Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Demise of Detroit

My Great-Grandma lived on Marlborough St in Detroit off of Jefferson and Chalmers on the East Side of the city near the border of Gross Point. When I was a young girl in the sixties and seventies we would go to her house for our family gatherings. She was the matriarch over four generations and our group was normally   about forty people or so. Her large house offered plenty of room for at least 12 at the dining room table and several more 'kids' tables set up in the living room and kitchen.

Speaking of the four generations: When I was 12 I announced to my mom I would have to have a baby girl when I was 20, because each generation in our family began with the birth of a first child/grandchild when the mother was 20 years old. My mom was 20 when she had me, my grandma was 20 when she had mom and Great Grandma was 20 when she had my Grandma.

My mom was horrified to hear of my pronouncement of motherhood at 20. She pulled the car over to a skidded stop on the side of the road to shake her finger at me and shreik "You will NOT have kids at 20! You will go to college and travel and do the things you want to do before you get married and have kids!"

Anyway back to Detroit. My Great Grandmother passed away in the seventies at the age of 76. She had long ago moved away to a Detroit suburb but the house she presided over her brood in still survives. And in the City of Detroit that is no small miracle. Many, many houses have been torn down or are still standing, as burned out shells of their former homeyness. 

It's a barn shaped house, and there are two empty lots to one side of it. (Pictured above) The next street over where my other great grandmother lived has only four houses left on the block she lived on.

There is a mega company wanting to buy 146 acres of Detroit city. They claim they will tear down all the structures that are abandoned and unsafe and plant a tree farm in all the empty lots. This is happening very near to a lovely old neighborhood named Indian Village which has even larger and more beautiful homes. Some say they are waiting to profit from the land grab someday when the economy shifts and Detroit emerges from the desolation it is experiencing now.

I sure hope it emerges. Detroit was a lovely city when I was a little girl. We had Boblo Island - an amusement park you would take a ferry to get to. Lots of people had boats, I went out on boats alot and loved the water. We had lots of lakes and the River and of course the great lakes. Detroit had lots of sports teams and culture - great punk and new wave bands never missed coming to Detroit for concerts. I lived in the suburbs during the riots and we continued to move to the outer belt of suburbia in search of a cleaner and safer way of life along with better schools for my brother and I. We grew up 30 miles west of Detroit in Plymouth- we moved there from Dearborn, which was just outside of the Detroit border, when I was four years old.

I later moved to Detroit as a young adult to rent houses at a more affordable rate than Plymouth would extend to a young single. I think our first house rent was only $350/month. The house was on the westside of the city near Five Mile and Lahser. We got robbed twice the first 2 months we lived there. The day after Christmas they broke in and stole our brand new TV. Four weeks later when we had replaced the TV they broke in again and this time took everything- TV's, Leather Jackets, my Iron, My entire Jewelry Box, a brand new custom pool cue with Ivory Inlay.

We moved to another house in Detroit where I was threatened a couple of times - one time verbally and another by a dead cat being thrown over the fence into our backyard. We immediately got two large dogs for protection. I never felt that safe there and moved back to the suburbs shortly thereafter.

Many hundreds of thousands have fled Detroit's crime and crumbling infrastructure. There were once almost two million people living in the city of Detroit during the boom years of the fifties when the automotive industry was flourishing and people flocked there for the well paying jobs.

Now there are only 700,000 remaining.

Many lots are empty, some entire neighborhoods have only a few homes remaining. 

Should Detroit keep supplying water, electricity, police and fire services to huge blocks of the city that only have a few houses remaining?

What is the answer? I sure don't know, but it's a sad situation.
I hope it can be resolved and Detroit and many other cities past their prime will live on to a second coming. Cites are the heart of our country. They are worth saving.

Check out this artist James Griffioen - He has many photos of the Demise of Detroit - remember all of these photos are of city streets that were once filled with houses, stores and industries.

I have borrowed just two:

Saturday, November 10, 2012


This is an annual Halloween tradition for our family and the two families of her 2 besties from Preschool.

 It's an overpriced trip to the zoo, not to see animals but to see and be seen. And get a paltry amount of candy - I think the girls netted about 20 pieces of penny candy each. and it isn't cheap - $30 for a family of three. But my girl shines at night and she loves the dancing and comradery.  The dancing photos are to the song 'Thriller' by Michael Jackson. Apparently she has been YouTubing him and she had all the moves down.

We also do a Christmas outing with them at this place called Winter Wonderland that has fake snow which amazes our Florida born kids and a toboggan run and ice rink.

I am glad we have kept in contact with these two families as the girls have moved on to separate elementary schools. Now they are talking about a Spring Cruise. Not sure we can swing that as a new Realtor really doesn't bring in the big bucks! Let's see what the next few months brings and hope we acn pull it off.

Monday, October 29, 2012


First -

the Weather

When we left today we both needed sleeves and more. This is an exciting time here in Northeast Florida as we have months of days in the nineties. Both of us had light sweaters and really couldve used light jackets as it was about 50 degrees when we left the house. BRRRRRR

Feels good to put on cozy PJ's tonight. There will be no more pool time until April so that's kind of sad. Too bad we can't afford to heat the pool but our electric bill is already between $300 and $400  a month.

We are thinking we need to replace the back wall in our living room which is a 'wall of windows'. Windows from 1959 that are single paned and not at all energy efficient. Do we really want to refinance or get a home equity loan though? The rates are really low right now so this is probably a good time to do it.

2nd - 6 year old naughtiness

Now what to do about Jamie's talk talk talkiness.

She hasn't fared well in the First Grade Good Behavior department. Last yeat she had mostly 'E's or S Plus's for Excellent or Satisfactory plus behavior. This year has been alot of 'S'es and even some 'S' minuses. MOstly for talking and not focusing.

We have taken TV/Video screen priviledges which seems to really bother her. I also was going to let her get a new Abby Abominal (From Monster High) costume for Halloween if she got 10 'E's in all of September through the 3rd week of October and she managed to get 7. I almost caved and got her a different new costume at the Store closing sale this weekend.

Finally - K-Mart is going down I am afraid!

I have been telling my friends and family that K-Mart is probably going out of business if we all don't buck up and shop there once in a while. Sadly two more stores in our area are closing. This doesn't bode well for consumers. As we all know when there isn't competition there isn't enough incentive for prices to stay low. Or for stores to treat consumers as customers.

Think about shopping at the Big K at least once a month or more often if you can. We can't let the ENORMOUS W take over the world. Not just yet.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Crazy Hour and the hubby is 'unavailable'

Mike has been pretty 'unavailable' this fall because of being a teacher and being so bogged down with grades and lesson plans. Also because the school he is in is now failing or a 'D' school they have many layers of administration, school, district, state and federal...all seeming to have their own agendas and their own game plans for getting the school back on track.

All of which depend on the teacher to do all the work of couse. So...he spends most evenings down in the den working. Good thing right now I am not working with buyers who want to see anything at night right now.

Come to think of it I am not really 'working' actively with any buyers right now, they have all either actually bought something or changed their mind. I have one nurse who works nights who I have shown houses to but she is waiting for the deal of a lifetime so who knows if that will ever come to pass.

What is 'a deal of a lifetime' here in Northeast Florida right now in 2012? A red brick house that has at least four bedrooms and at least 2 bathrooms and at least 2400 sf with a garage and a large backyard for under $200,000.

I have another buyer I have been working with since June and they put an offer on a house on Friday. The seller countered only changing a couple minor things. They didnt respond to my calls today so they are making me nervous.

And I have a couple of deals on short sales which may not close until 2013. Short sales are when the seller owes more than the house is the negotiating process can take months. So you have a buyer in limbo not knowing if the bank will accept their offer.

Oh the joys of this career...I know it sounds like I am not enjoying it but I am...

To spend each day differently...To have to go outside and take photos or go see several do an Comparative Market analysis using my brain and my tech skills.To use my selling knowledge to talk with people and help them to the right decision. To make people happy both by selling their existing house or finding a new house or hopefully someday both sides of the transaction.

It's all very rewarding. I love what I do.

So I can't complain too much about Mike not being 'available'. At least I have a flexible career where I can be here with Jamie during the 'crazy hour'....You know the hours between getting dinner on the table and the kids in bed.

Off to read the bedtime story.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


I sleep with my Ipad. I have always been one to read before going to sleep. Now with my Ipad, I read a digitalized book on it rather than the old fashioned book with covers and paper pages. It's so much more comfortable, it's lit up, don't have to worry about how I hold it to the light etc etc.

So - the other night when I couldn't find my Ipad you can bet I kept looking for it...for more than an hour.
And funny thing was Jamie was still awake while I was looking for it. In fact I went in her room looking for it more than once.

Mike even stopped grading papers to join in on the hunt for at least 10 minutes. I grabbed a regular book and tried to read it...when it occurred to me that it was strange Jamie was still awake at 10pm. I had gone in there twice and she replied that she hadn't seen it.

Also it was strange that Jamie had wanted the door to be left open the last few nights with the hall light left one. We have been putting her to bed with the door closed since she came to us at four months old. All of a sudden hmmmmm....

I went into her room for a third time and she immediately said, "No mom it's not here, I don't have it." She was lying flat on her back and seemed to lean back into the bed harder.

Yup, she was lying on it...Hiding it.

She is being punished with no screen Ipad, Iphone, Computer or tv for a week. Til next Thursday.

I allowed a little tv today, but only what I wanted to watch which was Haley Mills  in Pollyanna and The Parent trap.

She is jonesing for her screen time. (As I know I would)...But it feels like the right punishment for the crime.

I think so anyway...I am just so concerned about the lying and the sneakiness.

Friday, August 10, 2012

I killed Mickey

So I had some folks over for dinner and games on Sunday. (We are big board game geeks. We play European designed strategy games called Setters of Catan and Ticket to Ride). Anyway I had prepared a Roast beef by marinating it in my special marinade using garlic, EVOO, herbs, honey, vinegar, oil and ketchup.

I do my roasts on the grill outside indirectly...I turn the burner on one side and Put the roast over a 'grease pan' of tin foil on the other side and cook it like it's in the oven. It gives it a yummy taste and doesn't heat up the house, a biggie hear in always 90 Degree plus weather in the summer.

Anyway, I reached down and turned the gas on underneath, turned the burner on and flicked the ignitor...I heard some thumping around and opened it up to find a huge mouse in there...and he was burnt! He fell out and convulsed underneath until I screamed for Mike.

Mike had to take him off the side of the house and dispose of him. He had to drown him to put him out of his misery...

Gross I know...and believe it or not...after letting the grill bake off the grossness we went ahead and cooked the roast.

Hope that was enough to disinfect the mouseness off the grill...*SHUDDER* It was so gross!!

Skating is a lot harder than I remembered!

I took Jamie skating yesterday and boy am I sore today. I recently found out I have Osteopenia, a precursor to Osteoporosis. One of the things I need to do now is regularly do some 'Weight bearing exercises' Well I hate to run, Aerobics wrecked my feet (Heel spurs and Morton Neuroma) so walking is about it. Swimming, biking and rowing are all not considered weight bearing and those are my 'go to' exercises.

But Jamie had been begging to go skating, so I thought, skating sure seems like it's weight bearing, so off we went. She did pretty well, she had gone a month or so ago with our church group (While I was working) so this was her second time.

I however haven't skated since 2000 or so...My first time around the rink too about 6 or 8 minutes. But by the time 2 hours passed I was able to get around pretty quickly, even faster than Jamie.

It was fun...But I am a bit sore.

We have been walking the dog almost every day, and I need to add something fun to my routine. I am just not a zumba /dancercize type person. I am so uncoordinated! But I can get into the rhythm of skating so we may go more often.

I want to live a long healthy life. I don't want to be a painful cripple like my mom is and like my dad was the last years of his life. So I am taking my Calcium Citrate with D and trying to move this body...the weight bearing way.

I hear strong is the new skinny after all.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Putter uppers vs Leave Outters

I am constantly looking for something in this house. It doesn't help we have so much crap everywhere but often it has to do with my husband and his way of being a 'Putter Upper'. Put not putt. If he sees cupboard doors open he closes them, if he sees a lettuce bag on the counter he throws it away, if he sees a book he shoves it in the bookcase.

Often without thinking or even knowing he did it.

Where is that lettuce bag? I have washed the lettuce and it's been draining in the colander..Now its time to wrap back up in the lettuce bag (Did you know it keeps better in the original bag they package it in?)...anyway nine times out of ten he has thrown it away.

Or closed the cupboard (which sometimes I leave open when using Worcestshire or Oregano... or face it just while I a cooking)

Or files random books away in one of our many bookcases.Not such a problem til it's a library book. We have paid for many a library book to find it months or years later in a bookcase mixed in.

But what can I say? He puts up with me and I am a Leave Outer, Leave Opener...So which is worse?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Losing teeth, and loving friends

 almost topless!

 At Dog Days at the Ball Park

Life is whizzing by, I can't believe half the summer is gone, or almost gone. I wrote a contract yesterday and a customer just called to make an offer on the houses we saw today so business is good.

Jamie is done with her 3 week summer camp, they had a little skit in which she had one line that she knew upside down and sideways...we were shocked when she had a bout of Stage Fright. Stood there like a deer in the headlights, finally said the line but wtih no aplomb. I was disaopinted but didn't share it with her. I just know she is so capable of delivering...I was shocked she didn't do it.

So now a few weeks home with dad and then mid August she goes to YMCA Camp for a week so Mike can get back to work and get his room in order.

How is your summer going?

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Highs and the Lows of selling Real Estate

Every sales job has it's peaks and valley or highs and lows. But I am here to tell you real estate has HUGE mountains and valleys. The first several months I wondered if I had made the right choice. I knocked on HUNDREDS of doors and spoke to dozens of people. Most were nice, some were not so nice.

Not one of those doors knocked on resulted in any business. I did win a few hundred dollars in a sales contest and a few thousand direct mail pieces to send out as I wish to.

Not that I have arranged for that as of yet.

At about the three month mark, things started to click and I got crazy busy and actually closed some business... I have sold four houses and closed two.

My third sold house was supposed to close last Thursday but didn't. We will see if the appraisal can be adjusted or if the builder will lower the price next week. My buyers are pretty upset as they were to be out of their rental this weekend.

Of course so am I. It sucks to not get paid when you think you will get a check.

But I still love it!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I grew up swimming in Michigan Lakes

I learned to swim in a small lake that was filled with muck except where the very small beach was. It was west of Plymouth Michigan a small town west of Detroit. I think it was Millers Lake...

My dad took us to lakes often. We didn't have a pool or know too many people or neighbors with pools so we went the 'the lake' often. The names changed, Silver, Half Moon, Crystal, Chemung...but the experience was usually the same. Very cool (almost cold if you were swimming in June) water with minnows nipping at your toes, friends or siblings to play with and splash and a picnic lunch under the tree. Remember! Don't swim for 30 minutes after you eat!

My parents got me swimming by age five so there were no worries about me drowning.

Learning to swim in a much filled lake sure gets your feet off of the bottom and kicking and swimming!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


My dad died on Fathers Day after a battle with Cancer. He was 81. This photo was from about thirty years ago when he was about 51.

I didn't go up to Michigan to his bedside. I visited him last summer and saw him daily for over a week. That was my goodbye, last year when he was still independent and living his life.

We didn't have the closest relationship so this is hard.

I guess it's always hard.

Immediately following my parents divorce Dad moved in with my step-mom and her four kids and married her. I was 10, my brother was 8. The 'kids' as my brother and I have always called them were between 6 and 10 and were all very cute and blonde to boot. Dad never called me his princess again, or so my mom said I cried to her as a hurt and angry 11 year old.

First we saw him on Saturdays, then every other Saturday and by the time I was 15 it was just birthdays and Christmas.

Then there was a family estrangement over a piece of property that got sold that my brother and I had a share in when I was 17.

I didn't see him again until my mid twenties.

During my adulthood I tried to stay in touch but it was hard when I moved to Florida. At first he came down to Naples once per year for business and worked down there and I would try to get down there for a long weekend. That was the early nineties and I was still single and childless.

When I was newly married in about the year 2000,  Dad had a bad medical scare and I went up there and stayed by his bedside every day while he struggled out of a medically induced coma. He went home from the hospital after 3 weeks and was told not to smoke or drink anymore.

Despite the Cumadin he had been prescribed he went back to both drinking and smoking.

Since Jamie came to us in 2006 we visited him 3 times, first when she was 7 mos old; then again at three years old and last year when she was five.

All three times we had to 'visit him' in his bars he frequented. Last summer he had been recently diagnosed with cancer. And he had his daily routine down, First restaurant/bar at 11am for Eggs and Hashbrowns. (Same as I like.. Over Easy with Whole wheat toast) then on to the second place around 2 for a late lunch. Then on to the last place for dinner and drinks then home at 10 or so. We met him at the first and the last place for some conversation almost every day. Although we stayed at his house, I couldn't hang with him much at home as he chain-smoked and it bothers my well as Mike and Jamie's asthma. So we huddled together in the bedroom when he returned at night, all three of us and the dog.

Last summer I kind of knew it was our last visit, in fact I told my step mom and my cousin that it may be the last time I see my dad.

When he went into the hospital the end of May I considered going up there. But how? I am in the middle of trying to get my real estate career going. Mike teaches high school and starts his day there at 6:45 am. What would I do about Jamie? She was still in Kindergarten but I could have taken her out of school...But then what? Take Jamie to the hospital every day? Find someone up there for her to be with?

So I didn't go.

I thought I was OK with that decision. But then he died. On Fathers Day. I cried a little on Sunday.

I cried a lot more today.

I loved my Dad.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Group Camp at O'Leno

Watching the Mommy turtle lay her eggs\

Every year our church does an annual 'retreat' at O'Leno state park. The park has cabins and a group kitchen building where we prepare meals and clean up. There is electricity in the cabins but no AC and in Florida no AC is a huge sacrifice for me. (Luckily we go the end of April when it isn't too terribly hot yet...and I still bring three fans!)Although it's a retreat, there isn't too much in the way of Sprituality, it's more about communing with nature and fellowship with the rest of the folks. We do square dancing on Friday night, Childrens' time on Saturday morning (which equates to Parents Time out!) and then drifting down the Ichnetucknee river on Inner Tubes on Saturday afternoon, then a Group social event Saturday night and a service on Sunday morning before brunch.During our Sunday Service a large turtle made her way to a grassy knoll right near the river where we were having our outside service. She proceeded to lay her eggs as she must do every year in that same spot.How cool is that?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

No more upper teeth!

Jamie's last upper tooth went last night. We had our family portrait taken and then went to Bonos for dinner. Now that I have sold 3 houses and closed 2 I feel a little less stressed about money!

Anyway she said her tooth was getting in the way so I got it out of the way. Much blood but no tears later she was smiling for this picture and eating her barbeque sandwich.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

She is ashamed of her legs

What are we teaching/training our kids? My child has decided she doesn't want to show her legs so she is wanting to always wear pants/jeans or leggings or tights.
We live in FLORIDA!! It's soon to be June. This isn't an option.

Someone apparently told her her legs were ugly because she has bug bites on them.

She is in KINDERGARTEN! She is SIX!! WTH!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

She took my money!

Jamie's school had a book fair this week. Sent home were repeated appeals for the kids to buy books daily. How it would help the school, how it would help the teacher, and how she could win daily prizes as well as the special event of leaving the classroom each day if they had money each day to buy books.

Now with me selling real estate and not getting a salary anymore, we really don't have money for extras. Buying books are extra. We go to the library almost every week and my child owns at least 100 books already. She is by no means book deprived.

She came home with a couple of books early in the week, turns out Mike had given her $4.

Then yesterday she came home with a audio book - you know the big kind with the music you can play for each page, as well as three other new books as well as forty-seven dollars and some change. WTH!

She told me Ms. Smith gave her the money...Then with further prodding she admitted she took the money from my purse.

I am at a loss. I just don't get it. She is six! This isn't the first time, she had taken twenty a couple months back.

I had her write, "I won't take money from Mommy's purse" ten times and she isn't getting money for tomorrow celebration where they are all encouraged to bring money to buy slushies.

And there may be more punishment.

I just don't know what would be appropriate and also a deterrent on her doing this again. Any feedback would be great if you can offer it.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Tour de Farm

We went on a Farm tour today. One of the farms is owned  by a family in our church, they grow vegetables, flowers, herbs and have chickens. It was great fun and also educational for Jamie and for us.

I bought some Kale at that farm and also scavenged an heirloom carrot, (it was yellow) a turnip and a white potato. Have you heard of Kale chips? You wash and dry the kale really well and then tear it into pieces and shake with olive oil, then put it on a cookie sheet and put in oven at 300 degrees.

Well since I bought the kale and I was going to do it in the oven, I also sliced up the turnip, carrot and potato and did the same with them.

Mike informed me that there was NO WAY he was going to eat or even try the turnip. Thank god Jamie didn't hear him. (I think she copies his bad food habits and I try to insist she at least try stuff). Mike tried the Kale chips and wasn't a fan. Jamie did like the Kale but not the turnip. And predictably enough we all liked the Potato.

We also went to a farm that had a lot of animals, most notably a large pet turkey, lots of baby goats, a Teacup pot belly pig and chickens. There was some 'designer' vinegar and EVOO for sale - our fave was chocolate flavored vinegar - but we couldnt stomach $14 a bottle for it.

It was nice to get out of town for an afternoon and enjoy each others company. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Someone called her fat today

Jamie came home from dance class today and said another girl told her she was fat.

I was sad for my girl and feel bad that she does have a tummy. (as we all do in this family)

I asked her what she said to the girl and this is what she said,

"It's not nice to say mean things to people and make them feel bad".

Good for her, what a great answer. Couldn't have advised her to say anything different. (Though I was thinking, what a mean little girl!)

Anyway, Jamie asked me if she should 'not talk to her again'.

This was a tough one but I do believe in not holding grudges and turning the other cheek so I told her to be polite and nice to the girl unless she says something mean again. then if she is mean again to tell the little girl that she doesn't talk to mean people.

Think that was ok advice?

Clothes fads

Weeks went by and Jamie had to wear skirt shirt and leggings under the skirt every day. Well guess what, all her leggings are now wore out or stained.

I don't let her wear tights to school because that would be a pair a day. Boom, wear em to school and they are wrecked.

Thank goodness the style has changed in Kindergarten last week and she started wearing jeans.

So I took her to the thrift store and got her five pair for $20. I pray that the tide doesnt change again.

Hope Ashley and Amelia who seem to be the pack leaders stay with jeans for the rest of the school year.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Introducing Cody!

One day a few weeks ago after church I saw this whitish cat being circled by the feral cat at church. I stopped the van, mom, Jamie and I were in it, not Mike. (Important to the story)

We sat there and called to this kitty who answered back pitifully. After about five minutes while Jamie was begging to get out and get the kitty, I got out and approached him.

Now I know if anyone approached my kitties anywhere including our house they would bolt and run, heck they bolt and run if I make a move to pick them up.

Not this kitty. He let me pick him up and cuddled right up to me.

So I took him home.

Yes to the husband who swore 'Not one more pet in this house for me to turd chase!'

I am now doing the cat boxes.

And I have a cuddly kitty. Who likes to be picked up, even by Jamie. He is sweet and loving to everyone except our other cats Minnie and Spicy. They have spent the last four weeks huddled up in hiding places.

I do put Cody outside on the screened porch whenever there is a cat fight. (which is mostly growling and hissing - big dramatic screaming from the Minster...)

He is Cody because he is truly the most codependent cat ever. He just loves to be held and loved on. He calls out for it whenever I enter the room.

I love my Cody Kitty. Isn't he unusual? He has a bent ear because of ear infections that didn't get treated. Isn't he the cutest?!!

(Yes I ran an ad on Craigslist but he's mine now)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Springing into Home ownership

Jamie learned to ride a 2 wheeler this month, and her and Daddy went to the beach together one day during Spring Break last week and rode bikes there. They had a blast. I didn't make it as I had to work, showing houses.

I am working with a couple of different buyers and actually have one accepted contract. Still not sure of financing for the lady - we hope to find out tomorrow.

Working with buyers is very rewarding but ALOT of work. They really want to make the best decision possible so it's understandable.

Alot of them don't want to get reapproved which is unfortunate. I spent a couple hours with a very nice couple this past weekend to find out they are not approved and will not be approved until they establish credit.

If you don't have any revolving credit and never have that is not a good thing. Go out and get a credit card and buy something. Don't pay it completely off though. Make payments (minimum or more) each month and that will establish that you are able to pay bills on time and you will have credit. At least 6 mos is necessary, a year is probably better.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

If you hit a dog please stop!

Yesterday after I dropped Jamie off at school I saw a dog on the sidewalk that had been hit by a car. My girlfriend had just dropped off her son behind me so she and another couple of woman stopped too.

The poor thing was hurt but alive. We managed to get his collar off though he did try to snap at me at first, then we calmed him down.
The collar had a rabies tag with the phone number of the vets office on it but no other tag. It was one of the 'cheap' vets here in town so it rang busy for over 10 minutes but I was able to get through finally.

At first they just gave me the ownersname and phone number but I thought to ask for the address as well and wouldnt you know it, the phone was temporarily disconnected. So I called my office to tell them Iwould be late and asked for help mapquesting the address.

The street was just a cruddy part of town.. Jamie attends a performing arts 'magnet school' and our district places such schools in the poor parts of town. This was an effort to integrate the schools I think by bringing in the upper middle class into the ghettos in town. It works.

Anyway, the address was way at the end of this street, ahd there was a car idleing in front of the house and a chow dog laying in the dirt in front. I pulled up honking the horn...nobody came out so I knocked on the car window (the windows were tinted pretty dark) and the woman inside said she didn't know anyone named 'Joe Schmoe' (the name I got from the vet was actually different but just in case I am changing to protect the not so innocent).

I said, "why are you sitting out here in front of this house then...?" and went up and knockedon the door. Joe came to the door and I told him his dog "Rover" had been hit andhe needed to come.

"Is he dead?" is all he said to me.

I answered no, but he is in bad shape.

That was it. I drove back to the dog where one of the girls was stll there with him as well as a couple of neighborhood kids. I waited til Joe showed up with the woman in the car with the dark tinted windows and went to work.

I think some people shouldn't have pets.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

She's pretty Grown up

Jamie went on a sleepover at one of her BFF's on Saturday night. And she didn't call us to get her to come home.

Earlier today she made herself a cream cheese sandwich. And she applied makeup all over her eyes and cheeks.

She is getting pretty good at straightening her room and picking out clothes for herself.

Is she ready for Girl Scout Camp? Mike isn't.

She just joined a Daisy troop and they are having a 2 day overnight camping trip coming up. I think we should let her go, but maybe Mike isn't ready to let his little girl go.

Friday, February 10, 2012


I manned (Sat in...? Worked..? hosted...?) a model for a small designer community today and did another Open house on Sunday. Lots of sitting and waiting...

After being and outside sales rep I got used to being the one doing the running and going - And I liked it. Now I am doing some sitting and waiting. Which I am not so sure I like.

It reminds me of when I worked in a swimming pool store in Michigan. We also carried spas and pool tables and were open year round. I was a glorified assistant manager which meant I got to sit many long dreary cold days alone in the store. It wasn't a good scenerio for one prone to SAD.

This isn't so bad, it's just a few hours every once in a while, but I am just sayin... So glad I am not back in that swimming pool store. In winter. In Michigan. Long cold dreary days, having to shovel the walk sometimes more than once per day (We had snow removal but only if it was over 2" during the snowfall and we have more snowfalls under 2" than over).

I am glad to be living here in the sunshine state. Today I was at a model home which is really the community's clubhouse on a creek with a pool off the back.

Yes it was a grey day. But it was mild - 73 degrees or so.

But it wasn't Michigan in a pool store in 34 degrees with slush on the ground.

So it was a good day.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Oh really I didn't know that...I am so glad you told me!

I am getting the to age where I would love to impart my wisdom unto others.

I remember the first time, I had recently graduated from college and my cousin was still in high school. I realized I could save him some pain and expense if he would take my advice about Math. "Take math in high school and learn all you can while it is free," I told him. I had had to pay for 3 college courses in math, Beginning Algebra, Intermediate Algebra and College Algebra so I could take Statistics which was the required course for my major.

I don't know that he took my advice on that topic, but he recently told me I turned him on to some cool bands in the 80's most notably Gang of Four.

When I was at the paper I loved helping folks and showing tips and tricks to get work done quickly.

I used to attend Alanon meetings and loved telling things that would help others, like "He who angers me controls me" or "Resentment is the poison I drink hoping the other person will die."

Then there is my favorite Computer shortcut I want to share with everyone-Window D...I just love that quick trick to reduce all windows down to the bottom so you can see your desktop - See I even want to impart wisdom while writing this post - LOL.

For some reason when my mom has wisdom to impart I cringe inside and don't want to listen. I feel like she constantly wants to tell me the right way to be...

"You know you aren't supposed to tell the child to clean her plate, it could lead to obesity..." (and she is obese and I have been flirting with it for years)
"When I cook I always do it this way..." (She never cooks anymore)
"Do you measure your cat's foods each day so they won't get fatter" (Her cat is fatter than my cats)
"Have you ever cleaned out your garbage disposal/dishwasher etc. etc etc?"

I will quit here, enough said...I just wish I didn't get so defensive and reactive.

If I could just smile gracefully and say "Oh! I didn't know that! I am so glad you told me!" it would be so much better.

Wish I could be the patient loving nuturing daughter...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Our winter is outside time

Jamie hasnt learned to ride without training wheels yet. To tell you the truth I may ask a younger more fit friend to run alongside her and help her learn. Pitiful I know, but I just can't run more then 30 feet or so and she won't do it without one of us beside her.

She did get a new scooter for Christmas and that does seem to be helping her balance. She just isn't interested in giving the bike another try without the training wheels.

I take her and Samson to the park quite often and the scooter is what she chooses to bring. Lots of folks at the park which is good in some ways but not so good for Samson. I don't feel ok letting him off the leash when there are others at the park, as dogs are not supposed to be running free.

Some mornings when I don't go in right away, I take Sammy to a small park that is fenced in and I walk the sidewalk while encouraging him to rip and roar around.

We really do spend more time outside here in the winter than in the summer. In the summer it's so hot I either want to be in my pool or inside. Winter is the out and about time.

How is your winter going?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Walking the walk and Talking the Talk

I am learning to be a realtor...and what I have learned is you just have to do something...anything. The key is to get in front of people every day and let them know you are in real estate and could help if they would like to buy or sell their homes.

So I am out getting in front of them. Now that I have a listing in my neighborhood I decided I need to let folks in the neighborhood know that I am an agent and am doing business here. I have my name on the sign now, so now to reinforce it somehow.

But how?

Yes I could mail them all something... There are 702 houses in our neighborhood. And my brokerage doesn't pay for postage. But they do let you make color copies...hmmmm. So why not walk it around? They say face to face is best for meeting folks anyway.

So I developed a newsletter, called it My Neighborhood's Real Estate Journal and wrote an article about how great the neighborhood is, got another article from our local Realtors association and finally a small article about my new listing. Then on the other side I put 3 larger photos of the new listing with the information about it...

I started my 'Door Knocking' Campaign yesterday, did 20 houses yesterday. Today I did 30 houses this morning and another 30 this afternoon. For each 30 doors knocked on I typically talk to between 6-8 folks. So ninety down, 612 to go.

They say Rome wasn't built in a day.