Thursday, December 22, 2011

Checkin' Out for Christmas

Trying to go simpler this year.  Here it is the 22nd and I'm finished with shopping, decorating, and am full of peace. The kids' vacation started today, and my mom arrives later this evening.

God is good ALL the time.  ALL the time, God is good.

But, if you need a little perspective on this whole Christmas stuff, check out this link:

I'll see you in 2012.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Today's Washington Post features two sections with photos.  I thought them an interesting contrast.

In the Metro section, there are photos and a story about the Occupy DC protestors and how they're wasting away on their hunger strikes.

In the Real Estate section, there are photos and a story about Wounded Warriors who have chosen to stay on active duty and for whom (and others) the military has designed adapted housing designed to accommodate their injuries but also provide them dignity, i.e. the house does not scream from the outside "Wounded Warrior Lives Here".

I couldn't get the link to the photos to work, so I'll just leave it to your imagination or you can go to the Washington Post website to see them.

But I leave you with this thought.  The Wounded Warriors have given arms, legs, and mobility in order to preserve the right of the Occupy DC protestors to starve themselves to death in pursuit of a political point.

Your thoughts?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Big, slow exhale

Today is the day. At 4pm today, the buyers for my mother-in-law's house will meet with my brother-in-law, the Trustee, and all the other assorted individuals required to be there, and we will be finished with the sale.

The end part (this week) has been a real goat-rope.  Lots of last minute stuff. It really sounded like Buyer's Remorse. They're first time buyers and very prickly about stuff, even though the house was marketed "AS IS". Some stuff we HAD to do -- like Radon and Termite remediation.

They had a home inspection and stipulated in the contract that it was just for their own information. Then they came back and asked for a price reduction.  In my best lawyerly way, I responded via our agent for the family. "We accounted for the fact that it's a 40 year old house when we priced it as we did.  NO."  There was no more discussion about price reduction.

Then an issue arose with our Home Owners' Assn (HOA).  The Design Review Board said we needed to remove some diagonal supports from the deck as they were not in compliance with HOA rules.  My husband was all set to do it, but all I could see was liability in the future.  I mean, supports are just that, right?  The County laws require such braces on free standing decks (which this is and has to be because of the design of the house).  So we had a deck designer come look at it.  She said we could remove them -- that it wouldn't make a difference structurally.  So I let him proceed.  Then the buyers wanted a qualified engineer to certify that the deck is fine without them.  Finally, yesterday at 5pm, we got that in writing.

So, perhaps, as of about 5 today, we will be free of the nightmare of selling a house in this economy. And my daughter will not worry so much about applying to out of state schools.

And I can get back to baking cookies and getting ready for Christmas.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Not Medically Necessary...Really?

I don't usually get into annoyance zones, but today I'm having a hard time with this one.

Four members of my family wear eyeglasses.  All of us wear them because we can't see without them!  Yes, the kids wear contacts, but bottom line, we all need glasses.

Yesterday I took my daughter for an eye exam since her eyes were bothering her, and of course, she needed new glasses along with re-ordering contact lenses.  I also needed new glasses because I had an exam on Friday.

Even with all the great specials and deals, I about choked on how much we had to spend.

Then I called my insurance company today about something else and said, "by the way, what is the reasoning behind not paying for eyeglasses?"

The clerk really couldn't explain it.  Why not?


We don't wear glasses as fashion items.  We really need them.  Trust me, you do not want to be on the road with me if I'm not wearing glasses.  I am functionally BLIND without them.

If I was minus a leg, my crutches would be covered.  Why are eyes -- the predominant means of how humans interact with our environment -- not covered?

Now fortunately, my husband works very hard and has a really good job.  What happens to people who can't drop over $300 when it's time for glasses?

And, by the way, the office exam that was covered?  Only covered if it's every 2 years.  Eyes change more quickly than that.

Some political mouth this morning on the news was blabbering about cutting military benefits, calling them excessive and overblown.  Oh really?  Where does he get his health insurance?  Yes, while we were active duty we had our medical needs cared for.  But after 30 years of serving his country (at a discount rate compared to the civilians do the same kind of work) and being deployed to war zones and being separated from his children, my husband's military health care benefit is that we are permitted to PAY for our health insurance.

Yeah, you're surprised, right?  You thought we got it free for life, right?  Nope.  Despite what was promised to the military members of the 50's, 60's and 70's, that benefit was long ago cut.

Do me a favor, the next time you hear someone talking about military benefits being excessive, ask them if they want to pay for my glasses.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mission Accomplished

This is where we started.  The shiny front of the base
cabinet on the right conceals an air flow intake.

Notice the gray strip -- that's where the wallpaper had to come down.  Notice also that the carpet isn't...

After priming but before deciding to go with the light gray instead of bone.

Before priming but showing you the holes.  Big holes.  Sigh.

It was right down to the wire, but the projects are completed (well, except for still putting a few things away) and  JH has joined our family.

Here are the photos.

This is almost finished.  Everything patched and painted.
The outlets high on the wall are for the in-cabinet lighting.
An awkward place for lighting.  The outlet covers on the right cover empty holes.

Ta-dah!  These are not my first choice of paintings to hang,
but they illustrate the point that the outlets high on the wall
aren't completely useless.
My kids,  left to right
LW, JH, and JW on the mall in Washington DC the day after
Thanksgiving.  Notice my son in his shorts.  The boy doesn't feel cold.