Monday, December 29, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
So, it was fun to watch them win last night and have some special occurrence to falsely attribute to my being back.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
So what has happened?
- My mother fell in early August and fractured her pelvis. Trips to the hospital and then rehab really ate up time -- fortunately, she has recovered to the point of just needing a cane for extra balance security. Her trips with my Pops to the casinos in Atlantic City have resumed.
- The remodeling project has been architected by Greg Modelle and plans have been out to contractors for several weeks as they figure out their bids. Part of the reason this is taking so long is because this is a project to both add to and rehab the house. The porch area is becoming two walkin closets with a jackandjill bath between them; the living area is becoming a bedroom and will preserve the chestnut fireplace surround built by my great uncle the cabinent maker; the dining room is becoming a third bedroom; the kitchen is becoming a bath large enough for handicap access; and the old small second bedroom expands into the addition to become a new kitchen, with the remainder of the addition becoming a new dining and living room areas. The other reason for the slow pace on the contractor bid is the poor state of the economy. Specialty contractors have gone out of business over the summer and others have to be found with the right qualifications.
- I did manage to go fishing off the Avalon Fishing Pier with my Pops. It was a beautiful September day and I caught 2 king fish, several snappers, some pompano, and 2 undersize flounder that had to be released back into the ocean. What a blast that was.
- I found a movie buddy in my nephew-in-law, at least while he is home recovering from shoulder surgery.
What has been difficult is arranging doctors and homeowners insurance. Doctors are in short supply here and you wait weeks for appointments for dentists as well. The homeowners insurance is a problem because the house is from the 1920's and has not had electrical or plumbing upgrades. So, I found that there are "special" lines for homeowners just as there are assigned risk pools for car insurance. And, just as costly. It has been quite a frustrating experience. All the insurance companies will be very happy to insure me after the remodeling, yeah right.
I am having a wonderful time getting to know my grandson. So whatever else is going on, that experience trumps it all.
Friday, July 25, 2008
My sister moved more of her belongings from the ice house to her storage shed and I vacuumed again. Discovered that my parents had a Bissell carpet steamer that I could use the next day. Put that aside so I could go car shopping with my parents. I had returned my leased car in Seattle and needed wheels. It's embarrassing at 60 to ask your Daddy to borrow his car.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Oh, what is the ice house you ask. Well, around the turn of the previous century, my grandfather and his business partner had a very large pigeon farm where they raised squabs to ship to fancy NYC, Philadelphia, Chicago restaurants and sold to ocean liners. In addition, Dyer & Davis canned squabs to sell to hospitals that were set up to deal with illnesses such as TB. There was not regular refrigeration as we are accustomed to, so they built a freestanding building and lined it all with cork. By the time of my childhood, the building had been converted to an office for the pigeon farm. And, by the time I was teenager, the ice house had been moved next to my grandparents house, where my grandfather did some shop work and made fishing poles for surf fishing.
The pigeon farm is long gone, done in by the all the federal regulations on poultry farming. It was a specialty business by that time, but I sure miss the squabs. Cornish game hens are still chickens, without the delicate flavor nor the unsaturated nature of the fat on the birds.
Of course, this means that the house is infested. So I get an appointment with a vet for the following Monday (soonest appointment) and think I will get working on getting the ice house ready for my occupancy. Well, it is way too hot in there, so my father and I go off to buy an air conditioner for the space and groceries for a special dinner he is cooking that evening to celebrate the return of the far wandering if not prodigal daughter.
So, in one stop, the air conditioner gets purchased and I get keys made for the house. The air conditioner is too heavy for either my father, who is in his 80's, or me, who has already had one back operation, lift but a store employee puts it into the trunk for us.
Back at the house, the electrician's helper, who is working on the 200 amp upgrade and running wiring to the ice house, carries it from the trunk to inside the ice house. I "accidently" phone my big strong volunteer fireman nephew and politely guilt him into coming later and installing the air conditioner in the window.
My nephew comes thru and the ice house is on its way to becoming livable. There is still a lot of cleaning to do in there but I won't die from heat prostration doing it.
The heat is exhausting so I set up a wireless network in my parents house, enjoy dinner, and then fall asleep in front of the Phillies game. That last part is familar because summers here before air conditioning meant sitting near a fan watching the Phillies and falling asleep.
Also, it was 80 degrees already at 7:00am. Also prophetic of the next weeks being a heat wave with all the mugginess typical of the mid-Atlantic coast. My Seattle sensibilities were sorely tried and I had just arrived.
Arrived at my parents', not my own house, because I didn't have a key and my sister was already at work. Also, the old ice house where I planned to hang my hat was not ready yet, so I crashed at my parents for the day. I needed to recover from the week long marathon called packing up a house. Even with all the generous help from my daughter-in-law and the break for July 4th, I was exhausted.
The movers had estimated it would take 2 hours to pack up the moving van but they arrived 2 hours late and then it took 4 hours. I barely made it in time to turn in the leased car before the dealer closed!
Anyway, we had an excellent dinner at Chinook's before making our way to the airport. They had even set up a special place for my 18 month old grandson with a spoon, high car, and paper napkin. Had my last taste of the blue plate special for awhile.