Thursday, May 21, 2015
I won't be posting for a few days as I'll be tied up! We are having guests on Saturday and Sunday night, and two of our favorite campers have the spot next to us. It is likely that Teddy's "Aunt Helen" will be opening her camp this weekend and Bailey the golden doodle puppy and her folks Stan and Judy will have their cottage open. This morning I won a $10 gift certificate for a burger drive-thru that is on the way to camp -- so I think we are all set.
I hope all my US readers have a swell Memorial Day weekend!
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
I am looking forward to the lavender growing and having fresh basil and cilantro. I didn't plant a whole lot but also wanted to see how it would do. We also have one eggplant and one zucchini plant to grown on the wires. TBG put in a Clematis that we can train too. Two Hostas have been split so that was a bit of free space filler.
We are not really gardeners. The main goal is to have a pleasant patio that is low maintenance. Since we are not sure what is going to grow from last year, we don't plan to do any weeding for now. At least that will be our excuse!
It is nice to look out at the patio at night with the solar lights on. We hope to have many hours of enjoyment and not too many hours of toil out here this summer. I'll put a few more decorative things around when I get the time and if I can find anything cheap & interesting. But for now, I am satisfied!
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
TBG mulched this bed and put out two whiskey barrel planters with a Zinnia, Dusty Millers and mulch which I also sprinkled with marigold seeds. Nothing but weeds grow in that hell strip and it's got cement under it so we can't tear it out and put pavers in. I'll get a picture of it when it's sunny out again.
I had wanted a bigger "sofa" style seating unit so I could stretch out but didn't want to spend that kind of serious cash for just one piece. The area is also a bit tight. This small set works great. There are two small foot rests that are under the window bump-out. That means we can really seat six.
We still have more work to do in the yard but getting this set moved over was something I wanted to so early on. I will enjoy sitting out here now that it's warm again. There is not a lot of shade in the yard so I am happy I could find a spot to steal some.
Monday, May 18, 2015
My yard is looking really nice but unfortunately it is next to this house and that yard has not been touched since last summer. The woman who lives on the other side of the house pulled a couple of tics off her dog and we are certain it came from the yard. The lawn is almost 2 feet high and full of weeds. Birds are living inside. The wood is soggy and water logged and the bricks are crumbling.
After making a number of complaints over the past three years and being referred to various town departments who all say they are aware of the situation but can't do anything because the bank pays the taxes, or the police department handles snow removal complaints, etc., etc., etc., I wrote a scathing letter to the town supervisor and cc'ed the building inspector and the assessor. The property is classified as "Normal" for condition and the value is greater than mine.
Well as soon as I sent the email, the assessor was on the phone with me saying he was never told anything about the house and that his record shows the woman who dumped it as the owner of record, not Wells Fargo. I set him straight that she moved out in the middle of the night five years ago and left graffiti and trash all over the place. He said he would look at it.
The town supervisor emailed me within another five minutes saying he would send someone to look at it. I sent my very strongly worded email around 12:45. TBG was home for lunch about an hour or so later. Someone from the town was already taking pictures so he went to talk to the guy, who told him someone sent a very irate letter to the town. As is often the case, Tommy said "That would be my wife."
I don't know what they'll do. They forced the bank to deal with the roof two years ago -- someone solved that problem by putting a layer of shingles over the deteriorating roof. The town cites the bank for the lawn twice a year but in between, the grass has to grow to about three or four feet. I gave up shoveling this winter so the sidewalk was never clear and people had to walk in the street.
This is a home that could have easily been sold after it was foreclosed on. Yes, there was a lot of vandalism, but there was minimal mold and structural damage. People drive by and ask if we know who owns it so they can buy it and rehab it. But even that scares me because it will cost a lot and the process ought to make a really big mess of my yard.
At this point, I am just worried from a safety point of view. I hope the town condemns it so we can split the yard with the woman on the other side. Between both of us, we can easily afford to buy the lot. Had the town not reacted, I'd have started contacting news outlets and even resorted to taking out ads in the town newspaper asking others to complain. As it is, I'm the only one on the block who aggressively pursues the town about it.
We'll see what happens. The summer is here and I don't want my dog exposed to mosquitoes and tics in her own back yard. It really galls me that we live in a nice neighborhood with a solvent town government and no overwhelming housing problems, yet this house was deteriorating largely unnoticed. I hope things change -- and soon!
Saturday, May 16, 2015
After working a half day and then starting in the yard, TBG didn't want the hassle of making lunch so we did take-out from Wendy's. We did a few more hours of yard work and he iced his joints, then we took the pup for a swim. We had Chinese for dinner. All I wanted were appies! We had spare ribs, spring rolls, wonton, shrimp toast and lo-mein. It was so filling I didn't even have a single wonton. I did drink plenty of wine. We also built a fire. It was a most excellent day.
Tomorrow I'll do the pool and he'll get in a ride then I'll stain Adirondack chairs. The yard is coming along nicely and I will show more pictures. We don't have an impressive garden or yard by any means, but it does take some work to get it ready for the season. It looks like we are almost ready for summer!
Friday, May 15, 2015
Waiting for the train this evening, a man walked by asking if anyone had anything for the homeless. I gave him the $1.15 I got from the vending machine. I figured now my conscience would be cleared. He thanked me too. Turns out the Transit Police saw the whole thing and went after him! I was sooo tempted to go up to them and tell them that I came by the change dishonestly and they should let him keep it, but I didn't want to infringe on his denial of getting anything. I figured if the cops made him hand over his money, they'd just go buy coffee with it anyway.
Doesn't it figure that I do something naughty, then try to repay the universe and the universe doesn't want to cooperate!
When I find money on the street or on the train, it never ceases to amaze me that it occurs on the same day someone asks me for money. If I find it like that, I always pass it on to anyone less fortunate that asks. I do not appreciate when anyone gets in the way of my trying to balance out karma!
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Just like we make lamb/Naam pizza over and over in the summer, we had another "typical" warm weather night -- which is nice for a change!
TBG did his first post-surgical bike ride. He took off from the house and headed out on the bike path. Teddy and I headed straight to the river. Our buddy "Swim Jim" realized we were there so he joined us and Teddy got lots of good water tossies in. She behaves a lot better for Jim so she had a lot more water time. Then we took a longish park walk -- and ran into TBG along the way.
Tommy actually got home before I did. The air was warm and it was sunny, so Teddy, Jim and I got in a good walk. Once at home, it was nice to have stuff on hand to make a quick dinner. TBG iced his knees -- which felt pretty good after his 15 mile ride, took a shower, and then we ate.
I finally found chicken backs for the pup. Not only did I find five trays at one of the Tops Markets I frequent -- all of them were marked down. While I was at the store, I picked up another $1.50 pair of tights. They are fuschia and I plan to wear them tomorrow! This business of using only cash (on account of my compromised card) stinks. I don't have the same purchasing freedom and I can't really seize deals when I see them. I wanted to stock up on more $1.50 tights!
But at least I finished up the week by finishing up what's in the fridge. Everyone got exercise and tomorrow promises to be sunny day. The same old, same old is fine by me!