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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

another year done

Good morning.
I wanted to squeeze in one more post for the year.
It's been quite a year, with the new house in Vegas, selling the mo-ho, and starting to prepare for the next chapter in our life as we inch closer to retirement.
Over the next year I plan on continuing the downsizing of all the stuff we've accumulated over the 30 years we've lived here. And getting the house back into shape for eventual selling. I've discovered that I have overlooked a lot of little maintenance issues over the last 30 years that will take some time to fix.
I'm very happy we decided to begin this process so early. I can't imagine needing to do everything that we've done so far in a short time frame.
That said, I look forward to 2015.
I hope 2015 is good for you too.
And with that, I'm off to work. Long day today, and back to work for a busy Fri. and Sat.
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2014

playing catch-up

Good afternoon.
I should be house cleaning, but I realized I haven't posted in a week! And I knew you would be worried about me.  :-)
 Okay, here's what I've been doing......
We watched the controversial movie, The Interview....
It's basically a 'B' comedy. Entertaining, but not great. I can't see what North Korea is upset about.  :-)
Anyway, it'll probably bring in more money because of the hacking.
Also watched  The Maze Runner
That was good!
Also, I think some one's been in our house in Vegas..... 
 Our house is equipped with a smart meter. I can go online and see daily energy  usage. 
Look closely at the graph, and you'll see a small spike on the 21st.
That would probably mean someone was in there and turned on lights.
So, it could be our realtor checking on the place, or the handy man doing a couple of things we arranged for before we left. 
On the work front.....
Last Friday and Saturday were quite busy, and New Years Eve and the following Friday and Saturday look even busier.
Craig is starting his year end stuff, so I try and lay low and out of his way.  :-)
Preliminary figures point to a good year.  :-)
Now I need to get back to house cleaning.

Monday, December 22, 2014

sold another game

Good morning.
Finished up a very busy week in the Salon, and yesterday, headed over to Muskegon to visit my Mom.
Took her to lunch at Applebee's where she bought me a gift card thanks to some recent winnings she had with pull-tabs, and then we went to the VFW for drinks and more pull-tabs. No luck with them yesterday. On the way back to her apartment, stopped for some groceries and made it back to Lansing.
I also sold another game on eBay......
This one was called Broadsides and Boarding Parties. I managed to get $62 for it. Might have gotten more, but the game board was slightly warped. Got it boxed up and ready to ship this morning. I wonder if the post office will be busy.   :-)
 Then we are heading over to Home Depot to look at area rugs. We want to get one for the house in Vegas, and we'll need to be able to have it delivered during the short window we'll be there.
We saw this one at Lowe's......
 It's called Faded Panels. It's approximately  8x10. We thought this would look good with the black furniture and the warm woods of the accent tables.
Craig originally wanted something with a little more pop!
like this copper shag......
Then I said...."Craig, you put this with black furniture, and it'll look like we're ready for Halloween".
 So what do you think? And remember, it's going on a light, mottled, tiled floor.

 I kinda like the first one, but we'll keep looking.
Now time for our usual Monday running around.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

just one more day

Good morning.
As expected, it's been an extremely busy week in the Salon. One more day, and I can rest a bit.  :-)
Here's a little bit of our Christmas cheer....
It appears we've finally got our Homeowners Association fees finally straightened out. Only took 2 months.  :-/
The last check has finally posed to our online account, and now we have a nice balance to use for the next 6 months, since we paid it up before we left, not knowing if/when it would get processed, and we didn't want to get stuck with interest and late fees.
I haven't heard from our Vegas handyman to know if he's finished with the last few projects we wanted done, but since we won't be out there for a while, I guess there's no hurry. I'll wait until after the new year before I bug him.  :-)
And now, time to get ready for work

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Would you like a garden obelisk?

Good morning.
 We've had a fairly nice weekend for December. Cloudy and damp, but temps near 50. Did a little yard work yesterday, and took these pics....
They are a little difficult to make out, so you may need to click on the pics to see them better.
One's a arching trellis, and the other an obelisk. In my continuing reducing of stuff for an eventual cross country move, I'm slowly getting rid of things I won't be taking with me including yard ornamentation. I've got a customer possibly interested in the obelisk, so I took a pic to e-mail to her. Both of these are made from rebar. The metal they use in roads to give them strength. Many years ago, we had a coffee shop a few doors from our Salon. They put in an outdoor patio, and at her request, I put in a flower bed along the sidewalk. As a thank you, she commissioned a local artist to create these for my yard. I never had much luck getting anything besides annual vines to grow on them, but would like them to go to someone who could use them.
And I've got one more day off before a very busy week. This is the last full week before Christmas, and I'll be working late every day. I already wish Christmas was over.  :-)
That's all for now.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

a profitable weekend

Good morning.
It was a pretty good weekend. Didn't do a whole lot.  :-)
Saturday, after work, Craig made us nachos for dinner. Yum!
On Monday, Craig fixed a new chicken dish......
It was easy and tasty! The recipe is here.
Over the years, we've accumulated a lot of board games. I've been going through them, and since we hardly play them anymore, I've been adding them to my growing pile of yard sale stuff. At one point I thought, 'I wonder if any of these are worth anything?'  I hopped on E-bay and did a little research. Found I had one game worth quite a bit!
So, I finally got around to listing this game on E-bay....
I started the bid at $100 with a buy it now price of $200 after looking at previous sold listings. It sold in 2 days!
I boxed it up and mailed it out yesterday.
Who knew a game I bought back in 1981 for $39 would now be worth $200?   :-)
I also managed to get a tree up and decorated and also put up some other decorations. The house feels very festive now.  :-)
 And now, it's back to work.

Monday, December 08, 2014

I'm still here

Good morning.
I'm still here, just nothing much to say.
Last week was fairly busy in the Salon, and the weekend has been cold, so been indoors not doing much.  :-)
There's been some good sales at a couple of our supply stores so have been stocking up on Salon supplies.
Today, Gordon's Food Service for Folgers Coffee.
We also switched health ins. plans. It's open enrollment at, and we were able to find a policy with similar coverage for about the same price we've been paying. Our old policy was going up about $60 a month, but this year, there's quite a few more companies offering policies. I don't know what we'll do if the Supreme court strikes down our state's marketplace because it's run by the fed and not the state. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Watched Guardians of the Galaxy the other day. Good movie!
That's about all I know for now.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

weekend catch-up

Good morning.
I tell ya. I'm getting lazier and lazier about posting.  :-)
Anyway, It was a busy work week. And so far this weekend, I've gotten the outside in pretty good shape for winter. We managed a decent day Sunday with temps around 50 and no rain, so I cleaned out the roof valleys and gutters, and changed the oil in the mowers. I also cut down some ornamental grasses. Monday was cold and windy, so stayed inside and cleaned.
Craig made a new dish, Brat 'n' tot bake. It was OMG good! I'll try and get it on Cooking with Craig's blog when I get a chance.
And here's a pic of the timer that controls the watering at our Las Vegas house...
You can see why I had the landscape guy program it for me.
I did manage to find the program guide on line when we got back home and printed out all 16 pages of it so I can familiarize myself with it when we go back out.
Craig has been putting a list together of things we want for the Las Vegas home and things he wants done next time we we go out. An area rug for the living room, paint the baths and second bedroom, change the light fixture in the hall, buy a cappuccino machine so we can make morning coffee instead of going out, order a coffee table, another dresser and night stand for the other bedroom, and a new kitchen sink.  It looks to be another busy trip.  :-)
But that won't be until after the holidays.
And with that, time to go.

Friday, November 28, 2014

post Thanksgiving

Good morning, and a happy Black Friday! To those of you who partake in such nonsense. I tried it just once several years ago. Not worth it at all!
Anyway, I didn't get a pic of our turkey dinner, though i could have pulled a pic up from any previous years as our Thanksgiving routine is the same.   :-)
So instead, I show you the mess we make fixing a turkey dinner....
And then, the kitchen when it's cleaned back up.....
As you can see, we have a small kitchen, so I tend to clean as we go so as not to get completely buried under all the preparation dishes. Also, we have an apartment sized dishwasher, which was the only size that would fit there, so I ended up doing 4 separate loads during the day. But that does make the mess much more manageable.   :-)
I did get the salon decorated in the morning,and got home just in time to help Craig get the turkey in the oven.  Watched some of the Macy's parade, and then the Lions football game. They won.  :-)
So a good day. Good food, good game, and a nice quiet day.
Now....I've got to go back to work. Busy Friday and Saturday.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

another busy day

Good morning.
I'm going to bore you with a few more pics of our Vegas home.
 Because I can.  And I like to look at them.    :-)

Didn't clean the eaves troughs as I had hoped yesterday,it pretty much rained all day.
So spent much of the day online looking at possible area rugs for the living room.
Today, I'm working 7:30 to 6:30. Long day. Partly due to our time off, and also due to being closed for Thanksgiving Thursday. I'm also very busy Friday and Saturday.
So I'm off to work now. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2014

wet and cold

Good morning.
It's a wet morning here in mid Michigan, though the temps have gotten back to near normal upper 40's. But that will be short lived as a strong cold front is due to sweep through this afternoon.   :-(
It's looking like it'll be another l-o-n-g winter.  :-(
So yesterday, between the rain drops, we managed to get snow tires on both cars, and I got the ornamental grasses at the end of the driveway cut down. Even though I need to do one final mowing to get up the rest of the leaves, it's to wet, and soon to be to snowy To finish, so they will just have to lay there until spring. Our 12 day trip to Vegas messed that all up along with a very early winter.  
We've just booked a couple of trips to Vegas for mid-winter and early spring. Without the mo-ho, we'll have more time for Vegas.  :-)
I'm hoping to get the eaves-troughs cleaned out today between rain falls and the outside water turned of.
Then we should be pretty much set for winter.

And I'm gonna bore you with some more pics of our Vegas home....

And that's all for now....

Saturday, November 22, 2014

crack? what crack?

Good morning.
Here's the view from the front sidewalk of our Las Vegas home.....
 Even without grass, the street looks nice.
And I'm not sure if anyone remembers the cracked tiles in the new house?
Well, there were numerous cracked tiles. It seems a lot of the neighbors we met have some cracked tiles.
Well, Craig and I devised a system to nearly correct the problem without replacing them.
First, we filled the crack with spackling. You know, the stuff you patch holes in the wall with.
Then we used a cream colored nail polish over that. Whipped off the excess polish, lightly rubbed the tile with polish remover to remove polish residue, and the crack virtually disappears!
I didn't think it would work so well on mottled tile, but it does! Now, unless your really looking, you wouldn't even know there were any cracks. And nail polish wears very well through regular cleaning. And, we can always 'touch up' any areas that start to show again. So we are very happy we don't need to replace the tiles. We really like them. They're huge 20 inch tiles, and finding a match is appearing next to impossible.
It's been a very busy week in the Salon as expected, since we were gone for nearly 12 days.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

our Vegas home

Good afternoon.
 This is what we returned to when we came back to Lansing yesterday.....
 Cold and snowy.   :-(
Just reinforces our decision to move to Vegas.

About our trip.....
We left Lansing way back on Nov. 7th. Drove Craig's 1998 Honda Accord. It took the better part of 3 days to get there. His car preformed perfectly! We arrived Monday afternoon and went promptly to the house to check it out. Remember, we had never been inside this one. But as soon as we entered, we loved it!
The floor person was in the middle of cleaning all the floors and carpet, so we went out and spent the afternoon ordering a mattress and refrigerator. Spent the night down on the strip at New York New York Casino Hotel where we had a free night courtesy of the facebook game, My Vegas Slots.
Tuesday, we we went out and got paint and cleaning supplies and spent most of the day at the house. It was filthy! Surprising since the house is only 8 years old. Spent that night at the Aliante Casino Hotel just outside the community the home was in.
Wed. another day cleaning and painting. We also had the mattress delivered along with the fridge and living room, bedroom, and dining furniture. We were then able to spend the next several nights in our new home.  :-)
All and all, we managed to paint the kitchen, living room and master bedroom and hall.
And here's a few pics of our new home in Las Vegas....

painting the kitchen

painting the front hall. have you noticed I'm the one doing all the painting?
Actually, Craig did help a lot. He just doesn't like his pic taken.

 master bath
 washer dryer closet.
Now, we just have the minimal furnishings, as this will just be for vacations until we retire and move out there.  But it already feels very cozy and inviting.
Monday the 17th, we spent the morning washing towels and bedding and getting the place ready sit for several months until we can go back. Then our realtor picked us up and took us to the New York New York Casino Hotel to spend the night. I discovered it's very difficult to get a cab way out in Aliante, and since we had a 6am flight on Tuesday, and another free night, we decided it was best to go to the strip, spend the night, and get a quick, short, taxi ride to the airport.
So, to recap...... we drove out, leaving a car for when we vacation, cleaned the home, got 2/3 of the home painted, and returned to Lansing safe and sound, and cold.....

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

We're back!

We've  just returned from Vegas! Details  coming soon.                              

Friday, November 07, 2014

busy, busy, busy

Good morning.
It's been a very busy week in the Salon, and today is more of the same.  :-)
I called our mall maintenance guy because we have been having an issue with our front door. When the sun shines on it, it for some reason seems to swell and then the door sticks and you really need to give it a good push to open it. He checked it out and the bottom of the door is actually coming apart. Not good. So he's ordered another door. Should be in next week.
The leaves are pretty much all down, and fall temps have settled in. Not looking forward to another long Michigan winter. But wait......That's right......We now have a home in Las Vegas! And even though we can't spend the entire winter there, we can take a break from Michigan and spend some time there. Knowing that, I think I can make it through another winter.  :-)
And with that, I'm off to work!

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

is today election day?

Of course, how could you not know it's election day with all the fliers, post cards, and endless political ads on TV.
But what's really nice? Absentee ballots! Yep! When you turn 60, you can request them mailed to your home. No standing in lines for me! I actually voted last week!  :-)
In other news.....
Not much really, work was busy last week, and this week looks the same. I mowed up more leaves. Looking like they're just about all down. Maybe one more mowing next weekend.  That would be a little early since I usually do my last mowing around Thanksgiving.
Repairs are ongoing at the new house. The bedroom window was installed last Friday.  Most of the plumbing issues should be done this week. Can't wait until we can actually go out there and see the place.  :-)
And that's all I got for now, so GET OUT AND VOTE!  :-)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

weekend update

Good morning.
It was a busy weekend!
After work Saturday, we went for a walk. It was a beautiful sunny mild day. The color is well past peak, and the leaves are coming down. Sunday, we went to Muskegon to spend the day with Mom. My sister-in-law Ruth joined us.  I cut Mom's hair, cleaned her kitchen, took out trash and then took her to lunch and the 'club'. Stopped at the store on the way back to her apartment and got her groceries.
On Monday, it was time to get more leaves up. They're really coming down fast now, and a short time after I was done, it didn't look like I did anything. So Tuesday, I did it again.
I also spent time talking care of more stuff for our new home. Registered with the Association office and the HOA management company. Also contacted the head of the communities neighborhood watch. They have a very good neighborhood watch group. That may be one of the reasons for such low crime there.
We received a check from the escrow company for the difference we paid compared to what was needed at closing and also the deed, so I guess we really did buy a house!  :-)
. We also finally got our earnest money back from the first house. Our Realtor is having the locks changed and will mail us a key. 
And now, back to work for what looks like another busy week.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

busy week.

Good morning.
It's been a very busy week in the Salon, and I'm booked today also.
I came home from work yesterday, and the new owners of the mo-ho came by to pick it up and I gave him a thorough walk-through showing the many interesting aspects of owning a motor home. 
I felt a little teary when the mo-ho pulled out of the driveway for the last time.   :-(
I'm really going to miss our trips in it.
But, we have our new home in Vegas to help fill in the void.
I'll just have to take lots of pics when we go out since I won't have it sitting right next to our house as the mo-ho did.
I finally got all the utilities transferred and set up auto pay.
Once I get the welcome packet from the association, I'll set up auto pay for the monthly and quarterly fees also. We also have house ins. and I submitted a change of address so any correspondence that might go there, will come here instead. This weekend we'll get a home warranty too.
Many of our customers seem more excited about our house then we do. We feel more relieved than anything since this whole process has dragged on for nearly 7 months. The whole idea of buying a home back in March as apposed to when we retire was to get a really nice place for a really good price. We are fortunate that we were still able to after 7 months,  because new listings now are nearly $20,000 more than what we paid for this home.
But we're very pleased, as this home, when built 8 years ago, sold for nearly $100,000 more than what we paid for it. And with projected increases in property values out there, it should appreciate considerably more than the estimated $4000 a year it'll cost us to maintain it.  :-)   Plus, we'll have a vacation home to use also!  :-)
And we had a visitor earlier this week......
You might have to click on the pic to see it better, but our Great Blue Heron that visits us from time to time was walking across the back yard toward the pond. It must have been in the creek that's on our property line on the opposite side of the yard. They sure are big birds!
Now time for me to get to work!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bought a house, sold a house.

Good morning! We have a house! At least, that's what our Realtor told us yesterday evening. :-)
It was a busy day yesterday, as our Realtor had to send the forms back to the escrow company twice for corrections.  The first time she found several errors and the second time I found one. Nothing major, but you want every figure absolutely correct, right?
Then we ran to the bank to wire the money. The good thing was all the signing of the papers was done by DocuSign. Didn't need to go to any one's office. Did everything from my puter. It was so easy, it was kind of scary. But nice since we're 2800 miles from Vegas and didn't have to go out there.  :-)
And here's a few pics....
The patio faces east, so nice morning sun and afternoon shade.
Living room.
Kitchen with dining area in front.
Laundry closet.
Master bath with walk-in closet. A walk-in shower is across from toilet.
View back toward the kitchen and front door. Garage is through the door in the kitchen
And floor plan. Nice, compact, 1200 sq ft. 2 bedroom, 2 bath home. Perfect for retirement.
We hope to go out sometime in November to get the place painted and some stuff in it. We plan on using it for vacations until we actually retire in 1-3 years.
Our realtor will over see getting repairs done and the floors and carpets power cleaned.  She's been great throughout this whole process.
And we do have our other house sold. (I mean our motor home).  The new owners stopped by Monday afternoon with a check, and we signed over the title. They were still working on finding a place to store it as they don't have a set-up at their house like we do. They plan on picking up the mo-ho Fri. or Saturday.
So, a whirlwind weekend. Bought a home and sold a home.
And unfortunately, now back to work for what looks to be a very busy week.