Monday, September 17, 2012

Fish or Cut Bait

I think I want to buy a house next year. Unlike in Seattle, I could actually get a house here and my house payments would be less than my current rent. The reasons are solid. I like my job. I don't HATE Texas. As I drove around town the other day I actually thought about making my stay here permanent. I'm sick of moving. I'm sick of starting all over in a new state. I think I'm ready to be a grown-up.

If I acquire a house, I can start the process to acquire children as well. I could do so while living in an apartment, but I live in a one bedroom and children need their own bedrooms and we go back to the I can buy a house cheaper than my current rent is - with multiple bedrooms.  The one thing that makes me nervous is the electric bill. Mine is currently appalling (to me). With so much more space in a house... I shudder to think. The winter is fine because I barely use heat but the summer... I NEED AC. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

There can be only one

I was super excited to discover that I can get Gluten-Free ice cream sandwiches at my grocery store. They are ridiculously over priced. (Well I suppose over priced is relative but I am too embarrassed to even tell you how much I spend on them which means they are over priced.)  But they are so damn good. So damn good.   So far I've been to the ice cream section three times to buy them. So far there has been one and only one container of them for me to buy. I suppose that's good because that means I have to ration my use of them and I can't go crazy and buy 6 boxes and eat them all in 2 days (which I might do).

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Family Project Phase 1

I've mentioned before that my parents' house needs a lot of help. My dad is too old to do a lot of the yardwork. My mom (and probably my dad too) is a hoarder. I volunteered (like an idiot maybe) to help them out.  My sister and I flew out for Labor Day weekend to deal with their front yard. Unbeknownst to me, they actually had received a letter from the City citing that they were violating multiple codes. We did what we could and hopefully they are back within code compliance. My sister is planning on going back over Thanksgiving to help deal with the garage. I'm not giving up my Thanksgiving plans, especially since we'll be back there in March.

This is the before picture. Those two cacti are severely overgrown. The smaller one on the left edge is called a 'bunny ears.'  The worst part about the damn bunny ears... the needles. The prickly pear on the right (also overgrown and big) at least has giant needles which are easy to pull out when they pierce the glove. Bunny ears give you teeny tiny clusters of needles. Please note the giant pile of crap up by the house. 

My parents had rented a smallish dumpster. We filled it and then my sister would climb on top and jump on it to squash the plant stuff down further into the dumpster. I think she had to do that twice. Maybe three times. She's kind of a badass because I was not about to do that.
Before lunch on the first day, we had cleaned up this side of the driveway. I pulled out an entire bunny ears behind that great big cactus. It was a mess. That big cactus, I don't know what it is called, but it also has teeny tiny spines. There was also one on the left side of the drive way which I trimmed with a chain saw. Look how badass I am with a chain saw? :) The little one in front is a cholla. Chollas tend to have big needles, but they are also hooked. That sucks, but luckily that little one was the only one that they had that was still alive.
At the end of day one we had filled this yellow trailer. I had read on the county's website that the transfer station was open until 3:00. Didn't realize that the CITY owned the compost part and that closed at 2:30.  That was not pleasing. We loaded up a bunch more on top of this over the rest of the weekend.
While I was weed whacking this little guy ended up on the top of the weed whacker. (wacker?). Super cute and he (she?) sat there as I carried it around the house, found my cell phone, futzed with my cell phone and took the picture. I had to move it onto a plant. It didn't want to leave the weed whacker (wacker?)

We filled that bad boy. In fact it was kind of bulging on top because we threw a bunch of rose bush clippings on top of it and continued to stuff. It was like packing a suitcase.
This stack of wood represents all the wood that was randomly in their front yard. There's a wood buffet amongst that crap. It had been damaged by rain. I'm not sure why they bought it to begin with. To torment me I'm sure.
Monday morning we used these old cinder blocks from a side fence and built this little "wall" to hide my father's SIX scooter lifts. Why do they have six scooter lifts? Very good question. Only one is regularly used but suggest getting rid of one and you'd think we suggested murdering one of their cats or something. One doesn't work at all. We were super close to getting rid of it but then my dad changed his mind. He's been influenced into her hoarder world.
On Monday afternoon the clouds rolled in. I convinced my sister that we were done at about 2:00. Good thing, after we cleaned up at the hotel, and went to leave to go get pedicures, it was POURING. And it continued to pour until Tuesday. Luckily SV weather is kind of weird and by the time we got from the motel to Denny's, that area barely was sprinkling.
We were waiting at the transfer station on Tuesday morning when it opened up. You may (or may not) be able to tell but there's a little brown road runner in the back investigating the contents of the trailer. I tried to get a better pic, but it wasn't having any of it. 

Here is the finished product. We got rid of all the wood. We got rid of all the weeds. That big white trailer... full of stuff. Sigh. We cut back a bunch of the cacti in the front yard. They can actually PARK in the drive way. Imagine that. Since they own 3 cars. Which is weird since there are only two of them and in general my mom doesn't drive. (although I did learn she still does periodically.)
Next up... Phase 3. I'm skipping out on Phase 2. Luckily that's not until March.