I don't know what in the world to do with my day. I just checked and there aren't enough dirty clothes in the hamper in any category to make a load of laundry! How will I amuse myself today?
It's not that I don't have anything to do......but, Joe left without giving me orders for the day. How can that be? There's weird stuff happening in this house, I tell you.
There's some good stuff too. First, all during tax season, I hung onto every bit of cash I received from clients. Joe deposited the checks, but I kept the cash. It was my hope to get a new top of the line camera, but when he heard that, he was NOT amused. Well, I do have two decent cameras so maybe that was too much to hope for. So, what do I do with this fistful of cash? Well, I thought of replacing the over-the-stove microwave/vent combo that has been DOA for several years. I have the world's smallest kitchen and having a microwave on the counter is a PAIN. But, I decided that I might enjoy that the most but it wasn't the most urgent thing. The most urgent thing is this very tall tree in our backyard. We live in the desert but the fruitcake who owned this house before me planted a water-seeking tree in the back corner of our yard. This man did many stupid, foolish things, with this tree being one of the chief among them. It has sent roots out all over everywhere. In the summer we see treelets sprouting all along the rootlines. It has broken up our concrete walkway. I am just waiting for it to: 1) lift the back corner of our house; 2) break into the neighbor's pool; 3) find its way into the sewer or water lines. What an expense any of those would be! So, my carefully hoarded cash is going for tree removal. They will cut down the tree but leave the stump. We'll have to go to the nursery and find out what kind of gunk to pour in there to kill off the roots, and one day, we'll have to get a mini-bobcat in here to get rid of the stump, but for now, the biggest part of the problem is solved.
More good news....... For the three years we've been married, we've been saddled with huge amounts of debt, most of it left over from Joe's prior marriage. Some of it, we have to take the blame for ourselves--we have this nasty habit of eating, you see. When we got married, it took about a year to get Joe relocated from California to here. For that whole year, we had his housing expense in CA and the house here. Just as he was headed this way to start a new business, the company for which I was working went into dissolution. I remember that in January, 2004, between us, we earned $490. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that's four hundred ninety dollars. God has been faithful and we've made every payment, even during the months when hardly anything has come in. But, we've been holding our breath for the time when we can re-finance. And, we get a zillion mailings and phone calls about re-financing. (Today there have been 4 phone calls! I HATE telephone solicitors!) Well, we got a mailer and strangely enough Joe opened it, just to see what the competition was offering. Well, it was such a good deal that although he's a mortgage broker, he couldn't match it. So, we're refi-ing. Joe had estimated the value of the house at $275,000, but it appraised for $317,000. We will get enough money to pay off ALL the credit cards as well as the existing second mortgage. And there will be some left to fix up the house. AND, we convert non-deductible high rate credit cards to deductible low rate mortgage interest. Our monthly nut will decrease by a huge amount.
AND, there will be excess money available. 75% of this house I hate. I bought it for only one reason--there is a 500 sq ft add on office/family room in the back which has been the home for my tax business for 13 years. Since this is more than 25% of our square footage, I also get to write off 25% of the operating expenses for the house against the income I make. Such a deal! But through the years, without a husband for most of the time I've owned the house, there's been no one to help with honey-do's and fix up projects and money has been SO tight. Suddenly, I am presented with excess funds to use to fix up the place. To say I am stunned would be an understatement; I am almost afraid to spend it! We will start by building in some storage and bookshelves. I have culled through my books several times, eliminating those that were extraneous; all that's left are the treasures and I refuse to get rid of THEM. So, we will build in some bookshelves. I had long ago picked out a dead spot at the end of the hall as one place to build a set of shelves that will probably take close to 3/4ths of our books. So, we will do that! I have also wanted to build in cupboards and shelves along two walls in our livingroom diningroom combination. Now we will do that too! And finally, we will build in some shelves and cupboards in the office. I am THRILLED! We don't want anything fancy. In fact, I will probably only look for a stained wood finish on the one shelf unit at the end of the hall. That way it will harmonize with the wood of the linen closet and look more like it was planned and less like an after thought. We are even talking about putting in floor to ceiling storage in the bedroom, two units, one about the size of a triple dresser, the other about the size of a chest. I am walking on air, here, people. Next, we will do the roof. I did have a cut-back done on it about 5 years ago, but it really needs more. Joe wants to move the entryway out about 6 feet which will give us more of an entryway (right way our "foyer" is about the depth of a coat closet). He also wants to move the entrance to the garage from the kitchen to the foyer. So, we will bump out the entryway to accomodate that. There really is a BIG plan here......hold onto your hats. Next, we will tear out the kitchen wall. That will be misery for a while. The aim is to create a more open kitchen to make the entire living room/diningroom/kitchen area look larger. AND to give me more cabinet space and countertop in the kitchen. With the door to the garage relocated, that space can be used for cabinets/countertop. AND, we will build something like an island that will use a bit of the diningroom space and will contain more cabinets and countertops. Who knows, I might even wangle a walk-in pantry out of this.......my dream. I don't just want an island sitting out in space though.....I want at least a 4-5 ft wall to screen any cooking mess off from the rest of the house. And, when all that's done, new flooring. That will be cheap.......my stepson does fancy concrete work and will do a beautiful tile-looking stamped concrete floor for us throughout the office, living room, dining room, kitchen, both bathrooms and the hall. Only the bedrooms will be carpeted and I have a client who sells carpeting. Do I need to tell you I am ecstatic with all this? Well probably not since I've already said that at least twice! When we're done, I will no longer hate 75% of the house, just the bedrooms! :)
Okay, enough of this. I need to get on with life. I will post a few scrapbook pages here since that is the primary purpose of this blog!
I have had this first photo open a zillion times, always trying to scrap it in color. I could never get it "right". I converted it to black and white and used Christy Lyle's Pacific Solace on it and I think it turned out well. The flowers on the page are from Lynn Grieveson's Island Blues kit.
This next one was done for Christy Sturm's Butternug Squash Designs creative team. It uses papers from her POW kit. I loved how the bluegreen paper seems to have turned the blue of the sky to a more bluegreen shade.......
I did this next one with Lynn Grieveson's Little Captain kit. I was prowling around on Stock Xchange and saw this photo and HAD to download it and scrap it and it seemed Lynn's kit was perfect for it.
"Truth" was done for a challenge at Butternug Squash Designs. I used the charity kit called Eternal Hope for it. If you click on it you can probably read the journaling.....at least I hope you can.
Lynn Grieveson came out with a kit called Backyard Explorer last week. I started scrapping with it and I couldn't quit! This was my first page with it, and I used photos from Stock Xchange again. I love these photos.........
Last but not least, this page features Miss Erica Evans on "Insanity" which is a thrill ride which hangs you out over the city of Las Vegas, 1200 feet in the air. I used the Limerick kit by Bella Gypsy Designs for the Green paper.