Thursday, January 24, 2008

I Made It Snow

Hey, Mother Nature? I'm sorry if I pissed you off yesterday by complaining about the really wasn't so bad....and it was melting.....probably would have been OK to have the big MOVING SALE tomorrow.....SO CAN YOU PLEASE MAKE IT STOP????? We don't need any more right now. You, dear lady, have a warped sense of humor!

Many years ago, like around 1954, my sister Barb, cousin Doreen, and I each got dolls for Christmas. Somewhere I have a picture of the three of us holding our new dolls in front of the Christmas tree at Grandma Asher's home in Clarksville, Iowa. I thought my doll was kind of neat because she had red hair exactly the same color as mine and she had high heels.Now I was never much into playing with dolls, Cowboys and Indians was more my style, so my doll never saw much use. But for some reason I have kept her and toted her all over the country in various moves. At one time I took her to a doll show to have her appraised. The snooty lady told me she was a Horsman and not worth much. Alrighty then, back in the box and up on the closet shelf for many more years. So yesterday I employed the magic of internet and eBay to do some more research. Guess what?! She didn't have "Horsman" stamped on the back of her neck but something that looked like "Alexander". I discovered that she is a Cissy doll made by Madame Alexander and worth mucho $$$$!
I know she only has one glove on, I tried to put the other one on her but it is too fragile and I didn't want to damage it.

She still has 2 pairs of original strappy heels which I see are going for around $50, and I believe her slip is original.

I wonder what happened to her "diamond" ring?The rest of her clothes were made by my mother, even her sexy red bra! I think Mom had more fun with my doll than I did!

I wonder where these panties came from?And to think I was going to sell her at the MOVING SALE for $20.00!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Didn't Know Whether To Cry, Get Drunk, or Throw Up

Yesterday morning Al left to go back to LaSal driving the Totally Awesome Toyota and hauling his restored tractor and brush hog. I tried to make him promise to stay on the hiway and not take the shortcut down Three Step and Lisbon Valley Road (gravel, snowpacked, steep, etc) but he wouldn't commit. So I got to worry until he called to tell me he made it OK.

Turns out we both should have been worrying about something far worse.......the gal who was supposed to be watching the "Retirement Home" for us and opening the grey water valve everyday hadn't done it! Al reported that the inside is flooded and there is a giant ice skating rink surrounding the RV. We had left the water dripping so the lines wouldn't freeze and burst, no big deal , you just have to go out and open the grey water valve and drain it every day. Why the park manager or no one else didn't call us I don't have a clue! They had to have seen all the water coming from the rig. Al hadn't talked to anyone before he called me so I don't know what the answer is. But I have an idea.......I think they are all idiots due to inbreeding!!!!

On the good side, our realtor for the Bloomfield house called, apologized for the inspectors who turned the heat off, and said everything was on schedule and we had passed the pest and septic inspections. Now it is just an appraisal and up to the lender to determine whether they think the house is worth loaning that much money for.

A mortgage rep from Wells Fargo called (I had filled out the loan request online) and after talking for a bit he thought it best that we finish with a local agent due to short closing time and a couple structural issues with the house we want to buy. (Don't all old houses come with asbestos shake shingles?heehee) So everything is being transferred to the bank in Montrose and I will talk more with her today. I really don't want to have to get a "renovation" loan, too much paperwork and BS. Did you know the loan rates are down to 5% right now? WOW!

I am making slow but steady progress on packing and setting up the moving sale. Why do we always end up having moving sales in the snow?

The picture on the left was when we moved from Silverton CO in 2000. If I remember correctly, the month was JUNE! The pic on the right is our garage as it looked a couple days ago before I REALLY started stacking stuff for sale in there.

Well, chin up, take some pain meds, put Icy/Hot patches on my knees, and get on with it!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Deja Vu All Over Again

Friday morning we left LaSal before 5:00am headed for Bloomfield. We had the Beer Runner (Al's 93 ford Ranger) loaded on the trailer pulling it with my totally awesome 06 Toyota Tacoma. It's about a 3 1/2 hour trip depending on how many pit stops I need. We had to get to Bloomfield early before the gentleman rancher from Cortez showed up to get the baler and hay rake and also before some folks from Durango who were buying the small ore bucket.

Last Sunday when we left Bloomfield headed back for LaSal we double checked each other: faucet in kitchen and back bath dripping...check; washing machine faucets off.....check; water heater turned to "vacation"....check; furnace set on 60 deg.....check. So.......what do we find when we arrive back at the house??????? TOTAL FREEZE UP! The furnace is OFF, there are huge icicles hanging from the faucets that had been left dripping, the water in the toilets is solid, the sewer drains are froze solid, it is below zero in and out of the house.....Ya' get the picture? And who, you ask, is responsible for this disaster???? Why, the people who inspected it for the potential buyers last Monday after we left! It took all day to get the temp back up in the house and the water and sewer lines unfrozen. We were NOT Happy Campers! Luckily nothing broke or sprung a leak The biggest "uh oh" was one piece of vinyl tile in the bathroom that blistered when Al dropped the heat gun on it. Did I mention we were NOT Happy Campers? Fortunately I have a couple tiles and adhesive left from my bathroom remodel job so I can replace the damaged piece. Just another addition to my "to do list."

In the middle of all this fun Al started for town to fuel up the BeerRunner. He got about a mile down the road when the timing chain broke and had a very cold hike back to the house because his cell phone was left at the "Retirement Home" in LaSal for reasons known only to him. we loaded into the awesome Toyota with a tow chain and I dragged the BeerRunner back to the house. It needs to be fixed so I have something to drive this week when Al takes the Toyota back to LaSal. If it had to break down I'm just glad it did it here where there are 2 auto parts stores handy.

Saturday Al's granddaughter Mandi came over with great grandson Isaac to get some things we had set aside for her and go through some other stuff before next weeks moving sale. Unfortunately Isaac, who is all of 4 months old, is teething already and was very fussy so she had to cut her visit short. Then my son, Bryon, showed up from Pagosa Springs with his wife Tina and her daughter Jessica. They carted off lots of stuff and will be back next Saturday for some more and to help with the moving sale.

To be continued.......

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Plans Are Made To Be............

glug, slosh bang, swish.......hear that? That's me trying to keep moving forward and my head above all these plans made in Jello! We now have a back up offer on our NM house....yippeee! when it rains.....or is that "snows" in our case? We have also decided that we don't want to try to live in the "retirement home" for 2 more winters, just too hard on it with temps in the single digits all the time. So we revised our plans from looking for an acre of land to park it on to looking for a house.

Yesterday we ventured to Nucla, CO to look at a "fixer upper" priced at $40,000. Oh was way beyond any hope of "fixing", the realtor even suggested a bonfire! After taking Al back out to where he works in Bedrock (home of the Flintstones) I drove back to Naturita to pay a visit to Lynda, the realtor we have been working with on the Colorado side. We had looked at a place in Paradox last fall that I fell in love with but Al saw as needing too much work, the house is as old as we are but not all that bad. So we made an offer on it. Do you have any idea how much paper is involved in offers, counter offers, contingencies, addendums........When this is over we will have enough paper for a great campfire!

Last weekend we went back to NM again, I had placed an ad in the American Classifieds for our farm equipment and one in the Durango Herald for a couple ore buckets. The phone had started ringing Thursday evening as soon as the farm ads came out, seems everyone is looking for a small hay baler. When we got to the house it was colder inside than a meat locker! Someone thought he was turning the thermostat down when we left the previous weekend but instead turned it all the way off. Brrrr! Good thing we had left the water dripping in the kithcen and bathroom sinks. Soon a couple rancher in a pickup and a gentleman rancher in a Caddilac showed up to look at the baler. We didn't know if we were going to have a bidding war or a good old knock down drag out! The gentleman rancher prevailed and bought not only the baler but also the rake and side sickle. Sometime after dark a young couple showed up to look at the ore buckets (I did say it was after dark, right?) They ended up taking the big one. Meanwhile I was busy unpacking some of the boxes that I had packed last fall.......remember, at this point we didn't know for sure if we were going to buy a house or downsize all the way to the "retirement home." This is the Jello Factor at it's best.

This weekend we will go back there, hopefully the homeowner in Paradox will have accepted our offer, and I can start all over again with a little better sense of direction.

The only downside of the Paradox house is that Alltel doesn't work there. My phone shows bars when you flip it on but immediately disappear with the message "no service available". It seems Sprint does not share their tower with Alltel. I really really do NOT want to switch to Sprint, their service does not work most other places here in the Wild West. We just signed 2 year contracts for 2 cell phones and an aircard, it's going to cost a fortune to cancel and get a service that works in the valley. Guess that is one of those bridges to cross when we come to it, huh?

OK, time for breakfast and phone calls, emails to the NM and CO realtors.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Snowy Wednesday

Last Friday when we got back from Grand Junction where Al's mom had surgery, we discovered our big propane tank was empty and we had left the smaller one in Moab when we deep fried the Christmas turkey. While we were debating what to do our realtor called. Another realtor had gone to show the house in Bloomfield and found the propane there had run out and the water was frozen. AARRRGH! So Al drove back to Moab to retrieve the small tank and the next morning we headed out at 4:30 am for Bloomfield. We located our propane company, they had moved, and bribed a driver $100 to bring some propane out to the house. thank heavens the weather had warmed up and the pipes thawed out by themselves without breaking. There were no longer things ice skating in the toilets. We spent the rest of the weekend making piles of stuff: yard sale, trash, kids, charity. We didn't even make a dent.

When we left out of there last September we hadn't decided whether we were going to buy a house in UT/CO, continue living in the motorhome, just buy some land here, or (worst case) have to go back to NM if the house didn't sell. The end result of this confusion was that the garage is packed with stuff left over after 2 garage sales, some stuff is packed, and the majority is still where it was when we lived there. A lot to deal with in the next few weeks before closing.

And here I sit in LaSal watching the snow come down. Guess I'll defrost the fridge and hope the moving fairy takes care of everything at the house.

Friday, January 4, 2008


Well, considering I sorted through everything in the house, packed the "short list" of stuff to keep, held a huge moving sale and made countless trips to the dump and local charity second hand store...................all in my sleep last night.......I am exhausted!

Our counter offer was accepted and it looks like the buyers financing is going to go through so I need to put myself in overdrive. Closing is Feb 14, aka Valentines Day. Twenty or even ten years ago that would not have been a problem, that was before my knees, hands and back went. We had not done a whole lot towards getting rid of all the stuff because there was always the possibility that the house wouldn't sell in a reasonable time and we would have to move back there........we have been going backwards financially since Sept. when Al took this other job. Now we can go forward again heading towards our retirement dream.

Meanwhile, we have to go to Grand Junction today, Al's mom is having surgery on her legs.

So if my writing is sporadic for the next month, I apologize. Anyone want to come to beautiful Bloomfield, NM to help? Pay would be all the "stuff"you can carry off!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Wait Begins

Our counter offer has been presented. Now we have to wait, I don't wait well.

Speaking of waiting, uploading pictures using my sometimes on/sometimes off cell connection can be a real education in patience! So, since I am waiting for the phone to ring, I might as well wait for some pictures to upload.

This is one of the bald eagles that live in the trees about a block away from us
This was a common sight sight a when we first settled in the RV park. Cows are noisy when they are being herded.

This is a "black diamond" section of the Hook and Ladder/Cameo Hills ATV trail. Al didn't even ask me if I wanted to try it, he just got off his machine and started climbing back up to take mine down while I stood at the top with my knees knocking together and my heart racing.The beautiful LaSal Mountains as seen from the west

and from the south

And a full moon rising

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

What A Great Start For 2008

We received an email yesterday from our realtor, Shannon, with GREAT NEWS! We have an offer on our house in NM! The offer is quite close to what we are asking (after a price reduction of $14,000) so it would seem that all we need to do is a counter offer (there were a couple things we didn't agree to) and then hope and pray the buyers loan app goes through!

I am already having nightmares, we left the house with some stuff packed up, most not, a lot shoved into the garage after 2 yard sales. The problem then and now is that we aren't exactly sure what path we want to take from here. Do we purchase another house or buy an acre or so of property and continue living in the "retirement home" for 2 more years until Al retires? There aren't any restrictions here in La Sal that would prohibit us from putting up a garage, digging a well, putting in a septic system, hooking up to electric and living in our RV. Which is probably what we are going to do. Al wants/needs his garage. It is driving him nuts that he doesn't have access to his tools and fix-it stuff here when something needs to be fixed. He also likes to tinker and restore vintage cars.
This '65 Ford Falcon Ranchero is almost done.

With a nice heated garage/workshop I could put our washer/drier and upright freezer in there. Also maybe Al would let me have a small section for my projects. Yes, I think that is the way to go. Now to get busy and research some costs. I'm ready for this!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Bug That Joined Us For New Year's Eve

Al brought the bug home from work early Monday afternoon. You know the bug, the one where you don't know whether to sit on the potty or lean over it....... Not that we had any plans for New Year's Eve anyway, midnight is way past our bedtime. However we could have gone to the community center here for First Night activities sponsored by the LDS Church if we had been so inclined. Or at least stayed awake until 10:00 mountain time to watch the ball drop on Times Square. But no, because of the bug we got to play Musical Sleeping Places!

Normally I have no problem falling asleep on the couch...sometimes I even have an extra blanket.

So that was the logical place for me to sleep. Al was hot/cold/hot/cold and taking up the whole queen size bed, either with all the blankets or none at all. He said the slightest movement made him nauseous. No way was I going to sleep with him! (Great way to start the New Year, sperate sleeping arrangements) So it was the couch for me.

This is where we ran into problems. Where were Kate and Zorro going to sleep?

If I was going to take the couch, they would have to fight over Al's recliner which is only big enough for one. Did you know that Border Collies have been rated as the most intelligent dog breed? I don't know if it is true but ours are certainly very smart. They came up with the game of Musical Sleeping Places. The rules were to distract the one who was on the recliner so he/she would get off. The best way to do this was for the distractor to stick a cold nose in my face and beg for pets. The distractee would not want to be left out of pets and would vacate the recliner which the distractor would immediately occupy. At one point Kate even tried to get Dad to play thinking she could get rid of me and have her couch back. Not a good idea.

That is how I happened to be playing Spider on the computer at midnight.

Al is up and feeling better this morning but we probably won't be going to the Community Breakfast.