Wow, I've been lazy. I've had a lot to say but I've been too lazy to actually put it into words and do the typing.
We are nearing the closing of the refinancing of our current place so we can set the closing for our place in the Keys. We're pulling out most of the equity to pay cash for The Cat House and fix the pool (priorities, you know), the a/c, and rip out the carpet and master bath and closet, pay for insurance (which will be exhorbitant, but what can you do), and have the electricity and water turned on in our names. After the place in WV sells (and the sooner the better) we won't have a mortgage! We should have enough to do a lot of the renovations we want.
Meanwhile, our '99 Camry has decided that about 230,000 miles is pretty much enough and is threatening to throw a rod or a bearing, so we can't drive it much. It's been a good car; we've had it for a couple of months over three years and have put a lot of miles on it. We'd replace the engine if we could find one cheap enough, but the only one available, it seems, is $4000 including labor and already has over 200,000 miles on it. The car isn't worth that much. For now I'm driving the truck to work. Nice because it's more comfortable and has a cd player, but it's so big and I'd rather drive something much smaller. Maybe after the houses are taken care of we'll be able to get another used car.
Several people have come over to see the property in the last couple of weeks, but no offers yet.
I've been knitting The Wedding Stole sporadically; it's probably almost half-done. I wish I'd started the heavy beading at the very beginning because it looks so pretty, but I didn't, and I'm sure not going to sew them on. I like the yarn (silk and cashmere) and it was so cheap ($6) on ebay. I'll use much more than that in beads. Since we're be heading to Big Pine Key as soon as we can close, I'll be near Key West and can go back and buy some more beads. I know I could order them, but this way I know what I'm getting. The wedding is Nov. 7, so I have to get cracking. I should be able to do a lot of knitting in the car, although on the way down we're leaving after a Last Train Home show and will drive the first 8-10 hours in the dark. I hope I can sleep; if not, I've got Twilight and the laptop.
B2 is loving kindergarten. The kid just lives life large in all ways. He's Mr. Confidence, Mr. Charisma, Mr. Alpha Male. He's quite a character. He spent two years being civilized in Methodist pre-school (they went into the "sintuary" for singing) so public school has been no big deal for him. He simply doesn't see the need, though, to practice his writing and counting and reading. He just tells the teacher "I don't want to do that." No anger, no yelling, he's just very sure that he doesn't want to do it. J asked his teacher if it's interfering with his learning; she said that he's very bright and is picking up all the concepts. Once he's got it, he's done, thankyouverymuch.
He's had some trouble with another boy in his class who seems to be a bully. B2 just tells him that what he's doing is wrong and to stop. And the kid does. It's a wonder that B2 himself isn't the object of bullying as he has some health-related issues that really make him stand out in a crowd. He's allergic to grass; whatever body part that touches it first breaks out in a rash which quickly turn to welts and then blister. It's pretty. So the child has to wear long sleeves and long pants with socks and running shoes in the Florida heat. (They're required to wear belts, too, with their shirts tucked in. On a five-year-old. Who outgrows his pants every couple of months.) So he's usually red-faced and extremely sweaty.
He also has a tendency to vomit copiously because he shoves food into his mouth at a high rate of speed. He always had. He is repeatedly told not to do this. Even the kids in his class now yell "B2, don't you dare! Stop that! I mean it!" and sometimes it works. He carries a little garbage bag with him all the time in case he needs to puke. And no one makes fun of him. They love him. They pay attention to his thoughts and generally go along. He's not bullying, I don't think, he's calm and apparently fair-minded.
This was not what we expected, but we're happy with it.
A is in the 4th grade and doing well. She's a broadcaster on their school news show and loves it. Last night she read a story to me and only stumbled over a few big words and she answered the questions in complete sentences and correctly. She's typing quickly and mispelling fewer words (spell-check, maybe? but not in her email. She definitely doesn't spell-check that.) Her emails are longer and more involved. What a difference moving to the poorest county in Florida and attending school there has made for her. She went from one of the highest income counties where the schools are new and pretty, where she had all kinds of trouble with bullies and teachers who said she was so far behind the other kids, to the poor county where things are old but where they try to spend their money intelligently, and she's blossomed. Straight A's. She's made lots of friends. (She was even asked by a boy if she'd "go out" with him. Mommy and Daddy said hell no. As you probably know, going out means hanging around together at school.)
We added a 10' x 10' deck to the back of the house and are enjoying it so much. It's one of those things that we wish we'd done earlier so we could have enjoyed it longer. And it would have been much bigger. Tom and his brother have done a lot of work, mostly finishing little things that they didn't finish when they built the place. A lot of junk has been packed or given away so there's a lot more room so it actually looks like someone lives there, not just stores stuff there.
Life goes on. I finally gave myself permission to enjoy the fall colors, almost too late. We aren't having the intense color that we have sometimes; there was an article in the paper about it that I didn't bother to read. But if it's the last time that I have to endure another fall and winter, maybe I can enjoy it.
We still haven't had frost in either WV or here in the Valley (Shenandoah). That's exceedingly unusual. We usually have a cold snap in the 20s of September then Indian summer, always frost by the first weekend of October, but none so far. Therefore there hasn't been Indian summer. I'm not complaining, just commenting. We didn't bring our plants inside until last weekend; usually we have to do that a good month earlier.
That's the news from this part of the country. At least, what I can remember of it.