Monday, August 31, 2015

all is well?

I no more than had a tenant in my rental property for 12 hours ... when he called with a complaint.

Good grief!  I'm done!  I'm SO done!!

He wants to pull up the carpet in the master bedroom and IF there's wood flooring underneath (not likely) he would like to use that.  Um, yes?  You are more than welcome to discover some wood flooring there.  Good luck.  And while you're at it, could you see if there's a swimming pool in the backyard, too, that I might've missed?


Sunday, August 30, 2015

ready, set, GO

I sat down on this beautiful Sunday afternoon to tackle a task.  I am determined to complete this daunting task once and for all.

I've begun this chore many times over the last week, over the last month.  I was constantly getting called away to address something at my rental property, something with Rick, something with Elizabeth, something with my house, something with my job.  No, really, I was always being called away.  Even the dishes needed doing every time I sat down to work on my project.

This time, I am here.  I am dressed and ready.  I have a diet coke in my hand, I have the TV on in the background.  Nothing will stop me now.  'Cause once I make up my mind to do something, I'm gonna do it.  The phone is silenced, the dishwasher is full and now running.  Rick is quietly doing some paperwork and out of my hair.  Even the dog is busy ... manning the front door.  I'm guessing that even she knows how important this is.  She will beat down anyone that comes through my door and tries to stop me.  No, it just won't happen.

I am here ... and about to balance my checkbook.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

why is nothing ever easy?

One night before I surrender the keys to my newly refurbished rental property ... I decided to check on things inside, just in case. Just in case nothing, because what could go wrong?  All I needed to do was pick up a few errant items that I'd left behind. Left behind on purpose ... just in case.

I headed over to collect a step stool, a couple of paint cans, brushes and some curtain rods. Oh, and some toilet paper.

I opened the garage, stepped inside the back door and a wave of sandy water greeted me with force. Yep. Water. Everything was flooded and the smoke alarms were beeping in an obnoxious, out of sync rhythm. I was hatin' life, right then and there.

And thus, what should've been a five minute visit to the townhouse turned into a two hour event. I had to call and beg for a water technician from the city to come rescue me, which he did, but he was completely stumped as well as to why water continued to pour out of a kitchen wall even when he had shut off the water to the property.

Good grief.

I drove home as fast as I could and grabbed every dirty towel I could find. Dang, why did I do my laundry this week?  I grabbed five, drove back to the townhouse and mopped and sopped for a good hour.

And you know what?  This is not the first time this has happened.  I had this much fun once before when a tenant started to move in in 2008.

No wait. This happened long before that. I vaguely recall this same event on my honeymoon.  Water was shooting out of every wall socket in the room. Yep, St. Thomas in 1989 ...  My honeymoon wins.   The townhouse mess was easy after all, compared to that stinkin' honeymoon.



Monday, August 24, 2015

1st day of school ...

last day of painting in the townhouse.
first day of trying to get new flooring in the townhouse.

four days away from having a new tenant ... and RENT!
four days away from cutting ties with my inner handyman self.

five days away from enjoying dinner with a friend in from Whittier!
two days away from finding out if my daughter will actually change her Florida vacation to California.

five days until my month is up for Long Lost Family to complete their search for my biological family.


So ... what's new?  Mostly that I am hanging up my "house-flipping" overalls for good.

I am so over painting the townhouse (hey, it was on my bucket list) in ... NO A/C and no electricity. I painted in the dim light of a street light and with pouring, drenching SWEAT coming down my cheeks. The temp. in the townhouse was well over 100*, if not over 110*. Easily.  I would not be exaggerating if I said it felt like 130*. Every night I came home WET.

Am I proud of my work?  I was. Until I saw it on Sunday morning after a session of night painting the night before. Good grief. There was more paint on the ceiling than the main walls. Am I glad it's over?  Yep. Will I miss it?  Nope. Did I truly learn anything?

I learned that I don't know squat about painting.  I don't know about primers, I don't know about second coats and I don't know about flat vs. eggshell vs. gloss. Well, I do now ... but I don't know which is best. Actually I do know, now. Flat is ugly. And, of course, flat is what I used.

I didn't know that it's best to use a roller and it's definitely best to used a long stick attached to that roller. Little tiny brushes, I've learned, take longer and make your arm hurt. I also learned that you need to match the new paint to the paint already on the wall. Yeah, I didn't do that. Yeah, I learned this the hard way.

But the most important lesson I learned?  Drop cloths are worth their weight in gold. No matter how much you convince yourself you won't need one.

Oh wait.  The VERY most important lesson I learned?  Don't pour paint on the floor.

Don't ask me how I know that.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

a week in the life of ...

I returned to work, painted another room in the rental property, met with the casting director of The Long Lost Family again, secured a tenant in my townhouse, took another DNA test, worked for 4 days, lost my tenant, interviewed about 10 more prospective tenants, painted a bannister, sold a refrigerator, bought a new cell phone, painted a closet, spilled a can of paint on the carpet of the townhouse, changed a smoke alarm battery (hey, this was the hardest task of all!) and saw my daughter make the decision to move to California ... all in the last week.

With my daughter's news, I suspect I'm going to have a similar week next week. We're already starting to figure out what to do with her two beloved green couches and how much a Uhaul truck costs.

And how was your week?


Monday, August 10, 2015

to be or not to be

I got to thinking ... one famous quote is right.  The squeaky wheel does get the grease.  Yep, it does.  And that quote has been the story of my life.  Not that I'm the squeaky wheel nor the grease getter.  It's the story of my life in that I never seem to learn this.  I'm always the one sitting back and watching others get greased.  And then I hate myself for not getting greased myself.  Or grease-hungry.  Or just plain greasy.

So ... I decided to be the grease monger.  I texted "Long Lost Family" to see what's up and IF I'm still a candidate, etc.  For all I know, they've put me on the back burner.  For all I know, they got a good chuckle at my screen test and walked away.  For all I know they didn't even watch.  And for all I know ... oh, stop it, Kris.

So, I took to my computer and sent off a little email.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

post script

I have enjoyed my first full summer off immensely.  Since changing jobs and going to work for Frisco ISD, I haven't had a full summer off ... only four weeks each year.  I know, wah, wah.  Only four weeks off ... but I got into the education biz specifically to have summers off.  And this was my first full summer off ... and boy howdy, did I enjoy it.  There's one problem, though.  It's even harder to go back to work now.

But Tuesday is that day.  This is my last weekend before I head back.  Thankfully I have one more Monday.  I need two more Mondays, though.

My posting here has been sketchy because although I didn't go anywhere ('cept for that vacay to California in June and a little trip to OK this past Thursday) I kept myself very busy.

Y'all know about the townhouse and the beautiful paint job I did in it.
Y'all know about the TV show clamouring for my attention.

But here's some things you didn't know.  These were my goals for this first full summer off.  These are now my goals for next summer.  Yes, I guess they are.

1) I did not get my taxes done.
2) I did not get my photo albums updated.  I still have five or six or ten years worth of photos to print and add.
3) I did not get a new cell phone.
4) I did not get my "craft room" put together.
5) I, also, did not get any crafts done.  Well, I had no craft room ... so why bother?
6) I did not get all five years of "Walker, Texas Ranger" watched.
7) I did not buy a new car.
8) I did not get my taxes done.    I'm repeating myself hoping to strike a chord within me.
9) I did not lose 70 pounds.
10) Because I did not exercise.
11) I did not make my bed.  Not once.  Oh, wait.  Once.
12) I did not walk my dog daily (or at all).
13) I did not - and this was my main goal - rent a motorhome and drive across the states.

So what DID I get done this summer?

1) I cooked our dinners.
2) I cleaned and repaired the heck out of our rental property.  And this was not easy.  Trust me.  All of that dog poop on the floors?  SO NOT FUN.
3) I made three trips to THE DUMP to haul off the garbage left behind in our rental property.
4) I am STILL painting and fixing all of the damage left behind.
5) I "showed" the townhouse rental property to about a million people with no takers so far.  I wonder if the dog poop has anything to do with this ...
6) I drove to Tishomingo, Oklahoma with Rick so he could have a little vacation.  Not my fault that he fell asleep and missed it all.
7) I went to a reunion of some dear college friends in Palm Desert, California.
8) I met up with my oldest friend (known her since I was ONE!!) in Disneyland.
9) I watched four birds (all at different times) grow up and learn to fly.
10) I learned to drink coffee (I'm gonna let this one go, though).
11) I watched almost every episode of "Walker, Texas Ranger" ... not that I wanted to.  Rick was glued to it.
12) I redocorated one wall in our living room.  (Only one wall needed attention).
13) I replaced the curtains in our guest room with HAND MADE, HAND SEWN curtains.  Yes, I did.  And by the way, the originals looked better.

14) And, I just sat down just today to pay some bills.  It's time.  I'm tired of the phone calls.

So ... back to work I go.  And you know what?  I'll probably get more done.  That always happens.

They say, if you want anything done, give it to the busy man.   Yep, that's me.  The one looking for a busy man to do some work for me.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

what else is new, kris?

Well, I officially killed off a plant that I've been treasuring and holding onto since 2004.  For 11 years I've taken care of and hung onto that plant above.  I received it as a gift for my father's death ... and I've known it's been on its last legs (roots?) for quite some time now.  I officially gave it a beautiful burial yesterday ... buried deep in that big blue plastic can in my garage.


Sorry Dad.

And the building above?  That's the rental property I own.  I bought it back in 2008 as an investment and I recently had to evict the tenant that was living there for free.  Well, IIIII didn't let her live their for free ... she just wasn't paying her rent.  So ...

So, nothing.  I was just showing you the outside of those walls that I have been painting on the inside.  

Painting is not that much fun, by the way.  Not that much at all.

And finally ... I had dinner in Dallas with my daughter.  She told me a joke.  The joke was not funny.  However Elizabeth thought it was the greatest joke she'd ever heard and ever told.

She cracked herself up.

I didn't get it.

I still don't.


Monday, August 3, 2015

the news? the news? the news? the news? the news? the news? Okay, already!

Remember this?  Remember her?  Remember when I said that a TV show had contacted me about being a possible "person of interest" on their show?

Remember my screen test?  

The show was called "Long Lost Family."  And I am long and lost from my family.  So ... Long Lost Family (the show) gave me a screen test to see if ... perhaps ... maybe ... I could be a person on their show.  Perhaps ... maybe ... they could find my long lost family.  

The gal above is the casting director.  The gal in the corner is me.  Being screened.  Being tested.

Remember when I said that my first screen test sucked and that I'd never, ever hear from them again?

Well, I was wrong.

They called me back for another interview.  Another screen test.  A ONE and A HALF HOUR interview and screen test.  This is what it all looked like the second time around:

Ms. Casting Director was a bit more dressed up and a bit more serious.  Ms. Girl down in the Corner was a bit more nervous, too.  1 1/2 hours is a LONG time!   

But it was fun!  

Ms. Casting Director had a script and I read with her and I answered her questions and I followed her directions and I sat up straight when she told me to and I did retakes when she made me.  I pretended she was a man.  Yes, I did.

Why, you may ask?  Because this tape was being given to a network and she was going to be edited out and a man was going to be edited in.

And I had to memorize what I was wearing ... in case they needed to come back and shoot some more.  I stink at memorizing so I just took a picture.  Here's my memory ...

Photos are much better at remembering my clothes that just me trying to memorize what I was wearing.

I wish I'd worn more makeup.  I wonder how I can change everyone's memory of my blandness ...

After the interview was over, I was told to send in a picture of me as a baby.  And I did.

Even this little baby has on more makeup than I was wearing.  Look at those pink lips!!

By the way, yes ... that was me.  I was rockin' that bonnet.

So ... what's on tap next?  No clue.  I just know that I was told to "put my search on pause".  I was told NOT to search right now and to hold off on doing any work for ONE MONTH.  Searching for one's birth family is actually VERY hard work so for me to put it all on hold?  Heck yeah!  I can SO do that!

I then went out for ice cream.

I may go out for ice cream every day.  What better way to put your search on pause.


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Una Semana

This past week has been incredibly enlightening.  I have learned just, oh, so much.  More than I cared to, actually.

First ... I learned how to paint ... my hand.

This is what I painted for reals...   

I think it looks lovely.  Rick thinks I may need a second coat.

I also learned that Ann Marie didn't age well.  I wanted to be her when I was 11.  

Actually, I just wanted her boyfriend Donald.   Donald didn't age so well, either.  He died in the '90's.  He wasn't 90 but he died in the '90s.  I was sad.  I still am.


I also saw one of these on Facebook this week.  I used to ride one of these.  Daily.   I think I logged about 10,000 miles on mine.  I feel nostalgic just seeing it again.  I feel tired, too.  10,000 miles is a long ride.  

Maybe I'm just tired from painting.

Maybe I'm just tired OF painting.

Maybe I'll go wash my hand now.

I also learned that if you drop one of these in water ... it cost over $600 to replace.  We learned this the hard way.

We also learned that rice does not suck up all the water.  Actually rice didn't suck up ANY of the water.  $600 later, it doesn't matter how much water the rice did or didn't suck up.

And finally, I learned that cue card writers don't know how to spell.  
This irritated me no end.

To be continued ...

... when the new phone is up and running, the paint is dry and the cue card writer has fixed his error.  Just kidding ... I can't wait that long for any of the above items.  'Cause I have something much more important to share with you tomorrow.

Are you ready for this????