not on my chores list. I still need to get some cat food for Barney, but I made a couple loaves of banana bread (and they both look pretty good)! They're like me, a Pretty Good Real Estate Broker! I got the chicken coop cleaned out, and changed the bedding, and put diatomaceous earth in the pen where they take dust baths, and on the bottoms of their nesting boxes and on the bedding in their nesting boxes. They are stricken with either lice or mites, but it has not compromised their production. BUT, for right now every thing is all clean. I cleaned out more cupboards and drawers, too, and as long as everything is disrupted, I cleaned out (and threw away) a lot of this-and-that. Sunday is pretty much the motivation day, since the trash collection is on Monday morning. I took the girls outside a few minutes ago, and there are coyotes howling close by, and there are lightning bugs everywhere. I tried my best for about five minutes (I am easily distracted) to get a picture of a lightning bug, but it seems they were flashing everywhere except where my camera was pointed.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 130/236, 2020 - Saturday

It is lovely and cool inside, but it is kind of warm inside the house. They added two MORE fans to the pile this afternoon, and cut out some sheetrock. Not a lot, just enough I guess. They are supposed to be back tomorrow morning (at 9 o'clock), to check on things, and maybe remove a couple fans. Maybe not. Worst case, I think there are three more days with these fans. They are so loud, you really CANNOT carry on a decent conversation with yourself. The fans are deafening. I go outside or into the bedroom for a little bit of quiet. Bedroom is also the television viewing place, since there is no furniture in the den anymore. They also took photos of the WHOLE house this afternoon. If I had known they were going to do that, I would have at least made the bed. There is no way I could have straightened out the house, there is stuff piled up here and there. It will be a real relief for this all to be over. I did get a chance to see (and document) some crop dusting this afternoon. Usually I can hear them or see them spraying fields down the road, but today I happened to be close enough to get a couple interesting photos. They are flying pretty low, and to be honest, I have no idea what they were dusting, maybe they were just practicing.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 129/237, 2020 - Friday

WHAT? No, I can't hear you. WHAT? No, the fans are running! They are really loud! I have not personally counted the fans, but the guy that set them up this afternoon, after they ripped up the flooring and some of the baseboards, said there were 18 fans running. That's approximately one fan for every 75 square feet of space they are trying to dry out. I don't know if I am smart enough to include the quick (and loud) video I took earlier, but if it works, you can hear a little bit of how loud they are. If not, I am going to post a picture of the corn fields across the road and some clouds from earlier this morning. We have not had any rain as a result of the cold front that came through overnight, but once again, the winds were howling and kept me awake for a good part of the night. We lost one tree between the driveway and the chicken coop, and a couple miscellaneous limbs were down as well. It is rather coolish outside as well, and the temperatures are supposed to be a bit more seasonal over the weekend, only up in the 80s. They are supposed to be back tomorrow to start taking down sheetrock; I don't know how much they will remove, but hopefully not a lot. They did find mold in six or eight places, so that is all being treated now too. Did I mention to you how LOUD these fans are? WHAT? I think they are going to be running for about three days. UGH! Okay, so the video didn't work, I'm substituting a still of the fans instead of the corn and the clouds.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 128/238, 2020 - Thursday

It is what it is and you get what you get. I could have used this picture of the storage containers or I could have shown you a series of empty rooms. They finished emptying everything out about 3:30. Both of these containers are packed chocker-block-full. And there is no furniture in the west-side of the house. I just got off the phone with Mikey (aka Captain Obvious). We are getting in the habit of talking with each other every three or four days, if not more often. They are supposed to start the demo tomorrow afternoon, and they are estimating three weeks after that to have everything finished. And then the big decisions will have to be made. What to keep, what to purge. Stuff like that. According to everyone I speak with, this is the perfect time to get rid of stuff. But, the problem is, it is not just stuff.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 127/239, 2020 - Wednesday

This photo does not do justice to the chaos that presented itself to me today. The toll (so far) is six dead mice (that's why you have mouse bait on a farm), one mouse nest, a little bit of mold and a lot of dust. Most of the things these folks are packing up and storing have not been moved or looked at in the twelve years we have lived in this house. At least when everything is done, it will be nice and clean. At least a couple of the bookcases won't be back because of damage, and I think I have decided on the flooring that will go down to replace what is fixin' to be ripped up (probably starting on Friday). This photo is at least more interesting than the two 16' containers that are out on the driveway right now. I am hoping that all this can be done in two weeks. That is my goal. I am not sure what the insurance company's goal is. Once they start ripping up flooring and sheetrock, I am to call the 'independent appraiser' so he can get here to give the insurance company the bid. It is what it is... The dogs are not particularly happy, but they will forget about the whole thing when it is all over with.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 126/240, 2020 - Tuesday

Holy Crap Batman! I lead such an interesting life, sometimes even I am left dumbstruck! The day started with a series of calls from the insurance company. After I explained to them how disappointed I was in their handling of the claim for the FLOOD, they told me that part of the claim had been approved and they would start a series of phone calls and home visits by 1). The remediation people. 2). The packers and storers (not football teams). and C). The independent appraisers to tell me how much they will award me for replacing all the flooring, cabinets, sheetrock, moldings, etc. I hope they will fix the hole in the wall where the plumber cut out the sheetrock to fix the actual leak. Tomorrow will be the eights day since this was reported. Right now, there are three dehumidifiers working their little dehumidifying hearts out back in two of the far bedrooms and the bath where the whole thing began. Those were delivered by the remediation people. The packers and storers are supposed to be here around 10 in the morning, and they said it will take them three days to pack and move everything to the containers (that they have not ordered yet). Then the window guy was here to look at the windows, and then the flooring guy was here to take measurements and get bids ready so when the insurance guy tells me to go, I will have something to go on. Then I went into Austin to pick up my prescriptions and to stop by the office. GUESS WHAT? I got into a traffic jam! It was like deja vu all over again. Not sure what the plan was with this crane laying in three lanes of traffic on LaVaca, but it could have been worse; it could have been two months ago and it would have taken until the weekend to clear that jam up. And while I was at the office, the independent adjuster called to tell me, just as soon as they rip up the flooring, give him a call and he will come out and give us his appraisal of the damage.

I live such an interesting life. I am really looking forward to the weekend. Not this weekend, maybe the weekend after this one, or the weekend after that one.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 125/241, 2020 - Monday

This photo depicts less than half the people that decided to show up at 7:30 to re-shingle the roof of the house. The good news is, they got finished with the whole thing by about 3 o'clock. It was really kind of chaotic though, and the dogs got plenty of exercise with all the activity going on. So, from start to finish with this insurance claim, it took about two weeks. I think the new shingles look really nice...I went with a lighter color than what was replaced, and if you look closely and really study it, you can see a bit of a green tint. When they first started putting the shingles on, I was really not too happy, but the finished product looks really nice. So far, we are almost a week in with the claim on the water damage, and nothing at all has been done. A couple different companies were out here last Wednesday giving bids for this and that, and the insurance company has done nothing. Today, I was assigned a different adjuster. I called, left her a message (at about 2 o'clock this afternoon), and have heard nothing. I am very disappointed. As a property manager, if I let a water issue go for more than twelve hours, I expect I would be raked over the coals. I only think this is going to get worse before it gets better. Insurance companies should have learned this lesson a decade or two ago. But, we will just have to wait and see how it gets taken care of going forward. I did go to the grocery between things this morning. When I got the pantry organized yesterday, I now have a much better idea of what there is and what there wasn't. In 28 years, I had not gone grocery shopping for anything more than ice cream or bagels. That was not (and still isn't) my strong point. I expect I will get better at it as time goes by. AND...I did another load of laundry on Sunday, so I have that pretty much worked out.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 124/242, 2020 - Sunday

One of my Facebook memories, I don't know how many years ago it was, said "Take the time to stop, turn back, and take the picture." And so I did. I passed these wildflowers (JoeMac?) and I turned around and took a few photos. We are on the cusp of all the wildflowers drying up and seeding. Everything out here is beautifully green, and it looks lovely. It is sad to think that, in a few months, everything will be dried up and brown. That's what happens when you don't get much rain in central Texas. BUT, I will enjoy the green while we have it. I had a pretty nice weekend, I did not see too many people, which was nice. Candy came out and we talked for a while, she brought more sour dough bread, and that is lovely. I am pretty sure I got the majority of my chores done, and I am particularly proud of myself for getting the pantry cleaned and (kind of) organized. There were several canned goods that were WAY past their best by date. Chicken coop is cleaned, lots of ordinary things done. Tomorrow I am hoping to hear something positive from the insurance company about the water damage. The roofers are supposed to start re-shingling the roof, I expect there will be a bit of chaos, but nothing that won't pass.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 123/243, 2020 - Saturday

Today was a good day, I was alone most of the day, and that is something I am growing to appreciate more and more. I am not talking about 'alone' in the 'I didn't see any people' sense of the phrase, but 'alone' in the 'I don't know you, I do not need to talk to you, keep your distance' sense of the phrase. And that is just perfectly okay with me. I took the girls for a ride late this morning, and once I was finished with that, I was on a retail therapy mission. It is hot in central Texas, most of the time, and all the bedding (not the sheets and pillow cases parts) that is readily available is some form of comforter, duvet or down something or other. I was in the market for just a bedspread type of thing. Something in a summer weight (code for not going to make me sweat profusely), and something that was attractive and simple. Light, easy to maintain. Nothing in the LL Bean catalogues unless you are looking for something chenille, and nothing that I could find on the other various catalogs that find their way to our mailbox. Nothing on Wayfair. Nothing on Overstock. SO, since Texas is once again open for business, off I went and ended up at Steinmart in Round Rock, where they carry something they call a 'quilt' but it is lightweight and tomorrow I will give it a test run. I made a couple other stops while I was out, all masked up and armed with disposable gloves that I wore for about three hours, freshening them up after each retail outlet with the bottle of hand sanitizer that is always at the ready.

I am a big believer of wind energy, but there was a parade of these blades being transported up IH-35 while I was on my way home, and they tend to drift from lane to lane with no real regard for other traffic. It was touch and go there for a minute!

Friday, May 1, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 122/244, 2020 - Friday

According to my calculations (and I was NEVER too good at math), we are exactly one-third of the way through with this year. 122 days down, 244 days to go. I am pretty sure that this can only happen during a leap-year, and if that is not correct, too bad! Today was kind of busy and hectic. There was a pretty good bit or activity. The gazebo and decks in the back are almost finished, and no more lattice and 4x4's crashing down (and propped up) because of the winds. The shingles were delivered today, and the re-shingling of the roof is scheduled to start on Monday. The yard guys were here today, too. The missing piece is, there was no call from the insurance company regarding the flooding. I e-mailed the adjuster, and she said she would get the first estimate looked at on Monday. My mind was thinking (but not verbalizing) 'that's just about the time that the mold should start becoming evident,' but I kept my mouth (and my e-mail ponderings) quiet. We shall see. I did speak with the remediation guy, and he said once the estimates to clear out the house of personal belongings, he will be in immediately to rip up flooring (maybe cabinets, he is not sure yet), get everything dried out, treat with anti-microbials, and start the de-humidifiers and get everything dried out. It may be my imagination, but when I walk in the house from outside, it seems like there is an odor...the remediation guy said that is likely the laminate flooring; he said when those floors get wet, they just kind of disintegrate, and off-gas. SO...on a brighter note, I joined a wine club through my Chase Visa card, and I got my first case of wine this afternoon. Yippee!