Monday, October 28, 2013

I Need Your Help

OK folks.  I'd really like some responses here.  You can make them here or if you know me in real life you can let me know somehow.  I'm planning on creating a blog in the not so distant future designed to help people not familiar with my part of Florida discover what is so great about my part of Florida.

Here is where you come in.  What kinds of things would encourage you to choose one area over another? Are you more likely to look at a specific location (neighborhood you've heard about) or to enjoy a certain lifestyle, such as beach, waterfront, golf course, or an arts community. 

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Good Riddance

Back on April 7, I posted this as part of an update on what we were up to:

"Today we took in 2 cats for an undetermined period of time.  Their owner is being evicted and needs a place for them to stay while he gets back on his feet and finds a place that will allow cats.  His story is so sad that we just felt we had to help him and his cats (he tried 30+ other shelters / rescue organizations before finding the one we help with)."

Today, their owner picked them up.  Needless to say, we were not expecting to keep them for almost 7 months.  Their return was long-overdue to be honest.  You see, one of the cats liked to pick on our cat (fighting with her and taking her food).  She even picked fights with her sister.  And it's been escalating as each month went by.  One of the cats is so fat that she can't clean herself.  She's a friendly cat, so she would rub her stinky self against you trying to get petted.  If she were able to clean herself she would have been the perfect cat, but needing to clean her every couple days was getting to be too much.

It's safe to say my family is happy the sister cat's have left our house.  Our cat of course now has freedom to roam the house.   The rest of us are looking forward to being able to take in kittens again soon.  I think I'm going to let our cat have a little cat "alone time" for a bit first.  Poor thing has been through a lot over the last few months.

The big one from behind

Big one from the front

Our cat is on the seat.  The sisters are guarding watching from above.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Big Girl

This year my kids are taking karate together and my son gets to take robotics class from his father.  So in an attempt to keep things a little bit equal we decided our daughter could sign up for something on her own.  She decided to join a Girl Scout troop.  She already knew the leader and one of the girls pretty well, so that made it a little easier (for those that don't know, she's shy).  But there were some other things that drew her to the idea as well.

There's the uniform.

Doesn't she look proud?
The fun activities.

We got to make potato stamps = fun and easy

Making new friends.
Story / coloring time = only time they are quiet  ;-)

And earlier this week, my daughter had her first Girl Scout ceremony where she received her first badge.

1st badge earned = so excited she didn't stay still long enough for me to get a good picture.
It's a bit surreal, because it brings me back to my time in Girl Scouts.  And can I just say, remembering the pledge and songs... just like riding a bike  :-)
Oh, and consider this your notice.... my daughter will be taking cookie orders in January.  If you'd like some, she'd be happy to help you out.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Triple Blessing In Disguise

Saturday morning was a pretty typical morning.  I had a few showings in the afternoon but my morning was free, so I was doing stuff around the house (cleaning, organizing, etc).  So was my mom.  And one of the things she was doing was laundry.  That's when she discovered that our dryer was dying (it was making a grinding noise and smelled like something was burning).

So what did I do?  I called my hubby who was out yard saling and let him know that he may need to plan on repairing the dryer, but if he finds another good deal buy one.  Another good deal?  Yep.  You see, our washer has been irritating me for a couple months now because nothing I do can get it balanced.  We've realized it wasn't leveled so we fixed that (which made it worse so we unleveled it again).  I've even tried shifting clothes around numerous times each load but every time it hits the spin cycle it tries to dance out the door of the laundry room.  So a couple weekends ago, he called me while he was out yard saling because he had found a washer and dryer set (that had never been used) for $200.  Unfortunately, while he was calling me to find out if I wanted them, someone else bought the set.

So on Saturday, shortly after I had sent him my text message about the dryer dying, hubby sent me a text that he'd found a washer and dryer set for $150.  $50 less than the set the weekend before... yay!  Granted they were 4 or 5 years old, but they are a really expensive brand.  The only issue was that he was told the washer has some strange thing where it has to sit for 5 minutes between each wash.  Being an electrical engineer, he figured he would look at it and see if he could figure it out.  Worst case, he figured it might be the circuit board which would cost $100.

The boys trying to diagnose our issue
A couple days ago he hooked it up to see if he could duplicate the problem.  He wasn't able to duplicate that problem, but he discovered a more serious issue.  Perhaps it was a result of moving it, or perhaps the symptoms the previous owner experienced were the beginnings of our problem.  Whatever the case, a part was broken in a such a way that the washer was filling and draining at the same time.  Kinda hard to wash clothes that way, right?

Being the handy kind of guy he is (as well as having access to some really cool tools), hubby made the part he needed, and now I have a functioning washer and dryer again.  I hate folding laundry but the washing and drying will be much more fun now.

Oh, and another bonus that came out of all this... when we moved into the house, there was carpet in the laundry room.  Crazy, right?!  And I've been wanting to remove it and put down tile ever since we moved in.  I knew I didn't want to mess with it till we were replacing the washer and dryer.  The other day I told hubby to keep his eyes out for some cheap tile as he was out and about (since it looked like we would be needing a washer and dryer soon).

When hubby brought home the washer and dryer, we hadn't found any tile yet.  I decided I would rather have concrete floor than that carpet anymore so I decided it was time to rip out the carpet.  How surprised was I when I found this under the carpet...

Tile!  And we didn't have to buy any.   And we didn't have to lay it either.  God is good!

Old set: currently waiting in our carport for a new home

New set with "new" floor

Update:  Shortly after posting, I was working on my computer which is near the laundry room and heard a pop.  I run into the laundry room and find water pouring out from the back of the washer.  Oh no!  I run to get the shop vac and yell for my dad (who was closer than hubby).  We proceed to clean up the water and as we are discussing whether we will be buying a part for the washer after all, my son walks in, looks at the valve area behind the washer and dryer and say "I know what's wrong."  I look at what he was looking at and then I noticed it too... the drain pipe had come out of it's hole and was on the floor.  So thankful for easy fixes (and a practical and smart son too).