Sunday, May 31, 2009

Flowers Like These

With flowers like these there's not much to say. We've enjoyed a lovely Spring which in some years is as short as a day. This year it's lasted weeks, but just to be sure, I've captured the photos to enjoy the flowers all year long. My favorite? The black (purple) iris, found at our lot on Riverside lakes (home used to be owned by a woman whose father was an iris hybridizer). It had been moved to my sister in law's home in Gretna, then back to my home last summer when their house sold. The best part? It's colonizing. I can't wait to share some when her new house is built.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Let the Renovation Resume

Our first day back at the FLIP and in spite of days of rain, the inside is completely dry. The tarp still covers the french door and the siding is 3/4ths done, just the way we left it last fall with the exception of a wasp nest which Brian took care of, thank you!

It only took three of us about four hours to rake and clean up the property, vacuuming indoors after sweeping. The off-balance neighbor who rents the house at the bottom of the hill said we were stupid last summer to install plants and beds before finishing the house, but seeing the healthy Hosta, Butterfly Bushes, Peonies and Ferns really made my day.

Did you notice the pergola in front? Brian built that. The stone was put up with help from the grandkids and anyone I could find to grab a trowel and mix cement.
My brother Steven will be here this week to help us get the renovation back on track. We've got siding to finish, electrical to hook up and then it's all interior work. Meanwhile I'm heading back tomorrow to divide and relocate plants.

28 is the New 18!

My youngest daughter sent these MoneyGrams with a note to reimburse for her car payment. After several attempts at community college and trade schools, Nursing and Esthetics, she's finally working at a job she loves. She's selling "Boots" cosmetics. The best part is that she's able to work part-time, care for her 5-year old son and still have spending money and the self-esteem that goes with earning a living. She'll be 28 this winter my late bloomer is doing just fine.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Let's Finish This Post Tomorrow

My friend Sharon remarked bluntly that my flip, having taken over 2 years so far, is "not really a flip now is it?!" I love that kind of honesty.

True, and tomorrow is the first time in five months that we've visited the property. In fact, here's the last photo taken last fall before winter kept us off the gravel road for 5+ months.

So I'll be finishing this post AFTER I see the house and learn whether it's survived winter, or become a racoon nest. Until then,

Update at 2:00 p.m. No racoons, no water!

I'm Everywhere

Nobody wants to think of themselves as invisible, but I've gone to the wild side exposing myself on Twitter, FaceBook, this blog and now even as an expert in Women's Day magazine. Mind you, my expertise is dust, apparently, and my mom would probably agree. Getting a call from my husband's cousin, from Texas, saying "hey, I saw you quoted in the April edition of Women's Day," was a bit of a trip.

Decades ago I had dreamed of being a mom, an economist, a teacher, even a botanist, but never ever did I imagine I'd be sought out as an expert on dust. Maybe I've just lived so long with it, that the dust got into my DNA, kind of like how I learned Spanish: "Dos Tacos, por favor, sin chile!" Or maybe nobody as naive was willing to answer the interviewer's request that day.

Anyhow, I have learned some things working with The Maids Home Services. I could never, ever, have the patience or discipline to do the detailed work they do, although I can write about it. So if that makes me an expert on dust, let's leave it at that, and please don't look too close next time you visit my house, because The Maids don't service my area!

Nathan Friends and S'mores

For a sunny introvert like me, the chance to socialize vicariously is nearly just as nice as hanging out in person. Here's a photo of Nathan, for instance, taken in San Diego around the fire ring in Mission Bay. I was not there, but my daughter was and two direct reports who were in town for a Lectora conference.

So even though I wasn't able to travel in April, learn Lectora or participate in the bon fire, Heidi and Lindsey contacted my daughter Kristen, who helped coordinate pallets and marshmallows (because what's a visit to San Diego without a bonfire at the beach?). What did I get out of it? This cute picture of Nathan eating S'mores and wearing a hat.

The first time he'd had S'mores was in February when Brian and I joined Steven and family at the Santee campground. A lot of memories remain from that weekend. The grandkids recall that I wiped out attempting a 360 on a skateboard. (They said I'm too old to skateboard. ) But the thing I remember most was how delighted Nathan was upon experiencing his first S'more.

So Thank You Hieid for the photo. Thank you Kristen for hosting visitors from Omaha. And Thank You God for the little things, like a photo of my darling Nathan (5) eating a S'more.