Archive | September 2019

Sitting still for 30min is still rare

Did I say that things would get more quite in September?  School has been in for nearly 3 weeks, I should be eating bonbons by now.

Well….

First, it took a little to get into the school routine.  For anyone who thinks you have ‘tons’ of time while the kids are at school, it is actually 9am drop off, 3:40 pickup – a nominal 6h and 40min.  So while I’m technically child-free for 6h and 40m lets chop off 10m for the amount of time you need to dwell in the parking lot so you have a spot.  This is a *me* thing, I’m more happy and calm with a few min in the car waiting then rushing or getting there late and worrying about running over a kid in the parking lot. Then take out 45min for commutes and you end up with around 5.5hours to get everything done.  Don’t get me wrong, every once in a while that feels like an epic stretch of time.  Compared to the time I have in the summer or what time I had with 3 at home it is an amazing gift of minutes and seconds to use as I see fit.  BUT.  They fill up fast especially because everyone thinks you have tons of time since your kids are in school!

Mini rant finished, I used that first week to actually get out from under the laundry and housekeeping backlog, the storage room is no longer a pit of shame, and the garage isn’t exactly clean but it also isn’t a disaster.  In the middle of August, I decided that our renter really didn’t need another year of mutual stress – she is really great but the house was a struggle for her and I was along for the ride like it or not.  I’m glad I’ve met her, I wish her well, but I also curse her love of double-sided tape that I’ve been scrubbing off the walls.    On the plus side, I already have a painter hired, carpets selected, new (to us) dishwasher waiting on an install and more or less the place was ok.  This is a project I’m equipped to handle but it is a ton of non-routine work that I’m bumping any fun projects to get done on the timeline.

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how I feel about cleaning other peoples messes….

Fortune (and a good market) is smiling on us because within a day of listing the place (Tuesday) I had 50 people interested, 10 filled in an application, 3 were fantastic and I’ve offered it to the top already with #2 and #3 informed.  If anyone is in the position to be listing a place, and, for my future self here is my method this time;

  • List on Facebook Market place, Zillow, and Craigs list
    • I would note Craigs list is NOT on future lists, 3 inquiries only and nobody followed up by actually filling in a form
    • Zillow yielded 3 however, they have a vetting process for renters where they do a background and credit check and keep on file, very nice perk
    • Facebook was the majority for sure and ate my time replying to each and every inquiry
  • Once they started pouring in I created a Google Form asking for all the info I felt I needed.  Key points for me are monthly income and number of people in the house but I also asked all the reference questions etc.  I just googled ‘application form’ and typed up a combo of the questions I felt worked for us
    • As with any form, do what you can to add a free answer “other” or “anything else” because you would be truly surprised with the great info that comes from asking an open-ended question.  My current #1 bumped someone because of their answer to one of those.
  • I answered every inquiry with a copy/paste sentence and link about getting lots of interest, please fill in this form (link). This simplified the process because I basically deleted the 50 conversations and relied on the people who cared enough to fill in a form.
    • 2 days post I have modified my reply with ‘we have a list of applicants but if you would like to still be considered (form link)’.  I’m still getting requests but this makes me feel better just in case my 3 tops fall through.

Even with my streamlined method, I’ve used an hour or so a day working on the computer to manage it all.  The process of choosing contractors was straightforward, for me it was a combo of price and timeline, I filled 2 days with research and interviews and got it done.  I’ve been going non stop on this since Monday night and I’m taking a break today because I need it but plan to bring it home this weekend as primary prospect is viewing on Wednesday and I want it to be move-in ready.

 

For my sanity, even though I should have been doing something more productive for my own house, I did this project that has been on the list for 2 months.

Right now it looks pretty normal, framed print, good size, generic frame.

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HOWEVER it is actually an Ikea frame that I flipped so the deeper back is facing out and I filled the entire area with cork so I can pin up kid art more easily, and, change with the seasons.

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The frame fell in the spring and broke the front glass but the frame was ok.  When I got it I intended to change the art frequently, but, the metal pins holding in the back were fragile enough that they started to wear just changing the print once so I don’t feel bad gluing them in place by putting cork on top of the tabs.  It cost $12 in cork tiles because I needed two-pack but I like the way it looks and I hope it will function like I want.  Making changing art easy will make me actually do it!  Prying apart the frame was certainly not easy.

Other than home stuff, #1 has joined a running club 2x a week and likes it. #2 and #3 are in a new gymnastics gym that is really working them hard, both were put up a level and the coach is teaching them a ton already – 90min class and I get 2 sweaty, happy kids. We went to an event 6h away from home so we made a weekend of it and the weather was perfect fall.  School Board stuff is back in full swing with committee meetings and obligations that are fun but do eat up the evening.  I need to get on the planning of Halloween and all my favorite fall outings, fingers crossed that the house gets rented easily and I can move on to the next thing that may or may not consist of me building something big, the biggest thing I’ve ever contemplated attempting.  I’m getting help but it is still a big one!

And now we are up to date in my world of running around.  Hope you all are having a productive fall too.

Happy September

We did it!  We got through the summer and they are now back in school with, I think, the perfect level of excitement for school and sadness for leaving summer behind.

I just wrote a giant update with all the things we did and while I was uploading the pictures Lars felt the internet was ‘going slow’ so he refreshed it, therefore, bouncing my post into nonexistence.

well, here are the pictures at least.

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starting 6th, 4th and 2nd.  Everyone is very excited

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enjoying a backyard fire over the last official weekend in the summer

Last weekend we went to the Minnesota Renaissance fair, one of the biggest and best, and met the mermaids, fairies, jousting knights and lots of great performers.  I wouldn’t normally go to this since our SCA is the ‘real thing’ but it was fun to pay tourist. Our friends suggested it and it was a great thing to do with the group.

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Two weeks ago we did another super Minnesota thing – we went to the state fair.  Our state fair is like what you see in the movies, it is giant and full of outstanding things from giant produce to crazy food to tons of livestock.  We even found out that cows like to cuddle.

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I had written a lot more, we did sleepovers and played in dozens of parks and started the wizards unite phone game.  We biked and cleared out the garage and found stuff in boxes we forgot we had because at a year later no box is allowed to remain unopened.  I’m annoyed that I lost all my words but I didn’t lose the summer and on this precious weekend I’m not going to waste time being annoyed or redoing things.  I’ll post again soon, I have time now to actually do stuff!