Monday, June 30, 2008

I **** that ****** ol' pickup truck...


One of Will's favorite songs is "Picture To Burn" by Taylor Swift. This stems mostly from the fact he is allowed to sing two words that are otherwise off limits. He is oh-so devilish when he says them. One of the perks of my job is that I get free CDs when artists are up for ACM or CMA awards. Will was excited to have the "****** ol' pickup truck" song on CD!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Investing in Angelo

I answered the door last Sunday. We were trying to get out the door to church, and things were kind of crazy when the doorbell rang, so I didn't have time to be suspicious and wonder who the heck was on our porch and why.

I opened the door to find a very sweaty young man trying to sell magazines. Angelo works for the evil marketing company that doesn't *really* sell magazines, they sell earnest young Angelo with his "working papers" and prepared speeches to make you feel obliged to give them money. They want you to buy yourself a pat on the back for helping this underprivileged young adult, keeping him off the street by buying things you don't need. And if you don't, you feel guilty because you are saying you don't care if he is unsuccessful and ends up on the street.

Don't try to fool me. This is charity, and if I want to donate to your charity, I will. But I expect a tax deduction. And I'll buy magazines if and when I want to. I see no point in mixing the two.

So although I didn't buy any magazines, I do have to say Angelo had the best opening line I've heard:

"Is your Mom or Dad available?"

Andy insisted on capturing my appearance upon opening the door so you could judge for yourself whether Angelo was earnest in his question.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Child Bride?

My brother Vic, a long-term bachelor, just announced that he and his girlfriend Charlotte are getting married later this year. We are so excited for them!

I shared the news with Will, explaining that Uncle Vic wanted him to be in the wedding. Will agreed.

A couple of hours later, we were driving to the mall when Will suddenly said, "But Mom, if I am gonna be in Uncle Vic's wedding, he is not going to have a wife!"

"What do you mean, honey?"

"Well, I'M not going to be a lady!!!"

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Nobody puts Baby in a corner!

Sophie refers to herself as Baby. I don't know why. I've always called her Sophie, Soph, Sof-a-rof, or some other derivation, but she has decided that she is Baby. As in, "Baby's shirt!", "Baby's bee-are! (bear)", "Baby's Bible!"

I guess this is OK, because although she is an accomplished mimic and can repeat almost anything you say (especially when you don't want her to!), her pronunciation of her own name leaves a lot to be desired. Much like Will said "Da-ba" for "Ransom" well into this third year, when everything else came out clear as a bell, Sophie's pronunciation of her name somehow comes out "Dad-dis" which sounds very similar to her pronunciation of (you guessed it) Daddy.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Hidden Treasure

By my count, Oak Hill Manor is the fourth house we've purchased full of junk.

After our first purchase, I had great hope that there would be large quantities of drug money hidden somewhere in the house.

With our second house, my hope for cash was diminished. But we did inherit a nice stacked washer/dryer set and an antique table.

Our third house was um, well-done, so other than about $40 in unused stamps, some scale-model Nascars and some old baseball cards, all of which smelled like campfire, there was nothing salvagable.

When we purchased OHM, we knew the family of the owner had ample opportunity to remove any valuables, and based on our past experiences, hope for treasure was dim. After going through several rooms, I was quite convinced that there was nothing of value in the house. The last room we attacked was the kitchen. Still nothing. Then, as I was going through the last cabinet, I pulled out a stack of plates and bowls. Some envelopes fell down from behind the plates. Inside was $1,800...

...in Social Security checks.

I had to laugh. We finally find our treasure and it's non-negotiable! If only she'd cashed them before hiding them in her secret stash...

(In case anyone is concerned, the checks are out of date, but we are going to return them to the family in case they can get them reissued.)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Whispering Hills Update

We are very near the end of our Whispering Hills renovation. Remaining tasks:

1. Finish master bath shower tile and install mirror
2. Sheetrock and paint touchup
3. Asphault driveway pour
4. Final yardwork, including seed and straw (we've got a lot of bare dirt on our hands)
5. Chainlink fence addition and replacement
6. Install crawlspace door
7. Build gate off deck
8. Affix mailbox
9. Pass final inspection
10. Final clean

First, a reminder of where we started...


The house today...







Downstairs bath...

One of the two downstairs bedrooms...
Family room (half bath is through open door)...
Master bedroom...
Master bath...
Study/bedroom #4, looking out at family room...
Andy is ready for this one to be done. Then we're off to Oak Hill Manor!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Fitting Jesus In...

The other night, out of the blue, Will, a devoted fan of Bob the Builder, annouced that "Scoop, Muck and Roley will always be in my heart."

"Kind of like Jesus, huh?" I asked.

"Yes. Jesus is on top of Scoop."

"Is Jesus riding Scoop in your heart?"

"No. He is on top because I don't have room for him on the bottom."

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

More Corvette Pictures (and a haircut)!

Before haircut pictures:





Will is leading Sophie down the driveway to be his passenger. This is after he lured her off her Barbie ATV by asking, "Don't you want to ride in the Chevy Corvette? It's much better than your Jeep. It has so much stuff yours doesn't have. It has a radio, it can go backwards..." All of which is true, but it was interesting to see how quickly he assembled this information and found a way to use it for his own purposes.

After haircut pictures:



Monday, June 2, 2008

What does your mail say about you?

I checked the mail at Oak Hill Manor (OHM) for the first time a couple of weeks ago.

From all I can tell (based on mail and magazines found inside the house), no one has lived in the main house since 2006. I believe the owner, an elderly widow, lived there until then, when she moved to a nursing home. In the meantime, her son was renting out the Treehouse to others. As mentioned earlier, we knew there was an eviction and there was a note on the side door of the main house demanding that the Treehouse tenant stop using an extension cord to pull electricity from the main house to power the entire Treehouse.

So here is the mail I found:

1) Two love letters to someone in jail, which has been returned to sender and resent to OHM. Girlfriend actually sounded pretty cool, and was urging her man to stay off drugs and commit to a sober life like she had. She also warned him she was going to need "hours and hours of spoonage." Ick.

2) A bill for a tuberculosis test for said Girlfriend at the Metro Health Department. Again, ick.

3) A letter from Metro to a third party, explaining that due to his habitual moving violations, he had to attend 8-hour traffic school.

4) A postcard from the Criminal Court Clerk to a fourth party, demanding payment for $12,800 in court costs.

Obviously the Treehouse has hosted some real winners!