Thursday, December 30, 2010

Do Dogs Have Nine Lives Too?

We nearly lost Chester last night.

He has a tendency to gobble whatever food he can find and or sneak. Yesterday afternoon I found him with his head in the dog food bag which I thought I had twisted shut. Apparently he found a corner open and was doing his best to empty the bag and fill his belly.

What I didn't know at the time was how much he got.

An hour later I fed the dogs and I noticed that Chester wasn't eating. That is highly unusual, to say the least! Then I noticed he was looking slightly uncomfortable and his belly seemed to be larger. I figured that was probably from earlier. He's bloated before from getting stuff out of the garbage so I thought I'd just keep an eye on him.

About an hour later he looked even rounder. I forced two anti gas pills down his throat. That has always been my past remedy and though he would be uncomfortable by the next morning he was always better and the belly swelling was always reduced.

He wanted out so I let him out. A couple minutes later I went to call him in but he didn't come. Since it was dark by this time I got the flashlight and found him laying in the cold, wet grass. I got him up and was shocked at the size and tightness of his belly. I got online and found an emergency vet. It turned out to be the veterinary hospital I had been planning on taking the dogs and cats to when it was time anyway.

I called the number and the operator said he'd have the on-call doctor call me. Within minutes I got a call back and he told me to meet him at the clinic. My husband and I packed Chester into the car and away we went.

Minutes later we met the vet and he did a quick exam. He wasn't very optimistic about Chester's prognosis. He was fairly certain his gut had twisted and he said even with surgery there was only a 50-50 chance of Chester making it through. We kind of hemmed and hawed, neither one of us really wanting to make "the" decision. Then the vet suggested an x-ray, which would show if it were a twisted gut for sure. We quickly agreed to that and the on-duty tech was called.

She arrived moments later and Chester was whisked into another room for x-rays. In just another few minutes we were called in and the vet showed us where the stomach had expanded and was pressing the main veins (arteries?) along the spine, effectively shutting off blood flow, and the bladder and small intestine were pushed way back from where they were supposed to be. So no twisted gut.

The vet thought at that point that surgery wouldn't be necessary and Chester may be able to be saved. He put a tube down Chester's throat. The hope was that the stomach would essentially be pumped, thereby relieving the pressure. The problem now seemed to be that the tube was getting stuck at one point. He and the technician tried several times and even switched to a smaller tube. They switched back to the larger tube and finally the tube went in.

But now nothing was coming out. They sucked on the tube in an attempt to get things moving but nothing was happening. Once again the vet gave us our options. One was surgery to manually remove the stomach contents. But now the chances of surviving the surgery were pretty close to nil. The other option was to "let him go".

No sooner did the words "no surgery" come out of my mouth than the technician exclaimed there was movement in the tube and the stomach contents were coming out. The vet went back to work. After about thirty to forty minutes of pressing on his belly and repurposing the operating room suction machine (usually used to suction blood during surgeries) to help Chester's abdomen was finally getting down to normal size. Another x-ray showed the pressure was definately off the veins but the small intestines were still not quite where they should have been.

Chester was allowed to wake up and he was placed in a kennel with a heating pad, hot water bottles, and blankets, and was hooked up to an i.v. He received several injections to help with pain and residual gas. He wasn't out of the woods yet but the worst was over for now.

This morning I got a call from the vet informing me that he and Chester had gone for a walk around the parking lot and the difference was remarkable. Chester managed to gobble a 1/2 cup of food down and was obviously feeling better. After a few more tests to check potassium levels and whatever else he would be able to go home this afternoon.

Chester is home now and he looks like he feels great.

My husband wondered if we'd need to take out a loan to cover the bill. I was cringing right before the receptionist told me the amount. Was I in for a shock. It was probably about one quarter of what I would have had to pay the emergency vet in Bakersfield.

Another thing about that veterinarian. It just so happens that he is originally from Bakersfield! It's a small world, isn't it!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Snow Day

It may not be a "snow day" for the locals and I'm sure all you northern and easterners are probably laughing at me, but for us it's still a novelty. It snowed, and as I'm writing this it is still snowing and starting to stick to the lawns and roof tops.
You can't really see it in the pictures too well but here on the windshield of our truck you can get a good idea of the size of the flakes.
Inside the creatures are all snug and warm.
The cat honestly did this by herself! I had been sitting on the sofa with the blanket around me. When I got up it draped over Gus and then the cat got comfy.
I admit I did cover Clyde up over on his little sofa, and he really likes it like that.
We may not have had a White Christmas but maybe we'll have a White New Year's!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Ya Think?

My husband and I decided to have a healthy little snack to go along with our respective vinos. Edamames are good for you and quite tasty. We like to warm them up and give them a little sprinkle with kosher salt.
Check out this cautionary note.
Product may become hot after heating. Really?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Do You See What I See?

Do you see what I see?
A cat. A cat!
She is hiding in the shelf.
Is she waiting, waiting for an elf?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Smokey Dinner

Here's my man in the kitchen cooking us a pan fried steak. We've got the ceiling vent on and the windows open.
Here's the results: a nice little piece of medium rare steak with a beautiful artichoke with mayo.
Trust me, it was good!

We've got three places on hold to look at when our realtor comes back from vacation. Two of them are about 20 acre places and the third has about 65, but with a smaller (2 bedroom) home.

I did talk to our realtor yesterday and she said it's not uncommon for a rash of properties to hit the market after the first of the year. So long as interest rates don't start climbing up again I'm good with that.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Three Possibilities

No, not three property possibilities, but three possible scenarios for the following silly picture.

  1. I really didn't think it was that cold but we came back from driving around and looking at properties to find these two with "nose warmers" on.
  2. They are William Wegman model wannabes.
  3. They want to be part of the Winston Wildlife Safari.
What do you think?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Follow Up

So we went to the Olalla property on Thursday. The owner was not there but his realtor was. He showed us around the house first and then took us out back to see the property.

The first thing I noticed was the house no longer reeked of stale cigarette smoke. The realtor pointed out some things that I didn't notice when I was there before. (The realtor wasn't there at that time so the owner was the one who showed us around.) The water heater and house heater were in awkward spaces. The house really is oddly designed. It didn't bother me so much but my husband is looking for a better layout, especially at those asking prices.

We learned that the well only pumps at 2 gpm, something I was slightly shocked to learn. There is, I believe, a 1500 gallon storage tank that is claimed to pump at 4 gpm. When you're used to 9+ gpm that still seems a little on the slow side. I did check on-line afterward and supposedly 4 gpm should suffice for a household. The pasture area is irrigated using the creek, so that's not a concern of the well.

And speaking of the creek, another thing I didn't know before was that other homes in the area have irrigation rights to the creek and they have easement rights along one side of the property. That probably wouldn't have bothered me too much but then the agent disclosed that there was some bad blood between the owners and quite a few of the neighbors. One reason was in regards to the water rights/easement issue. Apparently they even went to court to settle their disputes.

Another disclosure regarding the bad blood between the neighbors was that the wife had been caught burglarizing a neighbor's home! WOW! The reason this might be an issue is that the bad feelings and ill will could possibly cross over to the new owners.

My husband didn't seem to be as impressed with the other-side-of-the-creek acreage as I was. He commented that it would take a lot of work to get it in good shape (clearing out the berry vines, etc). My thought is that he is not going to find the pristine property we would like at the price we are willing to pay. I think with the price we're looking at we're going to have to do a little manual labor.

Our problem is I want the acreage and am willing to settle for less of a house. He wants a better house and less acreage. We need a "Real Estate For The Sexes" equivalent of "Designing For The Sexes." Well, as one sister pointed out we can always redesign and remodel an existing house whereas it is more difficult or next to impossible to add real estate to an existing property.

We haven't even been here a month yet and once again I find myself getting anxious, similar to how I felt right before we finally sold our house in CA.

I have to remember to: b r e a t h e.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


We didn't get go to the Olalla property yesterday because the owner called his realtor and said the creek was too high to cross, meaning we wouldn't be able to see the "back 40" (or 75 as it were...). We decided to wait until Thursday so the Lord willing and the creek don't rise we'll go regardless and at least see the house.

One bit of sad news regarding that owner. When Vicki and I were there before they had mentioned that they wanted to sell the house to return to California. He had a bad back and she had lupis. His wife just passed away at the beginning of this week. ☹

So meanwhile we continue driving around on our own, just looking at the different areas. One thing we've noticed that is not something that occurs where we came from and that is the deer and turkeys that we see everywhere!

Here's a field of turkeys. (Click on the picture to enlarge.)
Here's a deer at the side of the road. I probably could have taken my time taking this picture but I was afraid the deer would run off. It didn't. But I got a nice clear picture of the tree trunks!
I suppose this is probably a good time to be looking at property. That might sound a little odd but in reality we'll be able to see if and where there might be flooding. We have seen a lot of standing water in pastures and that's something I would like to avoid if possible. Everything usually looks better in the summer.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Moving Day Pictures

Here are a few images from our "big van" moving day.

The shop was loaded up with boxes and other "stuff".

These were from our bedroom.
The middle room stuff.
A few things in the living room. (We took the lamp with us and the little table went into the trash--it was over 30 years old and no longer had the rattan siding, so it was time...)
Boxes stacked in the dining area. The high chair went back to Carli and we took the dog with us, of course! ☺
The big moving van. The stuff they took was crammed into 8 "vaults". Was this to be the last day we ever saw the sun? (Just kidding.)
We met with our new realtor yesterday and we were able to look at one place. Well, sort of. We got out to the bank-owned, vacant house and found out we couldn't go inside because of "mold remediation" until December 15th. She wasn't too pleased that nothing had been mentioned about it on the web page. It was obvious that the entire place had been let go. It was too bad. The house was situated on a mountain top and had absolutely fabulous views.

It probably wouldn't have worked out for us anyway because the majority of the 40 acres was the mountain side. And not rolly hills either, I mean about 45º to 60º up and down! Just a little hard to get around on.

Today my husband and I are going to look at a house that I looked at when I was here in September (click here, it's the second house). A few of the houses we looked at back then have sold or are in escrow now, but there are a few new ones on the market now that we'll be able to take a look at.

The search is on!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Apparently The Fat Lady Hasn't Yet Sung

My husband called his attorney Friday to see what he had to say after talking to the jurors. It turns out four decided to stay back and answer both attorney's questions about the case and how the case was handled. (My husband wasn't there for that but had talked briefly to one juror who waited for him in the parking lot immediately following the trial as he was leaving.)

They felt the defense attorney was "bumblish" and "ill-prepared". They thought the defense's doctor was useless, the plaintiff's (our) doctor perhaps talked a little "down" to the jurors.

The four that stayed behind to talk to the attorneys were all men. They advised that the main problem with the award part of the verdict was the middle aged women who were on the jury "did not believe in pain and suffering". Hmmm. I sure hope none of them or their loved ones ever suffers any sort of injury that leaves them in chronic pain.

The kicker to the whole thing was that they almost unanimously determined the reason my husband was 50% at fault was because the bus driver had been making a continuous right hand turn from the left hand lane and he should have seen that and been able to avoid it.

So our attorney said he is going to file a motion to retry based on the statements of the jurors that they came to a conclusion that they made up. It was a conclusion that no one testified to, in fact the very opposite. During trial the bus driver herself testified that she had come to a complete stop prior to making the right hand turn.

Our attorney said it is unusual to make such a motion but not entirely unheard of. In a best case scenario the judge will grant the motion to retry and the defense will not want to go through another trial and they'll make a more reasonable offer to settle. If the motion to retry is granted and they go through with another trial then obviously our attorney will be careful to not select middle aged women to sit on the jury!

I'll let you know how the judge decides.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What Were They Thinking?

There was no court on Friday. Monday morning the attorneys gave their final statements and by noon the jury was in charge. There was no word by close of court Monday evening so that meant deliberations would continue on Tuesday.

Meanwhile in Oregon I was trying to put a few things right in the house. I got the long folding table set up inside, found the box-o-bills and started writing a few overdue checks. I discovered someone in the area had an unlocked wifi so, yes, I'm using someone else's wifi for free. Thanks, whoever you are! I was able to do a few things on-line to save time.

I was getting a little bit of a routine going. Breakfast for me, feed the dogs and cats breakfast, clean the dishes, computer time, go to the post office, take care of whatever came in the mail, grocery store, take the dogs for a walk (I started taking one dog a day to the Stewart Park one mile away), relax for a moment, feed the dogs dinner, dinner for myself, bath, computer, tv, bed. I usually only feed Clyde breakfast and dinner but all the dogs had lost some weight while at the kennels. The big tv isn't working for some reason (just won't turn on) so I've got the tiny tv in the living room. It gets one channel--Fox. (Cable company is coming Friday.)

Tuesday around noon my husband called me. The verdict was in.

Let me remind you of the facts.

Approximately two years ago my husband was driving in his work vehicle, a Chevrolet Lumina, or something similar, south bound in the number two lane. (For the uninitiated that's the right hand lane of a two lane road.) A city school bus in the number one lane (or left lane) suddenly made a right hand turn into a school drive way. There was no way my husband could avoid the bus and his car was jerked around. At the time there appeared to be no injuries, therefore a noninjury accident report was accomplished. It's too bad there were no kids on the bus because then a full investigation would have been made by the CHP.

A few days later Bill started having pain in his neck and back. He went to the doctor and an MRI was done which showed a severely bulging disk. It got so bad he literally stayed on the sofa for about three months. He couldn't stand on his feet for more than three minutes. Things were not happy.

He went to several doctors. He had therapy. He took pills. Not much helped but he started working through the pain. Eventually he went back to work. He learned to ignore or put up with the pain for the most part.

A couple years later it was time to settle with the City School District. Mediation went a full day with no results. The most they offered was $50,000. Remember one third of that right of the top goes to the attorney. Then what most people I think don't know or realize (I certainly did not) was that from any settlement all Worker's Comp and medical bills have to be repaid. So for all my husband's pain and suffering they wanted to give him what? About enough to fill his gas tank once?
So off to court it was.

And now it was in the hands of the jury. And what did the jury decide? Somehow, some way, even though the law regarding the speed limit at that location was explained to them, even though distances, speeds--all that, somehow they decided my husband was 50% at fault. Both doctors (their side and our side) testified that the injuries were caused by the accident and that even surgery would most likely not help. He is destined to live the rest of his life with this back pain. The ultimate slap in the face was the amount finally awarded. Just a little better than the original $50,000 offered. After everything/everyone is paid their share we may get about $10,000.

It's too bad that each party's driving record could not be discussed. My husband was a defensive driving instructor for the Bakersfield Police Department when he worked in the Training Division. I am a witness to his excellent driving skills when he avoided an idiot driver in San Jose who ran a red light and turned in front of us. I wish I had that on video, it was amazing!

It's too bad the jury couldn't know that this was the bus driver's fourth accident during her career.

I wonder if they thought any monetary award was coming from the school directly (no new textbooks for the kiddies!) or the bus driver's pocket book (did they think she was a single mom with 18 little mouths to feed?)? I wonder if they didn't realize the school has insurance just like anyone else and the insurance company is the where the money comes from?

Did they think my husband is supposed to be clairvoyant and know that the bus is going to make an illegal turn in front of him so he should have known in order to avoid the accident all together?

Do I sound just a little bitter? I am. When he called to tell me about it I got so mad I was shaking. It took me several hours to calm down. And in all honesty it's not so much the money (though that is a huge disappointment) but I am still astounded and flabbergasted that they could have found him to be half at fault. I wonder where they were during the trial.

After the verdict was read the jurors were free to go or stay and talk to the attorneys and plaintiff (my husband) if they wanted to. One juror said he did not know what happened as he was fighting to sway the others in favor of my husband. Basically it ended up being 9 vs 3, majority rules.

Well, at least it is over now, he is back here with me and we can go on with our lives. Another reason I'm glad to be leaving California.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Continuing On...

I got back to Bakersfield from Oregon around 10 pm. I dropped Wil and Evan off at Dean's. Carli and Evan had been roommates for about two months or so and during our move they decided to move also. Mostly because Wil would now need a place to stay, so they were all going to move into a little two bedroom house downtown. Carli had moved to Dean's until they would be moving into the new place in one week. Evan would be staying at his mom's and Wil would be crashing at his girlfriend's parent's house. As I was backing out of the driveway after dropping the boys off Wil looked back and gave a little wave. I cried all the way to the hotel.

I never thought I'd be like that, in fact I always thought it was so hilarious when my mother-in-law visited us or vice versa and started tearing up as she or we left. Now I was doing the same thing.

I got to the hotel Bill was staying at and was immediately struck by the unique odor that the suite had. I'm not sure quite how to describe it but he said it was like "somebody died there". It wasn't too bad, I guess. Well, okay it was. There was fake wood peeling off of the cabinets and when I saw the two burner stove I asked Bill, "This is from nineteen-sixty-when?"

I was okay with it all but he couldn't take it and we moved out the next day. We went to my favorite hotel chain, the Residence Inns by Marriott. We got the government rate thanks to my husband and the room was a humongous improvement over the previous place.

That was one of the most stressful weeks for me. Bill had to go to court every day and I waited at the room. Monday was jury selection. Tuesday morning they selected the two alternates and the trial began in the afternoon. We had meetings with the attorney after hours to discuss strategies. I was a nervous wreck.

Since all my "good" clothes were packed away and in storage I had to go shopping for court appropriate wear. I had a $35 gift card from last year and used that to buy some nice pants. I ended up paying $8 for them. Then I went to TJ Maxx and got a cashmere sweater for $39 and some boot/shoes for $29. I was glad I didn't really spend too much money yet managed to get a nice ensemble.

I did get called in and sat outside the court room on Tuesday afternoon but never got called inside. In fact I was sitting there at 4:30 when all the jurors came filing out and I knew I would not be called that day!

As it worked out I went in Thursday morning and was the second on the stand. I felt like I didn't do all that great because when I'm nervous my brain has a tendency to shut down. But my husband said I did just fine and our attorney thought I did well too. I was just glad to get it over with.

I had called the kennel before leaving for court to have the dogs bathed. I picked them up after court and brought them to the hotel. I had to pay $112 for them to spend the one night with us but at least I wouldn't be travelling for 10 - 12 hours with stinky dogs.

The next morning I loaded everybody up, kissed my husband goodbye, picked up the cats at the kennel on the way out and was on I-5 by 8:30 am. I stopped every 2 to three hours to walk the dogs and/or get gas. The weather was clear and traffic was light. I got into Roseburg at just before 7 pm.

I let the dogs out into the back yard then fixed a litter box for the cats. Kneadermeier hadn't been able to wait quite that long and had peed in her carrier. Too late for her. Then I had to feed everybody. When the animals were all taken care of I had to fix my bedroom. The furniture was in there but nothing was made up.

I had to put the bed frame together, which wasn't hard. The bottom box mattress was easy. But then I had to wrestle the queen size Tempurpedic onto the top. Not easy to do by yourself. I almost gave up but finally managed to get it done, found some sheets, and made up the bed.

Finally it was time to see what was in the kitchen for myself. Crackers, cheese, and a bottle of wine. It didn't get much better than that.

I almost felt like I was... home.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Gus's Surgery And More

During the week right before the birthday party we had noticed a rather large and hard lump on Gus's throat. We brought Gus in to the vet right away and she took a needle biopsy. That turned out to be inconclusive so we scheduled surgery for him on the Thursday after we got back from our quickie Oregon trip.

Before we brought him in we found another lump behind his elbow. I told the vet about that and she said it was more likely a "fatty tumor" but she would check it out. Gus was also going to have his teeth cleaned while he was out.

Here he is back from the vet, resting.
When I picked Gus up the vet told me the armpit lump was indeed a lipoma and no cause for concern. The problem was the neck lump. She said it worried her because she'd never really seen anything quite like it. We would find out for sure when the results came back from the lab on Monday.

Monday we got the news: Gus's lump was not cancerous. Basically it was a deep hemotoma that had become encapsulated. Here is a description from Wikipedia:

Hematomas can occur within a muscle. Some hematomas form into hard masses under the surface of the skin. This is caused by the limitation of the blood to a subcutaneous or intramuscular tissue space isolated by fascial planes. This is a key anatomical feature that prevents such injuries from causing massive blood loss. In most cases the sac of blood or hematoma eventually dissolves; however, in some cases they may continue to grow or show no change. If the sac of blood does not disappear, then it may need to be surgically removed.

So that was a big WHEW!

Also on Monday was my husband's mediation for his bus accident from about two years ago. That did not go so well. That meant a trial would start the next Monday. That also meant I would probably have to testify (as to the changes in his joie de vivre, etc).

On Tuesday morning promptly at 8am the movers came to get all the big stuff and stuff we wouldn't be needing immediately.

Flora, the pony, got her last trimming from her farrier. (She was later moved to the stables where she will be trimmed by Star's farrier if they're still there when that time comes.)

Wednesday we picked up the U-Haul truck so we could start packing our immediate needs stuff. The plan was that Wil and I would drive to Oregon on Saturday (hubby couldn't go because of meetings with the attorney), take possession of the rental, unload, spend the night at a hotel and return home on Sunday. While I was waiting for paperwork I got to talking with the U-haul guy and mentioned how I was a little stressed out because the guy that was going to buy the cow and this year's calf backed out and now I didn't have a place for the three cows. He mentioned his sister had some room and he called her. She said I could bring them over and my only requirement was that I pay for hay (no extra board fees). Hooray!

Thursday was Thanksgiving. We were packing and cleaning. I can't even remember but I think we had frozen microwave dinners.

I spent most of Friday bringing the animals to where they had to go. The bull went to my sisters'. The cows to Laura's (2 trips in the two horse trailer). The pony to the stables. The dogs and Kneadermeier to the kennels. Ollie had disappeared and we couldn't find her anywhere. I had to buy hay and bring some to my sister and some to Laura. Then the final cleaning of the now empty house. My vacuum cleaner broke at the most inopportune time so I went next door to borrow theirs.

Next door neighbor Dean and his family were at Disneyland so my husband and I spent the night at their house. We woke at four o'clock and by four thirty Wil, his friend Evan, and I were on the road to Oregon.

We hit some snow in the Lake Shasta area and again over the Siskiyou Summit but fortunately it wasn't bad enough to have to put chains on. However as we were coming down from the Siskiyou Summit the cars on the other side were all lined up putting their chains on. I guess we timed that one perfectly.

When we reached Grants Pass I thought I'd better call the rental office to see how long they stayed open. The girl said they closed at 4pm. I was a good hour away and it was already 3:20 by then. There was no way we were going to make it and I needed the key! She was so nice. She gave me her cell number and told me to call when we got to town and she'd come back to the office to give me the key.

Long story short: We got the key and got everything unloaded. We spent the night at a hotel. We turned in the U-haul the next morning and headed back to Bakersfield. The roads over the summits were clear though there was more snow on the sides. It was smooth sailing until we got past Stockton, then it was stop and go for miles and miles and miles.

I had forgotten about the holiday traffic. I remember when Clyde came home my husband hit the exact same scenario near Las Vegas. In fact it was Thanksgiving weekend four years ago. After we finally got home I figured I drove 24 hours in the last 48 hours!

Time to hit the hay. By this time my husband had moved to a hotel and that's where I drove to when I got back to town.

Oh yeah, my husband managed to snatch Ollie up the next day and took her to the kennels.

...more tomorrow!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Finding The Rental

The day after our granddaughters' birthday my husband and I set out for Oregon. Our main objective on this quick trip was to find a place to rent. I had previously filled out an application so I knew we were pre-approved for just about anything they had that accepted pets.

And wanting to be totally organized about everything I went online and checked out the entire listings from the company recommended to us by our new Oregon realtor. So upon our arrival in Oregon I had a list of about 20 places. That evening I took out a map and mapped out where the rentals were so we wouldn't be driving back and forth, covering the same ground unnecessarily.

The next day we started driving by the rental properties from the north to the south. The list of 20 was cut to a list of 8. Coming from a place where all properties and yards are fenced it was surprising how many we looked at that did not have fenced yards.

Then we took a second look at the 8 places. That cut the list to about 4. We called the realty/rental office and I spoke with one of the girls about our short list. She agreed to meet us the next morning at the place that was at the top of our list.

It was a nice home on the Umpqua River. We both really liked this place but once we got inside we realized there may be some problems. The realtor said this was the first time they were renting this property so they had no history with the landlord. Once we got inside we noticed that even though it was supposedly available "now" there were still clothes in the closet and the garage was jam packed full of stuff. Also there were hard wood floors everywhere. Maybe not such a good idea with three large dogs. Plus the yard was only fenced on two sides so we would have had to rig something up to keep them enclosed.

We thought maybe we'd go look at our second choice place, more in town and on a regular sized lot (small to us) but with a totally fenced yard. The realtor got the key and met us there. It turned out to be an older but nicely kept three bedroom, two and half bath. It had an indoor laundry room and an attached garage. The backyard fence looked to be secure so we decided to go with this one. Another plus was that it was $300 less/month than the other place.

We went back to the office to sign to hold the property and give our deposit. We didn't get the key right then because we wouldn't be taking possession for another week.

The next morning we got a post office box and then swung by the Palm Harbor manufactured homes model center and walked through their on-site models. After that we decided to head on home since neither one of us was really feeling up to par then.

We got home around 10pm and we were ready to get off the road. But at least we had accomplished our main goals; to get a rental lined up and get a P.O. Box.

I'll do pictures of the rental later.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Back To Blogging

Things have begun to settle down a bit so I thought I might try and catch up on my blogging.

My granddaughter's birthday was November 15th and we had a little party at our house.

Here she is with the next door neighbor's daughter and my son's girlfriend. She seems to be eying the gifts and I can just imagine her thinking, "Enough of the pictures already! Let's get on with it!"
So we got on to the opening of the presents. She got the jewelry she is wearing along with this lovely makeup kit.
And the requisite clothing from Grandma.

When it came time for the cake she suddenly became embarrassed when we started singing "Happy Birthday". Her mom, on the right, was trying hard not to laugh out loud.
But with Grampa's and Mom's help the candles were blown out and everyone enjoyed a piece of cake.
Being three is so tough!