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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

For the love of Iris...

I did it! I finally finished the iris bed after four days of stuffing clay under my fingernails. Sorry about the quality of the video... a storm is moving in and it is getting dark. You can't really see all the irises, just the big ones, but you can see it's quite a good-sized area. Thank goodness for the rainy weather that gave me a little break. The first two days I worked on it for several hours and the third day my legs cramped!

The stepping stones lead to the 'sitting' rock area. The rock came from down by the creek. I had to roll it in place with the tractor because it's too big to pick up. It directly faces the round pen, so Hubby can sit and watch while I work the horses. Some day the plum tree will provide nice shade for the rock. I spaced the stepping stones with little feet in mind. Big people can just skip some steps.

The small section of picket fence is something I repurposed. A relative brought over a load of stuff to burn and I salvaged half the stuff! This was part of an old gate that was falling apart. I reattached the pickets,spacing them closer together, and wired it up against the electric transformer cover. It looks much nicer than the big green box. Eventually, I'll put sections around the sides too.

This bed will connect with one at the other end of the driveway that runs along the side of the house. I'm shooting for a low-to-no-maintenance landscape. Yeah, there's some weeds to pull, but I lay out my gardens and design the edges so that there's no trimming - just curves that I can mow with the lawn tractor.

Well, since this bed is done, it's on to the big bed out front! UGH!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

little pile of sticks

Since we're heating with wood now, we've had another load of logs delivered. Hopefully this will do us for a couple of years. Trouble is figuring out where to stack it all when we get it cut! Oh, and getting the first log off the top of the pile...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

You're only as old as you feel...

...so I must be ninety-nine! I'm trying to get all my iris bulbs back in the ground in the new flower bed. I worked on it Monday and Tuesday for several hours. I could hardly walk Wednesday! The back of my legs cramped from getting up and down. I spent several hours out there tonight, so I'm worried about how I'm going to feel in the morning. I got to thinking earlier - I have forty-seven more years left if I live as long as my grandmother! Now I understand why she was getting so desperate to go to heaven. I can't imagine living forty-seven more years. I used to say I want to live to be one hundred. Now I know I don't.

Monday, March 23, 2009

long day

I traded my old car for some work. This guy's a handy-man and is not afraid of work! It wore me out just watching! Anyway, one of the jobs I had him do was to dig up all my Japanese blood grass (that was getting out of hand) and all the irises in the rear bed. What was I thinking? Yes, it saved me a lot of hard work, but now I've got to put it all back in the ground! So I've got this huge area of irises waiting to be replanted. I got about a third of it done today. My back hurts. I think I have blisters on my toes!

Four years ago I bought 3 small pots of blood grass. I divided each pot into 2 or 3 plants. I didn't know how fast it would spread. Now I have enough of the grass to cover my dining room floor! That's a lot of digging. I think I'll turn in early tonight.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

craigs list

I'm a newbie, but totally won over! I got a new (to me) vehicle to replace two old vehicles. I needed to sell them, so last night I went on craigs list. I'd heard it was the way to go... Yeah, baby!

I placed an ad at about 3am last night. I got the first call at 9am! Mr Moron. My add said $5k and call after 10am. He wanted to know if I'd take 2500. No. "Well, I don't know what to offer." Um, something closer to my asking price? He hasn't seen it. He wants to do the deal backwards? It's clear he has no money and may have been drinking.

The last call I got for it was at dinner time. The guy had written the number down this morning and didn't know the ad had been deleted because I had already sold it! Oh yeah, I sold the other one too.

48 hours...

It started Wednesday afternoon actually, but I got on the roller coaster forty-eight hours ago...

I got a letter in the mail from a local car lot. They were having a special liquidation event and offered me some free prizes (at least two guaranteed)just for stopping by. I was supposed to call a number to verify my prize first. I thought, "What the heck, for a change I'm not busy." I looked at the prize list and decided I would win the $1000 scratch off ticket and the $5000 gas scratch off ticket. But there was a good chance I could win the 3-day - 2-night vacation of a lifetime! I concluded from the small print that the hotel room was perhaps in Florida and would sure help if I have to take Mom down again.

Upon calling the 800 number, I was promised a minimum of three prizes! Yea! Two scratch off tickets and two nights paid for my hotel when I visit my family. I set a time for Thursday afternoon to stop in. I told Hubby I was just going to stop in, pick up my prizes and come home. Then I got to thinking...

I've been driving my Tahoe for ten years. It's getting harder and harder for my mother to get it in when I have to take her shopping and to the doctor. Besides, I can't fit all my granddaughters in if Hubby comes along. Last year we bought a '92 Lincoln Town Car for those very two reason. But the Lincoln had a laundry list of 'quirks': Heat only comes out vents, AC doesn't work, radio?- sometimes, two windows off track, flat tire... You get the picture. Last year the Tahoe AC got warm. I put it off. Over the winter the windshield was cracked by a well-meaning soul trying to clear the ice off for me. Mind you, I'm also paying for license and insurance for two vehicles now, neither of which is 100%.

I arrived at the lot to find balloons dotting the air and people everywhere! Evidently they sent other letters out. I found a place to park and went in. I told the salesman my predicament. I would love to find a gently-used vehicle in my budget (next to nothing) that is not to low to the ground, not to high for Mom, will seat six, has cargo room for two hundred pounds of horse feed and the AC works. He walked me over to the car that is now in my driveway. Well, it might have been the one with the leather interior - I'm not sure. I looked at a couple of other models, but came back to that one. I told him I'd drive it. Now comes the hard part...

I am extremely particular about the seat. My Tahoe is the only vehicle we own that I can ride a long way in and not get achy. This car was almost as comfy as... I can't believe I never gave it a name. Anyway, I was impressed. It was quiet, smooth, lots of sweet things (grands love the DVD player) and he said it was a really good deal...

I pulled into the lot and pulled out my cell. "Hubby, come down here. I want you to look at a car." Wonder what his face looked like. He does trust me that I make sound decisions when it comes to our finances. So he came down, rode with me and loved it. He agreed it was time for me and the Tahoe to part ways. :(

Anyone that knows me well knows this; I am not a fool. First of all, I am extremely frugal. And, when it comes to large purchases, I do the research and read every word on the documents - I'm a stickler for accuracy. Drives loan officers crazy! I probably hold the Guinness record for longest mortgage closing.

Man #1 (that showed me to the car) scribbles down some numbers. I say no. He scribbles more. I say maybe. He walks away. Man #2 comes back with him. He shows me more numbers. I say (in a nice way), "I said what I said. That's what I want. It's all I can do. Take it or leave it." Man #2 scribbles more, then leaves. Man #1 and I talk. He scribbles more. I'm getting tired. Hubby is hungry. Almost three hours after I had arrived (seriously) I'm sitting at the owner's desk. Everything was hammered out and it was time for ink. I was getting six-k for the Tahoe and I had a coupon (forgot to mention - came in the letter) for another two-k. It was a good deal.

Hubby's really hungry, and if you know him, this is not a good thing. I quickly scanned the documents, signed by the ink dots and thought, "What have I done? I miss (no name) already!" This brings us to forty-eight hours ago...

It was getting late, and I was getting nervous. I haven't had a car payment in years and, although this was a rather small one, it was a big deal to me. I got the documents out and started reading... Where's the two-k? It's not even in the numbers. That was the biggest regret on the paperwork; there were more small ones. I felt mad at myself. I can't believe I signed this without noticing this stuff! Oh well, I'll blame it on old age and Hubby's stomach. I'll still call them in the morning. You see, I still have the title for the Tahoe and the one thousand dollar check I promised them. It's called leverage.

Hubby is a morning person, so he went to bed. I'm just starting the climb up the first hill...

I'm a night owl. When everyone else goes to sleep, I surf, I blog, I catch up on e-mail. This night I visit kellybluebook.com. Big mistake. I wasn't sure of my exact model and didn't want to dig out the VIN, but punching in my limited date, the results sickened me! Literally! It's how I handle stress... nausea, stomach pains, sweat, headache. The retail book value of the new thing was what I paid. Only they had no-name! I almost woke up Hubby. You know how you feel when you wake up in the middle of the night from a horrific dream? You want to talk to someone so you can scrape it out of your insides. I cried. I felt like such a stupid fool. It was worse than death! It was the worst mistake anyone on earth has ever made!
And it was soon three a.m. I wanted to be there first thing in the morning. I was suicidal. Well, maybe not.

Morning came and the world did not end. I jumped out of bed at eight-fifty! That's a special event in itself. After brushing my teeth and getting dressed, I surprised Hubby in the living room. I had my purse and keys. "Do you want to go with me?"

"Where are you going?" he asked. "To get my Tahoe back! I'll explain on the way."

From the driveway to the car lot, I filled Hubby in on what had transpired while he had slept. I blubbered and chastised myself. Hubby exhibited his greatest virtue; he was compassionate and told me not to worry about it. Didn't help.

I walked to the desk and the owner asked, "How are you today?" (Here come the tears.) "Not at all well! I didn't sleep last night. I'm sick about this deal..." I went on to explain the whole story to her. She was not part of the 'deal'. She went to talk to them.

Man #2 comes in. "You're not happy? I told you I want you to be happy..." We talk. The lady prints out new paperwork. Same numbers. I leave in my new car. Hubby follows me home in the Tahoe. The coaster glides into the station...