Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Friday, April 8, 2016
Live life. Give joy. Be at peace.
Thursday, April 7, 2016
|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.
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
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.
Monday, April 4, 2016
Saturday, April 2, 2016
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
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.
Friday, March 25, 2016
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.
Monday, March 7, 2016
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
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.
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
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
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.
Saturday, January 30, 2016
"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
|si fueris Rōmae, Rōmānō vīvitō mōre; si fueris alibī, vīvitō sicut ibi|
Friday, January 22, 2016
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.
Thursday, January 14, 2016
|February 12, 1946 - January 14, 2016|
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
|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.|
Sunday, January 10, 2016
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.