A Simple Roof: Not So Simple

The inspection revealed a couple of major structural and many minor house issues that must be addressed/repaired.  Hopefully the seller will agree to the crucial expensive fixes (like roof replacement) so we can proceed with the FHA inspection, and the closing in a month.

We’ve come to expect snags and complications; it’s just tricky when your funds are so limited, even after intensive saving.  We’ve worked so hard at accomplishing this modest objective, late in life, and now we’re anxious for it to succeed.

Outside it’s reverted back to cold, rainy, windy, and worse to come, but inside, erev must go on.

Taking Care of Business

Today we ran around taking care of pre-move business.  Some scenes were almost tearjerkers, as E has done business with some of these people for decades, and they’ve been like family to her.  They were all duly invited to visit and stay with us down south.  I know, sounds like a scenario from the early 20th, when average people lived in the same area their whole lives.  Yes, that happened.

It was almost 60 degrees out, as frenzied Kroger shoppers careened around in a panic brought on by this next forecasted wave of wintry havoc.  They don’t know what to do with this kind of extreme weather rollercoaster.  They’ve never lived in blizzard alley.  But even New England is freaking out about this latest monster nor’-easter from hell.  Nothing will be “normal” any more, with climate change.

Everything appears to be in order and full speed ahead with our mortgage, inspections so far, and other transactions.  Affording this whole process has been challenging, but we’ll squeak by.

Here is a rainy morning sky, and a fresh stir-fry (for over Asian noodles) I made.





It was about 55 degrees and sunny just now when I took out the compost, almost warmer than inside!  As opposed to below zero temps.  Reminds me of a certain unstable, volatile so-called president.

Here is Jewish Penicillin, as promised.  It’s sort of Asian fusion, with udon noodles and cilantro.  Do your magic, Jewasian [©™?] drug!


My excuse this time is some kind of bug I must have contracted down south, not conducive to writing.  It’s like being a zombie with a complete set of wrenches in my stomach.  Ouch.  I’ll get over it.

We’re in another holding pattern, awaiting the various inspection results, and some other technical delays.  There’s not much more for them to throw at us, it’s just a matter of waiting it out.

Outside, it’s incredibly in the 40s and headed for 50s!  A heat wave.  The snow and ice are finally melting.  I wouldn’t know, I haven’t been outside for days.

Time to make some Jewish Penicillin.

Here’s the ancient bridge between Kentucky and Cincinnati, OH, where we spent hours in a traffic jam, normal for Cincy, an old industrial city which looks like a scene from “Metropolis”.  It seems symbolic of all things Ohio, to me.



Boxing Month

Not for lack of material have I skipped a day.  Rather, we’re in crunch mode now, in that space between two locations, checking off the move list.  The box towers are turning into precarious skyscrapers, a narrowing labyrinth to navigate.  Good thing we started this process almost three years ago!

You know it’s serious when the bookshelves are almost empty!  What’s left for the last minute (easy access) tells you something about my priorities: all my native plants and wildlife reference guides, some cookbooks and bartender guides, and my Frog and Toad set.  The important stuff in life.


After almost four years of waiting, in two days we finally found a home in TN, with much help from our extremely patient agent Tracy, and the good folks at Southland Books and Café, which I dare say is our new HQ.  The house is a small, modest cottage, with an acre (!) of land to play around with.  Inside, it’s a totally clean slate in which to start over.  We’re just awaiting the inspection, then a sigh of relief.

The best part of the trip for me was getting to see my son and three of my grandkids.  The latter and I had a blast playing and catching up, while Avdi and E talked.  I was having a lot of anxiety in general, and specifically on this trip, but seeing them made me feel a whole lot better.  I hope it did for them, too.  Any chance I get with them between now and when they must move on to Florida is high-priority and vital.  After that, no telling when I’ll get to see my family again.

Here are some highlights of the trip: TN mountains, Bell the Bulldog Bookstore Manager of Southland, my family carousing in the motel (yes, the bathroom, because why not), and the Skullies celebrating the event with a good NC Hi-Wire strongman coffee milk stout.

Erev cheers.  To next month or so in our new home.





I woke up to everyone from north to south proclaiming their weather to be the coldest ever.  Even Florida is unusually cold for this time of year.  Tennessee, where we are headed, is normally relatively mild in January, but it’s competing with the midwest for record-breaking frigid award.

No one can deny this is climate change, except our denier-in-chief and co.  They just go from resort to limo to exclusive party, and never have to experience our reality.  But a rude awakening is coming.

Temps had actually gone down from 5 to 1 degree this morning as we got in the car to take care of pre-trip business.  I’ve never heard my car literally shriek like that from the cold!  It was outraged!

One can only imagine what summer will be like.  We’ll be able to grow tropical plants all year round!

To a Brave New Year

The Skullies are all dressed up and ready to stay in for NYE, like any smart persons.  May it be the beginning of a saner, more civil year in our country and world.  Join me in resolving to VOTE out the old.

We personally will have cause to breathe a sigh of relief in the new year, once we find a home and start over.  I wish my son and family some relief, direction, and smooth sailing in their challenging  transition, as well.


Ice Age

With record snows and unseasonably low temps across the country, one might almost think climate change is happening!  We’ll have the loser-in-chief to thank for the next ice age (and hell freezing over).

Meanwhile, we’re busily making trip lists, and checking them off.  And avoiding going Beyond the Wall, into the Land of Always Winter, where the White Walkers came from during the Long Night, if you catch my GoT snowdrift.  We ourselves will be cleverly heading south into balmy almost 30 degree temps.