Sunday, October 31, 2010

Moving Forward

Yesterday we loaded all the furniture minus our bed in the U-HAUL. The bed will be the last thing loaded & the first thing removed so we have something to crash on.

Sweetie went to bed at 9 p.m. and woke at 1:30 a.m. He puttered in the pole barn awhile then came in & drank coffee. I stayed up until 11:30 p.m. and got up at 6 a.m. The garbage has been hauled to the community dumpster and a few crates have been loaded but we need daylight to do much else.

Our aim is to leave here today. Time will tell as Sweetie just admitted to spitting up blood for the past two days.

I've arranged for more help once we arrive down state. In the meantime we appreciate everyone's comments and prayers. Treesong

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Procastinator's Curse

Sweetie and I have many similarities but also a glaring opposite trait; namely he's a procrastinator who takes his time to "think things through." I, on the other hand, act quickly, decisively and work a project through to its conclusion. If it has to be done, I getter done. Then it's finished!!!

The sheer thought of moving has immobilized him due to his "mess" in the pole barn. This consists of buckets, crates, boxes, tool chests, and piles of more stuff than I care to mention. And hardly any of it's been touched since being unloaded from the U-Haul 18 months ago!!!

So, a 26' truck has sat in the drive since 1 p.m. today - still empty. Our pickup, with sides built up around the bed, has been partially loaded.

Everything in the house is packed except the TV and computer, minimal toiletries and the coffee pot. We're living on soup, sandwiches, and oatmeal cooked in the microwave in heavy paper bowls.

We've had six calls from potential buyers of the Blazer/plow but either they haven't shown up, haven't had the money or low balled the asking price.

As of today, he plans to load the pickup; place it on the car hauler and have me drive the car down state. The Case tractor goes in the U-Haul with garage junk around it and furniture to the back of the U-Haul.

That's the plan. When it will come to fruition is any one's guess. We have until 1 p.m. Tuesday to return it - in Ionia.

WHEN this move is completed all of his stuff will land in yet another pole barn, where fortunately I can't see it from any window of the home.

To say I'm frustrated is an understatement. Thanks for letting me vent.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Living on Preps

I always knew there'd come a time when we lived totally on our preps. That time has arrived.

Based on our balance sheet and the likelihood that our land contract will be foreclosed on, we're belt tightening now.

Canned meats, soups, vegetables and fruits will be supplemented with dried pastas and beans and instant potato flakes. I have sauces, flavorings, gravy mixes and baking mix and pancake mix too and even powdered egg, butter, powdered milk, canned juices and 12 cans of coffee.

There have been times in my life when I ate nothing but pasta and soup for weeks on end. Thankfully, wise prepping will give us better fare.

So, from here on out, no grocery shopping. Our fridge top freezer here has 3# of hamburger, a beef roast, 30# of blueberries, some frozen veggies and a package of chicken breasts. Gonna clean up the freezer meat first instead of packing it in a cooler for the trip south. The blueberries will be transported on ice for use in pies, muffins and bread through the winter. Even if they thaw some, blueberries re-freeze well.

Our cleaning, personal care and medical supplies are in good shape too. The thing I'll miss is my caffeine free diet coke. But, sacrifice we will.

Occassionally I'll give updates as to how our diets are faring.

Well, it's late and I've been yawning long enough. Later, Treesong

Developments Since 10/14/10

The Buyer's deposit was delayed until Monday thanks to electronic snafus.

The people in our family - who've had little to do with us or my father - threw a tizzy over the nerve of us moving and "abandoning" my Dad.

We packed our truck full to the side walls Sweetie had built and hitched the golf cart on its trailer behind it. The motor home starter gave out 50 miles later at a gas station and we developed a fuel line leak to boot.

We had no other mishaps until the golf cart windshield flew off near the Lewiston exit. About 23 miles later a State Police car had stopped a car on the right shoulder so traffic merged to the left lane. Sweetie did likewise, promptly pulling in front of an 18-wheeler traveling at 70 mph while he did 55 mph. Four cars behind the 18 wheeler braked hard headed for the right hand lane where I was. I closed my eyes and said, "Lord, if this is my time, fine."

When I opened my eyes, the four cars where stopped in the left and right lanes; Sweetie was back in the right lane oblivious to it all, and the 18 wheeler was way ahead of the whole mess. I, on the other hand, was about to run into the back of a pick up as I had not braked at all!!!

At the first St. Johns exit, north of Lansing, I drove 25 mph on a side street in front of Sweetie in the motor home. Within 300 feet, the trailer detached from the ball hitch, a chain broke too and the tongue slid beneath the truck. I pulled over, thankful that we weren't traveling 55-65 mph on the highway.

We arrived at the new place just before night fall and couldn't find the key that had been hidden. A few phone calls and half an hour later we were inside. While waiting for entry Sweetie walked around the buildings and yard. His only remark was, "it's too close to the road."

We spent four days working on the place, unpacked and shared three meals with friends. It was wonderful to be in an area where people were looking forward to seeing us. By the second day we knew we'd made the right choice. Sweetie liked the road, the field, the neighbors and the convenience of an 16 mile round trip to Tractor Supply or Menards versus the 240 mile round trip we used to travel.

We arrived here last night and the family dramas have continued since. My sister-in-law had taken my father for a tour of an assisted living facility. He like the place, turned in his application and deposit and picked up a change of address form from the post office.

While my SIL was gone to a neighbor's to pick up some homemade jam, my ex showed up at her home and completely undid the previous arrangements. When she came home she found my ex sitting at her kitchen table with three empty beers. He said he "had taken care of everything" for Dad and he would be moving in with my daughter's boyfriend. The fireworks soon flew and the ex soon left.

My father said nothing at all but left the house while she was in the shower the next morning. He went to my daughter's home, called my middle sister and asked her to come out here with himto check on the cats. While here, they loaded most of his stuff in her truck & delivered it to the boyfriend's.

If you're dizzy from reading all this, imagine how we feel.

We've wisely chosen to remain neutral. In a matter of weeks they'll all realize what they've signed up for and their complaints will begin. In the meantime my father will relish all the attention and have lots of people to play against one another.

His niece and nephews downstate are amazed and shocked by all that has transpired. I've assured them that it's all "normal" in this family. The SIL and we feel fortunate that we'll be some distance away. She was going to remain here this winter but may return to Idaho. We'll be 527 miles south.

Frankly, when all is said and done, that's exactly what our "family" wants. Once again, what at first seems like upheaval and disappointment will be a blessing.

We've also received another past due tax notice on the land contract downstate. Tomorrow begins another round of phone calls, legal maneuvering and appointments. Perhaps by Tuesday we'll return to packing and loading a truck and enclosed trailer.

The adventure continues!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Just As I Open My Mouth...

Within two hours of my last post the buyer's lawyer finally called. The Purchase Agreement is signed tomorrow and the deposit is wired to our account.

Meanwhile I talked with my Dad's niece downstate and told her the news. She was excited as my Dad is the only elderly family she and her brothers have in Michigan. Dad's sister (her mom) lives in Florida. She too thought it would be good for all of us to have a change of scenery, etc.

The owner of the place we're buying downstate called awhile ago. Just wanted to be sure we're still interested. She's carrying a lot on her shoulders with her upcoming wedding, cleaning out her old home, her fiance's health (he's awaiting a heart transplant) and starting a new part time job.

I assured her we were more than ready to move & told her what we'd already packed. That in itself encouraged her.

And just imagine, Sweetie hasn't seen the place yet!!! Not in person anyway.

In a few days I'll post pictures of our vehicles and the sparse interior areas here.

Thanks all for your comments, Treesong

In Limbo

We're in that familiar place - Limbo.

I, being the proactive, getter done kind of gal, have packed the motor home to the ceiling, keeping in mind even weight distribution. It is our personal U-Haul and I'm crossing my fingers that it survives the 500+ mile trip.

Sweetie, being the laid back, reflective guy that he is, watches the progress and asks, "Did you remember to...?" And, "What about....?"

So today is role reversal time.

I'll read and sip coffee and wonder when he's going to remove himself from his all mighty recliner.

Occasionally, I'll comment on the weather and ask if he'll need help with anything.

Meanwhile, my father's been told of "the move" as simply and delicately as possible. Too much said leads to confusion and endless questions. We've told him he's free to remain in the area or go with us. To our surprise, we said he'd go with us.

However, and it's a huge however, my brother's in town until Sunday. A last minute trip to get dental, vision, hearing and a physical before jetting off again delights my Dad who meets his only son for breakfast this morning. Sunday brother flies to Iraq for work as a "gun carrier" according to his long suffering wife.

His wife and I have communicated via email (still ignoring her husband's directive) and she passed the word to my brother that we're moving. Brother made a few wisecracks and quickly went next door to my next youngest sister's. We all await the result of that meeting. We expect a pronouncement from them as to what Dad is to do. Brother is his executor and has Power of Attorney but otherwise limited contact with our aging father. Sister has called Dad about five times in 10 months and visited here three times. She's always got a smile on her face while here but goes home, calls my brother and mentions the tiniest concerns. The last was that Dad's car should be parked so that he doesn't have to turn around to leave the drive. And maybe he should eat more fresh fruit instead of canned.

Brother was fired from his last assignment in Jordan but, after two rejections elsewhere, managed to secure a 2-3 month stint in Iraq. His previous three stints there were at higher pay and position but, like his wife says, the AAA is catching up with him - attitude, arrogance and alcohol.

Dad doesn't want to sever the relationship with his cat so either he moves into a an apartment that allows pets; with another relative (can't imagine who) or with us. Right now he feels he and his cat should remain with familiar people. Personally, I think a change of scenery and closer to amenities and his downstate relatives and friends might be the best medicine.

Alas, as I'm always saying, time will tell.

We also await the signed Purchase Agreement and deposit from the buyer here and have issues to address with the land contract people downstate.

For sure, life is not dull!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

In Response to What's 4 Sale

If any one's interested in the items we have for sale, keep in mind we're located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula in northern Houghton County.

For those of you who've asked, the prices are as follows:

Golf Cart, 92 Yamaha w/canopy and split window, ball hitch & 3 sided box ($1500).

570 Case Diesel w/back blade, bucket, 3 pt. hitch, live PTO & new Country Line 5' brush hog ($5000).

1978 Chevy Blazer with Western plow. 350 V8. Missing rear bumper. Has great tires plus a spare. Used only for plowing driveway. ($900)

1981 Dodge Rockwood 2300. Sleeps 4-6. Awning and Onan generator. Propane 4-burner stove & oven. Propane/Electric refrigerator. Full bath w/tub/shower. Upholstery and windows/screens in excellent shape. ($3000).

Contact us via this blog if seriously interested.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

It's All For Sale

Sweetie has selling fever. He's had me listing things on Craigslist half the day - between three loads of laundry, vacuuming, cooking, bookkeeping, and packing a few boxes while Dad was walking.

I know what's motivating him: the chance to wheel and deal and visit farm implement stores, junkyards, scrap metal shops and auctions. As long as he keeps his wheeling/dealing on a profit making trend we'll both be happy.

So here's a sampling of what he's put up for sale. We've given first dibs to the guy whose buying this place.

Thanks all for your comments. Talk to ya'll later, Treesong

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Week of Changes

As I posted earlier, the winds of change have been blowing and I knew something was in the works.

While visiting downstate, I followed my desire to return to a familiar area by lookin at real estate. I looked in a tiny village, then considered the nearby town of Ionia.

I also toured my elderly friend's home and knew instantly this was NOT the place. I talked to Sweetie that evening and told him of looking at my friend's home. He said, "I need a pole barn and five acres to drive my tractor around."

This was my first clue that he just might be changing his mind. Hmmm.

After four days of looking I decided to wander country roads. I'd told myself I'd turn down any road that had a real estate sign.

The very first road had NO signs but I turned down it anyway. Sixth-tenths of a mile later I came upon a for sale by owner sign. It said: "Mobile home, pole barn and five acres."

I sat there and cried for a couple minutes, gathered my senses and called the owner's number. The woman was bound for Chicago and would return in two days. Once I toured the place I was amazed at how God had heard my prayers. Both bedrooms are larger than what we have now and a bedroom and bath flank each end of the home. The layout is like none I've ever seen and there's more storage that I've ever had. The parcel is a long 5 acres with 168 feet of road frontage bordered by a corn field to the north and forest to the south. A two-track leads up a small incline beyond some woods by the pole barn and to a field where deer gather. Following that road I thought to myself, "this could be my after dinner walk." Twas a nice feeling.

The attached mud room will come in handy when Sweetie comes in from the pole barn where he will be able to drive his tractor inside thanks to the full-height sliding door. A deck off the living room looks out at perennial flowers, lilac bushes, raspberries and blackberries. Aside from removing the kitchen wall paper and rebuilding the deck, there is nothing to do.

We drive downstate next week so Sweetie can see the place. He's drooled over the pictures and spent the last few days "thinking about what to pack in the U-haul."

We emailed the man who wanted to buy the three acres and he's signing a Purchase Agreement and sending us a deposit next week for the whole place. We've also received an offer on the property downstate that we sold on a land contract.

If that sells we'll be out of debt and have a tidy nest egg.

Our only remaining challenge is what to do about Dad. We've decided not to say anything until all the ink has dried and the results of his CAT scan are in.

I pray my father will realize he needs to live in town where he's surrounded by my sisters and my children. He craves attention and action and we're either tired or too sedate at this point. I think we're all in need of a change.

If things have worked out thus far the rest will too.

Sweetie accepts the fact that his health no longer permits working on constant remodeling/repair projects. Living within a mile of a small grocery, gas station, library and medical clinic would be advantageous and best of all we have wonderful neighbors. The road is a mile long and includes three retired couples, one Black Angus farm next door, a 30-ish couple with two kids, and a 48 year old single man who winters in Florida.

So now The View From Treesong's will have a difference perspective!