Thursday, October 21, 2021

Windows Decision Made

I've been thinking about the quote for the windows that I received yesterday. $26+ K is a bit steep for me. It would deplete so much of my funds. I called the rep from the company who came out 2 weeks ago and requested his quote. It was less than half of the second, the warranty is 20 years like the other company. I decided to go with the first company. That meant I had to call the second company to let him down gently. I'm getting pretty good at this . . .

Nov. 1, Olshan will come out to adjust the piers.
Dec. 1, City Fence will replace my fence.
Jan. 1,  Fix the walls and paint.
            Replace the toilets.
Feb. 1, Replace the floors.

My house is still clean and neat!

My visit with Dr. Sioco this morning went well. I weighed 2 pounds more than my last visit, my blood pressure was pretty good. I discussed my meds and supplements with him. He seems to be impressed with the changes I'm making. He told me my heart was strong, and it is just like it was in 2016! That's good news!

I finally got a handle on The Billet today and completed most of it. The stories were so jumbled and confusing. After I sent an email to Nick complaining about it, I decided to knuckle down and plow through the files one at a time until I had something to publish. Now I have to wait for Nick to bless it so I can publish it and bill for it.

The SAPLings is ready too. I updated the FOSAPL website with the info from the current newsletter. Once I get a draft to approve to print, I can count that one done and bill for it.

The next thing I have to do is move the PDFs of the SAPLings from my old website to their weebly website.

Brain Dump

I've been doing a journal in Word since I decided to start the Jim Rohn One-Year to Success program. Journaling has helped me through good times and not so good times. As I was going through my office, bedroom, bookcase, etc., I found journals that were almost 39 years old! They reminded me of things that happened, why some things happened, and what I thought about those things. 

If you don't keep a journal, you should. There's nothing like your history to help generations that follow you to know who you really are. I so wish my parents kept journals. There are so many questions I'd like to ask them. My mom died unexpectedly when she was 54. So many times over the years I wish I could ask her questions about her, her family, and to get advice. My dad was always busy, then he moved 125 miles away. I gave him (and my brother-in-law) small tape recorders so they could record their stories. But neither ever did. When my dad was in the hospital, I took a clip board with questions about his childhood friends. 

Anyway, after working in Word a while, I realized I had to be at a certain computer to add to my journal. I started 3 blogs over the years, and I chose this one to continue my personal development journal.

I was going to build a casita attached to my daughter's new house near New Braunfels. After I did a cash-out refi to pay for the build, I decided not to do the build after all. Instead, I decided to do the things to this house that I really have been wanting to do since I moved in.

Several years ago, I had Olshan lift the back of my house to make it level again. I've been noticing many, many cracks all over the house, so I called them to fix it. The guy came out and blamed it on a leak under my foundation. The plumber he recommended came out and pressure tested and said there was no leak. So, I called Olshan again to have them reconsider lifting the house again. I got a text from the guy saying they wouldn't. That made me mad, so I called the general manager, Rich Bond. Rich came out a couple weeks ago and said they'd adjust 11 of the piers. I finally had to call a week later to make the appointment for them to come do the adjustments. 

I started the updates to this house by adding a flowerbed along the front of the house. then hiring a guy to powerwash my deck and sidewalks. He stripped the paint off the deck, which gouged the wood in a few places. Then I hired a carpenter to reconfigure my deck to remove the 8x8 raised square that accommodated a hot tub before I moved in. He was the guy who replaced my neighbor's fence. If I had actually looked at his quality of work, I would not have chosen him. It took him a while to get started. H e started on Monday, didn't feel well on Tuesday, was off Wednesday and Thursday, and on Friday, he called to say he tested positive for COVID! Because he had a light case, he told me he'd be back the following Tuesday. I told him he wouldn't be back until the next week. I quarantined from my family for 2 weeks, missing my youngest grandson's 3rd birthday party, and there was no way I was going to have him at my house before a decent quarantine period. Not only that, he did not do a good job on the deck. 

David, finish the deck. He sanded down the floor that the other guy left uneven, he sanded the railings and deck, painted the whole thing, floor and railings. We picked out plastic lattice to put along the skirt of the deck and he painted all that to match the railings. Of course, the white siding of the sunroom didn't look good anymore with the brown/tan of the deck, so that had to be painted. The deck is now complete and it's awesome!

David also replaced the fascia along the sidewalk to the front door. I had gutters put on about a year ago, and the first time it rained, the ONLY place that allowed rain to pour down on unsuspecting walkers was there. I called the gutter guy and he sent the installer. The installer showed me that the fascia was rotted. DANG! When I had the trim of the house painted 3 or 4 years ago, no one told me that board was rotten. They just painted it. Now it looks really good. I can't wait for it to rain.

While he was working on the front porch, I asked David to remove the railing because it was pretty rotten, thinking we'd replace it. After he removed the railing, I realized how nice the front porch looks without it. I'll live with it without the railing for a while. But I think I'll like it better without.

My fence has been in bad shape for most of the time I've been here (almost 7 years). It's time to replace it. As I mentioned before, one of my neighbors replaced his fence. My other neighbor has been patiently waiting for me to do mine and our common fence. I got 3 bids, and I actually went with the highest of the three because they mentioned the slope of my yard and asked how I wanted that to be handled and he offered to remove the 3 buried supports from the part of the deck that was removed at no cost. Once the fence has been replaced, I'll have some landscaping bricks posted along the fenceline with some the back yard.

Last week a window company came by to measure to give me a estimate to replace my windows. I haven't heard from them since. Today, Eric from Renewal by Anderson came by and spent almost 3 hours with me measuring and chatting, and he gave me an estimate before he left. It is very pricey, but after seeing what their windows are like, I decided to go with them. I'm worth it after all. It'll be 12-16 weeks before they can start. 

While the outside is being worked on, David and I will paint the entire house inside. I've picked out a white leaning to warm pink call Seaside Villa. Then we will replace the carpet, tile, and linoleum in the house with laminate. We looked at luxury vinyl plank yesterday at Floor and Decor. I found something I really liked. Kaycie and Jeff went to pick out the decor for their house and they chose laminate. I did some research and laminate is easier on our feet than LVP. I mentioned replacing my floors to Eric today, and he said they have LVP, but it's hard on their feet. He said his heels hurt after walking on it for a while. That cinched it for me. I'm going with laminate. Now to find one I like.

While Eric was here today, the crew from The Maids came and gave my house a deep clean. It feels so much better. Now to find out how much that will cost!

I think that wraps up all I've been up to lately. Burning through that refi money pretty quickly. The fence money has already been pulled. The floor will probably cost $10K, and the widows will cost $27K. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Lots of stuff


             Oct. 14, 2021

Geez, I’ve been so busy since the last time I wrote here. I’ll start with some of the things I wrote the last time and go from there.

The funeral reception was really nice. People didn’t eat much, so there was a lot of food left. I had little blocks of cheese and meats. One of the meats was a jalapeno cheese sausage that was really spicy hot! We put it on a tray with Pepper Jack cheese. Surprisingly, that was the one most people ate from! There were just a few bits left. I was hoping I’d get to take the leftover cheese and meats home, but someone took out all the toothpicks and packed the leftovers in a big ziplock bag. Twice I had it in my hand. I could have said I’d take it home, but I didn’t. That’s OK!

I love listening to Dana K. White’s podcasts! She has so many great ideas and topics that are good to know about.

I got to work! It goes to my new website. I’m hoping to be able to incorporate all 3 of my businesses there. My company is Alana Woods Products and Services now. I plan to head downtown soon to do a formal dba. Then I can do more with PayPal and the bank.

Katie and I did the Pipe Creek event with a lot of success! I learned a few things – QR codes aren’t for everyone! I had too many signs. We have to remind ladies to enter the drawing. Katie and I both put a sample on ladies. I learned how to chat while applying the sample. It’s fun to visit with the shoppers!

I Zoom met with Alyssa on Sept. 28, which changed a lot of things for me. I was gaining and gaining until then. She and I discussed the supplements I take, and she mentioned some things that are included in them that aren’t good. After our call, I checked my supplements and found many of them had those bad ingredients. She has substitutes for each of them. While I had all the supplements out of my med bag, I noticed there were only 6 prescriptions in the bag – there should have been 7! That’s when I realized I wasn’t taking the Furosemide! No wonder I was gaining. My legs were swollen every night! Once I started taking the Furosemide again, the weight started dropping off (all water, of course), and the actual loss began! I am glad I decided to go with her for 3 months. She checks in with me daily, and we’ll have a 1-hour visit this coming Monday.

The Friends of the Library is still plugging along. I made several changes to the website for them and I’m in the last stages of approval for the newsletter.

STC-HPS is going through a change of leadership for The Billet and website. It’s slipping deadline wise. I tried to get started early, but by the time they started getting things to me, other deadlines took over my time. I’m back on it tomorrow!

One of the reasons I haven’t been here in a while is I’ve had David here doing projects. The deck has been reconfigured and painted. He put a plastic lattice along the skirt, but after talking to a guy who gave an estimate to replace the fence, I realize the holes in the lattice are too large. A skunk will still be able to get under the deck! I wish I talked to him a week earlier. We could have put chicken wire behind the lattice. Because it has been completely done, we may just glue some smaller pieces offset enough to make the holes smaller.

I have 3 estimates to redo my fence. The guy who butchered my desk estimated $4000, Colton estimated $5,078, and City Fence estimated $5,378. I think I’ll go with City. I talked to Bobby next door, and he’ll pitch in $1,000 for our common fence.

I also had a window company come by today to give an estimate for replacing all my windows. I’d also like to have the front door sidelights replaced.

Once the fence has been replaced, I’ll call the landscaper who did the front yard to add flower beds to the backyard. We’ll put a hard landscape border along the flowerbed in the front and along the fenceline. It’s the only thing I can figure out to do to keep the critters out of my yard.

I took Rex and Tyson to the library today. Ty DID NOT want to go. He kept saying it wasn’t gonna happen. I bribed him with a milk shake afterward. Once we got there, he found a book and actually started reading it in the library. Then a Librarian pointed out a scavenger hunt in the children’s area. He and Rex really got involved. There was a group of all the little boys there helping each other find the items. Tyson really liked that. Then we drove to Sonic and they were so slow to respond to the button that I decided to go to the one Rex was talking about. But we couldn’t find it. Kaycie called, and I asked her where it was. We weren’t even in the right neighborhood! But, eventually, I found it. Before long, the boys were reading and it got so quiet in the car.

I stopped by Bill Miller for BBQ on the way home and had that for dinner. The brisket was melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

The supplements I ordered from Naturally Nourished arrived today and so did the Re-Lyte. I’m hoping that will help with leg cramps. I realized I don’t salt my food, and that is probably why my legs cramp in the morning. I started drinking a cup of salt water to help that. It did so far.

Daily grind


Oct. 1, 2021

I’m preparing for next Sunday’s event at the Pipe Creek VFD BBQ. Katherine will work with me and we’re both excited. I’ve made a price list and 3 QR codes for my shopping site, VIP group, and my Linkt.ree site with all my links. They are all in clear acrylic frames. I originally planned to take only 100 sets. But picking them out was difficult. I decided to take them all but only put a few out. I’m borrowing Kaycie’s two 6-ft tables. I’ll take 2 card tables and 2 chairs, white canopy, hand sanitizer.

I looked at my DVR in the living room and found The Masked Singer – 3 episodes! I watched those episodes along with Dr. Blake Mysteries.

I received the acrylic frames today and a clear plastic caddy for my dressing table. It’s a bit large, but it holds all the things I use for makeup that have been in zipper bags or a large bag on the floor. Putting everything in the caddy made me make decisions about what to keep and get rid of. I also went through my nail polishes. I haven’t used nail polish in years, but I had so many bottles. I put them all in a bag and tossed them in the trash. The only thing I’m keeping that I may not use is Cindy Crawford’s Meaningful Beauty. I don’t know why because I don’t see that it makes a difference in my skin.

Daily grind


Sept. 29, 2021

Today is Daddy’s birthday.

Rich Bond, the general manager of Olshan came today to look at the house and take measurements. He said 11 piers will need to be adjusted and maybe dug down a bit more. I should see a difference about 60 days after.

David didn’t come yesterday. Today I picked him up after Rich left. He is working on making the deck look perfect. He dug down around the perimeter of the deck so the lattice skirting will be below the surface to keep critters from getting under the deck. I sure hope it works. It’s costing me a fortune. All the furniture is on the deck, and it looks GREAT! There will be some lattice left over, so we’ll put it on the fence between the 2 kitchen windows again. I like that little bit of extra privacy. I hope Gabe and Kristine don’t mind.

The TVs in my office and bedroom went out, so I got 2 from Walmart. $380, not bad. Picked them up today and plan to put them together tomorrow.

When I took Barbara to PT today, I saw Frank Tapia in the parking lot. I worked with him for 40-1/2 years. He looks great! He dropped off his wife Rose. I saw her in the waiting room, so we chatted off and on. A guy, who looks very familiar, has been coming in just about every time I’ve taken Barbara. He looked like someone I’ve worked with at SwRI, but I couldn’t remember his name. Today his therapist called him by his name – Eric. He’s Eric Dornes, the first website client I had in 1999! I’ll talk to him Monday when he comes in.

I’ve been dying to play a “Find the Squirrel” game on my VIP page. So I set it up for tonight. It was a lot slower going than I expected. Clara was there from the beginning. She guessed numbers all around the actual numbers that had the squirrels. Judy Brucks guessed one time and got a squirrel. Daisy tried about 3 times and got a squirrel. Then Carol tried 2 times and got a squirrel. I felt sorry for Clara. It took a LOT longer than I expected.

I met the big boys at the corner yesterday. I forgot my phone, so I thought I’d ask Echo to call Kaycie to let her know we were there safe and sound, but their internet was out. No TV, no phone. I talked the boys into playing Uno with me again, and Tyson won the game. It took 3 rounds of playing for someone to finally hit 500 points!

Busy, busy, busy


Sept. 27, 2021

Today I weighed 1.5 pounds more than yesterday. I feel it wasn’t what I ate, but the quantity of what I ate. Lesson learned.

I called the 866 number of the company that charged me $188 to find out that the product I ordered from FB (that isn’t doing anything for me) paying only shipping actually charges the full price for the product 2 weeks later. WHAT A SCAM! I told them I considered them a scam and hung up. A few minutes later, I noticed 2 emails letting me know they cancelled the 2 products. Apparently, they were automatically on reorder, although she said I wasn’t getting another shipment. I’m curious to see if that also issues refunds.

I had a busy day. I met David at the Home Depot near his house to get paint and supplies. The clerk at the self-checkout checked us out. So sweet.

Talked to Kaycie for a while about the dogs and family. She’s getting Katherine to watch the dogs and cat when they go to the beach Oct. 8-10. That means I’ll be working the Pipe Creek Event alone.

Took Barbara to PT. While she was being tortured, I took the towels and stuff to the Humane Society and the baby things to Pregnancy Care Center. That felt good.

David took the bus home today. I dropped him off at Broadway and McArthur. Because of the huge line of traffic going back home on Wetmore, I went to Nacogdoches and zipped right back home.

Ate ½ of the sausage I got at the Pearl Farmer’s Market and it made me sick! Took three Tums to tame the tum.

FINALLY got the Halloween sets in the mail today!!! Some of them are out of stock. But more will come back, Kaycie said.

Wednesday will be Winning Wednesday. I’m playing a Find the Squirrels game on my VIP page. I hope it goes well. The next one will be a battleship game that I’ve been dying to play.

Happy Birthday, Jan!


Sept. 26, 2021

Today is Jan’s birthday! She hosted a swimming party because 2 others of our group had birthdays this month – Marie Sept. 15, Julie, Sept. 24, and Jan, and Diane retired the end of August. I bought birthday gifts for the 3 birthday girls and had them wrapped and ready to go. I texted Jan to ask her what I should get Diane for a retirement gift. She told me not to bring gifts. I pulled the birthday cards out of the packages and took only the cards. EVERYONE else brought gifts. The gifts I got them weren’t cheap, and they were thoughtful. Jan told everyone what happened. I told them I’d save them for Christmas.

She ordered enchiladas, fajitas, and all the trimmings. I passed on the alcohol, I ate my weight in nuts, but I passed on the tortilla chips. Then the enchiladas arrived without the fajitas, so I made a little davy dip with the queso, chile, and guacamole, and put it on some cheese crackers (crackers made with gouda cheese). She sent Charlie to another Mexican restaurant nearby for the fajitas. And they were delicious. I ate fajitas, and I was stuffed. Then when they had cake, I ate more fajitas. That way, I was eating and having a good time instead of just watching them eat carrot cake (one of my absolute favorites), vanilla pudding, and ice cream. I drank water all day. They had margaritas and Jello shots. I kept telling them that I just started losing weight and I didn’t want to mess it up. And I didn’t feel deprived.