Sunday 22 July 2018

Things that annoy me

The damned hawk or falcon is back in my neighbourhood killing the songbirds.  I found a wing (no picture, I promise) with bone attached as I was cleaning up my yard this week.  My brother assumes it is a merlin rather than a kestral and I tend to go with his expertise...he was a conservation officer for many years.  It's frustrating as I can do nothing about it, and I so miss the sound of the birds early in the morning.  I guess it is the way of nature, but it makes me sad and angry at the same time.

This morning I woke early, around 4 a.m. to the sound of a downpour of rain.  We've been missing the storms the last week or so, with the rain falling outside the city.  I was on the phone with my brother yesterday morning, as he watched a thunderstorm to the north of his location (about 40 kms. outside the city), while I sat in the sun on my front patio.  While I've been wishing for rain, I've been watering my containers pretty much every day.  Now the outside tap has developed a leak.  My son and I both tried to turn it off with the inside shut off but by this morning, it was running steadily.  I'll call the plumber tomorrow and have them come and repair it.  Sigh...with a house there is always something that needs fixing.  

Speaking of necessary repairs, check out what the rotten kitten Sheldon has done.  I can't truly be angry with him as he is simply being a kitten but darn it all!

The sunroom has these curtains on all three sides, which I generally close when the sun gets too much.  It doesn't help keep the room cool but simply a bit darker.  Apparently Sheldon wanted to see beyond the curtain - perhaps there were birds that needed watching.  In any event, he's managed to snag several of the curtains, though this one has taken the brunt of it.  I really didn't/don't want to have to replace them but I suspect any repair job I do would be too noticeable.  The problem is finding curtains that are a similar length.  I haven't measured but I'd say I need 96-108" in length, checking on-line I'm looking at $70-100 per panel, ouch!  I'll likely wait until next spring to change them out.  By then I'll have the house up for sale, and Sheldon should have outgrown his kittenish antics. Fingers crossed!

On a totally different note, has anyone been out shopping lately?  I was at Walmart on Friday evening and did a double take when I saw all the school supplies are out on the shelves (and aisle ways).  We haven't even reached the end of July! Of course, once school does start the Halloween decorations and candy will be out, and before that is over, the Christmas paraphernalia will be out in full force.  Rush the seasons, much?  

You would think I'd be happy to see seasons changing, since it is bringing my retirement that much closer.  But I'm not quite there yet.  Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to not having to get up to got to work, it's just that I feel so far out from being able to make the transition.  Almost every area of my house is in disarray, filled with stuff.  My own bedroom has my sewing table, containers of fabric and patterns cluttering the space (not that I've done any sewing since D and Eli arrived).  My stash of yarn for knitting and crocheting is partly stored in the living room ottomans and the rest is in storage in the basement.  At one time this all had a place in the room Eli now inhabits.  His room, along with the living room, sun room, and back deck hold the voluminous mounds of toys, books, riding toys, and furniture that, apparently, every small child must possess.  

Then there is my daughter's bedroom...shudder.  I keep the door shut because I cannot stand to see the piles of clothing, books, personal care items, craft supplies, etc. etc. etc.  AND that's just one room.  The basement area has boxes of kitchen and household items, her freezer and other furniture, the garage is full of items for sale and consignment that she promises will be gone soon.  I've heard that before.  

However, we are making small progress in that regard.  D and Eli have been spending some time in Melville, a small town just 90 minutes from Regina.  Her friend A lives there with her three children (another due in November).  Her youngest child is 3 months younger than Eli, and the two women have become close friends.  A has convinced D that with the cost of living it makes sense to move there.  Unfortunately there isn't much available for rent, so with some trepidation, I've agreed to look at providing the down payment for a small house.  Because of her financial situation (which is about as messy as her bedroom), I'll be the titled owner.  

To that end, I visited a mortgage broker on Friday to explore the possibility and determine what I could afford.  As I expected the extent of the funding available far exceeds my comfort level.  I did some calculations and confirmed that if D had absolutely no funding I would still be able to manage the costs within my retirement budget.  But of course, the expectation is that she will cover the costs of the mortgage, insurance, utilities and property taxes.  She's currently receiving funding that will provide more than sufficient funds, and is in discussions with her employer to work from home when she returns to work in the future.  There are also employment opportunities in the community as well as in Yorkton which is about 20-30 minute drive.  So unless all goes to hell in a hand basket, she and Eli will be in their own home within the next 2-3 months.  And should this fail, I guess I'll have a place to live when I retire....not necessarily where I want to be.

D and A visited six properties this past weekend, of the 17 that were within her price range.  Almost every one of the properties has been listed for sale for at least 180 days.  Apparently there was a large project being built nearby with construction over several years.  These houses were purchased by the workers, and now the job is done, the properties are up for sale.  However, like many small towns, the community is home primarily to seniors who have moved off the farm, and young families seeking lower costs, so while there is a fair amount of inventory, demand is low.  It is a buyer's market, and the cost of property is probably 25-30% of what similar houses would cost here in the city.  

D, Eli, and I are planning to go to Melville on Thursday to visit the short listed properties.  I assume we'll make an offer on one of the properties before we leave, with conditions of financing, appraisal, and inspection before any deal is done.  Wish me luck!

Well, on that note, I'll sign off for this week.  Have a great week everyone!


  1. I do wish you luck! That's dicey, but my feeling is that if you make the purchase with the awareness of the possibility that your daughter won't be able to cover the costs on an ongoing basis, then at least you're going in eyes open, which sounds like the case. One of my coworkers bought her adult daughter a condo, paid the costs for the majority of the time, and just sold it a month ago, 10 years later. Boy, was she happy to be done with it. Of course it was her choice to do that... and complain mightily for the decade too.

    With regard to the curtains, if you want something inexpensive for the short term, try Jysk if you have one, or Ikea. Bed, Bath and Beyond sometimes has good sales online too. I've lucked out with curtains for my living room, among other things.

    Take care and have a great week.

  2. I can't believe I missed this entry. I'm sorry. I used to check blogs at work; now I'm in a position where they can see what I'm doing. Very unfair.

    I sympathise with the problem of having to pay for daughter's house. I wonder if she will like living in a small community. At least there are a number of choices within her (your) price-range. But it's risky. However, as Kim wrote, you understand the dangers. It would be so nice to have a worry-free retirement, though, wouldn't it?

    As for Sheldon and the curtains... Sigh. I wonder if he WILL out-grow such behaviour. Some cats stay mischievous, without intending to be, their whole lives. My Tucker, returned to the rescue-group I work with after five years due to inappropraiet wetting, still has that problem from time to time. He dislikes Parker, and will wet just outside the litter-box in the library, where Parker stays at night. I have a soaker pad there, but wherever I place it, Tucker seems to urinate just beyond its edge. And today... Well, tomorrow, I'll write on my blog what he did.

    Paws crossed with regard to your daughter's house. I know you will miss her and Eli when they move, but there is something to be said, as you know, for having your own house back.


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