Tuesday, April 12, 2016

H, I, J speeding by

House stuff, insanity and just getting by.

I knew April was going to be tough, but it is proving to be everything expected and more.  We close on both houses in ten days...HOPEFULLY.  Road blocks are teasing us. Slowly but surely I think it will all work out.  We are certainly working to pack everything and make the final step easier.  

Father in law is having surgery today. We have not been as involved as we would like, but fortunately home health has been available to make things a little easier in their household.  I don't know how long he will be in the hospital after today's kidney stone removal.  We sort of hope it will be three days which will allow for insurance to cover a recovery period in a rehab facility.  It is getting to the time where he needs constant care. Unfortunately he is not ready to accept this. 

Day to day we seem to be just getting by. Everything is getting done, but sometimes it feels like barely is the best description.  

Life is about choices.Each day I am having to choose whether to blog or go to the gym.  Yesterday, gym won.  Today, blogging...with hope that gym will be a part of it too.  Pretty sure I will go back to blogging when I can. It certainly shouldn't be a stress point. There's plenty of that without blogging being part of it.  

Friday, April 8, 2016

Growing up: Ten thoughts

Today's AtoZ post is G for growing up.  Many of us wouldn't mind going back to a certain age, with the knowledge that we have as an adult. Growing up isn't all bad, but there are many things I wish I had realized earlier in life.

1. Naps are not a bad thing.  I hated naps as a child. In kindergarten it was torture to have to stop learning time and get my mat for nap time.  Now, I fully support nap time in all grade levels and think it would be wise for the workplace as well. 

2. Oh to be as busy as I was in high school.  Yes, students have full schedules these days.  Parents of students have it much worse. We have our adult responsibilities and our parent/student responsibilities. I remember being overwhelmed as a junior and senior, but I still had time to chill.  Now, it seems that every day is jammed with adult responsibilities or kid responsibilities.  Someone the other day asked what TV shows I watched.  When do I have time to watch TV???  

3. Life is about change, deal with it.  Plans change. Situations change. Circumstances change.

4. Be flexible.  See #3.   You have to be willing to be flexible when things come up or you will drive yourself nuts.

5.  Time is valuable.  All those times I didn't have time to go home for a visit are regrets. I would love to have the opportunity for another visit with my Gran.  I know we shouldn't live with regret, and I don't agonize over it, but I have no clue what was so important that I couldn't go home some of those times.  Time is valuable, use it wisely because you can't get it back.

6. Relationships are work and if you want them to work you have to work!  Love is not enough if you don't show it, if you don't communicate, and you don't value your partner.  You really need to work on liking the person too.  That initial infatuation is not enough to build a life on. Life changes and if you do not adapt and work at your relationships the life changes will get in the way and destroy what may have once been good.

7. You get what you put in.  If you don't put in effort then you will get poor results.  You can be as fulfilled as you seek to be. To be successful in school you have to participate in school. You have to do your assignments and you have to try to get involved.  Same with life. You have to participate to get joy out of it. 

8. Health is important.  You have to take care of yourself and you can't wait until something is wrong before you start!  

9.  Rejection happens and it isn't always a bad thing.  Learn from your mistakes. Learn from the things that didn't work out. Learn from life.  You may not get the job you wanted, you may have to try something else. Life has a way of working things out and you have to walk the path.  Some things work out and some things don't. Work with what you have.

10.  You can always learn something.  Be a lifelong learner. Never stop.  Seek knowledge. It's part of the participating in life thing.  

Live life. Give joy. Be at peace.  

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Friendships, how many do you really have?

F is for friendship. Today's A-to-Z.

How many friends do you have?  How many friends do you need? Who is really a friend?  According to Facebook I have 160 friends.  These are 160 people I have met or have interacted with to some degree. Do you consider your social circle your friends?  How many of your social media friends would you call on for help?

There are several things from this 3/18/2015 TIME article that I find interesting.  Friends are necessary for our good health and our happiness.  I believe that.
According to data from the General Social Survey (GSS), the number of Americans who say they have no close friends has roughly tripled in recent decades. “Zero” is also the most common response when people are asked how many confidants they have, the GSS data show. And adult men seem to be especially bad at keeping and cultivating friendships.

My best friend is my husband. I have three others that I consider close friends and we correspond regularly, but have not seen each other in years. I have some "friends" that I see on a semi regular basis but I would not share intimate details with them or call if there was an issue.  There are very few people I would actually call with any problem.  If my three besties were closer I wouldn't hesitate to call them.

Apparently 15 is the magic number for how many close relationships we should have when it comes to our best mental and physical health.  I don't know that I have 15 individuals, friends or family, that I would consider close.  I also do not feel deprived.

I enjoy my social interactions, but I can also put my phone away and enjoy the time with my best friend.  I started a blog in 2003 and wrote regularly.  I loved the social interaction. I craved the back and forth of blogging and discussion boards. I didn't have that interaction at home and looked for it online. It had an element of fulfillment. I decided to start another blog this year and it isn't the same. It is work. I still have some of the same friends, but I have a true best friend.  He is someone who cares about what I think. Listens to my ideas, complaints, frustrations, and celebrations.  He also shares his own.  We have a wonderful partnership in all aspects of our life.  A healthy friendship makes a difference in having a healthy life.  I am now emotionally fulfilled by my relationships. I am happier with me. I am happier with life.  

I don't think it is healthy to rely on your friendships for your emotional fulfillment, but I do think that friendships are an element of good emotional health.  How many friends do you REALLY have?  Do they know that you value them?  That's the other thing, let people know that they have value.  You can contribute to their well being.  

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

E is for Environment

Today's A to Z Challenge is brought to you by the letter E.  This Wednesday after spring break I am missing the Island.  This trip we spent our time exploring the Audubon Bird Sanctuary.  I will be sharing images throughout the month.

Right now...my environment is not conducive to blogging. Maybe April was not the best month to try to do this.  :-/

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Doggy Daze

Rachmaninoff, Pachelbel, Tiki and Sawyer are the furbabies of our household.  Rachi, Pacha and Tiki were specifically chosen by us and Sawyer is there by default.

Rachi is our 2 year old lazy as lazy can get husky.  

The picture above is his chosen travel position, sprawled in the back of the Xterra.  He doesn't care where we go as long as he gets to go too and as long as Sawyer stays in his tiny corner of the riding area.  We chose Rachi as a 6 week old puppy.  We had been discussing our next puppy when Mr. MckTchr found out that a co-worker had husky puppies.  It was not an intentional breeding, but the parents were a good match.  The mother was a beautiful red husky and father was black and gray.  We reviewed pictures before going to look at the puppies and thought we were interested in a gray female that had piercing blue eyes. Turns out, after we removed her from chewing our shoe laces she had no interest in us.  Same for the rest of the pack.  Red ears, however, sat back quietly watching his brothers and sisters.  Once they were done fighting over our shoe laces and sniffing around they went off to wrestle with one another.  Red ears came up to see what was up.  We left that day thinking that we hadn't found our puppy in that pack.  As we left, red ears sat at the gate watching us go.  After thinking for a day or so we called the friend and said we were interested in red ears and wanted to bring him home to visit with our other dogs.  At that time we had Tiki, Pacha, and Tchaik.  We wanted to make sure that the new guy would fit in.  When we picked him up for the home visit he was calm and cuddly in the car. We got him home and even though he was a little nervous, he wasn't scared. He fit right in and had a great time playing with his new buddy Pachelbel.  He was already bigger!  We waited another week to take Rachi home for good. We stopped calling him red ears and went with our music themed naming and chose  Rachmaninoff. He is a great dog who has assumed the alpha male role quite well.  

Pachelbel, the long haired princess of the bunch. He is our most neurotic furbaby.

Pacha is four years old now. As Tiki began to age I felt like she needed someone her size to keep her young and he has been great for her.  Pacha is a long hair chocolate dachshund and his favorite thing in the world is his purple pig. 

The purple pig goes everywhere Pacha goes. We keep a supply just in case piggy is lost or damaged beyond use.  Thankfully  dogsupplies.com is kind enough to pick through their stock because Pacha will ONLY play with Kong purple piggies. Periodically we contact them for an order of piggies with specific instructions to only send purple piggies because any other color will be returned. They fulfill the order to the best of their ability each time, even calling us if they are currently out of purple.  Pacha is also the "Jacques" of the group. (A little Nemo reference for those in the know.)  Pacha takes care of cleaning all teeth and ears.  He is often seen grooming his pack.  Now, if anyone tries to take his piggy there will be snarling and teeth. Even though Pacha can't handle any new human or animal in his world, freaking out at the slightest change, he is the sweetest of our pack and everyone's cuddle buddy...He is also keeper of the toys.

Tiki is our 12 year old red dapple dachshund. Where Pachabel is the princess of the bunch, Tiki is the queen.  Rachi may assume the role of alpha but let's be clear about who is really in charge here.  Tiki might as well be a cat.  Everything is on her terms. She wishes to lay close to you because you are warm. You may rub her ears if you wish, but you had better not stop. She will continually nose you every time you try. Her ultimate goal is to get you to give her something from your plate. She hovers at our feet during food prep and will poke you with her cold pointy nose hoping it will startle you into a drop.  She is the most social of our pack, loving all other people and animals. Tiki will greet you with a wagging tale and leave a happy puddle at your feet. Her favorite person, grandpa. He's the only one old enough to understand her life woes.

Lastly, we have Sawyer.  Sawyer is our goofy lab mix.  By the size of his feet he must be mixed with Great Dane. He is tall and lanky with a curled tail, white and blonde on his belly.  There may be a little shepherd in there. We did not seek Sawyer, he found us.  A year ago, almost exactly, this six month old lanky black dog was being chased by Rachi in our back yard.  Rachi was loosing his mind over something in our FENCED back yard and it turns out to be Sawyer.  I don't know how he got there. He wasn't big enough at that time to jump the fence.  (Not the case now.) We rescued him from the Rachi chaos and made attempts to find his owner. Because he smelled of tree sap we called him Sappy for the first few days.   

Sawyer is the most high strung of our pack.  Pacha is neurotic and obsessive compulsive. Sawyer worries about everything and doesn't do change well.  He acts as if his first six months of life were not full of love and affection. He flinches, cowers, and shakes if things are not perfect in his world.  If he gets too nervous he will lose his sh*t. Literally.  That is not a fun thing to come home to.  Twice we have come home to having to air out the location of his kennel and scrub Sawyer fear off the wall, floor, anything nearby.  He ate the antique bench I painstakingly refinished. 

His presence made Rachi so upset the first few days that Rachi tore through the carpet trying to get out of the room he was in so he could finish what he started the first night. Sawyer has also eaten the corner of the stairs and will shred a rope in minutes.  He has also had a few incidents of carpet eating.  His joy is to torture Pacha by stealing the purple piggy.  Despite digging up the back yard, destroying floor and furniture, and jumping over the fence if the neighbor happens to be outside, Sawyer is now a part of the pack.  Rachi loves having someone his size to play with, even if he has zero patience for the invasion of his space when we travel.  Sawyer is my lovable big black dog.  I don't know that he will ever be Tchaik, but then Tchaikovsky was one of a kind when it comes to being man's best friend.  Sawyer will eventually settle down and be a great dog. He is learning to trust that if we leave him, we will come back.  If we take him somewhere, we will bring him back with us. When we raise our hand, we are not going to hit him.  He has a lot of issues, but we have worked through them...with minimal cursing and outrage.  

I will always miss my first big black dog. Tchaikovsky was the best, stolen by cancer two years ago, he was the good boy. 

Tchaik 2002-2014

Monday, April 4, 2016

Classroom Chaos...Back to it!

I sincerely considered 'C' being for cinnamon buns. Facing the Monday after a spring break spent at the beach was tough, and I miss the breakfast goodies.

Grades were due by 4:00 PM today so last night was spent finishing up last minute grading. Getting to bed on time was not in the cards. There were several things still left to do this morning and the 7th grade squirrels were in typical post break form.  My lesson plans were designed in such a way that I could start class with a good review then turn them loose to show what they know.  Reviews went well all day and I'm proud of them for that.  They remembered many of the basics for WWI.  Yay! Something stuck!  However, the locker combination that they have been using for the last 27 weeks of school was a mystery to many.  Same for the login and password for BrainPop.  Between the desires for socializing, the forgetfulness, and other school events that I had no control over today was a lot like herding cats.  

I'm predicting Tuesday will be a day of lethargic squirrel behavior. Five AM came way too early for  my 15yo. She's been sacked out for an hour or so this evening.  I suspect my 7th graders will struggle even though they're start time is much later than the high school's 7AM bell. It will take a few days to get back in the swing, but the end is near. We are in the final stretch, the last nine weeks. 

My mind is mush. I'm to old to not get enough sleep. 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Bye Bye Bakery

We are saying bye to the Island and bye to the bakery. Today's A to Z is about it favorite place on the island, Lighthouse Bakery.

Dauphin Island is a spot in the Gulf off the coast of Alabama. It is as non-commercial as you can get, and our favorite place to get away from it all. There are no touristy chain stores. The businesses are all locally owned and operated. If you need hardware to fix your house plumbing go to the Ship and Shore. You don't want to drive inland for grocery items, S&S.  You need liquor, same. Want to rent a bike? You have a few options. S&S has them, but you might want to call Lynn. She's the bike and kayak lady. Her office is her Jeep and she will deliver what you need. There are a few places to eat on the Island, but I can't say I recommend any of them. Islanders is the nicest, but it is over $100 for four people. Not something we want to do every night so we buy groceries inland and cook while in the Island... Except breakfast.

Breakfast comes from the Lighthouse Bakery.  They have the best food, and the best coffee, on the Island.  You won't find the most popular coffee chain anywhere close by, but you will hear just about everyone who sips their coffee say, "oooh, this is better than..." My next sentence was to explain my favorite delicacy from the bakery, but I can't choose! I just finished a pecan roll. Yesterday was an amazing cinnamon bun. Thursday was another pecan roll, with a chicken salad croissant for lunch, and Wednesday was an amazing cream cheese danish. The turnovers come in several flavors and are superb.  There's also the oatmeal pecan cookies, which I found out this morning the bakery is willing to mail to you if you ask nicely. Breakfast, lunch, and snack the bakery is our first choice on the Island. In the years we have been visiting there hasn't been anything ordered that I didn't like.

The service is as good as the food. The Lighthouse ladies work hard to provide great food with a smile.  Year to year we see the same familiar faces. Visiting the Island gives us a sense of coming home. It is not our home, but it is our home away. Dauphin Island is a place to relax and enjoy the beach without all the touristy crap to steal your attention.

Lighthouse Bakery, best buns on the beach.

*Disclaimer* Spelling and grammar errors resulting from phone typing in a moving vehicle must be ignored and forgiven.

Bye bye beach. Bye bye bakery.

Friday, April 1, 2016

April Already?

Is it April already?  Yep!!! So much going on this month.  We are enjoying the final day of our spring break vacation before heading back to reality.  It is rainy and blah here on Dauphin Island and we are still loving it.  Am I ready for the A to Z challenge? Nope.  I will be winging it for the month of April and that's OK. No real theme, but I will probably have a related quote for each post.  It is a challenge of creativity and blogging.  Looking forward to it.

A is for ATTITUDE.

I firmly believe this. Everything we approach in life we must approach with the appropriate attitude.  In teaching I see the negative often. Students, and their parents, have a blame game attitude.  They want to blame everything and every one...except the one most deserving.  

The attitude we approach life determines our joy.  Yes, bad things happen. Yes, our joy is sometimes stolen.  It is our attitude that pulls us through.  A positive approach has a much better chance of having a positive outcome.  We can choose to learn from life's adventures or we can choose to blame them.  Life has not always been easy for me. Abandoned by my mother when I was 2 and raised by an abusive father and an amazing grandmother, I appreciate the lessons I learned. I am self sufficient and practical.  I am creative and energetic, but I also have a great sense of empathy.  It is my collective life experiences that make me who I am. It is life experiences, positive and negative, that I pull from day to day.  For me it is the idea that if life gives you lemons, don't bother with lemonade.  Unless life is going to give you sugar and water, your lemonade will suck.  Hoard them and throw them at whatever rises against you.  Learn from life, it's a great teacher.  

Friday, March 25, 2016

Been a while...

OMG has it been a while.

Trying to explain the last few weeks I posted this on my FB page:

We have been in whirlwind of house chaos. Our buyers have been struggling with a snafu from their previous house. They needed a magic letter clearing them of responsibility. We did not find out about this until a week or so into the contract. For a time we were in complete limbo. On the day of contract expiration we were desperately ready to move on and find another buyer. Someone must have rubbed the genie lamp because the magic letter arrived. We agreed to extend the contract if the buyer would provide more due diligence money. During all of this we were having inspections completed on the house to purchase. We knew it was a renovation project and looked forward to creating something special with the house. Turns out our entire renovation budget would have to be used just to fix "little" things. The fireplace needed a complete firebox rebuild, there was previous termite damage, and the pool needed at least $1000 worth of repair. This is a just a few things of a much longer "little" list. We walked away. So we had a buyer but no house to buy. Then we found another. It doesn't have a pool but there is NO renovation needed. Everyone gets their space and there is recreation space too. We could add a pool, but it may not be worth it. Time will tell. We offered, they countered, we accepted. As of right now it seems the planets and stars are in alignment. Hopefully no more magic will be needed to make it all work. One month and we move. Looking forward to the next step!

This has been a royal mess.  I have NEVER had a business deal be so difficult. The buyers agent is complete and total PITA, an arrogant  individual whose ego is easily bruised and supercedes any humanity he has.

We are still moving forward with the house deal.  The inspection was last Wednesday.  The buyer was insisting that we close the 15th.  Not possible. Because of all the other delays we ended up starting over and offering on another home. Our loan paperwork is back to square one.  Our lender was skeptical that our desired closing of the 22nd was going to work.  When our agent explained the logistics of us closing on the 15th and being homeless for a week the buyer's agent stated that the contract says the 15th and that's what we want. Um...still not possible dude.  On inspection day we left a letter on the table.

We have done the math and it will cost us more than $4200 if you refuse to move closing one week.  That is IF we could actually book a hotel for us and three kids, and board the dogs for an entire week...which would stress them severely.  Sawyer, the black lab, is a rescue and highly terrified that he will be yet again abandoned.  Pachabel, the chocolate dachshund, is terrified of everything.  Rachi, the husky, has known only us and has never not traveled with us.  Tiki, the red dachshund, is thirteen years old and really does not need the stress of a boarding situation. 
 There is nowhere else for us to stay. There is not another option. We do not have family that we can live with and I have no idea what to do with the bunny or lizard.  The best possible hotel deal will be almost $1000 for us and our three children currently at home.  Boarding the dogs would be over $900.   Moving our stuff and storage for that many nights is $2400.  These are all fairly low estimates, which do not include taxes or food.  Add in feeding the five of us for a week without a home and it is another $800.  So roughly $5000 because you cannot wait ONE MORE WEEK?  We cannot afford that and should not have to. We expected to close tomorrow and had to delay our proceedings while waiting for you.   While we would consider moving the 15th, our bank cannot complete the paperwork in that amount of time. If you recall we have been waiting for confirmation from you that you are eligible to purchase this home.  Our purchase financing is contingent upon the sale of this home, until that was solid we could not move forward with our lender.  Our lender has indicated that they will be pressed to finish by the 22nd so the 15th is out of the question.   We have accommodated you, with considerable frustration.  We have agreed to terms we are not fully comfortable with just to get this house under contract and sold. In the grand scheme of things, what is one week?  Are you willing to offer us the $5000 for us to be homeless for a week so we can close on the 15th? This is a compromise point and we have gone above and beyond to accommodate you, despite the risk we have taken to extend the contract.  We have accepted less than the standard due diligence, without complaint. We have allowed you to settle your own financial situation with us bearing the burden of tremendous risk, all we ask is equal consideration. We cannot afford to stress our pets, ourselves, and our children, living in a hotel during a school week, which also happens to be the week of prom. It will be difficult enough moving that week without adding to it financial burden and displacement.
 We are not asking for much. We would simply appreciate the same consideration we have offered you during this entire experience.

The buyers live with their parents.  Seriously, what is one more week? We have been MORE than accommodating with their situation and it has been seriously stressful.  I will not vent any further about the buyer's agent. He was livid that we left a letter. Our agent told him we were upset that they were stonewalling and not willing to compromise.  He has has a pattern of arrogant prick behavior.  When this is all said and done, there will be a strongly worded letter and as many social media reviews as we can find.

Our life...

It's not always rainbows and butterflies, it's compromise that moves us along.

Maroon 5, She Will be Loved

Monday, March 7, 2016

Give it some thought

Have you ever considered how much time teacher's spend preparing lessons for students?  It has taken me since 8:30 this morning to cut cards for a vocabulary assignment.  It is now 1:07.  I have not been cutting cards all of that time. I've been juggling students for part of it.  You've heard the phrase cleaning when you have kids is like shoveling the driveway while it is still snowing out.   It's like that.

I do not like giving seat assignments and then sitting down to do something that needs to be done.  There are several reasons for this.  I feel guilty working on something instead of being in front of the students teaching.  I can't work with continual distraction.  I struggle to focus anyway.

Students today are so needy!  It amazes me how "helpless" they are when it comes to basic things.  How many words are there?  Um....how many did you count?  What page is chapter 7 on?  What does it say in the index, or when you turn through the book?  Do we have to write the question?  Seems like a valid question, other than I tell them the SAME thing every single time and have tried to make this clear since day one of work.  Do I need to write my name on it? Do you want credit?  I don't understand what we have to do. Have you read the instructions? No. *Raised eyebrow.

Do I know the answers to many of their questions?  Yes. Could I simply tell them the answer?  Yes.  Are they developing any type of self sufficiency when I just tell them the answer?  Not a bit.  When I first met Mr. MckTchr I hammered him on this.  His kids would ask him for an answer to one of their homework questions and I would get all over him if he just told them the answer.  Parents, help your child find the answer. Ask them questions, guide them to it.  Stop just giving it to them. It is not making them smarter. It is not making them self sufficient. You are not helping them and you are making my job harder!  I want to save my time for the real questions and real misunderstandings.

“If you will discipline yourself to make your mind self-sufficient you will thereby be least vulnerable to injury from the outside.”  Critias of Athens 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March madness

For the longest nothing was happening. We were having showing after showing and no offer.  Finally we have a buyer. Someone is interested. They looked at the house 3 separate times and we negotiated an acceptable offer.  Now it is feet to the floor running to the finish line.  We will be closing in 23 days.  If all goes as planned we will close on both houses that day.  I am skeptical that we can make it work, but hopeful.  It is so nice to not thoroughly clean the house every night and be scrambling to clean up before we leave each morning.

FIL has been in the hospital for the last week.  Pneumonia and a UTI...this after a rock pile of kidney stones, one creating a blockage.  They can't remove the rock pile until he is stronger and has a cardio eval.  Due to the extended stay in the hospital he has 20 days of transitional care before he gets to go home.  I am not 100% that he will be going home, nor am I certain that he needs to. He needs a home health plan and as of right now the VA is dragging its feet and he doesn't have too many other options.

We are also concerned about MIL. She is increasingly confused and can't/won't make decisions on her own. Mr. MckTchr has requested an appointment with her doctor for an eval.  We suspect there may be more to the confusion and forgetfulness than the stress of everyday life and typical aging.  Hopefully we will be a little closer to answers soon.

1st time out on rented kayaks
I prefer my Perception.
Life. There's always something.  I'm trying to get back to the gym more. Trying to take care of my own sanity and help Mr. MckTchr keep his.  Every other week when the skids are home it is difficult to maintain any sort of regular gym schedule.  We have to choose between gym and eating at a reasonable hour.  Something has to give. Between house stuff, in-laws, and kid events we are juggling and the balls are in danger of being dropped.  Personal health and stress maintenance is important too.

Looking forward to spring break.  Right after the move we will take off for the Island.  A week with a bay view and hopefully great paddle weather.

Sunday, February 21, 2016


Feedback: information about reactions to a product, a person's performance of a task, etc., used as a basis for improvement.
See that part, used as a basis for improvement?  Yes. That is what I need, REAL feedback.  Not, statements like not in the top 3, or interested let us know if other offers come in.  Also not the exact same statement you made the previous time you looked at the house.

We are having a problem with feedback on our house showings. They are either completely non existent or not helpful.  The latest causing irritation is an exact replica of the "feedback" they gave us on the first showing.  Very glad to have a second showing for this individual, but not very glad that it isn't going anywhere.

They are also saying the price is too high.  First, we just dropped it $3300 after three weeks of $500/week drops.  Second, we are on par with other houses our size and we have more upgrades than almost all the houses in our competitive range.  You may find one house with hardwood/laminate, or beautiful hardwood stairs with decorative iron spindles. You may find one with granite counter tops in the kitchen, tile floors and stainless appliances.  You may find another with tile floors in the bathroom, possibly even tile shower with glass shower closet.  You will most likely find another with a fenced back yard.  However, I doubt you will find one in our price range and size with all of that. So dear potential buyer, take your "price too high" and choke.  Furthermore, if it is too high then make a freakin' offer!  That's how this game is played. I know what I have to get for the house and you know what you can pay, let's talk.  This is not CarMax. The sticker price is not the price.  Make. An. Offer.

We have only had three potential buyers say the price was too high. We have had an equal or greater number say the price was right, but the house was just not right for them.  I think this pb is using "too high" as a strategy.

Here's the deal, I want to sale this house and I am willing to negotiate.  Are they waiting for us to offer a lower price???  Not the way this works. Buyer makes the first offer, not seller.  Lastly, I hate using sale and sell...never know if I'm using the right one no matter how many times I look it up.  Grammar police please let me off with a warning.

Ugh...just ready for this to be done. I'm ready to move. I'm ready for summer and opening the pool for long hours of floating with a happy drink.

I need a happy drink.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Back to the teaching board...

And glad to be there!  It has been a crazy week. We're still trying to sale the house. My FIL still has Parkinson's. The kid and skids still have activities to get to and from and the dogs still want to be fed.  No matter how crazy life gets, it still continues.

I'm hoping the law of averages will kick in and we will get an offer on the house soon.  We've had five showings in the last weekend.  Two Saturday, one Sunday and two today.

As for the FIL, there are good days and bad days. He is contrary and set in his ways. MIL is no better.

The above was written yesterday.  Continuing thoughts for today...
It is frustrating. It is nerve racking. It is life. We have to live it.  Dealing with aging parents is a responsibility. It is also difficult. You don't want to treat them like children, but they are acting like rebellious children. They are adults and you want to treat them like adults, but they won't listen and they don't see the dangers in their decisions.  The life cycle is at times cruel.  My FIL's body is betraying him. His medicines and age are changing him, corrupting his mind.  My MIL has always been taken care of so having to be the strong one is not natural to her.  I know she is frustrated. I know she is unsure of the future. I know that things are difficult.But sometimes we have to put on our big girl undies and deal!

Mr. MckTchr is pushing forward. He is being strong and trying to deal as best he can. Each day brings new frustrations on top of the old.  It is a struggle. What do you do when your parents can no longer care for themselves, won't listen to you, and you can't give up everything to care for them 24/7.  No one wants to say permanent residential facility, but that may be the way to go.

We would like to move them in with us, but if they still won't listen and still won't do what is needed it won't do any good.  The only benefit is having them close by so we can more quickly respond to falls.  VA assistance is a long list, we must wait and push to move up.  Home health is expensive and their insurance won't cover all that is needed.  A facility is also expensive.

Answers we seek...and miles to go before we sleep. *sigh.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

LOL 1.31.16

What was the last thing that gave you a real, authentic, tearful, hearty belly laugh? Why was it so funny?

That was actually today. It is a conversation we have often. My husband, daughter and skid1 can do this thing with their uvula. It is a growling noise and they do it using a technique they say is like gargling without liquid. I can't do it. I do it and it sounds like an exorcism needs to be scheduled. Everyone gets a kick out of my attempts.

Prior to today I was overcome by giggles after eating chocolate covered espresso beans like popcorn throughout the day. Mr.MckTchr was trying to attach a TV to the kid room tv stand and I found his struggle hilarious. He did not. It was a real, authentic, tearful caffeine induced belly laugh that left me a little sore.

Laughter, excellent meds.

Daily prompt found at https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Saturday saying 1.30.16

"The secrets are demanding to be free, heard by the world. Yet, I am not ready. I fear I never will be. Because if they are free, then where does that leave me?"

Reading a new Amazon Unlimited book, Trail of Broken Wings. The words above are powerful and true. When we hold on to something powerful, something that almost commands or defines our life, we risk being lost without it. In truth, we would likely be liberated after its release.  Facing the past, facing the dark secrets of our life, sets us free. Accept the reality and move forward. That doesn't mean forgive and forget, it means deal and move forward. Some issues are easier than others. Some require professional assistance. All require atttention. One should not be held back by the negative. Grow and become better for it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

When in Rome...

si fueris Rōmae, Rōmānō vīvitō mōre; si fueris alibī, vīvitō sicut ibi
Apparently the Iranian President is unfamiliar with the phrase, when in Rome do as the Romans do. When the Iranian President visited Italy the nude statues were covered to show respect to the Iranian culture and sensitivity. I'm sorry, when I visit someone's house I do not require them to change their ways. Italy is the center of art and much of the art is related to the human form. I understand being sensitive but I do not understand shunning your culture to placate another. If it was that big of a deal, hold the meeting somewhere else. Signing a business deal, meet in a business venue. I'm not saying meet in a room of nude murals and statues, flaunting Italian art that would be offensive, but no need to cover up what is part of Italian history and culture.

Friday, January 22, 2016

What is family?

The Hawaiian concept 'ohana: emphasizes that families are bound together and members must cooperate and remember one another. (Wikipedia)

According to www.edu.pe.ca/southernkings/familydefinition.htm:

Families are who you love. Our families all “look” different and it's always been so. A family caregiving unit might consist of a couple; a mother, father and children; a single parent and child; grandparent and grandchildren; a sibling group; a circle of friends; or however that family defines itself.

Family is who is there for you.  It doesn't have to be those related by blood. It is my experience that those are the least reliable. That isn't so for everyone, but it is for me.  My family is my husband, my children, my in-laws, and a few select friends. They are there and have been there.  They do not feign understanding and acceptance.  I respect that.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

"Always." RIP Alan Rickman

It is with great sadness that I read the news this morning.  I loved Alan Rickman in Robin Hood, enjoyed him in Sense and Sensibility, and adored him as Professor Snape in Harry Potter.  The world has lost another tremendous talent.

February 12, 1946 - January 14, 2016

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Two roads ahead...and now we wait.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,. And sorry I could not travel both. And be one traveler, long I stood. And looked down one as far as I could.
Sometimes I feel like this is the state of life. Actually, I guess it is the state of life. We always have choices, paths that will take us in the different directions life offers. It certainly keeps life interesting.   

We've been chasing a house since spring 2015. It was for sale by owner then and she was emotionally attached to the property and couldn't come to a decision. We walked away.  Late fall 2015 this same house showed up on Realtor. The owner was listed and the price was less.  Yay!  We contacted our agent and did a walk-thru, then made a formal offer.  After days of waiting, the owner did not counter and pulled the listing saying she wasn't ready.  What?!?!?  Not ready?  You LISTED your house with an agent!  Ugh. Fine, we moved on.  It was worth another try.  Since being rejected, yet again, we have viewed several homes without much excitement. There was one we really liked enough to offer on, but when they countered they wanted a very open contract with all risk on us, and as it turned out they countered while already having a contract on their house. This was not disclosed to us during the process.  We were also exploring a new build option.  After much deliberation, new build was the road we chose.  The last several days we poured over floor plans, looked a tile, flooring, fixtures, granite.  We are scheduled to meet for a design session Friday.  Sunday night, just after finishing the basic ideas for our new house we received an email.  The basic idea:  "I have had a life change and want to offer you the opportunity to buy my house. I have emotionally come to terms and am now ready."  The house we have been chasing for the better part of a year is now being offered to us on a platter. 

Not sure how to feel about this. On one hand I can build a house to my specs and desire. On the other I can buy a house on an acre +, in the location we desire, and with a pool that would offer much enjoyment.  There will be extensive remodel requirements, but it speaks to us. It attracts us.  

Two roads and we can't travel both.  Both paths are attractive. Both will lead us to a place in life we would like to be. There are trade-offs and opportunity costs to both.  After a cost-benefit analysis, it is almost a draw.  For now, we wait and see.  I don't trust that the home owner will follow through, and I'm also not willing to let my favorite build site get away.  Time will tell...

Live life. Give joy. Be at peace.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Welcome to the world baby girl!

What about a little Fannie Flagg reference for the morning? It's a beautiful day in the Carolina's. The sun is out, the temperature is a comfortable cool. It's time to wake up, smell the sweet aroma of the outdoors and...what's that smell???  Yeah, that's Rachi. He apparently had gastrointestinal distress last night and that's what we woke up to.  7 freakin AM in the morning and the husky has crapped his kennel.  Fortunately in the garage.  Yes ladies and gentleman, my first blog post is about dog poop.

Well, not totally. Rachi did have gastro issues and is embarrassed by it. Sawyer, the black lab who is usually responsible for gastro offense, was not pleased with the smells radiating from his brother's kennel. The doxies, Tiki and Pachelbel were spared. They kennel in the laundry room at night. We are a family with four dogs. Drazil was happy for the morning disruption. She is a Mali Uromastyx lizard that likes to be up and about early and sleep in from late afternoon on.  Drazil was glad to get her salad earlier than our usual late morning weekend rise.  Yoshi, the bunny, doesn't care either way.  I sear, there are times she is completely nocturnal, tossing her bowl down the ramp and incessantly licking her water thingy. I'm rather certain that is the technical term for it.  My apologies for using jargon.

To complete the family introductions I am married to Mr. MckTchr. Between us there are five kids. Kid1, Kid2, Skid1, Skid2, and Skid3.  Ages 18, 15, 21, 16, and 12.

I've been blogging for years.  I think I started in 2003 and typed out my thoughts trying to stay sane while in grad school.  It sort of worked.  After a while it grew tedious. In 2009, or 10...sometime...I toyed with the idea of picking it back up.  Like so many toys we played with as children the interest came and went.  I'm in a new stage of life now and think it is time to pick up the toy again.  Maybe I will have much to say, maybe not.  I'm not going to commit to a post each day, but I'm going to start this journey and see where it goes.  Maybe I will have something to say...or nah. In the meantime...

Live life. Give joy. Be at peace.