Sunday, December 29, 2013

For the Last Time, I'm Not moving but...

I've done a few Sunday posts on houses that I am NOT going to move into.
Houses that I wish I could, but I'm not able to for various reasons.
I've decided to stop this WISHING and just get to work on making my house into the home that I want...
UNLESS I could move into this house! LOL!

I got to thinking about what I hate about my house and what I love.
My dad always said that it you are struggling with a problem, to make a list
of Pros and Cons. 
So, here's the list.
I HATE that I live on a busy street and it's sometimes its hard to back out of the driveway because of traffic.
I LOVE that I live on a busy street that immediately gets snow plowed and if the street needs repairs, I don't have to pay for it like many other people do on side streets because I live on a main-thoroughfare.
I HATE that I don't live out in the country away from everything.
I LOVE that I live less than 5 minutes from a grocery store, a gas station, a library.
I HATE that I'm on a bus route.
I LOVE that I'm a bus route so when I get old and can't drive, I could take the bus if I needed to.
I HATE that my house is small.
I LOVE that my house is small. It's easier to heat and cool and there are no dark corners for monsters.
I HATE that my neighbors are so close.
I LOVE that my one neighbor is so close that he decides to snowblow my sidewalk too.
I HATE that the neighbors to the south have grandkids that bark at and tease my dogs.
I LOVE that the neighbor to the north has a cute little grandkid that yells "Hi Neighbor" when he sees me.
I HATE that there's no privacy in front of my home. Everyone drives or walks by and sometimes leave cigarette butts and trash.
I LOVE that when I'm gardening in the front of my house, the elderly neighbor with her Schnauzer stops to talk.
And the lady with her Shih-Tzu tied to her walker stops, pulls down a seat on the walker and sits to chat
and the woman who jogs with her Pitbull shouts out a greeting and compliments my yard
and the retired man with his St. Bernard nods and randomly gives an observation.
I HATE that my yard is long and narrow and mostly in the back of my house.
I LOVE that my yard in the back has a lot of room for my patio dog area and a separate area for my picnic table.
And a sloping landscaping and a spot at the bottom of the hill for a garden shed and maybe someday room for a handmade greenhouse.
I HATE that I don't have a garage.
I LOVE that it leaves me more room and not having a garage keeps my property taxes lower.
I HATE that I have a gravel driveway.
I LOVE that I was able to incorporate part of the drive by raking it out and seeding it
and therefore giving me more yard.
I HATE that I don't live close to work.
I LOVE that I don't live close to work.
And it's nice living minutes away from my sister.
I HATE that I'm haven't been able to be just be Happy with my house but 
I LOVE that this list has helped me realize all the good things about my home.
I HATE that I will probably still have days where I pine for something different but
I LOVE that by looking at other homes, I can find inspiration for my own.

Saturday, December 28, 2013


the stuff that my Life is made up of.
I like routine.
The calm security of knowing what comes next.
The repeated pattern of a day.
I realize that I need to step out of my comfort zone sometimes.
I have this on my kitchen wall -
My sister gave this to me for Xmas a while back.

This year she gave me this -

Another thought that I need to keep in mind.
To rest, relax and not feel guilty about it.

So today I plan on Wasting Time,
but first I have to take care of a Weekend Routine.
Somehow he knows it's Saturday,
that we are not leaving for work
and if he goes and sits it the laundry/mud room long enough
and stares at me,
that I won't wait to finish my coffee
but instead, go feed him breakfast.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ditto that.

This is kinda lame
but I'm REALLY looking forward to 2014.

Most of the people I know
are NOT making resolutions
but I've been scribbling down thoughts on bits of paper all day long!

Then I decided to go back to January 1 of last year.
I remembered a couple of the resolutions, but not all.
So I read over the list and

OK, just Ditto it.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Doing the Dirty Job

Sometimes I think about getting a different job.
Yes, I've been trying to work on my Art and my childrens book about Kanga.

and I need to work more on my illustrations and 
I just don't seem to be able to find enough time.

I also have to remember not to jump out of the frying pan in the fire.
and then there's the fact that I'm not a Spring Chicken.

Also I must keep in mind that I have no safety-net, spouse or parents to fall back on.
I'm not whining. I'm just stating facts and trying not to do anything foolish.
Sure, it would be great to follow my passion
and do what I love.
But I do, do what I love.
I mean I LOVE my boarders (well, most of them)
and I'm basically happy doing it.
But...sometimes, I don't know.
I daydream about life being a bit different.

I saw this great video with Mike Rowe
talking about "Following Your Passion"
and how not everyone can do that. 
That someone has to do the dirty work.
and how there is honor in dirty work, doing a job that needs to be done
and doing it well.
He talked about how trade school has low enrollment, that no one wants to do a trade anymore.
He has started a program trying to get people back to Trade School.
Actually his video was about much more than that.
It was excellent and it's HERE

A girl that works for me has just finished her Associates and is ready to move on to a 4yr college..
I've tried to give her suggestions, ideas.
The old "Do as I say, not as I do" deal.
She and my niece are facing the same questions.
I recommended going into Physical Therapy and then specializing in Animal Therapy.
Or maybe Human Resources. Most places need a Human Resource person and there's money there, I think.
Or be a Librarian. Most of the librarians I talk to seem happy.
(except that old mean one, but she would probably be unhappy whatever she was doing.)

or a Paralegal. I always read they are in demand and make a good wage.
Or a Chiropractor, although the market is saturated here, since this where the college is located.
OK, I'm no help.
The girl is a very good writer and my niece draws fabulous characters.
I've urged them both to pursue these talents and they both say there's no money in it.
Or that EVERYONE is trying to do that.
Yeah, no kidding.

I suppose I'm just questioning things because I'm tired.
It's been raining cats and dogs at the kennel.

It's packed and this year suddenly I have A LOT of cats boarding too.
More than I ever have had.
Cats who need to be given fluids daily 
and cats who are so mean they have to be under anesthesia to get vaccinations.

Luckily, I love cats.

...I would never want to go back to retail.
I always feel bad for people that do
and I sign petitions so that maybe they won't have to work Holidays 
and yet, here I will be this Christmas, bundling up and driving through the snow,
(hopefully it won't be the 8 inches that are predicted)
to take care of a FULL HOUSE.

I suppose I could go back to school.
Maybe I'd qualify for some grants? I certainly wouldn't take out any loans.
Yeah, get a degree a couple of years before retirement.
And compete for a job against 20 somethings.
Jeez, I need a little cheese to go with all this "whine".
I have quite the pity party going on here!

Then again, I need to remember that the other day when Twinkle had the side of her nose swell up

I was able to bring her with me to work and get an antibiotic and just pay for THAT.
The same thing with Blue's abscess.

To say nothing of the time the pole feel on Rosie

or Ruby falling over and having heart problems

or when Button got her eyes popped out of her head

or Griffin having that tumor thing explode in his mouth

or Jimmy throwing out his back and needing several Chiropractic adjustments and muscle relaxers and pain pills.

Yeah. I saved a fortune by working there.
I need to shut up and be grateful.
To be grateful for what I have and
to just get some rest
and not think so much.
To be frugal and
to just be happy.

I'm Not moving but...

but if I did.
I'd like a house that looks wonderful at Christmas.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

I'm Not moving but...

and definitely not here!
But I do have a little story about this place.
It's not the story that I would love to know.

It's not about the life and history of the place
that would be the BEST story.
Nope, it's about when I went to community college.
My Dad wouldn't allow me to go away to a 4yr school.
I couldn't get any grants because he made too much money and refused to sign on any loans.
He thought school for me would be silly.
He said that I should get a secretarial job for a couple of years until I met someone and married
and stayed home for the rest of my life.
So I paid for community college myself 
I majored in English and minored in Art.
(I had this big idea of writing a novel.)

But between working part-time and going to school where I knew no one
and then coming home where there was no encouragement.
Well... I didn't last long.
Pretty soon I had stopped going to classes and instead just sat in the library looking up random things.

I slowly dropped classes but never told my dad.
I would get up in the mornings and go about the pretense of preparing for school.
I'd grab my books and leave the house.
Sometimes I would drive to a park and read or just drive.
I ended up one day in Davenport (the city I now work in)
and I drove around the historic homes.
There was one home, a mansion really, that was abandoned.

I would walk around it and try to look inside but windows were boarded up.
It wasn't in the best of neighborhoods and
I felt bad for this house. 
It must have been so grand at one time and now it was just sitting there, falling apart.
I remember wishing that I had money to save it
but that was an impossible dream.

Finally one day I quit driving around and went and got a job at a bank.
My Dad was so happy. So proud.

So, my middle niece Maggie, has a friend who is a Realtor.
He's only been licensed for a year or two but he has grown up in the business and his father owns a Real Estate Agency.
Maggie and I were talking and I asked how her friend was doing. 
She said he was doing well, selling a few houses and he even had a mansion in Davenport in his listings.
Later at home. I looked up the mansion listing.

Yep. It was the same one from so many years ago.
The brick drive is still there.

I remember driving under this sheltered spot. I'm not sure what it's technically called.
Surely not a carport! But this is where I tried to peer inside.

If you go around to the front, but actually I guess it's the back, you can look over the city -
Can you see the Mississippi River?
That's the Centennial Bridge to the the right.
I live over there in Illinois.
back to the house-
The front (back) has been restored.
Apparently someone had tried to save it.

Such a HUGE task.

Such fine detailed work -

and so many fireplaces!

The kitchen is gorgeous, even though I usually prefer white, I could live with this.

Oh, the money it would cost to fix it properly.
I hope the right person comes along and saves it.
I'm so glad to finally seen the inside.

I can imagine wonderful parties and fireplaces crackling and a big Christmas tree.
I can also imagine little dogs running down halls and up and down stairs.

And cats sunning themselves in the windows and hissing at ghosts.
Full listing HERE.