Thursday, June 20, 2013

Vacation Days 2-4

Day 2-Tuesday
Had a real hard time waking up Tuesday morning. Slept in until 9:30am when I literally had to force myself out of bed and then force myself out to go for a run. I'm glad I did it. The run really helped me clear my head. I ran a nice 3.2 mile run from 44th and Bridgeport down to 67th and Bridgeport and then around the loop back up Bridgeport. The weather was nice. It was cool which made the run really easy.

Got home and showered and the boys were chomping at the bit to get over to Lakes High School. They had special permission from the Principal to go in during lunch time to visit friends. I dropped them off at the front door and drove off to visit my friend Lisa. My girls played with her kids and we all had a great visit and lunch together. She had fresh from the oven bread for the kids' PBJ's and she made "Dragonbreath Salad" for her and I. The salad was a garlicy version of a Chicken Caesar. Very delicious.

The boys walked back over to the house when lunches at the High School were over and then spent some time messing around with their buddies Daniel and Jonah. It was after 2 before we packed up and set out to go visit Gramma Peg and Papa Lou.

We had a nice visit with G & G. We kinda got caught up on what is going on in everyone's lives. The kids had some time to raid their kitchen for fresh bagels and cream cheese. I toured the gardens and enjoyed seeing the beautiful vegetable garden boxes that are new. I especially enjoyed snuggling up under their snuggly blankets they had out just for me, knowing I would be cold.

My mom was expecting us home around 4 but it was a little later than that when we drove up to the house and saw that her car wasn't there. We figured if she wasn't there expecting us then we would sneak over and surprise our cousins with a visit. We popped in on Ryan & Kris' family and had a blast seeing, playing with, hugging and visiting with them for a few hours.

When we got back to the house, way past dinner time, gramma still wasn't there. We made some dinner and gramma arrived to enjoy it with us. The rest of the night I spent taking care of some business in preparation for our vacation renters that are moving into our house this week and printing out the contracts and paperwork for the new tenant signing a contract for our rental house the next day. I hope I can write-off a big chunk of my airline tickets for a business expense because I've spent a lot of time on this rental house since I've been here and there is so much more still to do.

Day 3- Wednesday
Again, I slept in. No running today. Instead we spent the whole day cleaning up the yard of the Rental House. I was more than a little shocked on Monday night when I saw the house for the first time. The inside was OK-- some wear and tear items, some changed door knobs, some poorly touched up paint--but the condition of the yard made me sad. It took me a couple of days to process it, continually reminding myself that I can't take it personally it is a rental now, a business. I can't expect people to take care of a yard full of delicate flowers, shrubs and trees the way I would. I had to remind myself that it could have been a lot worse.

Bottom line was that the previous renter had been a godsend. She was always easy to work with, always paid her rent early, always fixed problems on her own when they arose, gladly showed the house to potential renters, and mowed and watered the lawn for a whole month after moving out. What's a little yardwork compared to all that? Nothing.

So we spent all day on Wednesday cleaning up the yard. We trimmed hedges, pruned bushes and trees, pulled weeds, mowed, edged, weed whacked, raked, swept and watered every bit of that yard. This was the first the kids had seen of the yard and they were a little miffed about it too. I reminded them that this isn't our house any more, it is a business and because it is a business we don't have to have it to mom's standards anymore. It just has to be "good enough". They were glad that they didn't have to take it back to my standards and they mostly stopped complaining.

We were very grateful to have the help of some of the kids' friends: Hannah and Guiness. They made the day enjoyable and they were good workers. We also appreciated their families loaning us tools that we needed. Once the kids were done with the work Kirkham ran off to Guiness' house for the evening and the girls took off for Hannah's house. Heath had a date scheduled and needed a shower. I ran him home to Grandma's for his shower and change of clothes and then dropped him off for a picnic in the park with his friends Clairese, Sabrina and Jared, after which I headed back to the house to change the sprinklers and sign a contract with the new tenant.

The new tenant is a very nice guy. Single with a college age son. It seems he may end up being a godsend too: he is a landscaper! During the course of our two hour conversation about everything from legal contracts to dirt bikes he mentioned more than once a few of his plans for the place. "Is it alright with you if I trim back the Laurel hedge a bit?". "Would  you mind if I put out some bark?". "I'm gonna spray that front lawn with some commercial dandelion killer if that's ok." My answer? "Make it your home."

After wrapping up our two hours of contract signing I picked up the girls from Hannah's and took them home to get ready for bed. Well, at least that was the plan. We ended up making a "quick" stop at the Lawrenson's house to say hello and ended up hanging out for about an hour. When the sun was going down and the dogs were no longer fetching the balls for the girls we set back on our way towards home and bed. Once Afton and Cora were down I went back out to pick up the boys. OH SO MUCH DRIVING! I forgot how much I used to be in the car when we lived here. It is maddening! But the boys had a great day and so I guess it was all worth it and I went to bed happy.

Day 4-Thursday
I woke up . . . late again! What is wrong with me? I can't seem to get myself onto Washington time! Oh well.  I didn't let the late hour keep me from a run today. I took a 6 mile tour of University Place in just a little over an hour. So many hills! But it felt great to get out and go.

Came home and did some cleaning and assigning jobs to kids and then headed out to Puyallup to pick up my new Pfaff serger. I am soooo excited to try this baby out. Had a nice visit with my friend Aimee who is the former owner of the machine. Fun to catch up with old friends.

Spent the afternoon at Costco with mom. We dropped the girls off to play with their cousins James, Alexis, Cass and Maren on our way to Costco. The boys stayed at Gramma's and worked on some chores: removing all the old campaign signs from the crawl space and putting them in the truck to go to the dump. They also made some Haupia pudding, did some laundry, tinkered with Grampa's bikes, tidied up the kitchen and watched a lot of TV.

After dinner the plan was to take the kids out to Young Men's and Young Women's at our old ward so they could see some more friends. When we got there we found out it had been cancelled and no one had told us! (but why would they? they had no idea we were coming! haha) So instead we ran an errand for my mom that involved stopping by at my Great-Uncle Clyde's house, and then we stopped by our friends' the Castro's and the Mathison's for some little visits. It was so good to see them all.

When we got home Kirkham, my dad and I made a strawberry pie and we all kinda hung out and watched TV and folded clothes and talked. It was another full day. I think I need to plan a day where I do nothing though. This vacation is starting to wear me out.

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