17 May 2017

Poor Little Emperor

It's finals week at Cityname North High School!  So now would be the perfect time to come down with a horrible fever, a sore throat, a terrible headache and body aches all over the shoulders and neck.  Yes!  I sent the kid out on the bus and he was just fine until two hours later when it hit.

The school nurse demanded I drop everything and pick up this germy kid because he was breathing everywhere.  And refusing to talk at all.

Off to the doctor we went!  Of course we spent $40 in copays to find out he'll be fine, do the rest and fluid thing.

He's still rather ill two days later.  Still has a fever.  He cannot go to school like this.  I am not sure how he can make all this up.  School ends soon and there is no way he can make up ALL his finals by the end of the school year.  There is nothing I can do about it today or tomorrow, though.

And even if he could go to school, he wouldn't do so well.  My he's just so shaky and tired.  He's curled up on the couch all day and not doing much of anything.

15 May 2017

Knockout Roses!

I'm not sure why there are different coloured flowers on the same plant, but there you go.

This is what my knockout roses looked like after a hearty trimming.  It was getting to the point where the mailman was going to get skewered by thorns, and we just can't have that.

I popped a few of the extra flowers I wacked away into this vase.  I should arrange them better but I'm rather afraid to handle the stems.  Last time I was outside working, a thorn got lodged sidewise in my thumb and D had to yank it out for me.  It was just painful enough and at just such an angle I couldn't get it myself.

12 May 2017

Spelling the States

There are 50 states in the US and we're working on where they all are and how to spell them.  Rather than stand around all day reading the names of the states for our spelling tests, I just use a map and write in the US Postal abbreviation for each state, note how many states are on the test, and away the children go writing down their answers.

We're doing the US in sections (Northeast, Midwest and so on) so that it isn't too overwhelming.  Just for fun, check out what happens when you give Aussies a blank map of the US and ask 'em to fill in the states.  Mine is Missouri, midway up the "no one important lives here" label on that first map.

10 May 2017

Lookit THIS Gem!

Well, you can't really see the whole house.  But they want $130,000 for it.

No, you can't go upstairs.  Ever.  Nevermind that the roof is leaking and God knows what damage is going on up there or who/ what is up on that top floor.  Someone has a lease of some kind but has never paid anything including a security deposit.  Somehow if you buy the house you assume responsibility for whatever that whole situation would be and no, you can't ask about it.

Aaand this property has been viewed over 1,350,000 times on Zillow.   Wonder why?

02 May 2017

Getting Stuff Done Around the House

So D and I want to make our house as maintenance-proof as possible, get needed updates done, and just sort of spruce up a bit.  I got a quote a bit ago on tearing out our old deck and replacing it with just a plain old stairway.  That's it.  Nothing fancy.  Total cost:  just under $9,000.  I mean really. 

We're looking into getting the Azek decking material for the stairway and requested samples from the company.  We have our colours all picked out and have had two contractors out so far giving us bids.  But from what I'm hearing?  The actual frame of the deck would be plain ol' wood anyway.  So... the point of having decking that lasts 25 years?  I'm not sure? 

But we're looking into it anyway.  You know how that goes... I just can't see myself spending $5000 on a wooden deck I replace in 10 years.  The sticker shock is pretty hard, though.

And then there are two trees.  Two trees cost how much to remove?  Take a good guess...

The trees in question are kinda tall and close between the houses... but still.  $$$
You will never guess, so I will tell you:  $12,500.  JUST to take down the trees.  We're not even talking of removing the stumps or making anything around that area pretty.  I'm really thinking at this rate we are not ever going to be "done" with home improvement stuff.  There is no way I have $12,500 around just to cut down a couple of trees.

Well, darn it.  We've saved a few pennies for a bit of updating but not another $20,000.  We had already spent about $25,000 last year on the siding and windows.  Think we have that much sitting around with nothing to do in our bank account after spending that?  Think again!  :)
Our Azek/ Timbertech sample collection.

Oh well.  Now that I've ordered samples of this and that and made enquiries with a zillion different contractors, the magazines are rolling in.  It's nice to dream, I guess.  My kitchen could use a looking-at judging from the photos I see in these publications.  Whoever thought a kitchen was just a cozy place to prepare and eat food?  What was I thinking?  It is supposed to be a giant granite sanctuary with recessed lighting, folks!  I didn't know that.  Also?  Everything is to be some odd shade of grey with cabinet knobs made of nickel.

Woodjie's Roller Dance Routine!

Only a few people were selected to perform their routines at a recent club fundraiser.  I went to upload this video and was pretty shocked...