Friday, May 29, 2009

Murphey's Law or Do Machines Have Ears??

Murphey's Law states that What can go wrong--will go wrong. Ok, I accept that. But, I also think that machines have ears and let you know it when they can!!

We had our first appointment with a Real Estate Agent (Greg from ReMax). Things went great. He seemed like he really knew his business and his mother was actually a Real Estate Agent too. Anyway, that's not the point of this post. Of course, he went through the house and asked if we would be leaving the appliances. Yeah!! We don't have room in a 34' trailer for all that stuff. He asked about our washer and dryer and we bragged that we had only had 1 repair call on our almost 40 year old Maytags.

OK, so after he left, I put a load of laundry in our almost 40 year old Maytag washer. About an hour later, Bill who lives with us, came upstairs and asked if I knew that we had about 2 inches of water in our utility room!!! Luckily our utility room is about 2 inches lower than the kitchen so the water was contained in the utility room. Apparently our almost 40 year old washer had no problem filling with water but did have a problem with spinning it out. So the water just kept pouring in and had nowhere to go but on the floor! Argggggg. So, we opened the back door and swept most of the two inches of water out the back door. Then I had to empty the machine by hand--after I had removed the soaking wet laundry from the washer and the soaking wet laundry which had been sitting on the floor waiting to go in the second load. Once I got down to the point I couldn't scoop the water out, I had to take a cloth--soak it with water from the machine--and wring it into a bowl. Again and again. Once that was all done, then I had to mop up the remaining water from the floor. Ahhhh, all done. Until we went to the basement and realized that much of the water had seeped through to the AC/Heat vents and was now dripping into the basement. Soooo, then I had to clean up that mess.

Now, how often have we seen on TV that the poor Maytag man has nothing to do? So, we called to get his services. First of all, they said that we hadn't purchased our machine from them. Well, hey, do they keep almost 40 year old records? Then they said that the repairman would call us back and schedule an appointment-----next Tuesday!!!!! So, if the Maytag repairman has so much time on his hands, what is he doing until next Tuesday?

I thought when we came north that I was done with having to run down to the laudramat. Guess not!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Window Views-German Village

MaryT/The Teach has started a new meme called Window Views. For some reason I have always been intrigued with taking pictures of windows or through windows so this meme was made just for me! Hop on over to to Window Views and do some more window peeping.

We went to German Village in Columbus last weekend. It is a beautiful restored historic section of Columbus. And of course I had to take pictures of some of the windows.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I Am So Proud of This Guy!

For many years my Hearing Impaired students wrote weekly letters and made posters for the Bowling Green State University hockey team. And for many years, some of the players would come down to visit the kids. Some even came down and worked in my class to earn class credits. Of course Mr. Snowbird and I had season tickets to BG hockey for many, many years and traveled all over cheering the team on. Because of all this, I got to know many of the players and their parents quite well. One of those hockey players was a young man by the name of Dan Bylsma--or Danny as we sometimes called him. Dan came down to my class a couple of times and even helped out when we had Deaf Awareness Day at BG. He was so good with the kids and the kids loved him.

(Not the best picture of Dan but he is the one in the red and white striped sweater.)

Dan was not one who we thought would ever go on and play in the NHL but he worked and worked and sure enough he ended up playing with the Mighty Ducks and the Kings. He struggled through many injuries but he played as long as he could. He and his dad, Jay, co wrote several very inspirational books about playing sports. I would recommend them to any parent who has a kid playing sports. The picture at the top of the page shows us with Dan and Jay when they came to BG for a book signing. We were lucky enough to have dinner with Dan and his parents that night.

After his playing days Dan then went into assistant coaching. Last year he got the job of Head Coach with the Pittsburg Penguins farm team in Wilkes Barre, Pa. In February of this year, the head coach of the Penguins was fired and Dan was hired as interim coach. In his first 25 games he had a record of 18 wins 3 losses and 4 ties. He totally turned the team around and got them into the Stanley Cup playoffs. Last night the Penguins earned a spot in the finals. Dan will be going to the Stanley Cup Finals as a first year coach! Needless to say, he no longer has the title of Interim Coach. Now he is simply the Coach!!

The Penguins will be playing the Detroit Red Wings in the finals. I have long been a Red Wings fan but I'm afraid that my loyalties will be with the Penguins this year. Go Danny. Go Pens!

A Big Weekend

This past weekend was a very busy one for us. We headed down to Columbus Friday afternoon where we met up with Dave, Ann and Erin. Erin had a soccer tournament in Dublin on Saturday and Sunday. Her first game was 9:00 am Saturday morning. Unfortunately, her team lost but she looked played pretty good.
Since Erin is on the Travel Softball team as well as the Travel Soccer Team, she had both soccer and softball games that day. She opted to skip the soccer game and play in the softball game, so Ann drove Erin back to Twinsburg (2 1/2 hours one way) for her softball game. Two of her soccer teammates were also on the softball team but didn't go back for the game. After the game Ann turned around and drove back to Columbus bringing Sam with them. Now that's a great mom!

While they were spending 5 hours in the car, Mr. Snowbird, Dave and I headed to German Village. German Village is a lovely part of Columbus with beautiful old homes, shops and restaurants. We walked around for awhile and spent about an hour is a HUGE bookstore. As you can see by the picture, there are 32 rooms. Amazing! Hey Mikey, if you are reading this, we thought about you but we didn't know your address.

We then headed to Schmidts Restaurant for lunch. They are known for their sausage. Yummy food!
The guys had a German Beer Sampler along with their meal.

We headed back to the motel for awhile then went to the Polaris Mall and walked around. Yeah, the guys actually walked around the mall. We didn't buy anything but it was fun looking. We weren't terribly hungry but decided to get a drink so we went to The Pub. A great British Pub with lots of atmosphere and adult beverages. We also shared a sandwich. Then back to the motel where we met up with Ann and the kids.

The next morning we headed to Erin's 8:30 am game. (Now that's dedication folks when you get up that early for a soccer game!) They won the game and were pretty happy girls. Back to the motel to pack and check out. Erin went home with a friend so the rest of us headed to COSI. COSI is a really great hands on Science museum. We spent a couple of hours there then headed back to the motel to pick up our car. We stopped at the grocery store just as a HUGE thunderstorm hit. Mr. Snowbird, Sam and I were in our cars while Dave and Ann were stuck in the store for about 20 minutes.

Then we headed north to Creston, Ohio to Dave's old roommate's house for a Memorial Day picnic. Also there was another roomie, another college friend and Dave's very best friend since childhood. It just amazes me how these guys have all stayed friend all these years. We then headed on to Twinsburg to Dave's.
On Monday, I took Erin shopping for her birthday present. It is a custom that I give her money, then take her out to shop and have lunch. We had a great time together even though she didn't spend all of her money. Then back to Dave's for a cookout and later a fire and S'mores. We headed back to Findlay on Tuesday and got busy on "selling the house projects". It was a long weekend but so much fun. We got to see family and friends. Isn't that what Holidays are for?


I just want to thank all of you who commented with tips on selling a house. I really appreciate it! I signed up online with LifestyleMoves Realty Referral. Through that, I had two agents call me. One is from Remax and one is from ERA. They both have webpages and look pretty good. One actually sold the house next door to us so I need to talk to our new neighbor. Both guys sound pretty good over the phone. One is probably in his 40's and one is late 20's. I was more impressed by the late 20's guy on the phone. We have an appointment with one on Friday and another on Monday. Then we decide. We are going to Ireland June 8th and will be gone for 2 weeks so I don't want to put the sign up until we get back. (And of course when the sign goes up, St. Joe goes in the ground head down.)

Oh and for you Bob the Builder fans--he had promised to buy a light fixture for the bedroom that he "painted" last summer. When we got back this spring, guess what? No new light fixture. So, we went out and bought one and called him to come install it. Of course, no answer so Mr. Snowbird left a message. And of course he hasn't returned our call yet. More on the Bob the Builder saga later.

We did need some gutter work done so we called a Gutter Guy. He didn't return the call but showed up on our doorstep the next day. Then returned a couple of days later and fixed everything. No muss, no fuss, no Bob the Builder saga. Now that's the kind of contractor I like!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More red from Scotland. These were roses that I found at Stirling Castle. And yes, they smell as beautiful as they look.

OK, I know you are all busy checking out everyone's Ruby Tuesday but take the time to bookmark me and drop back to check out my blog. I am a retired Special Ed teacher who now spends most of her time on Sanibel Island, Florida which is a Sanctuary Island for wildlife. I volunteer for a wildlife hospital. I am also the proud grandma of 5 wonderful grandkids and brag about them often!! I also have a blog called Branches and Roots where I talk about genealogy and my ancestors. OK, enough about me. So if you really want to see red go to Work of the Poet

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Little Help Please

I am sooooooooo confused. How does one go about choosing a Real Estate agent? We've never done this before. We sold one house but the agent who we bought our present home from sold the old one for us. I've heard going with a national company is better than a small locally owned company because they have a wider market. I've heard that you should choose a company with lots of agents because that way the office is open longer hours and there is generally someone there to answer the phone. I've heard that you should interview several agents until you get the one you want. Ugh, I can't even think about doing that--I just want to get this thing listed and on the market.

I know that we aren't going to get top dollar out of this house. The outside looks fantastic but the inside is VERY 70's. And, we really don't want to put all that money into updating it. #1 It would take us forever to do that (remember the saga of Bob the Builder last summer?) and #2 I don't really think we would make that much more. In fact we might even lose money updating it by spending more fixing it than we would make back on it. We think we should just sell it as a fixer upper. I remember awhile back the house next door was up for sale. The owners had spent tons of money to get it the way they wanted it and then they were transferred. The house looked fantastic. The couple who bought it came in, gutted it and started all over again. So, who's to say that if we put a bunch of money into fixing it up, the same thing wouldn't happen to us?

On my last post, I got a couple of much appreciated suggestions such as don't go with a long term contract and pricing the house right. Are there any other suggestions? Any ideas on choosing an agent? Is it necessary to interview a bunch of them? Any and all suggestions will be much appreciated.

Oh and just to help the sale along a little, my friend Linda sent me a St. Joseph statue to bury in the front yard when we finally get a sign out there. Hope he works!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Time Has Come

We have discussed this for several years now but the time has come. We are putting our Findlay home on the market. Yeah, I know, this is not the time to try to sell a house but it is time for us! Even though we have lived in Findlay for 47 years, our life is now on Sanibel. We have made many friends down there and of course we are very involved in volunteering for CROW. We became Florida residents a couple of years ago and finally made the decision to spend all of our time down there.

So, when we came back north a couple of weeks ago, I really kind of dreaded it. Not because it would be the last time (hopefully) that we would come north for this long but because of all that we have to do this summer. I spent all last week cleaning like crazy and going through drawers, cupboards, closets, bookshelves etc and either pitching stuff or lugging it to the barn for a garage sale. Now, we (well actually it's up to me since Mr. Snowbird doesn't really care) are trying to decide which real estate company to call. Do we go with a local company or with a national (but locally owned) company like ReMax or Century 21? I think we will go national hoping that they get the word out better. Anybody had any experience with this sort of thing?

I want to have an auction to get rid of most of the furniture and my collections of Hummels, Ruby Glass, bells, Cabbage Patch dolls, antiques etc. But, I am also having a garage sale to get rid of other stuff which would probably sell at an auction but I'm going to do the garage sale thing anyway. You can see what the garage now looks like. I don't think there is any way I will find room for all of it. Possibly two sales??

And on top of all that we have to do, we are leaving in a couple of weeks for a 12 day trip to Ireland. I know we will have a ball on the trip but the minute we get back, we will have to get back at cleaning, getting rid of stuff, scheduling an auction, hoping we get a buyer etc.

Anybody want to buy a 100 year old home?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Window Views-Ballater Cathedral

MaryT/The Teach has started a new meme called Window Views. For some reason I have always been intrigued with taking pictures of windows or through windows so this meme was made just for me! Hop on over to to Window Views and do some more window peeping.

When we were in Scotland, we visited the very interesting town of Ballater. This is near Balmoral Castle where the Royal Family spends their summers. They also do their shopping in Ballater. There is a church in town which has beautiful stained glass windows. Here are a couple of examples.

Wordless Wednesday-Smoky Mountain Creek

I know you are all busy checking out everyone's Wordless Wednesday but take the time to bookmark me and drop back to check out my blog. I am a retired Special Ed teacher who now spends most of her time on Sanibel Island, Florida volunteering for a Wildlife hospital rescuing and rehabbing wildlife. I even dumpster dive for injured Raccoons!! I am also the proud grandma of 5 wonderful grandkids and brag about them often!! I also have a blog called Branches and Roots where I talk about genealogy and my ancestors. OK, enough about me. Back to Wordless Wednesday.

Enjoy more Wordless Wednesdays at Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Blast from the Past

I am a Facebook subscriber. I like Facebook because I can keep up with my son, daughter, grandkids, friends, and would you believe--my students from years and years ago. I taught Hearing Impaired children but also piloted the first mainstream Pre School class in Ohio. This meant that I had about 6 or 7 HI kids and about 12 hearing children. Later on I moved up a few grades teaching anywhere from Kindergarten to 4th grade. I often had some of the kids at several different grade levels.

One year we took in one of the middle school students who lived about 40 miles away. He wanted to be on the wrestling team but because he was bused back and forth, he couldn't unless he could stay in Findlay during the week. So, he lived with us Monday through Friday morning. Steve visited us often after graduation but then when I retired, we sort of lost touch with each other. But, wouldn't you know, he found me on Facebook? And through him, I am now in touch with 30 of my ex students and learning about their lives and families. And because of Facebook and all of the kids getting reacquainted again, they are planning a reunion in July 2010. How cool is that?

Some of the students had posted some old school pictures a while ago. Since I was in Florida I didn't have access to my old pictures. So, today I started scanning some old pictures and posting them on Facebook. The kids (well actually they aren't kids anymore!) are having a ball looking at them. I still have a bunch more to scan and post. But, man, do I look young--and skinny!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Renee Award

I received this really neat award from Gayle at the White House--the one in Alaska, not the one in Washington DC. The award had been passed on to her. Gayle quoted the sender of her award, “The Renee award was created by Bella and Ces in honour of their friend Renee who has inflammatory breast cancer. In Bella's own words "this is a brand new award and I have the pleasure and honor of spreading the seed, watching it grow. I hope it finds it's way to those who are like Renee: the acorn, a small package becoming a tall and sturdy oak, giving more acorns, becoming tall and sturdy oaks, giving acorns…” Gayle goes on to say, "The award is being passed to creative souls who give."
Wow, how cool is that. She sent me the award because of the work I do with wildlife on Sanibel with the not to be named Wildlife Hospital there. (LOL). She also passed the award on to a friend of mine, Tootie, who goes out early one morning a week to walk the beach to check for Sea Turtle Nests then blogs about it here.
So, in keeping with the wildlife theme, I am going to pass the award along to Rambling Woods, The Road Less Traveled. She lives in Western New York state and apparently has turned her backyard into a bird sanctuary of sorts. And, like me, she has rescued her fair share of wildlife also. And what is really inspiring is that she is also dealing with multiple sclerosis but yet she still puts forth a lot of effort in protecting and caring for wildlife. She takes the most amazing pictures of her visitors. I always look forward to her pictures and her stories. So, my hat is off to you, RW. Keep up the great work you do.
Again, thanks Gayle.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Window Views-Flowers

MaryT/The Teach has started a new meme called Window Views. For some reason I have always been intrigued with taking pictures of windows or through windows so this meme was made just for me! Hop on over to to Window Views and do some more window peeping.

I've been so busy cleaning house, I forgot all about Window Views until now. So, I'm doing double duty here. My beautiful daughter, Shama-lama Mama sent me a live Azalea plant for Mother's Day. I wanted to show her what she sent me and I wanted to take part in Window Views--so, I put the flowers in the window and took a picture. Here you go--

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kentucky Scottish Weekend

Last weekend we stopped on our way north in Carrollton, Kentucky for the Kentucky Scottish Weekend. We have been doing this for 5 years now. We met our friend, Bob, who came down from Michigan and other friends, Al and Jan, from Cincinnati. The above picture shows Greg Cutliff, the Drum Major for the Massed Bands and yours truly in our Clan Montgomery finest. His is a lot finer than mine!!

On Friday night, we attended the Sponsors dinner. Of course we had the Ode to a Haggis and yup, I had some haggis. In fact I had two helpings. We also had a raffle and Cheryl, another friend, won a bottle of Kentucky Wine.
The next day we spent much of our time in the Entertainment tent listening to yet another friend, Alex Beaton, and a new group to us, Coyote Run. There was also a British Car show going on outside the tent. Since it had poured the day before and the field where people had to park their cars was nothing but mud, Al decided to enter his Mini Cooper, Wee Beastie, in the car show so he could park on pavement. Little did he know that there was a lst place trophy in his future.
One fun thing about Highland Games is that they usually have Sheep Dog demonstrations. I suppose I should say Geese Dog demonstrations.Even the Sheep were watching. They were probably saying, "Better them than us."

That night there was a Ceilidh (pronounced Kay lee). The Ceilidh involved Alex, a pipe band, dancers, pipers and Coyote Run which brought down the house.This young man is only 11 years old and is absolutely amazing. He even had adult pipers in awe.
Here is just a peek at Coyote Run. They were amazing!!
We had a great time meeting up with friends, watching some great entertainment, hearing the drone of the pipes, and of course--lots of men in kilts!!