Thursday, October 30, 2008

Phillies Won! and I wasn't asleep ...

After 28 years, the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series .... it was nice because I was awake to see it happen. As a child, I was, of course, a Phillies phan growing up here in South Jersey but I rarely saw the end of a game, particularly a World Series game because I often fell asleep or had to go to bed for school. And, as an adult, I rarely watched any baseball game, too slow, too interested in other stuff. I did see a few Mariners games but now I'm back in the farming part of the Garden State, I have to be a Phillies fan.

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

Time slipped away ...

So I had all these good intentions to keep the blog up to date but, of course, time slipped away. I'm learning that retirement is like that.

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.