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Posts Tagged ‘travel’

The inside upstairs paint projects are DONE. That includes touch ups where we changed lighting fixtures. There’s a guy outside right now hanging a gutter on the back of the house because they old owners didn’t have one. Gutters are the last home improvement for (at a minimum) the next year, if not more.

In terms of current home improvements, I painted the front deck post and have started painting the front deck bench. The benches were a gift from my in-laws for our wedding. When they’re pushed together and the backs are flattened, they become a picnic table. Very cool, but also makes restaining a challenge. I’m going to do it in two parts. :)

All that remains is the railing on the back deck and the back deck bench. I’m very happy at the prospect of being DONE for a while.

In related news, I got an 83 on my exam which I’m pretty happy about. First exams suck because you’re never quite sure what the test is going to look like. I’m excited about class time in July.

With any luck, our plans today will include a trip to Frisco for BBQ and maybe seeing The Proposal.

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I’ve successfully made reservations for our anniversary dinner. It’s going to require a trip over to Vail, but 40 minutes isn’t a bad drive for good food. Not only that, but we’re in the off-season so we’ll be able to take advantage of some pretty sweet deals.

I’m waiting for Spouse’s new phone to arrive and then running some errands before he’s done wth work.

Have pretty much finalized house painting colors and a decorating plan for the basement. We’ll need an area rug for the kitchen but all in all we’re in good shape. The new sliding door arrives this weekend and I’ve just got to contact my guy to put it in. We’re inordinately excited about it for reasons I’ll elaborate later.

Our anniversary gifts are working out fantatsically and I’m going to update with some more Santa Fe details later.

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I hate that. But it’s why pharmaceutical companies make things like Ambien. Just waiting for it to kick in.

Today I picked up a tomato plant and a Topsy Turvy. I’m going to give it a go though Spouse is not confident. I generally forget to water things, so we’ll see how it goes.

I’ve got an unexpected trip to Avon later today. We also picked up a much-needed bookshelf for the living room. And it’s entirely possible that I’ve finalized the paint colors for the house. Not looking to start the paint project SOON but having the colors mapped out makes the project about half-done (in my head, anyhow). Not realistic but it FEELS good and that’s what counts. ;)

Now I just have to determine if it’s better to edge the room before rolling paint on or vice versa. Also if I can freehand the top edges or maybe should use a piece of cardboard as a guide. Decisions!

Mom’s coming to visit over the 4th of July weekend! She’ll get to see Leadville sans snow! Probably not as fun as Boom Days (1st weekend in August) but I think something can be arranged. Possibly a little hiking.

I’ve got an extra lengthy work week this week (contrary to that of most) and while it should be busy, I also predict exhausting.

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My lack of posting began shortly after we got an offer on our house back in Michigan, mostly because nearly all my free time was spent on the phone with either the mortgage company or Fannie Mae or the retirement people (we also had houseguests in there somewhere). The counteroffer which was accepted was considerably lower than what we’d paid for the house and we were pretty upside down on the mortgage. We applied for a short sale – where the bank accepts the offer and we all walk away clean – and it was mostly a nightmare. This experience has convinced me that we will never have functional health care.

I was told in not so many words by the folks at Fannie Mae that because our house wasn’t already in foreclosure, we weren’t a priority for help. This was, of course, ONLY after I had submitted my paperwork no less than three times in two weeks- because they kept saying they didn’t have it, even after a confirmation email from a specific employee on the 2nd occasion telling me he’d gotten it all. I’d made several phone calls and found exactly one helpful employee (the aforementioned dude). I DID have a spectacular runaround, including ONE employee who began to argue with me when I requested to speak to a supervisor. She was telling me why I wanted to speak to one and that they couldn’t help me. The third time, I finally said “I don’t CARE what you think, put a fucking SUPERVISOR on the phone.” Having done a shit phone job, I generally do not lose my temper with those folks. On the other hand, they don’t generally ARGUE.

Oddly, the supervisor was able to answer some questions. Which is when I found out that because we’d been responsible and kept paying our mortgage, we were going to take the entire shaft, sans lube, right in the ass. Thanks so much. If Fannie Mae can’t keep track of THEIR paperwork, we have NO HOPE of having a functional national healthcare system which – by definition – will require a much larger amount of paper and customer service.

We gave up on Fannie Mae after that and set about scraping together the funds needed to get the hell out from under the place. Paying two mortgages has NOT been fun. But someone bought it, I flew home to sign the paperwork and hand over the last of the keys, and we are now and forever shut of Saginaw, Michigan. We couldn’t be happier.

While in Michigan I seem to have developed something of an earache which is, apparently, not an infection. I pick up medication tomorrow.

I got to see some of the family back in MI, which was nice. Everyone seems to be doing well. I’d forgotten that mosquitos can be as big as my thumbnail though. We haven’t seen any up here yet, which is perfectly fine by me. The weather has been great, as usual. The last couple of days have had a bit of rain which is interesting because it doesn’t LAST, including the water on the ground.

Our anniversary is coming up next week (9 years!) and we got each other a sweet anniversary gift to help take the sting out of the house fuckery. Details on that later.

I start classes in a couple of weeks and it sounds like Spouse is planning a House Project. We’ll see how far that gets.

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One more way in which Leadville is superior to Saginaw: when we got home, one of our neighbors had plowed our driveway for us. Out of the goodness of their heart, without being asked. In the entire 8 years we lived in Saginaw, nobody ever even OFFERED – including when Spouse threw his back out and I was stuck outside shoveling 12 inches of snow off our entire driveway. I love this place.

Santa Fe was very nice and very relaxing. While I’m in the process of uploading pictures, I will leave you with this hilarious dog story.

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Downshifting

There has definitely been an adjustment to living out here that extends beyond the change in altitude.

A couple of weeks ago, it was snowing and there was a fair amount of traffic to Vail. I made it over and back the Battle Mountain Pass without ever having to touch a brake – unlike the two drivers in front of me. I was inordinately proud of myself.

The other notable difference from home  is the dress code. I’d heard jokes about the Colorado Tuxedo (jeans) but there’s more than a little truth to it. For example, we’re attending a dinner tonight. At home, I’d have worn a dress – not an especially fancy one. Out here, that’s still way too formal. I’ve tentatively settled on a sweater and skirt and am still running the risk of being ‘too’ dressed up. Spouse suggested I wear a pair of “good jeans.” Alas, I own only regular jeans. Possibly I will have to consult someone to find out what “good jeans” consists of. I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this.

I was hoping to find a book club in town, but haven’t had much luck. It seems I’ll have to drive to Avon or Vail but at least there are a couple and they’re not so far that I’ll mind the drive. The social interaction will be nice, for sure.

The job hunting continues, without much success. Right now I’m working three days a week which leaves me with just a little too much free time.

I’ve started running with the dog again, intervals in a 1.8 mile route for the time being. I’m hoping to work up to a 3.5 mile route. Running is a DEFINITE challenge. For the first time in my life, I find that heart rate charts might apply to me.

Next week I’ve got an appointment to get contact lenses. I haven’t worn glasses this much since I was 13 and I’m not really loving it. The nice thing is that the new eye doctor just needs me to fax my old prescription – rather than needing all my records.

For now, I’m off to run errands and get things around for our overnight trip.

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More photos

My trip to Salida on the 26th. When I left Leadville it was snowing but in the pics you can see it clears off before Buena Vista. Leaving Salida, I took an inadvertant detour to Monarch before realizing and coming back. 

Photos here.

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