Monday, October 9, 2017

October 9, 2017

Busy, busy, busy!  I've been preparing my little house so I can move in soon.  First, I had an exterminator treat the crawl space.  He's coming back tomorrow to put down a vapor barrier.  Today there was a crew doing mold remediation in the attic and crawl space.  Day after tomorrow another crew is coming to put insulation in the crawl space.

All this work is for a house that is relatively recent construction for Portland - 1981.  So many of the houses in Portland were built in the early 1900's.  I'm used to all the new buildings that make up Houston.  My house there was built in the 1960's and was considered ancient.

The living room in my new house has a kind of pretend chimney and fireplace.  It extends about 3 feet into the room and takes up most of a wall.  The fireplace  itself was wood burning but is no longer working.  The "chimney" is just an empty shell with a pipe inside that leads to the roof to let out the smoke.  I am getting an estimate on removing the whole deal.  I'll replace it with an electric fireplace.  The house doesn't have gas.

I'm also getting an estimate on painting the interior.  The paint job is fresh but it's a dingy gray color.  Winter is coming with many dreary days ahead.  I'm torn between painting the walls a creamy yellow or a pale peachy pink.  The inside NEEDS to be cheerful.

My move is set for October 26th.  I'd love to have the fireplace gone and the house painted before I move in.  But then contractors run on a much slower clock than "normal" people.

The kitchen has new cabinets, countertops and appliances.  I do need to buy a refrigerator though plus a washer and dryer.

Then there's all the numerous minor repairs that will probably really add up to big bucks!  Some can't wait - like missing flashing and vents in the attic.

I've never bought a house for just myself.  My son, Kevin lived with me in my Bellaire townhouse.  Somehow, even though he was just a teenager, it wasn't as scary.  I wouldn't be living alone.  My next house I bought when I was engaged.

I'm excited but terrified about my new house.  I still have a lot of healing left to do.  Any activity wears me out.  Today I had wanted to go to Home Depot.  But, my physical therapy totally drained me and I had to take a nap.

Tomorrow I'm going to the doctor about my arthritis.  That was going to be my priority when I got to Portland.  But an irresponsible bus driver changed those plans.  Hopefully, I'll have enough pep to go to Home Depot after my appointment.

When I'm not trying to organize workmen, I am slowly packing up my apartment.  And I'm shopping on craigslist.  As my friends and family know I like things that are quirky.  I can either shop at really high end furniture stores (which I can't afford) or go to thrift and consignment stores.  But, I can peruse craigslist comfortably in my apartment.

I found a shocking pink bistro set on craigslist.  It's a tiny table with 4 chairs.  I'll use it for my kitchen table now and later on for the patio.  I also bought an unusual recliner.  It has cane sides.  The upholstery is yellow with blue birds and coral flowers.  It's so cool!  It came with a little ottoman and pillow.  I should have copied the photos on craigslist before they were taken down.  I'll take photos of everything eventually and post them.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

September 26, 2017

This Thursday, September 28, 2017, I will be closing on my new home in Portland.  I've been busily setting up the utilities.

The seller agreed to reduce the price so I could have some repair work done.  I've scheduled an exterminator to work on the crawlspace under the house.  Here mice and rats are a big problem.  Gross!  Luckily, no roaches.  (I haven't even seen a mosquito since I've been here.)

Then a mold specialist will work in the crawlspace and the attic.  Mold is another problem here since it rains most days for nine months of the year.  Then I'll have insulation installed so I don't freeze my tuckus this winter.

I'm trying to get an electrician to do a couple of repairs.  They are so busy here.

There is a weird fireplace in the living room.  It's wood burning but not working anymore.  There's no chimney.  It has a pipe running from it up to the roof.  The fireplace and hearth take up a lot of space.  I'm going to have it removed and I'll buy an electric unit.

As long as I have to tear up the wall to remove the fireplace I may as well paint the whole room.  Guess what color!

My plan is to move in towards the end of October.  I have to pay another month's rent in the retirement home anyway.  That gives me another month to get better.

I don't feel ready yet to take care of a house on my own.  Today I was exhausted after only going to the grocery store.  So, I'll take the move slow and steady.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

September 19, 2017

Yesterday was a sorry day for the city of Portland. 

It was the day of the hearing for the bus driver who crashed  into me on 5/22/2017. My lawyer picked me up and took me to the courthouse in case I needed to testify.

The driver didn't show up.  A lawyer came in his stead.  The deputy who issued the tickets didn't show up.  My lawyer wanted to show the judge the video of the bus accident.  The judge said that he could not find the bus driver guilty because the police officer did not bother to come to court to testify.

So, the driver's record will be cleared of these 2 tickets for reckless driving and not yielding to a pedestrian.

We don't know if he is still employed by the Trimet bus company or if he is still driving a bus for the city of Portland.

My lawyer discovered that this driver had previous reckless driving tickets before he was hired by Trimet.

Of course, I will continue my civil suit against the bus company which is city-owned.  It would have been more straightforward if the driver had been found guilty.

So, this irresponsible man gets away unscathed.

I have to go now to my physical therapy appointment.  The therapy is always painful.  My injuries will remain with me for the rest of my life.

I am rightfully VERY pissed off!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

September 17, 2017

The house that I have a contract on was inspected last week.  Houses in Portland need so many repairs.  Hopefully the seller and I can come to an agreement on the repairs.  We have until this Thursday to settle.

It's a cute little house.  It has a nice yard - not too big, not too small.

I will have to pay for another month's rent in Russellville.  During October I can have the repairs done and move my stuff over slowly.  I get tired easy so it will take quite a while to make it comfy.

I just gave Sweetsie a bath and freshened up her pinkness.  She was still itchy from being at the beach last weekend.

Today Russellville is having a Brazilian party.  There's a special dinner that comes with an extra (high) special price and Samba dancers.  I'm going - why not? - it's something different to do.

Tomorrow the bus driver is going to court to plead not guilty for crashing into me in a crosswalk.  I hope the detective who gave him the tickets shows up.  He gave him 2 tickets and he also watched the video of the accident.  My lawyer is taking me to the courthouse.  I don't see how he could not be found GUILTY.  But then I don't see how a bus driver could run a stop sign and hit a pedestrian either.  I was wearing bright clothing and walking a hot pink dog. Why wasn't he watching where he was going?

In the meantime I still have to use a walker and go to physical therapy twice a week.  I try to use a cane around the apartment.  This whole ordeal just really sucks!!

Monday, September 11, 2017

September 11, 2017

Tomorrow is the inspection for a house that I have a contract on.  It's a small house but it has a 2 car attached garage.  That is so rare to find in Portland.  It also is on flat ground.

There are a couple stairs from the porch.  I'll have to install a hand rail for sure and maybe a ramp.  It doesn't have a covered patio.  There is a back deck and I hope to be able to install a roof over it.

The house meets most of my requirements.  Hopefully, the inspection will go well and the seller will make any of the needed repairs.

Andy was here visiting from Thursday night to Monday morning.  We went to Gearhart, Oregon on the southern coast.  Kevin and his family were sharing a house with 2 other couples with kids.  There wasn't enough room in the house for me so I stayed in a nearby condo.

The condo was great - I could see the ocean and beach from the patio.

at dusk
After the first night Andy decided to stay with me in the condo where there was a nice long sofa.  Kevin and family came over for lunch and played in the condo's big pool.

The next day we went to the beach.  The dogs had a great time chasing a ball and a frisbee.  Sweetsie liked rolling in the sand.

We drove back on Sunday.  Kenny and Miho love their Uncle Andy.  Andy got to watch cartoons and learn all about Ninjago.  Miho liked playing house with him in her little toy closet.

It was wonderful having both my sons together and spending time as a family!

Andy and I had breakfast in the Russellville restaurant.  Sweetsie had to sit in a box since I am trying to use my cane more.  Before she would just sit in my walker basket.
Andy carried her out of the restaurant in her box.  She really is a very well behaved little poodle..

Saturday, September 2, 2017

September 2, 2017

Feeling very bummed right now.  I was checking emails this morning.  One from announced that the house that I really really wanted had accepted an offer and it wasn't mine!

I'll keep on looking.  Maybe another great house will pop up.  A perfect house would be on Kevin's street.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

August 31, 2017

My son, Andy safely made it through Hurricane Harvey.  He said it was "an interesting week."  That's one way of looking at it - especially if you don't own property.  He still is not back in his first floor apartment.

I heard from my old neighbors that the section of Dumfries Drive where I used to live in Houston did not have flooded houses.  The national news made it look like total destruction in Houston.  Luckily there a few pockets that are okay.

Meanwhile in Portland:  The house that I had wanted to buy on North Fowler Street needed quite a few repairs.  I requested that the seller make the repairs.  He countered with an offer to reduce the price by $10,000.  That would not be enough to cover the necessary repairs plus I did not want have to deal with finding and scheduling contractors to do the work.

I was not totally enamored with that house.  It had many features that I wanted but it was on part of the street that looked messy.  The next door neighbor was letting people camp out on his driveway and in front of his house.  There had been many complaints against this neighbor but the campers remained.  I terminated the contract.

In the meantime I kept looking at houses online.  I went to one of them.  It is SO much better than the other one.  It was lovingly cared for over the years and was beautiful.  The street was well kept. 

I put in an offer on that house yesterday.  I offered to buy it at the asking price.  The seller is supposed to review offers on Sunday.  Houses in North Portland often sell for more than the price listed.  I included a letter to the seller telling her why I wanted the house.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that the seller will let me buy the house.  I think inspection would go well on this house.  The seller took good care of it.