Monday, August 27, 2007

Life Updates - Home and Work

Current mood:accomplished

Wow, it has been a while since I have written a blog…a lot has been happening, but either much of it has not been newsworthy, or I have been too busy at the time to write. No news generally means no drama, so that can be a good thing...:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Home life has been status quo, although I am happy to say I took a few Saturdays off this month and was able to have some recreational time with Lori and friends. Jacky is off living with her latest beau, Andy is working and living with roommates, and Samantha and Ashton are back with us for the time being again…the house was empty for a little while! I am amazed at how good Foster and Tiny are around Ashton…particularly Foster, who plays very well with him, and more importantly is very tolerant.

Speaking of the house, things are looking good on that front. All the areas where the excavations took place because of the felled trees are starting to look normal again. We had been getting some decent rains that were helping us along on that front, but alas the heat and drought have arrived and all is burning away and dehydrating. My landscape skills are a bit Darwinian in that I do not water or preen over the lawn, rather just let things happen, LOL.

And here is a shot of the overview of the front...we live in the house on the right (4br 2ba) and the house on the left is the spare "guest house". It is a 2br 1 ba, but the second bedroom has been converted to a dining room. The driveway on that lot leads to the rear where I park the work van and the truck, the spare van is parked out front, and Lori uses the front driveway to park her car. As seen in my previous blog, this was a much bushier, messier area not long ago, but it also had far more trees and fences, LOL!

Just as I feel like I am getting ahead on that front, another neighbors tree falls…this time on my "guest house". I kept thinking one day a big tree would fall and destroy the house, and the insurance company would step up and pay for my remodeling, but alas, the trunk of the tree flattened my fence, and only a side branch struck the house, apparently doing only minor, if any damage to the house so far…but it is far more project than my little chainsaw will handle, and the neighbor who owns the property isn't exactly rushing over here to cut it up, so I feel like I have my work cut out for me in the next few weeks. The view has changed in the backyard there as they have just built a brand new duplex on the lot adjacent to my back yard.

Been working on ideas for improvements that need to be done around my property, such as new fencing to replace the hurricane damaged fences, new windows to replace some of my older, less energy efficient panes and the possibilities of adding a deck and French doors to the rear of the house and a fixed carport to the front of the main house. These get put to the back burner though, because the process of securing permits and a contractor can be a bit daunting. Secondly, I want to wait until my cash flow is a little more secure.

What will secure my cash flow will be getting rid of my medical debt. For those who may not know, I had a severe accident in Sept 2004 that resulted in a broken neck, along with other injuries, and a STAGGERING medical bill that I was solely responsible for. I own property, so the hospital had no interest in lowering my debt to make it manageable, they were more interested in putting a lien on my property and taking me to court to obtain a judgement against me. Rather than declare bankruptcy or use other devious means to make the debt go away, I opted to pay it…so since getting back in the saddle, I have been sending Halifax Hospital every spare penny I can afford. I have been living a very austere lifestyle; all my purchases have been for the business or to survive, and I spend no money on recreation to speak of. I have kept a pretty intense schedule as well. This is resulting in great success in my goal of eliminating this albatross around my neck. It would have been easy to go to my attorney and make it go away, but I think taking the higher road, although harder, makes me a better person at the end of the day. Sometimes the right thing to do is not the easiest. I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and I have my eye on the prize…so maybe by 2008, I will actually be able to keep what I earn and spend it on improving my life, rather than paying off this plate in my neck.

I did get to splurge on one indulgence for myself recently. I had no vehicle to drive on my day off…my only vehicles were my work van, and a Dodge Cargo Van I kept for a spare in case the main van broke down, and also to use on my days off, or to transport the dogs. On the days when I would want to travel to see friends, I had to drive one of them…and the Dodge is no gas miser. I had been looking for a car or truck, but the parameters were that whatever I bought had to be enough vehicle to pull a trailer, in case I needed to use it for work. I found out my friend Joanne was selling her truck. Joanne is battling MS and has not been able to drive for some time. Even as she recovers, she cannot drive a stick shift, so she put her beloved truck up for sale. She bought it brand new after moving here. It is a 2000 Toyota Tacoma. I have always fancied her truck, and when I heard it was for sale, I called her right away and agreed to buy it. It suits my needs for a fuel efficient day off vehicle, and it will pull my trailer with no problem…it just will not accommodate passengers, unless they want to ride in the back, LOL. This worked out well for me, and JoJo, and I think there is some solace to her knowing that her truck is being cared for by a friend. I know that selling the truck was not an easy thing for her to do. I set up a nice little covered parking area in the backyard so that the truck stays dry and shaded.

Work has been going really well…shows are staying pretty busy, and no real drama occurring. I am trying to go digital again, so I am scoping out laptop deals, determining what software to use, and on the learning curve of doing things right this time. I went digital once before, but I only use that rig for private parties and weddings…it does not really do what I need it to do in the bars, so I am rethinking it all now. Hopefully, very soon I will be fully digital and carrying a little less weight with me to the venues, and being a lot more efficient as well.

So, how are things in your world?

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