Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Cookie's Oven

Where did the summer go? From the beginning of July to the middle of September --- I think I must have been sleep walking! We drive to Florida in July to take a new car to friends there. What the heck --- the gas was free and we got to stay at Lee and John's beautiful new house, so the only expense was a couple of motel rooms on the way down and back. While there, a friend of Clyde's picked that particular week to up and die! I felt like a ghoul going through his doublewide the day after his passing, so we didn't even take a really good look at the place or ask any questions. But, the experience of fixing up the last one and making a tidy profit was enough to make Jack's money grubbing heart beat swiftly and he offered them enough to tempt them, but not offend his surviving children. Imagine our surprise when the cell phone rang as we were driving out of the state and the family accepted our offer. Oh, Holy Cow! We finished the trip and brought the used trade-in back to Ohio. It was the worst trip we ever made to or from Florida and we've made quite a few trips. The used car had bald tires on the front and we had to stop in Kentucky and replace them and the dead battery. Every state had a deluge in store for us, but we made it home! We turned around and flew back to Ft. Myers on Aug. 18th with a few clothes, sheets and towels to begin the renovation of the "new" trailer. It is a 1971 SunHome with a new roofover, fairly new A/C and new porches (since Hurricane Charley ripped the old ones off last year). Inside, --- an absolute nightmare. Filthy, smelly (luckily, I can't smell anything) and needing to be almost gutted. We took a quick inventory of what should be done to make it profit worthy and something I can live in for a few winters. Jack started by ripping out the carpet and padding. Underneath, we found holes covered with pieces of 1/4th inch plywood or even duct tape. We tore out sinks, toilets, some cupboards, snack bars (with coke-bottle glass in the doors) and closed off a doorway into one bathroom from the guestroom. A good friend was out of work for a couple of weeks and he worked for us for 10 days, but we kept up with him and added 4 or 5 hours after he quit every night. Both of us were hitting the Darvocet N-100 bottle at regular intervals. The kitchen couldn't be trusted, so we bought plastic bins and put the paper plates and cereal bowls in them. Even the ice went in a new bin, until the new fridge, stove, hood, washer and dryer were delivered. We threw out piles of tasteless junk and the neighbors picked through it and toted it home as though it were a highly prized, rare find. We left after 21 days with new carpet, some new furniture, fixtures, appliances, new carpet in the porch (12'x19'). We have lots of ideas, --- like painting the dining room table legs and the buffet to match and look like a bookcase (minus the doors with the dratted coke-bottle glass). We saved money by painting chandeliers and anything that stood still with a can of flat-black Rustoleum. I found some adoreable little lampshades for the dining roomlight and saved us $135.00. Still, we are in hock to Lowes for about $6000. and have so much to do. WE have discovered that keeping busy, even too busy, makes us feel much younger. Perhaps the overwork will kill us, but people will say, "My, were't they ambitious?" By September 9th, we were back in Toledo and rushing around buying things for the place (towels, dishes, silverware, toasterovens, etc) and keeping dental and doctor appointments. I have to get those blasted carotid dopplers done on the 30th and see the surgeon on Oct. 4th. Everything about the Florida place will depend upon when the vascular genius wants to repair the mess he made last fall. This coming Tuesday, Sept. 20th we are flying to Monterey, CA to see Greg. He is lonesome and apparently will be happy to see anyone from the family --- even the grandparents. We stay from the 20th through the 27th and are praying that it will give Greg a taste of family to keep him going until Christmas when he can come home for the first time since last winter. Hopefully, I'll have time to make those chocolate ship cookies that Lesley says he likes. With Alex in Nyack, NY for college and Steven in Washington, I'll need to get that oven fired up anddd supplying those boys with homemade goodies. Lord! Give me strength! Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that I need 45 yards of fabric for the Florida curtains and about 40 yards of lining. I really need help! I guess I can't die for quite a while---- there is too much to do!