Friday, April 30, 2010

The Big Weekend

End of the month, now the real fun begins. Tomorrow we are moving the boys from their long-time home at Millhaven to White Fences. This will be a big change for them, they consider Millhaven their home, have so many friends there, so we are a little anxious about how they are going to handle the change. Horses are very sensitive, honest. White Fences is literally right around the corner from our new place.

Sunday we are getting the appliances delivered from Sears. They had the best prices, free delivery and will remove the old appliances. Plus, there is Obama Money involved in this AND the utility provider also gives a rebate for swapping out old stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers and water heaters.

The fence from the garage to our neighbors fence has been installed. The new gate latch is also installed, a lot easier to handle the gate now, from foot or horseback. Eventually we will put boards up to create a stockade-type privacy fence look to the place.

This week at work has been a whirl-wind and I am exhausted. Apparently the trend is 9 - 6pm and I'm not liking it at all, and Tom really hates it. I'm not getting home until almost 7 most nights and from there we are chasing daylight. I really need a new job, right?

And it gets even worse: My beloved uncle is in York County Hospital ICU with kidney failure.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Today Governor Rendell (D-PA) came in to the office, which was fun, funny and a great change for me. But after work was when the real fun started!

Went over to the farm after work - Tom had the day off and he and April spent all day there - I did help him finish putting the short fence and gate in the driveway (to stop the dumpers) - He cleaned out the pump house, and the garage (that we are not going to keep as a garage) - everything looks great! He also inventoried every light switch, floor register and outlet cover. All of these in the entire house are missing, not the right size, or broken. The largest bedroom has only one outlet, and that's in the closet! Sheesh, we are having a grand time, eh? It's supposed to rain this weekend, so I think that will be a good time to start, and maybe finish, painting and installing those light switches and like that. Also clean the carpeting. We'll see how much we can get done.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

No Rest for the Weary

On Monday we had a long list of things to do, before we even made it over to the farm. First, Tom spent some time working on the pond, getting it to drain the algae off, etc. We decided to do our list in a geographically arranged order. Locksmith was first on the list, right around the corner. She was quick, too, less than 10 minutes (that included parking the truck). Next was our insurance agent, signing papers, liability insurance, etc. Should have been uneventful but we took April into the office, she is so good!, except she yakked on the carpet! No warning, just did it. Great! Then off to Home Depot, Pep Boys, Wal-Mart and then Home Depot again. Ironically the second trip to Home Depot was to get the concrete mixer pan and then we didn't use it to mix the concrete. Then to the Community Bank to pay for this farm! The bank is a throw-back to earlier time; the clerk used a typewriter! to process our paper work. Also, the attire of the staff would have been deemed inappropriate when I worked at a bank, 25 years ago. It was like Mayberry in there!

Tom bought a magnet with a handle at Tractor Supply on Sunday. This tool is worth its weight and price in entertainment value alone. I found bags and bags of metal debris: nails, screws, bolts, washers, nuts, chain, bottle caps, car parts, fencing pieces, tractor parts, and more than I can remember now.

Tom mowed a lot of the back pasture, after fixing the other flat tire on the tractor, knocking down the multi-flora rose and volunteer saplings that can not stay. It looks great! He then swapped the brush hog for the new auger and drilled holes for the gate posts near the old garage. Before we left the new gate was hanging, but it was dark, too. We ate dinner at 9:30 - this is apparently life on the farm.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

We've Only Just Begun

After Friday night's closing - at our kitchen table! - I was anxious to get on the road to West Virginia to pick up our tractor, bucket, box scraper, brush hog, and finish mower. Also the augers and the flat bed to haul it all home. It's a 2 hour drive, one way, but it always takes longer to do what, in your mind, seems like an easy task.

Long story short: We didn't bring the box scraper back because it wouldn't fit in the back of the truck, but we weren't convinced of it so we tried and tried to get it in there. In the end it proved to be futile, so it was left in the barn for a later time. Not that we had time to use it this weekend!

We used the tractor to get the finish mower into the back of the truck. Hoisting it up in the air with a chain from the gate, the tractor did all the heavy lifting. The next major delay came from hitching the flat bed up. It would not lock itself onto the hitch, over and over and over. Tom used a screw driver, a hammer, metal lubricant and a piece of lumber. Eventually he persuaded it to couple to the hitch. We got home around 7:00pm. Tom had thought we would have time to mow grass at the farm. Of course that didn't happen.

When we did finally get home our neighbor Eric met us on the sidewalk. I had given him our new address and he had gone over to see it while in the area. What he told us just floored me! He was not sure that he was at the right address because there was a GMC crew cab there. Since he'd never been there he didn't know if it was the right house, a shared driveway or perhaps we had hired some Mexicans to help us. He said they drove past him in a swirl of dust, neither looking in his direction as they booted out of there. He said the back of the truck was empty.

I was so curious about what these guys had dumped, I honestly couldn't sleep. I woke at 4:30am thinking about it! I dozed until about 6:40am, then I had to get up and get going. Because of the chronically visiting dumpers we had decided we would leave the Acura parked there. The car wouldn't start. Tom jumped it with the Keifer's battery and I was on my way!

They dumped two mattresses and yard debris near where the sofa and love seat reside, next to the Naval Surface Weapons trailer. So the plans for the day got changed from mowing grass and trimming the trees to putting in a gate assembly nearer the road. That was the plan anyway. Two trips to Tractor Supply and one to 84 Lumber. We postponed the trip to Home Depot, that's for tomorrow. The second trip to Tractor Supply was for the inner tube for the tractor's front tire, which became flat when we were trying to get the finish mower out of the truck bed.

The gate, posts and boards are at the site, but not assembled. We need concrete, too, and a mixing tub. That's at Home Deport, tomorrow. We still have to put the electric in our name, sign the homeowners' insurance papers, and wire money to the bank. I hope these plans don't get waylaid, too.

We've gone from the Ritz to the Pits!

Friday, April 9, 2010

IT'S OVER!!! our kitchen table! - tonight at 6:15 - HOWEVER, since we were supposed to close at the bank and didn't, we still haven't paid any money! hahaha - will wire money on Monday morning, when the papers are filed with the County.

Going to WV tomorrow to get the flatbed, tractor, brush hog, bucket and augers. We'll still have to go back, with the flatbed and tractor, to get the finishing mower deck, because we can't pick it up and put it in the bed of the truck without the help of the tractor! oh, well, another day. so much to do, but the worst is over. Now we just have to get to work, quickly, to get the boys to the new place and this house rented (not in that order!).

It's all good. And we have to get the lumber for fences - 16 foot oak boards from Mr. Barnes in Mt Airy. work, work, work! Tom bought 4 lock sets tonight - all keyed alike - for the new place. We'll keep the same door knob on the front door, and have it re-keyed to match later. So many things to do, all at one time.

Closing Anguish

There are plenty of surprises - and a sleepless night, too - e-mail exchanges into late last night and today. Plus the phone and cell ringing constantly (like we are teenagers or something!), but it looks like settlement might happen today or tonight - argh! they waited until the LAST possible minute to check things and its not our fault - and we are not paying for the Farm Use transfer fees!!! But wasted a good block of hours we could have been riding!!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Settlement looming

Settlement is Friday - 10:00AM - in Damascus. So exciting I can't stand it! The weather is really warm for this time of year and the spring flowers are getting burnt. I hope that the weather changes back to a little cooler so we can get the corn stubble knocked down and the field dragged before seeding the pasture mix. So much work ahead of us, but I can't wait!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Weekend - 6 more days until Settlement!

Got off work early on Good Friday - went for a walk with April then riding with Tom at the AgPark. Fluffs was just stellar, what a great pony I have!! Gorgeous, beautiful day. Blooming flowers and trees, gentle breezes, grass and clover growing. What more could you ask for? Another beautiful day! Saturday morning was just as delicious as Friday's morning. This calls for a ROAD TRIP!

Went to Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, to the Penn Dutch Amish Market to see horse barns! We'll be needing one fairly quickly, so it is best to see them in person than just on-line or pictures in a brochure. I couldn't help but take oodles and tons of pictures! April had a pretty good time, too, walking in and out of all the barns, sheds, chicken coops, playhouses, cabins, etc., and watching the Amish workmen building a barn on-site. They were using a propane-powered fork-lift, cell-phones, assorted power tools, John Deere tractor and anything else you might use. I won't tell God they are sinning; times are tough all over, right? Time is money and we all need it.

The barn we want AND need is, naturally, the most expensive product they sell. It's the Taj Mahal of horse barns, with a hayloft, dutch doors for each stall and a tack/feed room. Five stalls, 10 x 12, with hay feeders and sliding gossip doors. That's what happens when you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth, and your horses were, too.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Snow is gone and Reality sets in!

I won't say the place is a disaster, because I am prone to complete dramatic exaggeration. But the place is a small disaster. There is a sofa and love seat thrown over the hill, out of sight from the house, and we'll need to get rid of that. However, past that is a Naval Surface Weapons metal trailer, no wheels, that also needs to be brought out. Plus, it gets better!, there is literally tons of concrete with re-bar slabs piled up that might be too heavy for our Ford tractor to lift with the bucket. And breaking it up will be difficult because of the inbeded re-bar. The bricks on the patio are missing. The roll-top dumpster is gone, but they didn't put anything in it, so we have a burned-out water heater, refrigerator, and miscellaneous things that need to go to the recyclers, too. Did I mention the THOUSANDS of Corona Beer caps in the driveway and bushes? Incredible.

Settlement is now scheduled for April 9, but I don't know the time. The title company, Slugg & Associates (you can't make this up!) is another old outfit, but you would think they just started. It's paint-by-numbers, and they are not understanding the property at issue here. They feel uncomfortable with the way things are going. They want a survey done, but that cost will rest on us. We don't have a real estate agent, the agent assigned by the Bank is not our agent. And if we got one, we would have to pay them about $7,000 and I'm not willing to spend that much money on not much help.

In my spare time I've been cleaning out closets and cabinets - going to the city dump (transfer station) and Goodwill. Recycle, purge, doing what I can to empty this house so we can move quickly when the time comes. We need to rent our house, so the sooner its empty the faster we can get it painted and on Craig's List or something.

And another thing: We are trying to get another dog! I know, what are we thinking?!