Sunday 29 September 2019

Catching up

First off, a word of thanks to all who have sent e-mails or left messages of condolences on the passing of my cousin Deb.  Your words of comfort are appreciated.  

Another busy week is nearly in the books - it just amazes me sometimes how quickly the time passes.  The last year I worked seemed to drag, in just over 2 months I'll have been off work for a full year.  

After a full day on Monday, I spent Tuesday doing the chores I normally would have done the previous day along with my regular chores in order to get the house ready for another showing.  We're had no feedback on that visit.  The following I headed out to visit D and Eli.  His father J is visiting as well, and while I was there I took some photos of the three of them.  I prefer candid versus posed shots and had ample opportunity to capture some fun photos.  

We went, first, to the indoor playground.  There is so much to do there, toys to play with equipment to play on, and that morning a music program.  Eli was less than cooperative for the music portion, but had fun none-the-less.  He's holding a piece of foam to his mother's face so she can look through it too.

I've chosen not to share photos with his parent's faces clearly shown.  I know D wouldn't mind, but I'm not sure J would agree.  
 He and J built several towers of the foam pieces, and as I would have expected, after each tower was built, Eli knocked them down.  This time it was the dinosaur who did it! 

The playground is located in an old school that was closed several years ago.  The community has done a wonderful job of converting it to commercial and non-profit space.  There is an art gallery, a thrift shop, the indoor playground, and more.  J obtained permission from the staff to play the piano in the old gym while he's there so that's where we went next.

After a bit of music, the two of them ran around the gym running off some energy.  It's clear Eli is really enjoying his time with his dad.

J flew him around like an airplane, and the laughter from Eli was a joy to hear.

After a brief stop at home for a quick bite of lunch we played some more out in the yard before Eli demanded that we go to the "pawk".  We had the whole place to ourselves, it was a bit cool and windy, but that didn't stop the little guy from having fun.  

This is one of my favorite photos from the day.  His dad was pushing him on the swing and he was giggling so happily.  

It was a fun morning, despite the fact that J is not one of my favorite people.  However, the visit is going well and most importantly Eli is truly enjoying the time with both of his parents.  J has completed a number of minor repairs in the house, and D has been able to get housework done while J entertains his son.  Fingers crossed the good times continue.

My friend K picked me up for lunch on Thursday.  We drove out to a restaurant in a small bedroom community as she had a coupon we could use.  We each had a burger, a beverage, and shared an order of fries, for $20.  Definitely a good bargain!  We had a wonderful conversation, talking about travel plans, discussed the failure of the house to sell, and many more topics.  We never run out of things to talk about and it was after 2 when she dropped me off at home.  There was a showing that morning as well, and again no feedback. 

Friday was a relatively quiet day....I was ready for one.  I did do a little more Christmas shopping.  I'll have to check my list but I believe I'm down to my nephew and I'll pick up a gift card one of these days.  I was thinking I might start wrapping next week to get it done and put away.  I went out for dinner with my friend C.  She is doing a little better but having a tough time at the moment facing some "firsts" in this new chapter of her life.  Not only is she doing all of the fall cleanup in the yard (which is very large), but she's planning to go south at the end of this week to their timeshare.  She's left her return open so if it is too much for her and she decides to return early she can.  

It was my turn to get yard work done on Saturday, but not until after an early morning showing.  The e-mails I got said they were only in the house for two minutes, but based on lights on/off and closet and bedroom doors opened/closed, I suspect they were in the house much longer than that.  However, I've resigned myself to the conclusion that the house isn't going to sell during this listing.  I've done some serious thinking and decided that I'll find another agent later in October before I consider listing again.  As nice as Curtis is, I don't believe he's given the showing agents good information about the property and its condition.  Thus, we've had a lot of people through but not the sort of folks that would truly interested.  

Saturday was a triple header football day, so it meant the yard work had to get done in between the showing and the first game.  I put away all the decorative garden items, solar lights, and the front patio furniture.  I also pulled all the tender annuals, impatience, coleus, ivy, and bacopa because the forecast was for frost and snow overnight.  Yes, you read that right....snow.  That four letter word!  I've left out some geraniums and mums because they're reasonably hardy and should provide a little colour until mid-October.  Unless, of course, this first snowfall ends up hanging around.  I cut back some of the perennials but left most because I know the rabbits will be looking for a food source and they'll do the work for me. 

This morning, I woke up to a cloudy, wet day but thus far no snow, thankfully.  I'll definitely be spending the day indoors - I have several television programs I've PVR'd to watch, a knitting project started, and I'm planning to make stew for dinner.  Fingers crossed, no one wants to see the house because I'm not in the mood for it.  

Have a great day everyone!

P.S.  The Riders won!  We've clinched a spot in the playoffs. 

Tuesday 24 September 2019


It was a very long day yesterday, nearly nine hours of driving and a few hours spent visiting with family and wandering the roads of our childhood.  I'm so grateful for my brother R, he was the driver and the instigator in the trip down memory lane.  I drove out to his farm about 7:30 a.m. and we were in the truck and on our way a few minutes later.  It is about a four hour drive to our home town, but we took the scenic route which added another 30-45 minutes to the trip. 

Our detour took us down the Cherry Ridge Road, which was the main grid road leading to our parent's farm.  The farm was sold in 1991 when they moved to town to the son of a neighbour and he lives there still.

The house I grew up in is no longer there, as it burned down several years ago.  K has rebuilt, and his new home is heated and cooled by geothermal.  Mom's garden is still there, though somewhat than it was when I was a child.  K was in the garden picking potatoes when we drove past, so we drove into the yard and had a short visit.  

There are still two old buildings from our time left on the yard.  The old single car garage was there as long as I can remember. I'm 60 now, so it's been there a long time!  The old building to the left of it was moved onto the yard sometime after I moved from home in 1978 but it was an old building then too.  

What we both remarked on was that the yard seemed smaller than we remembered.  K has added a number of buildings and bins so perhaps that explains our perception.  Mom's flower beds no longer exist but K has done a good job of maintaining the farm yard.  Too, he's done much to make the property energy efficient and sustainable. 

We continued on the grid road, pointing out to each other the side roads that led to the homes of the various families on the bus route.  When one of us couldn't a name, the other generally could.  We reached the highway and had a choice to turn left to the take the "new" bridge (built in the 1970's) or turn right and use the old bridge into town.  We chose to turn right...which as it turned out was the best choice as the new bridge is undergoing some construction.

The old bridge was constructed from 1928 to 1930, and provided access to the town as well as the railway.  I don't remember seeing a train crossing very often though I'm certain it was used when I was a child.  Since the new bridge was opened, the old bridge was outfitted with traffic lights so that traffic could only cross in one direction at a time.  R and I laughed about that because it wasn't unusual for our school bus to meet a grain truck on the bridge.  Both vehicles would pull in the mirrors and inch past one another.  It wasn't always a speedy maneuver but it got done.  

After a drive down main street, we turned onto Center street and stopped at a mural that was painted in the 1990's.  The town has thirteen of these murals but this one is special to us.  On the left of the mural, the third man (nearest to the child peering in the window) is our Dad. This is how I remember him, striding along on his way to row, the museum to volunteer, heading home for lunch.  He either walked or rode his bicycle pretty much every where until he wasn't able to do so any more.  

As we were taking our photos a lady stopped to chat and it turned out that the little girls in the mural were her young daughters and a friend.  Before we left, R had me take a photo of him walking alongside Dad.  

We headed over to a local restaurant to meet our cousins, B and D, along with B's son M, and D's daughters, K and K.  I haven't met D's daughters before, lovely young women who are in the early 20's.  They live in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories and one has recently completed her university degree, the second is in her final year, both attending school in Edmonton, Alberta.  We had a great lunch, good food, good conversation, and as is always the case with this group lots of teasing and laughter.  

Before we headed to the funeral four of us, B and M, R and I, stopped by the house in town that Mom and Dad lived in after leaving the farm.  They purchased the house from B and later we sold it back to him, when Dad moved to the nursing home.  We laughed because the house was sold three times for the same price.  First when B originally purchased it, the sale to Mom and Dad, and the sale back to B several years later.  He subsequently did some renovations and resold it...I'm assuming at a much more significant price.  The new owners put on a porch on the front but it recently burned.  The house is currently uninhabitable and has a sign indicating there is asbestos.  We suspect it was found in the insulation in the old house.  Actually the house was once a two room school house that was renovated to a two bedroom house and moved to town many years ago.  

We still had a bit of time before the service was to start, so R and I took a drive around town, past old our old high school and out to the farm of family friends just on the outskirts of town.  Then it was downtown where we were stopped by a red light at the only light in town.  You had to be there, it was funny!  

The service was....interesting and I won't say much more about that.  I generally cry at funerals (and weddings) but not this time.  Perhaps it was just me but it didn't seem to be a touching tribute to Deb.  There were moments in the eulogy that came close but never seemed to meet the mark.  The family had done up a lovely pictorial tribute that was displayed in the front lobby, along with various framed family photos throughout the years, and the beginnings of a scrapbook.  I found these brought back more memories than anything.

After the service, as is always the case in small towns, there were sandwiches, dainties (does anyone use that term anymore?  Small desserts), and coffee and tea.  The room was far too small, so I stopped in only to chat with Deb's husband G, and other cousins.  G is doing okay, though he's had his own health challenges in the last year.  He and Deb were married young, in 1974, just out of high school.  They've been through a lot in that 45 years, various moves, and jobs, and adopting two of Deb's younger siblings when their mother passed away.  Their three adult children live nearby and I know for certain will be a good support for one another in the days to come.  

We didn't stay long as we had another long drive ahead of us and had a stop to make in a nearby town to drop off a box of items for a distant relative of R's wife.  Instead of heading west from there we took the highway south through areas where R has hunted in the past.  We saw thousands of snow geese either in the air or on the fields, a huge flock of sandhill cranes, and more flocks of Canada geese.  The swathers and combines were busy taking off the crops so there were many grain trucks on the highway as well.  Further south we cut across country back to the highway we'd taken north, and at the valley we turned onto the smaller secondary highway that leads to the farm.  That was a cautious ride the rest of the way, as there were more deer crossing than R has seen before.  He's a good driver though and avoided hitting any of them.  

I didn't stick around, as I was tired and ready to get home.  I can't imagine how tired I would have been had I driven all that way and back.  I arrived back at home about 8:30, grabbed a small bite to eat and was in bed shortly thereafter.  

Despite the reason for the trip, it was a good day.  My brother and I enjoy each other's company, never running out of topics to discuss.  Seeing the old farm yard was a treat, sharing memories and visiting with my cousins for the first time in many years was appreciated.  Even if one of them didn't recognize me.  

Have a great day everyone!  

Saturday 21 September 2019

Off line

Just a short post to say I'll be AFK (away from keyboard) for a few days.  In addition to issues with my computer, my cousin Deb passed away on Wednesday.  My brother R and I will be travelling to our hometown for her memorial service on Monday. 

I'll be back!

*comments off

Monday 16 September 2019

Joy in the valley

This post will be light on words, heavy on photos.  I had such a wonderful time hiking to the ridge with my brother and seeing the valley from a different perspective.  It was just what I needed!

Starting out from the farm yard, looking across Qu'Appelle Valley

Most of the color is yellow, but we do have some bushes that turn red.  Can you spot my brother?

He's pointing out a certain spot, I don't recall why

Bird's nest or hornet's nest in the tree - we couldn't agree

It was 27C when we moved from the open area onto the deer trails that led up the valley to the ridge.  It must have been 10 degrees cooler in the trees and brush but the mosquitos were wicked!  We'd sprayed ourselves well in preparation but the little buggers were annoying.  
When we reached the top (just under 300 feet climb), the heat hit us again.  Not much of a breeze, so the mosquitos followed us!
Welcome to Hidden Valley

More Hidden Valley

After I took numerous photos, far more than I've shared here, we started our trek back down.  This time we headed for the trail my brother affectionately calls Tumbler Ridge.  So called, because of the time he fell while running and tumbled down the steep embankment about 20 feet.  I was very cautious in my steps after hearing this!
Saskatoon berry bush in its fall glory

Blogger is being a pain, every time I try to add a caption it deletes the photo.  In any event, trees that you see below contain the trail that we took to climb up to the ridge. 

Looking down towards the house (that's the roof), and towards the oxbow in the Qu'Appelle Valley.  

Getting closer!  I told R to go ahead of me, in case I fell I could land on him.

The neighbour's dog, Gracie came along with us.

Still some flowers blooming

And we made it back, sweaty and thirsty but in one piece!  I stayed and visited for a little while, enjoying a refreshing glass of cold water, and going through the photos with R.

Before I left I took a few more photos in the yard.
The sunflowers are volunteer, from the bird seed my brother puts out.

One last look up to the hills
On the way home, I took a different route and spotted a coyote on the side of the road.  When I stopped to try to take its photo, it dashed off into the brush.  Darn, I would have liked to have gotten the shot.

Instead to close out the post, here's the final photo of the day.
It's the quintessential autumn photo on the Prairies (minus the combine).  The crop (red clover I believe) has been swathed and is drying in the field ahead of combining. We've had a lot of rain, so I'm sure the farmer is getting anxious to get this crop in the bin.  

As I look at the photo, it brings back memories of my dad.  He would have had a conniption over the crooked line of the swath.   He was very particular, so much so that when mom was on the swather she was only permitted to cut parallel to the road, so no one could tell if she was driving in a straight line.  I'm serious!  

It was absolutely wonderful day, the weather was beautiful and despite pesky mosquitos, I did something I've never done before in climbing to the top of the valley.  The best days are the ones of which memories are made, and this was definitely one.  

Sunday 15 September 2019

Life is a roller coaster

Well, this has been quite the week, with a number of ups and downs.  Still no offer on the table, as the potential buyer has decided to hold off on making a decision until after the weekend.  As I said to my agent, I suspect he's waiting to see if I will blink.  In reality the ball is in his court as I can't make an offer to the buyers.  We're currently about $10,000 apart which on a 25 year mortgage works out to approximately $35 a month (plus interest).  Hopefully his agent will point this out to he willing to give up a property that he and his wife like for such a relatively small amount?  I should note too, that I'd be reducing the price an additional $5,000 to make this happen so if he needs a win, he'll have it.  Oh well, life carries on.  

For most of us anyway.  On Wednesday, the day the first offer was received, I woke up with a migraine.  I haven't had one for two years or more - once I was on this side of menopause they became much less frequent.  It was a doozy and I spent almost the entire day in bed.  I'd just gotten up and taken some meds and gone back to bed, when I got a message from one of my cousins.  She was contacting me to let me know her sister, the oldest of six, had been recently diagnosed with late stage cancer.  Deb has been given a prognosis of mere weeks to live and is currently at home.  I won't be going to visit, as she's asked for only immediate family.  All of her siblings have had a chance to spend some time with her, for which I am thankful.  

It is devastating to the family, as they lost both their parents to this awful disease many years ago.  My uncle Bob (my mother's brother) was only 44 when his life was cut short by lung cancer.  His wife, Ardie was diagnosed shortly after he was with colon cancer.  She told me once, she'd said to God, "I said give the cancer to me instead, not too!".  She survived for five years after surgery and a colostomy but died when she was 49 of liver cancer.  In so many ways, it seems so unfair; Deb was just 64 last May.  Sadly, the last few times I've seen her, we were at funerals.  

It rained most of the week, so I spent much of my time indoors.  My friend C told me she had 2 1/2 inches of rain in her gauge over the week.  Yikes!  I used the time to be productive.  I finished my afghan, worked on my cross-stitching project (just back stitching left to do), and sewed a Superman cape for Eli for Halloween.  I have to cut it down as it's far too long, but I wasn't certain what length his mom wanted it to be.  They'll be here later this week so I'll finish it off while they are at the house.  I'm sure he'll get use out of the cape more than once - what small child doesn't like to play super hero?  

We did have another showing, on Sunday afternoon.  My agent was the showing agent, so feedback was immediate.  They were a young couple, didn't mind the small yard, but this was the first house they've looked at.  As he said, no one buys the first house they look at. :(

I decided I needed a break from everything, and my brother had let me know the fall colors were reaching their peak in the valley, so I left my son to wrangle the cats for the showing and I went for a drive.  They were just sitting down to a late lunch so we chatted while they ate, and then R and I went for hike up the hill (using the deer trails he's cleared to reach the ridge).  I'll just put a couple of photos in this post and will share more tomorrow.  I only took 92 photos in total, so there are quite a few to post... I promise not all of them.   

This is the road down to the valley.  Just a couple of weeks ago it was green as can be.

The "red roofed" church, is an Anglican church rarely used any more, though there are several graves around it, some fairly recent.

Some couples use it in the summer for wedding photos.  And of course, it is a landmark for everyone who lives nearby. 

This is part of the trail before we headed in more brush.  You can see where my brother has mowed.  This was the easy part of the hike. 

When I got home, I had a call from my agent (no, not an offer), that another agent was showing the house around the corner and wanted to know if they could come here.  Of course I said yes, because every showing is a potential buyer.  However, I said I'd just gotten home and I wasn't about to take the cats out of the house. Curtis said I could just step out of the house and let them see it.  My son drove off in his car, and I sat out on the patio.  They were in the house a good 15 minutes or so, but the feedback was the house wasn't for them, as they aren't handy and the house needs too much work.  Oh well, maybe the next group.

However, Curtis is going to tell the agent from last week's agent that we've had some interest based on today's showing.  I'm okay with a little white lie - it will either get the ball rolling again or they'll simply walk away.  Either way, I'll have my answer.  

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday 12 September 2019

The saga continues

No good news yet.  An offer came in, a ridiculously low ball offer, nearly 15% below asking. I countered, with what I feel is a very reasonable number.  My agent just called, and the buyer is saying no to that counter offer.  

However, all is not lost as his agent agrees that the property value is close to what my counter was, and will be discussing it further with his client.  It is expected that another offer will come (you can't counter a counter offer, who knew?), that will be a bit closer to my number.  It will be up to me to decide whether I take that, counter it, or walk away from it.  

I haven't decided what my response will be, though I anticipate it will be option b or c.  If I counter, I won't reduce my price much more but just enough to make him think he's won the battle if not the war.  I may take the third alternative and allow the offer to lapse.  There's a bit of psychological warfare in that option as if this buyer is really, truly interested he may put forward another offer.  If he doesn't I'm back to showing and hoping for another interested buyer - which to be honest isn't that attractive to me.

So I'm going to run the numbers one more time and decide what is worth more to me; several thousand dollars more or the chance to move on in my retirement to something different.  There are pros and cons to both.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday 10 September 2019

Getting my hopes up

If you would be so kind as to send some positive vibes my way today, it would be much appreciated.

We have a second showing booked for this evening - the group that went through last night are coming back.  My agent called (rather than texting), and indicated their agent has hinted that they are planning to make an offer after the second look.  Apparently they've been at this awhile and tend to make low ball offers.  At this point in time, I'll look at any offer but it will truly depend on how low they go and whether they will move at all should I choose to counter.

I did this with the house my daughter lives in.  The offer was significantly lower than the asking price because I knew the house had been listed for quite some time.  The owner countered with an offer that I accepted that I felt was reasonable.  

Guess what?  They like the yard size and prefer the fact there is a sun room.  They have teenagers and I suspect they can see the sun room and basement will make great hangout spaces for the kids.  

So fingers crossed that an offer is in my hands by end of day tomorrow.  I'll update this post when I know more.

Sunday 8 September 2019

Ho hum - Aug 2-8

I may regret saying this, but this week was pretty much boring.  Perhaps the word routine is more appropriate.  I spent my time cleaning in case of a showing, did a bit of crafting, went to my Wednesday stitching group, and out for dinner with my friend C.  The only change up was she had plans for Friday evening, so we met on Thursday instead.  

In fact, I think Thursday was my busiest day of the week.  I spent the morning doing some more cleaning.  I hadn't thought to clean the indoor/outdoor carpet in the storage area in the basement and it dawned on me it might be part of the reason for some of the cat odor.  I washed floors, cleaned the bathrooms, cleaned and washed the cat litter boxes,  and just puttered around.  It was good that I did, as my agent texted with a request for showing for Friday at 6, and a little later for one at 4:30 on Saturday.  

Friday, my friend K dropped by as I'd asked to borrow her nose.  Thursday evening, we'd been chatting about their most recent cruise (to Greenland!) and the fact my house still hasn't sold, and I asked if she'd be able to drop by and help me identify where the lingering cat odors might be.  We walked through the house and all she smelled was cleaning products!  So...either I've gotten rid of the odors (finally), or some folks are more sensitive to it.  That's fair enough and I would say I've been in homes where certain odors seemed strong to me too.

In fact, when we got home after the showing on Friday evening, we noticed the aroma of a man's cologne.  It wasn't my son's and the aroma was throughout the house.  I suspect they would have not have smelled any cat odor...unless they've become nose blind (as the Febreeze adverts say).  My son was parked where he could see the agent and an older couple; they were in the house for 25 minutes or so.  No feedback as yet.

We had another showing on Saturday afternoon.  Right in the middle of the Rider/Bombers game!  I seriously thought about saying no, but I didn't and just paused my live TV so I could watch the end of the game when I got home.  Though neither went as I would have liked.  The viewers were in and out of the house in less than 20 minutes, and the Riders lost.  

On Sunday morning, Eli came for a visit, while his mom did a bit of shopping on her own.  They had come to the city on Friday, to house and dog sit for a friend of hers (and Eli's godmother).  M, her partner and three boys were gifted tickets to the Rider/Bombers football game in Winnipeg, so she offered D $100 to come stay at their house for the weekend.  

D sent me this photo, and I laughed so hard.  I told her perhaps she needs to get Eli his very own cage.  He certainly seems to be enjoying hanging out in theirs.  Frankie is the German shepherd and Veena, the floppy eared dog (in front of Eli) is a foster.  D says that he likes the dogs and they like him too, and every picture she took of the dogs to send to M, Eli was in the photo too. 

We watched Paw Paw (Paw Patrol), listened to music, danced, read a book, and Eli brought out every toy in the house.  He was gentle with Sasha, who tolerated a lot before he finally snapped at Eli to let him know he'd had enough (he didn't actually bite him).  Eli was good and left him alone after that.  

One of his little toys plays the ABC song, and I was surprised to hear him say g, j, lmnop, r, s, v, x, and z along with the song.  I don't remember my kids learning their alphabet that early.  It won't be long before he knows it all.  He also pointed out the pumpkins I've put out.  Best of all he told me when he needed to potty!  Yep, he's almost fully potty trained.  D says, he's had a couple of accidents in the past week but he's no longer wearing diapers even at night.  He's just 2 1/2 years old!  But oh my, is he growing up quickly.  My brother said, if we only continued to learn at the same pace, we'd have been through high school by the age of eleven.  Too true!

So while most of the week was pretty humdrum, the end of it has been anything but.  I so enjoyed my time with my grandson; he always makes me smile.  And when he's left, it's time to clean...which is what I'll be doing for the rest of the afternoon.  

Have a great week everyone. 

Tuesday 3 September 2019

August's to do list

I definitely managed to complete more of the list this month.  I did reduce the number for 20 from 30, which made it a bit easier.  A lot were underway from last month too, so that helped!  I do like having the list - I keep it on the side of the fridge and it's a good reminder to do the things I enjoy addition to all the cleaning for showings that seem to never end. 
1. Count my blessings – daily - always
2. Send a letter or card to someone - J in England was the recipient, and I was totally amazed at how quickly it arrived. 
3. Drive out to visit D and Eli - I made a trip this week overnight on Sunday to drop off some items and get a visit with my adorable grandson.
4. Invite guests over for a visit or dinner - still my Achilles heel...maybe next month
5. Attend stitch, make, and chat at the library 
6. Make a gift - scarf for my SIL for Christmas
7. Sew or craft something/finish an ongoing project - finished another baby blanket and hemmed some jeans for my son
8. Go to the $$ or thrift store 
9. Try a new recipe - sausage and peppers with rigatoni pasta.  It was a hit with my son and I.  A do-over for sure!
10. Read a book - Two in fact, "She wanted it All" by Kathryn Casey - true crime, and "Begonia Brown: A Philadelphia Story" by Julia Press Simmons - novel
11. Watch a movie - The Accountant.  When it first started I wasn't that into it, but by the time it was finished I thought it was quite good.
12. Take a walk in the park
13. Repurpose/recycle something - I did find a pattern to make a cloth bag from an old t-shirt, and the t-shirt is sitting in the sewing room waiting for me get at it.
14. Bake something and and share it 
15. Learn how to make something
16.  Mow the lawn, sweep the deck weekly - I managed this about every 10 days due to rain which means it needs mowing badly right now!
17. Have coffee on the back deck or front patio
18. List something to sell on Varage sale
19. Volunteer - I did finish the weeding on the long weekend of August but I haven't been back.  Again, rain and procrastination.
20. Listen to my Spanish CDs in the car - I finally remembered to do this, but only when I was about halfway to D's house.  I got through the alphabet, though I'm sure I don't remember much of it.  

Time to start a new list for September, and work on those on those items that just seem to never get done.