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Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Fred the dog, Fred the car and a Cacophony of Coyotes

Welcome to the suburbs!  I will say that I do not miss the gravel trucks one. little. bit.  It seems, however, that I've traded them in for a pathological barker:  Fred, the dog.  Fred and his person live next door during the winter.  Fred apparently finds the outdoors either a very dangerous or exciting place.  As soon as paws hit the ground, he is barking.  Constantly.  Without stopping or breathing.  Needless to say, this is not a pleasant occurrence, especially at one in the morning until 4ish.  Everyone on the street (my sister included), stiffens their upper lip and suffers silently.  Obviously, not everyone.  Sweeze has arrived.  I contacted the HOA president and relayed my dismay - civilly and politely, I may add - and he stepped right up and contacted the owner in Florida.  There was a slight lessening of the barkage, but then he was at it for over three hours in the wee hours.  Another email was sent.  (Background story:  neighbor has been here for years and is a lovely woman.  While she's in Florida for the winter, her daughter and grandson (and Fred) move in to look after the house.)  This time, I spoke to the owner and we figured the late night barkathon was because the grandson got home from his job at one AM, let Fred out and then went to bed.  Leaving poor Fred to voice his displeasure until the daughter got up.  Honestly, these people must be stone deaf.  There were calls and emails and it has been quiet at night.  Halleluiah.

My other neighbor across the street is a whirlwind of activity.  He is a multitalented fellow who can replace car engines, teach skiing, tackle any repair needed.  He is fascinating to watch, as he bounces (almost literally) from one activity to another.  His latest project was to install a racing engine into an Audi station wagon.  Just because he could.  Basically, he took a nice, normal car and created a roaring monster.  Now it's varrooom, varrooom all day long.  In and out of the driveway, up and down the street.  Geez.  I told him I have dubbed the Audi "Fred, the car".  He thought that was great, but he completely missed the point.  He is also a very handy handyman, so I have decided to pick my battles.

The only other noises we hear on a fairly regular basis are birdsongs, woodpeckers, the occasional siren, some road noise - faint - and coyotes!  Judging by the tracks in the snow (when we actually 
have snow), we have foxes, bobcats, rabbits galore, deer, moose, and all manner of small critters.  


The good news is that I have managed to sell my house!  After all of the frustration dealing with the realtor and (ahem) attorney, I cancelled my contract with the realtor and fired the attorney, deciding to look into what other options I had.  Shortly after, I was contacted by the niece of the original owner.  She had heard through the local grapevine (one of the things I do not miss about living in a very small town) that I had run into a snag while trying to sell my house.  She offered me cash, but it was way too low.  Some time elapsed.  She offered me a little more.  More time elapsed.  She offered me just enough to make it reasonable and we closed in record time.  I had managed to find a good attorney and her attorney was also great.  She didn't want to have inspections, wanted it as-is, badda boom.  What a relief.  She's happy and I'm happy and now all I have to do is soldier through the estate work.  I am nearly ready to lob it back to probate.  We hope that there will be something left after the tax department gets their hands on it.

Meanwhile, I must get the furnace replaced, the deck repaired and refinished, the garage doors replaced, and one side of the basement room torn up to remedy the result of a long-term leak.  I always said that the Universe manages to come up with the wherewithal to cover emergencies, but it would be so nice to be able to sit back and enjoy a largesse before you have to part with it.  Sigh.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

SuperSweeze

What is it they say?  What doesn't kill you makes you stronger?  Heck.  I must be able to take on Arnold at this point.  2022 saw the death of my mother, the challenge of the estate (still ongoing), moving to VT, getting my NY house ready to sell, getting Lyme's and Covid at the same time, getting through that to experience the Covid Rebound, getting through that to be felled by RSV, to finding out that I cannot sell my manufactured house without a motor vehicle title (news to me) in NYS.

Did I mention the water leak in the parental basement?  No?  Well, there's that.  And the new furnace that is needed before the next heating season?  So many 'ands'.

I do find it helps to give myself a pep talk every morning.  Without it, I would just crawl back under the duvet and hide out until the Universe finally takes pity on me.  Yes, yes, these are all First World problems, so it's time for the iron-clad BGPs.  Wow, that sounds so uncomfortable, doesn't it?


As per my well-established modus operandi, I am trying to attack on all fronts.  This is not an ideal method, but it's all me.  I am a regular visitor at the bank for ongoing medallion notary stampings (who knew there was such a thing?)  I am a regular visitor at the local Staples for printer ink and UPS mailings.  I am a regular customer of not one, but two fuel oil companies.  I am on the phone way too often with assorted attorneys.  I am on a first-name basis with the local wine shop.

And...I must have a titanium immune system by now, since I have made it through all of the popular and available maladies.  (Just kidding - don't jinx me!)

Dotted amongst all the activities above, I have been slowly, but surely, sorting through all the stuff of a combined 47 years.  My father kept every. single. piece. of. paper. that came across his path for the last 60-odd years.  I have been greatly enjoying the company of my sister, who lives two doors away.  I enjoy beautiful mountain views, glorious sunrises and sunsets.  I love Vermont.

Winter, this year, seems to be suffering from psychosis.  We've had more rain that snow and the snow that we have had was heavy and deep.  We are now being assaulted by Arctic temps and that is why I am up at 2:30A writing this.  There's nothing like the specter of freezing fuel lines in a house that sits empty.  I've been trying to platitude myself into serenity, but, so far, it's not working.  However, I know that's a light at the end of the tunnel, and it's not a trail!  Pollyanna Lives!!!!



Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Love/Love, Love/Hate, Hate/Hate and the BL Method

I find myself faced with very complex relationships in this house.  Relationships with objects.  Most of my angst is caused by the kitchen appliances.  I have always (or 99% of the time) had a gas oven/stove.  I am comfortable with gas.  I know when the heat is on, I know how high the heat is, I know when it's off.  My new-to-me electric stove is showing itself to be a challenge.  This kitchen was "modern" in the late 70s/early 80s, with a separate range top and built-in oven.  My mother cooked thousands of meals in it.  My sister cooked hundreds.  I struggle to get through the day.

My relationship with the oven is what one would refer to as a "love/hate" relationship.  I love the fact that I don't have to bend down and haul out bakeware.  However, it is a miniscule oven.  None of my baking sheets fit.  Then, again, it is self-cleaning.

My range top is a whole other kettle of eels.  The heating indicators on the knobs have worn completely off, so I need to guess at the temperature I am setting the burners.  The burners are not flat.  The stovetop is black and shows everything.  I am learning to cook on it via the BL Method.  Burn and Learn.  Needless to say, it has a four-star hate/hate rating.

Another appliance that gets my spleen in a state is the washing machine.  It's brand new and must have been designed by people with exceptionally long arms and an unending source of patience.  I have neither.  BUT I have a dryer.  This is very convenient in the winter and it's nice to have soft bath towels again, but I will be hanging my clothes outside, come spring.  To heck with the HOA.

All of the hate/hates fall to the wayside, however, because of the garage.  I have an actual garage with doors that open and close and with space to park my car.  It makes me incredibly giddy every time I tuck the car away.  I choose to turn a blind eye to the chaos that is next to it.  And in the basement room.  And in the den.  And in the spare room.

Coming up in the ongoing saga that is my new life:  Covid, Covid rebound (it's a thing - who knew?), Lyme's, RSV, the State of NY, real estate agents, and lawyers.  Oy.